Refuge on Crescent Hill is a wonderful novel with forgiveness being woven into a wonderful suspense plot as the main lesson. There is a lot to take awRefuge on Crescent Hill is a wonderful novel with forgiveness being woven into a wonderful suspense plot as the main lesson. There is a lot to take away from Refuge on Crescent Hill and there is a lot to enjoy from it while reading it.
Ms. Dobson has done a wonderful job crafting a suspenseful story with a lesson and meaning in it. Refuge on Crescent Hill is not all about the lesson. It's really a suspense novel first and foremost, but it has wonderful truths and lessons that can be taken home from it. And I love that they are done in subtle ways, not in "in your face" ways that turn some people off.
First let me talk about the characters. Camden is the main character in the story, but there is a subplot going on as well that I found fascinating that follows a college student (from Clemson - I went there!) named Stephanie who is also very interesting. But Camden is still the main character. Camden has come to Etherton to visit her grandmother only to find she has passed away. Camden is at a place in life where she is just kind of floating freely and not sure where she should be. She just wants to belong somewhere and when she comes home to Crescent Hill she finds that there are problems there as well and she has to fight her urge to run as she usually does when there are problems. In Etherton, Camden meets Alex. Alex has settled into Etherton and now calls it home. He was running from his problems but has come to terms with them. He's trying to help revitalize the town but having a hard time when the town council fights all his recommendations. He and Camden have an attraction to each other, but that is really secondary to the mystery in the book. I felt Camden and Alex were decently developed. I did get to know them and their motivations, but felt I could have known them just a little bit better. But this is a suspense novel so more of the emphasis is on the plot.
The plotting was mostly well-done. Only the ending seemed a little rushed. Up until that point I though the book was plotted excellently, then all of a sudden everthing starts happening and it all just seemed too rushed. I was happy with the outcome of the book and felt like everything was tied up well so this wasn't too big a deal, but it's one of those things that bugs you a little bit, especially with a book as well done as Refuge on Crescent Hill. Ms. Dobson did an amazing job weaving the two present-time plots together with the past plot as well. That part of the story-telling was superb and had me enthralled. I loved the older people in the story that could tell the stories. They were fascinating and I love that she added them to the story. It's a reminder to talk to the older people we know, hear their stories so we can continue to pass them down to our children. It's important.
The underlying message of the book was beautifully done. Forgiveness being the lesson and it is shown in amazing ways in this book. I really though if these people could forgive, then I can surely forgive people that I need to. And it wasn't just about forgiving other people, it also touched on forgiving yourself. We all carry a lot of guilt around and really we need to take the time and forgive ourselves as well. God will forgive us if we ask so shouldn't we forgive ourselves (and we talked about that in Sunday School class this past Sunday so I found that really coincidental). This aspect of the boo was subtle but there and done so well I can't stop thinking about. Yes this is a Christian book, but it's not a beat you over the head Christian book. I think Ms. Dobson did a wonderful job making this a book that could be read in the mainstream while still representing Christian morals and values (and really just any good morals and values).
In summary - while there are some flaws in Refuge on Crescent Hill, I still feel it is a very worthwhile book to read. The characters are interesting and down to earth. The plotting is fast-paced and holds your attention well and the story has a meaning that will stick with you for quite a while....more
Dark Eden captured and held my attention from the first page until the very last. I was deeply invested in what was going in with Will Besting and theDark Eden captured and held my attention from the first page until the very last. I was deeply invested in what was going in with Will Besting and the other 6 teenagers who went to Fort Eden with him. I didn't view any of the app things so that might would have improved my experience. I think that was part of the whole experience, but with the ARC I wasn't sure what to view when (I'm not very app savvy I will admit). Ignoring the app part, and just focusing on the book, as I said the book engaged me and there were definitely surprises around several turns in the book, but somehow the book just did not live up to it's hype for me. And I think it's just a personal thing because I know several reviewers have raved about this one. I think I went in expecting a little more. There was just something missing in the story for me and I can't quite put my hands on what it was. It seems like the plot was missing something.
I liked the characters, they were varied, but except for Will and Marisa, you really didn't get to know any of the rest of them. This is because the book is told from Will's point-of-view and because it is told this way and the nature of how the story takes place it is hard to get to know the other characters.
