Princess Ever After: Book Review

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Title: Princess Ever After

Series: The Royal Wedding Series

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Christian Fiction

Published: February 4th, 2014

Reading Format: Kindle

Review:

This is the second book in the Royal Wedding Series and follows a new main character, Regina Beswick. In the first book Once Upon a Prince, the main character Susanna met and fell in love with a prince and it reminded me of the movie The Prince and I (which is one of my all-time favorite movies when I was a teenager) as I read it.

One of the plots of the first book is them trying to find the heir to their neighboring country, the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, this plot is the main driving force of the story line in Princess Ever After. Much like in Once Upon a Prince, Regina is an American who grew up in Florida and learns that she is the believed heir to Hessenberg. (Think Anastasia.) Regina, or Reggie, is visited by the Minister of Culture, Tanner Burkhardt, and after he convinces her she is in fact the long lost princess to his native country Regina follows Tanner back to Hessenberg. Because of her American background and the turmoil of having a potential monarchy again, Regina faces opposition both within Hessenberg and with herself.

I enjoyed this story as I did the first. It’s cute. That is the best word to use of the story and the characters that grace the pages inside. I found Regina to be a bit more stubborn and slightly less confident than I like to read in main female characters, but in the end she figures it out. This is a light and lovely read with romance and a villainous Prime Minister that will make you cheer for Regina to succeed as Hessenberg’s new ruler. And as I like to often mention this is a Christian Lit book and it does have a spiritual theme throughout, so if that’s not for you then you may want to skip this book as well as the entire series. But if that doesn’t bother you then I suggest checking it out. I really like the writing of Rachel Hauck and she has become and one of my favorite authors over the last year.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading,

Meghan

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Once Upon a Prince: Book Review

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Title:  Once Upon a Prince

Series: The Royal Wedding Series

Author:  Rachel Hauck

Publish Date: May 7th, 2013

Genre: Romance/Christian Fiction

Reading Format: E-book

Summary: 

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation. It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own? (publisher’s summary)

Review:

Once Upon a Prince was a reread for me.  Originally I had read the book when it was first published about four years ago and I had loved it then, though I seem to have forgotten most of the story line from the first time I read it to this second time a couple of months ago.

This book is my ideal romance.  It sweeps you off your feet and you cheer for the main characters to fall in love throughout the entire book.  It isn’t filled with too much over the top drama and Susanna is a great leading female character, who’s struggles in her late 20s I could identify with easily. (Though I don’t have prince that I’m aware of waiting to fall in love with me. *sigh*.)

My opinion about Once Upon a Time hasn’t changed that much since I read it back in 2013.  I still really enjoyed the story and all the characters.  The setting in both the real St. Simon’s island and the fictional kingdom Prince Nathaniel is about to rule made perfect backdrops for the book.

 (Fair warning I’m about to vent in the next part)

I usually note when a book is Christian literature because I realize not everyone want’s to read in this genre.  However lately reviews on goodreads are becoming more frustrating to me because people will one star books for the most ridiculous reasons.  Do your research before you read a book. Most bookstores and online retailers label the genres of books, so I don’t see how it’s that difficult to find.  This isn’t really geared toward anyone who reads my reviews I just wanted to address it because I kept seeing one star reviews for Once Upon a Time and they all said “I didn’t know this was a Christian Romance” even though under genres that’s how it’s listed. Whatever!  Some people you can’t help.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading,

Meghan

 

 

Murder on the Moor: Book Review

*This book was sent to be from Bethany House Publishing for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own

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Title:  Murder on the Moor

Series: A Drew Farthering Mystery

Author: Julianna Deering

Genre: Mystery/Historical/Christian Fiction

Reading Format: Paperback

Summary: 

Murder on the Moor follows Drew Farthering and his wife Madeline who travel to Bloodworth Park Lodge out on the Yorkshire Moor to investigate the murder of the local town vicar.  Invited by an old school friend named Beaky Bloodworth, Drew and his wife hunt for a killer several mysterious incidents seem to keep happening out on the Moor.

Review:

This is the fifth book in a series, which I did not know when I chose to read this but I learned quickly it is not a requirement to have read any of the other four previous to this one. In fact, after reading Murder on the Moor I’ve already decided that I’d like to read the others.

The best way to describe this mystery series is that it reminds me greatly of Downton Abbey with a mystery thrown in.  The book is set in 1930s England and Drew Farthering comes from a wealthier background much like the TV series.  I personally loved Downton Abbey when it was on and enjoyed the atmosphere of the setting for Murder on the Moor.  I also found Drew Farthering to be a very enjoyable character who could be quite funny at times, though his down fall for me in the series was his fixation on Beaky’s wife Sabrina who Drew believes to be a bit of a gold digger through out most of the novel.  Drew’s saving grace from this was his wife Madeline who seemed to have a more leveled head when it came to Sabrina and the things happening out on the moor.

The mystery part of the book was actually pretty good considering that I don’t tend lean toward the mystery genre much.  I found myself wanting to know what happens next and even some nights I would say just one more chapter and staying up way past my bedtime.

