Friday, May 27, 2016

Her One and Only Book Review

I picked Her One and Only by Becky Wade because I remember loving this author.  I didn't remember the series of books that I read or the characters but I knew from the description that I wanted this book.  I was super excited when it came in the mail and it was nearly 400 pages which was great.  I couldn't wait to pick it up and find out what this book was going to be about.

Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he's indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?  But Dru's a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She's also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray's stalker. And she's just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts--and their lives--to one another?

I loved this book and had a hard time putting it down (especially because it was pretty long which I was really thankful for).  There are lots of great characters to get to know and wonderful writing from Becky Wade.  I really loved Dru and immediately wanted everything to turn out well for her.  Gray was an interesting character that I was looking forward to uncovering his secrets.  The wonderful small town atmosphere was a great balance for the hectic world that an NFL star lives in. I loved getting to know these two characters and all the others in this wonderful story!!

I knew that I read another book in the series but I wasn't sure going in which book it was because this was the fourth book in the series.  Sadly, looking back, I only read the third book in the series recently and missed the first two but that gives me a chance to go back and see if I can find them at another library in the area because they aren't in the libraries by me.  I hope that you get to read and enjoy the whole series!!

**I was provided a copy of the book for my review and honest opinions.  All opinions here are my own.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Fading Starlight Book Review

I love this author and couldn't help to pick her new book as soon as I saw her name.  Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman was an interesting cover and interesting description that had me ready to read.  There are interesting characters in this book including Lauren, the main character who was an aspiring fashion designer, and her group of friends.  After moving, Charlotte, the older former movie actress, became in interesting part of the plot.  There are a lot of interesting characters in the book that help weave the story of forgiveness and moving forward.

Lauren Summers is hiding. Her fashion house internship should have launched her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she finds is unpaid, but comes with free lodging--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Unsure of what comes next, she's surprised to be contacted by a reporter researching a reclusive former Hollywood ingénue who lives in the nearby mansion.

Kendall Joiner wants Lauren's help uncovering the old woman's secrets. In return, she'll prove the red carpet accident was a publicity stunt so Lauren can regain her former job. With all her dreams in front of her, Lauren's tempted by the offer, but as she and the old woman get to know each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

The book started off a little strange with a wardrobe malfunction that cost Lauren her job as a intern at a design company.  She quickly leaves the city for another job with a free place to stay in a secluded neighborhood in a run down house where she can live for free while making costumes for the local high school musical production.  This break is exactly what Lauren needed until she meets her recluse neighbor who causes her nothing but heart ache when she reaches out to be nice to her.   There are a few strange occurrences that make this an interesting read because you never know what is going to happen next.  Make sure you pick up this book for all the old time fashion charm and the way to have a happy life rolled into one story of people trying to make their way in the modern times.  I hope that you check out this book and let me know what you think of this book trying to show you the best way to turn the other cheek and lead a happy life.

**I was given a copy of the book for my review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 5/23

Monday- Barber Chicken with White Rice
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Enchiladas with spicy yellow rice (probably not spicy for little one)
Thursday- Chicken Fries, Popcorn Chicken with homemade french fries
Friday-Out of Town
Saturday-Out of Town
Sunday-Out of Town

We have a three day weekend which means that there was a chance that we stay home or a chance we would take a trip so I didn't plan anything this weekend. Great news we are headed out to have a little fun so I don't need to plan anything for the weekend other then start packing.  I can't believe that we are almost done with the month!!  I am pulling out the calendar and planning next month already.  Do you plan your menus by the week or the month or play it by ear when dinner comes??

I hope that you have a tasty week!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Someone Like You Book Review

I picked Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin even though I hadn't heard anything about the author which seems to be a little bit of a change from recently with all the other books that I have picked.  I loved the cover and the description of the book so I decided that I had to find out more!

Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max's father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart.  Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he's surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

I enjoyed the book and I thought that it was entertaining with great characters but there was something about the writing that didn't always ring true to me.  I thought that there was a heavy reference to God when it was unnecessary which was pushing the point instead of showing how the characters were become better Christian through their behavior.  Julia and Zeke are working together to bring more business to Caliente Springs and growing closer.  Julia's son, Max, was a wonderful light with his child like behaviors and antics.  At the same time, Hunter, Max's father, is a horrible person making Max the center of his strange world but never making decisions with his son's best interests at heart.  Although I am sure that people often do this, it doesn't ring true to me that Hunter would continue to keep up this behavior for years without giving up and moving on.  The main story between Julia and Zeke and all of the employees of the resort was the highlight for me.  I enjoyed the story and was excited to see what would happen next which is always the sign of a good plot.  I hope that you check out this book and see for yourself. Let me know what you think!!

