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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman

When her twin sister Shannon gets married, Cat decides it is time to move out on her own and get a taste of the world to help satisfy her wild-child nature. Cat is angry at God and set to distance herself from Him and from the family that loves her.

Associate Pastor Chase cares deeply for the O'Bryen family and hates to see Cat so hurt and lost. When the family asks him to befriend Cat he is more than willing to help this lost soul find her way back to the God who loves her more than anyone ever could. What Chase doesn't count on is the attraction that they both have for each other. But Chase has vowed to never care for another woman that doesn't share his deep faith and Cat is definitely off-limits in the romance department!

Will Chase be able to help Cat see that God really does love her and that the path that she is walking can only lead to heartache and pain?

OH MY GOODNESS! I love Cat's story! I'm a sucker for Prodigal stories anyway. I love to see how a wayward child of God finds their way back to the Savior. Cat's feelings of never adding up, and her bitterness towards her pastor father are totally believable and heart-breaking. As with all of Julie Lessman's stories, the passion between characters is oh so swoon-worthy! We get to see how Tess and Ben are doing in their newly-married life and my is Tess a firecracker! We also get to read a couple of steamy scenes with Shannon and Sam(get me a fan please! Whew!!). And WHOA, Chase and Cat? Oh my! Those two belong together, but not before Cat is reconciled with the Savior who never lets us go and continually shows His steadfast love even when His child walks away for a time. A perfect ending to the series and a perfect story of Christ bringing one of His own back into the fold. I loved it!

UPDATE: I read this the first time to help edit the book. I then purchased the final copy and reread it. I loved it all over again! I got thrills and chills just as much(and maybe more) than reading it through the first time! I love that this story renewed my hope for those of us who have a Prodigal in our lives. Yes, this is my favorite of this series! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cassidy by Lori Wick

I thought the romance in this one was a bit out of left field. I mean I liked Cassidy and Trace as a couple, but we had no warm up to their couple-ness. I guess it came upon the reader as it came upon Cassidy and Trace, by surprise! ha! Otherwise I really liked this story and Cassidy was a sweet girl who had wonderful morals. Especially when it came to not gossiping about other people. Trace was the perfect cowboy/rescuer/hero even though he was a bit slow and did things a bit backwards in the romance department. The author does tend to preach in her books, but always short "sermons" that lead the characters to make better choices in their lives and point them towards a more perfect relationship with the Savior. If you are looking for passionate kisses in this one don't count on it! Sweet pecks here and there and some longing looks, but that is as far as the physical goes. And just in case you are wondering, I love stories like this!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Disaster Status by Candace Calvert

This is the second time I have read this book and I have to say that I liked it better this go-round! Maybe because this time I have read the first book and the third book so I was familiar with the characters? Scott and Erin are quite the couple. Scott is running away from his responsibilities and Erin is holding resentments against a father who didn't live up to his responsibilities when she was younger. Of course the two of them butt heads from the beginning, but there is a definite attraction. The ER is hopping throughout the book and Scott and Erin cross paths quite a bit since Scott's nephew is a patient at the hospital. The ultimate disaster that pushes Scott and Erin to evaluate their lives has the potential to break them apart. If you enjoy an exciting Emergency Room setting then definitely check into The Mercy Hospital series.

Friday, August 11, 2017

City Girl by Lori Wick

Reagan is an independent young woman on her way from New York City to her new life in Texas. She has accepted a job as a nanny and can't wait to start her new adventure. Unfortunately when she arrives she finds that the job is no longer available.

Chase Rawlings runs a cattle ranch. Chase knows that Reagan is not interested in anything but friendship with a man. She has no desire to marry. When an accident has Chase's housekeeper bedridden Reagan steps in to help care for her and Chase. What Reagan finds is a much more exciting adventure than she ever knew possible!

I love the Rawlings brothers! They are sweet, courteous, strong men that serve and represent their Savior well. Reagan and Cash's story is another sweet example of Lori Wick's writing that takes the reader back to a time when life was much simpler and men were gentlemen and women were cherished. I love the whole series and will definitely miss the characters.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

In this 17th installment of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi seem to butt heads a lot. As usual Mma Ramotswe is much more diplomatic than Mma Makutsi. A client comes in asking the ladies to find her past for her. Things start to not add up, but both Precious(Mma Ramotswe) and Grace(Mma Makutsi) have different ideas as to what the problem is. Add to this case Mr. Polopetsi's latest scheme that gets him in hot water, a stray dog that one of the mechanics hits with a car, and Precious and Grace's arch enemy Violet Sophotho being nominated for Woman of the Year, and you have another brilliant story filled with Mma Ramotswe's brand of philosophy that everyone has a bit of good in them and we should always try and be positive. I love the way Mma Ramotswe always tries to look on the bright side, how she always likes to see the good in people and how she is always managing to bite her tongue where Mma Makutsi is concerned. She has wisdom from observing and not jumping to conclusions. I love her character. I love her "traditional build!" There is a subtle sense of humor that she has that is delightful and her love for her husband, although not very demonstrative, is very deep. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is definitely on my favorite series list!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Texas Sky by Lori Wick

Dakota Rawlings is the middle of the Rawlings brothers. Almost losing his life in a shootout caused him to evaluate his spiritual condition. Yielding his life to the Lord was the best thing that Dakota has ever done. Recovering from his gunshot wounds has been the hardest. When Dakota is asked to escort his boss's niece to her friends house Dakota agrees. Darvi Wingate is determined to get to her friend to share her news. Darvi has finally seen her need for the Lord and she cannot wait to share with the friend that has prayed for her for years. After a wonderful visit with her friend and much needed rest for Dakota he continues to escort Darvi to the train headed for home. Dakota sees a woman that looks like Darvi being led away from the train, but when he follows he can't find the men or the woman so he lets it go. But his spirit is not at rest and after a couple of days with his brother Dakota decides to go back to Aurora and look into what he saw. Trouble seems to follow Darvi around and Dakota is right to go back and check on her. Darvi has been held against her will by a man and his family. The moment he set eyes on Darvi he had to have her. No matter how many times Darvi tells him that she will never care for him, he is determined to try and win her over.

I love Dakota and Darvi's salvation experiences. I love their desire to grow in their relationship with Christ. Both are determined to find answers and live their lives serving Him and most of all to see their parents come to Christ as well. Darvi's abduction experience covers most of the book and the reader even feels a little bit of pity for the man that has been so taken with her. But no matter how nice of a man he seems to be what he has done is wrong and there is no getting around that. As with all of Lori Wick's books, the characters are sweet and likable. The spiritual lessons that the characters learn are woven into their stories and grow them in faith. I really enjoyed this story.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Woman who Walked In Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

If you have never read any of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels then you must remedy that! They are delightful! In this 16th installment it is decided, against her will, that Mma Ramotswe needs a holiday. Grace is to be the head detective while she is away and Charlie and Mr. Polopetsi are enlisted to help her. Mma Ramotswe doesn't know how to relax, and she is now at loose ends while on holiday. Only a couple of days in and Mr. Polopetsi comes to her with concerns about Grace's ability to handle their newest case. Through twists and turns everything works out as it always does through politeness and concern for others' feelings.

I love Mma Ramotswe's logic in dealing with people, she has a wisdom that shows she cares deeply for her clients as well as for her friends. And even though Grace can be grating she has a good heart and she proves herself to also have the ability to handle cases on her own. I enjoyed every bit of this book!

Every Little Thing About You by Lori Wick

I'm pretty much  a fan of anything Lori Wick has ever written and this is no exception. I love this series. Slater and Liberty are a fun couple. I love the innocence of these romances. There is a restrained passion between the couple that shows honor towards each other and towards God. Slater is a new Christian and has recently left his job as a Ranger to find a more permanent home where he can grow in his newfound faith. Liberty is her sheriff brothers backup whenever he needs her. The couple has a rocky start when Liberty has to arrest Slater for not relinquishing his gun and Slater refuses to pay the $10 fine to get out of jail. Once Slater repents of his stubbornness and pride he pays up and seeks employment in town. It isn't sitting right with him that Liberty has to put herself in danger to protect her brother. Liberty too has some pride issues in that she believes that she is the only one that can protect her brother. Even though they are attracted to each other will they both be able to yield their pride and let God do His job? Every Little Thing About You is the first book in this 3 book series. I have read them before and I'm definitely a fan of the Rawlings brothers! Next up: A Texas Sky where we read about Dakota Rawlings.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

Haley has always had nightmares of another life that seem so real. Now, Twenty-five years later, Haley is finding out that those nightmares are real. Someone killed her family all those years ago and now they have found Haley and are determined to get rid of her as well. Haley must call on the full agency of her co-workers in the Elite Guardians to protect herself and those she has become close to in order to help her delve into a past that has haunted her for years.

From the moment Steven meets Haley he is captivated. Especially by her Irish brogue that comes out now and then! Steven marvels at Haley's strength and positive attitude when life has been so hard. Steven's brother was killed years before, so he is no stranger to heartache. Steven doesn't know why, but he is drawn to protect Haley as one attempt after another is made on her life.

I enjoyed this last book of the Elite Guardian series. Haley grew up on the streets, but yet she is not tainted by that upbringing. I loved the suspense throughout the book. The action kept the book moving along and the relationships developed at a quick pace. I love a strong female character and Haley was a perfect fit for the Elite Guardians. If you haven't read this series I highly recommend it!

Check out my reviews of the other books in the series:

Always Watching

Without Warning

Moving Target