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review 2016-08-28 23:20
Review: The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow (Avenue of Dreams #2) by Olivia Newport
The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow - Olivia Newport

This book was just not for me. I continued reading it simply to get it off my TBR pile and to have something to read on today's bus trip. Charlotte was the most cowardly heroine I have come across in a while and boring to read about to boot. Archie was too pushy and pretty stalkerish. Sarah was obnoxious and her quick 180 degree flip in personality at the end of the book to set up her as the heroine in the next book was not executed well. The Bannings were your typical rich white family.


The writing is competent and I really liked how Chicago in 1893 really came through via placement of historically accurate details and events (such as the World's Fair and the beginnings of a the 20th century labor movement). The religious tone is pretty light and done with a deft touch to make you feel like the characters' faiths are really authentic. If you like Christian fiction (women's and/or historical) and Downton Abbey, this is your book. 2 stars.





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review 2016-01-04 21:26
Review: Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies #3) by Margaret Brownley
Calico Spy (Undercover Ladies Book 3) - Margaret Brownley

I thought the last story I read by her might be my favorite Margaret Brownley so far, but now I'm pretty sure this is it! Calico Spy has such a great premise, includes wonderful historical elements (Pinkerton agents and Harvey Girls), a heartwarming (or heart wrenching, depending on how you look at it) custody issue, an interesting murder mystery involving two Harvey Girls, and 19th century style sleuthing. On top of all that, a good dose of humor, action, and a hero and heroine to root for along with a fantastic and colorful cast of secondary characters.

This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at: http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-mQ

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review 2016-01-04 20:53
Review: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
The Golden Braid - Melanie Dickerson
What is not to love about a retelling where the heroine takes matters into her own hands and does most of the saving?

A Young Adult version of Rapunzel set in and around 15th century Hagenheim, this begins as a village tale, quickly becomes a travel adventure, and then a coming of age/country girl in the city tale. It features a thinking Rapunzel who wants to learn to read and calls out to God for guidance, her complicated midwife mother, evil villains, a brave but grumpy knight, the aristocracy in the castle and their servants.
Definitely a book that I will recommend to readers of YA (or not), historical and inspirational fiction. Just a lovely read.

This review refers to a review ebook I read courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-me
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review 2015-12-16 20:18
Review: The American Dream Romance Collection
The American Dream Romance Collection: Nine Historical Romances Grow Alongside a New Country - Laurie Alice Eakes,Lisa Karon Richardson,Carla Olson Gade,Ann E. Schrock,Amber Stockton,Jennifer Hudson Taylor,DiAnn Mills,Jane Kirkpatrick,Kristy Dykes

I read this collection in early November and then neglected to post a review because, from the first story, it had me so in the mood for more stories set in Colonial America.


The first four of these "Nine Historical Romances [that] Grow Alongside a New Country"include two of my favorites from the collection.  Set in 1750's and 1760's, introduce us to the four Ingersoll brothers of Connecticut and the women who capture their hearts. Each of these stories is followed by a related recipe.


Another favorite is the fifth story, When the Shadow Falls, set near a British garrison in 1763.  A French trapper's daughter and a private from the English fort challenge each others faith as well as their prejudices.


The two New Garden stories (more favorites) reminded me of the 1950's film "Friendly Persuasion" and how interesting a Quaker story can be.


Free Indeed tells the story of a former slave, Winkie, and the man her former owner's daughter arranges for her to meet.  This was the least successful of the stories for me.


The final story is the reason I originally requested this collection through NetGalley.  Having read Jane Kirkpatrick's The Memory Weaver (review here), I was eager to experience more of her writing.  I was happy to find this was a story with a mature hero and heroine, a banker/lawyer who dreams of starting over in the Oregon Territory and a widowed midwife trying to raise a 16 year old and keep her farm going.


Recommended for those who enjoy shorter stories of romance, adversity and faith - particularly with early American settings.  Definitely an enjoyable collection.  An expanded review can be read on my blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-dX


This review refers to a review ebook copy read courtesy of the publisher, Barbour Books, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2015-12-07 05:27
Review: Instant Frontier Family by Regina Scott
Instant Frontier Family (Frontier Bachelors) - Regina Scott

I only recently started reading books from Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line, and this might just be my favorite so far. It was a quick read, the storyline was interesting and the characters were engaging. The setting was believable (I'm a native of the Seattle area) and this was, overall, a nice, well balanced and enjoyable story.


Just ignore the title choice and that the cover looks like it is set off in the woods, instead of on an early Seattle street. If you are looking for a shorter inspirational historical fiction romance novel, a light read with a relationship that grows first as a friendship and blossoms into more against the wills of two not too stubborn Irish Americans, then I would recommend you give this novel a go. Still not sure? Two words: chicken races.


This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. My full review can be read at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-6k

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