Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Review - A Texan's Choice

A Texan's Choice (Heart of a Hero #3)A Texan's Choice by Shelley Gray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed A TEXAN’S PROMISE by Shelley Gray, but felt the flow of the book flip-flopped a lot, leaving room for the reader to become detached from the characters.

Rosemarie’s life has been a hard one.  Blamed for her brother’s death at a young age, she’s been shunned by her family and feels her life has no value.  When her father dies and her mother and sister abandon her, she has nothing but the broken down family ranch.  That is, until she finds out her father lost their home in a card game with a ruthless gunslinger and he shows up to collect.  Having nowhere to go, Rose offers to help Scout Proffitt with the ranch.  She soon sees another side of the notorious gunman.

The only life Scout Proffitt has ever known is that of an outlaw.  But when he wins some land and a homestead in a card game, he toys with the idea of hanging up his gun belt, and living out the rest of his life quietly and alone.  When he gets to the Circle R Ranch, he finds a dysfunctional family more than willing to leave, not only their ranch behind, by Rosemarie as well.

The bond that grows between Rosemarie and Scout is instant, genuine, and deep.  When Scout is presented with a dangerous opportunity that will garner him a pardon for his crimes, he knows he has to take it.  Though the risks are high, the payoff is the miracle he needs so he can start a new life with Rosemarie.

The concept for A TEXAN’S PROMISE was a good one, but I felt the author fell short of execution.  An intimate relationship is formed between Rose and Scout, but immediately they are torn apart.  The storyline in regards to the rustlers was built up, but solved with very little suspense or excitement.  And the back and forth between Rose and Scout’s story, and the characters from the previous books in the series, made the flow of the book choppy and disjointed.  Though the book describes the story that will unfold between Rose and Scout, very little time was actually dedicated to their storyline. 

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Sunday, January 20, 2013


In the second book of the Avenue of Dreams series, Olivia Newport explores the complicated relationship between social classes while creating a story of courage, strength, and tender romance.  Set against the glittering backdrop of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, this compelling story captures the tension between the wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.

Charlotte Farrow, a maid in the wealthy Banning household on Chicago's opulent Prairie Avenue, has kept her baby boy a secret from her employers for nearly a year. But when the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the child's fate. Can she face the truth of her own past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life's tragedies determine the future for her?

My Review - The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

3 our of 5 stars

THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW by Olivia Newport was good, but did not hold my attention the way THE PURSUIT OF LUCY BANNING, the first novel in the Avenue of Dreams series did.

Charlotte Farrow finds herself in quite the dilemma indeed.  The woman who has been watching her infant son unexpectedly leaves town.  Knowing she will lose her job if her predicament is known, Charlotte allows her employers, the Banning family, to believe the child was abandoned.  Having Henry under the same roof as she, while the Banning’s decide what to do with the young boy is both wonderful and frightening.  Charlotte struggles with telling the Banning family the truth about young Henry.  She wants to claim her son as her own, but struggles with the fact that she has no real life to offer him.  When Archie, a man that is smitten with Charlotte, finds out the truth about Henry, he offers to take care of them both, and encourages Charlotte to tell her employers the truth.  But, since Charlotte is still in fear of her estranged husband, she is afraid to risk her position, her son, or her heart to another.  

We were first introduced to Charlotte in the previous novel.  But unfortunately, I don’t feel there was enough of a story for Charlotte to carry a whole novel.  The entire novel feels like a waiting game.  Will she or won’t she tell the truth? It wasn’t enough to really hold my interest.  I feel if her interaction with Archie had started sooner in the novel and was more developed, it would have made for a more entertaining story.  I felt the book was just so-so.

Book provided for review purposes.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Surrender the Night (Surrender to Destiny, # 2)Surrender the Night by M.L. Tyndall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SURRENDER THE NIGHT is yet again another great book by MaryLu Tyndall!

Rose McGuire has already survived so much in her young life.  The lost of her parents and a vicious assault has left her too fearful to leave her family farm.  When British soldiers storm her farmland and a lascivious lieutenant see her as easy prey, she fears her nightmare is about to repeat itself. When 2nd lieutenant, Alexander Reed steps in and protects her, her nightmare is just beginning.  One soldier is dead and the other is wounded.  She knows she should turn Alex over to the authorities–he is the enemy after all– but he just gambled with his life in order to save her.  Her only choice is to nurse his wound and get him healthy enough to leave.  But when her heart becomes entwined with his, she finds herself at a crossroads.

Alexander Reed finds himself in a precarious situation.  He has killed his commanding officer and finds himself severely wounded in enemy territory.  But that is the least of his troubles when he questions his feelings for Rose McGuire and his allegiance to his mother country.  The more time he spends with Miss McGuire the more his attraction grows.  He sympathizes with the plight of the Americans, but are his feelings strong enough that he would turn trader?

I thoroughly enjoyed SURRENDER THE NIGHT.  There were times when the waning of Rose’s feelings and fears seemed redundant, but that did not minimize my enjoyment.  I love MaryLu’s writing.  Her characters are always rich and charismatic, her scenery distinct and evocative.  Mr. Snyder was the perfect villain, sickening me whenever he made an appearance.  I love to escape into the world of MaryLu’s.  SURRENDER THE NIGHT is no exception.

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Sunday, January 13, 2013


Amanda Cabot explores themes of love, courage and sacrifice in the second book of the Westward Winds series.   With an authentic backdrop of 1880s Wyoming, Cabot creates characters whose struggle to forge a life in the old West ultimately win your heart.

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker's shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer Miriam, Charlotte feels drawn to him.

If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can't shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett's plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow's Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.

My Review - Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot

 3 out of 5 stars

WAITING FOR SPRING was a good story with likable characters. 
Charlotte heads to Cheyenne hoping to put her marriage and the death of her husband behind her.  With her son in tow, she decides to open a dress shop in Cheyenne, but keeps her last name and her grief-filled past a secret from the townspeople.  Modest success rewards her with a stable home for her son, but the distances she puts between her and those around her becomes more difficult as time goes on.  Wanting nothing but a future for her son, Charlotte feels the only way to do that is to guard her past.

Barrett Landry is looking for something more in life.  Though he is a successful cattle baron, Barrett feels he needs to do more to prove to his family he is of worth.  Running for political office seems like the right move to make, but having to marry a woman he doesn’t love in order to better his position becomes more difficult as his attraction to Charlotte grows.  Befriending Charlotte and her son brings Barrett true joy, but will do nothing for his political aspirations.  A choice that will change his life forever must be made.

I enjoyed WAITING FOR SPRING.  It didn’t quite have the snap that SUMMER OF PROMISE had, but the story was still entertaining enough to follow.  I liked the characters of Barrett and Charlotte, and the chemistry between them was good.  I just grow tired if a character constantly bemoans the fact that they are no good for the other person.  Self-deprecating comments drag on me after a while.  But other than that, the story moved well and had a fulfilling conclusion.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Book provided for review purposes.