Everyone has heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas, but in A Rare Nativity we have the opposite--this guy is leaving more or less just bits of trash aEveryone has heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas, but in A Rare Nativity we have the opposite--this guy is leaving more or less just bits of trash as "gifts" for his enemy each day. For example, he gives him four old potatoes, broken glass, stuff like that.
But how the enemy responds is what makes this book different.
Just the perfect message for the Christmas season in its beauty and simplicity.
It's a hardback Christmas book and well worth the read. I know my family will be reading it again and again and I think everyone should own this one.
This is the second book in H.B. Moore's Omar Zagouri thrillers and it is fantastic. The book starts out with the murder of an Egyptologist and the murThis is the second book in H.B. Moore's Omar Zagouri thrillers and it is fantastic. The book starts out with the murder of an Egyptologist and the murderer gets away with a complete version of the Book of the Dead---and this Book of the Dead has the potential to completely restructure what the world believes about the foundation of Christianity. Omar Zagouri is thrown into the mix while he is trying to locate his missing girlfriend Mia Golding and instead ends up trying to bring down an organization who want the fame and riches that this stolen find will bring---and change the world forever, but not for the good.
Woven inside Omar's story is the story of Hatshepsut the female Pharoah and her struggle to rise to that position. It is a love story woven with political intrigue made all the more interesting when it's coupled with the modern-day Omar story and what the archaeologists know about her.
The Lost King is an intricately drawn story with realistic characters both from ancient Egypt and our world today. Omar's story is fast-paced and full of suspense, while Hatshepsut has a slower pace, but just as many reasons to keep turning pages long into the night. I particularly liked the details that made the setting come alive in both the ancient world and modern-day. I thought the balance of old and new was expertly done and couldn't wait to find out what happened to both Omar and Hatshepsut. Combining stories like this is such an original concept for me and I really enjoy how the author effortlessly leads her readers on a thrill ride from one end of Egypt's history to the other. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series!
This is definitely a series I would highly recommend.
(I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley, but that in no way affected my review.)
Jennie Hansen fans have been anxiously awaiting her new release and By the River does not disappoint. Kira Paxton is a woman small of stature, but bigJennie Hansen fans have been anxiously awaiting her new release and By the River does not disappoint. Kira Paxton is a woman small of stature, but big in heart. She wants to fall in love, be independent from her smothering family, and live a full life. All of those dreams are set on a collision course, however, after she makes the grisly discovery of a young woman’s body near her running trail.
The Mariposa Hotel is the third installment of the Tangerine Street Romance series and it is probably my favorite one.
This novel revolves around theThe Mariposa Hotel is the third installment of the Tangerine Street Romance series and it is probably my favorite one.
This novel revolves around the Mariposa Hotel and the first story is The Ghost of 913. Mari is such a strong character and she's been through some difficult things in life already. She's specifically asked by her boss to take care of Room 913 and when she goes in, it doesn't look like anyone's really stayed there. When she looks closer, however, she sees that the pillows are arranged differently, or the lamp is skewed, just little things like that. It becomes a little game between her and Grant, the U.S. Marshal who is actually staying there. Things get complicated, though, when Grant and Mari get closer and his job gets in the way. A sweet story of misunderstandings on the road to love.
The second one was Butterfly Kisses. Ridley is a world-renowned surfing photographer, but he pinch-hits as a hotel concierge for his friend who is the Mariposa hotel manager in a bind. During his concierge time, he meets up with the beautiful woman he'd seen car-dancing on the way to the Mariposa Hotel. She's a bundle of contradictions, (a do-gooder plastic surgeon. Those are hard to find!) and he wants to get to know her better, but misunderstandings abound when he doesn't tell her he's not exactly a concierge. It was a cute story with an underlying spread good in the world theme that I really enjoyed.
The last one was Dreams Come True. For a short story this one had a lot of depth. Reagan is the events coordinator at the hotel and she is dreading having a famous film producer come and stay, but he's sponsoring a big event so she's put up with his obnoxious personal assistant. When she meets Kevin, she has no idea who he is and is stunned to find out he's the guy she was dreading having to deal with. So many misunderstandings that ultimately lead to a fun and sweet love story.
I thought all the stories had very relatable characters, a great setting, and a fun theme. There were sigh-worthy kisses and just enough romance to leave you with a smile.
In this book we meet Storm, a woman who is trying to run a ranch with her Uncle Boots. (I have no idea why they call him Boots, but every time I readIn this book we meet Storm, a woman who is trying to run a ranch with her Uncle Boots. (I have no idea why they call him Boots, but every time I read it, it reminded me a bit of the sidekick named Boots on the children's show Dora. But the character of Uncle Boots was really well-written in the book. I loved how warm he was and sweet.)
Unfortunately for Uncle Boots and Storm, some of their cattle have been stolen and their part-time ranch hand has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Not to mention, the ranch payment is due, but without those cattle to sell, they're up a creek. I have to say the author really shines in the setting department. I enjoyed how realistic the ranch and surrounding area was, and it was easy to lose myself in the descriptions and how real Storm's concerns were as she worked to save the only place that ever felt like home to her.
