Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Long Journey Home


A Long Way Home: A Memoir by [Brierley, Saroo]
I didn't go see Lion, the film adaptation of this book, because I was afraid it would be too emotional for me.

I chose to read the book instead.

It's an amazing true story of Saroo and his journey away from home in India, gaining a new one in Australia, and searching out his original family in India.

This work of non-fiction reads like fiction. So crazy, it must be true!

It is a wonderful tale of love, of things coming together at the right place and time, and has a beautiful straightforward spirit about it.

An excellent read. I hope there is a sequel in thirty more years.

Amazon

This is the miraculous and triumphant story of Saroo Brierley, a young man who used Google Earth to rediscover his childhood life and home in an incredible journey from India to Australia and back again...At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

A Long Way Home 
is a moving, poignant, and inspirational true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Prodigal Son


The Prodigal Son by [Palmer, Alison]

This is my first read by Alison Palmer.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this modern retelling of the biblical tale.

What I found was an emotionally deep story of a mother's dark journey. Sarah's baby is kidnapped while her other son is receiving medical attention at the playground after sustaining an injury. Talk about baggage!

Then when her son is returned fifteen years later, he's nothing like what she imagined and not likely how he would've turned out if she'd been the one to raise him.

The story is told from all the family member's viewpoints, including the kidnapping mom. Motives, fears, guilt, and regrets are all at the heart of this story. So, are love and how to find forgiveness of self and others.

This could be a good pick for book clubs.

Amazon
When Sarah opens the door, the last thing she expects to find is a lost piece of her life. Fifteen years ago her hopes and dreams were shattered and she thought nothing could be worse. Now, her missing child has been found and her life is about to change again. How can she learn to love a son her heart has longed for when he seems to be completely unlovable?

The Prodigal Son introduces a modern version of the Biblical parable. This engaging story represents an emotional exploration into the strength of love, the power of forgiveness, and the universal nature of the atonement.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Darcys Give a Ball


The Darcys Give a Ball: A gentle joke, Jane Austen style by [Newark, Elizabeth]

I love all things Jane Austen and am always intersted to pick up an author's work who has tried her or his hand at bringing to life new stories from her great works.

This is a charming read and my first one by Elizabeth Newark. I would read more by her.

A fun glimpse into the Darcys' world after P&P ends and many years later when their kids are grown and looking for their own life companions.

There's lots of characters to keep track of from every Austen tale. If I have one criticism, it would be that the author went a little overboard, and I'd have preferred a string of tales about each family instead of all at once. It kept me, as a reader, from getting to really know and love each character. A narrower focus would've served the story better. Also, there was head hopping. Still we get the drift of Austen and all her adorableness.

Enjoy all the world of Austen and Darcy. A fast fulfilling read.

Amazon

While Jane and Lizzie plan a lavish ball at Pemberley, the Darcys' second son falls in love with the Collins' daughter, first-born Juliet Darcy is almost lured into an elopement, and Georgiana's timid daughter Lucy is the new target of Miss Caroline Bingley's meddling.

The Darcys Give a Ball is a charming and very amusing imagining of the next generation of Jane Austen's beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice and other novels, where all the young people come together for a surprising and altogether satisfying ending. Sons and daughters share the physical and personality traits of their parents, but of course have minds of their own, and as Lizzie says to Jane: "The romantic attachments of one's children are a constant distraction." 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Silver Screen Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology

Silver Screen Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology (Echo Ridge Romance Book 3) by [McConnell, Lucy, Checketts, Cami, Tullis, Heather, Rallison, Janette, Christensen, Rachelle J.]
I'm a big fan of Echo Ridge. Clean, sweet, wholesome romances. What's not to love?

Sometime, I'd like to read them all back-to-back and see how all the characters fit together. I lose the thread with the spacing between the books.

This may be my favorite one as the authors took classic romantic comedy films and gave them their own Echo Ridge twist. They picked some of my fave films from this genre, so I loved reading these stories. There are great quotes from the original movies thrown in, many of which my family quotes.

There's great storytelling, depth of character, swoony romance, and solid writing.

If you're not a fan yet, you will be. Page turning romance that will keep you up at night.

Amazon

Silver Screen Kisses is a collection of stories inspired by movies from everyone’s favorite list. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, these contemporary romances take the reader back to Echo Ridge in the spring, when the promise of new love is budding just like the tulips around the Emerald Inn Bed & Breakfast.

My Fair Lacey by Janette Rallison
Lacey Johnson has dreamed of opening a restaurant for years. All she needs is one little loan to make it happen. But with the way Lacey talks and dresses, she looks more like someone who would hold up a bank than someone who’d ever get a loan from one. When Garrett Halifax, her roommate’s Harvard-educated brother, volunteers to change her image and teach her to speak correctly, she jumps at the chance. But she quickly finds she’s in over her head. Pretending to fit in with the town’s elite is harder than she thought, and despite her best efforts, she’s falling for Garrett. Could someone who is handsome, rich, and educated ever consider her as more than just a project? A contemporary twist on My Fair Lady, this is a story that is sure to please Echo Ridge fans.

