Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Review - A Bouquet of Love

3 out of 5 stars
A BOUQUET OF LOVE was a light, quirky romance set amongst a family feud rivaling the Hatfields and McCoys. 
Flowers are Cassia Pappas’ life.  She dreams of being a florist.  A dream that will never be realized if her father has anything to say about it.  Niko Pappas runs his family Gyros business with an iron fist and demands nothing but loyalty from his family.  And loyalty to Niko Pappas means no fraternizing with anyone in the Rossi clan.  That becomes increasingly difficult since the Rossi family has their hands in just about every business at Galveston Island.
When Cassia does the unthinkable and secretly gets a job at the local florist owned by a Rossi family member, she hopes to ease her father into the idea of her working somewhere besides the family restaurant.  When she meets Alex, the local flower supplier, she is more than smitten.  She and Alex immediately hit it off.  But when Cassia finds out he too has close relations to the Rossi’s, she is sure her father is going to disown her . . . if he doesn’t kill her first.  What follows is a cavalcade of characters from both the Pappas and Rossi clans trying to nurture relationships without the family patriarchs finding out.
A BOUQUET OF LOVE was just a bit too quirky and chaotic for me.  I need to clarify that my genre of choice is action/suspense/romance so I am sure that has a lot to do with why A BOUQUET OF LOVE didn’t hold my interest.  The story of the feuding families definitely overshadowed the budding relationship between Cassia and Alex, making their storyline feel more like a filler than the focal point.  But that’s just my opinion.  Anyone who likes slapstick comedy and cozy stories would probably appreciate A BOUQUET OF LOVE.  It just wasn’t my piece of cake, or should I say Baklava.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available August 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Review - Second Chance Cafe

4 out of 5 stars
SECOND CHANCE CAFÉ was the perfect mid-summer quick read.  The storyline was good and the characters genuine.  The perfect break from the suspense books I usually read.
Isabella Romano is feeling stretched.  Not only does her nursing job keep her busy, but her ailing father occupies her time and her thoughts.  So, when patient Ethan Carter vies for her attention, she convinces herself she has no time for a personal life.  
Firefighter Ethan Carter is smitten with Isabella and does everything he can to convince her to give him a chance.  When his back injury is slow to heal, Ethan decides to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy a café.  Something that pushes Isabella even further away.
Isabella’s family is in the restaurant business, something she wants no part of.  When she finds out Ethan has just purchased the café next to the firehouse, she’s convinced nothing could come of their relationship.  What ensues is the push and pull of two people figuring out if they can really make their relationship work.
SECOND CHANCE CAFÉ was a sweet and enjoyable story.  Isabella is stubborn and Ethan is persistent.  The perfect match for a spark-filled romance. 
Book provided for review purposes.


Friday, August 08, 2014

My Review - In Perfect Time

4 out of 5 stars
IN PERFECT TIME by Sarah Sundin was nostalgic romance at its best.
Army flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson is a professional dater.  Stringing men together like paper dolls, she flirts and teases her way from base to base, only to leave broken hearts when the relationships demands too much. 
Lt. Roger Cooper, a C-47 pilot has crossed paths with Kay on numerous occasions but has never fallen under her spell.  Everyone thinks it is his devout Christian faith that has him walking the straight and narrow, but its Cooper’s past that has him keeping his distance from Kay.  But, Roger isn’t the only one keeping secrets. 
Kay struggles with who she is and what she’s become.  Knowing she will never be good enough for the likes of Roger Cooper, she decides a friendship is all they’ll ever have.  But the more Kay is exposed to the God Roger serves instead of the God from her youth, the closer they get.  Thinking they might really have a chance together, Kay is devastated when Roger pushes her away.  Though she does everything she can to stay out of Roger’s path, they are teamed together for a mission that could possibly be their last.
IN PERFECT TIME is the third installment in the Wings of the Nightingale series, but the first one I have read.  It stood completely on its own, and I never felt like I was missing out from not reading the first two books.  I am not usually a fan of period pieces, but I really enjoyed IN PERFECT TIME.  The characters were rich, diverse, and believable.  While the author leads you to believe that both Roger and Kay are carefree people living in the moment, you find out it’s their difficult upbringings and choices they made in their youth that defines who they are as adults.  The setting and the period really enhanced the story, but at times, I felt the author bogged the reader down with intricate flight details that weren’t really that necessary.  I believe this is the first book I’ve read from author Sarah Sundin, but I might just have to go back and read books one and two.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available July 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

