Friday, September 24, 2010

Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy

Annette Talbot is in a traveling mission group when they encounter trouble and the next thing she knows, her captor wants her to wear a revealing dress and sing to a bunch of drunks! She escapes though and is running for her life. Why? Because she sings like an angel.
Elijah Walker is reeling from spending months investigating and bringing to justice his father's killer-a woman.
Is that the make up for another great Mary Connealy book? Sure as shooting, it is, partner. It's so good, it's won the 2010 Carol Award for Long Historical Romance!
Annette mistrusts all men now and Elijah mistrusts all women, too. Yet somehow, he can't help himself, he needs to help Annette. It doesn't help that his mother loves Annette either.
So begins the danger, hilarity, and romance.
I love historical fiction because it's a fun way to learn about history and this story shows how frontier women had to protect themselves from would be intruders, such as keeping a pipe up their sleeve as they worked through out their day, 'just in case.' I've been the victim of physical violence and knowing about strong women has helped me overcome it although it was years ago now and this book kicked up the 'suspense' meter just a bit. I love how Mary ends a section or chapter on one note and flips it around at the beginning of the next section or chapter. I laugh out loud nearly every time (and my family looks at me like I'm nuts for just a moment). The book ends at Christmas time so it didn't really feel like a Christmas story to me but the romance is quite good as usual. I absolutely loved the chapter heading graphics in this book, great idea! Just writing this review makes me want to read it again...
The sequel is Deep Trouble and I can't wait!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

Grace Calhoun has escaped the abusive use of children in the textile mills (pre-child labor laws) to end up in a small town teaching children. She is having an especially hard time with 5 brothers, sons of a widower, when her nemesis finds her. As a way of escape, she stows away in a buckboard and ends up….where else but…at the boy’s home….snowed in for the winter! The town parson finds out and they end up married after the boys tell the parson that they'd slept  'together' and declare her unfit as a mother to boot!

I loved this Lassoed in Texas installment for its suspense, danger, humor, romantic tension, Christian influence, well, just like everything else Mary Connealy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Forgotten by Melody Carlson from NavPress

Please take my personal review of Forgotten with a grain of salt. This is my first review for NavPress. The way this program works is that when you sign up to review for them, they offer you a few books to choose from, I believe it was 3. I prefer Christian Historical Fiction/Romance but that category was not available.
I had a hard time with Forgotten being written in first person. I picked it up thinking, “I committed to this review, so let’s get reading.” The very first page caught me and before I knew it, I was a third of the way through the book which was good. Then it slowed down, for me, because of the first person narrative mainly. The other characters were not as well developed as I would’ve liked either as this was written for teens.
I began to wonder: Where this book was going to end up at? Was she possibly going to attempt suicide? Where was God in this book except to criticize Adele’s Christian friends? Why would a teen want to read this as opposed to a classic that deals with the same issues? The story deals with all my questions eventually. It wraps up quite quickly, however, which was disappointing too, and made me think, “Is this how teens today expect a book to end, abruptly and neatly tied up with a bow?” My last question to myself is, “Would I let my teen read this book?” I have to answer, "I doubt it," because there is so much classical literature that addresses the issues of abandonment, neglect, society’s responsibilities toward the poor and homeless, social stigmas, etc. and does a better job of it, too. That's why they're called classics afterall, right?
I’ve had a hard time writing this review because, well, who would want to give a negative review? I’ve not read this author before and as stated earlier, this genre would not have otherwise interested me.