Friday, December 31, 2010

A Daughter for Christmas


DALEY, MARGARET
A DAUGHTER FOR CHRISTMAS

Dr. Max Connors had no idea he'd fathered a child thirteen years ago. Or that his baby girl had been given up for adoption. He locates his daughter in a small Oklahoma town and moves there, hoping to become a part of her life. But when he meets her widowed mother, Max is unsure how to reveal his identity. As he helps Rachel Howard with her plans to homeschool the girl, he's welcomed into the family. But with the holidays approaching, Max must tell Rachel who he really is. Can he make his dreams of family come true by Christmas?

MARGARET DALEY HAS DONE IT AGAIN -- PICKED THE MOST EMOTIONALLY COMPLICATED SITUATION SHE COULD THINK OF AND THEN PLUNKED HER CHARACTERS INTO THE MIDDLE OF IT! EMOTIONS RIDE HIGH WHEN YOU READ THIS BOOK BUT DALEY DOES A GREAT JOB OF BALANCING THE ANGST WITH HEARTWARMING MOMENTS. I PARTICULARLY ENJOYED MAX BEING INITIATED INTO THE JOYS OF CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS BY RACHEL AND HER LITTLE FAMILY.THIS IS A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY READ.

The Unfinished Gift


WALSH, DAN
THE UNFINISHED GIFT

Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gifts in the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts -- a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved solider, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.

A DEFINITE KLEENEX ALERT NEEDED BEFORE YOU OPEN THIS BOOK AND DELVE INTO AN EMOTIONAL READ THAT EMBRACES THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. WALSH TELLS HIS STORY FROM MULTIPLE POINTS OF VIEW BUT THE CONTINUITY IS INCREDIBLE. AND HE'S A MASTER AT CREATING AUTHENTIC VOICES WHETHER THEY BE A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY, A DOUR GRANDFATHER, AN ELDERLY ITALIAN NEIGHBOUR, A FIGHTER PILOT, AN EMOTIONAL SOCIAL SERVICES WORKER OR EVEN A DOWN AND OUT AFRICAN AMERICAN. WALSH CAPTURES THEM ALL TO PERFECTION AND THE UNFINISHED GIFT IS DESTINED TO BE A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ANY TIME OF THE YEAR!

Rocky Mountain Hero

X
HARDERS, AUDRA
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HERO

With a broken-down truck, miles to go and little money, single mother Melanie Hunter needs help. It comes in the handsome form of rancher Gabe Davidson. He'll pay for the three-week repair job and provide lodging for her and her boy -- if she'll take coordinating the town barbecue off his busy hands. Melanie accepts, figuring she'll soon be on her way to her new life. But as she gets to know the kinds townspeople -- and the hardworking cowboy her son adores -- she realizes she's found her home. Now if only her Rocky Mountain hero will ask her to stay.

THIS AMAZING DEBUT NOVEL IS PACKED WITH SIZZLING ROMANCE! IT'S IN THE GESTURES, THE COVERT LOOKS, THE FLASHES OF INSIGHT, THE GROWING AWARENESS....SIGH...AND THE ALPHA-MALE HERO DOESN'T HURT EITHER! LOL.

LOVED THE FLOW OF THE STORY. HARDERS PACKED A LOT INTO THE PLOT BUT I DIDN'T FEEL HURRIED. HER PACING IS DEAD ON AND SHE TAKES THE TIME TO DEVELOP HER CHARACTERS -- INCLUDING SECONDARY ONES -- SO THAT THEY ARE MEMORABLE. IN FACT, I THINK SHE HAS SET US UP FOR THE SEQUEL...AT LEAST I HOPE SO.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:

LOVED THE CIRCLE D RANCH: HARDERS HAS A MAGIC WAY WITH DESCRIPTION. IT DOESN'T BURDEN THE STORY, BUT RATHER ENHANCES IT. I'VE NEVER BEEN WEST OF TORONTO BUT I'D SWEAR I'VE WALKED THE ENTIRE ACREAGE OF THE CIRCLE D.

