Friday, May 10, 2013

Review of Bluegrass Courtship By Allie Pleiter

Ugh! I couldn't stand this book. The story is all about how a television show(like Extreme Makeover Home) comes to a small town to help this church out. The Heroine Janet, believes the hero Drew from "Missionnovation" is a fake television type who wont do what he says. Why, do you ask? Way back in the day when she was "into" God and helping others, her ex-fiance appeared to be the same way as Drew, but that creep stole all the money he was supposed to be helping others with and dumped her, so she gives up on God, and people like our loveable hero.
Drew is a good guy and all and once he meets her knows her type, and is determined to get her to believe in him and that he does best for the people he helps. Unlike Janet, Drew has a close relationship with the lord. What I hated about this book: There is no romance! To have a Courtship, like the title implies, you have to have a "loving" relationship. At least, like each other.  Even though they did have some kind of relationship, it was very negative on her side. It didn't seem like she liked him. She definitely did not trust him.  To me, they did not start officially "courting" until the very last chapter of the book.
 Drew kind of liked her and was attempting to make the first step with her, in the middle of the story when she got angry at him, he apologized for barely implying that he was! Janet was annoying, stubborn and just plain stupid to me. Drew kept being so nice to her, I wanted him to just give up! To me, this is not a romance. Most of the book was Janet being a jerk, and Drew trying to prove himself, trying to like her, but knowing he shouldn't because she didn't have a relationship with God. He didn't give up on her though, because if he did, this book would have been a failure, because Janet does not make the first move.
The only good thing I can say about this book was that Janet finally stopped being stupid and went back to church and embraced Drew and was, what do you know, "happy" after many long senseless, lonely years! Of all the reasons why a person quits going to church, and stops their relationship with God, I thought this was the lamest.
I like stories where it's clear that the hero/heroine like each other and are trying to fight it. There's always a kiss or two thrown in even if they believe it's a mistake- way before the Twenty-sixth chapter. Yeah, that's right. The first kiss happens one chapter before the very last one.
I won't be reading anymore LI books after this one. I'll stick to my favorites like Michelle Sutton, Jamie Carie, Grace Livingston Hill, etc. There's only three more LI reviews to post. Don't worry, fortunately I liked those books.

Review Of Xena: All I Need To Know I Learned From The Warrior Princess By Gabrielle

This was a book I had laying around collecting dust in my attic and decided to finally read. There was a time I was into the whole Xena Warrior Princess television series. Anyway, this book is the translated scrolls that were written by Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia. Basically it's Gabrielle telling about her experiences on the road with Xena and what she's learned. It's a fast read, and very entertaining.
The titles are just as funny such as: Baby-Tossing Is Not A Sport; If You Think That You're Dreaming, Pinch Yourself. If That Doesn't Work, Pinch Someone Else; Ambrosia Is Not A Part of the Seven Basic Food Groups and Keeping Your Mind When Your Friend Is Losing Hers. Some of the lessons fans will realize come from certain episodes. In between there's a few quotes from Xena herself. My favorites are:
"My Name Is Xena. I'm A Problem-Solver."
"You Just have to have faith."
"No one should pass up their dreams."
This book would make a great collectors item for those who are fans of the series. All in all, I give this book a solid four stars.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review of Heaven Sent by Jillian Hart

A LI romance. Hope gets stranded, and who should come to her rescue? Matthew a guy she remembered from high school. Both are lonely people. He's a widower with three small boys. She's a rich man's daughter who prefers the country life.She's there to be with her grandmother, until she's well. I don't like when  his mother and her grandmother continually try to set them up. He didn't think he'd have anything in common with a rich girl. His boys want her for a mother, though and he dares to dream himself.
*sigh* Typical LI romance. I usually like  most of Jillian Hart's books, but this is one that I do not ever want to read again.  The mother and grandmother  bit was really annoying. Matthew and Hope weren't really great friends in high school and she was going through a bad time herself, so he was thinking she was "too good" for that life, etc. It seemed Hope was always trying to prove she was just the girl next door.  The ending annoyed me, too. When you admit you love someone, you run off to the airport, really? He was there at the airport to get her back, but....I don't know, it seemed the author got a little bit lazy and just tacked on an end, trying to make it seem like it was exciting. I did not like this one. Two stars, just because I actually made it to the end.

