Tuesday, November 21, 2017

High Treason by DiAnn Mills



Monica is a CIA agent and Kord is an FBI agent. They are thrown into a protection detail when an assassination attempt on a visiting Saudi prince occurs. Relations are strained between the US and Saudi's and the Prince has a twofold purpose for his visit. His mother has been diagnosed with cancer and is visiting MD Anderson and the Prince is looking into leasing some oil fields to the US. If the Prince was killed on US soil the tenuous relationship would be severed. Monica has experience in the protocol of behavior for women with Saudi men. And Kord is a friend to the Prince and insists on being part of the detail to protect him. Neither Kord nor Monica are happy with the situation at first, but as time goes on they manage to forge a shared respect for each others abilities.

High Treason was filled with excitement as well as quite interesting relationships between the characters. I love that Monica didn't try to change years of tradition by being an overbearing female. She gained respect from the Prince and his entourage through her behavior and ability. I also loved the peek into the life of a Saudi leader. It was interesting to the story as well as an interesting look into that culture. Monica had trust issues and through the story had to work through those. This led to a couple of good spiritual discussions between Kord and Monica as well as Monica and the Prince. I liked that the characters were able to have healthy dialogue without spewing hate. Monica was a very strong female lead and I really enjoyed that. She was strong and determined and ready to run into danger to protect. I liked how Monica and Kord's relationship grew and how they were able to establish a mutual respect for each other. The suspense was timely placed and kept the story moving along at a fast clip. If you are a fan of romantic suspense then I highly recommend this FBI Task Force series, you won't be disappointed!




Friday, November 10, 2017

The King by Steven James


Lien Hua is abducted by serial killer Basque. Can Patrick find her in time to save her? Patrick is asked to investigate His boss's brother's death. And Tessa has been asked to make a speech at her high school graduation. On top of all of that Pat and Lien Hua are getting ready to get married.

Whew, a lot goes on in this book! Basque is obviously back and going after Pat and his loved ones. He is evil for sure! There are a lot of suspenseful encounters with him and a lot of gross-out scenes. Another evil person is lurking in the wings, just in case Basque isn't enough evil! There's a lot of self-evaluation in the characters and maybe I'm forgetting the other books(because it has been awhile since I read The Queen), but there was more of a spiritual questioning going on in this one than I remember. I liked it! When death knocks at the door it should cause people to contemplate God's existence. I see some maturing in Tessa, but she still is a bit too impulsive and impetuous which ends up getting her into trouble. I do like that she is resourceful and stands apart from the crowd, and she's smarter than the average bear! Lien Hua is quite capable of handling herself, and serves as a perfect balance between Tessa and Pat. I took my time reading most of the book, but found myself gorging at the end because I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend the whole series, but don't read it at night unless you plan to keep the light on!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay


Mary is having issues at work. Her creativity is being stifled and things are not going well with a new gadget she has created. Isabel has been her best friend for years but their relationship has been filled with strain. When Isabel asks Mary to go on a vacation to Bath and dress in period clothing to help Isabel nail down her thesis Mary is tempted to say no. But with things going downhill at work Mary decides to take Isabel up on her offer. When Mary and Isabel arrive in Bath they embark on a voyage of self-discovery. Both women work through their own hurts and disappointments as well as misconceived ideas about situations and relationships.

Just when I would think, "okay things are going to get better, Mary's figured it out" things would go downhill again. It kind of annoyed me! I did like the romance between Nathan and Mary, but I also got frustrated with that. Isabel was a wounded soul, her father had pretty much ignored and rejected her all of her life. Her behavior made her a rather unlikable character for a while. I enjoyed the setting and the fun of reading about the characters dressing up in their favorite characters from Austen's novels. Even though I did get frustrated with Mary and Isabel's issues I enjoyed the book and was happy when everything turned out in the end.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pride and Prejudice Read-Along: Conclusion

We have come to the end of the Read-Along and the end of the story. And yes, P&P remains my most favorite Austen read of all! Every time I read it I just smile with satisfaction and all the good feels that it brings! Thanks so much to Amber at Seasons of Humility for hosting the Read-Along and I hope that we will have another one soon! Hint Hint Amber!

So many good things in the last chapters that we read!

Again with the letters! Oh for some ability to communicate quicker, but it does seem that the mail system was much quicker than it is today! So Mr. Gardiner has found Lydia and it is as the family has feared, she is living with Wickham without getting married to him! Oh the scandal! Oh the embarrassment to Lizzy and her sisters! It appears that Mr. Gardiner has fixed everything so that Lydia and Wickham will be married. I love this quote from Lizzy,

"And they are really to be married!" cried Elizabeth, as soon as they were by themselves, "How strange this is! And for THIS we are to be thankful. That they should marry, small as is their chance of happiness, and wretched as is his character, we are forced to rejoice, Oh, Lydia!"

I imagine that "Oh, Lydia" spoken in such a voice of despair! "Oh Lydia" indeed! That girl is trouble!

And poor Jane, still trying to make everyone out to have some good in them,

"His consenting to marry her is a proof, I will believe, that he is coe to a right way of thinking. Teir mutual affection will steady them; and I flatter myself they will settle so quietly, and live in so rational a manner, as may in time make their past imprudence forgotten."

Dream on Jane!!!

I found this a bit interesting considering that I always thought of Mr. Bennet as a jovial and loving kind of guy, this is the first time I have seen him impatient,

"He(Mr. Bennet) was writing and, without raising his head, coolly replied: "Just as you please." "May we(Lizzy and Jane) take my uncle's letter to read to her?" "Take whatever you like, and get away."

I understand he was trying to respond to the letter from Mr. Gardiner and it required much haste, but this is the first time we see him more than just exasperated with the whole group...especially Lizzy.