You’ve Got Email by Heather Tullis
Maria never expected to fall in love with a man she’d never met, but she can’t wait to get to her laptop every night to chat with Bobwhite67. She would be happy to focus on getting to know him better, but her two jobs and two sons keep her ridiculously busy. Then there’s her ex-husband’s bookie, who’s impatiently waiting for the last couple payments on his debt.

Bret can’t help but notice how hard the beautiful Maria works and the similarities she has with the Zoomama he’s been talking with online. Though he really wants to make things easier for her, Bret accidentally gets her in hot water with both of her bosses. Can he get Maria to give him a chance in the real world and not just online?

The Princess Bride of Riodan by Rachelle J. Christensen
When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.

My Best Man’s Wedding by Cami Checketts
Jessica Porter made a vow to marry her best guy friend, Josh, when they turned thirty. When Josh calls with the news that he's coming home to Echo Ridge for his wedding, Jessica is determined to break up the happy couple and take her rightful place as his bride. Gentry Trine, a coworker, agrees to pretend to be her fiancé to stir up feelings of jealousy. However, Jessica didn't realize fake fiancés could kiss like champions, and make a girl smile nonstop. Can she figure out which is the right man for her before she loses them both?

While You Were Skiing by Lucy McConnell
Mia Davis’s new job in guest relations at Ruby Mountain Ski Resort gets complicated when the gorgeous Ryder Montgomery falls off the ski lift, tells everyone they are engaged, and then loses consciousness. Worried about a head injury, Mia plays along, making him lunch, kissing in the front entryway and planning a future together; a future Mia wants with all of her heart. Things become all the more complicated when Ryder’s estranged family gets involved. Caught up in the fantasy and romance, Mia has to tell the truth or risk losing a part of herself and the man she loves forever.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

How I Met Your Brother


How I Met Your Brother (Power of the Matchmaker) by [Rallison, Janette]

I'm a long time fan of Ms. Rallison's work. This may be my favorite book by her so far, and that's saying something!

The premise is hilarious, with a twin impersonating his brother and accidentally intercepting an old friend who wants to be more than friends with Marco.

Flynn digs himself deep holes trying to save his family. His best intentions do a lot of damage to himself, his family, and to Belle. He nearly loses it all.

There are heart, life, and family lessons wrapped up in this romantic comedy. It had me reading late into the night far too many evenings. A definite page turner.

Ms. Rallison works her writing magic again. Happy sigh.

Amazon

The best day of his life, the worst day of hers.

Back in college, Marco Dawson never thought of Belle as anything more than a friend. If she had crossed his mind on his wedding day, it was probably only to wonder why she hadn’t shown up to be a bridesmaid. After all, his new wife was her old roommate. 

Seven years have passed since then, and Belle just found out that Marco is divorced and vacationing with his family in an elegant Cancun resort. She’s not about to let the right man get away twice. She heads to the resort where she plans to casually bump into Marco and ignite some romantic flames.

But Belle hadn’t planned on one thing: Flynn Dawson, Marco’s handsome, charming, and determined twin brother. He thinks Marco and his ex-wife can make amends and he’s not about to let Belle stand in the way.

Part Sabrina, part While You Were Sleeping, romantic comedy readers will eat this book up!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Reluctantly Married



This is my first read by Victorine Lieske (though I've been admiring her covers for a while), and it won't be my last!

What a fun fast paced story with heart! Great emotional development of the characters. The storyline was solid. The twists unexpected. I enjoyed every moment of reading as I watched Megan and Adam's story unfold.

It was clean, witty, and refreshing. I'll definitely be reading more by this author.

Amazon

Megan Holloway can't stand her local morning show co-host, Adam Warner, even though he's a total hunk. He goads her on-air until she says things she regrets. But since ratings increase each time they have an on-air fight, the producer encourages his behavior.
When a relationship specialist comes onto the show purporting that Adam has hidden feelings for her, she reluctantly agrees to go out with him - on camera. What starts out as one date turns into a viral dating show with Megan and Adam alternating between locking lips and knocking heads.
As Megan fights her growing attraction to Adam, their popularity increases and ABC takes notice, offering them their own program. Not a morning show like Megan is hoping, but a dating show in which she and Adam must marry at the end. With the promise of a hundred thousand dollars and the possibility of scoring what she really wants, her own national program, she signs on.
What she doesn't know is that Adam has fallen in love with her, and his objective is to get her to do the same.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

All by My Selfie

All By My Selfie by [Noelle, Jo]

Apparently I didn't do a good job at reading the book blurb. I picked up this book based on previous wonderful reading experiences with Jo Noelle and added it to my e-reader.

I was surprised to find it was a paranormal romance with a ghost, but that wasn't a bad thing as he was a handsome warrior in a kilt!

It was a very intriguing and fun twist.

The story had me guessing on every page. Could they have a relationship? Why was she experiencing all this craziness? Was she delusional? Why did her family keep her from Scotland all these years?

I could tell you all the answers, but then it'd spoil the book for the other readers, and that would be criminal.

Loved the side characters. Well written, developed, and emotional.

Jo Noelle has one again proven they can write a romance in any genre and time period and make a heart happy.

Amazon

While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. She clicks a few selfies with him in the background. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never see, taste, or feel any of it—except Gwen.

This is a 100 page ghost story romance novella in the clean & wholesome category.