Monthly Archives: June 2016

No Other Will Do by Karen Whitmeyer

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Men are optional. That’s the credo Emma Chandler’s suffragette aunts preached and why she started a successful women’s colony in Harper’s Station, Texas. But when an unknown assailant tries repeatedly to drive them out, Emma admits they might need a man after all. A man who can fight–and she knows just the one.

Malachi Shaw finally earned the respect he craved by becoming an explosives expert for the railroad. Yet when Emma’s plea arrives, he bolts to Harper’s Station to repay the girl who once saved his life. Only she’s not a girl any longer. She’s a woman with a mind of her own and a smile that makes a man imagine a future he doesn’t deserve.

As the danger intensifies, old feelings grow and deepen, but Emma and Mal will need more than love to survive.

My Review:

Lighter fiction is generally not my thing, but Ms. Whitmeyer pulls you into this story with a unique storyline. Women who believe they can do it on their own, set in a historical setting is one thing. Saving battered women is another. That touched my heart. It is something that is near and dear to my heart as I know that historically women suffered without any recourse. They were often killed by their spouses, beaten or harmed in other ways while everyone looked the other way.

I also loved Malachi. He wanted to show love, but didn’t believe himself worthy. He had worked hard to rise above the homeless boy he once was, but still did not see his value.

This spoke to me about how many of us do not see our value. We still see ourselves as trash, good for nothing often, instead of seeing ourselves as precious jewels that have been tried by fire. I honestly, could have done without so much of the love story, but it was not as mushy gushy as I thought it could have been. I hope that Ms. Whitmeyer goes back to Harper’s Station and gives us more stories for these women.

This book was provided by the author and NetGalley for review. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:
Bessie Randall had no intention of moving to Wyoming. But could the life she would never choose be better than the one she had planned?

Bessie is shocked when she finds out that her sister Lenore has used her name to correspond with a soldier she’s never met—and that she’s actually married the man by proxy with Bessie’s name. And if Bessie contests it, her sister could go to jail for forgery. Bessie has always felt responsible for her younger sister, and she believes she has no choice but to do the honorable thing and travel west to meet up with Jasper Mendenhall.

But Jasper’s orders to return to Fort Bowie are moved up, and he has no choice but to take Bessie with him. To his surprise, he finds much to like in the quiet young woman: things like humor and grit. But even those qualities may not be enough as the Apaches move in, determined to eradicate the fort in their midst. Can God mend their hearts together in spite of the circumstances?

My Review:

I was pleasantly surprised by this story, not knowing what to expect. I was used to Ms. Coble’s suspense books and reading a historical was fascinating.

As with all story lines, this one is more of a cliche that has been used before, but the story is woven well. It is a lighter read for the most part. The heavier topics winton the story are not gone into in an depth, which keeps this a lighter read. It would be appropriate for teens.

I know mail order marriages happened so much more in the past than now, but often we read about them and they turn out okay. I think this gives us an unrealistic expectation that there is not a need for love before you are married, because it can be built. One thing that was good in this story, is it shows that the couple realized even though they were legally married, they needed a time to build trust on one another before actually being married. Many men were not that honorable.  This is not gone into in any detail, but some thoughts that I had while reading it.

This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police Detective . . . mostly. She’s very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he’s sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie’s determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

My Review:

I have always enjoyed Dee Henderson’s books and this one was no exception. Her books have gotten a bit slower in the past years, and this one was more attention getting than the others recently, but I still felt like I was being told the story rather than experiencing it.
I enjoyed the myriad of characters. The storyline was great… but it just lagged in places where it could have been faster moving.

I am hoping there will be more of the stories that the sheriff and detective solve together…
This is not romantic tale, but has small hints of romantic feelings throughout, but nothing concrete until, well, you will have to find that out!

This book was provided for review by Netgalley and Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

You can order here… Traces of Guilt 

 

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Delilah by Angela Hunt

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls
Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

My Review:

You know you have to be a talented writer to write about the women in the bible that everyone scorns and have people enjoy it!

I did really like this book, although I did not always find her a sympathetic character as much, Ms. Hunt wove a tale that makes you realize and understand what she did.
Often Samson is portrayed as a womanizer, Delilah, a scheming evil woman simply looking to line her pockets. This story will help you see past that and to the possible inner workings of this man and woman. I found it fascinating that it mentions that Samson is talked about in the hall of faith as someone to look up to. We often seek to judge others, not as God judges.

This was given to me for review by NetGalley and Bethany House publishers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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An Elegant Facade by Kristi Hunter

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

About the book:

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.
With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he’s irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.
What Colin doesn’t know is that Georgina’s desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina’s plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.

 

My Review

This very tastefully done regency novel will bring to mind scenes from Jane Austen. Indeed, she is even quoted within the pages of this novel.
In the beginning of the book, I found myself irritated with the main characters, but enjoyed the continuation of the story from the previous book by this author. However, as time went on, they endeared themselves to me with all their quirks and faults.

I found myself wanting to go back to the novel, thinking about it when I was not reading it, and now, that is rare this happens for me. They wormed their way into my hearts and I throughly enjoyed it!

This book was provided for me for review by NetGalley and the publisher, Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:
A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.

My Review:

Ms. West’s books will have you digging deep within yourself as you relate to one of the characters or more, in this novel. I am trying to think of what I liked best about it. I loved Lynette. She was this fragile, strong, wonderful character that you just wanted to be friends with. She did what she had to do to help her family, being the strong one, even though they thought she was weak.

There are romantic threads in this story, but that is not the focus at all. Instead, you find yourself addressing the emotional turmoil of having a father with Alzheimers and other twists and turns.

I loved each page of this book! I wanted to savor it and just not let it end. Every book by Catherine West, gets better and better, but this one, I just wanted more. I wanted more stories about the other siblings. I just hope the author can write faster. =) Just look at the cover too. If you are looking for a book to take to the beach this summer, this is the book.

It releases July 12, 2016. You can preorder it here! “The Things We Knew” I highly recommend that you do!

This book was provided by NetGalley and the publisher for review. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

 

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