Isn't it a miracle how quickly Mrs. Bennet bounces back from her vapors over Lydia's disappearing with Wickham once she hears that she is married?

"To know that her daughter would be married was enough. She was disturbed by no fear for her felicity, nor humbled by any remembrance of her misconduct."

Any wonder where Lydia gets her behavior? Ack!

Wickham is just abhorrent! The man has no scruples and totally makes me mad! I was in agreement with Mr. Bennet in saying that Wickham and Lydia shouldn't be welcome at Longbourn but one cannot cut off ones own flesh and blood no matter how stupid they are.The two have no shame for their behavior and what they put Lydia's family through. Two selfish individuals that take take take throughout life.

"She blushed, and Jane blushed; but the cheeks of the two who caused their confusion suffered no variation of colour."

Don't you just love when Lydia is going on and on about being a married woman and how she will get all of her sisters husbands, how Lizzy responds?

"I thank you for my share of the favour," said Elizabeth; "but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands."

And then through another letter and Lydia's slip of tongue we find that Mr. Darcy is actually the one who orchestrated the marriage of Wickham and Lydia to save the Bennet family from ruin. Wow! What a change in this man! I love how Lizzy's whole opinion of him changed when she found out what he truly did for her family.

"Oh! how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged, every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour, he had been able to get the better of himself."

I love how even in politeness someone can pointedly make known how they feel about someone. When Wickham tries to bring up to Lizzy how horribly he was treated by Darcy I love her response,

"I DID hear, too, that there was a time, when sermon-making was not so palatable to you as it seems to be at present; that you actually declared your resolution of never taking orders, and that the business had been compromised accordingly."

She let him know that she was onto him and he no longer fooled her! Love it!

Mr. Bennet quite nicely reverted back to his old self in being sarcastic and humorous to his family members. I love what he said when Bingley moved back to Netherfield and Mrs. Bennet wanted him to go call on Bingley.

"No, no. You force me into visiting him last year, and promised, if I went to see him, he should marry one of my daughters. But it ended in nothing, and I will not be sent on a fool's errand again."

hahahaha! Poor Mr. Bennet, so abused by his wife AND his daughters!

And once Jane and Bingley agree to marry Mr. Bennet's response cracks me up:

"You are a good girl; "he replied, "and I have great pleasure in thinking you will be so happily settled. I have not a doubt of your doing very well together. Your tempers are by no means unlike. You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income."

I always have to snicker when Jane being so happy tells Lizzy that she wishes she could be just as happy. This shows that Lizzy and her father have the same sense of humor:

"If you were to give me forty such men, I never could be so happy as you. Till I have your disposition, your goodness, I never can have your happiness. No, no, let me shift for myself; and, perhaps, if I have very good luck, I may meet with another Mr. Collins in time."

OH MY! That always has me snort-laughing!

What do you think of Lady Catherine's visit to Elizabeth? That woman is something else! I love how even though Lizzy feels like her chances with Darcy have been totally ruined she still will not back down to Lady Catherine and promise not to enter into a marriage with him. That lady had me ready to go through the book at her! I might not have been as nice as Lizzy was and there is another instance of putting someone in their place but yet being so polite while doing it!

"I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer."

GO LIZZY!

Of course Mr. Collins has to rear his ugly head once more before the book ends in yet another infamous letter! Again, he is such an odious man! And a rector! Gah! He exasperates me just as much as Lady Catherine does!

I love love love when Darcy and Lizzy start talking about their love for each other and when they first realized they may have hope for a future.

"It taught me to hope," said he, "as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that, had you been absolutely, irrevocably decided against me, you would have acknowledged it to Lady Catherine, frankly and openly."

He definitely knew that Lizzy wouldn't be afraid to speak her mind to Lady Catherine if she still hated him. Can you imagine how light his spirit would have been when he heard? Just the opposite of what Lady Catherine would expect! ha!

When Lizzy and Jane are talking and Jane can't believe that Lizzy is engaged to Darcy, Lizzy's whole outlook is so light and happy. I love this between them:

"Why, I must confess that I love him better than I do Bingley, I am afraid you will be angry."
"My dearest sister, now BE serious. I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have love him?"

"It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley."

Snort-laugh once more!!!

Once again we get whiplash from Mrs. Bennet's behavior! She goes from hating the sight of Darcy but putting up with it for the sake of Bingley, to being over-the-moon thrilled when she finds out that Lizzy is going to marry him.

"God gracious! Lord bless me! only think! dear me! Mr. Darcy! Who would have thought it! And is it really true? Oh! my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have! Jane's is nothing to it--nothing at all. I am so pleased--so happy. Such a charming man!--so handsome! so tall!--Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it. Dear, dear Lizzy. A house in town! Every thing that is charming! Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh, Lord! What will become of me. I shall go distracted."

Ack! She drives me crazy!

To show how content and happy Lizzy is:

"I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh."

I love that line!

One final word from Mr. Bennet to show his humor...in another letter to Mr. Collins:

"I must trouble you once more for congratulations. Elizabeth will soon be the wife of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would stand by the nephew. He has more to give."

LOVE IT!!

I loved all the summing up at the end of how everyone was getting on. Georgiana has her eyes opened by Lizzy taking liberties in teasing Mr. Darcy! I'm sure she has never seen anyone treat him with anything less than dignity and respect so I'm sure she was shocked. I love this:

"By Elizabeth's instructions, she began to comprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband which a brother will not always allow in a sister more than ten years younger than himself."

I know that's a lot of quotes, but there is so much in these chapters to love! I love that both Darcy and Elizabeth were humbled and found a rich love for each other.

On Amber's blog she has some questions to discuss. I will leave my answers in the comments on her blog.

