This was a fun LDS read. I really got into it when Carrie takes off with Slade and Rossen. I've always had a thing for cowboys (hard-workin...more3/3.5 stars
This was a fun LDS read. I really got into it when Carrie takes off with Slade and Rossen. I've always had a thing for cowboys (hard-working men, who are charming, and are built with lean muscles) and these two are gentlemen besides. The characters were great and I loved Rossen's family.
There is quite a lot going on between Carrie's safety, the rodeos, and the traveling. I also loved the scenery and especially Slade's house, which is basically my dream house. :) The romance was really sweet, but also realistic for the situation.
I did feel it was a little too preachy and that the way those who weren't members of the church just ate everything up was unrealistic. It was just too easy and didn't feel real to me. It was also dramatic at parts, but it is a happily-ever-after kind of tale. Due to the religious content, I would recommend this only to members of the church.
Overall, it was an enjoyable, even if not realistic, read.
Content: Clean Source: Received a copy from the tour host for an honest review.(less)
I was excited to read more about Rossen after liking him so much in Peace River (the first book in this series). I actually really liked al...more2.5/3 stars
I was excited to read more about Rossen after liking him so much in Peace River (the first book in this series). I actually really liked all the characters. Kit was super sweet, which was a little surprising under the circumstances. You would think she would be very bitter, but I think in her case it was her trying to survive and just having absolutely no control over what happened to her. I also liked her interests in playing guitar and modeling/firing clay. Rossen's family is great, again, and I loved hearing about them working their ranch and their interactions as a family.
Rossen's and Kit's interactions were really sweet, but I definitely understood Rossen's apprehension due to their difference in ages. I liked the rocker as well. I did think that the situation was a little crazy and didn't like how Kit was just leading some people along. You can date and have fun without doing that.
There was some really humorous and sweet moments in this book, especially dealing with Kit getting ready to deliver her baby, although it definitely got intense at some points as well. It about broke my heart when Rossen tries to let Kit move on. Thank goodness for happy endings!
As there was in Peace River, there is quite a lot of religious content and so I'd recommend this to members of the church to read. I also felt like a lot of it was also unrealistic. For most people it isn't quite like this. On a similar note, I did think in some ways that Kit's talents were a little unbelievable - to be great as so many things and have everything turn out as they did was just too good to be true. So, that bothered me a little.
Overall, it was a fun read. I had too high of expectations and was a little disappointed, but I will continue reading books from this author.
Content: Clean Source: Received a copy from the tour host for an honest review.(less)
This is another republished work for this author. I actually own the original book called, Through All Hopes, and read it back in 2009. I don't know w...moreThis is another republished work for this author. I actually own the original book called, Through All Hopes, and read it back in 2009. I don't know what, if anything, was changed when it was republished. I'll have to see if I can find out without having to go page by page comparing my two copies. I also don't know what was different this time around, but the first time I read it I gave it three stars and this time, I gave it five. I loved it!
This is one of Sarah's more depressing (that's not quite the right word) books, but I really liked the characters and I wanted so desperately for things to work out for them. They both have misconceptions of how things went wrong and neither are completely in the right, but mostly they don't know where they have been wrong. I literally had to hold back tears regarding some of the things that Miranda had to deal with. I am a mother, a wife, and have experienced something that happened to her character (trying to not give away any spoilers here) and couldn't imagine going through that with an estranged husband.
The plot moved at a nice pace, but with tension, sadness, and happiness here and there. What also struck me was that the author let us see the more fake/manipulative side of the English aristocracy during that time period. Not everyone had loving families and parents who let them marry for love, in fact I don't believe that most did marry for love, but for rank and wealth.
So, dealing with all those difficulties, why did I love it? The characters, my interest in the plot, and that there was hope for a happy ending. I think the title fits perfectly. I also love the cover! If you like Sarah's books or Historical Romance, I would definitely recommend reading this!
