Review: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

The third installment of Sarah E. Ladd’s Treasures of Surrey series was a hit with me. My biggest complaint with the previous book in this series was that the hero and heroine were not together enough.

This was not an issue in A Stranger at Fellsworth. In fact, Annabelle Thorley and Owen Locke meet early in the book, and from that point forward, circumstances throw them together repeatedly.

While Owen is a gamekeeper, well below the social circles Annabelle is used to, his character stands above the majority of those in the ton. His love for his daughter and the respect of the land he works build his character as much as his desire to help Annabelle escape.

In direct contrast, Annabelle is navigating a new life, a new world. Her determination to make it work despite the obstacles she has to overcome make her loveable in her own right despite her naivety.

Add to that the search for poachers, a murder, questionable characters, and Annabelle’s scheming brother, and this book becomes one of Ladd’s best stories yet. Continue reading

Nothing Less than Fabulous by Allie Pleiter

Nothing Less than Fabulous

by Allie Pleiter

Available everywhere March 14

 

About the Book

If Gretchen wants to keep her great job at Seattle’s largest coffeehouse chain, she’s got to come up with the best marketing idea of her life. When she discovers charming, charismatic barista Nate—otherwise known as “Señor Fabulous”—she knows God’s led her to exactly what she needs. Can Gretchen woo Nate away from his current spot at Higher Grounds Cafe? What if landing the barista her company needs might cost her the man who’s already stolen her heart?

 

 

Continue reading

Are You Happy? Learn to Experience Wellth

My job has been tough lately. Computer systems that are constantly crashing and being updated, long hours, and some issues with management all combine to make the hours of 9-5 (more like 7-7 recently) leaving much to be desired. With all that going on, a book titled Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life and Not a Resume caught my attention.

wellth book cover

Some insights in this book resonated with me. I liked that the author, founder CEO of mindbodygreen Jacob Wachob, focused on more aspects of like that a career. In fact, he gave a well-rounded approach to becoming wellthy including everything from health (exercise and diet) to spending time in nature to including laughter in your life. I also appreciated that Wachob acknowledged the fact that people may not be in the place to leave their current career for something they will enjoy more. His advice? Focus on the other areas of your life.

The few things I wasn’t sure about in the book are things the author readily admits readers may not be sure about. Things like taking time to meditate or incorporating Eastern medicine into your life (he advocates for combining Eastern and Western medicine).

Overall, the book is an encouragement and provides practical steps for anyone who wants to experience true happiness and joy in life, for anyone who realizes success isn’t about the almighty dollar and how much you have in your bank account.

****Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

What Does It Take to Make a Dream Come to Fruition?

Before we get into the meat of this review, let me clarify up front that this book is not Christian fiction (my usual reviews). While I like to diversify my reading and pepper the Christian fiction with some mainstream, I know there are readers out there who will only read one genre.

And now that that’s out of the way…what do a nine-year-old girl who lost her mother, a recently divorced teacher, and the owner of a struggling jazz club have in common? That’s the question Marie-Helen Bertino explores in her debut novel, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas.

cat's pajamas

In Philadelphia, on Christmas Eve Eve, nine-year-old Madeline Altimari has dreams and a recipe box. Her dreams are big and the recipe box is filled with advise from her mother who’d passed away a year before. Madeline admits to not being a nice girl, not having friends. When she faces down one of her classmates and gets expelled from school, she learns of something she’d never heard before: a jazz club in her very own city. Determine to get there and get on stage, she embarks on an exciting journey.

Madeline’s teacher, Sarina Greene has just moved pack to Philly after divorcing her husband. When she gets invited to a party in which her high school crush is rumored to attend. But she knows he’s taken, there’s not use wishing for something that cannot be.

Across town, Lorca is handed the news that his club will be shut down if he can’t comply with city guidelines and codes (most of which he, his employees, and his customers break nightly). Can he save his beloved club?

Madeline is both aggravating and endearing at the same time. While she’s brusque and harsh with many people around her, I found in her the capacity to love and the desire to be loved. Sarina is someone I felt bad for. Life has dealt her a bad hand and I rooted for something to go right in her life. And Lorca and his crew added both a sense of family (although Lorca’s true family is falling apart) and a little bit of comic relief. OK, Madeline adds plenty of that last one herself.

The narrative was unique and enjoyable as the characters tromp across the city of Philadelphia. And the author does a fantastic job of tying all of the stories together at the end of the book.

***Blogging for Books and Broadway Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

little paris bookshop

Let me begin with a warning. This book is not the Christian fiction I usually review on this blog. There is a smattering of foul language and several reference to sex (as well as a couple of scenes). But there is also a journey. One that not only takes you along the rivers from Paris to the southern wine countries but also of the heart. Of grieving. Of letting go and living again.

Jean Perdu has lived the last twenty-one years behind walls. His literary apethacary, a bookshop housed on a boat in the Seine, has remained moored to the same spot. As he prescribes books to his customers, he has yet to find the cure for himself. Living, feeling, is too hard so he creates a shell around his life and protects his heart. When a woman, Catherine, moves in across the hall, Jean gives her a table out of the room that has been concealed by a bookcase for two decades. In that table is a note that will change his life. A note from the love of his life. A note he has feared reading. A note that leads him on a journey toward healing, toward loving, toward friendships, and toward adventure.

The Little Paris Bookshop is a fast read as you travel with Jean and his companions (two cats, a young author just starting out in life) and meet the characters—and I mean that in multiple ways in some cases—they come across. With references to literature sprinkled throughout the book, readers will enjoy it. Jean’s story is one of grief, one of heartache and sorrow, but one that proves there is healing and hope on the other side. Even if it takes a while to get there.

****Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.