If you have read along with us feel free to comment your thoughts on the ending. If you have read P&P before feel free to comment your thoughts. If you haven't read it before, please do so! It is soooo good!

I've loved the read-along and look forward to the next one!


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Holiday Secrets by Susan Sleeman



This is the first of the McKade Law books and I have to say that I believe I am a fan! Gavin McKade left his hometown to become an FBI agent. His whole family is in law enforcement but he and his father have never seen eye to eye and after Gavin accidentally shot someone he knew he could no longer work under his father. But now Gavin's first lead case has led him back home to the doorstep of the woman he left and will always love!

Lexie is not happy about Gavin's return. It was hard enough to have her father abandon she and her brother, but when Gavin left it tore her heart out and damaged her faith. Unfortunately seeing her father killed in front of her has put Lexie in danger and Gavin feels he is the only one that can protect her.

I have to admit that the dedication page touched me the most. It said,

"For all the families waiting for their prodigal son or daughter to return home."

As one of those parents who has watched their daughter walk away from her faith it always helps to read stories, real or fictionalized, that speak of God's returning one of those prodigal's.

I always love the element of faith that this author puts into her books. It is not preachy, yet it shows that our Father does not abandon His own and will return them with a much stronger faith than they had before.

Gavin and Lexie's relationship is pretty rocky and they both build walls to protect their hearts, but those walls slowly crumble as they both learn to forgive those that have hurt them.

The suspense was great in this book as has come to be expected from this author. I like all of the McKade's and look forward to reading their stories!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

Christmas At Ruby's by Holly Schindler


Angela has fond memories of Ruby's Place. Going with her Aunt Elizabeth every year for Christmas all dressed up in new clothes and singing around the piano. It was a happy time, one full of dreams and hope for a bright future. But it has been many years, and Ruby's Place has been closed and has started to decay along with many of the other businesses in the area. It seems that once the light went out at Ruby's Place it took away the closeness that Ruby's brought to families all around.There was something magical about Ruby's Place and when Angela accidentally ends up inside Ruby's Place the magic comes alive once more.

I truly enjoyed this short story! Christmas is all about hope, renewal, memories, family, and love. All of the things that Ruby's Place embodied for Angela. Reading Christmas At Ruby's reminded me of watching an old black and white movie intermingled with the bright colors of the present. The past and future colliding to create one very special and magical story that will send the reader down memory lane to their own special memories of the season.




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pride and Prejudice Read-Along: Discussion Week 4


So much has happened in this weeks reading of P&P! Head over to our host Amber's blog Seasons of Humility to read her summary of the characters so far.

I'm a little lost in the e-book that I am reading as it isn't broken into volumes like the other versions seem to be. I am going by chapters so hopefully I am caught up.

I can't remember if Mr. Darcy's letter to Elizabeth was in last week's reading or in this week's, but I find it interesting that in several of the Jane Austen books that I have read that a letter is written to explain a characters behavior or such. I love it! My husband and I wrote letters back and forth before we were married, even though we saw each other almost every day! But this is not a love letter that Mr. Darcy writes. It is a response to all that Elizabeth accused him of when he proposed to her. I loved his letter so much! It was written with dignity and class. Maybe a bit of pride too, but he is setting the record straight for her and I like it! I liked it so much that I highlighted the whole thing! Even though Lizzie doesn't want to she soon sees her folly in believing in everything that Wickham claimed about Darcy.

"She was NOW struck with the impropriety of such communications to a stranger, and wondered it had escaped her before. She saw the indelicacy of putting himself forward as he had done, and the inconsistency of his professions with his conduct."

"She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think without feeling she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd."

"I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself."

I love that last quote. Such an awakening for her!

Mary and her speeches kill me! Oh my goodness she is so boring! Poor girl! Boring and homely, wonder if she will ever find a match? But I can relate with her on this quote:

"To this Mary very gravely replied, Far be it from me, my dear sister, to depreciate such pleasures! They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of female minds. But I confess they would have no charms for ME--I should infinitely prefer a book." AMEN SISTER!

Oh Mrs. Bennet! That poor clueless woman. She makes me so exasperated and disgusted and yet she also makes me laugh as with this quote,

"Thought I shall always say he used my daughter extremely ill; and if I was her, I would not have put up with it. Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart; and then he will be sorry for what he has done."

I love the Gardners and how they take Jane and Lizzie away from all of the foolishness at home whenever possible. First taking Jane to London with them and then taking Lizzie on a tour of the countryside with the infamous trip to Pemberley. I love how astonished Lizzie is to hear how well Darcy is thought of by his servants and the people of his hometown. So different than what he appears outside of his hometown. He is obviously a good and generous employer and this baffles Lizzie extremely. And on an aside...how funny to be traveling around and knocking on private homes doors and requesting a tour! ha! I absolutely love this quote from Darcy's housekeeper,

"He is the best landlord, and the best master," said she, "that ever lived; not like the wild young men nowadays, who think of nothing but themselves. There is not one of his tenants or servants but will give him a good name. Some people call him proud; but I am sure I never saw anything of it. To my fancy, it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men."

I also loved how it didn't take Lizzie long to realize that Miss Darcy wasn't proud, but she was shy! And she therefore treated her kindly. Oh Bingley's sisters are just rude! To even come close to mentioning Wickham's name in front of Miss Darcy was pushing the bounds of propriety. They think themselves above everyone, but yet the stoop lower than anyone!

Oh the poor Bennet family and Lydia's indiscretion! That girl was trouble from the get-go!The result of a mother that is too foolish and indulgent and a father who is absent and who subjects his family to mockery. They were asking for trouble with Lydia.

