Posted in Uncategorized

Monday Musings….Books I’m Looking Forward To!

There are a lot of awesome books coming out in 2014 and I’m so excited to read them! However, there are a couple of books that I will be counting down the months for. Here is my list:

1. Becky Wade’s Meant to Be Mine.

2. Karen Witemeyer’s Full Steam Ahead.

3. Dani Pettrey’s Silenced.

4. Deeanne Gist’s Fair Play.

5. Julie Lessman’s Dare to Love Again

6. Elizabeth Camden’s With Every Breath.

7. Jody Hedlund’s Captured By Love

8. Ronie Kendig’s Raptor 6

9. Lisa T. Bergren’s Remnants

10. Jill Williamson’s Outcasts


What books are you looking forward to?

Posted in Uncategorized

A Match Made in Texas: A Novella Collection


In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can’t keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she’s also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched
Neill isn’t sure who hired him to repair Clara’s roof–he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?

An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace’s doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though–and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.

No Match for Love
Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?


Novellas are not my favorite, usually because I want more. And while I still wanted more, I really did enjoy the short stories in this collection. Some were better than others, but some also made me take a second look at authors who I hadn’t read in a while. First off, I really liked the overarching theme of a mysterious matchmaker. Because they are novellas written by different authors, it’s a bit difficult to try to guess who the matchmaker is, but I still enjoyed the big reveal in the end.

With Karen Witemeyer’s, it was great to see Neill Archer and then later, the rest of the Archer clan. If you’ve read her last two novels, you will not want to miss out on this one!

With Regina Jennings novel, the story presented a heroine with a unique problem that I’ve only read about once before. I loved her take on it.

Carol Cox issues her trademark mystery that is creative and will have you thinking.

Mary Conneally’s novella has her usual humor and rounds up the collection in a lovely way.

Spiritually, all the women and men learn to trust God with their future when their past hasn’t gone the way they expected.

Again, the only thing I didn’t like was that I wanted more!

Romantic Scale (it was a bit hard with these, so I asked myself, which story makes the most sense in regards to falling in love fast):

Witemeyer: 8

Jennings: 8.5

Cox: 7

Conneally: 9

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Posted in Personal

Monday Musings…Best Books of 2013 (pt.2)

I have been a bit negligent to my blog lately….let’s just blame the holidays and all that entails! That said, here is part 2 of the best books of 2013 that I read, in no particular order:

1. Ronie Kendig’s Talon

2. Morgan Busse’s Son of Truth

3. Beth Vogt’s Catch a Falling Star

4. Carla Laureno’s Five Days in Skye

5. Lori Benton’s Burning Sky

6. Katherine Reay’s Dear Mr. Knightley

7. Melanie Dickerson

8. Gail Sattler’s The Path to Piney Meadows

9. Liz Tolsma’s Snow on Tulips

10. Karen Witemeyer’s Stealing the Preacher

Posted in Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Steven James’ Singularity


When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won’t stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret–one that could change the very fabric of human life on the planet.

Bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularity is the second riveting book in The Jevin Banks Experience. Readers will devour this scientific thriller, flipping pages late into the night until the final shocking page.


What I liked about this book:

The suspense! Mr. James knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat. The buildup, in certain parts of the book, was amazing.

Jevin Banks is a magician. It’s such an original concept and I’m so glad that his tricks take center stage a couple of times in this book. Unlike in the first novel, Jevin Banks actually performs in Vegas.

This may sound more complicated, but I liked that Jevin Banks doesn’t quiet play detective, and yet he does. He’s not quite as smooth as Patrick Bowers (I can’t help but compare!) and that’s perfect, because he’s not a detective.

The creepy, scary bad guys. No one does it quite like Steven James.

Charlene. There’s a bit more weight on the romance. Oh. Yes.

Spiritually, it is God’s love that separates from evil. Without Him, we are predisposed to do anything.

What I didn’t like:

Research. It felt like a lot of research was done in this book and with good reason. However, I found myself not as interested in the scientific explanations for things.

It seemed a bit too convenient that every time there was something Jevin didn’t know, one of the six people around him did know the answer. They just had it like that.

Teaching. There were moments when I felt like someone was trying to get a point across that often had very little to do with the mystery and very much to do with, um, for example, homeschooling. Yes Fiona and your four children. I’m looking at you.

Overall, a very interesting read that will have you thinking. Though it probably wasn’t my favorite Steven James novel, if you have read his other books and liked them, you will like this one.

