Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Cowboy’s Touch by Denise Hunter

Synopsis:


Abigail Jones intends to spend just one summer in middle-of-nowhere Montana with her Aunt Lucy. Time away from her job is just what Abigail needs to reassess her life. The slow pace has her breathing deeply for the first time in years. And the majestic scenery encourages her to get reacquainted with herself....and God.

What she didn’t count on was the handsome widowed cowboy who owns the ranch where her aunt lives. When the rancher needs a nanny for his daughter, Abigail decides to lend a hand for the summer.

Wade Ryan can’t help being attracted to Abigail. But he’s given up everything to protect his daughter and he’s not about to risk it all on a pretty face. Under Abigail’s care, Wade’s home and daughter thrive. And with Wade’s touch, Abigail’s heart felt at home at last. But Abigail knows this elusive rancher is hiding something. Will her own secrets separate her from the cowboy who finally captured her heart?

The message that the author is going with this book is whether the secrets from our past affect who we had become. Do these secrets affect our actions now and in the future and whether we are even aware of it?

Both Abigail and Wade had secrets from their past and both are living under the secrets. While Wade is aware of what he is doing, Abigail might not be. She is an investigative reporter know as the Truthseeker for a magazine but can she be doing what she does because she did not report something that she encountered when she was much younger and she’s making amends now?

It was a pretty wonderful book to read. I like Abigail and especially fond of Aunt Lucy and her many ‘girls’. The book is a bit slow but it was nicely written but I am slightly disappointed that there are no surprises. I know this is a feel-good book but surprises can be good too. It is rather predictable but enjoyable. Classified by the author as A Big Sky Romance, A Cowboy’s Touch is published by Thomas Nelson. It has been named a Women of Faith novel for 2011. Women of Faith events are productions Thomas Nelson Life Event.

Special thanks to B&B Media for sending this book to review.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes

Synopsis :


Tara, Katherine and Fintan are best friends since they were teenagers in the days of legwarmers, pink stretch jeans and Duran Duran. Now in their early thirties, they’re living in London but so far only Fintan has managed to find true love.

Tara, stuck in a dead-end relationship, believes that when you’re in the Last Chance Saloon, even a man who keeps his change in a little-old-ladies’ purse is better than no man at all.

Katherine wouldn’t agree. Living a life of calm, the only relationship she wants is with her remote control. Never mind that gorgeous Joe Roth, the new boy at work has offered to help her change the channels.

But when you’re not up for change yourself, life has a way of changing for you. And fate, disguised first as an illness, then as a good-looking, dangerous, out-of-work actor called Lorcan, steps in to alter all their lives in wholly unexpected ways.

Today, I pay tribute to Last Chance Saloon. It is the first book by Marian Keyes that I read almost 10 years ago and with Last Chance Saloon, it was the start of a whole new adventure for the Purple Queen Fairy in discovering the quaint and delightful world and words of Marian Keyes. :)

This is a story focusing on three best friends - Tara, Katherine and Fintan. They are as different as day and night and yet, managed to stay best friends since younger days in a small town in Ireland. They are now all grown up and in London and the story started with Tara’s birthday celebration with her friends. Tara thinks that she’s can’t get a man at this age, that she’s at the last chance saloon and settles for someone who totally do not treat her respectfully and she’s blinded to someone from work who could be the one for her. Katherine is haunted by a past relationship when she let her guard down and now she’s not able to trust men and she makes sure she is in control of every aspects of her life now. Fintan is the only one who seems to have things under control but under control is not what he is going through at the moment.

Enters Lorcan who thinks he’s God’s gift to women and you are guarantee a wonderful and delightful read that will have you bursting out laughing one minute and giggling the next.

Have fun with Last Chance Saloon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Holiday - Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury


Everyone in the royal family has been real busy these couple of weeks. A break is very much needed for everyone to come together and just be with each other.  Since Easter holidays is this weekend, I have decided to check the whole family into a hotel in the city to chill and relax without much distraction.  Why the city? A family member has not been well and is not able to travel far.  At least we dont waste travel time. Just drive into the city and park ourselves there for the whole weekend.  Blizz...here I come!

