Monday, June 23, 2014

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

From the publisher: When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead? 

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

When I first started reading the book I wasn't sure if I would get into the characters, I wasn't in a reading mood, but Karen Witemeyer quickly changed that!  Within the first two chapters I was into the story and timeline of the book.  I was invested in Nicole and Darius's stories.  

I really enjoyed learning more about the steamship disasters of the time and the boiler explosions.  The history that Karen Witemeyer included in her story drew me in and I really appreciated that she continued to share history about the boilers, even in the sweet epilogue.

Nicole was a fun and feisty character to read, and Darius was a fun eccentric character.  Both were very enjoyable to read.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

NIV Fast Facts Bible

From the Publisher:
A Bible that points out interesting facts and challenges the reader to dig deeper into God’s Word.
The NIV Fast Facts Bible is designed to creatively engage Bible readers who have a passion for finding out interesting facts about the Bible. It features unique Bible book introductions that point to fascinating details that can be found in each of the Bible's 66 books. At the end of each book is a full page of intriguing questions that will drive readers back into the text to discover the answers for themselves. Includes the complete text of the NIV, the world's bestselling modern English translation.
I was very pleased when I got this Bible to review.  This Bible has multiple features that were interesting and enjoyable.  One thing that I particularly enjoyed was that the main text of the Bible books were left alone.  I like to read the Bible and have my own thoughts as I read through the Scriptures and this Fast Facts Bible left each book alone and did not add facts here or there through out the books, therefore distracting the reader.  Instead each book of the Bible had and introduction section and a "quiz" section at the end.  This did not detract at all from personal study of the Bible.
Something else that I thought was well done was that this is the facts Bible, not personal conjecture and hypothesis.  That means that most denominations could read through this Bible and enjoy the facts without feeling bothered by some church or religion.
Already my family has used this Bible to prompt discussion and study of the books of the Bible.  It is a fun and engaging way to see what you know about the Bible in bit sized amounts- before and after each book.
I recommend this version of the NIV Bible to others, I think teachers in particular would find this helpful when engaging and working with students.
I received this book free from BookLookBloogers in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A May Bride by Meg Moseley

From the publisher:
She thinks she has prepared for her wedding all her life . . . but it seems she may have forgotten the most important part.
Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life-a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Their single mom will pay for Alexa's wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.
At a wedding at her church, Ellie bumps into a man who's one of the guests. She's noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn't trust freewheeling men like Gray.
When Ellie risks her own future for her sister's sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle to Ellie's family?
Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they've begun come crashing down?
This is the fifth book in the Year of Weddings series.  
This book is a whirlwind romance.  It is something that most people don't live out, so readers may find it thrilling to watch Ellie and Gray's romance blossom and bloom overnight into lasting love.
I wasn't wild about the plot of the story, it seemed that even though Ellie and Gray had a lot going for them, that their getting married probably wasn't realistically the best because of all the arguments they had.  That being said, I realize that is a romantic novella and not supposed to represent real life. 
The interactions between Alexa, Ellie, and their mother were interesting and would have made a fascinating plot for a full-length novel.
I received this book free from BookLookBlogger in exchange for my honest review.