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review 2018-07-10 22:41
The First Street Church Romances: Books 1-3 by Melissa Storm
The First Street Church Romances: Books 1-3 - Melissa Storm

 

Love's Promise (The First Street Church Romance #2) by Melissa Storm -


When you can see pieces of yourself within a story, you know that you've found something special. Kristin and Jeffrey could be any of us. The wounds run deep and the insecurities are at times hard to bear, but the message of hope and solidarity adds to the power and integrity of an uplifting journey. (5 stars) 

Love's Prophet is heartbreaking. Yet mixed within the tears of sorrow is the hope of an enlightening tomorrow. Rebecca, Molly, Liam and Jennifer are pieces of an intricate puzzle that cohesively blended to create one voice that speaks from the heart. (5 stars)

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review 2018-07-10 01:27
Review: A Widow's Hope
A Widow's Hope - Vannetta Chapman

Ever feel like god let you down? Well Hannah seem to think this a little bit when a tragedy take away her husband and her son ability to walk. Hannah not only has to deal with her loss but also her son’s disability.

 

It really like the way Vanetta Chapman did this. Not a lot of books talk and deal with disability including the Amish. I really do like that. We see how it is with Hannah and we go along for a ride with Hannah as she learn to deal with the emotionally and physical disability.

 

We see that Amish got to deal with the same problems as those that were Englishers. You should be able to fall back and see the that family and friends will be there to help. We also meet Jacob. Will there be love once again for Hannah and Jacob?

 

Jakob has to deal with tragedy of his own and his own scars. Will he realise that god loves him as he is. The scars and what he was doing is not his fault. He not only have to deal with his loss and mistakes but leaning on family may help. He seems to hide himself from others. Will Hannah and her son help him find love along with Hannah.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/07/review-widows-hope.html
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review 2018-07-05 15:34
The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel - Randy Susan Meyers

I was not sure what to expect with a Ponzi Wall Street money scheme story.    This is not my normal reading material, usually, I would pass on it but since Randy Susan Meyers wrote the book and I am a fan of hers I gave it a try and love it.    I was in a reading funk and it got me right out of it.   I devoured each page, couldn’t stop reading and felt connected to the characters.     I needed Phoebe to stand up for herself and do what was right for her.   The children were a small part of the story but I love that they were strong, smart, and willing to protect themselves.   I wanted Jake to realize he messed up and admit it.  

 

Randy Susan Meyers takes the young love of two 15-year-olds and shows how it can grow stronger as they marry, have kids, and grow old together.     Phoebe and Jake wanted it all from a young age.   They wanted true love, successful careers, amazing kids, and a life together.   While they got it all there was also secrets, darkness, and trouble in their relationship.    

 

This is a love story, the story of a man wanting to have it all and share it all with his family.   But it is also a look at the trouble that money can cause.   Once Jake got a taste of money he just wanted more and more.   He was always thinking he’d catch up, have enough, be happy enough but it just never happen and he got caught.    Jake was portrayed as a guy who didn’t start out to be shady, he wanted to be successful and provide for his family and then it just snowballed on him.    Yet, he never admitted he was wrong.    He never accepted that he messed up and because of that he never let his wife go.   He expected her to stand by him and to go down with him.   

 

Phoebe was wonderful.   She stood by her man, took the brunt of the world outside of prison, and stayed strong.    I want to believe that was love but I really think it was because she didn’t know who she was without Jake.     She was always Jake’s girlfriend or Jake’s wife.      She didn’t know how to be Phoebe.  I enjoyed seeing her becoming strong, becoming self-sufficient and figuring out how to be without the man who gave her everything.  

 

The Wall Street Widow is a story about money, greed, love, betrayal and so much more.    I loved the entire story from beginning to end.    Pick up your copy immediately.

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review 2018-07-01 21:21
Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber
Blossom Street Brides: A Blossom Street Novel (Blossom Street, #10) - Debbie Macomber
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was just okay for me. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. This isn't normally the kind of book that I would pick up but I added it to my so be read list several years ago largely because of my mother. When this book was being released, my mother was undergoing chemotherapy during her third battle with breast cancer. I took her to all of her doctor appointments and chemo treatments so we spent a lot of time together and she loves Debbie Macomber's writing. I added this book to my review pile due to my mother's recommendation but I accept full responsibility for letting it linger there for years. I did like the book and am glad that I finally picked it up.

This is one of those books that tells several somewhat connected stories. I don't always care for this method of storytelling because I often like one of the plot threads more than the others and the book's momentum seems to slow down with the focus is switched. I had those issues with this book and think that I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if one of the stories would have been the primary focus of the book. 

Lydia, Lauren, and Bethanne all share a love of knitting and know each other through their hobby. Lydia runs the local yarn store and is dealing with some issues in personal life with her adopted daughter and her mother's health. She is also trying to solve the mystery of the knitting baskets showing up all over town tied to her store. Lauren is ready for a long term relationship and decides to move on from her boyfriend and then quickly meets Rooster and finds that he may be the man she needs in her life. Bethanne and her husband live in different states due to work obligations but are deeply in love. Bethanne's daughter and ex-husband are adding an extra set of challenges but they are determines to make things work.

I liked all three of the stories but the book as a whole just felt too sweet. It really shouldn't have been a surprise that the book read like a Hallmark movie since several of her books actually are Hallmark movies. As I worked my way through this book, some of the characters just seemed unrealistically nice and conversations didn't always feel authentic because everyone was just a little too perfect. There were a few characters that were causing problems and being difficult but the overly sweet tone of the book never seemed to subside.

I have listened to Cassandra Campbell's narration in the past and have always enjoyed her work. She had a pretty large cast of characters to deal with in this book and I thought she did a great job of it. There were times that I thought that the narration was a little too saccharine but I really think that this was due to the dialogue more than anything else. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to Cassandra Campbell again in the future.

I would recommend this book to readers that like a sweet and clean story. I did want to see everything work out for the characters and liked the book overall. I don't think that there is anything ground breaking in this book but it was a nice story. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Overdrive.

Initial Thoughts
I will be honest....I didn't love this. I didn't hate it but this really is not my kind of book. I requested this one from NetGalley over 4 years ago probably because I was spending a whole lot of time with my mom who was going through chemo at the time. My mom loves Debbie Macomber's books but I think that this was just a little too sweet for my tastes. Even the narration of the audio sounded overly sweet at times. 

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley and audiobook borrowed from the library via Overdrive. Full review to be posted soon.

 

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review 2018-06-20 23:11
Review: Katalin Street
Katalin Street - Magda Szabó

"...no one had told them that the most frightening thing of all about the loss of youth is not what is taken away but what is granted in exchange. Not wisdom. Not security. Not sound judgment or tranquility. Only the awareness of universal disintegration."

"...they had learned that is everyone's life there is only one person whose name can be cried out in the moment of death."

Katalin Street has a enchanting start (though it is sort of confusing). With each subsequent chapter, the novel becomes slightly less mesmerizing and affecting (and less confusing). In the end, I cannot say that I really enjoyed or even fully appreciated this novel. It certainly has some powerful prose and a wonderfully conceived story, but it does grow a bit tiresome. A very solid effort from Magda Szabó, but I do wish it had been polished more

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