Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson

Garrison Brown returns to Vancouver after nearly a decade serving as a missionary in Uganda, unsure how to fulfill his dream of starting a halfway house for young boys with no money and no job. As he attempts to fit into American culture again, he receives word that his grandmother has passed away. In her final will, she desires for Garrison to find perfect homes for her six beloved cats, giving him very specific instructions to ensure the cats each are placed in the ideal environment. At first Garrison finds the rules frustrating, but her instructions give him time to stay at his childhood home and reconnect with the friendly neighbors who knew his grandmother. As each cat touches a family in a unique way, Garrison, despite his severe cat allergies, finds himself drawn to one furry creature. Now he must decide if perhaps his future dreams are changing this Christmas season.

Short and simple, The Christmas Cat is a quick read and the narrative moves along at a pleasant pace. The instructions from Garrison’s grandmother are a tad too quirky, creating a story that is a bit odd to read. Indeed, some of the requirements are completely bizarre and unrealistic, making the book rather ridiculous at times. Many of the characters have enjoyable personalities, but Cara’s disrespect is unnerving and creates too much tension for a believable romantic relationship. However, the overall story is sweet in its own way, and lovers of animals are sure to appreciate the personalities of the cats. The book is not hard to get through but its lack of sustenance makes it one that will be easily forgotten after it is read. Perhaps suited for those who want a simple afternoon read that will put them in the Christmas spirit.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

Megan McClare returns to San Francisco from a year abroad in Paris with a new wardrobe, a new attitude, and a renewed desire to help the less fortunate in her hometown through either law or medicine. Excited to have secured an internship at the district attorney’s office, Megan is dismayed when she discovers she has to work alongside Devin Caldwell, an old classmate who consistently mocked her at school but with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She is, however, thrilled to once again be near her best friend, Bram Hughes, a dear man who has always looked upon Megan as a younger sister and supported her through Devin’s merciless taunts. However, Bram quickly realizes that Megan is no longer the “little sister” he has always viewed her as and he discovers that he is attracted to Megan’s inward and outward beauty. But Bram also knows that he is not the only one who appreciates Megan’s transformation, and he must carefully navigate his friendship with Megan or risk losing her altogether to the last person he expected to be his competition.

Julie Lessman is one of the best Christian fiction authors, so it is no surprise that Surprised by Love is a phenomenal read! Her characters are like beloved friends, where the reader feels connected to each one in a unique way, understanding their tears and rejoicing in their happiness. She flawlessly draws the reader into the emotional struggles and heartfelt desires of each character. This novel has a delightfully complex plot and reading such a rich story is similar to savoring a delicious chocolate mousse. The wittiness and banter among the characters provides a perfect touch of lighthearted humor between some of the deeper themes in the book. The plot is not always predictable and certain twists add to the suspense of the storyline. The romance is tastefully done and the historical content of the book is most interesting and flows seamlessly with the fascinating plot. Certainly reading the fist two books in this series provides additional background information about many of the characters, but considering those two are equally delightful, it should be no hardship. A most highly, highly recommended read!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

Kate Sherwood is accustomed to a fast-paced, challenging career. So when her beloved grandmother decides they both need an extended vacation, she is not sure she is prepared for the slow pace of Dupree, Texas. Especially when after arriving, the resort that her grandmother claims is a special location is run-down, old, and in need of lots of work. Fortunately, things begin to get a bit more interesting when she meets the unofficial handyman of the resort, Greg. Greg may be charming, cute, and kind, but he is hiding a few secrets of his own and running from a several unresolved issues from his past. As the two spend more time together, they realize that their lives may have been very different, but the circumstances that brought them together only serve to allow them to better understand each other. Rainbow’s End Resort, despite its untidy appearance, may have a way of changing both of their lives for the better.

At Bluebonnet Lake is a sweet, simple Christian romance. Several characters may be endearing, but the storyline is rather predictable, leaving little suspense to the novel. The plot also moves very slowly as many portions of the book contain unnecessary explanations and drawn-out points. However, there are subtle Christian references and the author does a nice job of setting the stage for future books in the series as she introduces a few key characters. Overall, the story was nice but certainly not one that cannot be set aside for a more engaging book. Its themes and uncomplicated storyline make this book one that will be readable without much effort. This novel is recommended for those who enjoy Christian romances and would like a story that is simplistic and pleasant.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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