Friday, September 25, 2015

My Review - Operation Zulu Redemption

5 out of 5 stars - Definitely on my favorites list!
An INCREDIBLE series!! OPERATION ZULU REDEMPTION was fast-paced, seat-of-you-pants fiction at its best. I read the 5 installment series (I didn’t realize I could buy it as one book) in a week’s time. Granted, I had the time on my hands because my family and I had been evacuated due to the Rough Fire in California, but it served as a great distraction while my everyday life was put on hold.
Zulu is an all-female special ops team that was set up for failure. The entire series/book is the women of Zulu and their handlers trying to set the record straight. To the world and their family they are dead, but in fact, they have been given new identities and have tried to live simple lives while struggling with the memories of the tragedy that befell them. Though incredibly strong women, they struggle emotionally at the devastation that happened at their hands. Unfortunately, assassins have found out their current identities and are trying to pick them off one-by-one. The clock is running, and there are only so many people the team can turn to for help.
I can’t use enough adjectives to describe this series. Ms. Kendig is exceptional at penning intricate stories full of intrigue, with threads of romance. Her characters are so well fleshed out, you feel their emotional struggle, and want to take up their fight for them.

My Review - The Memory Weaver

2.5 out of 5 stars
THE MEMORY WEAVER just didn’t strike a chord with me. But, in all fairness, I assume some of the responsibility for that. When I saw an endorsement by Romantic Times, I naturally thought there would be more romance in the book. In my opinion, what little romance was there was one-sided and disheartening.
Eliza Spaulding Warren’s life was tragic with very few uplifting moments. She’s taken hostage at a young age by Indians and forced to watch a massacre, her father disowns her for a time and withholds his love, and her husband is self-centered—among other things. It is only her faith in God, her love for her children, and the loving memory of her mother that keeps Eliza going. She is definitely an encourager to those around her, but so little encouragement comes her way.
Throughout the book, excerpts of Eliza’s mother’s diary is slipped in, which was one way of giving backstory. But to me, it broke up the continuity of a story I was already struggling to grasp.
I absolutely commend the author on the amount of research she put into the story. I’m sure for true lovers of historical novels, this is a valuable asset. Unfortunately for me, it just weighed down an already slow moving story.
Again, I take responsibility for reading a book outside my genre of choice, and I did finish the book because I so wanted to see Eliza happy. Unfortunately, in the end, I just felt sad for Eliza and the life that she led. But, if you are a history fanatic, and like reading stories penned more as a memoir, you most likely will enjoy THE MEMORY WEAVER more than I did.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.








My Review - Last Chance Hero

5 out of 5 stars
LAST CHANCE HERO is book four in the A Place to Call Home series. As Ms. Armstrong introduces new characters to the small town in New Mexico, we get a chance to catch up with others characters we’ve already grown to love.
Dr. Jessica MacLeod is not only new to Last Chance, but new to small town living. Her dream has always been to have a practice in a small town, but now she’s not so sure. Ending up in a town where football is king, she has to admit to the locals she’s never seen a football game before, and really doesn’t have the desire to. Getting her practice off the ground is hard enough, but when the residents don’t want to give her a chance, she wonders if small town living is all she’s imagined it to be.
Andy Ryan was the local football hero. Now, he’s come home to Last Chance after a career in the NFL to coach the local high school team. Though he get off on the wrong foot with Jessica, he’s sure they can find their way. But when she treats one of his team players, and her advice doesn’t line up with Andy’s thinking, the strain in the relationship because hard to overlook. Andy’s not sure his and Jess’s differences are something they can overcome.
The characters of Last Chance have been a joy to get to know. And the great thing about LAST CHANCE HERO, is you get one last opportunity to catch up with the whole gang. The relationships that have formed, and the way their lives intersect with each other definitely shines a light on what small town living is all about. There’s a genuineness to the residents of Last Chance, leading to heartwarming stories. You’ll be glad you visited.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Review - The Mistress of Tall Acre

