Friday, March 29, 2013

Safe in His Arms (Under Texas Stars #2) by Colleen Coble

Book: Safe In His Arms (Under Texas Stars #2)
Author: Colleen Coble
Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Twenty eight year old, spinster, rancher Margaret O'Brien has committed herself to life on her Texas ranch. The problem...her father doesn't want that life for her and when he purposely leaves the ranch to her cousin in his will.  An act that makes Margaret fume!

To boot, Margaret's father hires a new ranch foreman (and former criminal) by the name of Daniel Cutler to run the ranch. Another act which leaves Margaret fuming.  

Problem is that Daniel sees the real Margaret. Can he convince her that he isn't the criminal she thinks he is? Can she open up her arms to him and her heart to God?
My rating: 4 Stars
My opinion: I love Colleen Coble's historical fiction series and this book was no different. I tend to compare Ms. Coble's historical fiction novels with the works of Jeanette Oke who used to be one of my favorite Christian fiction writers. The books are incredibly light in their writing and story lines, but have that flare of clean romance with characters that you truly grow to love. 

Now, I must admit that this series has more reference to religion and faith than does her Mercy Falls series, but it didn't bother me as much as it has with other Christian authors.
Source:  Netgalley for Thomas Nelson
Would I recommend? : I recommend Ms. Coble's historical fiction series on a regular basis
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of series

Here Among Us by Maggie Harryman

Book: Here Among Us
Author: Maggie Harryman
Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: This book is pretty hard to describe, but let me give it a try.  Unemployed entertainment attorney Flynn O'Shea and her daughter, Didi,  are called back to New Jersey to celebrate Thanksgiving with her sister Maeve and her unhappy family, her "failure to launch" brother,  and a mother with early stage Alzheimer's Disease. Deep family secrets and  dysfunction are abound in this women's lit novel.
My rating: 3 Stars
My opinion: I have to be honest with the reader of this review, this story didn't necessarily keep me interested. I found it to be slightly predictable and melodramatic, which can be found in numerous books of the same genre. 

As a former social worker in long term care/senior services, what really impacted me to give the book 3 stars was how the author nailed the family dysfunction (sometimes deep seated), which often accompanies or is exacerbated by the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia. 
Source: Author for review
Would I recommend? : For the right audience.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

More Bitter Than Death (Siri Bergman #2)

Book: More Bitter Than Death (Siri Bergman #2)
Author: Camilla Grebe; Asa Traff
Release date (if applicable): June 18, 2013

Synopsis: Five year old, Tilda witnesses her mother beat to death while she is hiding under the table. It is up to Siri to get into Tilda's mind, as she is the only witness to the horrific crime.  How does the crime fit into the domestic violence groups that she and her colleagues facilitate?
My rating: 2.5 Stars
My opinion: I would say that this book was the weakest in the series. Most of Grebe's books have garnered at least 4 stars, but this one left me really cold. It was mystery light with more focus on the subject of domestic violence and the crime fit the agenda for the book, which is fine, but then it should be identified as that.  I was rather disappointed since her first book in the series, Some Kind of Peace, garnered 4 stars from me and I jumped on this title the second I saw it.
Source: Netgalley for Publisher
Would I recommend? : The only reason I would recommend this book is due to it being a part of a series.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Part of series

Turtle Season by Miriam Ruth Black

Book: Turtle Season
Author: Miriam Ruth Black
Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: When Anna Simon becomes a widow, she loses everything she has identified herself with. To boot, menopause is really kicking her butt! A revelation of a shocking betrayal only intensifies her loss. Can Anna form a new identity for herself or will she revert back into a shell?
My rating: 3.5 Stars ( 4 stars on Amazon/Goodreads)
My opinion: I must admit that there was something about this book that I really found I liked. Was it kind of predictable? Yes. Was there a feeling that there are tons of books out there just like this one? Yes. However, I found myself really getting into Anna's story and cheering for her. I think one of the things that stood out to me was Anna's determination of recognizing her true self even during the most painful of times.  I felt like I could relate, so that is what brought me most into the story versus anything else in the story or the writing style of the author.  
Source: Publisher for Review
Would I recommend? : Yeah, I think I would. There was something pretty endearing about this book.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone

The Midwife's Revolt by Jodi Daynard

Book: The Midwife's Revolt
Author: Jodi Daynard
Release date (if applicable): Published

Synopsis: Widow Lizzie Boylston has shrugged off her grief to support the Colony's cause as a spy. How will this midwife's friendship with Abigail Adams support her in her efforts? Can a woman really help the Cause?

My rating:3 Stars
My opinion: I selected this book from Netgalley because of the subject matter. I have always been fascinated by women who fought in the Revolutionary War, so this book would have fit right into my reading love. I think, given the subject of this book, I expected much more "action" than what the book offered. However, I found myself frequently bored with the storyline and the writing. In all honesty, the characters left me kind of cold too.
Source: Netgalley for Opossum Press    
Would I recommend? : It is iffy for me. For some, they will enjoy it. I just happened not to.
Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone