Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Book Room

When the six members of the Potluck Club meet once again, things are about to heat up. Wedding plans and romantic desires abound as Summit View buzzes with rumors and revelations about the past. Has Deputy Sheriff Donna Vesey finally found the love of her life? Will Jack and Goldie Dippel--and their marriage--survive a dangerous mountain avalanche? And will the Potluck Club be able to put their differences aside and help each other survive the storms of life and love?
 Additional notes: This is the third and final book in the Potluck Club series. You can read my review of the first book here and my review of the second book here. There is a second series that directly follows this one: the Potluck Catering Club series.

My thoughts: One thing I really love about this series is that it's really action packed. There's so many characters, so there are a lot of different plot points going on at one time. If one character's story doesn't appeal to you, one of the other five will.

Starting a new life in Cedar Key, Florida, Berkley Whitmore, plagued by self-doubt, is delighted when her new store, Berkley's Chocolates & Gems, draws a wide circle of new friends and the admiration of English mystery author Saxton Tate III, giving her the courage to find the truth about her past.
 Additional notes: This is the fourth and latest book in the Cedar Key series. You can read my review of the first book here, the second book here, the second-and-a-half book here and the third book here.

My thoughts: While I enjoy this series overall, there are several things that bug me about it that I have to share. First, it's kind of obvious the author doesn't believe in God. It doesn't bother me too an extreme level that the author doesn't believe in God, but it does bother me to an extreme level that it's obvious while reading the story. Also, the characters tend to be very stale and one dimensional. If you're looking for the next greatest book to read, you won't find that here, but if you just want to read a story that will catch your interest and provide some entertainment, this book will suffice.

Join three of today’s bestselling inspirational fiction authors in a collection of Christmas stories from Victorian-era America that are full of second-chance romances. Jilted by her fiancé, Karla packs away her wedding quilts and her plans for marriage. Widow Jane travels to marry a prosperous man she barely knows in order to give her daughter a better life—then is stranded in a winter storm. Ada, a wealthy ingénue, inadvertently causes grave injury to a poor man she once considered quite a catch. Each must search her heart, change her plans. . .and patch together a tender, unexpected life filled with love.
 My thoughts: It seems every Christmas season, there are a book or two released set in historical times with short stories. I find as many of these books as I can and read them all. They never disappoint. These stories were absolutely captivating. I was glued to the page and literally wanted to devour the stories as fast as possible. I truly wish more books existed like this one. If you're in need of picking up the Christmas spirit, read this book.

In this close-knit Amish family, nothing is as perfect as it seems...

When Viola Keim starts working at a nearby Mennonite retirement home, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with resident Atle, whose only living relative, son Edward, is living as a missionary in Nicaragua. Viola understands the importance of mission work, but she can't imagine leaving her father in the hands of strangers. Even though her family is New Order Amish, it's not the Amish way, and though she doesn't know Ed, she judges him for abandoning his father.

But when Ed surprises his father with a visit, Viola and Ed both discover an attraction they never expected. Despite her feelings, choosing Ed would mean moving to a far-off country and leaving her family behind. She can't do that. Her twin sister, Elsie, is going blind and will need someone to care for her all her life. Her family is reeling with the recent discovery that her grandmother hid her past as an Englischer. Her father seems forgetful and distracted--and to be harboring some secrets of his own.

Does Viola dare leave them all behind and forge her own life? Or will family ties mean her one chance at love slips away?

Additional notes: This is the first and latest book in the Days of Redemption series. This series is ongoing, and the second book is expected out this year.

My thoughts: This book was a bit unlike any other Amish fiction book I've read in that the family has some serious issues. Most Amish fiction books tend to feature near-perfect families or families with minimal problems. This family has alcohol issues, trust issues, faith issues - you name it. It makes for a very real story and one anyone could relate to. If you've been turned off by Amish fiction because the families are too perfect and do not seem real, this series is for you.
Wearing her highest heels and hottest pregnancy jeans, Amy Sprenger marched into her doctor’s office, latte in hand, ready to finally see whether her baby was a boy or a girl. Sure, sure, this appointment was supposed to be about checking the health of the baby, but everyone who’s ever been there knows it’s really about looking for what lays, or doesn’t lay, between the legs.

So when the doctor tells her she has an incompetent cervix, Amy does what any woman would do. She becomes immediately offended. Is that a politically correct way of saying her cervix sucks? Unfortunately, as she’s soon to learn, it’s a lot more than that. The only way to keep that baby from falling out on the sidewalk (probably in front of Starbucks) is for her doctor to stitch her cervix closed and for Amy to stay in bed for the next four months.

Four months that are carefully detailed in this “memoir.” A memoir that while basically true, has been embellished with Amy’s signature brand of humor and hilarity.

With more time off than a castoff contestant on The Bachelor, Amy took pen to paper and settled in for the ride. But instead of sitting around eating bon bons, she’s popping hypertension drugs to stave off preterm labor. And complications? Oh, she’s got your complications. She’s gut-rehabbing her house. Her mother moves in to care for her. Her husband takes a “mancation” while she’s stuck in the hospital. And every time she has a contraction, she’s convinced it’s The Big One.

Living by the adage that laughter is the best medicine, Amy fumbles her way through a series of sometimes serious and usually embarrassing situations. And just to be clear, using a bedpan qualifies as both serious and embarrassing. 

My thoughts: I had been wanting to read this book for months. While it was entertaining, it was not as funny as I had hoped it would be. That being said, if you work in the medical field or have ever  been pregnant, you will seriously appreciate this story. If you haven't been pregnant and have no interest in that kind of thing, I would advise you to skip this story.

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