Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Countryside The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV

Countryside: The Book of the WiseBook Description:
"You have a power within you, one that is within everyone...It's the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive...and the same power that has attracted your attention...I know it's all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real..." Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents' home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way. Luke's only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he'll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside.

My Thoughts:
Good young adult book.  Luke's life is normal, he isn't anything special...and yet he is.  Luke doesn't know it, but his father isn't from this land, but from one that he's tried to shield his family from.  As it becomes apparent that Luke is special, his father makes plans for the family.  His father goes to work off and the rest of the family goes to live with his grandparents in a strange new land.  This magical land is always in turmoil and Luke, it turns out, is the key to find a book that could change everything.
I really liked Luke.  He wasn't as active as I'd expected, but he was still a good character.  He is just a kid that thinks he is as normal as anyone, but then when strange things start happening his life forever changes.  The family interaction adds an extra layer to the dynamic of the story and I enjoyed it.  I would have liked some more description of the new world but I did like that there was always something going on, there really wasn't a lag in the story at all.
This was a 4/5 for me.  I think young boys (especially) will really enjoy this.

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, February 2, 2015

To Save Her Child by Margaret Daley

Book Description:

In Search of Her Son

When a young boy goes missing from wilderness day camp, Alaskan search and rescue worker Josiah Witherspoon is on the case. The brooding ex-marine promises to find the child and return him to his worried mother. But he doesn't know that Ella Jackson has a secret past. One that could put them all in danger. When tensions mount, Ella needs to tell Josiah the truth—but she can't set aside her fears enough to trust him. Ella and Josiah are ready to risk their lives to save her son, but will they risk their hearts, as well?

Alaskan Search and Rescue: Risking their lives to save the day

My Thoughts:
This was a pretty good book.  Ella is the organizer of the Alaskan search and rescue.  She is integral in the operation, but when she gets a call that it is HER son that is missing, things change.  She and Josiah have never been friends but he doesn't hesitate to help when she tells him what is going on.  He and his search dog go to find her son.  As they investigate exactly what happened to her son and his friends, things get twisted and more convoluted.  The two of them grow closer and closer as they investigate and both try to move beyond their past.
I completely adored Ella's son!  He was the highlight of the book for me.  The relationship between Ella and Josiah was entertaining.  With each having their own past and issues that come from it, you knew there would be problems to work through.  The secondary characters were good, I especially enjoyed Josiah's sister and want to read a story about her hopefully in the future.  The k-9 elements will steal your heart and it makes me want to know how her son grows up and what he does.  Overall the story line was good.  It did get predictable at the end, but that didn't take away from the message of the book.
It was a 3/5 for me.  I would have liked less predictability but it was a good story.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adventure Bible Miracles of Jesus

Book Description

Miracles of Jesus is a level three I Can Read! based on the NIV Adventure Bible, the number one Bible for kids. Through engaging illustrations and age-appropriate vocabulary, young readers will follow Jesus on his travels as he heals the sick and spreads the Good News of his Father’s love. Written for the newly independent reader, this series is appropriate for children almost ready for their first chapter books.
My Thoughts:
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via BookLook).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

My Thoughts:
We completely enjoyed this book.  My 6 year old read this book to me.  He was thrilled to be learning about the miracles that Jesus performed.  Add to that, he could understand these so much easier than when we read a story directly from the Bible.  He thought the loaves and fish was cool because of it being a young boy that had them and that there was so much left.  Now we've read and discussed that story at length before but today it just popped with him and in his words 'was awesome'.
I think this is a great book for young kids to learn to read on and to learn more about Jesus.  This was a 5/5 for us!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via BookLook).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated are 100% mine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Private Affair by Rebecca York

Book Description:
Does everyone have something to hide?
Olivia Winters and Max Lyon knew each other way back when, but she was one of the cool kids, and he was a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Olivia's a successful model now, and Max a PI much in demand.
When Olivia's old high school friend is murdered-and a raft of "accidental" deaths may be murders, too-Max is the only man Olivia can trust to help her investigate.
As they team up, Max is blown away by Olivia's courage under fire, and Olivia finds that the bad boy she remembers from the fringes of her social circle might just be the best man she's ever met...

My Thoughts:
This was a good mystery book.  Olivia has hired Max's firm to investigate her best friend's murder.  She is convinced that this murder is only one of several that have happened to members of her graduating class, though the others were ruled accidents.  Max is the perfect choice to pose as Olivia's fiance because he went to the same school, a couple years ahead of her, and he is the only on in the firm not attached....yet.
I loved that Olivia moved away from the small town and made a big name for herself in the modeling industry.  She wasn't flashy about it and didn't seek out attention when coming back to plan the 10 year reunion, but instead she came back to find out who murdered her friend.  Max was the bad boy that all the girls thought was hot back in school days and not much has changed.  Though he grew up and outgrew the bad boy issues with some mentoring.  The 'who done it' part of the book was good.  I liked that it could be a few different people and slowly got narrowed down.
This was a 3/5 for me.  I liked the mystery that surrounded the book but the romance just didn't ring true to me, especially toward the end.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler

Book Description

They’re tight
They’re on target
They’re as alpha as men can get

The Dallas SWAT team is hiding one helluva secret…they’re a pack of wolf shifters.

