Thursday, August 8, 2013

Longing for Home by Sarah M. Eden


Sarah M. Eden

I have the privilege of being a part of the Blog Tour for the new novel by Sarah M. Eden, Longing for Home.  I've actually read several of her books in the last year.  I haven't posted a review in a very long time as you know so I haven't reviewed any of her books on this blog but I have really enjoyed them. I have read Seeking Persephone, Courting Miss Lancaster, Kiss of a Stranger, and Drops of Gold.  They have all been fun, clean Regency style romances that I have really enjoyed.

Sarah, (I'm going to call her by her first name because I think she's cool) has taken a little different approach with her latest book.  This one is set in the Wyoming Territory in 1870 instead of Regency England.  When I discovered this I have to say that I was a little disappointed because I would rather read a book set in Regency or Victorian England way more than I want to read a book set in the western frontier of the United States.  I'm glad I gave this book a chance though because it was just as entertaining as Sarah's other books have been.

Katie Macauley is a young woman from Ireland who ventures out west in hopes that the higher wages offered will help her get back to her family in Ireland and repay debts she feels she owes them.  Upon reaching Hope Springs, Wyoming she finds that it won't be as easy as she had hoped.  Faced with challenges in her new employment that bring up painful memories from her childhood and a community divided by prejudice and hate, Katie struggles in her new situation.  Of course, there are a couple of handsome men to add confusion to the mix.  This is called "A Proper Romance", after all.

I enjoyed this as well as Sarah's other books but I am hoping that she's working on a sequel because there are way too many loose ends to tie up. For those of you who are like me and enjoy a good, clean romance, look for Shadow Mountain Publishing's new branding "A Proper Romance" that you will find on some of their novels.  I think it's a great idea and I look forward to reading more of these historical "proper" romances.




Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

Genre:  Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Published:  2004, 277 pp. by Picador USA
Source:  Personal library
Review:  3/5 stars

Brief Summary:  It's hard to give a good brief description of this book without giving away too much.  If you've seen the movie previews you know that Charlie St. Cloud can see and talk to is younger brother who is dead.  I think I'll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers.

My Thoughts:  We read this for my neighborhood book club.  I liked the premise and the ideas the author, Ben Sherwood, put forth about what happens after we die.  I really liked the relationship between Charlie and his brother, Sam.  Their conversations were fun and witty and I enjoyed all the parts when they are together.  I thought the romance part of the book wasn't as well developed but I still enjoyed it.

Recommendations:  I liked this book and it kept me interested but I can't say I would recommend it to many people.  There is a sex scene that isn't really graphic but is still descriptive enough that it made me a little uncomfortable. Not for teens.

Rating:  3.1.3  Unmarried, descriptive sexual relations and moderate profanity.


Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Genre: Romance, YA
Published:  Mar. 2012 by Shadow Mountain,  240 pp.
Source:  ARC from publisher
Review:  4.5/5 stars

Brief Summary: (From goodreads.comMarianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.


My Thoughts:  I have to admit that I read more than my share of romances as a teenager. Some were more than questionable in content and I'm ashamed that I ever read them. In search of cleaner fare, I discovered that there was this sub-genre of romance novels called Regency.  The stories were set in Regency England (early 19th century) and were inspired by Jane Austen's works dealing with the noble and rich, the genteel but poor, gentleman and ladies, rakes and spinsters, the season, the ton, Almack's, London and Bath, manners and propriety.  I loved Regency romances because they were usually clean, romantic, and I loved the world they transported me to.

I don't read Regencies much anymore with the exception of the Georgette Heyer novels I've discovered in the last few years so when I got the chance to review Edenbrooke, I jumped on it.  I loved it.  There are a few silly or cheesy parts and it's fairly predictable but overall I still enjoyed every minute of reading it.  The heroine is smart, witty, and completely unaware of her charms.  The hero is very swoon worthy (one of my favorite leading men I've encountered in recent months.)  My 12 year old daughter loved it too so maybe there's still hope that I can eventually introduce her to Jane Austen.  (Right now she rolls her eyes when I mention Pride and Prejudice.)

Recommendations:  I recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet, clean romance.  Don't expect great literature, but you can expect to be entertained.     


Ratings:  2.2.1  As the subtitle says, this is a "proper romance."  There is one part where a woman is threatened in a way that suggests a sexual assault but it's not explicit.


Thanks for reading!

More ways to enter the giveaway

Here is a list of all the blogs participating in Cami Checkett's giveaway.  For better odds of winning go to the following blogs and enter there as well.


  • Caution: Redhead Running

  • The Book Bug

  • I Have Run

  • Secrets of a Running Mom

  • Janet Jensen

  • Cheryls Book Nook

  • Rachelle Writes

  • If I Can't Convince You I'll At least Confuse You

  • Just Trying is for Little Girls

  • Amber Argyle

  • Socrates Book Reviews

  • Diony George

  • Miss Mae

  • Lo Johnston Writing

  • Book Journey

  • The Balanced Writer

  • Pams Wild Rose Blog

  • Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author

  • Fitness for Mom

  • Jill Will Run

  • Good Clean Reads

  • Jen's Blog of Random Thoughts

  • Happy, Healthy, Successful

  • Rachel Ann Nunes

  • Mom and More

  • Reading with Monie

  • Sarah's Blog of Fun

  • A Book Lover Forever

  • Always Training Trio

  • Charity's Writing Journey

  • Love. Pray. Read.

