Friday, November 6, 2015

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman



The story of two families torn asunder by deception and betrayal. Lacey Carmichael grew up on Isle of Hope along with her family and their long time family friends, the O'Bryen's. What once was thought of as an inseparable bond between the two families suddenly fell apart.

After being away for eight years, Lacey returns to Isle of Hope in hopes that she will be able to mend lost relationships, including her Father and ex-boyfriend Jack O'Bryen. But doing so isn't as easy as she thought.

With a new found faith in God, Lacey trudges forward in her quest, but her depressed Father and grudge holding ex-boyfriend who turned his back on Christ make the mission seem impossible. Will she be able to set things straight and bring them back to what they once were?

My Opinion:

Never ceasing to impress, Julie Lessman takes a on a whole new genre from her other novels, and still manages to conquer it with a jaw-dropping modern romance. With relationships that are still just as twisted and confusing, she unravels the chaos one chapter at a time, until all is renewed by the grace of God.

Of course Julie's trademark is still a theme in Isle of Hope, a born again christian and a through and through rebel knock heads and emotions until love conquers all. This engaging scenario never ceases to amaze me, and not for a moment gets old. All the obstacles the characters go through are 100% real life situations as well as the solutions. Their is a balanced blend of, drama, faith, humor, and romance to satisfy many different audiences.

My favorite aspect of Lessman's writting, including this one, is how detailed every event is in each story. She takes us through flashbacks the characters have as if we are living them. No part of any characters life is a secret from us when we get to the last page of the book, and I love that. It makes the story so much more believeable when everything is laid out on the table.

I REALLY hope this book is sold in print copies in the near future, because I would love to have this on my shelf!

And here is Julie Lessman's celebrity picks for Jack and Lacey. I have to say, I completely agree other than the fact Julianne Hough was picked for Charity in A Passion Redeemed! Uh Oh!!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Together With You by Victoria Bylin

Together with You


A Tender Contemporary Romance about Finding Unexpected Love 
When a Lost Child warning blasts over the mall's PA system, toy store manager Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about five-year-old Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that Penny suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's own past suddenly confronts her. Never again will Carly become involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart. Before she has time to think it through, she agrees to a much-needed job as a nanny. 
Dr. Ryan Tremaine knows he messed up his life. But this summer he will redeem himself. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan is dedicated to his sink-or-swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruiting Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny. 
Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?

My Opinion: 

Getting through the beginning of this book took awhile. I feel like the author tried to shove to much information in our faces at once. The information about the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Syndrome) and the reason behind Ryan's daughter Penny having it was thrust on us from the get go. I liked having the knowledge of these things, but wish it was prolonged throughout the first half of the story. It just made the beginning hard and ridged to get through because their was no excitement. 

The book really took off when Carly accepted the job to be Penny's nanny. After that it really became a story with obstacles and two completely different people working together to overcome them, and let me tell you, Penny's Aunt was probably the biggest obstacle. Lol

I really like how Carly accepted the way Ryan was and didn't shame him for his past wrongs dealing with Penny. She acknowledged the fact that someone can change and completely turn their life around. I know a lot of people try to treat people like they have changed, but don't fully believe or take the action in showing that person that they are now trusted. (I hope that made sense) However, I also like the fact that Carly had respect for herself and her own beliefs, ***SPOILER***and even though she was friends with Ryan, she would not let that relationship become anything more unless he gave his life to Christ. (We all have to have "deal breakers")

Overall, the story was a good and I loved watching the interaction between Carly and Ryan's family. However, the beginning is a little bit slow.

Stars: 4

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

Tiffany Girl


From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman”—the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel—and the love that threatens it all.

As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.

But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the New York Art Institute. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”

Tiffany Girls is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.

As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?

My Opinion:

Deeanne Gist has been one of my favorite authors from the get go. All her books are a thrill to read and set my imagination soaring on what it would be like to live in the time periods her books are set in. I find myself wondering, what would it be like to be a 'mail ordered bride', a 'Biltmore maid', or an 'Oil Rig managing spinster'? Now, after reading Tiffany Girl I wonder what it would be like to be a 'New Woman'. What kind of job would I have? What would my wages look like? How would I be treated by the opposite sex and what would my family think? I love books that keep me thinking even after I have finished them. 

Reeve Wilder was not the nicest guy through half of the book. In fact, most everyone probably would despise him for his views on woman's rights and why they are here on earth. I know it took a long time for him to grow on me. However, I liked that I got to see his views slowly change as he started to have feelings for Florence. (Yes, I use the name Florence because, sorry, but I hated calling her Flossie). 