**I was provided a copy of this book to review and provide my honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What We Find Book Review

I reserved a ton of books and What We Find by Robyn Carr was one of them.  I know that I have loved everything that I have read of the author so when I saw this book listed in the books that the library ordered, I knew that I would enjoy getting on the list to read it.  It appeared on my reserve shelf at the library totally unexpectedly when I was really busy with lots of other books but it went straight to the top of the pile.

Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she's never faced before. She knows she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan's Crossing.  Named for Maggie's great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide Trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie's eccentric father, Sully. When she shows up unannounced, he welcomes her with open arms, and she relishes the opportunity to indulge in his simple way of life.

But shortly after arriving, Maggie's world is rocked once again and she must take on more responsibility than she'd planned. Though she's relieved a quiet and serious-looking hiker, Cal Jones, is willing to lend a hand, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man's eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.  Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

I thought that this was another great book by Robyn Carr.  It seems that it is a stand alone book but I would love if there were more in this series.  Maggie was trying to find her footing after so many problems loosing her medical practice, her baby and then her boyfriend.  She was emotional drained so she went to the place that she felt most at home, her father's camping area and store.   Cal is staying there at the same time and also trying to rebuild his life.  The two of them work together to make new lives for themselves to find the happiness that their previous lives were missing.  I love watching the process to see how Maggie and Cal work to make their lives happy and fulfilled.  I finished this with plenty of time to return the library, only to find another book on my reserve shelf that I got in while not paying attention.  I am really in trouble and now I have to read a book quickly again before the deadline on Friday.  Here is hoping that we have a lot of time between activities!!  I hope that you check out this book if it looks interesting to you!!  Add it to the wish list at the library but pay better attention to it then me :)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Menu Plan Monday 5/16

Monday- Barber Chicken with White Rice
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- French Dip Sloppy Joe with Mac and Cheese
Thursday- Chicken Fries, Popcorn Chicken with homemade french fries
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Chicken Paninis (One Buffalo and One Plain)
Sunday- ??

The closer we are coming to the end of preschool, the crazier the kids are getting and here is hoping that this is a good week and we make it through the last two weeks.  There are lots of the end of the year school things for my son as well so I think that we are going to super busy but only time will tell because they tend to be last minute additions to the schedule.  I hope that you have a tasty week!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine Book Review

I was at the library and I saw there was a new release of one of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series!!!  I knew that I had way too many books already at home to read but I couldn't stop myself.   The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (16) (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series) by Alexander McCall Smith was a quick grab off the new release shelf that I was eager to read and had to quickly fit it in because there was no renewal through the library!!

In this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling series, Mma Ramotswe must contend with her greatest challenge yet—a vacation!  Business is slow at the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, so slow in fact that for the first time in her estimable career Precious Ramotswe has reluctantly agreed to take a holiday. The promise of a week of uninterrupted peace is short-lived, however, when she meets a young boy named Samuel, a troublemaker who is himself in some trouble. Once she learns more about Samuel’s sad story, Mma Ramotswe feels compelled to step in and help him find his way out of a bad situation.

Despite this unexpected diversion, Mma Ramotswe still finds herself concerned about how the agency is faring in her absence. Her worries grow when she hears that Mma Makutsi is handling a new and rather complicated case. A well-respected Botswanan politician is up for a major public honor, and his reputation is now being called into question by his rivals. The man’s daughter has contacted the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency to investigate these troubling claims, but, as in so many cases, all is not as it seems. In the end, the investigation will affect everyone at the agency and will also serve as a reminder that ordinary human failings should be treated with a large helping of charity and compassion.

I enjoyed this book as I have all the other books in the series.   There are great characters and great settings in Africa with the fun adventures that always follow.  In this book, the ladies were trying to figure out how to navigate a holiday (or vacation) from work where Mma Ramotswe is out of the office but still in the area trying to figure out how to relax.  Mma Ramtswe is a hard working woman who has always worked and didn't know how to take a day off, let alone the two weeks holiday so it was interesting to see her try.  This series is categorized as mysteries but I think that these are mostly about wonderful characters and great writing because there is very little suspense type mysteries.  I love to follow the path that the author takes and figure out what interesting story is going to happen with the great ladies at the Detective Agency but when you get the end, it feels like nothing much has happened because it just follows them through their normal days.   I think that these books are a little different then most other books that I read but they are always an enjoyable quick read.  I hope that you check out this book and all the others in this wonderful series.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have!!