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review 2016-09-29 15:28
The Promise Kitchen by Peggy Lampman
The Promise Kitchen: A Novel - Peggy Lampman
The Promise Kitchen is quite an in-depth look into the lives of small town southern areas. Shelby comes from a low-income family in a town with no prospects or promises for her or her daughter. Shelby has big dreams, she wants to be a chef. And she appears to have the talent, but there's no place for her to find out at home.
So she ventures into the big city, leaving her daughter behind, to follow her dreams, get a job, and move her family to be with her. Shelby's struggle was incredibly real. I could feel the frustration as every time she got a couple steps ahead, something would go wrong and she'd end up almost back at the beginning. When her daughter gets sick, she thinks it's all over for good. But she has found a guardian angel she didn't know about.
Mallory is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She has a good job that she says she loves. To all appearances she has everything on track and going the right direction, but it's all a lie. Her life begins to spiral out of control and her friends aren't who she thought they were. As she fights to find her new way, her path corsses with Shelby and our stories collide in quite an interesting fashion.
I loved this book - but at times Mallory's story was a little too depressing. I know depression is real and very difficult to pull out of, but this drop into depression seemed a little more like wallowing in self-pity than an actual downward spiral. But don't let this little comment scare you away. I think the writing and storyline of The Promise Kitchen was amazing.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Source: www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/09/the-promise-kitchen-by-peggy-lampman.html
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review 2016-08-09 03:30
Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff
Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall - Aaron Safronoff

Sunborn Rising was an incredibly fun story - and it is perfect for all ages. With bright illustrations and lots of excitement, I could even see some middle grade readers enjoying it. The creatures of Sunborn Rising are vaguely familiar, but still strange and mysterious. Barra is clever and mischievous and will appeal to readers of all ages with her brave, but often foolish, ideas and adventures.

Every page was filled with new and amazing scenery and characters. As Barra and her friends venture from the treetops do the depths of the ocean and even beyond into a place that I couldn't even begin to describe - all in the search for a way to go home and save it.

I'm very excited that this is going to be a series, and the ending of the story leaves room for some great adventures to come.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/08/sunborn-rising-by-aaron-safronoff-review.html
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review 2016-04-25 19:47
Hero by Alethea Kontis
Hero - Alethea Kontis

Returning to Arriland and the Woodcutter family was a lot of fun. Saturday is a great character - wishing she could be the her, and never wanting to be the princess. Convinced that she is the abnormally normal sister of the bunch, she has decided to find her way as a hired sword. But things never work out the way the sisters think they will.

When the world explodes and strange seas suddenly appear, Saturday finds herself in the heart of her very own adventure. We visit the top of the world where she finds some strange creatures and an unusual "damsel" in distress. This was a very fun adventure. Saturday is a riot and I really enjoyed her excitement and bewilderment as she discovered more about herself.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/04/hero-by-alethea-kontis-review.html
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review 2015-08-27 16:47
Daughter of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf
Daughter of Jerusalem - Joan Wolf

Daughter of Jerusalem really surprised me. Mary Magdalene's life was fascinating. I knew a little about her from church when I was a kid, but Joan Wolf really brought her to life. Her first love, heartbreak and look at what life was really like will hit you hard. Watching as she fell from her beliefs and then struggled to find her place once she found them again was quite inspiring.

Her relationship with Jesus was interesting for me. Having never pictured him as a person you can just walk up to and have a discussion with, the talks they had were incredibly well written and brought both characters to life in a whole new dimension.

I hesitate to call this a Christian book - because there is no preaching or being hit over the head with faith. It is just the story of a woman trying to find her way, and the amazing things she was able to do once she had. Absolutely beautiful.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: hotofftheshelves.blogspot.com/2015/08/daughter-of-jerusalem-by-joan-wolf.html
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review 2014-07-12 19:22
The Texan's Baby - Donna Alward



I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads, having won the giveaway contest for it, and I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty excited to see it in the mail today and dropped everything to read it.


It was very enjoyable for the most part. It's only 218 pages altogether so the action is very fast paced, and I thought Donna Aylward did a good job with establishing a credible connection between the two main characters within those pages. It also helps to keep the story from dragging on, which was something I was thankful for.


The Texan's Baby is the story of Oil Executive Elizabeth Bennett and cowboy Christopher Miller's one night stand gone wrong. Or right, considering how you look at it. As Lizzie advises the father-to-be of her pregnancy, a health scare involving her father sees her taking the reins of the family company, placing her under the strain and pressure of not only running a big, well-known company, but also a self-imposed stressor of believing her good girl status as the oldest of seven children, has gone down the drain with her recent actions. Chris doesn't hesitate to step up to the plate to take care of her and his unborn child, wanting more than just a co-parent relationship with Lizzie. But having a serious relationship with Lizzy will require her to tackle her issues of trust and abandonment.


What definitely worked for me was the frankness between Liz and Chris at the beginning. While their relationship (or lack thereof) was still new, they were honest with each other, not afraid to put into words their thoughts and feelings, which I definitely found refreshing. And boy, Chris is a serious charmer. His character was what won me over with this book and I couldn't help but sigh with warm feels at some of the things he did and said throughout the book.


What didn't quite work for me was Liz's character in the second half of the book. I appreciated her honestly in the first half of the book, but then I started to get annoyed with how she would constantly push Chris away, always needing to be in control. I did cut her some slack, considering that elevated hormone levels during pregnancy can no doubt make you far more emotional than usual, but the unnecessary drama that she created from thin air towards the end had me rolling my eyes with disdain. She honestly has everything really good in her life but she's just so determined to ruin things for herself, standing in her own way between happiness.


The steamy scenes that I oh so love was sorely lacking in this book. The romance aspect was good, but I wasn't expecting the PG-rating of this book (probably because I love me some good love scenes). Also, the resolution to the story was a bit rushed. It could have been drawn out more, to have Liz face certain truths and to do a bit of grovelling after the rubbish she spouted.


Other than that there were a few raised questions that I thought was left unanswered, but I'm guessing they would be answered in the sequels, as it looks like this book is part one of a series.


Overall, it was a good read. I wasn't completely engrossed but I did find it enjoyable for the most part.


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/981939621
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