Friday, December 30, 2011

Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale

Persuasion: A Latter-day TalePersuasion: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anne keeps busy as a stock broker and is always helping her somewhat dysfunctional parents and siblings. She's happy, but would love to find Mr. Right and have a family of her own to focus on.

Totally unexpectedly, her ex-fiance comes back into the picture. She was the one who called off the engagement eight years earlier due to fear and family pressure, but she's always loved Neil. Seeing him dating others is hard on her, but she's determined to get over him.

I felt like I could relate to Anne from the very beginning when she was trying to price items for her father's yard (I mean estate) sale. She's the go-to person in her family too (although her familial situation doesn't resemble mine at all).

Some parts were predictable, but others caught you off guard (in a good, twisty sort of way). At times it was really heavy on LDSisms, but the characters were great and the story was fun to read.

I haven't read Jane Austen's Persuasion yet, but this definitely made me want to add it to my to-read stack.

This was an Advanced Readers Copy read through NetGalley.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rearview Mirror

Rearview MirrorRearview Mirror by Stephanie Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Fiona Claridge is a young college professor in New England. After catching a student plagiarizing, Fiona starts receiving threatening notes involving an accident in her past. She's convinced that the threats are coming from the student, but things get worse after attending the funeral of her ex-boyfriend's mother.

Stephanie Black did a great job with this story. I was certain that I'd figured out who the bad guy was (a few times), only to be wrong.

This book reminded me of the movie "Brigham City" in some ways. The LDS angle with nasty crimes isn't really my cup of tea. I don't like to think of people I know being capable of such evil.

My library only had the audiobook of Rearview Mirror. I prefer to read a book before I listen to it, but the story was intense enough that I was able to focus on it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Caller ID

Caller IDCaller ID by Rachelle Christensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Courtney Beckham stumbles upon something she wasn't meant to see in the forest near her home, her life is changed forever. She is kidnapped, and when a ransom is demanded for her return the FBI gets involved.

FBI agent Jason Edwards is known for going with his gut feeling in solving crimes. Something doesn't feel right about the Beckham case, and he follows his instincts to determine what really happened.

Rachelle J. Christensen does a great job writing a suspenseful novel. The story was believable and intense, and done in such a way that it was still clean.

Those who have read Christensen's other novel Wrong Number will recognize Jason. I liked his character in that story, and was glad to have him play a much bigger role this time.

Thanks to NetGalley and publisher Cedar Fort for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Assignment

The AssignmentThe Assignment by Jean Holbrook Mathews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Julia is asked by her employer to go to Manila to organize a rescue team to find his kidnapped granddaughter. Julia hesitates, but decides the assignment is just what she needs to keep her mind off her deceased husband and her comatose son. Little did she know how involved she'd become.

It took me awhile to get into this story, probably due to all of the details on the location and the different groups of people who live there. The information about the author made it sound like she loves the Philippines, but this story made it sound like a very scary and dangerous place.

I was happy when the focus got to the characters and their plight. Things got pretty intense, but good prevailed over evil for a pretty happy ending. It looked like there was going to be a romance, but that just didn't materialize. If there isn't a sequel in the works, the romance angle didn't make sense.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not My Type

Not My Type: A Single Girl's Guide to Doing It All WrongNot My Type: A Single Girl's Guide to Doing It All Wrong by Melanie Jacobson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been hearing (great things) about this book for months, but finding a library copy hasn't been easy. And then, miracle of miracles, I won a copy on a blog. I was so excited when it arrived in my mailbox the other day.

I was quite nervous that I had built it up so much in my mind that it'd be a let down. Thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Pepper Spicer (yes, the name is funny, but it totally works) is 23 and doesn't have a very enviable life. She is living at home, sharing a room with her little sister, and managing a sandwich shop to pay off the credit card debt she accumulated for her wedding (that didn't happen). Her attitude is hard to live with and her parents finally go with the tough love approach. She won't be able to keep living at home if she doesn't take some steps to change her attitude (finding a job she likes and writing thank you notes).

Pepper definitely has an uphill battle, but Jacobson's writing style and humor makes it a very enjoyable read. It is also a great reminder to look for the good in our lives, and share our gratitude with others.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1)Invisible by Lorena McCourtney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ivy Malone is a "LOL" (little old lady) who comes to realize that she is invisible-people just don't seem to notice her. She decides to put her invisibility to good use to discover who is vandalizing an out of the way cemetery. And while she's at it, she does some investigating about a missing neighbor.

Ivy is definitely not your average widow.

A very entertaining story that grabbed my attention and held it until almost the end.

I had no idea that this was the first of several Ivy Malone mysteries. The way the first book ended sort of lost my interest (not the author's intent, I'm sure). I'll probably give the 2nd book a try if I come across it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At the First Presidency Christmas Devotional on December 4th, President Thomas S. Monson mentioned how A Christmas Carol is one of the books he reads every Christmas. I'm definitely familiar with the story, but that is mostly due to watching Disney's "Mickey's Christmas Carol". But, there are times when a person should read good books (those with more substance than fluff), so I got an e-copy and started reading.

Of course, the point of the story is excellent. A greedy old man seeing the light and understanding that it is better to give than to receive. I'll admit I prefer the brevity of the cartoon version. This was a little verbose at times. But, there were some details not included in the cartoon that definitely added to the story.

I'm not sure that I'm ready to read A Tale of Two Cities at this point, but I'm glad I read A Christmas Carol.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Death Cure

The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3)The Death Cure by James Dashner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the first and second books in The Maze Runner series quite awhile ago, so it took me a chapter or two to get back into the story.

Thomas and his friends are still fighting for their lives, and are pawns in WICKED's game to find a cure for the Flare.