In all I would recommend Murder on the Moor and as I mentioned before I plan on reading the other books in the series. And on another note, before I forget, this is a Christian novel or at least that is how it is branded but unlike most that I have read it isn’t heavy with the topic. I always warn this mainly because while I’m a Christian and enjoy reading some fictional novels in this genre I know others may want to avoid it, but  Murder on the Moor is perhaps worth the read if you don’t mind a mention of God maybe a few times through out the story line.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading

Meghan

Waves of Mercy Book Review

*I received this book from the publisher for review purposes, all opinions are my own*

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Title: Waves of Mercy

Author: Lynn Austin

Publish Date: October 4th, 2016

Publisher: Bethany House

Genre: Christian/Historical/Fiction

Summary:

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Review:

I’ve heard a lot about the author of this book, Lynn Austin, and many people seem to love her books. This is the first book of her’s that I have read and when I read the summary I was intrigued by the story especially because I love multiple prospective narratives and historical fiction. For the most part this is a lovely story and it shows the reader the lives of two women, Anna and Geesje, both of whom have had to overcome obstacles and questions in their lives and in their faiths.

I enjoyed learning about Geesje’s past and how her and her family immigrated from the Netherlands to come to America in the 1800’s. This was an area of history I wasn’t aware of in terms of the religious persecution that happened to those who did not choose to worship in the state churches in the Netherlands. Anna also faces this persecution from her own fiance and family as she decides to listen to the sermons of an evangelical preacher that is not apart of her family’s church. Anna is even faced with the ending of her engagement due to her continuing involvement with the church and this leads her character to go through a personal journey of what it is she wants and what it is she is looking for.

Like most Christian fiction, this book was slightly sappy and I am not a particularly sappy person. There were moments in the book where I found myself rolling my eyes in certain scenes. Also it should be noted about the narrative of the book is that we get two perspectives from Geesje, one is from 1897 and the other starts 50 years before then of her detailing her life from the Netherlands to living in America. The transition between these narratives is sometimes odd as Geesje in 1897 explains the actions she is taking to write her story in 1847. This sometimes threw me off when reading the story and would distract me from the flow of the story.

Overall this was a nice story. I didn’t love it and nor am I going to pretend I enjoyed the book all the way through. It would be boring in some sections and drag on in describing the characters feelings, but again I’m not sappy person so that’s a  more personal perspective of the book.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Happy Reading,

Meghan

Sparkly Green Earrings

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Title: Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn

Author: Melanie Shankle

Genre: Memoir/Humor/Nonfiction/Christian

Date Published: February 8th, 2013

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Summary: 

Author Melanie Shankle’s book Sparkly Green Earrings is a memoir about motherhood. More specifically it is a collection of tales about her adventures in raising her daughter Caroline.

 

What did I think about the book?

I really liked Sparkly Green Earrings and actually liked it better by reading it after Antelope in the Living Room even though this book is her first memoir published. I will say however that I favor Antelope in the Living Room more than this book though.

But what I enjoyed most while reading  this book was the author’s sense of humor. The tone of that humor is through out the entire book and had me laughing several times. I also liked the fact that the stories were still relatable and entertaining to me even though I have not yet experienced motherhood. I think if a writer is capable of making the reader able to relate to the stories even though they have not personally experienced it themselves, then that is a great quality to have because the theme could have been easily isolating to anyone who isn’t a mom or a parent.

All-in-all Sparkly Green Earrings was a quick read that I would gladly pick up again.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Ideally I think this book would be a great mother’s day gift but seeing as that has come and gone Sparkling Green Earrings would be a great beach read. It is only a little over 200 pages so it might be a great travel read to, something that’s easy to read on a plane or on a road trip (that is of course if you are not driving and don’t get car sick).

Who would I not recommend this book to?

I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who has an issue with Christian themes or stories about personal religious views. Much like in my review of Antelope in the Living Room I will restate that the author is known for having a Christian Living themed blog so fair warning is being made if a reader might be interested in this book but don’t like this genre.

Happy Reading,

Meghan

Book Review: Antelope in the Living Room

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life

Title:  The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life

Author: Melanie Shankle

Genre: Memoir/Humor/Marriage/Christian

Date Published: February 4th, 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Antelope in the Living Room is written by an author who is also is a blogger. She chronicles her 16 year marriage with husband Perry in a version of short stories within each chapter. Melanie Shankle’s sense of humor is written in every word and truly made this book highly enjoyable to read.

 

What did I think about the book?

I don’t really have anything negative to write about Antelope in the Living Room except that some of the stories can seem randomly woven together at times. Other than that it met my criteria of being entertaining and I didn’t find myself wanting to do something else while reading it. I also bought the book for my mom she has been enjoying too.  She uses pop culture references throughout the book and it does tend to read like a blog but she is blogger so all is forgiven. It’s a good lighthearted book that perfectly jump started me to start reading again after nothing seemed to grab my interest for the past two months. That alone gives it a 5 out of 5 for me.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I would recommend Antelope in the Living Room more of a female audience though any guy might find it funny too, I feel as though it may be more appreciated from a woman was it is a woman’s perspective on her marriage.  I would also recommend this to a group of friend as it could be a great book to read together. And for obvious reasons this would anyone getting married or is married may enjoy it too.

Who would I not recommend this book to?

Someone looking for a serious read may want to steer clear this won’t be your book. Anyone who doesn’t like Christian or Religious aspect, the author is a Christian blogger and her books are sold in the Christian living section (I only note this because people still wrote negative reviews on this simple fact and I’m not really sure how they stumbled across the book if they don’t like that genre.)  It may not also be of interest to a reader if a collection of stories instead of one streamline read is not your style.

Happy Reading,

Meghan