Friday, April 26, 2013

Take a Chance on Me... a book review


Take a Chance on Me
by Susan May Warren
A Christiansen Family Novel: Book 1
Tyndale House Publishers
Available 3/22/2013
ISBN: 9781414378411
Publisher's Description:
Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.

Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Set in a small town in Minnesota, Ivy dreams of belonging.  Belonging to a family, a community, and yes, that one special man.  The upheaval in her youth has her questioning God's part in her life.  Now, as she embarks on a new chapter of her life, can she work through her past and see all that God has for her present and future?
With a wonderful cast of characters, the reader is pulled into the charm of small town life where everyone knows everyone else's business.  The story is not preachy, but the reader will walk away with the gospel message: forgiveness, love, and redemption.  Susan May Warren has written another wonderful story of romance and suspense.
In today's economic times, many families are returning to multi-generational homes.  It is refreshing to read a novel centered around parenting adult children.  So many books are written around the premise of parents and young children that it is harder to see yourself in the characters lives when you no longer have small children or teens living at home.  
I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the Christiansen Family series. 
My rating: 
A-  or  4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of Take a Chance on Me from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Walking Disaster... a book review


ISBN-13: 9781476712987
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: April 2013
Contemporary adult romance
Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died:
Love hard. Fight harder.
In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.
Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.   ~  Publisher's Description
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
In Walking Disaster, the reader learns what spurs Travis on, including why fighting his "bad-boy" tendencies are so difficult even for the woman he loves.  Just as in Beautiful Disaster, the characters are well-written and believable.  (See my review for Beautiful Disaster HERE.)
I enjoyed the insight into Travis' life, but there was no new story to truly be told.  I believe that Jamie McGuire could have written from an omnicient point of view and combined the two books.  This would be great for the readers but not so good from the profit point-of-view.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars or a B-

I received a complimentary ecopy of Walking Disaster from Atria Books and NetGalley for my honest review.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One Step Too Far... a book review

One Step Too Far
One Step Too Far
by Tina Seskis
Published by Kirk Parolles
ISBN-13: 978-0957544321
Available: April 15, 2013

An apparently happy marriage
A beautiful son
A lovely home

So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?
~ Publisher's Description

In Tina Seskis' debut novel One Step Too Far, Tina takes the reader on a wild ride with the most unexpected twist at the end.  Most families are dysfunctional in one way or another since no one is perfect... especially when more than one person is involved!  Add in a twin sister with emotional issues and an art for the dramatic, and you end up with more questions than answers.

After Emily runs away and begins life anew, she fails to grow as a person.  Her life evolves around herself and she cannot see past herself.  She accepts the blame for most everything.  Why can't she understand it isn't all about her?

Read Chapter 1 HERE.

Throughout the book, I had problems following the storyline.  I believe part of the issue was the "UK English" slang of which I am unfamiliar.  I found I needed to reread a few passages to be able to understand the context.  Also, midway through the book, the plot seemed to slow down.  I found myself skimming to get to the next "Aha" part.  Without giving anything away, the twist at the end dumbfounded me and a part of the ending was a letdown.  My response... "Really?"

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I received a complimentary e-book of One Step Too Far from NetGalley and Kirk Parrolles in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 


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