I am looking forward to an opportunity to start a new book too and while packing for this weekend, I've decided to pack with me the 1st book of the Sunrise Series by Karen Kingsbury entitled Sunrise.  It's a Baxter Family Drama Series continue from Firstborn Series.  The minute I saw this book in my shelf, I knew it was the right book for this weekend. Sunrise...the promises of something new and fresh. Most appropriate. Just what we need.

Happy Easter weekend, everyone :)  God Bless.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Plan B by Charnan Simon

Synopsis :


Lucy has her life planned out: she'll graduate and then join her boyfriend, Luke, at college in Austin. She'll become a Spanish teacher and of course they'll get married. So there's no reason to wait, right? They try to be careful. But then Lucy gets pregnant. Now, none of Lucy's options are part of her picture-perfect plan. Together, she and Luke will have to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

This is a book for teens and a great way of highlighting the issue of teen pregnancy.  The story is very straight forward and very focus on the message at hand. It has a few learning points that teens can drawn from, one of which would be the options available when these happens.  However, I find it would be better if the publisher can go a step further and add in contacts of organisations that assist teens in the area.

Plan B is part of Surviving Southside Series. The books in this series all deal with social issues faced by teens like prescription and drugs addiction, teen pregnancy, physical abuse and so on.  I review this from Netgalley.com

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis :


Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life -- boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him...and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn't help. Despite himself, Travis can't stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

If you like getting all emotional when reading, this is the book for you!

The Choice first started with Travis in year 2007 and he was on his way to visit Gabby. It then very quickly flashed back to when Travis and Gabby first met and the book focused on a particular weekend they spent together. And that’s when the first choice came into the picture. Gabby had to make a choice. She was in a relationship with her boyfriend Kevin but she wasn’t really happy with the way things were going with that relationship. With the strong attraction towards Travis, Gabby had to make the choice of choosing either Kevin or Travis.

Back to year 2007, it was let on that both Travis and Gabby is happily married with 2 daughters. However, something happened that affected their marriage and this time it is Travis who has to make a choice - a choice that will change everything for everyone, not just for the two of them but for the rest of the family as well.

So this book is just about 2 people making two choices but these are choices that will change their lives forever. What must he decide and how did he decide? Well, why don’t you make the choice to read and find out :)

With only 200+ pages, you can finished it over a weekend. I read mine from the local library.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No Place Like Holmes by Jason Lathcoe

This is children’s book published by Thomas Nelson. Although written more for boys age 10 and above, some girls might like it too. The story is very simple. It’s about a boy named Griffin Sharpe who travels to London at the turn of the century to visit his uncle, Rupert Snodgrass who is an inventor as well as a detective and happens to live next door to the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Needless to say, the book is about the adventure he had in solving a case with his uncle that indirectly involves Sherlock and his nemisis, Moriarity.

There are many lessons that a child can learn from this book. Fist, the story teaches children to love people who are difficult for us to love. Griffin’s uncle certainly did not welcome him with open arms.

It teaches acceptance of people no matter who and what they are. Griffin accepted his uncle and obeyed him even though the rules he initially had for Griffin were very difficult for Griffin to accept.

Another lesson we can take away is not to judge people too hastily – Griffin’s uncle judged him too hastily and did not see him for who he is.

Last but not least, the greatest lesson of all – forgiveness. Uncle Rupert forgave Holmes. Why? Who not you read and find out for yourself :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore

Synopsis :


From New York Times bestselling author Kristin Gore, comes a suspenseful new novel set in Mississippi that deftly explores race, family, and an unsolved murder.

In the throes of a quarter-life crisis, Jiminy Davis abruptly quits law school and flees Chicago for her grandmother Willa's farm in rural Mississippi. In search of peace and quiet, Jiminy instead stumbles upon more trouble and turmoil than she ever knew existed.

She is shocked to discover there was once another Jiminy - the daughter of her grandmother's long time housekeeper, Lyn - who was murdered along with Lyn's husband four decades earlier in a civil rights-era hate crime. With the help of Lyn's nephew Bo, Jiminy sets out to solve the long-ago murder, to the dismay of those who would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie.

In Sweet Jiminy, readers will find a lively and compelling story filled with authentic and genuine Southern characters.

