Sunday, 24 March 2013

Unrivaled



Back Cover
 
Falling in love
could be a recipe for disaster...
 
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration.  After tasting Europe’s best confections, she’s sure she’ll come up with a recipe that will save her father’s struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes.  But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager—a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.
 
Charlie Clarke’s new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime.  He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he’s never known.  The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall.  She’s making his work life miserable…and making herself impossible for him to forget.
 
Review
 
Sassy Lucy Kendall has met her match in the unflappable Charlie Clarke.  Both representing rival candy companies, they each try to out-do the other to make their respective businesses prosper.  Charlie has a head for advertising, and pulls out all the stops to make sure Standard Manufacturing’s name is on every child and adult’s lips.  Lucy is determined to come up with the next delicious candy and works furiously at developing the perfect concoction.  However, Lucy surprises herself at the steps she is willing to go to fight back at Standard Manufacturing.   It doesn’t take too long before Lucy is in over her head, and Charlie has absolutely no idea how to handle Lucy.
 
This was a wonderfully witty novel.  The passionate, strong spark between Lucy and Charlie, combined with dialogue full of sass and humour, and a good plot to hold everything together made the story as irresistible as the candy Lucy and Charlie make.  I had the most difficult time putting this book down and will be looking forward to Siri Mitchell’s next delicious creation!

 
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.

Scent of Lilacs



Back Cover
 
After the summer of 1964,
life for Jocie Brooke will
never be the same.
 
 
Life-changing events rarely happen in quiet Hollyhill, Kentucky, and when they do, they are few and far between.  But for young Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once during the humid summer of 1964.  Though on the surface things are just fine, it seems like everyone in Jocie’s life has something they’re not saying, something they’re hiding from her—and from themselves.  As Jocie digs into her family’s past, she stirs up a whirlwind of discoveries.  Will she find the answers everyone so desperately needs?  Or will her questions lead to truths better left hidden?
 
Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story from bestselling author Ann Gabhart explores the very essence of new life and love.

Review
 
This was an incredibly moving story centered around the “coming of age” of young Jocie Brooke.  Jocie, young and a bit naïve, having lived a fairly sheltered life, is in for a roller-coaster of a summer as one family secret after the other comes to the surface.  It was amazing: just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be another dramatic twist, Ann Gabhart throws out another humdinger. 
 
But the beauty of this story is that it displays the true meaning of family: people pulling together through the ups and downs, encouraging one another, loving one another, and quick to forgive.  I was heartened by the depth of the bond between Jocie and her father.  She looked up to him, he was her hero, and he in return treated her like a princess (but NOT in the spoiled way).  In a world where parents are often torn apart in books and movies, ridiculed, and portrayed as fools and the children are written as spoiled and rebellious, it was lovely to see a strong and good relationship between a parent and child. 
 
And last, but not least, it was encouraging to see the characters leaning on God for the source of their strength, comfort, healing, and peace.  Scent of Lilacs was a beautiful story sure to touch many, many hearts.
 
 
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.