One thing I really liked was the suspense of finding out each characters' fears. That was fascinating and well done, so the book was definitely worth my time to read, it just wasn't one of my personal stellar reads of the year. ...more
Coming back to Harmony with each book is like coming home to me. Jodi manages to make the town of Harmony, Texas feel like my own home town and it's iComing back to Harmony with each book is like coming home to me. Jodi manages to make the town of Harmony, Texas feel like my own home town and it's inhabitants like people I know and run into at the store. Even though there are usually six months between installments, I fall right back into town life and the life of the people the story focuses on. Yet if this was the first Harmony novel you were to pick up, I think that would be fine as well. Jodi goes into enough back story to familiarize you with a character so a new person to the Harmony books wouldn't feel lost.
The Comforts of Home is different from the first two Harmony novels which focused mainly on one couple while focusing on the town too. Now of course those two couples are settled down and we get to see some of them in this book which is a real treat. But in this installment, several story lines are focused on. Here several romances are given the spotlight and several characters with minor roles in earlier books are also given the spotlight. Reagan and Noah are ever-present and I am glad for that - I want to continue to see them grow up in the town of Harmony. I also love how Jodi uses people of all different ages in her books. She doesn't focus on 20-something couples or even 30-somethings. There is even a couple who broke up in WWII in this one who are either trying to reignite the fire or keep it going, depending on who's gossip you believe.
So there is romance, and that is wonderful, but the characters are what really make these books and The Comforts of Home is no exception. Getting a closer look at Tyler, Kate, Ronelle and several others was great in this book. Such different people with different lives, yet they can all come together when needed. And of course some new faces are introduced and there are some definite interesting ones there as well that I can't wait to see more of in future books.
I won't give too much away but suffice it to say that the plot moves along swiftly. I never wanted to put it down and I didn't want it to end. I definitely don't want to wait until April for the next book, but I guess I will have to. Until then I have the various stories going through my head and hopes and dreams for the characters to come. So far Ms. Thomas has not disappointed and I don't expect her to anytime soon. The Harmony series is like a roaring fire on a cool fall or winter day, comforting and relaxing, something that just makes you feel like you are at home. That's what The Comforts of Home is like and it's perfect for these coming late fall/early winter days so make sure you get a copy and see for yourself. ...more
I really enjoyed Lucky Girl as pure entertainment. Jess's exploits from leaving Orlando to returning were highly entertaining and the true essence ofI really enjoyed Lucky Girl as pure entertainment. Jess's exploits from leaving Orlando to returning were highly entertaining and the true essence of classic chicklit to me. There is humor, self-depreciation, girlfriends, makeovers, great clothes and shoes, friendly pets, good men, bad men, bad women and so much more. While some plot lines were a little glossed over for me, overall the main plot lines were covered well and the characters rang true. I loved Jess and her stay true to your girl friend cousins. I also like Nick who showed himself to be a very good man.
Lucky Girl as I said pretty much has it all. There are explanations into previous exploits in characters lives to make it obvious why they have acted that way in the past. There is Jess on vacation who is sure she is going to act different to attract a man and get over her engagement gone bad and her self-esteem that is in the toilet. And who better to do that with than hot, sexy spy guy, Nick? Reading Lucky Girl, I want a Nick of my own. He sounds amazing and so sweet to. I really liked him as he and Jess begin to fall for each other, he's so sweet. Of course some of what happens is predictable, but the end is great so that is all that matters, and that part wasn't predictable.
My only qualm was a couple of the story lines became glossed over through the book. I'm guessing the author ran out of space and eventually they were really backseat to the main story so I understand. The main story was resolved and I was happy, though I did still wanted to know a few other things, but truly that was my only gripe with the book. Otherwise I found the book to be a great read. It read quickly, kept me entertained. It was sweet, romantic and was just one of those great books that takes you away for the day and romances you and reminds you there are great men out there (and for me reminds me I have one of them). I loved Jess and Nick's story and look forward to more of Ms. Lord's writing. There was a definite fun voice to this story and hopefully we'll get to see maybe one or two of the cousins in their own story in the future....more
To use the terminology of the authors, this book moves "wicked" fast. :)
I was excited and scared to read this book. Excited because it sounded interesTo use the terminology of the authors, this book moves "wicked" fast. :)
I was excited and scared to read this book. Excited because it sounded interesting and scared because it deals with mothering a special needs child. I'm a mother and while I don't have a special needs child I sometimes find books like this hard to read because I feel such pain for the mother and the child both. This isn't that kind of book. Sure you sympathize for both Rory and Archer, but this is so much more. This isn't a feel sorry for them book. This explores Rory and Archer in a different way, at least I thought so.
