Monday, December 10, 2012

The Lady of Bolton Hill Review

The Lady of Bolton HillThe Lady of Bolton Hill

When Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain's worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.

But time has changed them both.

Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.

Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts--and lives--hang in the balance?

My Review: 1/10

The cover was beautiful, that's about all I can say. In fact, this seems to be an increasingly frequent occurance; I'm beginning to suspect that a beautiful cover is overcompensating for something, and I think I'm going to need to make an effort to seek out plain, nondescript covers and stear clear of these ones.

Anyway, I read the first 10 or so chapters and as soon as the villain makes his appearance, I thought, you have to be kidding me. So cheesy. And the relationship between Clara and Daniel is completely unbelieveable. They immediately pick up where they left off and clear all the misunderstandings between them in ONE conversation. It didn't give me anything to invest in. So I skimmed the rest of the way through, reading paragraphs or pages at a time, and finished thinking, I am so glad I did not waste my time reading every word. Kind of ridiculous.

Deep in the Heart of Trouble Review

Deep in the Heart of Trouble

Deep in the Heart of Trouble

Texas bloomer girl Essie Spreckelmeyer (Courting Trouble) is still just trying to maintain her balance. The president of the local velocipede club has had her fair share of pratfalls, but her present situation is unusually perilous. Running her father's oil company in this male-dominated boomtown was difficult enough before arrival of handsome, headstrong Tony Morgan. A robust Christian romance

My Review:  4.5/10

I like Essie SO much more in this book, and the change seemed natural. I do like that Essie was going to be given a family even though she had embraced not receiving one. But the subplot of the lynchings was too much. And though I liked some of the ways that Tony was different and flawed, I felt like he changed unnaturally. I don't know, I didn't completely buy into the relationship. And the way that all the loose ends tied up, with his sister's marriage and the deputy being shot and implicated, and the killer having left and obvious trail, not to mention his older brother's demise to begin with, it was all just too easy. Too simply, too neatly wrapped up.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Redeeming Love Review and a slight tangent on historical fiction

Redeeming LoveRedeeming Love

California's gold country, 1850. A time when men sold their souls for a bag of gold and women sold their bodies for a place to sleep.

Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside.

Then she meets Michael Hosea. A man who seeks his Father's heart in everything, Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally. Slowly, day by day, he defies Angel's every bitter expectation, until despite her resistance, her frozen heart begins to thaw.

But with her unexpected softening come overwhelming feelings of unworthiness and fear. And so Angel runs. Back to the darkness, away from her husband's pursuing love, terrified of the truth she no longer can deny: Her final healing must come from the One who loves her even more than Michael does ... the One who will never let her go.

My Review:  10/10

nothing at all like i was expecting. Painful to read, but also one of, if not THE most powerful book I've ever read.  

I don't understand why more Christian books aren't written like this. It's kind of driving me crazy. It seems that people think that for it to be a Christian romance there has to be an element of self-denial (which supples the sexual tension that the whole book feeds off of until the very end when they marry). I hardly ever come across one that goes into life after marriage, unless it's part of a series, and even then the focus is off the first couple; they're married now, so their story is over.

This attitude is not only boring, it's damaging. Being a Christian does not mean that you're perfect and chaste. I generally appreciate less scandal and vulgarity, but these books take it to the extreme.

And why are all the heroines progress, feisty women? Is there not more than one persona that was appealing several hundred years ago? It seems they are all (poorly) modeled after Jane Austin's Eliza Bennet. But even Jane Austin only did it that one time. Her other characters, and even other lovable characters in Pride and Prejudice, were vastly different. Some were arrogant and self centered, some were meek and shy, some had a servant attitude, some were immature. All of them vastly different. Why are all the women in these historical fiction novels so one dimensional?

How wonderful it would be if more love stories were modeled after ones in the Bible. We could really learn a thing or two about how real love really works, about patience, kindness, too. About how love and healing can find any person, no matter how deep they're standing in sin, and how God can make anyone clean.

Redeeming Love was the most beautiful love story I've ever read. While I'm so thankful that I got to experience it, I'm also a little sad because I don't think I'll come across anything quite like it again. Read this and savor every moment of it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Courting Trouble Review

Courting TroubleCourting Trouble 

Tired of Waiting for a Match-Made-in-Heaven,
She'll Settle for One Made in Texas

Whether it's riding bikes, catching snakes, or sliding down banisters, Essie Spreckelmeyer just can't quite make herself into the ideal woman her hometown--and her mother--expect her to be. It's going to take an extraordinary man to appreciate her joy and spontaneity--or so says her doting oil-man father.
Unfortunately such a man doesn't appear to reside in Corsicana, Texas.
It's 1894, the year of Essie's thirtieth birthday, and she decides the Lord has more important things to do than provide her a husband. If she wants one, she needs to catch him herself. So, she writes down the names of all the eligible bachelors in her small Texas town, makes a list of their attributes and drawbacks, closes her eyes, twirls her finger, and ... picks one.
But convincing the lucky "husband-to-be" is going to a bit more of a problem.
Join Deeanne Gist for another unforgettable tale and find out whether Essie's plan to catch a husband succeeds or if she's just Courting Trouble.

My Review:  4/10

I did kind of enjoy this book at times. Essie was cringeworthy most of the time, but I think that was intentional. I had to skip reading from the moment when Adam almost walks away but she calls after to him, to the moment they are discovered. I knew what was going to happen and I couldn't stomach reading the build up. I was surprised and delighted by how things ended.