Monday, February 8, 2016

A Cliche Christmas

A Cliche Christmas
Nicole Deese
Georgia is known in Hollywood as the Holiday Goddess. She's famous for her screen plays of sentimental Christmas love stories. She's from a small town in Oregan, but hasn't been back for seven years. Every year for Christmas she takes her grandmother on a warm vacation. But when her grandmother calls and asks for a favor for a sick little girl, Georgia can't say no. So she returns to the small town where she was raised. And to the guy who she was in love with, but humiliated her. Can she forgive or will her past dictate her future?

This author was recommended by a favorite author friend of mine and so I had to check her out. I'm so glad I did. This book was sweet, romantic, and enjoyable. The characters, while flawed, had depth and were likable. The author did a great job of painting the surroundings so that I felt a part of the story. There was a thread of faith woven throughout the story, but it fit perfectly with the plot. The title fit the book well since it seems so full of cliches. But for some reason this was cute and didn't annoy me. Now I'm off to read her second book which takes a secondary character from this book.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ellie's Best Vacation

Ellie's Best Beach Vacation Ever
The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant Series
Marcie Fair
 Ellie and Pudgy are best friends. They are going on a trip to the beach. They spend time playing in the sand, swimming, shopping, and visiting the local sites. They make new friends along the way and enjoy every bit of their vacation.

Bright colorful photographs with the two stuffed animals take up most of the page. The words are in bubbles in the pictures. There is also some fun illustrations to go along with the story. In each picture the stuffed animals are posed to go along with the plot. The words will work well for a parent to read to the child or for a beginner reader to read to themselves. At the back of the book is some interactive ways that the children can get involved and share the love of their own stuffed animals. My daughter loves this series and was excited to have another one to add to her collection.

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

Friday, February 5, 2016

Love's Complete

Love's Complete
A Russian Adoption Journey
Teresa Hull
The author has written this book to tell the story of her child's adoption from Russia. The words are in a rhyming style and are accompanied by pictures. The book gives a little history of adoption through Russia and then talks about the steps to finally having the child home forever.

I had hoped, when I picked this book, to read a sweet story about adoption. But the rhyming words are not really a story, so much as a narrative or list of the steps. The pictures aren't very good and don't always fit with the words. Some of the illustrations and explanations might be a bit over the target age range for this book. Overall, I think the concept is sweet, but I'm sure there are better books out there for parents wanting to explain adoption to their children.

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

Sheep in a Jeep

Sheep in a Jeep
Nancy Shaw
Five energetic sheep decide to take a ride in a jeep. But they do not know how to drive very well. Almost immediately they get into some trouble. Thankfully some pigs are able to help them out and the sheep go on their way, only to have another accident that totals their jeep. The sheep decide to give up and sell the jeep parts.

This is a medium size board book. The illustrations are bright and detailed. The illustrations fit well with the plot and help to tell the story. The words on the page are in a large font and could be read by an early reader. Children will love the pictures and humor in the story, especially the ending. Parents will like the easy to hold book and the entertaining aspects for the children. I think this book could be enjoyed by a younger age group than the information suggests. Toddlers will love the board book aspect and the pictures as much as the older children. This book would work well in a home or preschool, but could also be used for reluctant readers in a grade school classroom.

I received this book free of charge from Children's Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Play-Along Bible

The Play-Along Bible
Bob Hartman
It's often hard to know just what to share from the Bible. Parents don't want to overwhelm or worse, bore their children with the Bible. But how much do you share and how do you make it interesting? The author has taken 50 Bible stories and added instructions for hand motions and actions to help tell the story and enliven the action.

The younger children are going to love this book. The illustrations are precious and fit well with the story. The author did a great job of including play-along instructions that are fun and easy to follow.  The hardback book has a soft cover that is perfect for young hands. Children will enjoy looking at the pictures even if they aren't being read to. This book would be perfect for reading time, family worship, or as an addition to a church class. I would highly recommend this for anyone with small children.

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Keeper of the Stars

Keeper of the Stars
Kings Meadow Romance Book 3
Robin Lee Hatcher
Penny lost her mother when she was a child and now her brother is gone. She blames his band mate, Trevor, for allowing Brad to join the band instead of doing something worth while with his education. Before he died, Brad made Trevor promise that he would go help Brad's family in Kings Meadow. Trevor doesn't know why he's in a small town with Penny, who clearly hates him. But for some reason God sent him there and he's going to stay until he can figure out why.

This was a sweet romance with an element of sadness. The author did a great job of showcasing some of the different aspects of grief. I also liked how she told Brad's story mixed in with the main part of the story after his death. It added some flavor and uniqueness. The romance between the main couple was sweet and authentic. This book is part of a series, but could definitely work as a stand alone. There is mention of the previous characters, but not enough to cause confusion. My favorite secondary character was Penny's dad. I also loved the cover and how the author tied in the title. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys christian fiction with some deeper parts that leave you thinking.

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


South Landers Book 3
Virginia Taylor
Charlotte needs to marry quickly since she's lost her mother and is responsible for her cousin. She carefully plans how to get the catch of the season. Nicholas has no plans to have children He's still reeling from the loss of his son and the boys mother during childbirth. So when he misunderstands Charlotte and her need to hurry, he marries her for the baby she is definitely not carrying. The marriage begins with lots of misunderstandings and completely lack of trust. But the two might have the chance to fall in love if they can sort everything out.

This wasn't really your typical regency romance. While the book worked well as a stand-alone, I really wish I had read the first two books. I know there is more to the story. But this didn't detract from the plot or my enjoyment. The plot was a bit different and the writing style wasn't standard regency. This made it unique and fascinating. There are a few bedroom scenes (all between a married couple) for those of you who might not care for that. Overall it was sweet and different and made me want to check out other books by this author.

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