  • Just Me and My Running Shoes

  • Running Rachel

  • Princess Runs

  • Larissa Milano Fitness

  • Raketer Mama

  • Hungry Runner Girl

  • Make it Simple Sister

  • A Journey in the Shoes of a Foodie, Athlete & Wife

  • Sexy Mom's Running Club


  • Tall Mom on the Run


  • Thanks for reading!

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Giveaway to Celebrate Release of Cami Checkett's Dead Running


    We’re celebrating the release of Cami Checketts’ novel Dead Running with a huge fitness giveaway.


    Prizes Include:

    Experienced and beginner yoga packages from Hugger Mugger

    Two MIO Global Active Watches

    Three months online personal training from Fitcore Fitness

    Three Lebert Stretch Straps

    Fitness Apparel from Running Chics

    One pair of running shoes from Altra Zero Drop

    iFrogz Earbuds and Armbands

    Six month adult membership: Smithfield Recreation Center

    One month membership: Crossfit UAC

    Autographed copy of Dead Running by Cami Checketts

    Win one of these amazing prizes simply by following this blog or liking my Facebook page and leaving a comment below. Please visit each of our sponsors’ websites to learn more about their products and decide which one you’d like to win. While you’re at their site, like their page or follow their blog to show our gratitude for their donation to this fun blogfest. You can enter on as many different blogs as you like, a list of the participating blogs is featured at the end of this post.
    Hugger Mugger Yoga Experienced
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    Value: $325.00
    Hugger Mugger on Facebook




    Two MIO Global Active Watches
    Value: $239.98
    Sign up for My MIO
    Like MIO on Facebook
    MIO is the number one brand in strapless Heart Rate monitoring
    with features like calorie management systems, all day steps counting,
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    Three months online fitness training
    Value: $150
    Fitcore Website -- Fitcore on Facebook


    Three Lebert Stretch Straps
    Value: $48.49 each
    Like Lebert Fitness on Facebook
    Flexibility and mobility are two vital components of fitness.
    The Lebert Stretch Strap™ is a simple, innovative tool that will
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    Two $50 Gift Certificates to spend on Running Chics fitness apparel.
    Running Chics on Facebook
    Whether you're running a race or just running around town, you should feel comfortable.
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    Altra Running Shoes - Value: $109.99
    Altra Zero Drop Website - Altra Running on Facebook
    Altra Zero Drop Footwear features the world's first ever line of
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    iFrogz Armbands and Earbuds - Value: $175.00
    iFrogz Website - iFrogz on Facebook
    iFrogz is native to Cache Valley and offers awesome
    accessories for your iPods, iPhones, and iPads.
    Six month adult membership - Value: $157
    Smithfield Recreation Website - Smithfield Rec. on Facebook



    One Month Membership - Value: $90.00
    Crossfit’s Website - Crossfit on Facebook
    *Available in Cache Valley only



    Autographed Copy
    Donated by Cami Checketts
    ...

    Thanks for reading!

    Saturday, April 14, 2012

    I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

    Genre:  YA, realistic fiction
    Published:  May 2011, 285 pp. (Sourcebooks Fire)
    Source:  Review copy from publisher
    Review:  4/5 stars

    Brief Summary:  (From goodreads.com) Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?


    My Thoughts:  I liked this book.  If you remember, I thought Janet Gurtler's other book, If I Tell, was only so-so.  I enjoyed this one much more.  I've read other blogs comparing Gurtler to Sarah Dessen and I agree.

    What I liked about this book was the transformation of the relationships in this family as they deal with the fear and devastation of cancer.  I didn't like some of the plot.  There were just so many issues and so much going on.  It felt a little contrived at times but I still enjoyed the book.

    Recommendations:  I would recommend this to anyone who likes realistic fiction a la Sarah Dessen.

    Ratings: 2.1.2  
    Includes teenagers having sex but not described, moderate profanity including vain references to Deity.


    Thanks for reading!

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

    Genre: Historical Fiction
    Published: Jan. 2002 by Berkley Trade (First published 1947), 320 pp.
    Source: Library
    Review: 5/5 stars

    Brief Summary: (From Goodreads.com) A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of the Great North to life-and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon.


    My Thoughts: The reason I posted a review of These Is My Words recently was because I wanted to be able to compare it to Mrs. Mike.  I loved this book.  I read it several years ago when I was pregnant with my first child.  I really liked it then but my taste in books has changed a little over the last few years so I wasn't sure if I would like it as much this time around.  It was just as good, if not better.  To me, Mrs. Mike and These Is My Words are very similar in the following ways:

    • Both are told by a young female protagonist in first person
    • Similar historic time period (one set in late 1800's, the other in early 1900's)
    • Both protagonists absolutely adore their husbands
    • Each of them endure severe trials
    • Both married peace-keeping military men

    Even though they are similar I much prefer Mrs. Mike.  She seemed so much more real to me than Sarah Prine did.  Maybe that's just because Katherine Flannigan was a real person but many fictional characters can seem very real.  Katherine had flaws and I enjoyed watching her overcome them.  Sarah was always just too perfect and too strong for every occasion.  I also preferred Katherine and Sergeant Mike's relationship over Sarah and Captain Elliot's relationship.

    Mrs. Mike made me laugh out loud but also made me cry.  That's a great combination in my book.

    Recommendations:  I would recommend this book to all those who loved, or didn't love, These Is My Words.  If you haven't read that book but you like a sweet romance and a historical book that will make you laugh and cry, then this is a great book for you.  The best part, it's a clean read.


    Ratings:  1.3.2  There is a some violence dealing with the dangers of frontier life, and there's also some profanity but fairly mild if I remember right.


    Thanks for reading!