Now and Forever (Wild at Heart Book #2)
by Mary Connealy Amazon Published by Baker Books
on May 26th 2015 Genres: Christian
, Western Pages:
Saddle up for romance and adventure with the Wilde sisters! Shannon Wilde is the middle sister--and the one who loves animals. She's established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine...until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker! Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon's land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn't count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad--and trying to hurt the woman he's falling in love with sets off something even he never expected.
I adored the first book in this series, Tried and True, so I was excited to get my hands on book two. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy Now and Forever as much as I wanted or expected.
In Tried and True, we had Kylie’s story. Her two sisters Shannon and Bailey were also introduced, so I already knew what their characterization was like. Shannon’s the sheep loving middle daughter of the Wilde family who has recently moved out west to create something of an empire, although there is very little peace for them because there’s always someone stirring up trouble. Kylie was the first to be targeted, but now it’s Shannon’s turn. This time around, however, things are much more sinister.
The love interest, Tucker, was someone I absolutely loved in Tried and True. So naturally, I thought I would again love him in Now and Forever as the main lead man. But as it stands right now, I’m a bit torn. He’s fun and humorous, but at the end of the story, a decision he made and expected from Shannon, he just seemed a little (or maybe more than a little) unfair to me. She seemed to accept it, so maybe it works.
The way Shannon and Tucker got together was almost too outrageous, but then again what else would have gotten those two close enough together? Probably something dramatic like that, because otherwise a relationship probably wouldn’t have happened or not as soon.
Despite not liking Now and Forever as much as Tried and True, I will without a doubt be reading the third book. Bailey has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see more of her and that mean sass.
Together With You
by Victoria Bylin Published by Baker Books
on March 31st 2015 Genres: Christian
, Romance Pages:
Sometimes the most unexpected love can be exactly what a heart needs...When a Lost Child warning blares over the mall's PA system, Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that the child suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly's past suddenly confronts her. Never again will she become personally involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny--and Penny's handsome father--tugs at Carly's heart.Dr. Ryan Tremaine is trying to put his life back together. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full time. Ryan has put his faith in his Sink-or-Swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruit Carly Mason to be Penny's nanny.Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further?Known for her realistic and engaging characters, Victoria Bylin delivers an emotion-packed story reminiscent of The Sound of Music, one that reminds us all to believe in the power of faith and love.
Together With You is a sweet, heartwarming tale of how two very different people are brought together through the love of a child. Dr. Tremaine had a hard time keeping nannies for his young daughter Penny, who has FASD, otherwise known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. And so when his daughter wanders off into a toy store, he just so happens to meet Carly. It was the day that began it all. This is a love story. A love story between a man and a woman, but also love that is shared within families, and love that comes from God.
I thought the story was really cute. I enjoyed the fun situations and worried for Penny when things weren’t exactly going all too well. I’ve never really heard about FASD before, so I appreciated becoming aware of it, if that makes any sense. I would have liked to read a little more about her.
Carly was so admirable (we’re from the same state and it’s nice having representation/characters to really connect with). I could relate with her so much, especially with her worries and concerns about her life and her future, and certain standards she stuck by. She has her relationship with God, but is so down to earth. I just loved her characterization.
I liked Dr. Tremaine to a point, although I wasn’t convinced enough in the end about him accepting the faith and coming closer to God. It happened at the last moment, I thought, and was rushed for the cute ending.
There is also a matter of an event that happened that didn’t seem to get any closure, so I’m not sure what to think about that. And also the teenage girl that Carly had once worked with, the issue was also just easily brushed away and just seemed pointless after the truth was learned.
All in all, Together With You is an entertaining book. It’s hard to put down and I breezed through it in no time. So again, a cute romance and a look into the life of a child with FASD. I would recommend it.
Where Trust Lies (Return to the Canadian West Book #2)
by Janette Oke
, Laurel Oke Logan Published by Baker Books
on January 27th 2015 Genres: Christian
, Romance Pages:
She loves her friends and students in the West, but family obligations have called her home. Where does she truly belong? After a year of teaching in the Canadian West, Beth Thatcher returns home to her family. She barely has time to settle in before her mother announces plans for a family holiday--a luxurious steamship tour along the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. Hoping to reconnect with her mother and her sisters, Beth agrees to join them, but she quickly realizes that things have changed since she went away, and renewing their close bond is going to be more challenging than she expected. There's one special thing to look forward to--letters and telephone calls from Jarrick, the Mountie who has stolen her heart. The distance between them is almost too much to bear. But can she give her heart to Jarrick when it will mean saying good-bye to her family once again--and possibly forever? And will she still want to live in the western wilds after the steamship tour opens up a world of people and places she never imagined? Then comes a great test of Beth's faith. Someone in her family has trusted the wrong person, and suddenly everything Beth knows and loves is toppled. Torn between her family and her dreams, will Beth finally discover where her heart truly belongs? A companion story to Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series!
Janette Oke is probably the most read author of mine. I remember reading all or most of her Love Comes Softly books in 6th grade. Admittedly, although, I haven’t read anything else by her since then. So when I began reading Where Trust Lies, it took me back to that time where I really got into reading historical fiction and more specifically Christian historical fiction.
Janette is an amazing writer, there’s absolutely no denying that, but Where Trust Lies was just not one of the best books by her. I was kind of bored(it hurts to say it) by the plot. I knew those certain three characters were going to be trouble as soon as they popped up in the story and I did see that situation with Julie coming miles away. And Julie was pretty foolish. But, anyway, I did like Jarrick and Beth’s relationship. And, as always, I loved how romantic the endings are.
While Love Comes Softly is my number one, you just have to have all the Janette books, especially ones with handsome Canadian Mounties in them.
Tried and True (Wild at Heart Book #1)
by Mary Connealy Published by Baker Books
on August 26th 2014 Genres: Christian
, Romance Pages:
Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters! Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future? "Another great laugh-out-loud historical romance with memorable characters who have charm, style, grace, and a bit of mischief."--RT Book Reviews on In Too Deep"Connealy's style is fast-paced and spritely and sure to keep drawing fans."--Publishers Weekly"With her trademark humor, Connealy weaves a delightful tale that is sure to please her fans and win new readers."--Library Journal on Over the Edge
I was lucky enough to receive this book from the publisher to review. In all honesty, I love Bethany House books and of course Tried and True is no exception.
Tried and True follows the Wilde sisters who had served in the Civil War disguised as men and are now trying to continue to live on as men so they can homestead using the exemptions they earned from serving in the war. But Kylie, the youngest sister, dreams of a life back East with tea parties and civilization. The land agent Aaron Masterson isn’t fooled by the disguises, although. Soon they both must work through unique challenges of their own. And the rest, well, you need to pick up a copy and find out.
This book was amazing, fun, cute, romantic, and everything I wanted and didn’t know I wanted. I loved the characters, especially Matt Tucker. I cannot wait for the sequel. It’s not coming out until June 2015, so I’ll have to wait and count the days until then.
I would rate Tried and True five out of five stars. This book is going on my special shelf of favorite books and will be most definitely reread.