Overall, I was pleased with how things turned out. The resolution wasn't all smiles (by any means), but it seemed right.

I liked that the gore was toned down in this book. The fake swearing still bothered me (along with a few real swear words that were throw in), but it didn't stand out as much this time.

The story was intense. I didn't want to put it down.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lost December

Lost DecemberLost December by Richard Paul Evans

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lost December is Richard Paul Evans' story about a prodigal son.

I really felt for his main character, Luke. He was making some pretty bad decisions. He seemed so naive much of the time, and I kept wishing he'd open his eyes and see what was happening.

Evan's did an excellent job portraying the influence that friends can have. It is so important to surround ourselves with people that will build us up and bring out the best in us. If we don't, it can destroy us.

In the end, Luke's humility and the love of Luke's father were inspirational.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas on Mill Street

Christmas on Mill StreetChristmas on Mill Street by Joseph Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute story that looks back on a man's life when he was nine-years-old. He wasn't concerned about the Cuban Missel Crisis or any of the world issues. He was concerned about fitting in and conquering a very huge hill on a sled.

It was a very enjoyable story, and a fast read. I still cringe when I think about the backdrop Santa.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This Just In

This Just inThis Just in by Kerry Blair

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kerry Blair is hilarious. Her writing is so entertaining.

This Just In is about a beauty queen turned reporter who joins the search for a missing four-year-old she teaches in church. Her city-girl lifestyle hasn't prepared her for roughing it in the Arizona desert, but handsome tracker Clay helps her survive.

I really enjoyed reading this. It was just right for my mood.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Mansion

The MansionThe Mansion by Henry Van Dyke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I heard about this book the other night while listening to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. President Thomas S. Monson said he reads this every Christmas. What better recommendation does one need to read a book?

It is a short story about a very wealthy man who has his priorities wrong. He does plenty of good, but only if it will be beneficial for him. His focus is on the recognition, and in a dream he sees that his mansion in heaven is a shack. He hasn't given Heaven much to work with, and he's already had his reward. The dream changes him.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Michelle Davidson Argyle's eBooks Only 99-Cents This Month!

Great news! Author Michelle Davidson Argyle is having a December sale on her eBooks. Head over to her blog for links to get Cinders, Monarch and True Colors for your Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords.

Fools Rush In

Fools Rush In (Weddings by Bella, #1)Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Thanks to free Kindle books, I now have quite a few books to read. As I found with some of my earlier free "purchases", some are great, some are not.

Fools Rush In reminded me of "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding" (except with Italians). It was really cute . . . for about the first half of the book. Unfortunately, it kept going long after it passed a good stopping place (not that everything had been resolved, but it could have been closed up a lot sooner).

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Cassidy (Big Sky Dreams #1)Cassidy by Lori Wick

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not sure why I decided to check this book out. I think the publisher may have caught my eye. I figured it would be clean, and since I didn't have anything else to read I decided to give it a try.

Cassidy has her own business as a seamstress in Token Creek, Montana Territory. She's fairly new to the area, but has made some close friends, and her business is doing well. She dreams of getting married, but worries that her past might get in the way.

It was definitely a clean story-sermons included. I ended up doing a lot of skimming. I didn't care for the author's writing style (like when she used "that lady" instead of saying the person's name or "she").

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Unfair Godmother

My Unfair GodmotherMy Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Janette Rallison writes a very entertaining story!

Chrysanthemum Everstar wants to get into the Fairy Godmother University, but her grades have only given her fair status, so she tries for some extra credit. Tansy Miller ends up being that extra credit.

Just like in My Fair Godmother, Chrissy's too focused on herself to do a job for someone else smoothly. Her extra credit project has major issues (much to Tansy's dismay).

A very fun story!

I'm not sure if there will be anymore Fairy Godmother stories by Rallison, but this second one wasn't a disappointment like the other seconds I've read recently.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Kiss in Time

A Kiss in TimeA Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was on display next to a book I wanted. I picked this solely for its cover, and was happy to find it to be very entertaining.

It is a modern tale of Sleeping Beauty (well, modern in that it ends now, it started 300 years ago when Princess Talia pricked her finger on a spindle and her father's kingdom was put to sleep awaiting Talia's "true love's kiss").

This snippet from the jacket gives you a taste of the characters:

Talia fell under a spell...Jack broke the curse.

I was told to beware the accursed spindle, but it was so enchanting, so hypnotic...

I was looking for a little adventure the day I ditched my tour group. But finding a comatose town, with a hot-looking chick asleep in it, was so not what I had in mind.

I awakened in the same place but in another time—to a stranger's soft kiss.

I couldn't help kissing her. Sometimes you just have to kiss someone. I didn't know this would happen.

Now I am in dire trouble because my father, the king, says I have brought ruin upon our country. I have no choice but to run away with this commoner!

Now I'm stuck with a bratty princess and a trunk full of her jewels...The good news: My parents will freak!

Think you have dating issues? Try locking lips with a snoozing stunner who turns out to be 316 years old. Can a kiss transcend all—even time?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Variant (Variant, #1)Variant by Robison Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although I didn't win her giveaway (can't win 'em all), Donna over at Weaving a Tale or Two was 100% right about Variant. An excellent YA novel by Robison Wells! I'm so glad my mom's library had a copy.

Benson Fisher has been passed around the foster care system for years. When a scholarship becomes available for Maxfield Academy, he jumps at the opportunity. But, it doesn't take long to realize that Maxfield Academy isn't what he thought it was.

Staying isn't an option, but escaping is nearly impossible. And, the punishment for breaking the rules is death.

A very creative story. I really enjoyed the characters, and was totally surprised by the twist.