From the first page I was sucked right into this story. The story is about Archer, who is the mom of Rory, the son who is 15 with Aspergers Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. The book explores the roller coaster ride that is Archer and Rory's life as Rory starts a new school year with a bang (getting suspended) and starts hanging out with someone who his mom wishes he wouldn't hang out with. From there, it goes up and down and you never know where the book will take you next. Around the corner, to Gloucester, MA, to Salem, and back to Bangor, you just never know where Rory will be. As I read into the late evening hours, I kept telling myself, one more chapter, until it got later and later. I was hooked. I had to know what would happen next.
I felt very connected with Archer. She is very human and never sure she is doing the right thing with Rory and often wonders if she should just give up so she can have her own life because she definitely does not parenting Rory. I love how as the story progressed, layer upon layer of Archer was unveiled and more was learned about her and Rory both. At times I felt for Rory. At times I wanted to hug him, at times I wanted to shake him. It was interesting to see him through the book since I have never had any exposure to a child with Aspergers. I also found Trish, Rory's friend, an interesting addition.
The story flowed well and had me invested by the first page. This book is different, this book is great. I loved it and just cannot say enough great things about the story of Archer and Rory. It's well-plotted, the characters are real and well-done and the book comes to life as you read it.
You can buy the PDF through their website for $0.79 or an ebook through Amazon or B&N for $2.00. The paperback is $9.95. I would say this book is well worth the money....more
A genre that continues to surprise me as one that engages me from cover to cover is the memoir. I never thought nonfiction would read like fiction andA genre that continues to surprise me as one that engages me from cover to cover is the memoir. I never thought nonfiction would read like fiction and be so interesting. I mean my life is pretty boring. And Linda Yellin is an ordinary woman, but I think that is what makes her book so interesting. She's not a movie star, a talk show host or a broadway star. She's just a married woman like me trying to find her place in the world.
From the first page, Ms. Yellin's humor shines through, but there is more than humor in this book. There is pure emotion and feeling in each page. I feel her pain when she is looking for a friend when moving to New York, or when trying to navigate the waters of being a step parent (something I wouldn't want to do). I feel her joy when she finds love, or a good take out place. I feel the emotions with her in each chapter, she can make you feel like you are with her and because she is a normal everyday woman, you can sympathize with her on each page even if you have never been to New York like me, or never been a step parent or even married.
The Last Blind Date is a love story of Linda and Randy, how they meet, fall in love, have a long distance relationship, decide to marry and then how Linda moves to New York to be with Randy and his kids. This is where Linda's life changes and she changes. And this is where the book is so much more than a love story. It's the story of a woman who comes into her own over time. It's beautiful, inspiring and a book I truly believe all women at any age should read. There are lessons to be learned, inspiration to take away and laughs to be laughed on hard days that any woman has. That is what a reader can take from this book. That is what I took. Ms. Yellin has charmed me with her wit and her emotion. Her writing has inspired me to look around me and find what makes me happy in my current life and hold on to that. And most of all she's inspired me to not take things too seriously - to laugh at things from time to time because laughing is needed.
I can't end my review without mentioning one of my favorite chapters - "Private School Benjamin" - I have never laughed as hard as her take on the private schools and the lengths parents went to for their kids and the references to her public school education. Hysterical. You will have to read this book just to read this chapter - it's well worth it.
So check this out, it's worth the time, it's not a long book. It reads quickly and it's very enjoyable. Full of humor laughs and great moments. Have a tissue ready for the end if you cry at commercials some times. It's classic and great. I just cannot say enough great things about this book....more
The cover is what first caught my eye of this book, the beauty of the colors and the Faerie on the cover. I admit to falling for covers and having toThe cover is what first caught my eye of this book, the beauty of the colors and the Faerie on the cover. I admit to falling for covers and having to read the books. Sometimes the books live up to the covers and sometimes they don't. Radiant Desire is an example of the book being so much more than the cover.
