Where It All Begins

Every book has its beginning.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” (The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling)

Every book has its ending but those I will not write down for I might spoil a book for you.

This is where my blog begins…

           For it is universally acknowledged that a girl who lives in a comfortable nook is in want of a good book…thank you very much.                                                 (It Starts with a Book)

The Captain’s Daughter

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

the captain's daughter

Where to start? To be honest, writing book reviews is very hard to do when you are not a fan of the book. Authors put so much time and effort into their books it is hard to write a negative review.

So, if you have not guessed, I am not a huge fan of this book. First and foremost, I could not get into it. While I was reading it, I never wanted to read more. Even when I got to the end of the book I was still not interested. The main characters did not pull me into their story.

I don’t want to tell to not read this book, if you have read other books by this author. I just was not super impressed with this book in particular. I hope that her other books will be better.

 

Title: Captain’s Daughter

Author: Jennifer Delamere

Author’s Website: http://www.jenniferdelamere.com/

Reading Resolution 7: Read a book with a red cover.

 

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.
Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Heart on the Line

This is the first book I have read from this author and I really enjoyed it. I have been wanting to read some of Karen Witemeyer’s books for a while and when this book came, I was very happy. I was not disappointed.

Heart on the Line is a good book filled with adventure and romance set in the time of Pinkerton agents, sheriffs, and telegraph operators. Grace and Amos were great main characters. This book was set in the west but it was actually fun to have main male character not being a cowboy. He was a telegraph operator who would rather ride a bicycle than a horse. I would say it shows that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The whole plot was exciting and intriguing.

The one downfall of this book, for me, was I had hoped for more about the character Helen. I liked her character. In my opinion her story would make an interesting book, especially if Lee was in the book.

I recommend this book and cannot wait to read more of Karen Witemeyer’s books.

Have you read any of Karen Witemeyer’s books and if so what one would you recommend?

 

Title: Heart on the Line

Author: Karen Witemeyer

Author’s Website: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/index.html

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes

From USA Today and internationally bestselling author Leonard Goldberg comes The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes, a new thrilling tale of the great detective’s daughter and her companion Dr. John Watson, Jr. as they investigate a murder at the highest levels of British society. 1914. Joanna Blalock’s keen mind and incredible insight lead her to become a highly-skilled nurse, one of the few professions that allow her to use her finely-tuned brain. But when she and her ten-year-old son witness a man fall to his death, apparently by suicide, they are visited by the elderly Dr. John Watson and his charming, handsome son, Dr. John Watson Jr. Impressed by her forensic skills, they invite her to become the third member of their investigative team. Caught up in a Holmesian mystery that spans from hidden treasure to the Second Afghan War of 1878-1880, Joanna and her companions must devise an ingenious plan to catch a murderer in the act while dodging familiar culprits, Scotland Yard, and members of the British aristocracy. Unbeknownst to her, Joanna harbors a mystery of her own. The product of a one-time assignation between the now dead Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outwit the famous detective, Joanna has unwittingly inherited her parents’ deductive genius.

The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes

So, I usually don’t read books in the mystery genre but this book caught my eye. I read this book within a few days because I was intrigued with the plot and wanted to know the ending of the book. To be honest, if you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes (TV shows or the books) then you might find this story predictable. I have read a few Sherlock Holmes stories so I had an idea where the story was leading, and I was correct. Dr. Watson was one of the only character from the original stories who played a part in this book and was alive. His son, Dr. John Watson Jr., who was created by Leonard Goldberg, was the main character for this book.

Goldberg did an excellent job of putting the brain of Sherlock Holmes into a woman. Joanna was just like Sherlock Holmes, down to “My dear Watson.” Her heritage was very simple to figure out and if you have read any of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, you would know that there is only one woman who ever out-smarted Holmes, and she is known in the stories as “the woman.” So I knew exactly who Goldberg would have as Joanna’s biological mother.

Even thought the plot was predictable, I enjoyed reading the book. This was a fun but very different version of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries that had me reading till the very end. So, if you are in need of a mystery, look no more. The Game is Afoot.