The team of elite sharpshooters is ultra-secretive—and also the darlings of Dallas. This doesn’t sit well with investigative journalist Mackenzie Stone. They must be hiding something…and she’s determined to find out what.

Keeping Mac at a distance proves impossible for SWAT team commander Gage Dixon. She’s smart, sexy, and makes him feel alive for the first time in years. But she’s getting dangerously close to the truth—and perilously close to his heart... 

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this shifter romance.  The Dallas SWAT team is top notch.  They are absolutely the best and everyone looks up to them.  Mackenzie Stone is determined there is more to this team than everyone thinks.  There is no way they can be THIS perfect.  Gage is the leader of SWAT and the pack.  He decides the best way to keep Mac out of his hair is to bring her in and let her look around.  The problem with that is, she winds her way into his heart and gets awfully close to the truth about who and what the team really is.
The characters in this one pulled me in.  I love how close Mac and her camera-man are.  Brother and sister type bond.  I also love the interaction  the pack had.  There were problems throughout, fights even, but they were going to protect each other at any cost.  The descriptions of these guys...mercy!  I would LOVE to watch one of their workout sessions.  Overall, the romance and relationship were a central part of the story but there really was a lot more going on here too.  Good story line.  
It was a 4/5 for me.  I love how the pack interacted and each member was 
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Trouble with Texas Cowboys by Carolyn Brown

Book Description:
Can a girl ever have too many cowboys?
No sooner does pint-sized spitfire Jill Cleary set foot on Fiddle Creek Ranch than she finds herself in the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Quaid Brennan and Tyrell Gallagher are both tall, handsome, and rich...and both are courting Jill to within an inch of her life. She's doing her best to give these feuding ranchers equal time-too bad it's dark-eyed Sawyer O'Donnell who makes her blood boil and her hormones hum...

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable romance read.  Jill Cleary has come back home and landed smack dab in the middle of a feud.  Sawyer O'Donnell has taken a job at the ranch the two families are feuding over.  Jill and Sawyer are caught in the middle of an old power struggle and the two families are determined to use their 'prime stock' (aka hotties)to lure them into relationships and land.  Quaid and Tyrell are after Jill and she decides to give each a chance.  The problem is, neither of their kisses make her feel what her bunk-mate, Sawyer's, do. I absolutely loved the way Sawyer and Jill met.  Add to that meeting that both were asked out by members of the feuding families within minutes of each other and the story is off.  The fact that neither was the other's type and they were supposed to be sharing a bunk house, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple!  The author does a good job with stringing you along with the romance side of it.  The pushier the hotties from the feuding families got, the more entrenched Jill and Sawyer became in not letting them get their way.  Some of the things that went on in the feud were crazy, some ridiculous and others just plain weird.
It was  a 3/5 for me.  I liked the quick romantic read, but some of it got to be a little much.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Guardian by Natasha Deen

GuardianBook Description:
For seventeen-year-old Maggie Johnson, transitioning the dead isn't hard. What's tough is surviving the insults and pranks of Serge Popov, high school thug and the dumbest jock to ever set foot in Dead Falls, Alberta. When she finds him dead and later discovers his spirit trapped in her room, she figures it's a case of divine justice. Let the jerk rot for eternity, bound to an earthly prison. But someone - or something - has a different agenda. If Maggie doesn't help Serge cross over, she'll die at the hands of the otherworldly entity that's taken an interest in the dead bully. As she digs into the circumstances of Serge's murder, she'll uncover the secrets hidden by the world of the living and the wonders revealed by cities of the dead - if her investigation doesn't kill her first.
My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Maggie has always seen the dead and helped them go from confusion to the beyond.  Serge is the bane of her existence.  He strives to make her life complete and total misery.  When she finds his body, she thinks that is the end of her torment, but in reality it is just the beginning.  As a spirit, he is her constant companion, even if it is what neither of them wants.  She has to figure out who killed him and why, but that puts her in grave danger.
I really liked Maggie.  She is absolutely different from everyone around her and the guy she has been crushing on is at least a friend to start out.  I liked that aspect.  It wasn't like she was just crushing on some random guy but it was a friend that she just wanted to be more.  I absolutely disliked Serge in the start but watching his story unfold was an eye-opening experience.  The secondary characters were great.  Maggie's dad, his girlfriend, Maggie's best friend, and many others just made the story.  I wasn't expecting the twists this story took and am ready to read more!
This was a 4/5 for me.  I cannot wait to read the next book in this series to see what happens with these characters.
Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

**Contains adult content/language**

Friday, January 2, 2015

Under the Lawman's Protection by Laura Scott

Book Description:


As a skilled SWAT team negotiator, Isaac Morrison has defused many a crisis situation. But safeguarding Leah Nichols and her young son may be his most challenging mission yet. Leah's brother—his best friend Shane—has gone missing while working undercover. Now it's up to Isaac to protect mother and child from Shane's enemies. He doesn't know whom they can trust, but he's determined to catch the gunmen threatening their lives. Isaac knows he needs his best protection skills against their formidable adversary. Because he can't risk the consequences to the little family who has stealthily claimed his heart. 