My review :

Sweet Jiminy explores a well know prejudice and the realisation that even though it’s 40 years after the very tragic murder of a father and daughter, this prejudice is still very much alive in rural Mississippi. Jiminy, herself faced such discrimination when she befriends Lyn’s nephew Bo. The author further illustrated this issue by bringing in a side story of a Mexican couple with a baby who tried to open a tortilla restaurant in town.

I enjoyed this book and managed to read it in two days since it is only 240+ pages long. While the plot is interesting and very well developed with a hidden surprise to the identity of one of the characters, I feel that the characters were not well developed. I wanted to know much more about the first Jiminy, what she thinks and how she felt. I was also keen to read more about Margaret, Jiminy Davis’s mum as I am sure she has a story to contribute too in whole scheme of things as it was mentioned that she overheard a conversation between her parents when she was young that perhaps turned her into who she is today. Unfortunately, their voices were not heard much of.

I read an e-version courtesy of Netgalley.com. Sweet Jiminy will be published in April 2011 by Hyperion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffery Archer

Synopsis :


If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson the day before; or the day after, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend.

And when the four prosecution witnesses are a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat and the youngest partner in an established firm’s history, who is going to believe his side of the story? Danny is sentenced to 22 years and is sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped.

I actually left out the final part of the book’s synopsis from the above as I felt it didn’t really do justice to the book. The final paragraph on the book’s back cover says...'But everyone has underestimated Danny’s determination to seek revenge and Beth’s relentless quest to win justice'. While it is true that Danny was very determined to seek revenge and Beth works hard to win justice for Danny, it’s not what this book is all about.

To me, this book is about coincidence and design. It’s by coincidence that Danny and friends were in that bar that very day but it was by design that he was framed for the murder of his friends. It’s by coincidence that both Danny and Sir Nicholas Moncrieff were in the same prison but it was by design that they share the same cell. It was by coincidence that Sir Nicholas was murdered in jail (spoiler!) but it was by design that Danny decided to step into Sir Nicholas’s shoes. It was by coincidence that both Danny and Sir Nicholas look alike but it was by design that their lives were as different as night and day.

And if you want to do justice to the title, it’s both a coincidence and by design that we are unable to escape who we are. We are prisoners of our birth - according to the author (i think). Danny can pretend to be Sir Nicholas but he is not Sir Nicholas and it’s a matter of time bore he has to be Danny Cartwright again and he knew that but he made the best of what he can when he was Sir Nicholas.

This is quite an interesting book although initially, with a total of 600+ pages, I was quite reluctant to start it as I wasn’t sure when I would finish it especially so soon after reading another of Jeffery’s book. But being the good storyteller that he is, Jeffery Archer made me a prisoner of his book :).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

First time reading Lis Wiehl and April Henry. Heart of Ice is actually part of a series called the Triple Threat Club by these two authors which feature three ladies where were ex-high school mates. They are Cassidy who is a TV crime reporter, Nicole who is with the FBI and Allison who is with the DA’s office. They met at a reunion event sometime back and have been keeping in constant contact since they are able to create synergy with what they do individually. On top of that, they interact socially and offer support to each other in their personal and family lives.


Heart of Ice is actually the 3rd book in this series, the 1st and 2nd being Face of Betrayal and Hand of Fate respectively which I did not get to read. As such, I am approaching these 3 ladies with very fresh perspective. Like most women, these three have their strength and weaknesses, their history which shapes them into who they are and what they are today. They work well together and understand each other (to a certain level) and support each other. They are like the many millions of women around us but the difference is that this is a thriller so they have to deal with psychotic murderers and other such people on a daily basis.

In Heart of Ice, they reach the end of their investigation into the 'Advert Murderer' and at the same time joined a gym where a personal trainer named Elizabeth happens to be psychotic murderer. Throw in an arsonist and you’ve got yourself a suspense thriller that is guaranteed to thrill your socks off. I enjoyed this book and like the Christian references throughout the book. There wasn’t too much of it to make it spiritual but in my opinion, enough to bring readers attention to the intention of the authors for this to be a ‘clean’ thriller. Full of suspense and I was intrigue by the Elizabeth character which I thought was really well developed by the authors.

For me, when I like a title, I would certainly like an opportunity to read the first 2 books to find that connection. But other than that, Heart of Ice can be read as a stand-alone book and you would have enjoyed it too.

Heart of Ice is publisher is Thomas Nelson and due for release in April 2011.