Monday, May 16, 2011

Protective Custody by Lynette Eason

Carly Masterson, a deputy U.S. marshal, has been ordered to guard the judge that let a criminal go free, a criminal who murdered her mentor right after being released. Can she put away her anger to protect Nick, who she has a strange attraction to despite his role in her mentor's death?

I enjoy Lynette's books, and this one is no exception. The plot is interesting and well-developed. The characters are unique and likeable. Carly is a strong character who battles between her heart and her duty, which is a conflict a lot of women face. The idea of judges being paid off for a verdict or even threatened for a verdict is an interesting one, and I have to wonder how many cases are influenced by outside sources. What I like about the Love Inspired Suspense books is that the romance is not the main storyline. It is a nice bonus, but solving the mystery drives the story.
If you enjoy Christian suspense with a little kick of romance, check out all of Lynette Eason's books.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Beyond all Measure by Dorothy Love

     Looking for a fresh start after the death of her father and the end of her engagement, Ada Wentworth flees to Tennessee to become a companion for an elderly lady and to start working on her dream of making hats for ladies. What she finds in Hickory Ridge is a small town divided by prejudice in the aftermath of the Civil War: prejudice against black people and Yankees. To further complicate things, Ada seems to be falling for Wyatt, the nephew of the woman she cares for. Can she become a successful businesswoman without losing her heart? Or is the price worth it?

     I enjoyed this book. The time of the Civil War has always been of interest to me (I even took a whole class on it in college), and I liked the way Dorothy Love handled the topic of race and regions and the prejudices people have towards one another. It was a great side storyline in addition to the romance. Ada and Wyatt are great characters (I’m a character-driven reader). Sophie, a young orphan girl who is racially mixed, and Lillian, the stogy old lady Ada cares for, are excellent supporting characters and breathe a little humor into a tough time period. The plot was well-developed and was realistic for that time period in American history. I was surprised when the person terrorizing Ada was revealed, but I won’t spoil that for you.

This was the first book I’ve read by Dorothy Love, but I will check out her other books. I recommend this book for any Christian fiction fans.

I received this free book from Booksneeze for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reviewing Books

     I know people probably have different ways of reviewing books, so I thought I would post mine.
I don't review every book based on my personal opinions, which is odd. I read an eclectic range of books, so I try to review the books based on the intended audience.
     Yes, I love young adult books, but I don't review them based on my feelings about it. I review it based on my years of teaching middle schoolers and how the book fits with them. When I read a mystery written for kids, I can't expect it to have the twists and turns that a Ted Dekker book has.
      When I read Love Inspired books, I read it as the intended audience. The Love Inspired series has very strict requirements for their books, so I know they will have a predictable storyline because that's what the publisher requires.
      So, while everyone has their own way to evaluate a book, I choose to review it based on the intended audience. I think about whether I like it for that genre and for that audience.

Possession by Rene Gutteridge

After the DC sniper case, Vance is hiding secrets...secrets that could cost him everything. As he and his family move across the country for a fresh start, his secrets can no longer stay hidden. Can he save his family and their possessions, which have been taken for ransom?

I'm a fan of Rene Gutteridge's books, and this one is no exception. However, I felt the book's characters and plot were not developed as other books. There were too many stories--Vance healing from the sniper case, the move, his former partner's secrets, Vance suffering from post tramatic stress disorder, Vance and his wife's lack of faith and their trust issues, their possessions have been taken for ransom, and the list goes on. There were so many storylines that they were not developed as much as they should have been. Therefore, it was hard to connect with the characters.

Overall, Possession is a good read, but Listen still ranks as my favorite by Rene. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Small-Town Moms by Janet Tronstad

     Maegan Shay is desperate to find her long-lost niece. Having grown up in foster care, Maegan understands what it is like to be alone in the world and doesn’t want that for her niece. When she comes to the small town of Dry Creek, Montana, she finds Lilly is well-taken care of by her uncle Clint Parker. Both Maegan and Clint want the best for Lilly. Does the best include the three of them as a family?

     The story of Maegan and Clint is part one of a two-part book titled Small-Town Moms. Because it is only 114 pages, the characters are not as developed as they would be in a whole book. I really like the characters—Maegan is a strong woman who overcame great odds both emotionally and physically to become a successful lawyer. Clint works hard to provide for a girl who isn’t his. Lilly is a shy but strong girl herself. The three characters have great potential, but because the book is so short, I felt a little bit was lacking in their development. I’m a character-driven reader, so I enjoyed the book because I really liked the characters.

     If you enjoy the Love Inspired books, you will enjoy this sweet story of a man and a woman who are willing to sacrifice everything to give a little girl a good home.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 Dating by Les and Leslie Parrott


     Dot.comdating explores the world of internet dating from a Christian perspective. The book is set up in an easy-read format, dived into three parts: The Six Big Myths of Online Dating, Six Ways to Know Whether Online Dating is for You, and Five Questions You Absolutely Must Ask before Signing Up. Under each part, there is a point/idea, an explanation, and then a few things to remember as you try online dating. The book tackles the preconceived notions about online dating and provides logical reasons why online dating can be the way for a person to meet the one God has for him or her.

     The easy format makes the book a quick read. The points made by the authors, who are both relationship experts, are backed up both by research, personal examples, and most importantly, scriptures. I recommend this book to single Christians who feel ready for a mate. As a single woman, the book explained some of the ideas I had about online dating. I may give their website a whirl after reading this book. :)

I was given this book by Tyndale for the sake of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Place like Holmes by Jason Lethcoe

      When Griffin Sharpe is sent to stay with his uncle at 221 Baker Street, he is convinced he is going to stay with the famous Sherlock Holmes, which is perfect since he plans to use his ability to notice every tiny detail to become a detective one day. When he arrives at the home, he is saddened to learn that his uncle is really a cooky man with a strange knack for inventing astounding devices who lives in 221A while Sherlock Holmes lives in 221B. When Holmes is not available to take a case, Griffin and his uncle must step in and take the case, which takes them on an exciting journey for truth: both about the crime and their family. Will the two unlikely heroes save the day?

      This book is a great read for younger readers. The story is fast-paced and full of adventure and excitement. Griffin is an eccentric but likeable hero. His uncle has a rough exterior but the reader finds out why and sees his true heart beneath. The added element of Sherlock Holmes is catchy. Biblical truths are throughout the book as Griffin is put in awkward or difficult situations and must rely on God for help. This is a good series for young readers who love adventure.

     The added mini-mysteries in the back are a bonus for any young budding detective.

I received this book free from Booksneeze for the purpose of reviewing it. My thoughts and opinions are my own.