Monday, April 30, 2012

Back Home Again by Melody Carlson

This is the first book in the Tales from Grace Chapel Inn series.  I didn't expect such a religious book but should not have been surprised based on the title.  However, the religous piece was not overdone.  There is some praying but it doesn't drone on or try to make anyone a convert.

The sleepy town of Acorn Hill is in for a surprise when the three Howard sisters reunite after the death of their father. Each has inherited a share of his worn-down Victorian house, and they dream of turning the family home into a bed-and-breakfast.

But these three women are as different as siblings can be - can they survive living together, let alone going into business together? It looks like their dream may be headed for disaster! Only by learning to work together, trusting in God, and accepting a little help from their friends can the three sisters see Grace Chapel Inn open its doors.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The book is so much better than the movie.  The thoughts and feelings that the characters endure can't be explained as well in movie format.  I didn't like the filming format of the movie which made me so glad I read the book.  Even the clothing choices in the movie weren't up to my mind's expectations.  so definitely read the book.
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games.

Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch.

When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some who have trained for this their whole lives.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

This is the 3rd book in the Outlander series.  It's a time travel, adventure/romance whirlwind of a story. Don't be thrown off by the 870 pages.  There isn't a spot in the book that drags. 
In "Voyager", Claire, now realizing that the love of her life and soulmate survived the battle of Culloden, makes the decision to go back in time and find James Fraser, as for the past twenty years her love for him has remained constant.

Leaving her daughter, Brianna, she once more hurls herself into the vortex of time to eighteenth century Scotland to begin her search for James Fraser, in hope of being reunited with her 'Jamie'.

This book tells the story of what happened to Claire Randall and James Fraser in those intervening twenty years. It tells of their ultimate reunion and rediscovery. With historical events as a backdrop and an unforgettable cast of characters, it regales the reader with their new adventures, as Claire returns to a still divided, turmoil ridden Scotland. Reunited with James Fraser, none the worse for wear, they seek to make a life for themselves. Their reunion is passionate but not peaceful for long. Jamie and Claire's efforts to save his nephew, Ian take them on a voyage, sailing the high seas all the way to the West Indies. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Right Next Door by Debbie Macomber

Right Next Door is actually 2 books in one. 
This review is for the first book - Father's Day.  It's a cute book, fast reading.  It has a touch of sadness in just the right amount.

Now that Robin Masterson has bought a new house, her ten year old son Jeff wants nothing more than a dog, which unfortunately Robin can't afford. Jeff soon bonds with the dog next door and Robin soon finds herself bonding with the dog's owner Cole Camden. Robin and Jeff seem to break the wall that Cole built around his heart after a devastating tragedy but Robin can't help but wonder if Cole is getting involved with them for the wrong reasons. It will take everything Cole has to convince Robin that he is indeed falling in love with her.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Provence Cure For the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher

In my opinion, this book had the potential to be so much better than it was.  I didn't care for most of the characters, the story line kept taking the wrong paths.  Most of the time, if I don't like the story I put the book down and move on to the next one so I rarely have a bad book review.  I kept reading it thinking it would get better, because it had potential.  It was just not my style, though some may think it's a great book.
Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since before World War II.

Heidi, owns a bakery in the States and instead of getting into her baking for release, she just remains a self-absorbed whiner for the entire book.

There, Charlotte confesses a shocking secret, and Heidi learns the truth about her mother’s “lost summer” when Heidi was a child. As three generations collide with one another, with the neighbor who seems to know all of their family skeletons, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, Heidi, Charlotte, and Abbot journey through love, loss, and healing amid the vineyards, warm winds and delicious food of Provence. Can the magic of the house heal Heidi’s heart, too?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Rather Lovely Inheritance by C.A. Belmond

It was fun reading about someone who actually inherited a flat in London and decides to stay for awhile.  When another family member who did not inherit as much  decides to contest the will, the adventure begins.
After her Aunt Penelope dies, historical researcher Penny Nichols is astonished to learn that not only is she a bona fide heiress-but she's also been invited to put her research skills to work.

This time, the history she's researching happens to be her very own. What she discovers about Aunt Penelope-a pair of wills, double lives, secret histories, and a family tree of vultures-is about to sweep Penny and a long-lost relative across France, over the hills of Italy, and throughout half of Europe on the adventure of several lifetimes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Virgin River by Robyn Carr

This is the first book I have read by Robyn Carr and I will be back to read more of her work.  There is some sadness to deal with, but overall an enjoyable read, with a bit of romance.
Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

Recently widowed Melinda Monroe want to get away from her frantic job in an LA hospital's emergency room.  When Mel sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to re-energize the midwife/nursing career she loves.

Her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich can do no wrong by me.  I have enjoyed every book I read by her and this is another addition to my list.
Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan.
Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. 
Kate is having trouble finding work, so Matt Culhane gives Kate a chance working at his micro-brewery/restaurant.  Kate's job is to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. 
If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss. 
As you read it, you may think her parents are a bit exaggerated, but let me say from first hand experience, parents can sometimes be self-absorbed in their love for each other.
A great read, Evanovich style!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Turn In The Road by Debbie Macomber

Even though this is suggested as a knitting related book, there is very little knitting that happens.  This is a book about 3 women that travel from Seattle, WA to Vero Beach, FL.  The story was told so well I felt as though I was traveling with them and fortunately they were 3 women whose company I enjoyed.

In the middle of the year, in the middle of her life, Bethanne Hamlin takes a road trip with her daughter, Annie, and her former mother-in-law, Ruth.

They're driving to Florida for Ruth's 50th high-school reunion. A longtime widow, Ruth would like to reconnect with Royce, the love of her teenage life. She's heard he's alone, too…and, well, she's curious.

Bethanne's ex-husband, Grant—her children's father—divorced her when he fell in love with a younger woman.  He wants to reconcile now that his second marriage has failed. Bethanne is considering it - which really bothered me, but it's her life.

Annie, a young 20 something, is out to prove to her onetime boyfriend that she can live a brilliant life without him!

So there they are, three women driving across America. They have their maps and their directions—but even the best-planned journey can take you to a turn in the road.

Go with them, it's a great adventure!