Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Review: A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love


Book Summary:
When the illustrious India Hartley is accused of murder, she has to uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, the famous and beautiful actress, is now alone in the world after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia low country and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her

    What I loved: I read Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love, and her writing style is so interesting!  She manages to fill her books to the brim with historical information without sounding like a professor giving a boring lecture, haha! I really liked India and Phillip, and the plot was really interesting and intriguing.  The law process has always been of interest to me personally, and this book did not disappoint.
     What I didn't like:  I have never been incredibly interested in acting or theater, so those scenes/ chapters were a little boring!  Also, India and Phillip's relationship was a little dry.  I think they fell in love a little too quick and definitely kissed too quick.
     Concerning content:  The book focuses on a murder, a few kisses and romantic thoughts.  Phillip's first wife cheated on him.  People burn in a fire.
     Conclusion and Personal Rating:  A Respectable Actress was a great book full of mystery and intrigue!  Personal rating is 3/5 stars.  Probably best for 8th graders and up!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Book Review: Step by Step by Candace Calvert

Book's Summary:

     Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determined to move on, checking off one item after another on her survival list. Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point—“fall in love again.” At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship. But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again . . . and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed. Will hope make the survival list?

What I loved:

     Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good medical drama! Step by Step did not disappoint!  Nurse Taylor was a great character, and she seemed like a great nurse!  And I loved her and Seth's relationship, though I was silently nudging them along the entire time haha!

What I didn't like:
     I didn't like that arrogant, narcissistic surgeon guy that tried to force himself into a relationship with Taylor!  She was such a nice character and deserved so much better!

Concerning content:
     Medical/EMT scenes, a mention of making out, a dog dies.

Conclusion and Personal Rating:
     I absolutely loved Step by Step!  I am on the hunt for a copy of the next installment in this series, which is about Nurse Sloane.  Personal rating for all teens is 4/5 stars!

See y'all soon with another review!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Abducted by Janice Cantore

Book's Summary:

After solving the mayor s murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner, Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once, everything in life seems to be going right.

But then everything starts going wrong. Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband, Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile, when Joe s wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a desperate search to find the baby, her newfound faith is pushed to its limits.

What I liked: This is the first Christian Fiction crime novel (besides Vanetta Chapman's Amish crime series), and I have to say that I was impressed! Ms. Cantore's experience as a cop definitely shows in this book. I wasn't able to read the first book in this series, but I am trying to find it so I can read it! Abducted is a great book that gives interesting insight on how police and public safety deal with the scary situation of child kidnapping. Definitely a good read for girls considering a career in criminal justice!

What I didn't like: I think Carly was a little too hasty in repairing her relationship with her ex-husband. The relationship almost seemed forced, and when the ending came, it seemed too perfect for reality. I almost wish Carly would have gone out with that media reporter ;)

Concerning Content: A little violent, but definitely to be expected in a crime novel. Carly's roommate is known for sleeping around and bringing guys home. The fact that a baby was kidnapped might be troublesome for young or sensitive girls.  Also, the whole reason for Carly and Nick's divorce was because of an affair.

Conclusion and Rating: Abducted was a great book that definitely kept me intrigued, and I hope to read some other Janice Cantore books in the future! Personal rating for teenagers up, and maybe certain tweens is 4 stars.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Book Review: A Refuge at Highland Hall, by Carrie Turansky

 What I loved:
     Ms. Turansky did it again!  I did not think that anything could top her first two books (reviews coming soon!), but A Refuge of Highland Hall did. When I stated in my review of Against the Tide that it was my absolute favorite book, I was definitely not remembering Carrie's Edwardian Brides series.  All of the books in this series are a VERY close second! I love it when authors include characters from previous books, and I was fangirling the entire time I was reading.  Alex and Penny were the cutest couple, and I found myself cheering for them, and also laughing and crying at their successes and failures.  It was very interesting to read about the RNAS and other defense methods during WWI,  and I appreciated Ms. Turansky's gentle and nonviolent writing style. 

The two things I didn't like about this book: 1) It wasn't long enough! and 2) IT WAS THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES! They really should make movies out of these books, y'all!

Concerning Content:  Really, none.  A little bit of violence and a few non-detailed kisses, but really that was it!

Conclusion and my rating:  I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone aged 12 and up!  It was that good! 5 STARS!!!

See y'all soon with another review, and stay safe everyone who evacuated for Hurricane Matthew

Monday, October 3, 2016

Book Review: Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund

     Book Summary:
               Now remembered as the author of the world's most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life.  His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father- until the night he hears Polly Catlett's enchanting voice, caroling.  He's immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.  
               An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John's reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly.  When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must chose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever.  Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?
              Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

     What I loved:
               This was my first time reading a Jody Hedlund book, and I have to say she is an amazing author.  Her books are informative and full of historical information, but you don't feel like you are reading a textbook.  I had never really heard of John Newton before reading this book, but I of course know the song Amazing Grace and sing it all the time!  It was really interesting to learn about how that song was written.  Also, I really did like John and Polly's banter throughout the book.  They were so sweet!
     What I didn't love so much:
               Y'all, John Newton was caught up in some NASTY stuff before he converted.  Stuff like getting drunk, gambling, adultery (lots of adultery), and slave trade.  While Ms. Hedlund was very conservative in the way she described these things, they were still there and younger girls or sensitive girls may not want to read about these things. Everyone has a past, and if Newton wouldn't have had that past, I don't think we would have the song Amazing Grace today.  Also, John and Polly shared a quite detailed kiss.  It lasted almost an entire page (TMI)!
     Conclusion and Rating:
                This was a hard book to read and an even harder book to review.  First of all, this is definitely a high school aged book, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone younger at all.  I would definitely have a parent or trusted adult/ older sibling read the book first just due to all the violent and sexual content.  Personally, I would give this book a 2.5-3 star rating.

See y'all soon for another review!