And then that letter from Mr. Collins! Oh my goodness! If I didn't like that man before, I certainly can't stand him now! What do you think about this quote in his letter?

"The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this."

HOW HORRIBLE to say something like that to grieving parents! And he's a minister!!!! Awful awful man!

Even though I think Mr. Bennet is lacking in his fatherly skills he still makes me laugh!

"This is a parade," he cried, "which does one good; it gives such an elegance to misfortune! Another day I will do the same; I will sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering gown, and give as much trouble as I can; or, perhaps, I may defer it till Kitty runs away."

Then his whole speech about Kitty not being able to do anything or go to dances etc. cracked me up. He's really all bluff, but maybe he learned his lesson?

This last quote had me laughing:

"Well, well, said he, "do not make yourself unhappy. If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you to a review at the end of them."

Poor Kitty is now going to suffer the consequences of Lydia's poor behavior!

That closes out this week's reading. We will be discussing the end of the book next week. Lots of good stuff still to come!!!

One question Amber asked in her post is:

"Who do you think has changed the most since the beginning of the story? What are some examples of how he or she has changed for the better or for the worse."

I'd say both Lizzie and Darcy have changed. Mainly in each others eyes. They have both discovered more about themselves and more about each other. Both have had their pride pricked and their prejudices challenged and changed.

See you next week!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Of Things To Come by Miranda Atchley-BLOG TOUR




Hello, and welcome to the Of Things To Come blog tour! We’re celebrating the release of the third book in The Abi Hensley Series, which releases on October 27, 2017. Read further to find out more about the book and the giveaway.


About The Book

After enduring the First World War, most of the world is hoping to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and move forward in the year 1919. Yet for Abi Hensley the happiness she felt upon the end of the war has been short lived. Grief stricken from the passing of a dear friend, she cannot seem to overcome the loss. Amidst her grief, she is also struggling with her writing, something that has always been a comfort to her. In light of these circumstances, she finds herself questioning many things in her life for the first time.

Can Abi get back to all that she loves and look forward to things to come?




About The Author


Miranda Atchley loves books of all sorts, but has always had a special place in her heart for historical A Castle in the Sky was a finalist for Read Free.ly’s The 50 Best Indie Books of 2016. She also writes the blog A Real Writer’s Life. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find Miranda with her head in a book, taking a walk, or watching Downton Abbey at her home in Arkansas.
fiction. Writing is her favorite thing to do and she has published three historical novels and three contemporary young adult novels.
Find Miranda at:




The Abi Hensley Series
           
Want to read the first two books in The Abi Hensley Series? Just click here!



Blog Tour Dates

10/20 Amber at Seasons of Humility
10/21 Julie at My Favorite Pastime
10/22 Grace at She Hearts Fiction
10/23 Amada at ASC Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY




Thank you for stopping by and showing your support for Of Things To Come!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Little Cities books by Jennifer Adams Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli


I absolutely loved these little books! Each one has different buildings and sites from the city that you are visiting. What I especially liked about each book was at the end it tells what each site was and a bit of history and how it is important to the city. Each book is perfect to introduce your toddler to the different cities around the world!
Sites include The Empire State Building, Broadway, The Statue of Liberty and several more

Sites include The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and several more

Each book is printed on what feels like hard cardboard so they will be durable for those little ones to handle.
Sites include The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and several more


Sites include The Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39, Alcatraz Island and several more

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pride and Prejudice Read-Along Week 3


This is the 3rd discussion of our read-along. I'm loving this re-read! And I love discussing it with other readers! Go to Amber's blog at Seasons of Humility and check out her thoughts on P&P this week!

Thoughts for this week's reading:

Mr. Collins sure got over Lizzie's rejection of his proposal rather rapidly! And Charlotte was right there to swoop in for the win(cough cough!). Love this quote from Charlotte when Lizzie expresses her surprise at her for accepting Mr. Collins:

"I am not a romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collin's character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state."

Once again we see Mr. Bennet's sense of humor come to the fore with this observation:

"Mr. Bennet's emotions were much more tranquil on the occasion, and such as he did experience he pronounced to be of a most agreeable sort; for it gratified him, he said, to discover that Charlotte Lucas, whom he had been used to think tolerably sensible, was as foolish as his wife, and more foolish than his daughter!"

Okay, and this last one always makes me snort-laugh when Mrs. Bennet is moaning that Mr. Collins and Charlotte will throw them all out upon Mr. Bennet's death:

"My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves that I may be the survivor."


Bingley and company leaving Netherfield rather quickly was so sad for Jane. I do have to admire her for trying to be positive about people and give them an excuse for their behavior, but I think she carries it a bit too far in her persistence in believing that the sisters are such dear friends of hers. Especially when Lizzie sees right through them!

Once again we see Mr. Bennet's dry whit in these quotes:

"So, Lizzy, said he one day, your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then."

"True, said Mr. Bennet, but it is a comfort to think that whatever of that kind may befall you, you have an affectionate mother who will make the most of it."

Lizzy does seem to give Mr. Wickham a bit more slack than she does Charlotte or Mr. Darcy and it kind of frustrates me that she has such a double standard. It makes me believe Mr. Bennet in his thinking that all of his daughter's are foolish.

"They are young in the ways of the world(speaking of Kitty and Lydia being despondent of Mr. Wickham turning his affection to someone else), and not yet open to the mortifying conviction that handsome young men must have something to live on as well as the plain."

Lizzy's visit to Charlotte after her marriage is pretty entertaining. Especially her visits to Rosings Park. It becomes even more interesting once Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy arrive. Lady Catherine is a royal pain in the backside and really and truly thinks she is something else! Exasperating woman! This pompous speech was just one such instance where I rolled my eyes:

"Of music! Then pray speak aloud. It is of all subjects my delight. I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt,I should have been a great proficient. And so would Anne, if her health had allowed her to apply. I am confident that she would have performed delightfully."

