Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Hearth Stone by Lois Greiman

Summary from Amazon: 

 With her chance at the US equestrian team shattered by an injury, Sydney Wellesley arrives at the Lazy Windmill ranch angry and heartbroken. But the rugged red bluffs and wild high plains of the Black Hills inspire her to purchase land where she can train her own Olympic hopefuls. Everything's going according to Sydney's new life plan--until her funding suddenly dries up. . .

Alone in the ramshackle house she had planned to raze, Sydney is ready to admit defeat and slink back to civilization--until she discovers an injured mustang. Seeing herself in the desperate wild mare, she feels compelled to save the animal at all costs, little knowing that the horse just might return the favor. For as Sydney's circle grows to include an autistic child, an earthy array of local characters, and hired help in the form of Hunter Redhawk, a man as indomitable as the land itself, she realizes that heroes are everywhere--and healing is the first step on the road to true happiness.

  

Wow, what a powerful story! I loved getting to imagine the beautiful countryside through Sydney's eyes. The scenery and cast of lovable characters immediately drew me in to this emotional and captivating story. But what really had me head over heels for this book was Sydney and Hunter's chemistry. Hunt as he's called by his friends is such a hoot! He had me giggling uncontrollably quite a few times throughout the book. He doesn't let Sydney get away with being snobby, distant, or cold and between him and the wild mustang she's fighting so hard to save, no wonder all her walls get broken down. I felt like they were the perfect match, not as in they suited each other but they challenged and supported each other. 
I loved when Sydney named the mustang. It was so perfect! I believe Sydney took one look at that horse and saw herself injured and hoping someone could still love her and that was that. No turning back until she knew she'd done everything she could. I admire that determination and bravery and it's one of the things that made me really like her despite her backtracking to old habits of throwing up her stoney walls.

I definitely am looking forward to more books in this series and can't wait to see where the story goes from here. 

** I received this book from the publisher in exchange for honest review **





  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Sherwood's End by Diane J. Reed


Book description from Amazon: 

Sometimes a great love won’t let go…until you believe. 

The elite Pinnacle Boarding School for Girls is renowned for keeping away far more high school applicants from its hallowed halls than it lets in. But lately, someone has been lurking in the shadows, writing cryptic messages on mirrors, and putting people’s lives in peril. When Robin and Creek begin to suspect that this otherworldly guest may have a connection to a tragedy in Creek’s past—and isn’t about to go away anytime soon—they return to Robin’s Alma Mater to try and uncover the truth behind the mysterious spirit’s rage. What they discover is a love story for the ages that leaves them breathless and inspires healing and hope for all those who dare to believe in miracles. 

Due to mature themes, readership is advised for ages 17+.

My Review:

Sherwood's End is an amazing ending to the captivating Robbin' Hearts series. It's raw intense passion flowed straight from it's pages and into my heart. The storyline takes place in both the past and present, bringing to light both pain and love, while also answering some lingering questions. I was speechless at how Ms. Reed flawlessly wove together different aspects of the present with the past and tied them all together in such astonishing ways. Some elements were a bit chilling and you should keep in mind that this is a NA novel and may be more suitable for more mature audiences than the YA book one.

* small spolier alert*
I think one of my favorite things about the story was getting to find out about Creek's mom and dad and see where all that wild passion came from. It's remarkable how much Creek could be like a father he never met. Also Creek finally knowing about his past and getting to heal those wounds was so heart wrenchingly bittersweet.

This entire series is AMAZING and magical and if you haven't read it you are missing out!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen


This book was such a wonderful treat! I absolutely loved Garden Spells and the Waverley's of course and was so excited to find out where they are a decade later.

First Frost is just as charming as the first book. I love how enchanting it feels to read one of Sarah's books! She expertly weaves magic into every aspect of her stories leaving you with this wonderful sense of a world with endless possibilities. It's hard to explain exactly what I mean, but to me it's like the story is about magic and this wonderful family, not about a family with magical abilities. It's not just their abilities that make them special. But this wonderful whimsy of what it means to be a Waverley.

I thought this was a very pleasant read with great timing and a little humor sprinkled throughout. I always feel a little nostalgic after reading one of Sarah's books. Hers are some of the only ones that I immediately know I will want to reread again one day. I highly recommend First Frost and although I also highly recommend Garden Spells, I do think it would work as a standalone. Even though in my personal opinion you'd be missing out if you skipped it. 

** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review purposes. **



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review: A Love Undone


Wow! I have never read an Amish novel before but was drawn to this one after reading the blurb and I am so thankful that I was. A Love Undone is a beautiful, deeply soul resonating story with tragedy, love, faith, laughter, and family, filling it's pages and my heart with a wide range of emotions. I cried and laughed and was even angry at times while reading and for me that's always the sign of a great book!

 The characters were all very well developed and so relatable, something I wasn't sure they'd be for me, with me not being Amish myself. I found Jolene to be very admirable with her strong faith, eagerness to do what she knows to be right, and pure strength she shows throughout the entire novel. I loved that the secondary characters all had distinct personalities and felt like real assets to the story as well. The conflicts brought a perfect sense of suspense and tension to the story that kept the pages flying by quickly as I hoped for a resolution to come for these characters who somehow had stolen my heart. 

 I am looking forward to reading more Amish novels. I just hope A Love Undone hasn't set the bar too high because it was the perfect read for me! 


**"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. **
While sharing marketing tips and discussing cover art, independent authors Amanda Aksel and Heather Hildenbrand came to the same conclusion; wouldn’t it be great if there was a publishing house that offered all the resources of traditional publishing, while still allowing the creative freedom of independent publishing? They set out to create their vision, and Elephantine Publishing was born.
  Elephantine is a collaborative publisher. Their goal is to partner with authors to turn a love of writing into a successful career for years to come. They work side by side with authors through every step of the publishing process to create a unique and professional title to share with the world. Using strategic marketing, Elephantine provides their authors with industry tools and resources to build readership and grow sales.   Elephantine’s aim is simple: To provide access to all stories worth telling, whether or not the words fit into a neatly labeled box. Words that resonate in your bones. Stories you’ll never forget.   How can you get involved in this new publishing movement?   Authors, become a part of the herd! We’re looking for stories you’ll never forget in the following genres: Young Adult contemp that deals with hard issues, YA PNR, New Adult contemp/paranormal, & Women’s Fiction   Read the guidelines and submit your query.   Bloggers, join our Official Elephantine Blogger Team and help share covers and request ARCS/post reviews! Sign up here.   Elephantine is looking for an INTERN!   We are looking for a small team to contribute 2-5 hours per week. In exchange, you’ll: Learn the publishing industry (whether its marketing or the literary development side) from the inside! Build your resume so that you can use your time with us as a stepping stone to more opportunities as your expertise increases! Have the unique opportunity to work one on one with an innovative new business model     Submit your resume to elephantinepublishing@gmail.com We look forward to hearing from you!    

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: Stone of Thieves by Diane J. Reed


Stone of Thieves is the amazing New Adult sequel to the quirky YA novel Robin in the Hood. Just like the characters have matured, so has the story. It's gritty and dark and even mire mesmerizing.
One of the things I think I love the most is the author's ability to weave light through the darkness, and bring magic and passion to every page. The gypsies, the stone, curses, and true love bring a unique mystical aspect that I truly love. Not to mention Creek. Ah, what to say about Creek... He's like a beautiful, passionate, troubled angel made especially for Robin. He can be so romantic and getting a peek inside his and Robin's most intimate moments really made me feel a special connection and investment to their relationship. I also feel the whole thing taking place in Italy added to the mystery and romance of it all. I've always wanted to go to Italy so I really enjoyed that.
Stone of Thieves has it all... magic, danger, romance, mystery, and a super hot male lead. What more can you ask for? Me, all I ask for is the next book to this fantastic series!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review: Robin in the Hood by Diane Reed




Never have I read a story so unique and captivating as Robin in the Hood! The characters were quirky and some outrageous and I loved every second of it.

At first I had no idea what to expect when a rich privileged girl finds her family broke and breaks her father out of the hospital to keep from being sent away. I was thinking maybe this story would follow the usual rags to riches storyline but then it turned into something totally unexpected. Robin finds herself in a trailer park with a cast of colorful characters and finds she may actually have roots there. As she longs to find out about her family's past she finds herself and love in the process. She may have also found herself becoming a thief. WHAT?!!! But with the beautiful bad boy with a heart of gold, Creek leading the way, I can't blame her for doing some crazy things.

Reed's writing has a mysterious & mystical aspect that left me with the feeling of wonder and intrigue page after page. I simply cannot wait to read the next book in this enchanting YA series.


** I received this book in exchange for my honest review. **