Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I received a copy of THE TROUBLE WITH COWBOYS by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze.  It’s the third novel in the Big Sky Romance series. 

Now, I am a sucker for good books.  I’ll tell everyone I know that they have got to read it, then I rave about it on websites.  However, I don’t always give five stars.  This book deserves five stars – no, maybe six stars.  Looking back at it, I can’t find a single thing to criticize, and that’s saying a lot coming from me.  I started reading this on my lunch and almost forgot to go back to work.  As soon as I got home, I finished it. 

From the first time Dylan Taylor spoke, I fell in love with him, madly and deeply.  He knew exactly what to say at just the right moments.  Even if they weren’t said to me, my heart still fluttered.  Oh, I wish he were real!  He’s now one of my favorite male heroes.  (I may not have crushes on movie stars, but I do have crushes on characters in novels)  Back to the story: his favorite horse has gone blind so he asks Annie to help him retrain the horse.  Annie’s twenty-four, my age, so it was easy for me to insert myself into her character, even if we aren’t alike in other ways.  Annie thinks Dylan is a player, so she tries to avoid him, but she asks for his help when she has to write a lovelorn column. Their mutual affection grows in a beautiful, smile-provoking way.

I loved the Christian theme that was carried through the novel.  It added the perfect amount of morals and grounding for the characters, while not being preachy.  Denise Hunter (one of my new favorite authors) also shows what happens when you don’t stick to those morals.  For example, Dylan had premarital sex with his last serious girlfriend, but he was ready to marry her.  He didn’t, when he discovered the baby wasn’t his and she would rather marry the father, but it made him seem more human. 

This isn’t a typical romance novel.  It blew me away.  I recommend it to teens and adults, horse lovers, ranch lovers, romance lovers…actually, to anyone looking for a fast, enjoyable read. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


I received a copy of MORTAL FIRE by C. F. Dunn from Monarch Books via Kregel. It is part of the Secret of the Journal series.  I tried really hard to like this book.  I love journals, I love secrets, and I love mysteries – so yes, I was excited to read this when I received it in the mail.  The cover also intrigued me.  I guess you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  

I read this a few weeks ago and decided to sit on it before writing a review. I started one and then deleted it.  So, it seems only fair to point out the positives first in this review.  The story was realistic and I enjoyed the characters.  I enjoyed seeing Emma, the main character, make friends and fall in love.  The thing I liked the most about the novel was that Emma is a professor.  I’m teaching college classes for the first time this autumn semester.  I compared my college with Emma’s, and even though my community college must be much smaller than an “exclusive university.”  I had fun comparing the people at the university with people I work with.  I also love history, so I could connect with Emma on that level.  

My major fault with the story is hard to place my finger on: I just couldn’t get into the story.  The first chapter, involving a car accident, confused me, taking me out of the novel.  I’m sure that other people would enjoy this, especially other professors.  I will probably look for book two, ABYSS, when it comes out, so that I can give the series another chance. 

Friday, September 7, 2012


Lauraine Snelling is one of my favorite authors of Christian historical fiction.  I read her series, Dakotah Treasures, when I was in high school.  After book 1, RUBY, I rushed to the bookstore to read the rest.  I also read her books TENDER MERCIES and A PROMISE FOR ELLIE, both from different series.  I didn’t love them as much as Dakotah Treasures; however, I was thrilled to receive WHISPERS IN THE WIND by Lauraine Snelling from Bethany House.  When I saw it available, I literally said, “Yes!”  It’s the second novel in the Wild West Wind series.  I haven’t read book one yet, but I’ll look for it next time I need to buy a book (which will happen soon, trust me).  I’ll also keep watch for book three when it comes out. 

WHISPERS IN THE WIND involves Cassie Lockwood.  Her father is dead and she left his defunct Wild West show to lay claim to his ranch in South Dakota.  However, he’d purchased the ranch with a friend, so only half of the land belongs to Cassie.  Throughout the story, Cassie faces many struggles: she has to convince the other owners to accept her, she has to decide if she loves Lucas, and she has to survive in a new home.  I enjoyed that she was a trick shooter, but would have liked to have seen more that aspect.  I also would have liked to have seen much, much more to the story than just her struggles.  After a few chapters, I wanted something awesome to happen.  Yes, there were adventures and dangers, but the story seemed too focused on Cassie adapting to the ranch. 

While I enjoyed the novel, I never felt that I connected well with Cassie.  We’re two very different people.  I personally liked Gretchen, a little girl on the ranch, much better, and looked forward to the parts about her. 

I do recommend this to other fans of Christian historical fiction.  It’s a sweet story that left me with a smile, and many times I laughed at Cassie’s ragtag family.   It really brought the time period to life. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I received a copy of SNEAK by Evan Angler from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. It’s the second book in the Young Adult, dystopian Swipe series (which starts with SWIPE, which I also read, courtesy of BookSneeze, and loved).  While I do love reading, only a few actually get me so excited I can’t wait to read.  This was did as soon as I opened the packaging.  SWIPE left me anxious to learn what happened to the main characters, Logan and Erin.  This quenched my thirst while still leaving me eager for what I hope will be a third book in the series.  I literally read SNEAK in one day; I couldn’t put it down for long. 

While I do read dystopian novels, that genre isn’t my friend.  I’ll often read them because one of my friends loves dystopian stories, so we can discuss them.  SNEAK actually made me want to write a dystopian.  Evan Angler is an outstanding wordsmith.  Without being too wordy, each sentence packs a punch and leaves you reading onward.  Despite the futuristic setting, the characters and adventures are realistic. 

The people in Evan Angler’s world must be Marked by the government.  After they are Marked, they can buy groceries, go to concerts, etcetera.  The Swipe series follows a group of the unmarked through danger, twists, and turns.  Since Erin and Logan are main characters, boys and girls will both enjoy SNEAK.  It would be a great addition to a middle or high school classroom library.