My Thoughts:
Good book!  Isaac (Ice) gets a call from an old friend saying that his sister and her son need protection.  Isaac doesn't hesitate but goes straight to Leah's house to protect her and her son until her brother can get there.  When he has to take them into hiding, the bond between mother and child tug at his heart and make him wish his life were different.  Leah wants her brother found and alive, but since his cover is blown he wants to keep them away.  She must trust Isaac to keep her and her son safe because the ones after her brother and trying to use them to get to him.
I really liked Isaac.  He is the kind of friend I would want if my family was in trouble.  As soon as he got the message from his friend, he was on the road to do what was needed.  I felt for him when we find out what his past is like but that just makes him better.  Leah was a good, strong character.  I like that her son was always first.  If she wasn't getting what she wanted, oh well, her son was safe.  The romance in this was secondary to the suspense but I have to say that I liked the ending!
Solid 4/5 for me.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blood Assassin by Alexandra Ivy

Book Description

They are the outcasts of humanity. Blessed with power. Cursed by fate. Driven by passion. The Sentinels have returned. . .
Out Of The Shadows
At six-foot-three and two-hundred-fifty pounds, Fane is a natural born guardian. A flawless mix of muscled perfection and steely precision, he has devoted years of his life to protecting a beautiful necromancer. But after she found love in the arms of another, Fane has been a warrior adrift. He swears allegiance only to the Sentinels. And no woman will ever rule his heart again. . .
Into The Fire
Not only a powerful psychic, Serra is that rare telepath who can connect to minds through objects. When the daughter of a high-blood businessman is kidnapped, Serra agrees to help. But when she stumbles onto a conspiracy involving secrets sects and ancient relics, her life is in mortal danger--and Fane is her only hope. Is the warrior willing to risk his body, his soul, and his heart, for Serra? Or will one last betrayal destroy them both?

My Thoughts:
Yummy!  I was so excited to read Fane's story and it didn't disappoint.  Since his bond with Callie has been transferred to her husband, Fane is determined to get away from Valhalla and the woman he is determined would be better off without him.  Serra is a telepath, a powerful one at that, and she wants Fane.  She always has and though he has hurt her, she knows he would do anything to protect her.  When she is coerced into leaving the Valhalla, Fane will stop at nothing to get her back.  Even if it means losing his heart to her and her knowing it, he has to keep Serra safe.
I liked Fane in the first book (Born in Blood) and it was great getting to know more details about him in this book.  Serra was also a good secondary character in the first book and this book put them front and center with a great story.  I started and did not want to put this book down at all.  The questions on how/when/if they could accomplish what they had to for Serra to survive pulled me through the book.  She was such a strong woman, but Fane saw her vulnerable side even when she tried to hide it.  The two of them really were a perfect pair.
Wonderful addition to the Sentinels series.  4/5 and if you haven't read the first one (and the novella) they are good too!

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God Gave Us Angels by Lisa Tawn Bergren

God Gave Us AngelsBook Description:
“What do angels do all day, Papa?”
When Papa finds Little Cub looking for angels, it gives him a chance to tell his beloved child about those that may be in their midst, even when they can’t be seen.  Exploring their exhilarating Arctic world as they talk, Papa lovingly answers all of Little Cub’s questions about angels—and as usual, she has a lot. She wants to know what they do, how they look, how they guard God’s loved ones, and best of all, how they serve the Creator of the world.  
“God really created angels to serve him more than us, Little Cub.
They love him and would do anything for him.”
This uplifting tale will encourage young hearts by exploring the glory and design of God’s messengers, while turning toward him with praise.    

My Thoughts:
This was a cute book!  Papa and Little Cub are talking about angels as they explore.  They talk about how angels were made by God to serve and worship him.  That there are angels do guard us and help us.  We do not pray to angels but to God because he is their boss.  I just loved how the book flowed and told all the information as the story progressed.  It wasn't like a book that you feel like you are being taught but instead are being told a story with an awesome amount of information.  The author did a great job with this one.  My 4 year old and 6 year old both immensely enjoyed it.
A 5/5 for me!  It was absolutely adorable and taught lessons throughout.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.