I liked how Florence's character was depicted as an average person. She showed that people do not have to be good at everything to be important or cherished by society. However, I was upset when we found out she was average at both glasswork, and her art. It made her seem like she was basic in every aspect, and we all know that everyone excels in at least one specific area. That we ALL are talented at SOMETHING in life. Furthermore, Florence's little drawings were described in a lot of detail and would require a lot of work. I consider myself talented in the art department and I know I could not draw any of the things Florence did without a picture for reference. In other words, I would say that she was extremely skilled at art. 

Now getting to what most people want to hear and what will most likely be the deciding factor on if the read Tiffany Girl or not. As most of us know, Deeanne Gist has switched over from the Christian Fiction genre to the secular world of writing to hopefully widen and expand her writing to more people. So what does that mean about the Religious and Romantic sides of the story? I know I have read reviews on goodreads which say that their are sex scenes in this novel and I just want to clarify that that is NOT TRUE! This is actually the most CHASTE book of all Deeanne's novels! Their might be two kissing scenes and then a wedding night scene. The wedding night scene only entailed that they undressed a little. By the end of the book they were still wearing more than what we do today on a daily basis. 

I would still consider this a christian novel. Even though her being a 'New Woman' was the focal point, the characters still talked about God and mentioned prayer. 

All in all, I liked the book but their were a few little things that I would have changed. 

Stars: 4

Monday, April 6, 2015


CONTEST TO HAVE A CHARACTER NAMED AFTER YOU IN A BOOK!! Here's a chance to win a character named after you in Julie Lessman's next book, a signed copy, and your choice of any of Julie's books or Seeker books PLUS choice of top CBA book from Julie's library. Here's the link:


Monday, March 16, 2015

Out of the storm by Jody Hedlund

Out of the Storm (Beacons of Hope, #0.5)
Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle Thornton has ever known--and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her lightkeeper father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund's Out of the Storm is her first ever novella and introduces readers to Beacons of Hope, a new series set in the 1800s amid the romance, history, and danger surrounding the Great Lakes lighthouses of Michigan.

My Opinion: 
I thought the idea for this novella was thrilling and am sad that it was so short, since I devoured the pages to quickly. It was fun and entertaining, especially with Henry's comical and flirtatious behavior, although I wish at times he was a little more serious. 

Which is another reason why I wish Out of the Storm lasted longer. I liked seeing Henry's serious side, all jokes kicked to the curb, and I wish I had the chance to enjoy more of it. 

I also liked Isabelle. She wasn't a perfect character. Most heroines in a story are so close to perfect with insecurity being their only flaw, but Isabelle had something to be insecure about. With that issue thrust into Henry and Isabelle's relationship, it forced her to accept herself the way she was and forced Henry to become the responsible man his Father needed. One that was honorable, trustworthy, and someone he could rely on. 

Not to mention, it forced Isabelle's Father to let go of the reigns of her life, and let her live the way God planned for all of us. 

With all the characters needing to accept the fast approaching truth of God's bigger picture for their lives, their is also a scoop full of romance to add to the drama. 

Stars: 4 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco #3)


Shy and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the district attorney's office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a kid sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

My Opinion: 

Something that I will never get over and never stop cherishing about these books is the easy camaraderie between the characters. Their is tons of dialogue and at no time does it seem forced. The conversations are hilarious, emotional, informative, and entertaining. Not once did I get bored over the story or plot. It all smoothly rolled along scene by scene, and I didn't want to miss a moment of it. Just like Julie Lessman's other books series: Daughters of Boston and Wind's of Change, I felt like I was a part of the story. Seeing everything through their eyes. When Bram would take Meg's hands in his and comfort her, I felt like it was my hands he was holding. When Blake and Jamie joked around with Bram, I felt like they were joking around with me. When the family sat down for dinner together, I felt like I had my own place mat. 

I cannot get over how real these stories become to me, and that is the reason I get so much out of them. The lessons that Julie shares with us are things we can impart in our daily lives. The situations and struggles these characters go through are hard to read, but only because they are SO relate-able for the majority of people today. Their problems strike home for most of us, and truth be told, Julie does not take it easy on us in her writing. Their stories grab and twist your heart until you think you can't take anymore pain, but then she redeems us with the love of God washing over the characters, to the point where I can't put the book down. 

I love the time period that Julie writes about, the late 1800's - early 1900's. I don't come across many authors who write about that period. But what I think I like most about that is she picks to write about ordinary people. Not famous people, not people in a war, but ones you could walk passed down the street. Then she goes on to continue the series with someone else from the family, not a whole new unrelated character, but someone we already know a bit about. This allows us to go DEEP, she doesn't giveaway everything about a character in the first book, but we learn more and more as their life progresses. This is my favorite type of writing. 

