Monday, May 29, 2017

Heart on the Line

Grace Mallory finally feels safe in Harper's Station surrounded by supported friends, working at a job she loves, and getting to know a mysterious and engaging fellow telegraph operator every evening.  When she gets a message from a friend warning that the man who has hunted Grace for the last year has discovered her location, Grace must choose whether to trust her new friends and face the man responsible for her father's death, or continue to run.

Quiet, yet charming Amos Bledsoe knows he isn't the rugged and dashing hero most women look for in West Texas.  But as he talks nightly to his delightful telegraph companion-- Miss G.-- he begins to wonder if he has finally found a woman that will appreciate and love him for who he is.  When he finally builds up the courage to meet her in person, though, he discovers that his potential love interest may be in mortal danger.

Will Amos have the courage to leave his quiet and comfortable life to save Grace?  Will Grace be able to trust him even if he does?

In Heart on the Line Karen Whitemeyer takes readers back to Harper's Station for another entertaining story full of adventure, mystery, and love.  I adored the fact that Amos wasn't the typical gun-wielding, horse-riding, tough-guy hero of typical Western romances.  Small, shy, and introverted Grace was equally refreshing.  In addition to creating interesting characters, Whitemeyer manages to simultaneously tell a beautiful love story and intriguing mystery, while also teaching reminding readers to look beyond outward appearances.  I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment, and can't wait to return to Harper's Station.

 I received a free copy from the publisher.  No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weddings, Weddings, and more Weddings

I'm a bit behind on book reviews... but I'm guessing it's due to the fact that we've driven to Houston the last two weekends in a row for some family weddings.

My lovely sister-in-law got married first.  Since I was in this one, I didn't get to take too many pictures, but I got to take their engagement portraits a few months ago...

My father-in-law got married this past weekend, and I took plenty of official pictures!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Trusting Grace

Recently widowed and charged with the care of her ailing father, Grace Bidwell begins to wonder if her dreams of growing old with a loving husband in a house full of children will ever come true.  Struggling to balance her father's needs with single-handedly running her late husband's farm, Grace decides to place an advertisement for a farm hand.  She soon begins to wonder if single-father to three newly acquired step-children, Robert Frasier, just might be the answer to both of Grace's prayers.  After each has experienced so much loss and disappointment in recent years, will Grace and Robert learn to trust one another with their hearts and ultimate happiness?

Set in 1860s Montana, Maggie Brendan's Trusting Grace had plenty of potential to tell a beautiful story of love and loss against a rugged backdrop, but unfortunately falls short.  Brendan introduces a host of compelling and relatable problems for many of the characters, but each one manages to virtually solve itself without much fanfare, effort, or payoff.  Robert struggles to parent three children he barely knows.  He kind of figures it out.  Grace is jealous and threatened by her father's new love interest.  She gets over it.  There's something shady about the man trying to court Grace.  He ends up in jail.  Again, lots of potential... very little payoff.  The only situation that took any real amount of time or effort to resolve was Grace and Robert's relationship, and even that was barely satisfying.  Rather than solving itself, this plot line simply dragged on for about 50 more pages than it needed to.  It was if Brendan felt the need to create random problems for secondary characters to work through just to prolong the story.  This one was a struggle to finish, I'm afraid.

 I received a free copy from the publisher.  No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Love So True

Evelyn Wisely absolutely loves her work ministering to the orphans and prostitutes of Teaville, Missouri.  Though her friends and family regularly try to convince her to court a number of eligible men in town and start a family of her own, Evelyn has always managed to push them away.  When the dashing David Kingsman arrives in the small town to manage one of his father's businesses for a few months, though, Evelyn lets her guard down.  Assuming that the handsome and charming younger man would never fall for a passed-over spinster, Evelyn allows herself to befriend David and accept his offered help with her various ministries during his stay in Teaville.  When it becomes apparent that they have fallen in love with one another-- despite their best intentions-- will David be able to stand up to his father and properly court Evelyn?  Will a closely guarded secret from Evelyn's past drive David away even before he has a chance?  

Melissa Jaguars tells yet another lovely story of grace, forgiveness, and love in A Love so True.  Neither David nor Evelyn are typical, run-of-the-mill historical fiction protagonists, and I loved them for it.  David's complaisance, need to be well-regarded, and overwhelming desire to please his demanding father made him particularly compelling and complex, and I loved watching him develop and evolve as a character.  Similarly, Evelyn's big secret was not at all what I expected, and added a believable twist to an enjoyable love story.  While it would be tough to top A Heart Most Certain as far as I'm concerned, I still thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment of Jagears's Teaville Moral Society series.  

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.