Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review ~ Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

Some books are read. Some books are devoured. Not by Sight by Kate Breslin is to be savored. As much as I wanted to read this book and not put it down, I kept finding myself slowing down as I read in order to enjoy the wonderful writing and compelling story Kate Breslin gave us in this treasure, Not By Sight,

Grace Mabry, the daughter of a tea shop owner in London in 1917, and the twin sister of a brother fighting on the front lines for his Great Britain, is appalled and disgusted that any able bodied man would stay home from the Great War to laze around when so many are giving their lives for their country. Compelled by these emotions, Grace and her lovely companion sneak into a costume ball filled with many of these war dodgers in order to shame each man with the white feather of cowardice.

Jack Benningham appears to be the greatest coward of them all - at least on the outside. Upon receiving one of Grace's feathers, he is amused by her gall, and transfixed by her beauty, so much so that he loses track of the real reason he is attending the ball - a far more important one than just helping the Red Cross.

First, I really enjoyed learning more about WWI. As someone who generally sticks to WWII history, I am slightly embarrassed at how little I know about WWI - especially in England. It was fun to learn about the Women's Forage Corps and the suffragette movement in England and Europe, as well as hints at Mata Hari and the use of spies throughout Europe during the war.

I really loved the character development in this book. Everyone had such depth, both the main and secondary characters. Everyone also had a secret of some kind that they were hiding. While the overall story was about Grace and Jack, there were many side stories that played out throughout the book, that pulled me in as a reader and made me want to know more about each one. They did not detract from the main story, but instead helped it along in some rather surprising ways.

These stories also helped with the theme of the book: not by sight. As someone who has had poor eyesight her entire life, I really related to this theme, and its various meanings throughout the book. Sight can refer to physical, emotional, relational and spiritual aspects, and all three are dealt with in Not By Sight. While I've always dealt with the physical aspects of poor eyesight, I'm only really just now exploring it's meaning when it comes to emotions and relationships, and even sometimes, how my spiritual walk needs work. I've come to realize how blinded I am at times when it comes to these parts of my life, and it was interesting to see how the characters in this book dealt with their blindness in these areas, and how they changed because of it.

A truly beautiful tale full of glorious scenery, suspense and intrigue, and even a Beauty and the Beast-esque romance, readers will find themselves captivated by the wonderful story, complex characters, and the importance of living by faith and not by sight in all aspects of life.

Happy Reading!

Sarah K.

Review ~ Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot

Today's book is a first historical romance by an author who normally publishes hilarious contemorary romance and mystery/spy thrillers that I absolutely adore!  Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot aka Camy Tang is an incredible historical romance.  I love this author's contemporary works, and her first venture into historical is fantastic! Alethea, a spinster who was left nothing after her family died, is forced out of her home to live with a relative she barely knows in order to survive. While there, she meets the mysterious Lord Dommick - a man who shares her love of the violin. As she gets settled into her new life, the thing she treasures above all else - her violin - is threatened by an unknown thief. Alethea must discern who she can trust all while secretly sharing her love for the violin and her growing interest in Lord Dommick. Together they must keep her violin safe and catch the dastardly villain who is trying to destroy everything they have.

I loved this book! It captured my interest and kept me up into the wee hours trying to finish it. The side characters are delightful as well, and I do hope they get their own stories - especially a certain two who are destined to fall in love - at least in my opinion. The villain(s) are well written, and there is even an icky suitor that is disposed of delightfully - though not in the way I imagined! I cannot wait to read more from the lovely Camille Elliot!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review ~ A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

A Bride in Store   by Melissa Jagears is the second book in her Unexpected Brides series. I wrote a short review last year, and hope you enjoy it!

Such a wonderful sweet story with a slimy slimeface villian thrown in for fun. I loved that Ms. Jagears added in a bit of mystery to this delightful mail order bride story. This book is a wonderful historical romance full of fun characters, plenty of sparks, and a train robbery! I loved Eliza and William. Getting to know them was a joy. All Eliza wants is to marry her betrothed, and all William wants is to run his store while helping those who are ill. Knowing she has a head for business, William agrees to let Eliza take over the business side of things, which makes for some interesting situations with customers. Meanwhile, William has everything he needs to become a doctor - except the degree, and the courage to go get it. Both Eliza and William must hear and obey God's call in order to be happy, but in doing so, they just might have to give up their dreams for the future...or will they?

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Review ~ Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman is the second installment of her The Heart of San Francisco series. I wrote a short review of it last year, and am happy to share it with you now. :)

Fantastic read as usual! I loved Allison and Nick and little Lottie. Allison's fierce independence is both inspiring and convicting at the same time. Her need to prove herself struck home with me, but also reminded me that it is ok to ask others for help. I loved Nick as well, and his drive to clean up the city of San Francisco.

The chemistry between him and Allison was delightful. It was also great to hear more from Allison's mother and uncle Logan's story. I hope those two eventually get together. They both deserve a happily ever after.

Finally, I'm looking forward to the last book in the series, though I do think the rest of the family needs their stories told as well - especially Allison's brother and the secretary at the law firm. :)