5 out of 5 stars
THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRE is another moving novel from author, Laura Frantz.
Sophie Menzies is a woman from an affluent family, but finds herself being shunned because of her father’s traitorous ways. The aftermath of the American Revolution has fractured her family. Her father has fled to England, abandoning Sophie and Three Chimneys—their family plantation. Sophie waits patiently for her brother to return from the war to help her restore Three Chimneys to its former glory, but with no word of his whereabouts she begins to think the worst has happened. When her neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy returns as a widower with his young daughter, Sophie realizes all have suffered because of the war. Lily Cate Ogilvy is a delightful child who immediately bonds with Sophie. And Sophie quickly develops feelings for Lily Cate, and her father.
General Ogilvy is fighting more than a war. While mourning the death of his wife, he must secret away Lily Cate from relatives not wanting to give her up. Now, he must protect his daughter, his family home—Tall Acres, and his neighbor—Sophie Menzies from those who want to strip her of her home. When it seems the only way to safeguard his daughter’s future, and Sophie’s land holdings is to marry Sophie, Seamus proposes a business arrangement. An arrangement he has a hard time keeping strictly business. Though Sophie becomes the rightful mistress of Tall Acres, there is much she and Seamus have not shared with each other, and others that intend to do them harm.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRES. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Sophie, and root for Seamus that he would see not only the beautiful woman that loves his daughter fiercely, but open his eyes to things of the past. Lily Cate was written so well, I could picture her impish little smile and bright eyes. There were bits of intrigue and suspense, enough to keep the interest of those who look for a little bit more in a romance novel. But the main story of course was the mutual attraction between Sophie and Seamus, an attraction both were afraid to reveal to the other. I’ve always said I am not a fan of period pieces, but time and time again, Ms. Frantz pens such genuine characters, the timeframe no longer matters to me.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

My Review - Betting on Hope

4 out of 5 stars
Though BETTING ON HOPE could be labeled a typical “opposites attract” type novel, I felt the story had a unique enough spin, making it fun and refreshing to read.
Maggie Hope is an advice columnist. But when she gets roped into doing an on air interview with the incredibly handsome cowboy, Tru Monahan, she turns into quite the klutz. Sparks are evident between Maggie and Tru. And when Maggie jokingly makes a bet with Tru, she finds herself the center of an ongoing publicity stunt. She tries to back pedal, never intending to have actually made the bet, but it’s too late. The TV station and Tru’s agent feel the bet is a ratings grabber, and lands city girl, Maggie on Tru’s ranch for two months. With her advice column on the line, she goes through with the wager and slowly finds herself falling for Tru. She refuses to give into her feelings, knowing she’s not the person he thinks she is. But somehow the cowboy continues to get under her skin.
Tru Monahan has had his fair share of negative publicity, making him wary of journalist. Tru is convinced Maggie’s innocent little bet was a well thought out scheme, making the tension between them escalate. He agrees to teach her how to ride, but he has no intentions of letting Maggie worm her way into his life. But, the more time Tru spends with Maggie, the more he realizes she’s the real deal. Tru would like nothing more than to pursue her romantically, but he knows he can never be enough for Maggie. She deserves more than he can offer.
BETTING ON HOPE was a fun story with very likable characters. Both Maggie and Tru try to put a halt to their growing feelings for each other because of secrets from their pasts. But they’re only kidding themselves if they think they can keep their feelings under wraps. The other characters that round out the town of Wishing Springs are lively and colorful. And I can only assume that subsequent books in the Four of Hearts Ranch series will be about Tru’s brothers. I felt the story of Jenna was woven in well, giving Maggie a chance to reflect on her past. But the outcome seem to be a little abrupt to me.  I’m a sucker for any book with a cowboy on the cover, but Ms. Clopton definitely kept my interest with her unique story. I will definitely be looking for book two in the series.