Now I am to understand that Julie is about to take on her very FIRST contemporary novel. Which, of course, will turn into a series. It's a given. Even though modern stories have not been my 'thing' in the past I pray that Julie will be the one to change that. After all, she does have a way with words. 


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Want the River of Times Series to Become a Movie? ME TOO! Here is what you can do!

A dream-casting site for my River of Time Series. Have an actor or director you want to nominate? Just want to support me by "supporting" the concept? (No moola involved...) -->>> GO HERE

Click the above picture to go to the website!

Thank you to my friend Abbie for showing this to me! She is so awesome! I hope all of you River of Times fans go to this website in support for them to become movies. I also hope you share this on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, any site you can think of! Even if you have never read the books, wouldn't you want to see an awesome movie? 

I'm not saying that this will ever happen, but if we want it to, we must try to get as many people as possible involved. For these books to become hit movies would be a dream come true. 

Lets just say I am a little obsessed with these books...

For the people who have never read them here are summaries of each one of the books, hopefully they will grab your attention to the point where you want to read them!


Waterfall (River of Time, #1)
What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.

Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. 


Cascade (River of Time, #2)
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.
But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.


Torrent (River of Time, #3)
When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.

Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.

But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

Bourne & Tributary

Bourne & Tributary (River of Time, #4)

It's possible to beat a She-Wolf.

But you cannot keep her down...

The Bettarinis and the boys they love are back with these two novellas that follow 
Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent.

Bourne, t he story picks up right where Torrent left off...Find out what happened to wounded warriors returning from battle, to the Betarrinis, fighting for the men who've captured their hearts, and what will happen to them next...

A year later, in 
Tributary, Lia struggles to overcome the fear that constant battle has heaped upon her; Gabi and Marcello face an unexpected crisis; and Lord Greco may be ready to leave the grief and loss of his past behind him, so that he might grab hold of the future... 


Deluge (River of Time, #5)Click on picture for my book review.

The Bettarinis and Forellis have found rich fulfillment together in medieval Italia. But after fighting off countless enemies, they now must face the worst foe of all. As the Black Death closes in upon them, threatening everything and everyone they hold dear, Lia and Gabi–and the knights they love–must dig deep within to decide how they might remain safe…and if they need to risk it all in order to truly live as they’re called. 

Here are some actors that I have thought for the bigger roles:
Henry Cavill- MarcelloHenry Cavill as Marcello Forelli

Luke Mitchell another idea for LucaLuke Mitchell as Luca Forelli

Justice Joslin - The Husband CatalogJustice Joslin as Lord Greco (He is not an actor, but a model)

Aiden Turner - Really liked this guy in the "Being Human" BBC series, just realized he's Kili in the new "Hobbit" movie. Good for him! Aiden Turner as Fortino Forelli

The shocking way Emilia Clarke became Khaleesi!Emilia Clarke as Gabi Bettarini

Teresa Palmer as Bella (17). She's Princess Belle from Beauty & the Beast. She tries to be independent and nice, but the Beast is a freaking jerk. She's very intelligent, but very loyal. She doesn't have that many friends until Harrow comes and makes things different.Teresa Palmer as Lia Bettarini


Diane Lane - Dr. Grace Trevelyan GreyDiane Lane as Adri Bettarini

liev schreiber... Love Ray DonovanLiev Schreiber as Lord Paratore

SAM CLAFIN, Somebody asked me why he was on this board, I just pointed to his face and said "DER!"Sam Claflin as Lutterius and Georgii (Identical twin knights for the Forelli castle)

That's all I have for now, but I hope it shows you just how excited I am about this whole thing! Please feel free to post your choices for the characters or propose them on the website by clicking the top picture! :) :) :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice


Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.

My Opinion:

I was so excited when this came in the mail, but was absolutely shocked by the size of it. It was over 100 pages shorter than most of Jody Hedlund's other novels. However, even though it was short I was in AWH of how Jody made the story come alive with an interesting plot in that time. 

I have never read a book with knights vying for a maidens attention in a competition to win her heart, and even though I found the idea unrealistic, it made for an entertaining read. I literally had a hard time putting this book down.  

I also liked how An Uncertain Choice was not just about the competition, but also about what was best for the kingdom that Rosemarie was about to rule. She didn't just think about what was best for her, but what was best for her people. She had to overcome her insecurities, and pull strength from the ones she loved to become the leader she was meant to be. She had to stand up for herself against the ones trying to undermine her authority. Summed up, I saw a young girl transform into a strong woman of honor, courage, and faith. 

One thing I would have done is give the 'winning knight' a flaw, that way there would have been more of a struggle for Rosemarie and him to be together than just other people getting in their way. 

