Thursday, September 27, 2012

To Love and Cherish by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller

From the publishers: "When Melinda Colson's employer announces they'll be leaving Bridal Veil Island to return to their home in Cleveland, Melinda hopes her beau, Evan, will propose. But Evan isn't prepared to make an offer of marriage until he knows he can support a wife and family. Evan works as the assistant gamekeeper on Bridal Veil but hopes to be promoted soon.

Letters strengthen their love, but Melinda remains frustrated at being apart from the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Then she learns of a devastating hurricane in Bridal Veil and knows she must give up her position as a lady's maid and make her way back to Evan.

The destruction on Bridal Veil is extensive, meaning every available person is needed to help with cleanup and repairs. Melinda finds a new job on the island, but Evan seems even busier than before, meaning she still never gets to see him. Has she given her heart to the wrong man?

And when Melinda overhears a vicious plot against President McKinley, who is scheduled to visit the island, is Evan the one she should turn to? Will Melinda and Evan ever get the chance to stand at the front of a church and promise "to love and cherish"?"

The cover is beautiful and I was hoping that the story would be engaging.  However, I was disappointed in this book.    The main characters of Melinda and Evan were weak and unlikable.  .  I kept hoping that another hero would show up and we could like him better than Evan, and I think I even liked the antagonist better than Evan.  

Most of the book was Melinda being upset for Evan not proposing and Evan not wanting to get married yet.  The book was slow paced and did not grab my attention in any part of the story. Even the "climatic" end was not a winner.  

I wish I could give this a good review.  I enjoy historical fiction, but I will not be reading any other books from this series.

I received this book in exchange from the publishers for my honest review.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The River by Michael Neale

From the publisher: Gabriel Clarke is mysteriously drawn to The River, a ribbon of frothy white water carving its way through steep canyons high in the Colorado Rockies. The rushing waters beckon him to experience freedom and adventure.
But something holds him back—the memory of the terrible event he witnessed on The River when he was just five years old—something no child should ever see.
Chains of fear and resentment imprison Gabriel, keeping him from discovering the treasures of The River. He remains trapped, afraid to take hold of the life awaiting him.
When he returns to The River after years away, his heart knows he is finally home. His destiny is within reach. Claiming that destiny will be the hardest—and bravest—thing he has ever done.

I have to say that this book lacked depth in many ways.  I was not drawn to any of the characters, least of all the main character Gabriel.  A book can be not very deep, but at least entertaining and engaging.  This book was neither deep, nor entertaining, nor engaging.  This book was choppy and caused me to not really didn't care if Gabriel conquered his fears or got a better life because he was written in a very flat way.  When reading it I felt like I was reading middle/high school writing craft.  

Spiritually there was more mysticism/animism/etc. than Christianity.  There is a hawk that appears to comfort Gabriel, and the River talks to him, an important teacher of his is named after the river, and a special dog helps him at the river.  There could have been many chances to show that God is the One who heals our deepest grief, but instead it was this magical river.

The story line had potential but it was not carried out well.  I cannot recommend this book.

I received this book from Booksneeze for my honest review.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall

Rhonda Byler has a gift for tending to gardens, but has a past that haunts her.  Then here is Samuel King and his family's orchard and their family troubles and joys.  Rhonda's understanding and expertise at gardening and canning binds a relationship with the King family.

This is the first book in a series, and it seemed that much of it was setting up for what would come later.  If you want a book with a quick ending, then this is not for you.  The characters and families are developed so that they can be further explored in the coming books.

There were a lot of characters and at first I felt confused with all the names and families, but Woodsmall does a good job and trying to keep things sorted out.

The book kept my attention throughout and I am looking forward to reading the next book so I can find out what happens next!

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Press for my honest opinion.