Sophia Spencer is a small town doctor's daughter, raised far from the influence of the ton and high London society. So, when a solicitor shows up at h...moreSophia Spencer is a small town doctor's daughter, raised far from the influence of the ton and high London society. So, when a solicitor shows up at her door with an inheritance to bestow, life takes quite the unexpected twist. She is sent to town for her "season", a whirlwind schedule of teas and concerts under the care of her aunt, whom she'd never met. The pace is dizzying and society's rules so confusing. Sophia lays down for a nap at the ball and wakes up in quite an uncomfortable, but innocent situation that could ruin her reputation and the honor of the man involved. She finds herself engaged to be married to Adam Huntley, a sour grumpy (yet handsome) fellow--but can she follow through?
A light, clean introduction to Regency era romance, Sophia is told in dual perspective. There is a villain afoot and a slow romance fighting against the odds. Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this one, but wished for more detail and fleshing out of the characters and story line. It's a fast, simple read. I grew fond of the characters and was thirsting for more sights, sounds and feels. Paula has some wonderful material in person and place to work with for future novels and I hope to see more from her on shelves in the future!
LOVE! Picked it up because of the gorgeous shimmery cover. It reminds me of The Winner’s Curse. I am like a moth to the flame with covers of...moreThe Cover
LOVE! Picked it up because of the gorgeous shimmery cover. It reminds me of The Winner’s Curse. I am like a moth to the flame with covers of girls in beautiful ball gowns.
The ending. Surprise twist and lots of suspense. This is a cliffhanger, so you will have to pick up book two.
The complex characters. These dutchesses, their sons, servants and companions have a lot going on.
Jewel moves along at a fast pace, it is easy to read in one sitting. You are revulsed but drawn to the story at the same time.
The idea of another human being both a surrogate mother and servant at the same time is creepy. Complete misuse of women’s bodies and souls. There is a dark dystopian edge to all that is shiny and glitters in Jewel.
Lots of drama. Jewel’s society and royalty are glitsy, glamour and corrupt taken to the extreme.
Couldn’t figure out the augeries–genetic mutations that involve the owner’s ability to make magic.
sex, moderate violence, blurred gender, servitude and use of women.(less)
This is this first novel I have read by Lorie Ann Grover, but not the first in the Blink YA imprint. I was thrilled to pick up another clean YA contem...moreThis is this first novel I have read by Lorie Ann Grover, but not the first in the Blink YA imprint. I was thrilled to pick up another clean YA contemporary read with Christian undertones. The story line took me aback at first because it is about a student and graduate student teacher who feel attracted to one another. That is usually an automatic DNF for me because I just can't stomach student-teacher relationships in any form. However, in Hit this is not the main focus of the story line and told from two points of view, you get a full picture that this is more a story about grief, trauma and forgiveness. There is truly something magical about Hit that defies description. It is short, easy to read and simplistic, yet deep. At the end I felt transformed and wanted to read more. Author Lorie Ann Grover weaves in poetry with raw straight to the point realities of the aftermath at a car accident scene and the immediate consequences. I do wish the ending were a bit longer, or not so neatly tied up. I'm not sure if the finished version is different form the uncorrected bound proof, but I missed how the victim came to know the driver was her teacher Hastings. It seemed some of the story was cut or left out.
Hit is based on the real life experience of the author's best friend who's child was also hit at an intersection. It makes you think twice about distracted driving and how quickly life can change. I'm not sure how Grover got me there--to the point of loving this book and wanting a sequel, but she did! I am sad that there is not a book two in the works at this time (please, please write an epilogue or novella). This is a strong standalone. (less)
Stitching Snow reminded me a lot of the Wondla Series by Tony DiTerlizzi. Take Snow White and mash it up with Star Wars like drones, add some cage fig...moreStitching Snow reminded me a lot of the Wondla Series by Tony DiTerlizzi. Take Snow White and mash it up with Star Wars like drones, add some cage fighting and you have a fresh take on an old fairy tale. Essie is living a quiet life repairing mining drones on planet Thanda when a ship crashes across the sky. The lone survivor is a mysterious and dangerous boy named Dane. Essie's goal is to get him up and out of her life as soon as possible. The two work on repairing or "stitching" the code to get his mode of transportation back in the air. But as the plot unravels, we learn Dane is way more than meets the eye, much more than a traveling treasure hunter. He is a threat in more ways than one. Essie has major trust issues from her abuse in the past and any male is to be held at more than arms distance.
With slow building romance and plenty of action, Essie's journey takes readers to several different planets. All the while she has sidekick dwarf drones Dimwit and Cusser by her side. There are dark villains, an evil step-mother and the potential inheritance of a royal throne. Overall, I really enjoyed R.C. Lewis debut. It took a while to understand the world and mindset of each character, but once rolling there is plenty going on! I also really like that this is a standalone. The techy, sci fi side isn't normally my forte, but the complexity of Dane and Essie's relationship kept me hooked. Kudos to Lewis for holding my interest and wrapping things up in a hopeful, romantic way.
Content: recommend for 16 and older because of two attempted rape scenes and heavy themes. No swearing. Moderate violence.(less)
It was a rainy day yesterday and I picked up three different books in hopes for an escape, and struck out. So I turned to Shelley Shepard Gray...bingo...moreIt was a rainy day yesterday and I picked up three different books in hopes for an escape, and struck out. So I turned to Shelley Shepard Gray...bingo! Once again, her Return to Sugar Creek series was the ticket to a clean, sweet diversion. The third installment picks up three different story lines and follows the theme of second chances, tender mercies from a loving God. There's the couple who has broken up, the young couple who has miscarried and is looking to adopt, and a divorced restaurant owner who is afraid to trust again. At firs, I was hesitant to have so much going on at one time and I found myself drawn to the story of Elizabeth and Randall. I wasn't quite as engaged in the other two stories, until the very end, when I was surprised to find I was in tears at the sweet story of a foster baby finding a home.
Shelley Shepard Gray wraps things up in a neat tidy package. She writes feel good novels with faith intertwined. If you are looking for a simple plot with predictable resolution you will be pleased. One finds themselves transported to a community where horse drawn buggies are still used, homemade sugar cookies are cut out with the top of a glass. Yet, modernization is afoot and modern characters are woven in quite nicely. I love the Amish charm and the goodness that emanates from their lives. Recommend this series for a Fall rainy day read! There's study questions in the book and a sneak peek to book four...going online to pre-order!(less)
Never has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus-Pace shar...moreNever has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus-Pace shares her wisdom with youth as well as her life experiences. In 2006 she was badly injured by a bobsled and had a huge mountain to climb to make it back on the track.Like, all of us, she has faced moral dilemmas, ups and downs, but she remained focused on what matters most. Noelle shares how important it is to step outside our comfort zone and friendship others. She shares her personal struggle with miscarriage and returning to the track after an answer to prayer. She reminds youth to be modest, to be an example and to let your light shine.
I read this book full of quotes, photos and inspirational graphics in one sitting. It is one I will passing on to my daughters and sons. I cried along with her when she finally grasped her Olympic medal dream, with Young Women's medallion also around her neck on the awards podium. Her temple medallion reminds all of us..."You are more precious than rubies."(less)
This was part of the required reading for my 6th grader. It gave her nightmares and we pulled her for homeschool during reading. Would not recommend b...moreThis was part of the required reading for my 6th grader. It gave her nightmares and we pulled her for homeschool during reading. Would not recommend because of war themes and graphic nature. There is also a public bathing scene with teenagers.(less)
Regency Romance is one of my favorite genres, and Sarah M. Eden is a great go to Regency author. In her latest, For Elise, Miles Linwood, a marquess,...moreRegency Romance is one of my favorite genres, and Sarah M. Eden is a great go to Regency author. In her latest, For Elise, Miles Linwood, a marquess, is traveling the country when he happens upon his long lost childhood friend. Elise, now called Ella is a very young widow with small child, living a life of poverty. The two were the best of friends growing up until a murder tore their lives and inherited estates apart. Ella is guarded and seems burdened with so many emotions bottled up, that when Miles steps in to offer her a new life, she's not sure she can open up again and let him in. Eden addresses deafness, prejudice of social classes and trust between friends. There's plenty of suspense as mysterious handwritten notes start showing up as a threat to Elise. The murderer is lurking nearby Tafford Estate where Miles now lives.
I read For Elise in one day, start to finish. With returning characters from her previous novels and a dreamy landscape, once again Ms. Eden had me fully engaged. I recommend all of her books!
Content: clean, some kissing & tension, moderate violence, rape (but not described.)(less)
An audiobook narrated by the author? Tyler Whitesides can not only write, but he has more than one voice! Mr. Garcia with rolling “r’s” and the middle...moreAn audiobook narrated by the author? Tyler Whitesides can not only write, but he has more than one voice! Mr. Garcia with rolling “r’s” and the middle school bully Dez are just two of the characters portrayed in Janitors #4. My children adore this series. We listened to it to and from school and once again were not disappointed in the action packed, middle grade magic. In installment #4 Spencer and his crew and fighting a hybrid race of “toxites” and the evil Mr. Clean. Armed with glop, brooms and squeegees the war is on!
If you haven’t read the rest of the Janitors series, start with book one and then get to book four around Halloween time. The tone and music is perfect for a suspenseful read with witches and warlocks. Tyler Whitesides know how to reel in this family and I’m sure he will yours!(less)
In a world where children will be forced to make some hard decisions, Girls Who Choose God gives them examples of women from the Bible to look up to a...moreIn a world where children will be forced to make some hard decisions, Girls Who Choose God gives them examples of women from the Bible to look up to and emulate. With stunning hand painted illustrations by Kathleen Peterson this book is a work of art. My children are still a bit young to truly enjoy them, but we will be using it as a read aloud and Sunday School tool. The authors highlight strong women and ask readers a question at the end of each story. A wonderful addition to your library and a great way to get discussion going about what you would do in a difficult situation to be more like these girls in the scriptures. Girls Who Choose God has a multi-cultural and ethnic feel. The pages are vibrant. Love the message!(less)
Where to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele's Wi...moreWhere to begin? Wow, this a whirlwind of a book! So much plot packed into a small amount of time. Lots of drama, twists and turns. Carolyn Steele's Willow Springs reminded me a lot of Carla Kelly's romance novels, also by the same publisher. If you a re fan of the Wild, and I mean, Wild West, books set in the 1800's, you will like this one. Crissa is a Swedish immigrant who leaves her homeland bound for America. Once arrived, her life is about as complicated and cursed as they come. Luckily she has some great people to take care of her when sinister plots unfold.
There are definitely darker elements to this one as rape, prostitution, murder and violence are addressed. I think for my taste, it was a bit TMI in some parts. I'm not sure I would categorize it as completely clean. Though sex is not described in detail, it is a prevalent theme of the story.
I always enjoy historical elements in romance. And the main hero Drake was wonderful. The cover--gorgeous! There were a few editing issues, but since we received an e arc, I'm hoping those are fixed in the final copy. Lots of action, some fun references to the early Mormon church and an intriguing enough read that I finished in one day.
Not a bad debut! Thanks so much to the author for her kindness and to Cedar Fort for having us as a part of the blog tour.(less)