Thursday, May 29, 2014

Raptor 6 By Ronie Kendig Book Review

Raptor 6

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Raptor 6
Author: Ronie Kindig
Source/Sponsor: Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 352
ISBN: 978-1-61626-040-8
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press, an imprint of Barbour Publishing Inc.
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Two Out Of Five Stars
Favorite Quote From This Book:
"Don't Need Brains to be a terrorist." -page 31

Book Description

Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the US military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

Book Review

I am giving this book two (2) out of five (5) stars. Let me explain why I gave it such a low rating. I like to read books that keep me on my toes, books that have so much suspense that I can't put it down despite my best efforts. Raptor 6 didn't really do that for me. When I ordered this book, I read some reviews on Good Readss before it arrived and I was super pumped to start it. I went into this novel hoping that I would enjoy it even though I don't read a lot of military novels (not because I don't like them, but because good ones are hard to find). The reviews for this book were amazing. It seemed like everyone really liked it and looks forward to the next book in this series. When I started reading it, I had a hard time getting interested in it. "It must be one of those books that makes up for it in the middle," I thought. Nope. The farther I got into this book the more I started to realize that finishing it was going to be a chore. I got way behind on my reading and blogging trying to finish this book. It seemed like it went on forever, even though it is an average sized book. Right off the bat the thing that stuck out to me the most was that the author didn't really describe the characters very well. I didn't feel like I fully understood where the characters were coming from, I didn't know what their personalities were supposed to be like, and I had an especially hard time connecting with the main character (which is a large part of the book, of course). Maybe it's because the lead character in the book was a guy, and I'm not really used to reading a lot of novels without a woman in the lead, but I recently read a novel by Chuck Black with a male lead, and I LOVED it, so I don't really think that was it. Maybe it was because of the setting or some other nonsense, I really don't know, but no matter the reason, I don't think I will be reading any more books from this author. The one  thing that I did like about this book is that it was 100 percent American. I think it's time that author's took it upon themselves to incorporate American pride into their writings. I loved seeing things from the perspective of one of our soldiers. This is a great country (despite our lack of leadership), and I think it's great that Ronie Kendig wrote about something of such significance. Now, just because I didn't like this book, doesn't mean that you won't. Like I said before, this book has a lot of really good reviews, so I encourage you to read some of them before you decide if this is a book that you would be interested in.

~Madi For The Literary Maidens

Note: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by The Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

RAPTOR 6 Ronie Kendig

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meant To Be Mine By Becky Wade Book Review

Meant To Be Mine

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Meant To Be Mine
Author: Becky Wade
Source/Sponsor: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction/Christian Romance
Number Of Pages: 375
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1108-9
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Year Of Publication: 2014
Rating: Three Out Of Five Stars

Book Description

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty feels exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel.

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be anybody's husband. As a professional bull rider, he lives on the road and can't bring himself to settle down.

Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the face of the one woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to make Celia's dreams come true, to win her trust, and to prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

  Book Review

I have really been looking forward to reading this book. A Christian romance about a good lookin' cowboy? I'm in. And though I did enjoy this book as a one time read, there were a few things about it that could possibly need some revisions. The beginning was crazy. The amount of stupidity that Celia possessed was nauseating. A guy that never paid you any attention in high school connects with you over a four day period and you decide to marry him?  Yeah. There's no way that could go wrong. Also, the plot was very . . . single minded. There wasn't a lot going on outside of Ty and Celia's relationship. Nothing that would throw a wrench in the clock work and make you go, "Woah! Didn't see that coming." I would have liked to have seen a good sub story incorporated into it. It could be kind of predictable at times. That being said, there were a lot of things that I enjoyed about it. Especially Ty. I mean, yeah, he's an idiot, he hurt his family when he was young, but he grew up and did everything he could to right his wrongs. And he's a cowboy. I thought the way he acted toward his new-found daughter was just precious, and seeing him in a fatherly light really enriched his character. Celia, on the other hand, was easier for me to relate to. She was stubborn and independent. These two definitely are a strange pair. They couldn't be more different from one another. When Ty and Celia are thrust back into each other's lives for the sake of their daughter, sparks will fly, arguments will get heated, and God's love will ultimately direct them toward the right path. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, light read. I finished it in one sitting, so even slower readers shouldn't have a problem with it, despite it's lack of suspense.