LOVED THE TOWN COMMUNITY HARDERS CREATED. WE'RE ACTUALLY INTRODUCED TO A NUMBER OF TOWNSFOLK AND YET IT DIDN'T FEEL CONFUSING OR TAKE AWAY FROM THE MAIN CHARACTERS STORIES AT ALL. I GUESS THE KEY IS THAT THESE SECONDARY CHARACTERS WERE IN PLACE TO HELP DEFINE THE HERO AND HEROINE.

LOVED GABE'S GENTLEMANLY MANNERS. SIGH. IT'S A DYING ART THAT REALLY SHOULD BE RESURRECTED. HERE'S A GLIMPSE FROM PAGE 39:

GABE PULLED INTO A SPACE DOWN A SIDE ROAD. HE SLIPPED OUT OF THE TRUCK, CIRCLED AROUND TO HER SIDE AND OPENED THE DOOR BEFORE SHE HAD HER SEATBELT OFF. UNACCUSTOMED TO THE COURTESY, MELANIE STARED AT HIM.

"WHY'D YOU OPEN THE DOOR?" JASON PUSHED AGAINST THE BACK DOOR AND HOPPED OUT. "WAS THE LOCK STUCK?"

GABE HELD THE DOOR. "A LADY NEVER OPENS HER OWN DOOR."

"MOM ALWAYS OPENS HER OWN DOOR. EVEN WHEN SHE'S SICK."

UNCOMFORTABLE BEING THE TOPIC OF DISCUSSION. MELANIE GRABBED HER PURSE AND ANGLED OUT OF THE CAB. "I'M MADE OF STURDY STUFF."

GABE CLOSED THE DOOR BEHIND HER AND INDICATED THE SIDEWALK. "BUD, A MAN'S GOT CERTAIN OBLIGATIONS, AND SHOWING RESPECT TO A LADY IS THE BIGGEST ONE."

LOVED HOW FIERCELY PROTECTIVE MELANIE IS OF HER SON, JASON, AND HOW VULNERABLE THAT MAKES HER.

LOVED WATCHING THE GENTLE FAITH-THREAD GROW STRONGER THROUGHOUT THE STORY. ADORED GABE AS A SPIRITUAL LEADER.

LOVED THE FACT THAT I COULD SEE EVERYTHING SO CLEARLY. IT WAS LIKE WATCHING A MOVIE. I COULD FEEL THE SULTRY HEAT OF SUMMER, SMELL THE BARBECUE COOKING, HEAR THE RANCH SOUNDS, SMELL THE BARN...DEFINITELY A MULTI-SENSORY READ.
AS YOU CAN SEE THERE'S LOTS TO LOVE ABOUT ROCKY MOUNTAIN HERO. IT'S A DEFINITE MUST READ.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Rancher's Reunion


RADCLIFFE, TINA
THE RANCHER'S REUNION

Will Sullivan's reason for refusing marriage is his biggest secret. To Will, it's part of his legacy, like the family's ranch. But then the woman he has secretly loved since childhood returns home after two years. Abandoned as a child the way he was, Annie Harris understands him. But she doesn't know the real reason keeping him a bachelor. A missionary nurse, Annie is planning to leave soon. Especially when a senseless scandal involving her threatens the ranch—and Will's future. But can he trust in rekindled love to see that Annie just might be his future?

THIS STUNNING DEBUT NOVEL HAS ALL THE ELEMENTS OF A BEST SELLER -- ROMANCE, CONFLICT, HUMOUR AND A PLOT THAT KEEPS A READER ON HER TOES. RADCLIFFE'S DISTINCTIVE VOICE IS LACED WITH HUMOUR WHICH MAKES READING A PLEASURE. IN PARTICULAR, I LOVED THE SNAPPY DIALOGUE BETWEEN WILL AND ANNIE RIGHT FROM WILL'S INSPIRING WORDS IN THE FIRST SENTENCE OF THE BOOK. "YOU LOOK AWFUL."

