February 9, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy

Kissed by a Cowboy
by Debra Clopton

This was my second book to read by Debra Clopton but is the third in this series. She is a great author to read if you like the country western cowboy scene with a lot of romance. Kissed by a Cowboy tells the story of the oldest Monahan boy, Jarrod, and his late neighbor's niece, Cassidy. And they have a history...and sparks!

I'm a huge fan of books where the characters get second chances to do things better or fix past mistakes so this book was perfect for me. And the humor a midst the romance in these pages made it a delight to read.

I really enjoyed reading this book from both male and female perspectives as Jarrod and Cassidy took turns sharing their points of view. Sometimes alternating points of views can annoy me and make me prefer one character over the other but in this case it was perfect and I couldn't decide who I liked better - the charming and persistent cowboy or the stubborn neighbor!

Another part I really liked was the little bit of action and suspense thrown in. It wasn't enough to classify it in those genres but for someone like me who really enjoys those genres it was a nice addition to the story.

More detail into the internal growth and change in both Cassidy and Jarrod would have made this book even better though. I appreciated the internal struggles they were both facing with their pasts and felt they had a good conversation or two about how their pasts affected them but at the same time I felt like they almost overcame their pasts off the pages of the book and we were just told about it later.

Overall this was a great read. Clopton is definitely being added to my list of authors to read more of in the future. Her balance between swoon-worthy romance and realistic fiction make her books very enjoyable.

Thomas Nelson and NetGalley provided me with an advanced copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.

February 6, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle
by Ruth Logan Herne

3 Stars

Releases: March 15, 2016

This was my first book to read by Herne. But I love cowboy stories and there was one on the cover so it wasn't a hard decision to try it.

My favorite part about this modern day retelling of the Prodigal Son was how wonderful Colt was. I loved how he really did a 180 in turning his life around. I love how he treated everyone around him and his outlook on life. Another part I really liked was the massive change we were told took place in Sam's life after becoming a Christian. I love stories where new found relationship with God really plays out in the character's life.

Unfortunately I found other parts of this book to be lacking. Numerous times I ran across a sentence that was almost exactly the same as one a few chapters before. And I always felt like both the romance and spirituality of the story were mentioned enough to get my attention but in all honesty very briefly. I would have liked to have felt the chemistry between the characters rather than being told about it. And I also would have preferred Colt to have had more of a redemption spiritually speaking.

I loved many of the side characters. The girls were wonderful! And I loved how the entire town banded together during a hard time.

Overall the story had a good premise but just didn't quite keep me engaged.

I received an advanced copy of this book though Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

February 2, 2016

A Season to Love

A Season to Love
by Nicole Deese

Visit Nicole Deese's Website for a chance to enter a great giveaway she has going on for 10 days!

This was only my second book by Deese but she is already one of my new favorite authors! My first Deese novel was A Cliche Christmas. Lenox is such a wonderful small town and I was excited to revisit it in this book.

Willa's story was so well written and I really empathized with her in a way that I can't always with fictional characters. Her hurdles in life were so real that I truly felt the anxiety along with her. And when she felt panicked and scared I felt it too. My own struggles in life haven't been as strong as hers but I've felt many of the same feelings she experienced and loved reading a novel that portrays real struggles that I myself have dealt with. The internal conflicts Willa faced and the way she battled to redefine her life were inspirational.

Patrick's character was beyond wonderful. There were so many scenes with him that were my favorites. His words of wisdom and his advice throughout the novel made me fall in love with him. I really loved how he pushed Willa out of her comfort zone more than once without being obnoxious.

I stayed up way past my bedtime to read this whole book in one sitting. There was no way I could put it down even to sleep! For me the story moved fast - but in a good way that kept me turning pages to find out how Deese would take her characters to their happily ever after. Thankfully she didn't make it easy for them because those books get boring. I loved watching the love story unfold but even more so loved that it was very realistic and there were moments of anger and hurt along with the falling in love. Those moments of conflict and tension made this story great.

But I must tell you that as much as I loved all the elements described above my favorite parts were definitely the romance. I loved any scene where Willa and Patrick were making progress falling in love. I loved the big and small gestures. And I loved the physical sparks between them. 

I appreciated how Deese weaved Christianity into the story without coming across as preachy. I would feel very comfortable suggesting this book to my non-Christian and Christian friends alike. I would suggest this book for fans of Denise Hunter.

I received a free advanced copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.