~Madi for The Literary Maidens
 D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product, and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Heart's Pursuit By Robin Lee Hatcher Book Review

The Heart's Pursuit

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: The Heart's Pursuit
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Source/Sponsor: Litfuse Publicity Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-0-310-25927-5
Publisher: Zondervan
Year Of Publication: 2014
My Rating: Four Out Of Five Stars

Book Description
A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next?

Book Review
I love this author, and I love this book. Robin Lee Hatcher is a very consistent writer. A lot of times some of my "favorite" authors will write a really good book and then follow it up with a not-so-good book. That's what I like about Hatcher. I know that if she writes it that I'm gonna want to read it and that when I do read it that I'm gonna enjoy it. I've read more of her books than I can count, and I hope to read many more. When I first discovered that Hatcher was writing a Western novel, I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty darn excited. I love Western/Southern books, especially historical novels (It's a Texas thing). So when my must-read author decided to write a book in a must-read genre, my inner fangirl came out. My favorite character was Jared. I like the rugged cowboy type, and he most certainly is that. He reminds me of someone that I know. Country, rough around the edges, but a big sweetheart on the inside. I also loved Silver's character. I like reading about women that have some grit. When women characters are weak and dainty, to me it's hard to read because it's boring and unrealistic. I mean, it's possible to be feminine and still have a backbone. The characters don't always have to be riding on horseback through difficult terrain and eating hard tack like Silver, but when I read books about women that let people walk all over them (like in a lot of historical novels) it makes me nauseous. That's another thing that I like about Robin Lee Hatcher's writings, she always has strong characters that are driven with a purpose. The only complaint that I have about this book is that there were a few times where the plot became a bit predictable. For instance, as soon as Carlton's name was mentioned I figured out exactly who he was and what he was doing. But the story is more about the journey to find Carlton, not discovering his identity, so it's not that big of a deal. I highly recommend this book!
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
Note: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book by The Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product, and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.














Mark Of Ditinction By Jessica Dotta Book Review

Mark Of Distinction

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: Mark Of Distinction
Series: Price Of Privilege Trilogy
Author: Jessica Dotta
Source/Sponsore: The author supplied a review copy.
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number Of Pages: 338
ISBN: 978-1-4143-7556-4
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Year Of Publication:  Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
London is said to be the glittering jewel of society, a world unto itself—but to Julia Elliston it is a city of shadows. Her life is swiftly dissolving into scandal. And in Victorian society, even a whisper of scandal—substantiated or not—can be the death of a young woman’s reputation.

When Julia discovers that Lord Roy Pierson, her guardian and one of most influential men in England, is the father she has never met, she begrudgingly accepts his protection. But Chance Macy’s power is far-reaching as well.

Thrust into society as the Emerald Heiress, Julia is the toast of London, a celebrated curiosity. But in reality she’s trapped between the clutches of two powerful men. Aided only by a gentleman whose intentions she prays she can trust, Julia must finally take control of her own fate—but outwitting one’s foe rarely goes according to plan.
 Book Review
About a year ago, I read Jessica Dotta's debut novel Born Of Persuasion, which is book one in the Price Of Privilege trilogy. That book was possibly one of the best books that I read last year. I was hooked. When I heard about the release of Mark Of Distinction (book two in the trilogy), I was ecstatic. I have been looking forward to reading this book for what seems like a century.  As soon as I started this novel, I could NOT put it down. It was just as good as Born Of Persuasion, if not better. Because it's been several months since I read the last book, I had a little bit of trouble remembering some of the characters at first, but once I got further into it everything started coming back. In this book, Julia has a whole new set of troubles. She is being stalked by her "husband", courted by a young man that found favor in her father's eyes years ago, being pushed into society as an "Emerald Heiress" even though at heart she is just a country girl that has no idea about how someone of her status should act, and to avoid conflict, she spends a substantial amount of time locked up in her father's mansion. Who wouldn't go at least a little crazy under circumstances like these? Julia's story continues to hold my attention, and I greatly look forward to reading the next (and final) book in this series. I can tell that the author spent a great deal of time planning out the character's development and scoping out the entire plot until it reached perfection. There isn't a single thing that I would change about it. This story pulls at my heart strings and makes me feel like I am walking through every trial and triumph alongside Julia and her family and friends. The author is so descriptive that the smallest actions and thoughts are completely understood. Every feeling that Julia felt, I felt. Jessica Dotta is one of my favorite author's, and I hope that you give her books a try. I promise, you won't regret it.
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
D I S C L A I M E R: Jessica Dotta provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not further compensated to review this product, and all thoughts and sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

While Love Stirs By Lorna Seilstad Book Review

18637158// While Love Stirs //

The Gregory Sisters // Book #2

By Lorna Seilstad

{Review Written By Bethany}

Source: Complementary review copy from the publisher
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 352
 Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
My Rating: Three out of five stars

// Book Synopsis //

{Taken from GoodReads} 

 "After graduating from Fannie Farmer's School of Cookery in 1910, Charlotte Gregory is ready to stir things up. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution--the gas stove--and certainly doesn't mind that the gas company has hired the handsome Lewis Mathis to perform at her lectures. Lewis encourages her work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made--especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode?

Fan favorite Lorna Seilstad is back with a breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep readers guessing. Attention to historic detail adorns the timeless story of a young woman looking for true love and making her way in a rapidly changing world."

// Bethany's Book Review //

I had never had the opportunity to read this author prior to requesting While Love Stirs, so I really didn't know how I'd like this book. Really the only thing that made me want to read it was how the main character, Charlotte was a chef. Since I share that common interest, I thought it'd be a neat book to read, as I also love to craft things in the kitchen. That was the main attraction I had to the book, and what made me decide to read it. While I'm happy I was able to read this book, I probably won't be re-reading it; but consider it a nice, light one-time read.

Now don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book; I just felt like it was more in the middle range for me, as far as how much I enjoyed it. When I requested to review this book I knew that it was the second in a series, and that I'd not read the first book. Normally I am very big on reading books in order, but these novels are stand-alone novels about sisters (each book is about a different sister, so it's not necessary to read them in order, though it certainly does enhance the reading experience). I didn't have a problem reading this book without reading the first book in the series, titled When Love Calls which is about the oldest Gregory sister. However if I had to do it over, I'd prefer to read the books in order as there are characters that I assumed were in the first book that I would have enjoyed already knowing coming into the second book.

I really enjoyed how this book was focused on a chef, and found that unique and a great opportunity for a truly enjoyable plot. I loved all the scenes where Charlotte baked, and being that her personality is so spunky and strong-willed I found it to be a humorous addition to her love for food. Her personality was very unique and rather bold, so that added a aspect of excitement to the novel. However I felt like at times the plot was rather simple and somewhat slow. I also wished there would have been more baking involved in the novel, as I was really hopping for a good thick thread of it in the novel since that is what made me want to read the book in the first place. I realized that the main plot was Charlotte and the love triangle she was in, and that the baking was a small bit that was only a minor portion of the novel. To some extend that is to be expected, I'd just have enjoyed seeing more baking scenes.

Another thing I will comment on is Charlotte's personality. I always enjoy a good spunky and opinionated character, but I felt like Charlotte was occasionally overly feminist in thought at times; by trying to be superior to men and not accept offers of a gentleman's help. I just didn't like the attitude that was behind the feminist actions and would have enjoyed seeing a more head-strong lady who though opinionated, was still feminine at the same time and had a good balance.

