Thursday, November 20, 2014


Margaret Brownley always writes entertaining novels. This is no exception. Her sense of humor shines. Laughter and mystery abound.

Jennifer Layne, alias Amy, is working undercover as a lady of ill repute. Trying to find clues to the gunny sack bandit while not having to entertain "guests" , as Ms. Lillian calls her patrons,  certainly counts as hazardous pay. Amy meets Tom Colton who is trying to clear his brother's name while he discovers who might have murdered him. Both feel the attraction for the other and that complicates matters for both.

Amy  feels she can't blow her cover but hates that Tom thinks she is a bad girl; and Tom, who is really an ex-Texas Ranger, feels drawn to Amy and berates himself while still wishing she could get out of her predicament.

There are so many opportunities for misunderstandings that create humorous situations to keep you laughing and turning pages. In addition, piquing your interest in history are the references to the Pinkerton Agency and female agents. This story makes you want to research that subject further.

 I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

THE AMISH BLACKSMITH By Mindy Starns Clark & Susan Meissner
After a very slow start, "The Amish Blacksmith" picked up steam and was a page turner at the end. You are turning pages to find out if Jake realizes what he's been missing and if he will make the right choice in time.
Besides the slow start, the story is told in first person which I admit is not one of my favorite tools. But Ms. Starns and Ms. Meissner do a good job not to let the story get too bogged down.
In fact, there is a mystery and murder for which the audience as well as Jake think they know the answer but for which  there are some surprise twists.
All in all, this is one read that helps pass the time when you are waiting and it is easy to pick up where you left off. I received this from Netgalley for an honest review.

At Bluebonnet Lake gets off to a slow start but like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon it evolves into a sweet romance wrapped up in some mysterious revelations that the reader has to patiently wait for.
Kate Sherwood meets Greg Vange at the Rainbow's End Resort that her ailing grandmother desires to return to. She mistakes him for the handyman. Greg is definitely volunteering as the resort's handyman but not because he needs the job.
Ms. Cabot does a great job building the relationships in her novel including the secondary one between the grandmother and another gentleman at the resort.
Kate's main goal in life seems to be gaining the promotion that will make her a partner in the advertising business. She has to make choices but will those choices cost her what really matters most?
Greg on the other hand, seems to be running away from something, but spending time with Kate and listening to her advice brings him to a pivotal point in his life as well.
This is a sweet romance easy to read and pick up where you left off as you wait in line or at the Doctor's office. I received this from Netgalley for an honest review.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Most of the time I find I do not like a book told in the First person; but "Playing by Heart” works very well told from the perspective  of  the hero and heroine's point of view. I found myself looking forward to each chapter to see what the other was thinking during a particular incident of the story.

Ms. Lula Bowman, at the turn of the century, has an unusual profession as a University Teacher in Mathematics. Having lost her mother at a young age, her goal has been to achieve what no woman has, a Masters in Teaching Mathematics. But is she doing it for herself or for her Dad?

Suddenly, life throws a curve ball and Lula must return home to help her sister and children survive the tragic loss of her sister's husband. She finds a teaching job but it is in Music with a secondary duty of coaching the girls’ basketball team. The quandary for Lula is that she has no knowledge of basketball.

Chet Vaughn, the Math Teacher also Coaches the boys’ Basketball team. Chet has a passion for his students and for basketball. More importantly, he feels called by God to do what he does. Both he and Lula have something in common. Neither is interested in the opposite sex or marriage. But they both find their views on that subject and others change as Lula seeks Chet out to help her learn the finer art of basketball.

Playing by Heart flows like a beautifully written piece of Music played well. I loved watching Lula's and Chet's goals and needs change as their complicated relationship developed. The plot ebbs and flows and has many surprises. I highly recommend "Playing by Heart" as an enjoyable read that should fast become a favorite on your shelf.