Showing posts with label 2 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 stars. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Review: Rocky Mountain Redemption by Lisa J. Flickinger



My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

A Rocky Mountain logging camp may be just the place to find herself.

To escape the devastation caused by the breaking of her wedding engagement, Isabelle Franklin joins her aunt in the Rocky Mountains to feed a camp of lumberjacks cutting on the slopes of Cougar Ridge. If only she could out run the lingering nightmares.

Charles Bailey, camp foreman and Stony Creek's itinerant pastor, develops a reputation to match his new nickname — Preach. However, an inner battle ensues when the details of his rough history threaten to overcome the beliefs of his young faith.

Amid the hazards of camp life, the unlikely friendship growing between the two surprises Isabelle. She's drawn to Preach's brute strength and gentle nature as he leads the ragtag crew toiling for Pollitt's Lumber. But when the ghosts from her past return to haunt her, the choices she will make change the course of her life forever—and that of the man she's come to love.


My Review

I usually love the setting of a lumber camp for a good romance, but sadly this one fell flat for me. It has a promising start with the characters, and Isabelle's hidden presence at the camp began the story with a sense of intrigue. The friendship between Preach and Isabelle doesn't have much time to develop before the angst and drama sets in and hijacks the plot. So much of the story involves the aftermath of Isabelle's rape and how she was unprepared to handle it, leading to poor decisions and bad blood between her and her family. Preach was also unprepared to handle the news of the "tainted" past of the girl he puts on a pedestal in his mind. He has a past himself full of carousing, so his quick judgement felt hypocritical, especially when he jumped to conclusions and didn't even consider there might be more to the story. I don't expect the characters to be without flaws, but it prevented me from trusting his sincerity for the rest of the book. The conflict of the story was propelled forward by assumptions, and by the middle of the book I didn't find it enjoyable to read.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Monday, March 23, 2020

Review: A Duke's Promise by Jamie Carie


https://amzn.to/2WugRzQ

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Award-winning writer Jamie Caries concludes her most epic storyline with a wonderful twist in A Duke’s Promise, the final Forgotten Castles novel.

From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen -- Italy and the marble caves of Carrara -- but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other -- a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.


My Review

This is the third book in a series where the story continues over the entire series. I really enjoyed the first book and thought it had a great setup, even though the main characters don't meet. The second book however took a downturn for me, and I was hoping that it would recover in this third book when Alexandria and Gabriel are married, but things just got more melodramatic and my patience was completely gone. The scenes told from Alex's missing parents' points of view made it different from the previous books, and we also get the perspective from a lusty crazed Spanish duke who turns out to be a stalker of the Featherstone women as well as pursuing the manuscript. The sexual content of the book is borderline and I wouldn't consider it entirely clean. The vague descriptions of the  machine the manuscript is about reduced the sense of the importance of their discovery. 

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Check out the other books in the Forgotten Castles series . . .

https://amzn.to/2J3lKry


Friday, March 20, 2020

Review: The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie


https://amzn.to/2J3lKry

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay
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Synopsis

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.


My Review

This is the second book in a series where the story is spread out over all three books, with the first two books ending on a cliffhanger. I'm not a fan of that format, and even though I liked the first book, my patience and interest began to wane by the end of this book. The setting in Iceland brought fresh life to the travels of Alex as she follows the clues of her parents' mysterious whereabouts. Her thoughts and choices seemed out of character as she compromises her reputation and safety by pretending to be the wife of her relatively new friend John. The overall tone of the book is darker as there is more violence, trials, and difficult consequences, especially for Gabriel. The politics of the countries vying for the manuscript are also explored more, and the ramifications of Alex's choices grow more complex.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Check out the other books in the Forgotten Castles series . . .

https://amzn.to/2WugRzQ




Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: You Belong With Me by Tari Faris


https://amzn.to/2lELiDq

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents. Unfortunately, selling houses in the town where her family name is practically poison isn't one of them. When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map--and hopefully finally repay the financial debt Hannah's mother caused the town. But at first no one supports her efforts--not even her best friend, Luke.

Luke Johnson may have grown up in Heritage, but as a foster kid he never truly felt as if he belonged. Now he has a chance to score a job as assistant fire chief and earn his place in the town. But when the interview process and Hannah's restoration project start unearthing things from his past, Luke must decide if belonging is worth the pain of being honest about who he is--and who he was.


My Review

I normally enjoy stories like this, but I was stressed out reading this one. I think the situations the four main characters were in seemed hopeless and they were unhappy, full of angst, and didn't have a sense of humor. Hannah and Luke's stalled romance was blamed on each other, and I was confused for much of the book why their dynamic was the way it was. Thomas and Janie were the same way- there is tons of past history alluded to but the reader is kept in the dark for much of it and I was just frustrated with them all. I wanted to sit them all down and tell them to just open their eyes and communicate. Although, that wouldn't make for much of a story then. I just think they were all wound too tightly for me to truly enjoy. A good dose of humor would have gone a long way for me in balancing the vibe of the book.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)



Don't miss the prequel novella in the Restoring Heritage series- the e-book is only 99 cents!

https://amzn.to/2lEQDdW

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Synopsis

What if a woman who’s all about the goals and plans falls in love with man who no longer believes his life has a purpose? A novice life coach needs to cement her reputation with one great success story. When a wounded former Special Forces operator walks back into her life looking for a job, she decides to work with him—a win-win for them both.

