Sunday, July 17, 2016

Discovering You: My Review

About the Book:

Can she ever trust another "bad boy"? 

India Sommers once had the perfect family—until an ex-boyfriend broke in and shot her husband. Not only did that cost her the man she loved, a respected heart surgeon and the father of her child, but she also feels responsible. Charlie died because of the people she hung out with before she had the strength to change her life. 

Just after moving to Whiskey Creek with her little girl, Cassia, to start over, she's learned that her ex-boyfriend's trial ended in a hung jury. He's getting out of jail; he could try to find her again. And that's not all that scares her. She's extremely attracted to her next-door neighbor, but Rod Amos is the handsome "bad boy" type that's given her so much trouble in the past. If she got involved with him, her in-laws would sue for custody of Cassia. 

India has to keep her distance from Rod—but the more she gets to know him, the more difficult that becomes.

My Comments:

While this book was a bit on the unbelieveable side, I enjoyed getting to know India and Rod.  As a strictly goody-two shoes white collar type I've been known to judge those who don't fit the corporate image and Rod found himself be the victim of such judgments, while deep inside he was a sweetheart just waiting for someone who could appreciate him.  

India has just lost her husband, and is afraid of losing her daughter, who is visiting her in-laws during most of the book. They have money and influence and she has nothing--but Rod convinces her to stand up for herself.  

As expected the book has a HEA and I hope to visit Whiskey Creek again soon. 

Thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blog Tour: My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson


When all illusions of happily-ever-after shatter, Lily must choose to abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage in Rose Chandler Johnson’s debut novel, My Father’s House. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

About the Book:

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant – her father’s love.
But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and the life she’s lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband’s sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.
When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

My Comments

There is a lot to like in this book.  Lily is a few years younger than me, and like me was one of the first generation of girls whose futures did not automatically include a long career as a housewife.  Still, getting an "Mrs." degree wasn't totally unheard of either. Her college years were over; her friends had moved on but she was in the college town working for peanuts when, on a visit to New York City, this Georgia girl meets a man.  He was waiter in the restaurant in which they were eating, but it turns out that he only did that for old times sake.  In real life he was a lawyer (a rich one) in Detroit.  There is a long-distance romance culminating in what was basically an elopement- a wedding held without consulting her family because she knew they would disapprove.  She moves to Detroit with her husband where, whether by his plan or by a combination of circumstances, she becomes socially isolated.  Their marriage is floundering and then one day he hits her.  She starts planning to leave him and not long thereafter something happens that makes her realize it needs to be now, not later and with the help of her college roommate she flees to a house her father left her than she had never told her husband about.  She goes to this small town and immediately becomes a part of the community--making friends, helping others, getting a job--even though when she was in Detroit she rarely left her building through she had plenty of money and her husband told her to call a cab if she wanted to go somewhere.  

While I enjoyed reading the book and liked Lily, the writing was uneven.  Certain parts of the book were well-written; but other things happened that just didn't seem realistic.  Her final encounter with her husband fit in that category.  

The book is self-published and has that look to it.  As a low-priced Kindle book, I'd say you'd get your money's worth; at the price of the paperback, I'd be dissapointed.  

I'd like to thank Litfuse Book Tours for providing a complimentary book in exchange for a review.  Grade:  B-.  You can learn more about the book and its author and sample other reviews here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Book Review: Saving Abby

About the Book:

All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.

Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Steena Holmes brings us an unforgettable story of one woman’s courage and love.

My Comments:

Saving Abby is a compelling read that takes a look at the issue of a pregnancy that threatens the life of the mother.  Even more, it is the story of people.  Claire and Josh are an illustrator and author of a series of children's books about a young boy who has adventures.  The boy has become their baby since their efforts to have one have been unsuccessful.  Their best friends are Abby and Derek.  Abby is Claire's long-time best friend and doctor.  I liked the interaction between the couples and the way that they valued each other and their marriages, even when times got tough.  I loved Claire and Abby's friendship.  

I actually loved the whole book, except the ending.  Actually the ending made me feel cheated.  The whole question through the pregnancy was whether Claire's choice to continue it would mean sacrificing her life for her child's.  The way the ending was written, that question was never answered.  (once  you read the book you'll know what I mean--and I tried to write this to avoid a spoiler).

I also found the medical aspects of the book unbelieveable.  Abby is a small town family doctor who practices with the man who has been Claire's childhood physician.  They are in Canada, so maybe things are different there, but once Claire's problem is diagnosed, the older doctor tells her what he would do if she wasn't pregnant, and that they won't do anything because she is.  At least in the US, what would have happened is that she would have been shipped off to a specialist who would have developed the treatment plan, whether or not Claire chose to continue the pregnancy.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Review: The Memory of Us

About the Book:

Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.

While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.

But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

My Comments:

I found this book to be a fascinating read.  I really liked the way Camille DiMaio dealt with Catholicsm, priestly celibacy and the theme of vocation.  I enjoyed the two separate timelines and how they came together.  At the beginning of the book I liked Julianne and admired her drive, spunk, and compassion.  I loved Kyle; the only problem I might have with him is that he was too perfect.  However, something happened in the middle of the book that changed Julianne, and I found her behavior after that point untrue to who she was.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book and would definitely read another by DiMaio.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B. 

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