Monday, April 27, 2020

"Limped Mail Order Bride
and her Dejected Cowboy"
by Florence Linnington.

Cora knows it is time to make her own way in the world & that her parents can no longer continue to support her, though she knew they would try to if she stayed. So when she gets an offer of marriage from a man out west, she accepts it and leaves to marry a man she has never met.

She knows he has aspirations of becoming town mayor, and as such he needs a beautiful bride by his side when that happens. It is because of this fact that he does not care about the severe limp that so many other men had rejected her over. But shortly after meeting him, everything falls apart when he suddenly loses everything & can no longer afford to get married.

Cora had met only one person in town, and desperate with nowhere else to go, she makes her way to Ogoe Ranch in the hopes that Rachel and her family might need some help and provide her with a place to stay.

I enjoyed reading this book just as much as I have the rest of Ms. Linnington's books. The story was a heartwarming one about learning to accept yourself as you are and learning that the faults you see in yourself might not be even noticed by those around you.

Not only Cora, but a Ranch hand named Derek must learn these lessons before either of them can hope to find any sort of happiness in either of their lives. The question is, will they be able to do so?

As always with her stories, this is a well-written tale about finding a way to overcome our own self-created obstacles. And like her previous books, I enjoy knowing that I can expect a happy ending no matter what difficulties the characters must overcome to get there.

Monday, April 20, 2020

"Prelude: Ghosts of Southampton"
by I. D. Johnson

Meg's father has realized that his wife has been trying to get rid of him and has taken steps to protect his young daughter and to arrange for her future. He makes an agreement with a good friend and business associate for Meg to marry the other man's son once they have both come of age. In the event of his death, his will leaves control of his business to Meg's husband, though her uncle will continue to run things until then.

And while Meg's life should have been one of extreme privilege and comfort, unfortunately it was anything but happy. Readers should be warned that Meg is abused by her uncle from a very young age. While this is not graphically depicted in the story, it is clear what has been happening to her and may be a trigger point for some readers. But this is an important plot point in the story and leads to actions taken by the characters in this, and likely the next, book in this series. As such, it cannot be ignored.

As described by the title, this book was the prequel to the novel "Titanic." While it may not be absolutely necessary to read this book to fully understand the story in the next book, I believe it gives us an important insight into the characters' motivations. I believe reading this book will enhance the experience of reading the rest of this series.

Monday, April 13, 2020

"Choosing Sides" by Karen Meyer

Gilbert Freeman is a young man who is unhappy with his current life. His mother has passed away and he always seems to be at odds with his father lately. Gilbert really wants to return and finish his schooling, but his father needs him to stay and work full time with him on the farm.

Things keep getting more and more tense between the two of them, until one night Gilbert decides to leave the farm behind and move to Westerville and find his own way in the world.

This was a book that I truly enjoyed reading. It takes place in Central Ohio, near the area where I currently live, so while the specific locations mentioned may no longer be present, the towns mentioned still are.

The story in this book is based on a few events that occurred during the temperance movement in the 1800s in Ohio. I found this story to be well written. It drew me in and made me want to keep reading to see what would happen to Gilbert and to see where he would end up once all was said and done.

One of the things that I enjoyed most in this book were the author notes at the end of the story. I loved not only having had the chance to enjoy her tale, but getting the chance to learn about the historical events that inspired it. I would recommend reading this one, especially if historically inspired stories interest you as they do me.

Monday, April 6, 2020

“Ditch Lane Diaries Collection: Books 1-4”
by D.F. Jones

Today’s review is of a 4 book box set. I read each of the books in the series and have reviewed them for you separately so that should you prefer to read the books individually, my review might appeal more than simply one where all the books may have been reviewed together as one.

One thing to be aware of, each of the books in this collection do contain some scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

"Ditch Lane Diaries Collection: Ruby's Choice"

Ruby's Choice is the first book in the Ditch Lane Diaries Collection. In this book, we learn the beginnings of where and how the girls first received their gifts. Ruby, the girl that the first book focuses on, has dreams of the future.

In this book we also meet Reed & Brent. Ruby is attracted to both of them, but discovers that Brent is being tormented by a demon. Can anything be done to help free Brent from his tormentor?

I enjoyed this book a great deal. It was set in the 1970s and the author did an excellent job of giving her tale a distinct 1970s feel. The slang used by the characters and other descriptions really made me feel like I was back in the 1970s that I had grown up in. The author really did an amazing job in setting the atmosphere for the series.

"Ditch Lane Diaries Collection: Anna's way"

This was the story of Anna, another of the girls who had found a secret cave and received a gem and special powers. Anna's power was the ability to heal almost any injury or illness. She could not always prevent death, but a desire to learn how to heal with medicine and science, as well as her gift sent her to medical school in Florida. But can her relationship with Jerry survive their separation? A separation made more difficult by another woman who wants Jerry to be hers instead.

This story starts in the 1970s and continues into the 1980s. I enjoyed the feel of the time period that clearly comes through in Ms. Jones writing. The story is well told and very entertaining, as well as well-edited/proofread.

"Ditch Lane Diaries Collection: Sandy's Story"

As mentioned in the title, this is primarily Sandy's story. It explains why Sandy's family moved to Tennessee when she was young and shows us how the group first met and became friends. It also lets us know more about how Sandy's power of Clairvoyance works.

Sandy's connection with her guardian angel has always been closer and more open than that of the rest of the Campbell Ridge group and their angels. And while this has often proved to be a good thing, it does present its own problems. Can Sandy & Baldric find a way to overcome these challenges and find their happy ending, or are they doomed before they ever had a chance?

Like the other two books, this one was very well-written and well-edited. What I've read so far has been a joy to read & definitely gives me plenty of reasons to continue reading this series.

"Lee's Lesson: warrior Angel"

This was the fourth book in the series, though it goes back to before the other three books were set, and begins with Lee’s family in the 1950s It explains how everything related to the Chosen/hybrids began. As one reads through the book, there is necessarily some overlap in the storylines of this book and the first three in the series. I definitely appreciated all the added details each book gives us in order to flesh out the series and each character's stories as a whole.

One thing to be aware of, each of the books in this collection do contain some scenes that may not be appropriate for younger readers.

Each story in this collection has been wonderfully written and are very enjoyable and entertaining. While it did take me some time to get through all 4 books in this collection one right after the other, I did enjoy reading all of them. The author did a fantastic job with making each book feel appropriate to the time period in which it was set. Recommended.

"Fairytale: A Modern Fairytale Anthology"

This is a collection of fairytale retellings. But be warned, this is definitely not a collection of stories that is meant for a younger a...