Romantic scale: 6.5

**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

Posted in Personal

Monday Musings…I’ve been nominated: The Versatile Blogger Award

Imagine my surprise when Johanna from nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award! How cool is that?! It’s my very first nomination and so encouraging as a blogger. The rules are as follows:

Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
Write a post and link back to the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate 15 other bloggers.
Inform them of their nomination via comment on their blog.
Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Well, the only problem that arises here is that I do not know of 15 other bloggers to nominate! So that may take me out of the running. But still, I’m going to post 7 interesting things about myself. Here it goes:

1. I really enjoy eating and would love to be considered a foodie. For the past five months, my good friend and I have been on a journey in Chicago to find the best burger in the city. So. Much. Fun.

2. My favorite color is purple. My bedroom is purple. My kindle cover is purple. One of my Bibles is purple. My blog’s backdrop is purple.You know, the important things in life.

3. I fail to comprehend the idea of a pet. I joke with my friends that I only like animals when they’re dead and on my plate. That’s only like 99% true.

4. I studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France for four months, five years ago, and still I can’t talk about it enough. I loved Europe.

5. The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. Though the actual day is often anticlimatic, I love the build up with the movies, the music, the gifts, and the parties. And then it builds up to a new year, which I always take as a signal to reevaluate my walk with Christ.

6. I teach Sunday School to 9-12 year olds and they are just the best. I cannot imagine not teaching them.

7. I post about two reviews on my blog every week, but in actuality, I read approximately seven books a week. A huge amount is YA fiction. After reading the Hunger Games, I decided to jump in the YA fray.

So that’s all folks! Thanks for celebrating with me! And thanks again Johanna!


Posted in Uncategorized

Todd M. Johnson’s Critical Reaction


When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night, 
the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility’s poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens–a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend–inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help. 

Emily’s estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he’s grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it’s a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger–and more dangerous–the case gets.


Let me just start off first by saying that this isn’t the kind of novel that I usually read. But I liked it. Crictical Reaction is kind of like the film A Civil Action. You’ve got this town Hanford where you just know something shady is going on, but proving it is almost impossible. With odds like these, I was very much excited to see how it would all go down. 

First off, there was definite suspense. I will admit to being lost in some of the details of nuclear physics, but I got the points. It’s not quite a mystery because you know who the bad guys are, but watching Emily, Poppy, Kieran, and Ryan unravel it still keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

I really liked the father-daughter angle of the novel. To see Ryan’s love and protectiveness of Emily and to watch her get to know her father again really worked well in this book. I’m generally a romance only reader, but I liked seeing the growth in their relationship and I found it to be something that kept the pages turning.

The best part of the novel? the trial. Though it helps that I’m a lawyer, I think people just love a good legal novel with motions being filed, objections raised, and interesting witnesses. This one really delivers. I really honed in on that trial and it was probably the best part of the book for me.

I will say that there were a lot of characters and at times, some were more interesting then others, but overall a this book was a very enjoyable read, exceeding my expectations. 

Romantic Scale: 4

**I received this novel from BethanyHouse. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

Posted in Contemporary

Amy Matayo’s The Wedding Game


Cannon James has a plan: Sign on as a contestant for his father’s new reality show, marry a blonde hand-picked by the producers, and walk away two million dollars richer. It’s all been arranged. Easy. Clean. No regrets. Until Ellie McAllister ruins everything by winning the viewer’s vote. Now he has to convince America that he’s head over heels in love with her. Not easy to do since she’s a walking disaster.

Ellie McAllister has her own problems. She needs money, and she needs it now. Despite her parent’s objections and her belief that marriage is sacred, she signs on to The Wedding Game…and wins. Now she’s married to a guy she can’t stand, and if she wants her hands on the money, she has six months to make voters believe she loves him. Not easy to do since he’s the most arrogant man in America.

It doesn’t take long for Ellie and Cannon to realize they’ve made a mess of things…even less time for their feelings for one another to change. But is it too late for them? More importantly, can the worst decision they’ve ever made actually become one of the best?


What I liked about this book: The concept. It was different, fresh, funny, clever and I could see the potential romance right off the bat. The first page pulled me right in and I was thoroughly engrossed. Sometimes you need some light chick lit to read and this one completely fit that bill. Though Cannon and Ellie had issues to deal with, at the heart of this novel is romance. I also really liked that this was not a love at first sight kind of novel. Cannon and Ellie had some real problems with each other and I liked that it took them time to learn to like and eventually fall in love with each other.