I haven't ever read a book like Gated before - about a group of people who believe they are the chosen ones who will be saved when the apocalypse comes (all those not in their community are evil and will be destroyed), and who basically leave civilization to build their own community and unquestioningly follow one individual. The word "cult" was used a few times in the book, but that really is too strong of a word and the wrong one to use to describe their community. These people were generally good, nice people who didn't do anything wrong or bother anyone. I would think of a cult as a group of people who regularly enact violent acts or practices. This group is fairly nonviolent, except for punishments, until things escalate at one point. Now I feel I should say that almost the entire book upset me. I didn't agree with anything the group as a whole, or the individuals (especially the adults) within the group thought or did. The author did a great job of letting her characters think and act how they should in the situation they were all in. Several of the quotes that were included at the beginning of each chapter, especially towards the end of the book, were quite terrifying in and of themselves - in that I couldn't believe that someone would think that way and do these things. I was basically terrified for the people in this community and especially for Lyla.
Obviously this is not a nice, sweet, and romantic book to pick up when that's what you need. I could have handled a few more happy moments; maybe the story starting further back with Cody and Lyla seeing each other in town on multiple occasions over time so that the romance could build up. It's almost insta-love. However, the romance is not the focal point of this story. It is more of something that drives Lyla to question what is going on in her community. It is a rather intense and depressing tale. One that, thankfully, worked out for me. It did help that the characters were well formed and felt realistic to me, and that the writing and editing were very well done. Now I just need to go read something light and happy.
I really liked Cody. He was probably my favorite character even though we only see him in a small portion of the story. I liked Lyla, but I got frustrated with her at certain points even though she reacted how someone raised as she was probably would. I disliked the parents the most - even more than Pioneer. They have these children that they choose to bring in to this community and blindly follow Pioneer even though they have experienced the outside world. They also, to me, didn't protect their children the way they should have and being a parent that really got to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't like Pioneer either, but he is empowered by the people in the community to get away with what he does. Lyla's friends were each great additions and added some different perspectives and dynamics to the group and story. Will and Marie are both rocks for Lyla. Lyla struggles with some doubts thinking that she is alone in wanting something different. Later she finds out that even her two best friends had their own hidden hopes and dreams.
Overall this was an interesting read and well done for the type of story it was. It's something I hope will never play out in the future in real life, even though it has before.
Here is my favorite quote from the book, by Lyla:
"What I do know is that looking into a sky like this one gives me hope. If a sky this dark can still be peppered with so much light, maybe this world can be too."
Content: Some strong violence in one part of the book. No language or sexual content.
Source: I received a copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.(less)
I am so glad that I signed up for this tour! I would have probably never picked this book...more4.5 stars Original review posted on Tressa's Wishful Endings.
I am so glad that I signed up for this tour! I would have probably never picked this book up otherwise, at least not for some time. I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this! From the first chapter, I knew I would.
The writing was really good. The author gives you some descriptions, but the characters and surroundings mostly come alive as Mally's story is told. I also loved that the author gives you hints or partial descriptions of some things (i.e. the conspirators in murdering the queen and king), but not exact details so that you have to guess a little. It adds a little suspense. I figured a lot of things out early on, but didn't know the journey the story would take toward its conclusion.
I really liked the characters! Mally was fabulous! She was a realistic teenager, but was true to her background. I got a little frustrated with her in a few spots because she was so naive and trusting, but this did fit in with the way she was raised and her experiences up to those points. Basically I just wanted her to make a different choice. You know as you're reading and you're trying to tell the character "Don't do it!" "Think first!" So silly. I also really liked the other characters. There is a slue of them and they are all individual and strong enough that I wasn't confused who was who and the role they played. So well done!
I also really liked the plot. It is a sweet story and somewhat of a fairy tale. I did wish there had been just a little bit more romance and maybe some more conversation/development at the end, but that would be all. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read for me! I will definitely be looking up this author's other book and reading her books in the future.
If you enjoy historical or medieval fiction, with knights, a castle, and a hidden princess, then definitely pick this up!
Content: Clean Source: Received a copy for book tour and from NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.(less)