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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South Review

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From Goodreads:

Haughty Lady Helen Radney is one of London's most beautiful women and the daughter of a duke, but her sharp tongue has frightened away most of her suitors. When her father gambles away his fortune, the duke's only chance for recouping his losses lies in marrying off Lady Helen to any man wealthy enough to take a bride with nothing to recommend her but a lovely face and an eight-hundred-year-old pedigree.

Enter Mr. Ethan Brundy, once an illegitimate workhouse orphan, now owner of a Lancashire textile mill and one of England's richest men. When he glimpses Lady Helen at Covent Garden Theatre, he is instantly smitten and vows to marry her. But this commonest of commoners will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to win the heart of his aristocratic bride...


My Review:

This book was a quick, fun read.  Because it was so short there is not a lot of character development or  wordy descriptions of people or places,  but I found that the book really did not need them.  It was just a light, entertaining read about two people meeting and falling in love.  In this case Ethan falls in love as soon as he sees Helen,  Helen on the other hand takes some time to realize what a good man Ethan Brundy is. 

What I enjoyed the most about this story was how the author took her time with the two main characters and had Helen slowly warm to Ethan and his different ways.  I also liked how Ethan really didn't have to change to make Helen fall in love with him, Helen just needed to get past her own prejudices to see Ethan for the good man he was.

If you enjoy regency romances I think you will enjoy this one.  It is a cute little book that I know I really enjoyed reading.

My rating:  4 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Slices of Life by Leah Eskin Review

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From Goodreads:

Bad Haircut Kale Chips. Post-ER Roast Chicken. New Baby Risotto. Frantic Dinner-Party Calming Soup. These are some of the dishes that food writer Leah Eskin has turned out during her years of raising two children, enduring one dog, and tending her marriage. She's also nurtured her ten-year-old food column, "Home on the Range," providing a recipe and accompanying vignette in the Chicago Tribune every week. Slices of Life transforms those columns into a memoir that readers can savor in small or large bites. It's a compilation of more than 200 recipes, with a generous helping of the life stories that happened along the way: moving-day potatoes, summer-vacation apricot pie, dead-microwave ratatouille, sullen-child oatmeal squares. Whether preparing recipes for disaster or delight, Leah Eskin has made it all delicious!

My Review:

For the most part I enjoyed this book, it is a collection of Eskin's columns that she has written over the years with recipes included for each one.  Some of the essays I did not enjoy and they seemed like Eskin was trying to be really clever but these ones just fell flat for me.  The ones that I really enjoyed were the ones where she talks about her family and  her friends in an honest and relatable way.

The recipes that are included in the book are great.  There are a lot of them and cover everything from dinners to desserts, simple recipes and more complex ones.  The birthday cake recipe sounded amazing though I do not think I am capable enough to try it myself!

If you enjoy books about food and family life with lots of new recipes to try as well I think you will enjoy this book.  It is light, fun, and has quite a few recipes that I am going to want to try!

My Rating:  4 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins Review

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From Goodreads:

Does being nobody's fool mean that you're nobody's love?

Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.

But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.


My Review:

Kristan Higgins is quickly turning into one of my favorite authors.  I always enjoy reading her books, they are filled with great characters, true love, and lots of humor.  This book in this series steps away from the Holland family and is instead about a close friend of the Holland family, Colleen.  Colleen and her twin brother operate a popular bar in town and Colleen is known as the town flirt.  Unexpectedly a man from her past comes back to town, Lucas Campbell, and Colleen finds herself falling in love with him all over again.

Colleen and Lucas were both great characters and I enjoyed reading about their relationship.  I also really liked learning about Lucas and his family and the hard times Lucas had gone through.  Colleen's family situation was also interesting to read about, I especially liked her mom.  One of the great things about Higgins' books is the secondary characters that add so much depth to the story.  Not only do you become invested in the lives of the two main characters, you also end up really interested in the friends and family of Colleen and Lucas.

I think this book has the most humorous of the series.  The were several times that I laughed out loud.  Some fun scenes really added to the enjoyment I had reading this delightful book.  I know I will be eager to read another book in this great series.

My rating:  4 1/2 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Chance by Robyn Carr Review

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From Goodreads:

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge. 

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep; unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

My Review:

This was another enjoyable read in the Thunder Point Series.  Laine and Eric were both likable and I enjoyed reading about their relationship.  I also really liked the descriptions of the town Carr includes in the books, it is the type of town I would love to go to on a vacation.  It was also great to read about the couples from the previous books.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was not the main story line of Laine and Eric but  a side story of Justin, a young man who works at Eric's garage.  The story of how hard he works to take care of his mother and little brothers broke my heart.  When Al, another worker at Eric's garage, gets involved and tries to help out the struggling family, it made for a surprisingly emotional read.  I will be reading the next book in the series in the hopes of reading more about Al and Justin and how things are working out for them.

