Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review of No Way Up by Mary Connealy




From the Back Cover:

The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!

When Cimarron Ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg--and possibly his life--Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch's will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance's three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don't live and work at the ranch for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative.

Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set--and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future--and a desired future with Sadie--locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.
 
My Thoughts:
 
Realistic. Mysterious. Hilarious. Sadie Boden's father is trying to control her life! But maybe that won't be so bad with Heath Kincaid (Yes, Mary Connealy fans, Kincaid!) around, as long as she can keep her knuckleheaded brothers from running him out of town. Things become even more complicated when it becomes apparent that someone is targeting Sadie's family. I quite enjoyed this spunky story!

The setting and the details seemed so grounded in the time period. The description captured me from the first chapter. I love the history - both real and imagined - that Mary Connealy worked into the story.

I think what I loved most though, was the imperfections of the characters. I feel like a lot of series where each book portrays a different sibling makes them each look like the greatest thing since sliced bread. But you could see all the realistic imperfections of the characters. They were so relatable. From Chance's loving yet manipulative attempt to teach his children to Justin and Cole's pigheadedness. Even Sadie and Heath didn't have everything figured out at the end of the story. They just knew they loved each other, and that that love could overcome all the other obstacles. Love that!

Bottom line: I really liked No Way Up, and I recommend it to anyone who loves romantic westerns. Can't wait to read the rest of the series! Four Stars.
 
I received a copy of No Way Up by Mary Connealy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys next time! Have an awesome day! :)
 
V. Joy Palmer

Monday, July 18, 2016

Winners!!!

The winners!!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Jan Hall and Dianne Nickel Casey! The Rafflecopter selected you both for the first and second winners. You will each receive a signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations!

Vicki Geslak, the Rafflecopter selected you to be the winner of a signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, and these goodies!

 
 Thank you to everyone who entered! You sure blessed my heart! Stay tuned for more giveaways!
 
Hugs!!! :) :) :) <3 <3 <3
 
V. Joy Palmer


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review of Missing by Lisa Harris



Back cover description:

Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.

My thoughts:

Expect to be missing sleep as you read Missing by Lisa Harris!

Nikki is a strong heroine, and I really like that about her. She's logical, but empathetic. Brave, but has weaknesses and fears just like us. She struggles with letting go of the guilt she feels over her sister's abduction, and is learning how to give that to God. I loved the counterfeit drug storyline. I thought that was very original, and so well researched that I'm going to be paranoid for the rest of my life! Thanks for that, Lisa Harris! :)

While I enjoyed Missing, I didn't think it was as good as Vendetta. Vendetta was perfectly paced, and each time you finished a chapter, you HAD to start reading the next chapter. I didn't feel that way with Missing. There were still a lot of edge-of-your-seat moments, but there were also a lot of slower moments, too. The romance is not the main focus of the story, and was also slower paced. I've never been a fan of this particular backstory for the hero, but even I can't deny the swoony chemistry between Nikki and Tyler. Just wait for The Moment. It's worth it. :)

I received Missing by Lisa Harris from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless y'all! See you next time! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review of One Paris Summer




Book description:

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

My thoughts:

This was such a cute romance!!!

So Sophie's father has basically up and moved to Paris, not spoken to her or her brother for almost a year, and then drops a bomb - "I'm getting remarried next week." Uh oh. Now they have to spend the summer in Paris which would be great if Sophie wasn't wounded by the horrid way their dad handled the situation, if Sophie could even speak French, or if her new stepsister didn't hate her guts for no reason.

I related so much to Sophie! Seriously, she is one of the most relatable teens I've read in YA in a while. She's just your average girl with passions and hurts. She loves to play the piano, and her passion for it just flows through the book without drawing focus away from the storyline. I thought Denise Grover Swank did a good job at portraying Sophie's hurt, anger, and confusion throughout the story.

The description of Paris was amazing. Like this-will-be-in-my-bag-if-I-ever-go-to-Paris amazing. Sophie and Mattieu's romance was oh so very swoon worthy! Oh, the butterflies, my friends! Fans of Sarah Dessen are sure to enjoy One Paris Summer.

I also want to remind everyone that while Blink is a Christian imprint of Zondervan, their titles are much more mainstream. Blink specializes in clean YA fiction, and an editor at Blink recently wrote a great blog post about what "clean" YA means. Their stories have Christian tones, but may mention very little if any Christianity.

Bottom line: This is a sweet, easy to read, clean YA romance that teens and adults are sure to love! I really enjoyed it. Four stars. :)

I received a copy of One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review of Delilah by Angela Hunt




From the back cover:

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Most Notorious Women.

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

My thoughts:

Oh. My. Goodness! Yeah, I loved Delilah. Maybe not as much as Bathsheba, but pure, crazy book love fore sure!

It's important to remember that this is a fiction story. Very little is known about Samson and Delilah, but what we do know, Angela Hunt made sure was Biblically accurate. I'd recommend reading the author note at the end of the book before you dive into Samson and Delilah's story.

Angela created a devastating backstory for Delilah. It was so vivid, and I understood Delilah. I understood her desperation, her desires, her pain. It helped me understand why she would rationalize betraying Samson.

Samson warred with his desire for love and to be his own man which clashed against God's will for his life. I thought Angela Hunt's portrayal of Samson was very insightful. Instead of reading a judgmental or placating story, we saw a man. A man who screwed up, but loved God.

Delilah is the third and final book in the Dangerous Beauty Series. The description of the setting, the political struggle, the devastation of God's people was depicted beautifully. This was a breathtaking, heart crushing, insightful story.  This story has everything - romance, betrayal, battles, hope, and forgiveness. Everyone should read this incredible series, but that's just the opinion of one bookworm.

I received a copy of Delilah by Angela Hunt from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, July 1, 2016

Link to Snack Time Devotions blog post: The Walk

Hey guys! Here's the link to my latest blog on Sanck Time Devotions. I talk about the Christian walk.

God bless!


V. Joy Palmer