Overall, I enjoyed this book as a one-time read, and was glad to have read it; though there were a few disappointing aspects to me. While I was neither overly fond or overly displeased with this novel, I'd say it was a middle-range novel for me. However others with different reading styles might really enjoy this novel. So I recommend you give it a try if you have the chance!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary review copy of While Love Stirs from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not paid to write this review. All thoughts expressed in my review are my completely honest, my own and unbiased.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson Book Review

// Chateau of Secrets //

By Melanie Dobson

{Review Written By Bethany}

 Source: Complementary review copy from the publisher
Genre: Christian Fiction
 Number of Pages: 400
Publisher: Howard Publishers
Publication Date: May 14th, 2014
My Rating: Four out of five stars

// Book Synopsis //
{Taken from GoodReads}

"A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past. Gisèle Duchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medieval chateau in Normandy. Now, with Hitler’s army bearing down, her brother and several friends are hiding in the tunnels, resisting the German occupation of France.

But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child.

A present day story weaves through the past one as Chloe Salvare, Gisèle’s granddaughter, arrives in Normandy. After calling off her engagement with a political candidate, Chloe pays a visit to the chateau to escape publicity and work with a documentary filmmaker, Riley, who has uncovered a fascinating story about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Riley wants to research Chloe’s family history and the lives that were saved in the tunnels under their house in Normandy. Chloe is floored—her family isn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she doesn’t know anything about tunnels or the history of the house. But as she begins to explore the dark and winding passageways beneath the chateau, nothing can prepare her for the shock of what she and Riley discover…

With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past."

// Bethany's Book Review //

This was the first book that I'd read by Melanie Dobson, but I'm sure it probably won't be the last as I really enjoyed this story! I'm a big fan of WWII historical fiction, so when I read the book description, I was very eager to read it. While I did realized this book was about WWII, what I didn't realize until I started reading it, is that it's actually a very unique novel in the fact that it's half historical fiction and half contemporary fiction.

The historical story in Chateau of Secrets is about Gisele Duchant, who was based on a real lady who lived in in France during the time of the second World War. I just loved how this character was based on a true story! The novel explores her experiences with the war, and how she dealt with challenges, such as hiding resistance workers in underground tunnels throughout the chateau, and how she dealt with the chateau be used for the German headquarters against her will.

The contemporary portion of this novel comes in every other chapter, when we meet Chloe Sauver, who is Gisele's granddaughter. She is living in the preset day, and is engaged to a young man who is running for a political position. But when she realizes that he has been cheating on her, she quickly breaks off the engagement and goes to Normandy to visit the chateau where her grandmother lived; as well as to uncover the secrets of her grandmother's life during the war. As she deals with the current situations in her life she learns about her grandmother's past, and starts to heal.

This was the first time I'd read a book that weaved both a historical story and a contemporary story into one. I liked all the mystery involved, and it had a good plot that included a lot of the chateau and the war, as well as Chloe's relationship difficulties. It was such an interesting read which I had no problem turning pages-in fact I stayed up rather late several nights reading and finishing this book. 

Another thing I liked was the characters, and how well they were portrayed despite the fact that there were two of them. I felt like I got to know each of the two main characters equally well, and felt connected to their story. Plus the way the story was written with going back and forth from the past and then the present day every other chapter, made for an interesting reading experience. It makes the reader able to learn things that happened in the past right before Chloe learns about them, making the reader feel like you have the upper hand throughout the whole mystery aspect of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was an interestingly unique read for me, and one that I really enjoyed. I loved the moral of the story, and seeing two different women go through life which varied by woman due to the time period and surrounding circumstances. I highly recommend this book!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary review copy of Chateau of Secrets from the publisher, for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts expressed in my review are my own, honest and completely unbiased.