Posted in Uncategorized

Beth White’s A Rebel Heart

A Rebel Heart (Daughtry House Book #1) by [White, Beth]

Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family’s Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land.

Pinkerton agent and former Union cavalryman Levi Riggins is investigating a series of robberies and sabotage linked to the impoverished Daughtry plantation. Posing as a hotel management agent for the railroad, he tells Selah he’ll help her save her home, but only if it is converted into a hotel. With Selah otherwise engaged with renovations, Levi moves onto the property to “supervise” while he actually attends to his real assignment right under her nose.

Selah isn’t sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee, but she’d do almost anything to save her home. What she never expected to encounter was his assault on her heart.


One of the reasons I requested this book is because I love reading about the Civil War and its aftereffects in fiction. My thoughts:

What I liked

Cast of characters. Usually I get annoyed when there are just too many characters on the pages, but White managed to create a cast of characters that were unique and diverse enough that I didn’t get lost or confused as to who I was reading. They also had very distinct personalities, making them come alive on the pages. I enjoyed Selah’s sisters and her cousin and even their relationship with their various neighbors.

Treatment of former slaves. Usually in these kinds of books, the former slaves work for their former masters with joy. I liked that there was some complex feelings here. The former slaves did not immediately jump at the chance to work for their former slave owners and everyone had to deal with hurt feelings on both sides.

Spiritually, the novel deals with forgiveness and how if you let it, bitterness will destroy you.

What I didn’t like

I hate to sound like some kind of creative writing police, but there was a lot of telling and not enough showing in this book. It wasn’t bad. It just felt like the characters didn’t go much past the surface. We are told Selah is brilliant and ‘should have been born a man.’ And yet most of the book she just seems really stressed. She doesn’t make things happen, things happen to her.

Levi is a Yankee who fought in the war and comes to the south. We are told people don’t like him but everyone (other than the obvious villain) does. He also is there to solve a mystery but half the time I wasn’t sure what it was.

The romance was too straight forward for my taste. Not bad, but not exciting.

The book only really dealt with the effect of the Civil War in a surface way. I mean, yes, the villain was a villain because of the hatred he developed as a result of the war, but sometimes the details are in the small things and we don’t really get them here

Romantic scale: 7

Overall, this was not a bad book. I think I went into this book expecting one thing and it just wasn’t as complex as I would have liked.

**I received a copy from Revell. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

Posted in Historical

Elizabeth Camden’s A Daring Venture

A Daring Venture (An Empire State Novel Book #2) by [Camden, Elizabeth]

As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against waterborne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city–but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York, Nicholas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team’s techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, the odds stacked against these two rivals swiftly grow more insurmountable with every passing day.


 Elizabeth Camden is a favorite author of mine and not because I love every book she’s written. It’s because I know when I pick up a book by her, I’m going to get a smart, intelligent, pioneering woman (who is still a woman of her times!) matched with a unique and fascinating hero. In that regard, this book is no different. Plus it’s the sequel to one of my favorite Camden books. My thoughts:

What I liked:

Rosalind.  Some of the time. She’s a typical Camden heroine. She’s smart and gutsy. She cares deeply about others and she has this fascinating past that made me want to learn more about her.

Nick. We were introduced to him in the first book, and I was really excited to learn more. He’s also very smart and kind but also exuberant, outgoing, and yet has a temper. He’s very much a layered hero.

History. You learn so much about drinking water and chlorine. While reading this book, I had to stop and google things to see what had really happened.

The romance. It was kind of strange. I didn’t care for how some of it went down (look below), but even though this book had some definite insta-attraction, I still found myself very curious as to how everything was going to come together.

Spiritually the novel deals with forgiveness…on all kinds of layers.

What I didn’t like:

The secrets. There are just too many and I’m not a fan of how they were revealed. I really don’t like deception in books unless it’s handled well and this felt a bit too formulaic and cliche for me. Because of the secrets, it really made certain characters that I liked, look bad.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this book and most likely because I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. However, I won’t ever stop reading Camden. She always manages to provide something fresh and new to the table.

Romantic scale: 7.5

** I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

Posted in Uncategorized

Karen Witemeyer’s More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye (A Patchwork Family Novel Book #1) by [Witemeyer, Karen]

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?


Karen Witemeyer is an auto-buy author for me, and I think it’s because she never gives me the same story or the same characters over and over again. My thoughts:

What I liked:

This book had, hands-down, one of the most deeply, moving prologues I’ve ever read. I was in tears when it was over and completely invested in several of the main characters right away…one of which absolutely stole my heart and was my favorite person in the whole book: Zach. Witemeyer used his character perfectly. He’s not in every chapter, but whenever he was on the page, the story slowed down for me. He was a very interesting character. I think the next book is going to be about him and I just cannot wait!

I’m going to be honest and say that I did not love Evangeline. There was something about her constant happiness that was a tad annoying. That said, she was a fully developed character. I understood why she was the way she was and why she responded to situations the way she did. She wasn’t happy all the time and the moments when she wasn’t, really added depth to her character.

The secondary characters are amazing. I’ve already touted my love for Zach, but Seth deserves a mention. I love how unique he is for a man living in the west. Even though his role isn’t huge, by the time the book was over, I felt like I really knew and cared about him just as much as I cared about everyone else. Several times I caught myself feeling very protective of him and thinking, Seth, what are you doing? You know how you are!

I really liked the Western feel of this book. There’re saloons and high stake poker games, revenge and shot ’em out situations.

I’ll admit the romance was cute. I kind of wish it had been more complicated. I know…I hate complicated romances and contrived storylines, but this one was so straightforward to me, I didn’t really have to root for anybody or wonder how it was all going to come about.

Spiritually the novel deals with forgiveness, leaving vengeance to God, and learning your own value.

What I didn’t like:

The plot. At first it’s incredibly interesting. And then I got to the second half of the book and I was like, everything appears on the right path of being solved, where are we going with this? And then I saw where we were going with this…and I didn’t care.

Romantic scale: 7

Overall, a good book. Witemeyer is obviously talented and I will keep reading her novels, but this book tilted a bit in the direction of too slow.

** I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**