What I didn’t like: the deception. Cannon and Ellie each had a secret that they kept from each other, which in my opinion was totally understandable in the beginning. However, there is a certain point in the novel where circumstances changed. And once that happened, I failed to understand why they were keeping secrets from each other. It kind of felt like the novel was being made longer and so I got kind of irritated with Cannon and Ellie.

Spiritually….well…let me just begin by saying that when writing Christian novels you are, to a degree, limited to certain types of circumstances because there are just some situations you ought not find yourself in. This is one of them. That said, Ellie fully recognizes that she had stopped trusting God to handle her problems and that she must learn to let Him be in control. Cannon, on the other hand, though he prays, there’s never really a moment where you can believe that he has a relationship with God. Yet, again, I totally understand what the author was doing. I felt like the novel was going for pure entertainment and fun and that’s what I got.

Romantic Scale: 8.9

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized

Monday Musings…Best Books of 2013 (Pt. 1)

Can you believe it’s that time of year again? My goodness! This year went by so fast. I simply cannot just give you a list of ten of my favorite books. It’s going to be more like 20. First part now, second part in two weeks. I’ve read a ton of books this year. A part of the process of choosing the best books of the year is (1) remembering what happened, (2) wanting to read it again, (3) great expectation for more from the author, and of course (4) books that still stay with me. So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorite novels (authors) of 2013 in no particular order:

1. Patrick Carr was a new author I discovered this year and HE IS AMAZING! I had to list both of his novels. If you love anything remotely fantasy like, you will adore this series.

2. Tessa Afshar. I could not wait for this book and it lived up to all of my expectations. Darius and Sarah are like family.

3. The hero in this book had a unique problem that just pulled me in right away. I loved the way he dealt with it and watching the romance in this book? I did not want to put it down.

4. YA fiction is my new thing. And Jill Williamson is phenomenal. Her character Spencer is just an amazing narrator.

5. Stephanie Morrill. This is YA again and I was thoroughly engrossed by these novels!

6. Jody Hedlund. So romantic. That is all.

7. Dani Pettrey. These romantic mysteries are captivating. 

8. Becky Wade. Love the way he loves her.

9. Julie Klassen. A little Jane Austen, a little Jane Eyre, plus Elizabeth Gaskel =love

10. Sarah Sundin. WWII romance just can’t be beat!

Anyone agree? The list ain’t over, so stay tuned!

Posted in Historical

Tamara Leigh’s The Kindling



Helene of Tippet is not her father or her brother’s keeper. Yet when she is enlisted to use her healing skills to aid a fallen knight, the secret she holds close threatens to visit her family’s sins upon her. Now she is in danger of loving where she should not—a man of the nobility, and one who has cause to despise her if ever he learns of the blood that courses through her veins. Dare she reveal herself? Dare she trust a warrior so bitter and intent on revenge? Dare she love?

Sir Abel Wulfrith, a man bred to battle, has the scar to prove one should never trust a woman. But when he is wounded by his family’s enemy, he finds himself at the mercy of one who could prove his undoing. Now he faces a battle against which no strategy can prevail, no blade can defend, no heart can escape unscathed. Can he forgive Helene the sins of the father—more, the sins of the brother? Can he reclaim his faith? Can he love?


What I Liked: I’m always so excited when Ms. Leigh releases a new book and I now know that I can count on her for good medieval romance. But I will say, that initially, I thought that Abel and Helene didn’t really need their own book because clearly there was something going on between them in book three.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were entitled to their own book. Helene is probably one of my favorite heroines in the series. She’s smart, capable and extremely straightforward. Have I mentioned that I love straightforward heroines? They have a hard time keeping a secret and Helene does have one. Abel was an interesting hero because at times he was hard to like. There were many times when I wanted to say get over it already! But he well redeems himself in the end.

Spiritually, I enjoyed watching Helena pray and even struggle at times to be obedient. Her faith felt realistic. And Abel has to learn to turn to God particularly when things don’t go his way.

What I Didn’t Like: It did seem a bit longer than it needed to be in the sense that I felt like a certain someone was creating a problem that wasn’t really there.

Overall, enjoyable. I so like the Wulfriths and I am really excited about the last one that comes out next year!

Romantic Scale: 8.5