Friday, 29 June 2012

Touching the Sky


Back Cover

Though their first encounter is hardly auspicious, Laura Marquardt soon discovers herself drawn to the dashing Captain Brandon Reid.  As an officer over the colored troops, he eagerly supports her desire to educate blacks and seek harmony in a town where the defeats of the South is a bitter reality.

When Laura’s sister marries her confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation after overhearing a discussion with frightening consequences.  In her heart she feels she should confide in Brandon, but Laura fears to do so may endanger her sister’s life.  Yet as the stakes continue to rise and Brandon’s motives for pursuing her come into doubt, Laura questions where to turn…and wonders if her own dreams of love may be forsaken.

Review

Touching the Sky is the second book in the “Land of the Lone Star” series.  (You can read my review on the first book, Chasing the Sun, here.) 

Touching the Sky is Tracie Peterson at her best.  A tale richly woven in history, every effort was made to instill the reader into the thinking and mannerisms of the day.  The reader feels along with the characters and sympathizes with their beliefs and dreams.  I felt that one of the subtle points of the story was finding out God’s will for one’s life and following through.  For Captain Reid, it was whether or not to go back home to Indiana to work on his father’s Thoroughbred horse breeding farm, or start up his own in Texas.  And for Laura, she strongly wants to help the recently emancipated blacks with reading and writing in order that they may have better job opportunities. 

This novel is also one about healing. 

Even though the Civil War was over, it was far from over in the hearts of many people.  Acceptance and forgiveness are things not easily given when hurt has been inflicted.  The lines were still drawn in the sand between former neighbours, friends, and family.  And most certainly between those who fought for the South and the newly freed slaves.  But through God’s grace, which he has so generously showered among us, healing may begin.



Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Short-Straw Bride


Back Cover
No one steps on Archer land.  Not if they value their life.  But when Meredith Hayes overhears a plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a long-standing debt compels her to take the risk.

Years of constant vigilance harden a man.  Yet when Travis Archer comes across a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can’t bring himself to send her away.  And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt prompt him to attempt to rescue her once again. 

Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she vows to stand by his side.  But will love ever be hers?  Or will Travis always see her as merely a short-straw bride?

Review

Short-Straw Bride was a perfect read.  As soon as I turned the last page of the book, I wanted to start it all over again.  The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I had another book to read and review for this month!

Orphaned at a young age and left to take charge of his three brothers, Travis built a "fortress" in order to protect his family.  He has to control everything that goes on in the family to ensure the safety of his brothers.  With Meredith, who is passionate, out-going, and very trusting, his control is challenged, and he is forced to look at his brothers as the men they have become, and not the boys they were. 

This novel encapsulates the perfect balance of romance, wit, and adventure.  The interactions amongst the four Archer brothers often had me grinning and the sparking moments between Travis and Meredith will draw out a sigh from even the hardest of hearts.  I loved it from beginning to the end and would highly recommend it.


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Love in Disguise


Back Cover

Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it’s the perfect chance to put her acting skills and costumes to use.  Reluctantly, the agency agrees to give her one assignment, one chance to prove herself.  Disguised as Lavinia Stewart, a middle-aged widow, Ellie travels to Arizona to begin her investigation.  When the need arises, she also transforms into the dazzling Jessie Monroe, whose vivacious personality encourages people to talk.

Mine owner Steven Pierce is going to lose his business if he can’t figure out who’s stealing his silver shipments.  In his wildest dreams, he never expected to receive help from a gray-haired widow…or to fall in love with her beautiful niece.

Then the thieves come after Lavinia and Jessie.  Ellie isn’t safe no matter which character she plays!  Should she give up and reveal her true identity?  What will Steven do when he realizes the woman he’s falling in love with doesn’t really exist?

Set in 1880s Arizona, Love in Disguise blends romance, humor and mystery for a can’t-put-down read.

Review

This was a very delightful read!  Combining the world of theatre, old western towns, hint of romance, and a Murder, She Wrote-type mystery, and you come up with Love in Disguise.

Ellie is desperate for a job, nearly any job, and she jumps at the chance to work for the Pinkerton Detective Agency.  To her, it sounds like a thrilling adventure one reads about in dime novels, and it finally provides her with a stage to use her acting skills. 

For Steven, all he ever wanted was a chance to redeem himself to his father.  When his grand dream is failing due to nefarious deeds, he becomes desperate to have the wrong-doer caught.  He first meets Ellie as elderly Lavinia Stewart, tripping over a broken board in the mercantile and falling into his arms.  He immediately has a soft-spot for the sweet Mrs. Stewart, who has promises of investing into his mine.  When Mrs. Stewart’s niece, Jessie Munroe, arrives, he is blown away by her vivacious personality, looks, and charm.

Ellie now not only has to determine who is stealing the silver, but balance both of her characters (and keep those wigs in place!), and stop her heart for falling for Steven.  Because it’s Jessie he’s falling in love with…right?  When the stakes are raised by suspicious “accidents”, Ellie realizes that she must find out who the thief is, or else she may pay with her very life.

Full of charming characters, delicious dialogue, and mysterious twists and turns, Love in Disguise is one novel you shouldn’t miss!


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.