Friday, November 20, 2015

Review of Every Girl Gets Confused

From the back cover:

Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. Katie's almost-fiancé Casey is back in Fairfield, ready to rekindle their relationship. And there's nothing Katie's parents want more than for their small-town girl to leave Dallas and come home for good.

But can she really leave Brady behind? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won?

"Every Girl Gets Confused is romantic comedy at its best. A sweet romance. A wonderful band of supporting family and friends. And enough humor to keep me smiling on each page. I highly recommend it!"--Cara Putman, award-winning author of Shadowed by Grace and Where Treetops Glisten

"A delightful mix of romance, inspiration, and humor, woven together with Thompson's trademark Texas storytelling and a happily-ever-after ending that will make you want to swoon."--Judy Christie, author of Wreath, A Girl in the Wreath Willis series

"Janice Thompson tosses her readers into a humorous whirl of romantic possibilities with characters I swear I've met in small-town Texas. Fun!"--Julianna Deering, author of the Drew Farthering Mystery series

My thoughts:

Brides. Wedding dresses. Weddings. Fun characters. Happy sigh. If I could live in this world, I would. This world is fun and witty, and centered around the greatest thing around: love. Precisely, the reason I love Janice Thompson's books so much.

Katie has entered a busy, confusing time at the start of the story. She knows she loves Brady without a shadow of a doubt. Well, maybe there's a little shadow. Everyone seems sure that it's just a matter of time before they tie the knot, but she's been down this road before, and it didn't end so well. Now her ex-boyfriend, Casey, is back in town, and because Brady is going through difficulty with his knee injury, he's pulling away from her. Casey is ready to pick up where they left off, and sneaky doubts start to sneak into the back of Katie's mind about her relationship with Brady. I love what her Aunt Alva says, "You can't let the little foxes spoil the vine." A good reminder not to let a difficult season spoil the relationships in your life.

Speaking of which...

The spiritual theme of this book was seasons, and what a good message! We all go through seasons of confusion, difficulty, heartache, and joy. I liked that we saw different kinds of season for the characters. This message was strong. No matter how difficult the season, it's just for a season. It will pass, so don't give up on God's plans.

This is the second book in the Brides with Style series. It's filled with fun throwbacks to Janice Thompson's popular Weddings by Bella Series and her Weddings by Design Series. However, the story is still different and filled with Janice Thompson's trademark humor.

I was given a copy of Every Bride Gets Confused by Janice Thompson in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given. It was such an honor to review her newest release!

God bless you guys! I will see you on December 1st!! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review of The Christmas Joy Ride

From the inside flap:
Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that's exactly what she's getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix--in the dead of winter, no less--the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride--one that could derail the whole venture.

No one captures the heartwarming fun of the Christmas season quite like Melody Carlson. Fasten your seat belt, because it's going to be an exciting ride! Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, and The Christmas Cat. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at                 

From the back cover:

"I'm going on a mission, Miranda. I'm going out to spread some Christmas joy along Route 66. And no one is going to stop me."

"But you can't go driving across the entire country in the middle of winter and--"

"I can and I will," Joy declared stubbornly . . .

"I think it's a totally outrageous plan. I can't bear the thought of you being out there by yourself--and at your age too. I'll be scared sick about you being on the road . . ."

Joy had an idea, and she knew this was her chance. She had to give it one good try. "And that is exactly why I want you to come along with me, Miranda."

My thoughts:

Fans of Melody Carlson's Christmas stories are not going to be disappointed! The Christmas Joy Ride was a delightful, quick read. It's short - only 176 pages - but a charming story that fills you with Christmas warmth. I found myself wishing for snow outside, and I fought the urge to decorate for Christmas right now. Thankfully, I remembered that I was pregnant, and I didn't have the energy or the capability to maneuver those large boxes around my nine month sized bump. Regardless of the cold, hard facts, reading this story without the backdrop of garland and my Christmas décor seemed wrong on so many levels. This is a great story to read for a little Christmas pick-me-up, or even to give to someone as a gift.

Joy "Christmas Joy" Jorgenson was a delightful, spunky, incredibly generous lady. Her Godly, Christmas spirit was so loveable, and she was the type of character you expect to see revealed as an angel or one of Santa's elves in a Christmas movie. Miranda Fortner seems slightly jaded from the hard times that have fallen on her, but her love for her elderly neighbor/friend outweighs all that. As she and Joy spread God's Christmas magic, it turns out that Joy has a little Christmas joy planed for Miranda as well.

I did wish that the story was longer. There's an awful lot of stuff happening in a 176 pages. You wish for more details. More stops on their Christmas joy spreading road trip. More time spent on the developing romance at the end of the story. I'm not a fan of the widower scenario that was used for the potential love interest. It's done a lot, and it's just not a story line I like. However, the author did not spend a lot of time on that, which I greatly appreciated. I would have liked to see their attraction spread out more and given more time to develop into the love we know would happen, but again, it's a short story.

I was so, so honored to be able to read one of Melody Carlson's books for review. She has been a favorite author of mine since my preteen days. Even more fun, given that "Christmas Joy" and I share a name. ;)

I was given a copy of The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

V. Joy Palmer

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review of Vendetta


From the back cover:

No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Person Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels that this case is getting personal, and that she is not the hunter at all--but actually the one being hunted.

With this explosive first book in the new Nikki Boyd Files, Lisa Harris takes readers on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have them holding their breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed Vendetta by Lisa Harris. I can't say that the plot surprised me; it starts like your typical abduction case. However, Lisa Harris presented the information and dropped plot twists in such an excellent way that I HAD to keep reading! This was a short, fast paced read, that wasn't bogged down with unnecessary details. It was like reading a Criminal Minds script, only way less creepy! (I was only slightly disturbed in my dark, empty house. LOL.)

The only thing I disliked about this story was the guy you know Nikki Boyd is going to end up with in the end. It's not because he's a bad guy - Tyler Grant is actually quite perfect. You can see their chemistry from the first chapter. He's a strong hero, who makes you feel protected yet swoony. My problem is with his back story. As I've said before, I don't like the deceased spouse angle. I just don't. So I was a little surprised when I found out that Tyler had been married to Nikki's best friend, and that she had died. I always prefer the boy-next-door, friend I-didn't-know-I-loved, handsome-stranger-getting-in-the-way angles.

The spiritual angle in this book dealt with guilt. Guilt that resulted in the characters taking responsibility for things that are beyond our control. Nikki struggled with guilt over her sister's own abduction ten years prior, feeling like if only she had arrived earlier, her sister would still be around today. Tyler struggled with guilt over his wife's death, thinking that if only he had known she had been having dizzy spells, she and their unborn child would still be alive today. The spiritual journey these characters take is beneficial to anyone who has held onto the emotional burden of things that are a result of living in a fallen world.

Vendetta was the first book in The Nikki Boyd Files. If you read the sneak peak for Book 2, you will be anxiously awaiting the next instalment, too, as we are left hanging! That and the need to see Nikki and Tyler get together. :)

I was given a copy of Vendetta by Lisa Harris from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you November 10th! :)

V. Joy Palmer