Stars: 4

Friday, February 20, 2015

River of Time (Luca) Recast?

When the duty RAs are walking by a room and spot a beer can out of the corner of their eyes

Wait...... WHAT?????

That's right guys! So, earlier today I was sitting down with some of my family and we started watching a series on Netflix called The Tomorrow People. It only lasted like a season or two, but what I have seen so far is pretty interesting. 

Well, anyway. There is this guy on the show John. WHEN I SAW HIM I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT LUCA! Yes, more so than my last pick Bradley James. Let me show you the difference. By the way, the new guys name is Luke Mitchell if you want to look him up! 

Bradley James, you are ridiculously attractive and noble and hysterical and strong and wise and loving and endearingly annoying. You and Angel Coulby have some serious chemistry. I'm kinda in love with your character, Arthur. Bye.  Luke Mitchell Actor Luke Mitchell attends The CW Network's New York 2013 Upfront Presentation at The London Hotel on May 16, 2013 in New Yor...
Before (Bradley James)                      After (Luke Mitchell)

So, obviously they look nothing alike, but after today Luke just strikes me as being able to pull off Luca better if the books were ever made into movies. He even looks more like the guy on the cover!

My favorite of the River of Time series so far (yes, I'm hoping for more)! <3 the cover!

He just has the look to him, here are some more pictures to prove my point if you are like me and need more of a visual.

Luke Mitchell, The Tomorrow People

Luke Mitchell from Home and Away :)

Luke Mitchell as John Young in The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 4 - Kill or Be Killed

Luke Mitchell as John Young on the Tomorrow People

       I hope you all like the new Luca who will be on my Pinterest board. I will still keep the pictures of Bradley James on there for the people who like him, and because he is already dressed as a knight. I decided to share this with all of you because I get excited about casting characters and I change my mind on them all the time, but when my older sister finally agreed on something with me that had to do with the River of Time I just had to share!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Beyond All Dreams


Sweeping and Romantic Historical Drama from an Award-Winning Author
Anna O'Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. She is thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, but her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help.
Luke Callahan was one of the nation's most powerful congressmen until his promising career became shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship.
Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of Congress.
From the gilded halls of the Capitol, where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation's finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they've ever dreamed for themselves?

My Opinion:

I had no idea what this book was about when I asked for it to review. When it came in the mail and I read the back of the cover I thought I was in for a boring story. A map librarian and a Congressman teaming up to discover what actually happened to a ship at sea fifteen years earlier just didn't strike me as interesting. My mind was blown when the story actually captivated my attention.

I liked how both Anna and Luke had unique past experiences, but that related to each others circumstances in a way that made it easy for these two polar opposites to connect. Growing up both of them were outcasts because of people in their families, but they wanted to be more than their family reputation. In doing that they both got noble jobs working for the government. Luke wanted to turn his life around not just for him, but for the future people to come from his family. Anna wanted do something with her life that would make her father proud.

In all that made them alike, it also put strains on their growing relationship. Both obsessed with their work and wanting to do what was best, their missions crossed paths that would lead to one needing to give up their life's work.

The struggles these two went threw not only to be together, but to be friends at all was astounding. And I loved watching them overcome every obstacle.

The only thing that bothered me about this book was that I thought Anna's obsession with the Culpeper was a little over the top, and she was EXTREMELY paranoid which became annoying.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Redeeming Love


California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.

My Opinion:

I loved the idea of the story and that it was a retelling from the bible, however I very much disliked the way the book was written. I cannot stand third-person omniscient, and the switching between characters without a break to represent the change in person. I kept getting lost, not knowing who said what, so I did a LOT of rereading segments. Which, after a while, gets really tiring.

I also have a hard time believing that people can be as emotional as these characters. Some of the things they said to each other were sweet, but totally and completely ludicrous. Nobody talks like these people! They also were all like mind-readers! They all somehow knew what each other were thinking, and it drew me kind of crazy. The character didn't have to do anything or have any tell for the other character to know something was up. I literally think  that almost everything happened out of convenience.

Another thing I didn't like was how sexual Angel was. Yes, I understand she was a prostitute, but what even? She didn't seem like she wanted out of the business that much to me throughout most of the book. I know that she was supposed to feel inadequate and unworthy of Micheal's affection, so she continued to run away, but what was with all these scenes of her stripping down to nothing for no reason to 'please' Micheal one last time before she left? I felt like the author was trying to force in as many sexual scenes into the book as she could even though they were completely unnecessary. I like romance novels, but the romance has to be for a reason and make sense in the story.

Sorry to say that this book was a bit of a struggle to get through, there were things I liked about the book, but they were little and far between. I just don't feel like their was much depth to the story.

Stars: 2 1/2