I have read two of Ms. Scott's young adult novels and really enjoyed them so I was wondering how her adult novel would be. She makes a very natural transition over to the adult romance realm taking with her the paranormal that she already uses in young adult, but instead of humans with magical powers she moves into the Fey realm.
In the beginning we meet Kaia Verde the Faerie Handmaid and seductress of the Queen of the Fey, Zafira. Kaia is pretty much used to go out and seduce men and then leave them embarrassed and wanting. Kaia truly has no use for men and thinks they are all cheaters and liars so she doesn't think twice when her Queen sends her out to seduce Garrett Jameson. But then there is something different about Garrett. When Kaia finds pleasure with Garrett and is sentenced to make Garrett fall in love with her as a human without magic, we get to know a very different Kaia.
This is when I started liking Kaia. The Kaia at the beginning of the book is very unfeeling and cruel and hard to like. But as a human she starts to like people and develop emotions and become real. I loved watching Kaia develop and here is where the story really begins to flourish is with the relationships between Kaia and Rachel who is her boss and Garrett's best friend's fiancee. What started as a way to use someone to get near Garrett becomes so much more. And when Garrett comes back into her life, that relationship is different too. So much happens and it was so interesting to watch, I just about could not be pulled away from the book for family movie night. But alas I had to be. I did keep sneaking pages in though because I wanted to know what would happen next. Garrett was fascinating too. He did not get close to people either and slowly through Kaia's touch and talking, the reader learns why he is the way he is and he begins to grow and change as well.
Ms. Scott beautifully crafted this romance and relationship novel so that the relationships bloom in front of your eyes. The fun part is even though the people involved don't see it, the reader does and of course you get to finally witness that a-ha moment but will it be too late for Kaia and Garrett? You'll just have to find out. And I dare say you will be quite surprised by the little story that Ms. Scott has created for the climax. It fits well and it surprised me - I really never saw it coming! The other great thing. Kaia is one of four sisters and handmaids of the Queen Zafira, so this is just the start of what looks to be a great series. I can't wait to see what happens with the next handmaid and hopefully get another glimpse of Kaia and Garrett.
Great romance, stellar relationship building, interesting world building, great future tie-in for other books, and just an all-around fun book with a beautiful cover. Radiant Desire is a book you should run out and get this week!...more
Wow what an rush of all different emotions. Imagine being an everyday teenager, being a little perturbed at your parents for a normal reason. They'veWow what an rush of all different emotions. Imagine being an everyday teenager, being a little perturbed at your parents for a normal reason. They've gone off to visit family for the the weekend and left you at home alone. And the the calamity of all calamities hits. At first you think it's something small, but then you realize it's something on a much grander scale and as each day goes by you realize that it has much more far reaching effects than you ever thought. This is where Alex is at within the first few pages of the book. From there it moves on to him venturing out from his hometown to try and find his parents.
Mike Mullin has imagined a world that really could exist in a time like this, looting, attacks, murder, all just for a little food. It's all about survival and while Alex wants to believe in the best in people we know from other situations in our world that disaster situations do not always bring out the best in people. But while Alex does meet some bad people on his way to Warren, Illinois, he also meets some generous people like Darla and her mother. Taking the good and bad along the way, Alex never gives up and with Darla who's life on the farm makes her the best person to have along on the trek they just might make it to where they are going.
I found the landscape descriptions and the weather descriptions to be very haunting but realistic. I enjoyed the character development especially the "city boy" of Alex pitted against the "country girl" of Darla. I like that Alex never let his ego get to him so much as to not let Darla use her skills to the advantage to help them the best. Alex was a gentleman to the max but he was also a boy. I liked watching their sweet romance blossom after they worked through some animosity. They really made a great team.
Ashfall is a great "what if" post-apocalyptic book and one of the most realistic books I've read in awhile. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The plot kept me turning pages and the characters kept me engaged in the story. It ended in a way that ties things up enough but I am hoping there will be another book because I really want to know how things continue in this post-apocalyptic society and how Alex and Darla continue to fare. I care about these two characters and they will stay in my mind for quite a while....more