I AM AMAZED AT THE EMOTIONAL DEPTH , THE ISSUES DEALT WITH AND THE IMMENSE FEELING OF SATISFACTION I GOT AT THE CONCLUSION. THE WRITING WAS TIGHT BUT VIVID ENOUGH TO TRANSPORT ME INTO ANNIE AND WILL'S WORLD AND ONCE I WAS THERE, I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE. RADCLIFFE HANDLED THEIR INDIVIDUAL ANGST WITH COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING AND THE GOSPEL MESSAGE REALLY SPOKE (NOT PREACHED) TO ME.

THINGS I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK:

LOVED TO HATE MARGARET

LOVED THE INTIMATE CONNECTIONS RADCLIFFE BUILT BETWEEN WILL AND ANNIE -- LIKE THIS ONE:

"ANNIE?"
WHEN SHE TURNED HER HEAD THEIR EYES MET IN THE MOONLIT TRUCK.
"I WANT YOU TO KNOW I'M PROUD OF YOU."
SHE BOWED HER HEAD, LOCKING THE WORDS AWAY TO BE SAVORED LATER.
(P.14)

LOVED THE YEARNING - ACHINGLY EVIDENT IN BOTH OF THEM AND YET DETERMINEDLY PUSHED ASIDE THROUGH MOST OF THE BOOK.

LOVED ROSE!!!!!! A PERFECT SECONDARY CHARACTER WHO KNOWS ALL AND IMPATIENTLY BIDES HER TIME AS SHE WATCHES WILL AND ANNIE DANCE AROUND ONE ANOTHER.

LOVED THAT WILL AND ANNIE WERE CONNECTED FROM THEIR PAST. GROWING UP TOGETHER PROVIDED A CLOSENESS THAT HELPED PROPEL THE ROMANCE REALISTICALLY

LOVED WHAT I THINK IS A HINT ABOUT THE NEXT IN THE SERIES WHICH WILL BE OUT LATE 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Shoebox : A Christmas Story


RIVERS, FRANCINE
THE SHOEBOX : A CHRISTMAS STORY

This tender Christmas novella tells the story of Timmy O'Neil, a foster child who arrives at his new home with a very mysterious shoe box. At first glance, it's nothing special -- just an ordinary box with a red lid and the words Running Shoes printed on the side.

But Timmy carries it with him wherever he goes, and when people ask him what's inside, he smiles and says, "Just things."

As Timmy settles into his new, loving home, he remains unwilling to share the secrets of his shoe box...until the beauty of the church Nativity pageant inspires him to open his heart and give the most precious gift of all.

THIS HEARTWARMING READ DOESN'T TAKE LONG BUT IT PACKS AN EMOTIONAL PUNCH AND IS PEPPERED WITH PERSONAL NOTES AND RECIPES FROM FRANCINE RIVERS ABOUT THE TRADITIONS SHE AND HER FAMILY CELEBRATE AT CHRISTMAS TIME. DEFINITELY DESTINED TO BE A CHRISTMAS CLASSIC AT MY HOUSE!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yuletide Cowboy


CLOPTON, DEBRA
YULETIDE COWBOY

After three years in Mule Hollow's women's shelter, single mother Lynn Perry is finally spending the holidays in her own house. And then the town's matchmakers send over a hunky cowboy to hang Christmas lights…Lynn hopes there's no mistletoe around. With her painful past, how can she trust another man? Especially former bull rider and current pastor Chance Turner, who isn't planning on sticking around—or ever preaching again. Unless Lynn, twin boys and the matchmakers help her yuletide cowboy see he's the answer to a family's—and a town's—Christmas prayers.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE CLOPTON'S 'VOICE'. HER DESCRIPTIONS AND DIALOGUE ARE RICH WITH LOCAL DIALECT AND TRANSPORTED ME INTO THE STATE OF TEXAS -- AND COWBOY COUNTRY. AND SHE INTRODUCED ME TO THE WONDERS OF SMALL TOWN LIVING AND THE CRAZY MIX OF MULE HOLLOW RESIDENTS. ALL OF THIS ADDED DIMENSION TO THE STORY AND ENHANCED THE ROMANCE.

CHANCE TURNER IS A HERO DESTINED TO SEND SHIVERS UP YOUR SPINE. HIS EASY GOING DRAWL, THE WAY HE CARES ABOUT PEOPLE -- LYNN AND HER TWINS ESPECIALLY -- THE OLD-WORLD CHARM THAT IS FAST FADING IN TODAY'S MODERN SOCIETY -- HIS DELIBERATE DETERMINATION TO WIN LYNN'S TRUST -- ALL CONTRIBUTE TO SUPER HERO STATUS AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.

LYNN'S SITUATION AND SUBSEQUENT STRUGGLES ARE REALISTICALLY AND COMPASSIONATELY PORTRAYED. HER STRENGTH AND DETERMINATION COMBINED WITH HER STUBBORNNESS MAKE HER EASY TO CARE ABOUT -- BOTH FOR THE READER AND CHANCE!

THIS IS THE THIRD IN THE MEN OF MULE HOLLOW TRILOGY. I HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST TWO, BUT WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY IN MARCH WHEN HARLEQUIN RELEASES TWO BOOKS IN ONE. I'LL DEFINITELY BE ORDERING THAT CLASSIC!

Hidden in the Shadows


WHITE, HOPE
HIDDEN IN THE SHADOWS

An intruder in her house? But why? Tea shop owner Krista Yates has nothing worth stealing, and Wentworth, Michigan, is hardly a danger zone…or is it? DEA agent Luke McIntyre warns Krista that the prowler has some dangerous connections, and that she needs around-the-clock protection. Luke's presence in her life is a bit too easy to get used to—and his growing presence in her heart makes her dread saying goodbye. But her nonstop defender can't hide Krista away forever. And there's more than her safety—or her love—at risk when the threat steps out of the shadows again.

WHAT A GREAT FRESH SPIN ON A BOOK IN THE LOVE INSPIRED SUSPENSE LINE! IT HAS A TWISTY MYSTERY THAT NEARLY SPINS OUT OF CONTROL UNTIL ALL THE PIECES ARE PUT TOGETHER -- AND THIS READER FIGURED IT OUT JUST BEFORE THE HERO. TALK ABOUT ANGST!

KRISTA AND LUKE ARE SUCH POLAR OPPOSITES THAT IT MAKES THE ROMANCE REALLY INTERESTING. BUT THEY ALSO EACH HAVE CHARACTERISTICS THAT THE OTHER NEEDS IN ORDER TO BE COMPLETE. WATCHING THEM DANCE AROUND THEIR ATTRACTION AND EVENTUALLY SUCCUMB TO IT MADE FOR VERY SATISFYING READ.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Bodyguard


DALEY, MARGARET
CHRISTMAS BODYGUARD

Someone's after wealthy Texan Slade Caulder's daughter. Desperate to keep her safe while he determines the motive, the widowed father hires a bodyguard for Abbey. A female bodyguard, with the training to protect the girl—and an understanding of a willful teenager who keeps trying to outsmart her. Elizabeth Walker is the perfect combination of caring and toughness for her job. But as the holidays approach, the stalker's threats escalate. And Slade finds himself willing to risk everything to keep his Christmas bodyguard by his side…forever.

THIS IS A PERFECT BLEND OF SUSPENSE AND ROMANCE -- AND THAT'S A HARD BALANCE TO ACHIEVE IN A SHORT NOVEL. DALEY MADE EVERY WORD COUNT AND EXPERTLY FED SUBTLE CLUES AND MULTIPLE RED HERRINGS THAT KEPT ME GUESSING RIGHT TO THE VERY END. I LOVE HOW SHE WOVE THE ROMANCE INTO EVERY SCENE, SLOWLY BUILDING THE ATTRACTION WHILE REVEALING PIECES OF BOTH THE HERO AND HEROINE'S PAST. OF COURSE THAT PAST LEADS TO OBSTACLES BUT THEY ARE REALISTICALLY DEALT WITH BY THE END OF THE BOOK. I ALSO LOVE DALEY'S WRITING STYLE -- SHE MEASURES HER WORDS AND EVERY ONE OF THEM COUNTS IN A SHORT BOOK LIKE THIS BUT I NEVER FELT RUSHED OR THAT ANYTHING IN THE PLOT WAS LACKING. THIS IS A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS READ.

Friday, December 17, 2010

One Special Christmas and Home for the Holidays


HANNON, IRENE
ONE SPECIAL CHRISTMAS AND HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Irene Hannon explores the gift of love in these holiday stories.

One Special Christmas

It started with her daughter's tummy aches. But Dr. Eric Carlson has more than medicine to offer Kate Nolan. First, he finds a babysitter for the single mom's little girl. Next, he'll mend Kate's tattered heart -- just in time for Christmas.

Home for the Holidays

Sparks fly every time Nick Sinclair encounters Laura Taylor, yet the skittish widow holds Nick at arm's length. Her past has shaken her trust in God…and in love. But a leap of faith could win her a Christmas treasure—a lifetime of Nick's devotion.

THESE REISSUED STORIES FROM THE LATE NINETIES MADE FOR A FANTASTIC HOLIDAY READ. THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THE SMOOTH STORYTELLING SKILLS OF IRENE HANNON. SHE KNOWS HOW TO PACE A STORY, ALLOWING IT TO UNFOLD IN AN UNHURRIED MANNER AS SHE BUILDS TENSION AND DRAMA AND ROMANCE. AND OH MY -- THE ROMANCE -- DEFINITELY TOE CURLING AND SPINE-TINGLING. (BLISSFUL SIGH.) SHE'S A MASTER ARTIST AND I ADORED BOTH BOOKS.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Legacy of Lies


NELSON, JILL ELIZABETH
LEGACY OF LIES

Secrets buried deep...

Evidence from a decades-old murder is the last thing Nicole Keller-Mattson expected to find in her grandmother's backyard. The finger-pointing and accusations aimed at her family were easier to predict. Everyone in Ellendale is eager to blame the Kellers -- but after an attack leaves Nicole's grandmother in a coma, only Nicole can clear the family name. With the assistance of police chief Rich Hendricks, she stands a chance of solving the mystery...if she's willing to accept Rich's help. Nicole lost her husband in the line of duty -- trusting another cop is too painful. But not trusting rich could be deadly.

NELSON DID A FANTASTIC JOB OF WEAVING A TAUT MYSTERY. I DIDN'T PICK UP ON SOME OF THE CLUES SHE HID WITHIN THE TEXT UNTIL THE 'AHA' MOMENT AT THE END. I LOVE IT WHEN A MYSTERY GETS THE BETTER OF ME! OF COURSE, I DID REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF OTHER CLUES BUT COULDN'T QUITE CONNECT THE PIECES TOGETHER. LEGACY OF LIES WAS MYSTERIOUS RIGHT TO THE VERY END.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cowboy Christmas


CONNEALY, MARY
COWBOY CHRISTMAS

A secretive singer reawakens a cowboy's wounded heart at Christmastime.

Singer Annette Talbot used her voice to spread the gospel with a traveling missionary troupe. When the Latrells take over and want Annie to dress provocatively and give up singing her beloved hymns, Annie flees to Ranger Bluff, Wyoming, dreaming of reuniting with her father for Christmas. But trouble chases her -- right off the edge of a cliff!

Elijah Walker's heart turned as cold and barren as the high plains in December after his ex-fiancee betrayed him and caused his father's death. But when he rescues Annie out of a freezing river, Walker's instincts tell him he must help a stranger in need.

With her hermit father retreating to the high country and the Latrells intent on kidnapping her to make money off her singing, Annie may have no way out.

Has Annie hidden the truth about wanted posters bearing her face too long for anyone to believer her now?

Can Elijah overcome the painful past and learn to love again?

Will there ever be peace in their hearts in time for Christmas?

DISASTER STRUCK MY HOUSE THIS WEEK. I RAN OUT OF BOOKS TO READ! MY LIBRARY HOLDS WERE STILL IN HOLDING PATTERN AND I'D FINISHED THE LAST OF THE BOOKSTORE STACK BESIDE MY BED! WHAT'S A READER TO DO? DELVE INTO HER KEEPER SHELF OF COURSE (OR IN MY CASE 'SHELVES'.) AND I COULDN'T RESIST REVISITING WITH ANNIE AND ELIJAH IN COWBOY CHRISTMAS -- THE VERY FIRST MARY CONNEALY BOOK I EVER READ! BUT NOT THE LAST.

I LOVE HER UNIQUE STYLE AND QUICK WIT. HER DEADPAN HUMOUR CATCHES THE READER UNAWARES AND LEAVES YOU LAUGHING OUT LOUD (WHICH CAN BE EMBARRASSING IF YOU'RE READING ON THE BUS...WHICH I DO FREQUENTLY!)

HER CHARACTERS COME TO LIFE AND WRAP THEMSELVES AROUND YOUR HEART AND YOU GROW TO LOVE THEM SO MUCH YOU WANT TO REACH THROUGH THE PAGES OF THE BOOK AND GRAB THOSE DARLING CHARACTERS BY THE SCRUFF OF THEIR SORRY NECKS AND THWACK THEIR HEADS TOGETHER IN THE HOPES THAT YOU CAN UNSTICK SOME OF THAT PERSISTENT STUBBORNNESS!

I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER MET TWO MORE STUBBORN CHARACTERS IN THE PAGES OF A BOOK. OR MORE DASTARDLY VILLAINS OR THE BEST TOUGH-AS-NAILS-WITH-A-HEART-OF-GOLD MA. HOW MUCH DID I LOVE MY RE-READ? LET'S JUST SAY THAT COWBOY CHRISTMAS MIGHT HAVE BEEN MY FIRST CONNEALY READ THIS TIME LAST YEAR BUT SINCE THEN I HAVE READ EVERYTHING SHE HAS IN PRINT...OWN MOST OF THEM TOO.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Code Triage


CALVERT, CANDACE
CODE TRIAGE

Dr. Leigh Stathos likes her ER shifts fast, furious and adrenaline-infused -- "Treat 'em and street 'em" -- with no emotional complications. Life's taught her a soul-rending lesson: nothing lasts forever, including marriage. And the clock is ticking toward the end of hers. Then an unwelcome confrontation with 'the other woman' beings a whole new set of lessons.

San Francisco police officer Nick Stathos never gives up, whether protecting his patrol neighbourhood, holding fast to faith, or trying to save his marriage. Seven days is all he has to reach Leigh's heart. But when a desperate act of violence slams Golden Mercy Hospital into lockdown, it starts a chain of events that will change lives forever.

THIS WAS A HARD READ FOR ME...A MAGNIFICENT ONE, BUT HARD JUST THE SAME. LEIGH'S EMOTIONS WERE SO RAW...NICK'S TOO FOR THAT MATTER AND THEY SEEMED TO BE SO FAR APART IN ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. IT HURT TO READ CODE TRIAGE. MY STOMACH WAS IN KNOTS -- I EVEN FOUND MYSELF GRINDING MY TEETH AT NIGHT AND YES, I WOKE UP IN THE MORNING WORRYING ABOUT THEM. LUCKILY I DIDN'T SUFFER FOR TOO MANY NIGHTS SINCE IT WAS HARD TO PUT THE BOOK DOWN. SOMETIMES I PICKED IT UP WITH A FEELING OF DREAD BUT I COULDN'T STOP READING DESPITE THE EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER RIDE.

CALVERT HAS AN INCREDIBLE GIFT OF WRITING DEEP POINT OF VIEW. I FELT EVERYTHING EACH CHARACTER FELT -- AND SHE DOESN'T LIMIT THAT TALENT TO JUST THE HERO AND HEROINE. EVEN THE 'VILLAINS', THE PEOPLE I WANTED TO HATE WERE MULTIDIMENSIONAL, WITH A HISTORY THAT MADE ME RELUCTANTLY SYMPATHETIC.

THIS IS A BRILLIANTLY CRAFTED BOOK AND I AM BEREFT NOW THAT IT'S OVER. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NOW THAT I'M ALL CAUGHT UP WITH THE SERIES? ANXIOUSLY WAIT FOR HER NEXT RELEASE. I HOPE IT'S ABOUT RILEY.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Suitor for Jenny


BROWNLEY, MARGARET
A SUITOR FOR JENNY

Jenny Higgins is certain falling in love and finding a husband are matters of the mind. Her heart has other plans.

After their parents died, Jenny felt responsible for seeing that her two younger sisters were well-taken care of. Tipped off by an article naming Rocky Creek the town with the highest number of eligible bachelors, Jenny rolled into this Texas town with a clear objective: find suitable husbands for her two sisters and then start fresh somewhere far, far away.
Jenny believes that women who fall in love at first sight often wish they'd taken a second look, so she diligently begins to follow all the rules set forth in her handy manual on how to land a husband.

But while Jenny is interviewing the less-than-promising candidates, her sisters are falling in love the old-fashioned way -- with men of their choosing. And the longer Jenny stays, the more her sense of control slips away. The town isn't living up to her expectations, her sisters are rebelling against her practical choices, and soon her own heart starts to betray her, as US Marshal Rhett Armstrong stirs up emotions in her that weren't part of her plan.

To relinquish her control to God and calm her restless spirit, she'll need to give up her foregone conclusions about marriage, love, and faith.

I HAVE BEEN ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE NEXT RELEASE FROM MARGARET BROWNLEY. IT FELT LIKE AN INTERMINABLE WAIT SINCE I ENJOYED A LADY LIKE SARAH SO MUCH. BUT MY IMPATIENCE WAS WORTH IT! A SUITOR FOR JENNY IS JUST AS CAPTIVATING AND THERE'S THE ADDED BONUS OF GETTING REAQUAINTED WITH SARAH AND JUSTIN WITHIN THE PAGES OF THIS SECOND NOVEL.

BROWNLEY HAS A REAL TALENT FOR BLENDING HUMOUR AND DRAMA. SHE FOUND THE PERFECT BALANCE THAT KEPT ME BETWEEN ANGST AND LAUGHTER THE ENTIRE READ!

I LOVE HOW SHE SET UP EACH CHAPTER WITH A QUOTE FROM "MISS ABIGAIL JENKINS", 1875 -- HELPFUL HINTS ON COURTING. SUCH SAGE ADVICE THAT IS AS SOUND TODAY AS IT WAS THEN. GEMS LIKE:

WOMEN WHO FALL IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT OFTEN WISH THEY'D TAKEN A SECOND LOOK.

OR HOW ABOUT

IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHETHER OR NOT TO KISS A HANDSOME MAN, GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.

JENNY IS A COMPLICATED WOMAN AND BROWNLEY HINTS AT A DIFFICULT PAST THAT HAS TEMPERED HER JOY IN LIFE AND HAS LEFT HER WITH VERY LITTLE HOPE FOR HER OWN FUTURE. SHE IS WEIGHED DOWN BY GUILT AND HAS TURNED AWAY FROM GOD BECAUSE SHE BELIEVES SHE DOESN'T DESERVE HIS ATTENTION.

RHETT (SIGH, ISN'T THAT A LOVELY NAME FOR A HERO?) ALSO HAS A TRAGIC PAST AND THOUGH HE HAS TURNED TO GOD TO SEE HIM THROUGH IT, HE HASN'T ALLOWED ANY HEALING TO TAKE PLACE. IN SPITE OF THEIR HURTS, RHETT AND JENNY ARE ATTRACTED TO EACH OTHER AND THEN CONFLICTED OVER THAT ATTRACTION. BROWNLEY PULLS THE ROMANTIC TENSION TIGHT AS THEIR STORY PLAYS OUT AND IT DEFINITELY KEPT ME TURNING PAGES.

BROWNLEY ALSO EXPLORES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 'GRIEF' AND 'GUILTY GRIEF' AND WEAVES A POWERFUL MESSAGE AND WITNESS OF GOD'S LOVE FOR HIS CHILDREN THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.

I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED MY TIME SPENT IN ROCKY CREEK, TEXAS IN THE COMPANY OF JENNY AND RHETT AND THE REST OF THE CHARACTERS IN A SUITOR FOR JENNY. IT HAS DEFINITELY EARNED A SPOT ON MY KEEPER SHELF!