Sunday, July 29, 2012

Highland Sanctuary


Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor takes you deep into medieval Ireland into the Village of Outcasts.  Gavin MacKenzie has journeyed far from his clan to restore Braigh Castle and protect the new owner from mysterious happenings surrounding the area.  Gavin is surprised to find beautiful Serena Boyd in the Village of Outcasts which lies besides Braigh Castle.  Everyone else there has an apparent disability or hardship, but why would Serena be there unless she was hiding something or from someone, or maybe both.  Despite Serena’s many secrets Gavin is drawn to her.  As he continues to fall in love with her he will have to protect her from her past, her future and the mounting amount of enemies that assail the village bent to take her. 

I am not going to lie; I am going to read this at least one more time!  I lost a lot sleep due to this wonderful book and don’t regret it one bit!  I enjoyed Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s first book, Highland Blessing, but this one is ten times better!  I absolutely adore anything medieval and this book was pure joy to read.  The layers of generational bitterness, lost love, and betrayal and how it affects Gavin and Serena is chilling.  Serena’s many secrets should hinder Gavin’s attraction, but only make him feel the need to protect her more.  Serena’s fellow villagers were a sweet and loyal bunch that I absolutely fell in love with.  This book has adventure, romance, and intrigue –just the way I like it! 
Highland Sanctuary

Belonging


Belonging by Robin Lee Hatcher is the story of new beginnings for Felicia Kristoffersen.  Felicia knows the pains of crossing the country on the orphan train waiting for a family to take her in.  She has waited sixteen years to escape the unloving home she was placed in and follow her dreams of teaching.  Her opportunity has finally arrived in Frenchman’s Bluff, Idaho.  Colin Murphy, a store keeper, widowed father and a member of the school board has opposed Felicia’s presence from the very beginning.  He fears that she will up and marry and leave his daughter heartbroken like the last two teachers did.  He doesn’t expect that his staunch opposition begins to blossom into something entirely different. 

I am a sucker for novels with school teachers in them since I taught for six years.  This is my first Robin Lee Hatcher novel and I enjoyed it.  It was a very quick read and I finished in a couple of days.  The history of the orphan trains was a very interesting and sorrowful component.  I loved the character development of Charity; she gave the story a humorous aspect.  This was a good old fashioned love story!  
Belonging (Where The Heart Lives)

Summer of Promise


Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot is the story of Abigail and her journey to see her sister in remote and wild Wyoming.  Abigail senses that her sister Charlotte is unhappy as a newly married officer’s wife so far from family and sets out to spend the summer with her.  Abigail leaves lush and vibrant Vermont and plans to promptly return to her fiancĂ© and teaching job as soon as possible.  Her trip begins with excitement as her stagecoach is nearly robbed and doesn’t slow down as continual thefts haunt the fort.  Abigail will not only have to help her sister, but solve the thefts, help a desperate harlot and try not to fall in love with a dashing officer.  If she is not careful she will leave her heart in Wyoming! 

This was a great read and is the beginning of a series. I haven’t read any Amanda Cabot books before and I really enjoyed her work.  The continual thefts were a very exciting element and the mystery kept me guessing until the very end.  Abigail was a very devoted character and I was rooting for her to choose a new life in Wyoming over going back to Vermont!  I am a dog person so I absolutely loved Puddles!  Oh and I can’t forget the love story-very sweet and satisfying! 
Summer of Promise (Westward Winds, Book 1)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Silly Doggy!

Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower is the story of Lily and the rather large surprise she found in her yard.  Lily has always wanted a doggy and finally her dream has come true!  Silly doggy is perfect for Lily, except that he is grumpy, doesn’t eat dog food, doesn’t like walks, can’t do tricks, and doesn’t listen.  Mommy says that Silly Doggy has a family that is missing him and Lily needs to find them.  Much to Lily’s surprise the zookeeper comes knocking on the door because Silly Doggy is actually a missing animal from the zoo!  Lily is so sad until she wakes up to a new pet waiting for her in the yard! 

This story is so wonderful!  I can’t read it enough to my three year old!  The story is so funny and you can’t help but fall in love with Lily and Silly Doggy!  The storyline is fantastic, but it is the pictures that make this story so special.  Adam Stower definitely has a gift!  We will be looking for more titles from this author/illustrator!  This story is for your keeper shelf! 

Provided by the publisher for review
Silly Doggy!

Huff and Puff: Can You Blow Down the Houses of the Three Little Pigs?


Huff and Puff:  Can You Blow Down the Houses of the Three Pigs?  is a very fun twist of the Three Little Pigs by Claudia Rueda.  In this interactive story the reader gets to be the big bad wolf!  As the big bad wolf you get to huff and puff two little pigs out of their houses.   You have to try really hard when you get to the brick house, but the three little pigs have a big surprise for you big bad wolf! 

My daughter is three and does not like anything remotely scary right now, so this book was so perfect.  She got such a kick out of being the big bad wolf and has wanted to read it constantly since we got it.  She just cracks up at getting to huff and puff throughout the book!  The illustrations are so soft and sweet!  This is a wonderful book for preschoolers and beginning readers!  Highly recommend! 

Provided by the publisher for review
Huff & Puff: Can You Blow Down the Houses of the Three Little Pigs?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Love in Disguise


Love in Disguise by Carol Cox is the story of Ellie Moore.  Ellie has been the faithful assistant to a famous actress in Chicago, but finds herself suddenly without a job and without options.  Luckily Ellie stumbles upon a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and is whisked away to sunny Arizona.  Ellie is supposed to play a small role in the investigation of the silver thefts, but is left high and dry by her partner.  Ellie is forced to pretend to be two different people, solve the mystery of the silver thefts on her own and protect her heart from mine owner Steven Pierce.  Ellie is about to play the role of a life time! 
I read a lot of historical fiction and sometimes it feels that I am reading the same storyline over and over again with just different names.  This book was so refreshingly different!   I loved the mystery, secret identities, and the blooming romance between Jessie, A.K.A Ellie and Steven.  The character development was superb and I especially loved Amos Crawford.  I could not peg the villain in this one until he was exposed in the very end.  This was a very fun read! 

Provided by Bethany House for review
Love in Disguise

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy

 
Let’s Sing a Lulliby with the Brave Cowboy is Jan Thomas’s latest book.  The brave cowboy is trying to sing his cows a lullaby goodnight, but keeps getting interrupted by such scary things as a flower that he thought was a spider, a stick he thought was a snake and so on.  He finally convinces himself to stop screaming like a little girl every time something looks scary when a wolf shows up.  How will the brave cowboy protect his cows from the wolf?  By singing his lullaby of course! 
I am a huge Jan Thomas fan and I absolutely adore this charming new western!  Her illustrations are always very vivid, amusing and absolutely jump off the pages.  When I was a librarian I always used her books for read alouds and now that I am a full-time mommy she is now a very special part of my own children’s day.  I love that her stories are not only great for beginning readers to practice on, but are always so fun.  She is just as good as Mo Willems and all of her titles belong on your keeper shelf!

Provided by the publisher for review

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy