Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Too Deep

Ethan Kincaid proposes marriage with the same casual detachment he gives every decision. He never expected his bride to affect him—or anger him!—so much.

Audra Gilliland accepts Ethan’s proposal so she can stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter. She absolutely does not need a man to care for her.

It was supposed to be a marriage of convenience. But now, heaven help them, are they in too deep . . . or are they deeply in love?

Book 2 in Mary Connealy's The Kincaid Brides series focuses on second brother Ethan and his relationship with Audra as they begin life as man and wife.

This is a wonderful continuation of the first book in the series. The events flow seamlessly from one book to another and changing the focus from one brother to the other, Rafe in the first book to Ethan in the second book, is done smoothly.

We are treated to plenty of time with all the folks we met in the first book and the story continues as the boys and their wives settle in to their new homes and try to find the money that Audra's first husband Wendell hid somewhere - and they aren't alone. Jasper's men have followed them and are not about to go away without that money.

Highly recommended.


I received my copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a Southern gentleman with a thirst for adventure. Both need a place to call home.

After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie Daly has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still, she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.

Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He’s determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.

Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness has eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to open their hearts and claim God's promise to trade beauty for ashes.

Dorothy Love takes us back to Hickory Ridge for the second book in the series.

As the story opens, Carrie is picking up her dress for the wedding of her only brother (only family for that matter, as their parents have been long dead) Henry to Mary Stanhope. Carrie has misgivings. Mary treats Carrie more like a servant than a sister-in-law. And Mary's boys! Oh my goodness - those boys need put over someone's knee for a good paddlin'! And they will all be living together on the farm Carrie and Henry have lived on all their lives. Or will they? Carrie soon finds that she can't continue to be treated badly in her own home so she leaves.

Where will that leave Henry, Mary and her boys? And what part does handsome stranger Griff play? Very attractive, very friendly - and clearly not in the market for a relationship and, even more clearly, not planning to stay in Hickory Ridge once the race is over. Will Carrie change his mind?

Highly recommended.


My copy was provided via Kindle by BookSneeze for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sonoma Rose

As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview.

Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa's resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive.

As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave-or foolhardy-enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa's first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa's vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents-officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa's daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard-despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.

I finished the latest installment in the Elm Creek Quilts series by Jennifer Chaiverini this week and I have to say that I don't really see it as an "Elm Creek" book. Yes there are a couple of mentions made of Elizabeth Nelson (Sylvia's cousin) and Rosa and Lars were first introduced in an Elm Creek novel (Triumph Ranch) but other than that, there is nothing to connect this book to Elm Creek Quilts. Quilting also only receives brief passing mentions.

That said, the book was very good. Ms. Chaiverini really educated herself on the wine growing process and Prohibition. The book was very well researched. The descriptions were, as usual for the Elm Creek books, very detailed.

All in all it was a great book but if you are looking for a book about quilters and quilting or even a continuation of the Bergstrom story or life at Elm Creek Quilt Camp, this is not where you will find it.


The Scent of Cherry Blossoms

Annie Martin loves the Plain ways of her Old Order Mennonite people, like those revered by her beloved grandfather. Retreating from a contentious relationship with her mother, Annie goes to live with her Daadi Moses in Apple Ridge.

But as spring moves into Pennsylvania and Annie spends time amongst the cherry trees with the handsome Aden Zook, she wishes she could forget how deeply the lines between the Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite are drawn.

Can Annie and Aden find a place for their love to bloom in the midst of the brewing storm?

In this story we get better acquainted with some characters we met in The Christmas Singing.

This book has all the charm of a Cindy Woodsmall book but it just didn't grab me the way her books normally do. The writing was good but I just didn't find myself drawn to the characters the way I do in most of her books.


My free copy was given to me by WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.