Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Head in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer

I've always loved reading, so the front cover of this sweet read definitely caught my eye. After all, I'd been accused of having my head in the clouds for....well, as long as I can remember holding a book. 
I finally get to take Head in the Clouds off my TBR list and move it to here! Sweet. Only now the story is over.....Is there such a thing as post-read remorse, like buyer's remorse? or post-read syndrome, like post traumatic stress? I know! It's Post-Read Stress Syndrome. It's signs begin with an urgent compulsion to read through an entire book in only one day despite one's other obligations (or perhaps because of). The incubation period only lasts as long as it takes to fill the urge's requirements, then the actual symptoms appear. They are a profound sense of sadness, a strong desire to dress in the historical period of the book that was read, and an immense sense of displaced reality (due to being back in the 21st century). Fortunately, this syndrome lasts but a short time. It will go into remission but will reappear with increasing regularity. Oh, back to the book review Deana....;0)

Adelaide, bless her heart, is a naive romantic. She impetuously quits her teaching job to move to Fort Worth where her book peddling gentleman friend lives-only to find out that charming her was how he sold the books to her. Now she was out of a job, had no where to live, and couldn't go back to her old job. As with most of us, now she decides to pray about it, right after she gives God a piece of her mind.
No answer echoed through the rafters or even whispered to her heart. God didn't seem to be on speaking terms with her at the moment, and she had no idea why.
I know, sounds all too familiar for me too...God please get me out of this pickle I've gotten myself into....and now! In the local newspaper, Adelaide finds an ad for a governess position and applies for that.

Gideon Westcott, a wealthy Brit's son has moved across the pond and planted himself in the middle of cattle country with plans to be a successful sheep herder in order to win his father's approval. What he hadn't planned on was becoming a parent on the trip over....and the adorable little tyke hasn't spoken since her mother's death. He needs a governess who can help Bella. He didn't foresee what was coming next but he wanted God and Bella to lead him to the right governess.

Some of Adelaide's favorite authors? Why mine, of course! God, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Karen, how you wove scripture, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Rochester into a western riddled with humor, I'll never know but I loved it!!

The Bride Blunder by Kelly Eileen Hake

This book begins with two cousins in the mid 1800s Baltimore. They are both named Marguerite which came from their grandmother, hence the nicknames Daisy and Marge. Daisy is the debutante, while Marge is the proverbial down to earth, organized, girl next door. Daisy is into the social scene and all about marrying for all the right reasons- social standing and wealth. Marge has only been interested in one person and he moved away.
Gavin Miller is the mutual acquaintance that moved out to the Nebraska Territory who is now ready to start a family, so he sends a proposal letter. It's addressed to Marguerite and they both assume that the letter is for Marge as Gavin is on Daisy's wedding guest list and the invites have already been sent.
If hope sprang eternal, Marge had packed for it.When she’d prepared a list of things to bring, she’d thought long and hard about what she’d need for a lifetime in a small frontier town. What her family would need, and since she’d always been a big believer in being prepared for anything, the list took on a life of it's own.
Of course, as soon as she steps into view, Gavin knew what a mistake he'd made.
What happens after that? Gavin is the honorable type guy who doesn't back down from a handshake deal once it's made and soon he's reminded how much he liked Marge too.  But Marge doesn't want a 'pity invite' to her own wedding. She wants the real deal. Here's where the fun, heartbreak, and frustration begins.
While I really liked Bride Backfire's heat, Blunder was lukewarm. The main characters were more a part of the story rather than the story.  For myself, I would like to have seen more sparks between them. I really enjoyed reading the spiritual struggle of both Gavin and Marge as they try to walk in God's will.I loved Gavin's Aunt Ermintrude! Her spunkiness (is that a word?) and how she sees the truth in it all. The premise of a bride mix up is a good one and makes for some funny, some heartbreaking, and some frustrating moments. Hope you enjoy the read like I did.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sharpshooter in Petticoats (Sophie's Daughters #3) by Mary Connealy

To begin with, let me say thanks to Net Galley for my ebook. I was having severe Mary Connealy withdrawal signs and symptoms. ;0)
I loved this last book of Sophie's Daughters! Each one has their own prayer (learned from their momma no doubt) that they repeat when in trouble and I love that too. I so wanted Mandy's husband to leave the picture somehow and couldn't wait to find out how Mandy got relieved of hom because we all know that God would've picked a better one for her and He did eventually. ;0)
As usual Mary starts, as opposed to ending, this story out with a cliffhanger which is part of the charm of Mary's writings for me. I can't really imagine how but, Mandy seemed to be in a much scarier place than either of her sisters, Beth or Sally. I guess because she's so isolated with her small children. Mandy Gray, now a rich widow with 3 young children, has holed herself up in Gray Tower-essentially a mansion atop a Rocky Mountain that her recently deceased husband built with his gold digging riches. It's kind of similar to her mother's story, in that they are both isolated and completely dependent on the land and God to get by with their small children. She has made enemies of the Cooter family however, by killing one of them, in self defense but, that doesn't matter to the Cooter clan.
Tom Linscott, a well-to-do cattle rancher himself, just can't seem to get Mandy off his mind. She needs rescuing off that mountain and....well....he's going to do it.......and then.......well.......he's going to marry her soon as he can talk her into it. He starts off literally climbing the cliff to Mandy's home and knows he'll have to kidnap her and her 3 children in order to get her off the mountain. Before they even get back to his ranch, he's got the children calling him 'Papa' and has completely endeared himself to them. Now all he has to do is convince Mandy that she needs another man and get rid of her enemies. Piece of cake, right?
Well, it's made for a great story, thanks to Mary Connealy. Put it on top of your TBR list ASAP.

I thought it odd that the cover didn't have Mandy in gray.....would've been more apropos but didn't detract from the book at all.