Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Silent Night Standoff

Silent Night Standoff
First Responders Book 1
Susan Sleeman
Skyler is a hostage negotiator. But she soon realizes that things are completely different from the other side. She's cashing a check at the bank when the infamous Bonnie and Clyde couple storms in and starts pointing their guns. Logan, an FBI agent, is soon on the scene. He's great at his job. But there is one tiny problem - he dumped Skyler to pursue his career two years ago. Skyler and her team of first responders are a close knit group. They all live in the old fire station and are closer than family. They aren't going to be super happy to let him into their group while they solve the bank robbery.

The tension starts out immediately with the bank robbery. It doesn't stop until the last few pages as the group of first responders tries to stop the bank robber and the person trying to kill Skyler. The characters were well developed and authentic. Each person stood out on the team and the little side information helps the reader anticipate the next books in the series. I liked the faith elements that were woven into the story with the suspense. The relationship between the two main characters was sweet. This was a great book to start the series and I look forward to reading the next books.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Melanie Dobson
Libby has always been just a little bit different. Her parents can't figure her out or keep her under control. So when she ends up pregnant a world of secrets is unleashed on the little family cottage. Years later, Heather, her sister returns to put the cottage on the market and hopefully find out what happened to her family.

This book was unique and the style was unlike anything I've read before. It took me several chapters to get engaged with the story and the characters. But once the story got started it was interesting. The characters seemed to fit the typical English stereotypes. The plot jumped back and forth between several points of view. It was mysterious and thought provoking. The story was plot driven so while I didn't feel connected with any of the characters, I liked it. I will definitely check out more by this author.

I received this book free of charge from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Genius Recipes

Food52 Genius Recipes
100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
Kristen Miglore
The creators of a famous food blog have taken their favorite recipes, the ones that changed everything for them and compiled them in this book. These are the recipes that have made it onto the shortlist for one reason or another. These are the recipes that to them are "pure genius". Color photographs fill the book and give the reader/cook an idea of the what the finished product should look like. There are also some pictures that show the steps for some of the recipes.

  I read through the entire book and tried several of the recipes. None of the recipes grabbed me and begged me to make them. But I tried several so that I could rate the book. They turned out okay. They were good, but not great. They certainly aren't genius. Several of the recipes used ingredients that aren't easy to find or available in my area, so that also made it difficult. Overall, it was a neat book to look through, but not one that I'll be hanging on to.

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Web of Deceit

Web of Deceit
Agents Under Fire Book 1
Susan Sleeman
Kaitlyn works for the FBI. When she discovers her brother-in-law is a cyber criminal she confronts him. But in the fight he shoots her sister and runs. Three years later Kaitlyn is raising her niece and desperately searching for the man that killed her sister. But Vyper is always one step ahead of her. Sam, a local detective, is brought on when Vyper kills another computer geek. Now the two are racing against time to save lives, including Kaitlyns.

If I had to sum up this book in one word it would be chilling. The suspense and drama were high, the author really did her research. The criminal was positively creepy. The characters were intense, but likable. The intensity went well with the plot and the jobs that they had. There was also a small romantic thread woven throughout the story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing how everything plays out with several of the secondary characters.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

If You Were Me

If You Were Me and Lived in China
A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
Carole P. Roman
Children can learn about what it would be like if they were a child living in China. Colorful illustrations and photography show various aspects of life in China. The book is told in story form and covers geography, a little bit of history, food, sports, home life, and holidays. All of the unfamiliar words have a pronunciation guide directly after the word as well as included in the glossary at the back of the book. 

My children loved the book and it opened up the conversation for more discussion and research about China and what it's like to live there. The author does a great job of getting information across without being too detailed or overwhelming. The book would be a good resource for schools or home school parents to add to the curriculum. 

I received this book free of charge from Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Red Notebook

The Red Notebook
Antoine Laurain
Laurent, a bookstore owner, is taking a walk one day when he comes across a purse. The wallet is missing so he has no way of knowing who the purse belongs to. Laurent finds a little red notebook filled with the owner's thoughts. He has to find this woman and meet her. After a bit of detective work he finds Laure, the owner, only to learn she is in the hospital after the mugging the lost her the purse.

The little french story is filled with whimsy and romance. The characters are well written and intriguing. The subtle way the plot is woven around the purse is romantic and surreal. The ending was perfect. The references to literary works was a neat addition to the story and added depth. Someone mentioned that the book was possibly being made into a film. I can definitely see the appeal for this. It has a serendipity feel to the story. The book was short, but well written and I enjoyed it.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Gollywood Here I Come

Gollywood Here I Come
Terry John Barto
Little Anamazie, the turkey, dreams of being a big star. So when she comes in second at the local talent show she's devastated. But she and her mother are thrilled when a talent scout approaches them and offers Anamazie a chance to try out for a new movie. Anamazie auditions for the part and gets it. Soon she's on her way to Gollywood and the life of a star. Her mother is right when she says "You can do anything if you work hard and never give up.

The illustrations make this book. They are bright, colorful, and fill each page. The little bird character with her long lashes is precious. My daughter's favorite part of the book was the pictures. The story was cute. It didn't focus on the message of "hard work" very much and glamorized acting. My daughter enjoyed the story, but wanted to know what the movie was about. 

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.