 

Title: The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes

Author: Leonard Goldberg

Author’s Website: http://www.leonardgoldberg.com/

Read Resolution 11: Read a mystery

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Just Look Up

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home―a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work―something her eclectic family doesn’t understand. Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal. Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along―if only she’d just look up.

Just Look Up

I have seen Courtney Walsh books and have been intrigued by them but I have just not have the chance to read them, until now. Just Look Up is a well written story about forgiveness. Lane Kelley’s story was actually very sad. I got annoyed with her character a few times, then I kept reading and I understood why. Walsh did a excellent job with writing the emotions of the main characters and making them seem real. Ryan’s story, in my opinion, was lacking. I wish there was more about him and his life. It said he went into the Army but nothing about why he did. That is the only part in the story that I would say was lacking.

The whole setting of the story was fun. I have never been to Chicago but I do know about Michigan and small towns. So I liked that it was set in Michigan, even though it was a made up small tourist town that Walsh created.

The whole story plot is longer and took me a few days to read. So if you plan on reading this book, be prepared to take some time on this book.

I recommend this book as a good clean, contemporary story. I am hoping to see a book come out on Nate or Chloe, since I was intrigued with those two characters, but I guess we will have to wait and see what Courtney Walsh comes up with next!

 

Title: Just Look Up

Author: Courtney Walsh

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers/Tyndale Blog Network for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Also, I have on my “to read” list Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh.

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence

Two hundred and forty one years ago, the USA declared her independence from England. Today, I am celebrating my country’s birthday. There will be an American flag proudly flying at my house today because I am proud to be an American. Happy Independence Day, America!

This weekend I went to see the Air Force’s Thunderbirds perform. Going to an air IMG_5017show has been a tradition for my siblings and I for a few years now. Next year we will be watching the Navy’s Blue Angels. My dad was in the Navy so I am a little bias when it comes to the Blue Angels vs. the Thunderbirds. But the Thunderbirds did some cool stunts this year, so I am happy.

So, back to the 4th of July.

Have a Happy Independence Day! God Bless you and God Bless America!

4th of July

 

Jane of Austin

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.
 But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 
In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away.

Jane of Austin

Are you looking for a good book to sit down and read with a cup of tea or a tall glass of iced tea? Well stop right here, this is the book for you. This is an enjoyable retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, that will have you reading cover to cover.

This book had me intrigued the very moment I saw the front cover and continued intriguing me tell the last page of the book. This is my first time reading anything Hillary Manton Lodge has written and I am pleased to say my first impression of her writing is good. I liked that Lodge switched point of views every few chapters. It kept me up to date with the two main characters. One of the big reasons I liked this book so much is because the sisters were so “human” like. For example, the was a scene in the book were the sisters are picking what music to listen to for their car ride to Austin, Texas. Those were the scenes in the book that made me see myself and my sisters in the story. I usually find contemporary fiction cheesy, but this book was fun and I recommend this book as a great, clean, contemporary book.

I am not sure if her other books have this but every few chapters there were recipes at the end of them. Each recipes that were in the book were mentioned in the book. I thought that was fun.

This is a good read for any Jane Austen fan, like myself. To Hillary Manton Lodge, I would have to say bravo for a well written story. Jane Austen, if she was living in this time period, would like this book very much.

I highly recommend this book!

 

Title: Jane of Austin

Author: Hillary Manton Lodge

Author’s Website: http://www.hillarymantonlodge.com/

Reading Resolution 29: Read a book that has a title that makes you go, “Hmm”.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

The Writing Desk

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration? With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing. A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own. Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

The Writing Desk

Okay, well I have read Rachel Hauck’s A Royal Wedding Series and enjoyed them but this story did not draw me in like those books. I would have to say I was confused most of the story and Tenley the main character was (in my own opinion) a selfish adult, who acted like a child. I was confused during the switches of point of view for Tenley and Birdie. I liked reading about Birdie better that Tenley.

The book had huge potential, since the plot and idea of the book was interesting, but it did not meet my expectations for a Rachel Hauck book.

I will probably give this book another chance, when the library gets a copy but as of right now, I would not recommend this book.

 

Title: The Writing Desk

Author: Rachel Hauck

Auhtor’s Website: http://www.rachelhauck.com/

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing Company through Netgalley for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.