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Reservations for Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New Horizons (Two Blue Doors)
Reservations for Two: A Novel of Fresh Flavors and New Horizons (Two Blue Doors)
by Hillary Manton Lodge
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.24
47 used & new from $7.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty for Several Reasons, May 5, 2015
There are multiple reasons I liked this novel. The basic plot line involves a young woman, Juliette, who is firmly entrenched in Portland. Her very ill mother is there, and she and her brother are opening a restaurant together. However, her heart is entangled with a perfect man cross country. Neil is truly, truly so close to who she needs, and if he’d consider relocating to Portland he’d be the one.

Before the restaurant opens Juliette heads to shop for wares and suppliers in France and Italy. Both these food capitals of the world also are peppered with relatives of Juliettes. Neil surprises Juliette and joins her on her journey. While in France Juliette finds letters written by and to her grandmother and she takes them with her.

Once home Juliette must face the reality of life, her mother’s condition is worsening, absence from Neil is breaking her heart, and opening a new business adds stress upon stress. What kind of security or even hope does her future hold?

Juliette wasn’t my favorite female character. Her indecisiveness and anxiety levels were frustrating a time or two. However, the story that unfolded in the letters to and from Grandmother Mireille was fascinating. I also loved the foodie details and Lodge includes a Baker’s Dozen plus recipes in the book. Historical fiction is delightful and I'm a sucker for the romance of Europe, especially France and Italy so those snippets were fabulous as well. The family connectedness between Juliette and her siblings and parents was a great touch and brought them to life. I didn’t the first book in the series and didn’t feel lost or buried under catch-up details that might have been important from book one. The melancholic faith that colored the illness and the family’s response was a human, pensive undertone that really added depth to the fiction and more than made up for Juliette’s anxiety and indecisiveness. Finally, I appreciated Juliette’s growth in the novel. If any of those areas are hot buttons for you consider this novel for your summer reading (and cooking) enjoyment. I was provided a reader copy by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.


Whiskers of the Lion: An Amish-Country Mystery
Whiskers of the Lion: An Amish-Country Mystery
by P. L. Gaus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.71
77 used & new from $7.33

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Mystery, But Maybe Not A Stand Alone., April 28, 2015
I have not read any of the other books in the Amish-Country Mystery series so please keep that in mind. I feel like I got insight into characters by descriptions and interactions but also felt like I missed some of the hearts of the people involved. This is likely due to not getting to know them in earlier books. Therefore, I found myself not caring about them or their motivation.

The Amish details were intriguing and I always find myself curious about plain or simple living. Fans of Amish fiction need to take note that there is quite a bit of detail.

As far as the mystery goes, there is quite a bit of twisting and sleight of hand. The author added some elements that weren't fully veiled, others were surprising.

Overall, I'd recommend starting at the beginning of the series rather than reading this as a stand alone. If you are already smitten with the series I imagine you will find much to like. Amish literature fans need to know there is a little intensity that might make this not appropriate for chickens or children.


Words of Conviction
Words of Conviction
by Linda J. White
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.54
45 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Police Procedural, April 15, 2015
This review is from: Words of Conviction (Paperback)
I love police procedurals, I read them, I watch them, oh yeah, I'm a fan.

Linda White has a former FBI husband who steers her authentically down the path of her creative investigation in Words of Conviction. Nice. Authenticity is a major plus. New to me was the psycholinguist aspect heavily playing out in this cat and mouse story. A psycholinguist uses skill and probability to profile and to determine what words and word usage share about the person communicating.

The story unfolds as a powerful senator's small daughter is kidnapped. McKenzie Graham is on the case to find little Zoe before a just discovered health issue puts her life further in danger. On top of finding the kidnapper, McKenzie has to fight for respect among her peers, especially John Crowfeather. It doesn't help that she's drawn to his brooding good looks and strong, silent persona.

Tensions ramp up as the tale draws to a close. McKenzie draws the kidnapper into a carefully woven web. But as they get closer to the kidnapper's location things begin to go south. Time ticks away as the story twists and turns.

Fans of police procedurals should find quite a bit to like in this novel. There is a strong spiritual thread within the story line as well. Child endangerment and some violence might be a deal breaker for more sensitive folks.

I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy to read and review.


Nature Breeze Cambridge-41 Crochet Lace Up Oxford Shoes SEA GREEN (8.5)
Nature Breeze Cambridge-41 Crochet Lace Up Oxford Shoes SEA GREEN (8.5)
Offered by Room of Fashion

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Got a Great Price and These Are Cute and Comfortable..., April 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got a great price on these shoes. The green color is not the same green throughout. The lace is a lighter shade than the accent/reinforcement sections and there is a blue/green, almost teal liner over the toes that peeks out through the lace. These worked perfect with a multi green/blue skirt I have and are cute with jeans. The soles are slightly padded but without strong arch support. They are comfortable and I've worn them a couple times for full days. I did check out the information on how they fit and took the suggestions to heart and they ended up fitting exactly as I expected.


Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package with Samson HP30 Headphones, Stand and Power Supply
Casio Inc. CTK2400 PPK 61-Key Premium Portable Keyboard Package with Samson HP30 Headphones, Stand and Power Supply
Price: $129.95
37 used & new from $100.84

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect For What I Need at a Great Price., April 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm not a super techie so I've not explored all the bells and whistles on this bad boy. However, for my needs it's perfect. I am using it to practice while I'm taking lessons and I was looking for a) simple to use b) affordable c) authentic piano sound d) volume adjustment e) portability. I'm very happy with all of these. Pushing the power button gives me basic piano, exactly what I wanted. Affordability is absolutely a plus here. I looked at used keyboards on Craig's List and they were going for $50 to $75.00. For $50 more I got free shipping, a stand and headphones. I have authentic piano sound (for my purposes) and don't have to get a piano tuned. The volume is very adjustable and there are headphones so it's perfect. It's lightweight and portable and has a good solid stand. I wouldn't want to haul it too often but I could if I needed to.


Easy Street Women's Sterling Flat,New Navy,8 WW US
Easy Street Women's Sterling Flat,New Navy,8 WW US
Offered by FootSmart
Price: $49.95
4 used & new from $48.83

4.0 out of 5 stars Got a Great Deal and Comfortable., April 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These are comfortable and fit a wee bit big. The heel is nice and cushy but supportive. They aren't super fashionista cute but I was going for comfortable and navy. Good medium navy color.


Beckon
Beckon
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Creepalicious, March 17, 2015
This review is from: Beckon (Kindle Edition)
This book released a few years ago. And I loath to admit I am just now read it for review. There are so many books that I want to read and just not enough time to read them. This one was a have to and I finally squeezed it in.

Okay. Mutant Cave Creatures, Batman! This is an intense and mind boggling novel. A very well written one I must add, that didn't sacrifice character development or attention to detail for the plot factor. This one has it all. I can see why Pawlik is a Christy Award winner. The man can write and he can weave a story. If you have a trip coming up and need a travel or beach read/listen, or just want to be thoroughly juiced on intensity give this one a chance. Creepalicious.

The publisher sent me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series)
Twisted Innocence (Moonlighters Series)
by Terri Blackstock
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.40
72 used & new from $7.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Plot and Cat and Mouse Game, Too..., March 9, 2015
I haven't read Terri Blackstock in a bit. When a publicist sent a copy of Twisted Innocence winging my way I had to crack the cover. And there went a good portion of my next week.

Blackstock writes a complex tale that ends up cleaning up a trilogy in Twisted Innocence. I missed the others in the series but didn't have any trouble figuring out what happened in previous books.

With tremendous plotting and characterization skill Blackstock weaves a tense drama that is full of investigative and legal intrigue.

Holly, a recent new mama has changed since she ended up pregnant after a night she regrets. Her shame is intensified because her sisters have been through so much in the past couple of years. When Holly discovers the secret father of her baby is in legal trouble she secretly uses her PI skills to make sure he's not looking for her and her sweet little Lily. Instead she ends up being kidnapped. When he tells her the story of why he's in hiding she doesn't want to believe him, but he seems so overwhelmed at what he thinks his future holds and so tender toward their baby. In the meantime paths are crossing, and details are unfolding within her family and justice needs to be served.

If you like crime fiction or just page turners check this one out. I might have to go back to read the rest of the series.


Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding Series)
Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding Series)
by Rachel Hauck
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.56
107 used & new from $0.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Romance and Royal Political Drama and More Romance, March 5, 2015
Tasty as a cool glass of Southern Iced Tea on a steamy day, is this fun, fictional concoction. Reggie Beswick is all tough as nails and hangs with the boys and is embracing her new life with gusto. She just closed up her short but-lasted-forever CPA career and jumped into her dream. Restoring classic and rare cars is going to be everything she ever wanted and the first car, the first success, proved it. But she didn't know that there was truth to the fairy tale her very elderly grandmother had written and illustrated for her on her 6th birthday.
When handsome and troubled Tanner Burkhardt jumps a Royal Air Force One plane over the pond to fetch Hessenberg's princess Reggie's life is forever changed. The tale unfolds with plenty of drama and soul-searching, unfolding love and renewed faith. A very satisfying romantic read.


The Dating Games #3: Double Date (Volume 3)
The Dating Games #3: Double Date (Volume 3)
by Melody Carlson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.07
53 used & new from $6.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Teen Drama and A Life Lesson or A Few...., February 26, 2015
I've read quite a few of Melody Carlson's novels. They never fail to be entertaining and most of the time I take away something tho think about.

Even though my teen years are a bit behind me I'm confident most teen or preteen girls can find plenty of pertinent drama in this novel. Warning to the parental units who want fully inspirational and Amish innocent reading material in their girls' libraries, this novel travels a little more along the worldly road.

The drama is plentiful. Carlson has covered issues that are problematic in the Christian young lady's world. One teen crosses common sense lines, another is hungry for attention and makes a couple choices that set her up for some serious pain. Mean girls cause some angst and more than one of the members of the DG face an identity crisis. Areas such as judging and appropriate behavior and clothing are covered. Relationships between the girls and the boys they like adds even more drama as the girls try to find their way in high school.

Well written and thought provoking and any girl who is intrigued by the idea of dating might pick up a life lesson or two.

Of note, I've not read any of the other books in the series and felt like I was able to figure out the girls and their relationships pretty easily. I was provided a copy of an advanced reader copy for possible review.


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