Review of Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

You remember the lead actress from the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Yeah, this is her book. This is written in first person about her story of how she adopted her daughter. This was a great read. She tells you about how she got started in her career, and the pain she went through trying to have a child, and her success. What I like about her as a person is that she is "real" people for one, and for another she has this thing about her that whenever someone tells her no, she doesn't listen, and keeps going for her dreams. That's what I like best about Nia.
Of course Nia has a great, sometimes wicked sense of humor, so her story is informative, funny as well as inspirational. The title Instant Mom means that she adopted her daughter through the foster care system. In the beginning she didn't know anything about it, and how it worked. At the end of the book she tells you in detail the many types of adoption, how much it costs, etc. I mean anything and everything about it, even age limitations for parents, so those who want to adopt a child, this is a great book to read so you'll know what to expect and the process you have to go through. I give this five out of five stars for the adoption facts at the end alone.

Review of Blessings by Lois Richer

A LI romance. Joshua, a doctor with a great medical practice has three daughters and he needs all the help he can get. He's a widower, just trying to keep it together. He needs someone to help him temporarily and in walks young surgeon Nicole. She comes in and the patients love her, as well as his family. Getting through to him is one tough job, that she can handle.
Once Nicole comes to Blessing she sees her future changing, but to get all that she desires will mean restoring the faith of one stubborn doctor, and his ability to love again. Joshua does not make it easy, she is going to have to fight for the man that she loves.
This was a great story. A romance with kids is always great. Nicole gets him to see who his daughters are, and get closer to them. To make things easier at work, she has to work behind the scenes because he's so unbending. The conflict was great, and I liked another part of the story of Nicole's problem with her father. Joshua was able to see it, and their father daughter relationship changed. What was annoying about this book was the doctor always reminding her that her position was temporary, and he didn't want her as a partner. That part was a bit too much. Great read though, four out of five stars.

Review of The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight

An LI romance. Sloan, the hero finds out he has a son. He's a boy with a bad reputation that comes back to his hometown, the only ones who care about him are his aunt and Annie, the girl that he loved and left years ago. So he returns to tend to his aunts garden, find out about his past and that Annie never did stop loving him. This was a great story. It was more than just a romance, when Sloan finds out the mystery behind his mothers disappearance. It is a little suspense thrown in and it adds great tension to the conflict.
What I liked about this story was the fact that the hero was a bad boy, and also a child that he didn't know that he had. Annie, despite their past together is willing to help him solve his mystery about his mother which turns deadly, but I don't want to give too much away but this is another real world romance. I guess you have to stick with certain authors to get a really good love story. This one, I give a full five stars with the danger thrown in. Loved it.

Review of A Cowboy's Heart By Brenda Minton

Another LI romance. Willow is tired of everyone telling her what to do, so she goes to the place where she considers home and decides to raise bucking bulls. The hero, Clint is used to always taking care of everyone, his family, friends, and his twin nephews that have to live with him. Willow is afraid to trust another man after a terrible divorce. Clint just can't let her go after he gives her his heart.
This was a nice one. Willow is hearing impaired, and with years of people treating her like she's disabled is why she acts the way she does. Clint's mother died when he was a child and his father was a drunk and he had to take care of his sister. It was Willow's aunt, who helped them both. I liked that this book wasn't the typical "Sweet" kind of story, not that it was raunchy, it wasn't, but there were real life situations in the book. Willow's hearing problem, and Clint trying to restart his career as a rodeo star, but injuring his arm in the process, and his sister having to go back to serve her country, etc. Willow always had a crush on Clint, but her always  being stubborn, standing on her own is a great conflict, and it's always hard for her when she a bit grudgingly accepts his help. Both of them have to bend in order for them to have a fulfilling life together. Good read.

Review of Heaven's Kiss By Lois Richer

This Love Inspired romance is about Danielle who is returning home from a huge disappointment at college and to a huge debt that her father left her after he died. She faces ending her dreams to keep what her father tried to build. The continuous problems keep testing her faith. Doctor Lucas comes to town, a man who encourages her and makes her life easier. She wants him to stay, but he's not sure that he really belongs there.
Staying in Blessing wasn't what he really had in mind for his life intending to be a bachelor.
I really liked this book, and I can't say that about many LI romances. The hero wasn't someone who was sure of himself, and confident when it came to speaking in front of people, he couldn't do the typical male thing like using tools successfully and that's what endeared me to him. Danielle had a problem with trust, and even though she connected with Lucas, she was afraid to let go until the end. I think more stories need to be made with this type of hero.
I also like how the author got Lucas to finally settle down, but then Danielle was the one who wanted to go in the end, and he had to get a way to make her stay. Great story. I give it four out of five stars.