Oh brother! See why the eye roll?

And poor Mr. Darcy! So in love with Lizzy, yet so proud and so awkward in his asking for her hand in marriage. He really does think himself superior, but I also think he is awkward in social settings or even one on one. Plus I think that he doesn't know how to handle his emotions for Lizzy and even though he admires Lizzy's boldness in speech he doesn't quite know what to do with it! ha! Poor man has been thrown for a loop and gets the surprise of his life when she refuses him so vehemently.

"In vain I have struggle. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

Oh man, he really stepped into it with this one!!! And after much back and forth etc. Lizzy spouts off with this:

"You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you supposed that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner."

That one haunts him for a long time!!!

One of the questions Amber asked on her post was, "How would you respond to Mr. Darcy's proposal in this section?"

I probably would have snorted at him and laughed! ha! Oh to possess Elizabeth's ability to take a person down a peg or two with such dignity! Go Lizzy!!!

There are my thoughts for this week. Hope you enjoy and I hope you are enjoying the read-along. Since I am re-reading this for the umpteenth time I can safely say that it is STILL my favorite Austen read! Happy week y'all and feel free to leave your comments and links to your posts if you are reading along or if you have read P&P before. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon


Trish is under a lot of stress and attributes some of her recent absentmindedness to that stress. But when her mother suddenly passes away it appears that Trish may have mixed up her medication by mistake. Detective Colin Flynn is handling the case and at first it appears that Trish's mother's death is just a terrible accident. Trish is still having memory lapses and is thankful for her mother's accountant Matt who manages her mother's charity. Trish's mother would have liked nothing better than for Trish and Matt to get together. But there is no chemistry between the two of them and when Matt's behavior changes after her mother's passing, Trish becomes suspicious and enlists Colin to look into Matt's background. What at first appears to be a squeaky clean background soon turns up some pretty shady dealings that could put Trish at risk. Will Colin be able to find out all he needs to know before Matt's past catches up with him?

Wow! Dangerous Illusions had some amazing twists and turns and kept me turning the pages until the end! It was filled with suspense and deception and a bit of romance, the perfect trio of things I love in a story. Just when I thought I had everything figured out I'd turn the page and another twist would present itself! Dangerous Illusions will keep you awake into the early hours even when you tell yourself, "Just one more chapter." But you still have to continue on to find out what happens next.  I can't wait for the next books in the series because I really enjoyed Colin's friends and look forward to reading their stories.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Their Mistletoe Matchmakers by Keli Gwyn



Lavinia and Henry arrive to take care of their nieces and nephew after their parents die. Henry has been given guardianship of the children. Lavinia has been brought up in privilege and believes that her father can give the children a better life. Even though her father has never acknowledged the children before, he is now interested in them. Lavinia sets out to win her case to take the children away from Henry. But the children are only interested in making a match between Lavinia and Henry! And even though Lavinia believes with all of her heart that she would be the better guardian, she cannot help but admire Henry and the way he is with the children.

Oh Lavinia, Lavinia! I say that while shaking my head! At one point I had to message the author and tell her that Lavinia needed a "Come to Jesus" talk! My goodness that girl made me want to reach through the pages and shake her til her teeth rattled! Henry was much more understanding than I ever would be. He admired Lavinia for her stubbornness because he knew that she didn't have a leg to stand on to get the children. He was so patient in helping Lavinia understand that her grand schemes were just what her sister had escaped from and that the children would appreciate a more simpler way of life. I love when a book gets you so involved in the characters that you feel as if you are a part of the family. When I finished reading I truly missed Henry and Lavinia. Being thrown together to care for the children and with the help of the scheming trio, Henry and Lavinia's romance developed slowly and naturally. Their Mistletoe Matchmakers was a sweet Christmas read that will definitely help get you into the holiday spirit!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pride and Prejudice Read-Along: Week 2

This is the second week of our discussion of my favorite Austen book. Check out Amber's blog at Seasons of Humility for all of the details.

Favorite Quotes:

"I admire the activity of your benevolence, observed Mary, but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required."-Mary Bennet

"He must be an oddity, I think, said she. I cannot make him out.--There is something very pompous in his style.--And what can he mean by apologising for being next in the entail?--We cannot suppose he would help it if he could.--Could he be a sensible man, sir?" -Elizabeth Bennet

"You judge very properly, said Mr. Bennet, and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?"-Mr. Bennet

"His guilt and his descent appear by your account to be the same, said Elizabeth angrily; for I have heard you accuse him of nothing worse than of being the son of Mr. Darcy's steward, and of THAT, I can assure you, he informed me himself."-Elizabeth Bennet

"You could not make ME happy, and I am convince that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so."-Elizabeth Bennet

"An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do NOT marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you DO."-Mr. Bennet

Words that I had to look up:

Panegyric: public speech or published text in praise of someone or something.
Celerity: swiftness of movement.
Appertain: relate to; concern.

Thoughts:

Mary totally cracks me up! Hence the reason I picked that quote above! I agree with her! Why exert yourself unless it is necessary?

Mr. Collins is just gross! I mean, I cannot stand his arrogance and his pompous attitude. He really is clueless!

Oh Mr. Bennet! He and I would get along real well! I totally get his subtle sarcasm and totally love it! He makes me laugh!

Mr. Wickham is the fly in the ointment. He is charming yet I find him too flattering and since I know what his character is already I think he is a scammer and can see right through his ploy. As smart as Lizzie is I am totally surprised she doesn't see it.

Mr. Darcy, I still love him. Even though he is standoffish I just love him!

Bingley's sisters are brats and remind me of what mean girls are like in high school.

