Friday, July 27, 2012

Leaving (Bailey Flanigan, #1)Leaving by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read all the Karen Kingsbury books I have accumulated over the years. A huge fan of her writing, especially of her stand alone books, I knew I had to tackle the Baxter series, so I could subsequently get caught up with all the series that spun off that series. So I find myself in The Bailey Flannigan series even though I realize I skipped Unlocked, and The Above the Line Series. And while I still appreciate Kingsbury’s love of family and devotion, I am beginning to feel that her writing is starting to recycle previous story lines. The Bailey-Brandon connection is this book is reminiscent of the Katy-Dayne storyline. The Bailey-Cody back and forth is very similar to the Ashley-Landon storyline. One character perfect, the other feeling unfit of the other’s love.

That being said, I also feel this series would appeal more to teen girls than the adult market. Sure, we are stilling following Ashley and Landon, but since most of the plotting surrounds Bailey, Cody and Brandon, it seems a bit young for me.

Overall, I still appreciate Karen’s writing, but I almost feel as if I have outgrown her stories. The situations that bring drama to her books are always so heart breaking, where as I would rather get my drama from a suspense-thriller-romance book. So, I guess it isn’t so much Karen’s writing that I don’t appreciate, I have just changed the genre I would prefer to read.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

A Texan's HonorA Texan's Honor by Shelley Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A TEXAN’S HONOR is the second in The Heart of a Hero series by Shelley Gray. I haven’t read much from this author, but she is quickly grabbing my attention. I read A TEXAN’S PROMISE and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I moved on to A TEXAN’S HONOR to see if the author would continue to hold my interest. And I can say, she most definitely did.

Jamilyn Ellis finds herself it the middle of a catastrophe. As the only female passenger aboard a train being held hostage by a band of renegades, she knows her purity and her life are most certainly over. Not wanting to experience the pain of what it is like to be taken forcibly by a man, she asks one of the more sympathetic bandits to kill her before the more dangerous men get a chance to use her. Struck by her bravery, the bandit does one better . . . he helps her escape.

U.S. Marshall Will McMillan finds himself in a very dangerous predicament. He had spent the last two years infiltrating the Walton Gang in order to procure inside information. Now, faced with the possibility of seeing an innocent woman become a victim of rape, he must decide between sacrificing his own life or her innocents. Knowing he can’t stand by and allow Jamilyn to be victimized, fellow bandit, Scout Proffitt, helps him to escape the train with Jamilyn in tow. Knowing the Walton Gang will hunt him down for his betrayal, he has little time to get Jamilyn to safety.

I thoroughly enjoyed A TEXAN’S HONOR. I loved the characters and the grit Shelley Gray infused into the dialogue. Even though this book was about Jamilyn and Will, Scout and his journey after he too decides to leave the Walton Gang kept the tempo of the book fast paced. Both Will and Scout’s lives and choices had a distinct parallel and I found myself wanting nothing more than for them both to see they still had a choice, and could leave their sordid pasts behind. Great storytelling, a wonderful setting, and deep characters add up to a enjoyable book. I can’t wait to read the next installment.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

A Texan's PromiseA Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A TEXAN’S PROMISE by Shelley Gray was a very enjoyable book that takes place in my favorite setting, the Western Frontier.

Vanessa Grant falls victim to her stepfather’s vicious advances. When Clayton Proffitt, the foreman at the Circle Z Ranch, finds her in a heap, he makes good on the promise he made to Vanessa’s deceased father . . . protect Vanessa at all costs.

Vanessa has been smitten by Clayton Proffitt from the day he arrived at the Cricle Z ranch. Though he is ten years her senior, and has always treated her like an older brother would, Vanessa has always had deeper feelings for him. Horrified to tell him the length of her stepfather’s abuse–knowing it would forever change their relationship–she keeps the details of her attack to herself.
Clayton decides to take Vanessa with him and get her as far from her stepfather as possible. In order to protect Vanessa’s reputation as they travel the open plains, Clayton decides they must marry, even if it is in name only.

Neither Vanessa nor Clayton is willing to admit their true feelings for each other. Vanessa feels she cannot be a proper wife to Clayton, and Clayton feels as if he would be violating his promise to Mr. Grant if he pursues Vanessa on a personal level. So, they travel the open land, looking over their shoulders for her vengeful stepfather, all the time denying themselves what they really want most . . . each other.

I really enjoyed A TEXAN’S PROMISE. It had everything I could ask for in a novel: romance, tension, true self-sacrificing love, fleshed out characters, and the great outdoors. I look forward to reading A TEXAN’S HONOR.

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Trauma PlanTrauma Plan by Candace Calvert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you liked The Mercy Hospital Series by Candace Calvert, you will enjoy TRAUMA PLAN, the first in her Grace Medical Series.

Riley Hale comes from an affluent family who wishes she would take her place in the family business. But Riley follows her passion and becomes an ER nurse. When her life is turned upside down by a vicious assault, she has to take a backseat while her injuries heal. When it is obvious she is going to have to do more to prove her competency to Mercy Grace Hospital, she decides to volunteer at a free clinic that is being run by a nonconformist doctor that she’s already has a run in with.

Dr. Jack Travis does things his own way. While the upscale neighborhood that surrounds his clinic is doing everything possible to shut him down, he decides to use Riley, and the Hale name to get some positive press. But, when he gets to know Riley, and sees her passion for helping others, his feelings for her begin to change.

Riley and Jack’s relationship starts with a butting of heads, but soon, they see each other in a different light. Just when Riley allows her heart to make her decisions for her, she finds out things in Jack’s past that she just can’t ignore.

TRAUMA PLAN was a great read. I really enjoy Candace Calvert’s writing. Edge, conflict, and great characters make her novels easy to read. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

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