​If Caroline Williams had her way, she’d help everyone in town find their purpose in life—unfortunately, no one seems to want her help. But she refuses to give up, and her new status as a certified life coach should provide her with some badly needed credibility. All she needs is her first client. When Grant Quinn walks in looking for a job, Caroline knows he needs more than that—he needs a new plan for his life. But when Grant refuses to be honest about his dreams and his struggles, Caroline’s business might come crashing down before it starts.

Wounded former Special Forces operator Grant Quinn understood the cost when he enlisted and served his country with pride. The scars on his face are reminders of what he lost, but he is moving on—now if he could just convince his family that he’s fine. When Caroline steps back into his life and offers to help find him a job in exchange for being her Guinea pig in her new life coaching business, he agrees. After all, what better way to show his family he’s okay than with a new, stable job? But when the anxiety he’s been running from ruins his one interview, his plans come crashing down. Can he trust Caroline enough to be honest about everything?

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Review: Wally's Misadventure by Chrys Wimer


https://amzn.to/2GU3q3u

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Wally had been cooped up all winter and was ready for a great adventure! His chores came first, then after his father reminded him of the rules, Wally was off. The first rule was to never go exploring alone, but when none of Wally’s friends could go, he was determined to go anyway. Look inside to find out what Wally faces on his adventure!

My Review

I'm a huge fan of children's books and love collecting my favorites- current releases and those from my own childhood, especially those with remarkable illustrations. I enjoyed the forest setting of Wally's Misadventure and the variety of creatures he interacts with on his journey. 44 The overall feelings I got while reading the book were first of disappointment as Wally's friends are each too busy to play with him, and then of anxiety as he ventures into an unknown part of the forest alone and encounters some dangerous animals and situations. The narrative is a bit stilted, but the book is obviously written to be used as a teaching tool with children to open discussions of what to do in similar situations. Several elements of the digital illustrations are amateurish and distracted me from the story. I especially think the landscapes were too dark/intense and prevented the animals from standing out from the background.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Review: Atoning for Ashes by Kaitlin Covel


https://amzn.to/2EtfsjH

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father's debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia's sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.

Charles Radcliffe's heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love―let alone the love of her God.

As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it's too late?


My Review

I thought this book sounded like something I would enjoy with the setting and marriage of convenience theme, but unfortunately the writing style is not my cup of tea. I found it melodramatic and overly preachy. The characters are all tormented by secrets, self-pity, or rejection. Josie draws strength from her faith, and often pleads with the Lord in desperation. The tone of the book reminded me a bit of Wuthering Heights, dark with quickly shifting moods. I think it is a book that I would recommend to readers who enjoy a healthy dose of angst, drama, and extremely emotional characters.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Review: Last Kiss by Ranee S. Clark


Heidi Reads... Last Kiss by Ranee S. Clark

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Gwen Malone is back in her hometown of Clay, Wyoming, saving money while she figures out what to do next with her life and her dream of having her own online magazine. Then her ex, Cale Parrish shows up, working for her dad, of all things. Things are awkward, of course, since he broke off their engagement just a month before the wedding.
 

But Cale has known for a long time that he made a mistake five years ago, when he allowed the pressure to marry her right after his mission eclipse his true feelings for her. He can’t let Gwen slip away from him again.
 

Cale's thoughtful gestures and reminders of their once-perfect relationship begin to convince Gwen they should take a chance on them again—until a no-holds-barred kiss reminds her exactly how much she has to lose. Cale may be ready to jump right back in where they left off, but can Gwen trust him again so easily?

My Review

This is a sweet second chance romance in small town Wyoming. It focused on Gwen's indecision over her first love's return to town and attempts to rekindle their relationship. She's in limbo since she's stalled in her career and that sense of uncertainty is prevalent throughout the story. The plot wasn't exciting or compelling and I would have liked more depth and character development. Cale and Gwen were nice together, or at least Gwen's memories of how they used to be. Most of their present day interactions involved awkwardness and avoidance. I didn't feel invested in them, and was surprised at the jumps they made in the end after five years of zero contact. Perhaps if Cale and Gwen's previous time together had been more detailed, I would have felt there was more of a foundation to build on.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: Just the Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham


 Pleasant Gap Romance Book 1

Heidi Reads... Just the Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay

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Synopsis

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?


My Review

I really thought I would enjoy this book more, but even with its quirky Appalachian and swoony British main characters, I had a difficult time connecting to them. I felt thrown into the story and wished for more of a setup to draw my interest to the plot. I was distracted by the alternate gushing and angsting of Eisley over Wes, and even though their kissing scenes were amazing, I felt like there was something missing. I think it would have helped to see more of their friendship developing early on, instead of being told about it. I did appreciate the way they shared their faith and even studied the Bible together. Eisley very much identifies as Appalachian, and the constant references to her personality and the contrast in cultures got old really quick.

The "treasure hunt" for details of a mysterious ancestor was fun, especially with secret passageways and abandoned castles, but even with layers being revealed, the story felt ambiguous. The villainess was rather two dimensional and predictable, and I thought it was a cliche plot device. It was a pleasant story overall, and all my Goodreads friends gave it 4 and 5 stars, so I'm definitely in the minority here. I'm not giving up on the author since I've read other stories of hers that I liked; this one was just a miss for me.


(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)