Discussion Questions:

Which quote or scene made you laugh/smile the most?

"You judge very properly, said Mr. Bennet, and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?"-Mr. Bennet

This quote always causes me to snort-laugh!

 Mr. Darcy is often silent: in social settings, in his feelings toward Elizabeth, and in defense of his side of Wickham's story. Do you think his silence is "golden" (a wise choice), or do you think he should have been more vocal in these chapters?

I think that his demeanor would have offended no matter what he did. Should he have spoken out against Wickham? I don't think so. I think if he did he would have been stooping to Wickham's level. It is so hard to know when to call out a person in public and when to stay silent. We all know what Darcy keeping silent does to the Bennet's. 


How would you respond to Mr. Collins if he proposed to you?

Oh ewww! The answer would be a definite NO! I picture him as a booger-eating kid running around with drool on his shirt. Just bleck! And to have to listen to his speeches for the rest of my life? Oh spare me! ha

So there you go! This week's discussion. If you are reading along with us leave a link to your post or feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Have a great week!






Monday, October 9, 2017

A Zen For Murder by Leighann Dobbs


A murder on Mooseamuck Island has Dom and Claire dusting off their investigator caps and helping the local police solve the crime. Both Dom and Claire are retired, but when one of their friends is murdered neither one can stand by and let someone else investigate the crime.

If you like cozy mysteries this will be right up your alley. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading others in the series. I am excited to see what Dom and Claire will be up to next and if anymore murders will happen on their quiet little island now that they seem to be back in business.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

All Roads by Holly Schindler



Jesse spent his life in foster care and now is on his own travelling around in his old RV. He finally gains a companion when he finds a stray dog named The General. Jesse and The General spend a few weeks together before they arrive in a small town. There Jesse runs into Louisa who claims The General is her dog! Jesse is not going to leave town without HIS dog so when he is invited to have dinner with Louisa and her family he stays hoping that he can escape with The General. The longer that Jesse stays with Louisa's family the more he feels that he has finally found his place, but will Louisa's resentment and suspicions send Jesse packing?

Awww, I loved this heart-warming story! I loved each character in the story. I could feel for Jesse because he has been alone all of his life. I could feel for Louisa because she feels that a part of her is missing. I loved Betsy who just drug Jesse, a complete stranger, into her home and treated him so nicely. And The General who manages to bring them all together! Holly Schindler knows how to communicate her characters feelings so well that the reader feels as if they are a part of the story instead of just an observer. All Roads is a great Fall read and highly recommended!



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Targeted For Danger by various authors


Targeted For Danger is a compilation of 8 short stories written by 8 different authors. For the most part I enjoyed all of the stories. It is hard to develop characters in such a short amount of words, so I found some of the relationships worked for me and some did not. I found some of the suspense worked for me and some did not. I reviewed each book individually so here are my thoughts:

Crossfire by Susan May Warren

Kade has returned to his family home where his past is catching up with him. Witnesses to a murder, Kade and his best friend Nash have been hiding for years in the hopes that they wouldn’t be found. Circumstances have now brought them back home. Haddie is also home. The girl that Nash was engaged to, but that Kade has loved from the moment he met. Seven years is a long time to be gone, but not long enough to make Kade forget that he still loves Haddie and will do anything to keep her safe.


Talk about a love triangle! Mistakes that ruined friendships. And danger lurking at every turn and you have a wonderfully suspense-filled romantic short story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. I also loved the spiritual aspects of the story! Apparently Kade is a character from another series that Susan May Warren has written, The Montana Rescue series, which I haven’t read, but must remedy soon. 

Taken by Dark by Christy Barritt
Declan left his hometown and the girl he loved years ago to pursue a career in the FBI. Willa has stayed in their hometown and had plans to raise her family there. Both Declan and Willa have lost their spouses and now Willa is in danger. At the request of Willa’s brother, Declan returns to investigate and hopefully find out who has targeted Willa.

I liked that Declan and Willa had a past. It helped when things seemed to move along a bit too quickly  in their relationship for me. While there were elements of suspense, it seemed that the majority of excitement happened at the end of the story and then it galloped on to the ending rather quickly after that. I actually would like to go and read the rest of The Carolina Moon series that this novella is a part of.

Lethal Homecoming by Lynette Eason

Callie was sent away from her home and the man she loved 6 years ago. Now she is returning thinking that all danger is now gone. Unfortunately before she even reaches her home her life is threatened and she is once more thrown into danger. Nolan never knew why Callie left, but he does know that he’s never stopped loving her. Can he find out who wants her dead before it is too late?

Honestly, this wasn’t one of my favorite Lynette Eason books. I don’t know if it just felt too rushed or if I didn’t care for the characters or what. I knew who the killer was before the final reveal, but usually that doesn’t detract from the story for me. It did have it’s exciting moments that I did enjoy, I think it just needed to be fleshed out a bit more. The romance felt a little forced even though Callie and Nolan had had a relationship in the past. I really think I enjoy this authors full-length novels much better than the novella’s. 

Treasure by Ginny Aiken

Chloe is an archeological reporter and is sent on assignment to cover the latest findings. When Chloe arrives at the current dig site she is shot at and her bodyguard is almost killed. Ridge arrives on the scene to save both Chloe and her bodyguard. Someone doesn’t want precious ancient manuscripts found and they will do anything to stop Chloe and Ridge from continuing their search.

This one just didn’t work for me. I’m sorry to say, but I think it was too disjointed so I felt like I was missing pieces of the story. I thought the romance was forced and didn’t seem like Chloe and Ridge knew each other long enough to even form an attraction let alone a long term relationship. There was a lot of excitement with people trying to kill Chloe and Ridge, but again the reason was a bit ambiguous to me and left me feeling like I was missing something. 