My Review - Predator

5 out of 5 stars

PREDATOR by Terri Blackstock is a chilling tale taken from today’s headlines.
Krista Carmichael is on a quest to find her sister’s murderer.  Fourteen-year-old Ella was brutally beaten, raped, and buried alive.  Krista is convinced her sister’s killer stalked Ella on the social media site GrapeVyne.  With the media site’s Thought Bubble posting member’s whereabouts and activities, members can be easily stalked by predator’s masquerading as friends.  Krista is determined to find the man that killed her sister.  Reaching out to Ryan Adkins, the creator of GrapeVyne, Krista asks him to post warnings on his site to discourage young people from divulging too much information.
Ryan Adkins is touched by Krista’s loss, but his hands are tied.  Though he is the creator of the social media site, he no longer holds controlling power over it.  GrapeVyne’s board of directors feel posting warnings or disclaimers on their site would in some ways be looked at as GrapeVyne claiming responsibility, something they have no intentions of doing.  But, when two more victims are linked to the media site, Ryan can helped but feel as if action needs to be taken.  When he involves himself with Krista and her agenda, he is fired from his own company.  But that doesn’t stop him.  Ryan is bound and determined to help Krista unmasked the anonymous predator.  He knows he is onto something when he becomes the predator’s next target.
PREDATOR was captivating and unsettling.  With our day-to-day world so wrapped up in the internet and social media, PREDATOR unveils the dangers of people allowing their lives to be an open book for all to see.  The story was realistic, and the characters multi-faceted.  From the diligence of Krista’s quest, to the grieving of Ella’s dad, to the feelings that develop between Krista and Ryan, the storylines blend seamlessly.  Once again, Terri Blackstock has me reading when my attention should be on other things.  Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

My Review - Downfall

5 out of 5 stars
DOWNFALL, book three in the Intervention series by Terri Blackstock was riveting.
The Intervention series continues with the Covington family. 
Barbara has moved her family to Atlanta for two reasons.  One – to put some distance between her daughter, Emily and her druggie friends.  Two – so she can be closer to Detective Kent Harlan, the man she’s following in love with.
Emily is two years sober and has slowly put her life back together.  She’s in college and working at a recovery center, but her mother continues to walk on eggshells around her, afraid she’s going to relapse.
Lance, Emily’s teenage brother, is struggling at his new school.  Treated as an outcast, he wishes they never would’ve moved.  His only friend is April, a girl he’s smitten with.  But when he finds out she’s dabbling in drugs, he’s angered and frustrated. 
Barbara and Kent’s relationship continues to progress, but with all the drama in Barbara’s life, Kent doesn’t want to put too much pressure on her.
What follows is the twists and turns that bring all these scenarios together.  Emily is being stalked by someone who wants her dead.  Lance is doing all he can to protect April from drugs and the guy who is supplying her with them.  Kent works a case that could have ties to Emily’s problems.  And Barbara is struggling to keep her family together.
DOWNFALL is the perfect culmination to the Intervention series.  I loved that the Covington family is center throughout the series.  With each book you learn just a little bit more about what makes them tick.  They are a family passionately in love with and protective of each other, but the trials and tribulations they face continue to test their bonds.  I can’t say much without giving plotlines away.  So, I will just say that it was a fascinating, suspenseful, driven series that is worth investing in the whole set.