The story goes on to introduce us to our hero, Dak. (I'm sorry, but I didn't like his name at all. It's never explained why he would have such an odd name and every time I read it, it made me think of that gooey substance Gak that my kids have.) Anyway, Dak is a fairly judgmental jerk in the beginning and makes some assumptions about Storm, which would be bad enough, but he tries to tell their pastor she doesn't deserve to teach Sunday School either. I had such a hard time getting over the fact that he jumped to such a huge conclusion, didn't ask Storm about it, and then decided to try to ruin her teaching job behind her back. Storm forgives him pretty easily, but I hated how underhanded and sneaky that felt and it took me quite a while to warm up to him as a hero after that. They do have some good moments as a couple, (the cave scenes come to mind which were really sweet!) and he does do some heroic things that justify him being the hero later on, but it's a journey, that's for sure. He does have a point in his favor, though, because Uncle Boots likes him.
But the best part of the whole book was the suspense as Storm tries to unravel who killed her part-time ranch hand, Connor. There are great clues and some twists and turns that were really good. While I was able to figure out who the bad guy was pretty quickly, I thought the author had some very tense scenes as our heroine gets herself in over her head trying to solve the mystery. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book and thought it was well-written.
So, for me, Storm had a great setting, a strong heroine, and a twisty turny mystery which made this book a fun afternoon read.
I love novellas for those days where I need a little historical romance fix and can finish in a short amount of time. And these stories are like threeI love novellas for those days where I need a little historical romance fix and can finish in a short amount of time. And these stories are like three helpings of a sweet dessert that you just can't resist!
The first one is by Josi Kilpack, A Merry Dance. Lila has a little hiding place in her uncle's office where she can do needlework and listen to all the exciting topics men discuss. I mean, who wants to talk about weather and flowers with the ladies? Everything is going fine until she overhears her uncle talking about an older man of thirty-three named Mortimer (who could love someone with that name?) that he hopes Lila can come to love. Lila is stunned. She is in love with her cousin Neville and could never fall for anyone else!
But Lila and her best friend come up with a plan to make her completely undesirable to Mortimer. What follows is a fun story of hi-jinks and love that will leave you with a smile. Josi is quickly becoming one of my must-buy regency authors.
The second story is Unmasking the Duke by Donna Hatch. This is a new author for me and she has a nice detailed style to her story-telling. This one is about Hannah Palmer, a woman who is a little shy in crowds and with people she doesn't know. Her sister is throwing a masquerade ball, however, and Hannah takes the opportunity to be how she's always wanted to be---outgoing and witty and charming. She meets a man at the ball who intrigues her and she's seeing this masked man as someone she'd like to know better---until they remove the masks. He's the horrible neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg. The bumps in the road to this happily ever after were fun to read and had some really great dialogue.
The last one was What's In A Name by Nancy Campbell Allen. Two beautiful twin girls are trying to find their way in the world after their parents have passed and they are being cared for by relatives who aren't exactly fair and loving. Persephone is in love with the town doctor, but since she is seen as the more beautiful twin, her aunt wants a better match for her than that. She encourages her to write to the Duke of Wilmington, but Persphone asks Penelope to do it in her place so she can continue her romance with the doctor. Penelope does it, falling in love with the Duke and his letters. All is going along fine until the Duke decides to attend the masquerade ball and meet Penelope whom he believes is Persephone because Persephone who is really Penelope might be the only woman on earth he could ever love. (*lets out a breath* Did you get all that? It was a mouthful!)
Penelope is mortified as she tries to act like her sister when she wants nothing more than to be the woman in the letters. A charming story that had me staying up way too late to finish it!
I loved the themes in this book. As a parent, we all strive to make our homes a safe and welcoming place for our family members and this book presentsI loved the themes in this book. As a parent, we all strive to make our homes a safe and welcoming place for our family members and this book presents all the ways that Lily helps to make her home a holy place.
For example, Lily talks about saying prayers, eating dinner with her family, and working together. There were little inspirational quotes from Church leaders that went along with each theme and I enjoyed listening to my children talk about what they do "like Lily" as we read the story. The illustrations in this book were amazing and looked almost like photographs, they were so detailed. It really added to the story, I thought, and kept my children focused on Lily and her family.
In the back of the book were other questions to spark discussions in a family setting and we really enjoyed using that in our family home evening. I highly recommend this book for families who want a well told story that leads to discussions on how to draw closer together....more
I stayed up WAY too late last night, but I HAD to see how Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince by Jennifer Moore ended. It is a romantic, sigh-worthy historicI stayed up WAY too late last night, but I HAD to see how Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince by Jennifer Moore ended. It is a romantic, sigh-worthy historical romance that really caught me by surprise.
Meg Burton has come from South Carolina to England, in the hopes of finding herself a husband. She's a girl who craves adventure and thinks that a castle in England would be the best bet in finding one. Until her brother mentions that their family really needs her to find a rich husband because they are nearly at the edge of their finances. This puts a damper on things because Meg is then required to put aside her own talents (like poetry and politics and finding adventure) and discuss the weather and other silly things. It is definitely not what she'd hoped for---until she makes the acquaintance of a stable hand, who's not really a stable hand but Prince Rodrigo de Talavera.
The Prince is in hiding because of the royal family being kidnapped. He's desperately trying to find out where his parents have been taken, and is frustrated that he can't seem to find them and is in a prison of his own. Being constantly guarded, even on a grand estate, holds no interest for him. Until he meets Meg Burton. She mistakes him for a stable hand and he lets that assumption go on. But the more time he spends with her, the more he comes to care for her. Will she understand why he deceived her and didn't reveal his true identity? Or will he lose her as well?
I loved how the author brought these two people together. There was so much witty dialogue and fun scenes that made me laugh, it truly was fun to read. It wasn't all fluff, however, and the time period was well-represented with the different cultural backgrounds of each character from England, Spain, and America particularly well done. I loved the journey each character went through and the ending had me closing the book with a happy sigh. This one is a keeper for sure!