The Thunder Point books are a great series of books about small town life and people coming together to lend a hand when needed.  I really enjoy these stories about communities and families that help each other in times of need.

My Rating:  4 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen Review

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From Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a novel about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia called Lost Lake.

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it's the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn't believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake's owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake's magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found.


My Review:

Sarah Addison Allen is one of my all time favorite authors and I have been eagerly waiting to read this book.  It was wonderful from beginning to end.  The story is unique and filled with characters that you slowly get to know and love.  There were so many characters I loved in this one it would be impossible to pick one or two as favorites.

What I loved the most was the sense of magic and wonder in the story, it pulled me in and I was totally immersed in this one until the last page.  Kate's daughter Devlin was such an important part of the story, I loved her ability to talk to the alligator, her sense of style, and her strong will to fight for the things that are important to her.  She was one tough little eight year old and I adored her.

The setting of Lost Lake added so much to the story, it was filled with beauty and magic.  Allen adds so many wonderful descriptions of the lake and the cottages that it made me wish I could visit it myself.

If you are a Sarah Addison Allen fan you will not be disappointed with this one.  It is a beautiful story filled with wonder, love and hope.

My rating:  4 1/2 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Harlow Hoyden by Lynn Messina Review

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From Goodreads:

Miss Emma Harlow hasn’t earned the reputation as a hoyden for nothing, so when the Duke of Trent discovers her in his conservatory stealing one of his orchids, he’s isn’t surprised—charmed, delighted and puzzled, yes, but not surprised. It is Emma who is amazed. She has naturally concluded that the man reading in the conservatory must be the country cousin (who else in London would actually read?) and is quite vexed to discover that he is the Duke of Trent himself—imagine, stealing the duke’s prize Rhyncholaelia digbyana under his very nose!

But her vexation doesn’t last long. For Emma is a practical young lady with a mission: to end her dear sister Lavinia’s engagement to the villainous (and dreadfully dull!) Sir Waldo Windbourne, and she thinks that the famous libertine is just the man for the job. If he would only seduce her sister away from Sir Waldo…. Well, not seduce exactly, but flirt mercilessly and engage her interest. Perhaps then Lavinia would jilt the baron. The Duke of Trent is resistant, of course. Despite his reputation, he does not toy with the affections of innocents. And besides, it’s not her sister he longs to seduce.


My Review:

I love a good historical romance and this book has some great characters and a delightful plot.  I loved reading about Emma from the very beginning when we meet her as she is stealing the Duke of Trent's prized flower.  She is independent, spunky, and a lot of fun.  The Duke of course cannot resist her and ends up entangled in her many plots.

I was really enjoying this one until the very end.  It seemed like the author felt the need to add so much intrigue and excitement to the end of the book that I found it unbelievable and it really took away some of my enjoyment of the book.  Emma's adventures just seemed to be too dangerous by the end I really do not think all of the extra suspense was necessary.   I really enjoyed reading the interactions between Emma and Trent and wanted more of the two of them together, not a lot of plot twists and turns.

Even though I was not a big fan of the end I still enjoyed reading this one because of Emma and Trent.  They were a lot of fun and would love to read another book about their lives together.

My Rating:

4 stars out of 5

I received this book from NetGalley for a review.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook by Christina Dymock

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It's every busy mother's dream-come-true: dinner that makes itself! With the help of your trusty slow cooker and these healthy, easy recipes, like Peppery Cilantro Salmon, Sausage Stew, and Dark Chocolate Mini Cakes, you can put dinner on the table even on the craziest of days. Don't let the whirlwind of life stop you from feeding your family the food they deserve -- delicious, home-cooked meals straight from your slow cooker.

My Review:
I love my slow cooker and use it a lot.  What I like about it the most is that I can put together a meal in the morning after the kids go to school  and then I don't have to rush around making dinner during those crazy after school hours.  It is done and ready to be enjoyed.  Because I use my slow cooker so much I am always looking for new recipes so I was thrilled to try out Christina Dymock's new book.

There are a lot of great recipes included in this book.  A few that I am very excited to try are apple roast beef,  pepper steak sandwiches, sweet chicken rice bowls, and chicken cordon bleu.  I really like these recipes because they do not have a long list of ingredients, they are simple to make, and they look like recipes my whole family will enjoy and anyone that has kids knows how hard it is to find a recipe that everyone in the family will like!

If you have a slow cooker and do not use it that often this book would be a great way to start using it more with some great recipes that are not hard to make at all.  For moms like me looking for some good new recipes, you will definitely find them in this cookbook.  I know I am really looking forward to trying many of the recipes in this book!

My rating:  4 stars out of 5

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