Book Review: Peace in the Valley

SS3Title: Peace in the Valley

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Book in Series: 3 of 3

Pages: 337

My Rating: 3 stars

Trey Walker is a famous country musician. He seems to have everything he could want, but yet, he is somehow still not completely satisfied. When his adopted father falls seriously ill, he is willing to sacrifice everything to help him, by giving him a life worth living, the same way his father did for him as a child. Being back home on the ranch and in his small hometown settles his discontent a little bit, but what he doesn’t realize is that this whole situation may only be a stepping stone, that chance meetings, brought from this situation, may actually fulfill all his dreams.

My Thoughts:
First off, I am disappointed that the publisher only released this book as a mass market sized paperback, versus a trade paperback, which the first 2 books in the series were published with. Maybe a bit petty, but now my 3 books do not match in size! 😦

This last one was just okay. I felt it dragged on a bit. It was the longest book in the series, but I felt it had the least going on. Lots of details about the workings of fixing up a house/property, more than anything else. I understand that’s part of the love story, but it took up most of the book, before we get to the climax…which didn’t happen until the last quarter, and then quickly resolved.

Even in the resolving of the climax, there was a small twist, but with very little details. It simply resolved itself in order to complete the book.

There was a lot of talk about what was to happen in the climax, and talk about the characters feelings regarding that. So I felt is slightly repetitive, as they were discussed multiple times with generally the same ideas. So this book was a bit slower going for me, and lower rated.

I still enjoyed the book, especially that the romance wasn’t quickly rushed, as it slightly seemed in the first 2 books.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”


Book Review: The Roanoke Girls

raonokegirlsTitle: The Roanoke Girls

Author: Amy Engel

Release Date: March 7th, 2017

Pages: 279

My Rating: 4 stars

A teenage girl is sent to live with family she has never met before, after her mother commits suicide. She knows nothing of this family, or why her mother kept her from them…until she learns the secret and runs away, herself. But 11 years later, she’s called back when her cousin goes missing. The story flip flops between the 2 time periods, revealing secrets, and giving possible second chances.

My Thoughts:
This is one messed up book. But it sinks it’s hooks in and makes you want to finish it!

I had heard that the twist is revealed early on, but I do not think that as true. The synopsis does not elude to the themes running through, and that *is* presented early, but the possible answer to the mystery (ie. what I consider the twist?) is not really discovered until closer to the end. Though maybe I have my terminology confused as to what is considered a twist.

The running theme throughout the book though is pretty disturbing and I just do NOT understand it. I can’t explain without getting into spoiler-y discussions. Maybe I might do a book talk on it if anyone happens to be interested in my thoughts.

I did like the flashing back and forth to different time periods to tell the story, I think it worked really well. And the characters were gripping and rich, the plot not too slow, fast enough to grip you in, but not quite fast enough to rush through the book. It hits kinda home for me, as I grew up in a small town, and to imagine something like this happening…it’s completely foreseeable, but at the same time, I wonder how not everyone knows. Growing up, everyone knew everything about everything it seemed!

I don’t know whether to like or dislike this book, I didn’t like the end, cause I just can’t fathom it. I can’t decide to rate this 3.5 stars or 4, I have it listed at 4 for now.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Book Review | Home on the Range

homeontherangeTitle: Home on the Range

Author: Ruth Logan Herne

Release Date: October 18, 2016

Book in Series: 2 of 3

Pages: 298

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Nick works hard helping to run his family’s ranch, while also being a single dad. Things get even harder when his daughter starts having a hard time at school, his ex-wife shows up unexpectedly, and disaster strikes the town. He struggles trying to juggle everything, while also trying to show his father he can handle taking over the ranch.

My Review:
I didn’t realize this was the 2nd book in a series, when I received it, so I had to go out and get the first book, and read it, so that I could read this. Technically, it’s said that you can read this one without having read the first one, but I think it’s better to have read the first, plus it would spoil some of the first book, if you did want to go back and read that one.

I liked how this one dealt with certain relationship aspects, I feel they were done better than the first one, and at least somewhat more realistic. This one does contain “instalove,” but it is at least a bit more reserved. While it seems not *SO* instantaneous, it still is very quick and, I feel, not quite a realistic timeline, for the end result.

I am very much enjoying this series, otherwise, though. It’s a quick, easy read, and I’m loving the ranch setting, and big family aspect. There is decent character growth for the protagonist and at least one child, secondary character. However, the other children, secondary characters I feel could be more realistic, as no child is always so good around people 100% of the time, as portrayed in these novels.

These are part of a Christian fiction series, but the religious aspects are not super heavy. There are a couple references to Bible verses, and some themes running through, and they attend church.

I meant to have posted a review much earlier. I thought I had, only to come look for it and not be able to find it! Oops. I am looking forward to getting the 3rd book in the series, which comes out in early May.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review: Hello, Bicycle

17Title: Hello, Bicycle: An Inspired Guide to the Two-Wheeled Life

Author: Anna Brones

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Pages: 192

My Rating: 2.5 stars

An inspirational and encouraging illustrated guide to the world of bicycles and cycling, with practical information on bike buying, riding, repairs, and maintenance. (Taken from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: 
I thought this would be better, but I really didn’t care much for it. I feel like this book is trying to convince you to ride bikes, more than inform you about it, once you’ve decided to ride. And I feel the order of some things could do some adjusting. It talks about addons to a bicycle you can do yourself, with step-by-step DIY instructions, before ever talking about bike maintenance or safety. I feel some of the things could be left til the end, once the more pertinent information had been relayed. There was also a curse word that I caught, which I felt was in bad taste, for an informative, non-fiction book. There were a few things I felt were good information for a book like this, that isn’t every day mundane topics that most people already know (whether they bike or not). It talks about how to lock up a bike, which I wouldn’t have already known if my husband wasn’t a bike guru, and it mentions how to do some very basic maintenance and repairs, that are super simple to do yourself instead of having to pay someone to fix every time it happens. I also liked how they mentioned community bike shops, along with proper shops, as options on where to buy bikes and seek help/maintenance. I feel like it was a lot of fluff, things that a typical person who’s looking to get into biking, would not care about or want to do/use, and not totally useful. I pretty much skimmed the last 2/3 of the book.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review: June

16Title: June

Author: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Pages: 400

My Rating: 4.5 stars

A young woman is lamenting the death of her grandmother. A movie star leaves her his inheritance. She must figure out the connection between the two, while also dealing with all the repercussions of these 2 events. The story also flips back and forth to the grandmother’s story, as a young woman 60 years prior, and we see how those unfolding events affect the future.

My Thoughts:
I wasn’t sure I would like this, especially by looking at the cover (I am a total cover judger!). But I had heard a couple people have decent-to-good reviews, and went ahead and requested it. Even upon beginning the read, until about midway through, I didn’t think it’d be for me. Because of that, and also some busyness that comes with family visiting and the start of a new school year, it took me a while to want to read it, and get through the first half. But the second half got quite interesting, hooked me in, and I finished in just a couple days (still, with limited reading time). I really liked the back and forth, time jumping, plot lines. I didn’t see the point at first, but they came together nicely, by the end. I didn’t really care much for the specific characters…nothing really wrong with them, but they were slightly…not annoying, but…I just wasn’t connecting with them, I guess. But I liked the timeline eras, and the plot line. I liked the mystery and the way the result was revealed. I feel like I can’t really give much detail…

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Book Review: Room for Hope

25852741Title: Room for Hope

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Release Date: February 16, 2016

Pages: 352

My Rating: 4.5 stars

This is a Christian historical fiction novel. A woman finds out that her husband isn’t really on month long, every other month, business trips, when a gentleman arrives telling her he has passed away. Not only that, but he delivers 3 children to her, her husband’s children from another wife. Not only does she have to take over the business of her store, but she must also determine how to tell her own 2 children the truth about their father, and decide if she will keep the 3 children orphaned by her husband and his mistress.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book! I gave it 4 stars. I have not read a lot of books taken place in this time era. It was kind of difficult to keep my mind in this time era as well, because it was taking place on the very start of the industrial revolution, so this family had new conveniences, such as a fridge (called the “fridgidair”) and stove, indoor plumbing, but many also didn’t have all the  newest conveniences, and so there is still many horse and buggies used for every day travel, and outhouses, and the like. I kept thinking the time period was earlier, until the newer mechanical conveniences were mentioned again. I think more could have mentioned throughout the book to help us remember the time period better, hence my lack of star. Otherwise I thought this was a great plot, and kept me guessing and wondering how it all would play out. It had great character growth for multiple characters, and I like that the “mystery” of her husband was solved. I also think it had great representation of the Christian faith.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”