Deadly Secrets by Margaret Daley


Sarah left home 15 years ago. She left her fiancĂ©, Hunter, at the alter with no explanation. Now Sarah has returned for her niece’s wedding. But her niece has been kidnapped and Sarah and Hunter must work together to find her before it is too late. Can Sarah overcome what happened in her past? Can she learn to forgive? Will Hunter be able to let go of his resentment in order to work this case?

Once again I was glad that this couple had a past in order to forward their relationship in this story. I did feel a bit like we were tossed into the middle of a story without any background, but it was slowly developed and revealed and ended up with a pretty exciting and suspenseful ending. It turns out that there are several books in this series of STRONG WOMEN, EXTRAORDINARY SITUATIONS. 

Double Exposure by Elizabeth Goddard

Tara just witnessed an atrocious crime and now she is hiding away, hoping that the people who were involved in the crime think that she is dead. Grant has found where Tara is hiding and must work to gain her trust. Unfortunately those bent on killing her to silence her have also found her so there is no time for Grant to gain that trust. Will they live long enough to stop a biological terrorist attack?

This was an exciting read as Tara and Grant were pretty much on the run the entire time. Even their rapidly developing relationship seemed to work in this story. The circumstances and Grants background into Tara helped that romance along. There are other books in the Exposure series that I would like to explore. 

Cold Terror by Susan Sleeman


Gage and Hannah were romantically involved many years ago but Gage couldn’t commit. Now both have lost their spouses and each have a child. Hannah is a forensic artist commissioned to reconstruct a skull when she is attacked. Hannah manages to escape with her son and miraculously they are rescued by Gage. Gage now owns his own protection/training facility so he takes Hannah and her son there in order to keep her safe from the man that has tried to kill her more than once. Can Hannah trust Gage to protect she and her son? And what are they to do with the feelings that have seemed to be reignited after all of these years?

Cold Terror starts off exciting and doesn’t stop until the very last page! Since this is a novella the romance happens pretty quickly, but it works because Hannah and Gage have already had a relationship. The suspense is exciting and keeps the reader engaged and wanting more. I especially liked the spiritual scenes. They weren’t preachy, but they were truthful and insightful and not only spoke to the characters, but also spoke to my heart. I definitely recommend. 

Once a Thief by Jan Thompson

Reuben was once an art thief, but he has done his time in prison and paid his dues. He is now helping the good guys find stolen art. Helen owns a private investigation company. She has just discovered that her mother was involved in the theft of some famous eggs(not the Faberge ones), and now her mother has been kidnapped and Helen and Reuben have teemed up to find her.

This had the potential to be a good story, but unfortunately I just found it to be disjointed and hard to follow. It does say that it is a stand-alone, but there are other books in the series. I felt like we were plopped into the middle of something that we were clueless about. And the romance between Helen and Reuben did not ring true to me. It was rushed, and random. 

So there you go, my review of the 8 books in this compilation. I'd give the whole set a 4 out of 5! If you are a fan of short stories then this will probably be right up your alley. If you love suspense and romance then definitely try it out!


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pride & Prejudice Read-Along-Week 1


I've been waiting for this Read-Along for a long time now! If you have read my blog you have seen several times in the past that Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite Jane Austen book. I have several copies of P&P and debated which one I would use for this read-along. I have opted for a Kindle version that I got for free a while back. I can't find the exact copy of it now, but I find it is easier on my eyes to read on my Kindle than to try and read the small print of one of my hard copies. I've read this book several times over the years since I was a teenager. I've had several different editions of it throughout the years as well. I hope you are joining in on the Read-Along and that you go over to Amber's blog SEASONS OF HUMILITY and check out her posts as we discuss the book. Here's this week's discussion questions and my observations:

Favorite Quote:

One of the most popular quotes of all time:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

And sorry y'all, I can never pick just one quote, especially in this book!

"You take delight in vexing me, You have no compassion for my poor nerves." "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least."

Oh my goodness I love that quote! Mr. Bennet has a sharp tongue all crouched in kindness and mildness and with perfectly gentleman-like manners!

General Impressions:

I love everything about this book! I love how it didn't take long for the entire assembly to realize that Mr. Darcy was a proud and arrogant man, but I loved Charlotte Lucas's assertion that he had every right to be proud and haughty.

"His pride, said Miss Lucas, does not offend ME so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it."

"This is very true, replied Elizabeth, and I could easily forgive HIS pride, if he had not mortified MINE."

I loved the fact that Mr. Bennet surprised the whole family by having gone over and introduced himself to Mr. Bingley before anyone else.

I'm having a hard time separating the movie version and the book version. So far in the book I am not seeing the obnoxiousness of Mrs. Bennet. She of course wants all of her girls to marry well just like the rest of the women in the area want. She does tend to get on Mr. Bennet's nerves it seems, but so far he seems like an indulgent father figure to her.

I'm ready for more!

Questions:

Amber has a set of 3 questions on her blog that you can either answer all 3 or pick and choose which you would like to answer.

 What do you think of the portrayals of marriage/courtship so far? Charlotte claims, "It is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life." Do you agree or disagree?

I think that Mr. Bennet is kind of swamped with women in his life and he much prefers a good book in his library without disturbances of the household. I really think he is leaving the girls in the hands of an indulgent clueless mother and that will come back and bite him in the end. 

As for Charlotte's claim I would tend to disagree. I think you should go into marriage with your eyes wide open so that you aren't broadsided by some definite character flaw. If you can't learn to deal with the flaws in your intended before you are married they are just going to become more magnified through the years of your marriage. 


It's not to late to catch up on the reading and join us! This week we will be reading chapters 7-20.









Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey


The group is investigating several different cases in this book. A friend of Griffin, Parker and Declan is found dead at an office retreat and it looks like he is being framed for murder. Then Declan and Tanner are investigating a human trafficking/terrorist smuggling ring. Both cases are interesting, but the story mainly revolves around Declan and Tanner's relationship as it develops. They are really a sweet couple. Declan's eyes are opened to Tanner's ability to care for herself as they encounter attack after attack. Kate is still searching for Luke and that could lead to danger for all of the team.

I really enjoyed Blind Spot! The exciting events kept the pace moving along to the very end. Not only did the danger that Declan and Tanner found themselves up against, but also the romance between the two, kept this reader entertained and unable to put the book down until the exciting conclusion. And talk about a cliffhanger! Ack! This one has just been released and I am already pining away for the next book! If you haven't read the first 2 books in the Chesapeake Valor series I highly recommend them.

Cold Shot
Still Life


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Pride and Prejudice Read-Along



Okay y'all, I am absolutely too excited for this read-along! P&P is my most favorite Austen read so this will be such a treat to share thoughts with everyone. Head over to Amber's blog Seasons of Humility and check out all of the details! I hope you join us because seriously, THE MORE THE MERRIER!!! I can't wait!!!! (*squeals with delight as I run to find which copy I am going to read!*)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Jessie by Lori Wick


Jessie and Seth's romance and marriage was quick. As was Jessie's temper! Not long after they were married they found themselves arguing all of the time. Nothing Seth did could please Jessie. It became even worse once their daughter was born. Seth couldn't handle anymore and decided it would be best if he left. Leaving Jessie to raise 2 daughters, one that was born after Seth left. Now 8 years later Seth has returned. He's a changed man, but can Jessie ever trust him again?

Seth Redding is a character we met in the Yellow Rose Trilogy. He's the man that abducted Darvi and then fancied himself in love with her. Now after spending time in prison for his part in the abduction Seth has repented and turned his life over to Christ. I love reading stories of changed lives and what the Lord can do with broken people. Seth is definitely changed but Jessie isn't quite sure if she can trust that. And most of all she has no desire to believe in a God that she is sure does not exist. Seth patiently loves her and his daughters. He consistently shows Jessie that he is there to stay. I loved the changed Seth. He was a likable guy in A Texas Sky even though he was totally misguided in his behavior. Another part of the story that I enjoyed was Hannah and Nate's romance. It was sweet and heartwarming. Not my favorite Lori Wick trilogy, but still sweet reads filled with faith and romance.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Assaulted Caramel by Amanda Flower


Bailey King is set to be the next chocolatier at JP Chocolates in New York City. Bailey is called home to her Amish grandparents in Harvest, Ohio right before the big announcement is set to be made. Bailey's grandfather is very ill. The first thing that greets Bailey when she arrives is her grandfather arguing with a man in front of his Amish candy shop. When Bailey's grandfather collapses Bailey is beside herself. Bailey is even more distressed when she discovers the man that her grandfather was arguing with dead in the middle of her grandfather's candy shop kitchen, with Bailey's fingerprints all over the murder weapon!

Feeling like she and her grandparents are being framed for the murder Bailey takes it upon herself to find out who the real killer is. As Bailey's world begins to unravel will she find who the real killer is or will she end up in jail with no secret boyfriend, no best friend, and no famous chocolatier job?

I loved this first book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series! I enjoyed Bailey's character. She's feisty and confident and loyal to her grandparents. Her best friend Cass was hilarious! Her sarcasm and wit made me laugh out loud several times. And of course I have to mention deputy sheriff Aiden Brody...I hope he and Bailey will be an item in the coming books because they are perfect for each other! This series is once again set in Amish country which is author Amanda Flower's forte. She does an excellent job in capturing the Amish community and small-town life. And what would be a book set in a sweet shop without a recipe to try one of those chocolate goodies? There is a recipe for salted caramel fudge at the end of the book that sounds divine and I can't wait to try it! An excellent start to a new series and highly recommended!

P.S. I did make the salted caramel fudge and it was a big hit! mmmmm!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Sabrina by Lori Wick


Is it possible for a prostitutes sins to be forgiven and to be made clean? Sabrina finds that the answer is a resounding YES! Sabrina is brought into the home of a couple who help women like her to find a new life. Through the blood on the cross that Christ shed for her Sabrina finds forgiveness from her sins. But her old life is still close by and so the couple suggests that Sabrina move to Token Creek. There Sabrina finds a job working as a seamstress in Jeanette Fulbright's shop and also working part time for Jessie at the mercantile. Her next step is to find a place to live because Sabrina is used to being independent and refuses to take advantage of Jeanette's hospitality. Unfortunately the only apartment available is in a part of town that Sabrina is all too familiar with. Having a heart for the women in that profession Sabrina soon makes an impression on some of these women. She also has made a few enemies in the men. Sabrina never dreamed that with her background any man would ever want her as a wife. But with Christ's cleansing power and Pastor Rylan Jarvick's love, Sabrina's battered heart begins to heal and she learns that with Christ all things are made new.

Such a sweet story! Lori Wick's characters experience deep sin, yet they come out with a refreshing innocence and newness that only Christ can bring to someone's life. Yes, she does tend towards the preachy, but I like that about her books. They leave me knowing exactly what the Bible teaches on a subject, they don't leave me hanging and wondering, "How did this person get saved when there was no talk of the persons need for salvation?" Once again, a sweet romance blossoms between two unlikely characters. A pastor and a former prostitute! Wow! I like that the romance was slow and that it built rather than being thrust upon the reader out of the blue. I also enjoyed the setting of Token Creek, and am looking forward to reading Jessie's story next.