July 15, 2016

Review: Hope Under Mistletoe

Hope Under Mistletoe Hope Under Mistletoe by Jessica R. Patch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I typically avoid novellas - only because for me, usually the longer a book is the more I love it - but I am so glad I didn't avoid this one!!!

This little novella packed a wonderful story line, great characters, hot (but clean!) romance, and a great spiritual theme of forgiveness in less than 100 pages! And it never felt rushed or cut short!

Eden was an intriguing character. She was your typical goody two shoes. But then again she wasn't! And Knox with his former hockey player turned bar owner bad-boy roughness sure does have his moments when he is quite wonderful. And Eden's son Eli.... He sounds so cute I just want to give him a hug!

I really loved how this book was clean and Christian without being boring. I appreciated the passion the characters felt romantically and that there were some moments that got steamier than Christian fiction usually does while still being completely clean. I also really liked that the characters felt temptation but avoided sin and even later had good conversations about how to forgive one another for the situation! In fact, I really felt the whole book was filled with momentary conversations that while they were short were quite profound. The theme of forgiveness throughout the story was amazing. Eden's ability through God's grace to forgive was amazing.

Some of my favorite parts of this book took place on the ice. I am not very good at it but I love to ice skate so I loved those scenes. I know next to nothing about hockey but have to admit reading this book makes me want to have a little boy play hockey.

I also really liked the fact that Eden found a place for the church to meet during repairs in a BAR! Such a great opportunity to make people look outside the box to see that a church can meet anywhere! We don't need to put limitations on where the Holy Spirit can meet us! I loved that some of the parishioners grumbled but in the end saw the good meeting there did!

If you love Christmas themed novellas... And if you like a little more passion in the relationships in the books you read... And if an ex-hockey player and a widowed pastor's wife sound like an intriguing couple then I think you'll love this book!

I did get this book for free from Amazon but all opinions in this review are my own.

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July 12, 2016

Review: Stand-In Rancher Daddy

Stand-In Rancher Daddy Stand-In Rancher Daddy by Renee Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This wasn't quite your typical marriage of convenience but had a similar feel to it. CJ's determination to win Molly's heart was quite strong. I loved his hard-working attitude about his own ranch but also community and church involvement too.

I always love historical books that include barn raising and picnics where picnic baskets are made by single women and auctioned off. I was thrilled to find both in this book.

I adored the twins in the story. The author did a magnificent job portraying how hard bedtime is with twins. I also loved how much the twins loved their uncle. It was so sweet how they never wanted him to leave them and how attached they were to him.

And I greatly related with Molly and appreciated reading a book about a woman like her. She was so strong and so loving toward the twins. I realize they were her best friend's kids but that aside she was still so wonderful with them. I really admired her character for loving them so well.

My only complaint about this book was how the ONE reason that Molly wouldn't marry CJ because of was drug on for so long as this big secret that only Molly knew. I didn't mind it dragging on but it wasn't slowly revealed to the reader as to draw out suspense. Instead I just felt like it was the same old inner thoughts of Molly over and over again.

But overall this was a super sweet story of patience leading to happily ever after. I look forward to reading more books by Ryan.

This book was provided to me free by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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July 11, 2016

Review: No Way Up

No Way Up No Way Up by Mary Connealy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I typically LOVE a Connealy book so I was super excited to read this first book in a new series. I've grown to love her characters and their non-stop action.

Unfortunately this book didn't have the banter between characters that I was used to and also didn't have quite as much action/adventure as I was hoping for.

I was quite impressed with Heath. He was a great hero and I really like how he used his past experiences to help him with present day problems. But I didn't love his relationship with Sadie. For me it just moved much too fast, even for a novel. It seemed like they had barely "met" when all of a sudden they were kissing. They truly barely knew each other except that he worked for her dad but she allowed herself to be alone with him?

I did enjoy the rock climbing parts of this book. I tried a rock climbing wall one time and made it like two feet off the ground and couldn't go any further because I am such a weakling. I was very impressed with Sadie's ability to keep up with Heath.

I'm still looking forward to future books in this series from Connealy but I hope they have a little more sass and action than this one did.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

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