Hyacinth Girls: A Novel by Lauren Frankel

Hyacinth Girls: A NovelHyacinth Girls: A Novel by Lauren Frankel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book starts out very slowly and builds very slowly to a good pace. This may deter some readers but it works and it’s slow for a reason it seems. It takes a touch of patience but then most books like this take some patience to read. I’m not a huge fan of reading this sort but I can say Frankel does a fine job bringing this story to life. I like the style and the way everything eventually bubbles up and there is nothing left to hide. The characters are relatable and authentic which adds to the enjoyment of the read. I received an ARC through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

In the House of Leviathan by B. D. Bruns

In the House of LeviathanIn the House of Leviathan by B.D. Bruns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you enjoy Lovecraft you’ll enjoy In the House of Leviathan. If you’ve never read Lovecraft, well, try it anyway. The writing is very well handled with great imagery and scene building. I love the hints and blending of genres. Very well crafted. The characters are each unique and well fleshed out, each with their own story to tell. Their voices are rich and reach out to the reader in fine fashion. I can’t say much else without giving away anything! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall

Matronly DutiesMatronly Duties by Melissa Kendall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nicely composed dystopian romance that is actually quite different from the usual books in this genre. It’s refreshing to read about a female lead who isn’t able to take care of all the issues right off the bat. She’s naive and that shows in her choices. The read is easy and enjoyable and one I can recommend for romance readers and dystopian readers alike. I received an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Heart of the Amish by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of ForgivenessThe Heart of the Amish: Life Lessons on Peacemaking and the Power of Forgiveness by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We all know it’s not always easy to forgive someone. Sometimes we just need the right insight or wisdom shared from one heart to another. Fisher already has the ability to write eloquently with her fiction so you know this will be well written. I love the way she starts each story and how she blends in wisdom with each major point. I can easily recommend this to everyone. It’s well worth the read. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances By Rachel Anne Ridge

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second ChancesFlash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances by Rachel Anne Ridge

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some lessons are more difficult than others. Sometimes we need just a little push in the right direction and sometimes those little pushes come in the form of animals. Who would have thought that a donkey would be the little push for this family, much less any family. The tale is adorable and filled with practical and valuable life lessons. I love how personal the book is and how easy it is to read. This is a great story and tool for all stages of life and all ages. I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Chance of Loving You by Terri Blackstock

Chance of Loving YouChance of Loving You by Terri Blackstock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautifully written light-on-the-heart well layered romance. Blackstock does a fine job bringing well layered characters to life and writing a tender tale surrounding them. The touches Blackstock works into the story help to bring the entire story from just words on a page to a story you want to read through to the end. I can easily recommend this to all readers of romance. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Kin Seeker by N. R. Eccles-Smith

Kin Seeker (Book One of Dragon Calling)Kin Seeker by N.R. Eccles-Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My son (10) read partially into this book before handing it back to me. He said it was difficult to read the names and they didn’t make any sense in their actions. He didn’t show any interest in explanations or reading another book in the series. I read through a few chapters with a mixture of amusement and disappointment. For a children’s novel it misses a few important goals when aiming at younger readers. Overall I’d say keep a watch for this author to see how they evolve with time but I wouldn’t rush out to purchase this book for a child. I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review, which is my own and may or may not mirror your own.

One Mile Under by Andrew Gross

One Mile Under (Ty Hauck #4)One Mile Under by Andrew Gross

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gross delivers a thrilling beginning to this murder mystery story and weaves in elements most readers wouldn’t go out of their way to learn about yet have valuable information. The plot is good, especially the first half of the book. I like the main female character. A few things felt convenient but nothing drastic. Overall this is a good read and one I can recommend to a wide variety of readers. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The Journeyman by Michael Alan Peck

The Journeyman (The Commons, #1)The Journeyman by Michael Alan Peck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This read is unlike anything I’ve read in a long time. It starts out like many stories but where those take a well worn path from the point of peril, this one takes its own path which for some readers may seem a touch too out there but if you stick with it you’ll enjoy the journey. This is a fun active read with little down time for distractions. Take a chance and try it for yourself. Who knows, you might just find your next favorite book. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review which in no way influenced my opinion.

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson

Every Bride Needs a Groom (Brides With Style, #1)Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thompson brings a fresh story with a splendidly crafted character. The writing is good and makes for an easy and enjoyable read. I like how the main character stands strong and does not waver. It’s refreshing to read about a character such as this one. The story is well weaved and keeps your attention as well. I received an ARC through Revell in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Touched by Heaven by Nancy Ravenhill

Touched by Heaven: Inspiring True Stories of One Woman's Lifelong Encounters with JesusTouched by Heaven: Inspiring True Stories of One Woman’s Lifelong Encounters with Jesus by Nancy Ravenhill

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is a DNF for me. I couldn’t get into the story and found too many things beyond belief or sounding completely made up. I’ve had my own experiences with God so it’s not that I don’t believe people can have unique encounters. I’ve read other stories that were well told and believable, by people I know personally and people I don’t know. I’d pass on this one. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

Sand in my Sandwich by Sarah Parshall Perry

Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I'm Learning to LoveSand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love by Sarah Parshall Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Be prepared to laugh out loud reading this book. Perry brings to life all those all-to-familiar experiences we’ve all been through and presents them in such lovely light. I enjoyed reading through this book and my best friend ended up going out and buying her own copy because I kept going on about how funny (in a good way) that it is. This makes a perfect gift to yourself or to any mother, or mother figure, in your life. I received an ARC through Revell Reads in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Buried SecretsBuried Secrets by Irene Hannon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Having read previous series by Hannon I expected a fantastic read with this new series and I am not the least bit disappointed. Hannon has a gift with weaving an exciting page turner with well defined and fleshed out characters that feel real and authentic. I love how difficult this book is to put down once the read starts. The twists and turns are thrilling without anything over-the-top or lost to the reader. Hannon does a great job wrapping up the end of the book without feeling rushed. I received and ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter

The World Before UsThe World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a blend of wonderful things and parts that dragged on, detailed descriptions and distracting views. The main part of the plot is intriguing and woven throughout the entire book. The sub-threads feel less cared for, often leaving the sensation of being distracted. The characters while well thought out fall a bit short in the first person delivery. I think at times the reach was too high for the level of Hunter’s writing. The first half of the book feels sluggish. Overall it’s an ok read but could use more polish and editing. I received an ARC through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

The Drama Teacher’s Survival Guide #2 by Margaret F. Johnson

The Drama Teacher's Survival Guide #2: Activities, Exercises and Techniques for the Theatre ClassroomThe Drama Teacher’s Survival Guide #2: Activities, Exercises and Techniques for the Theatre Classroom by Margaret F. Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For anyone trying to teach Drama, it can be a daunting experience. That’s where this book comes in with various explanations on how to handle small yet important aspects of a scene and so much more. Johnson presents the information in an easy to understand layout with easy to learn “demonstrations”. I like the way everything is written and believe this would make an excellent companion for any teacher trying to teach others how to act, be it for school plays, Sunday School plays or other theatre settings. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.