Wednesday, October 21, 2020

An Angel's Work by Kate Eastham

An Angel's Work by Kate Eastham

Book Summary

An Angel’s Work by Kate Eastham takes us to Liverpool, England in 1941 where Staff Nurse Josephine “Jo” Brooks and Staff Nurse Moira “Mac” MacDonald work at Mill Road Hospital.  Jo and Mac are as opposite as two women can be in personality, but they have their love of nursing in common.  They are also roommates and best friends.  They work hard on the wards during their shifts, and the nurses must report to work as soon as the air raid siren goes off which is happening more frequently.  Mac enjoys going out and enjoying herself during her rare evenings off.  One night, Mac meets Don who calls her his “Rita Hayworth” because of her gorgeous red hair.  Their relationship is just beginning when the hospital is bombed changing the course of Mac and Jo’s life.  One becomes an army nurse while the other becomes a flying nightingale.  Both women end up in dangerous situations so they can help the injured soldiers never knowing if they will make it back home alive.  What does the future hold for these dedicated nurses?

My Thoughts

An Angel’s Work by Kate Eastham gives us a look at the life of nurses during World War II.  The point-of-view switches between Josephine “Jo” Brooks and Moira “Mac” MacDonald as well as Don (a love interest for Mac) and sometimes Don’s American friend, Zach.  The story contains good writing, and the story moves along at a gentle pace.  In the beginning, I felt like I was missing pertinent details regarding our main character.   I went online to see if there was a prior book or a prequel that I had missed (there is not).  As the story progresses, we get more details on our main characters.  I wish the author had taken the time to fully flesh out our ladies as well as give a better introduction to Jo and Mac.  The author shows us what nurses endured during the war.  It is very realistic and gritty.  The descriptions are detailed (make sure you can handle the blood).  Some of the scenes are just heartbreaking especially when Jo is in the bombed out hospital.  I did feel that the story was a little choppy.  Some sections flowed into others and sometimes it did not.  I did enjoy the nurses’ interactions with the patients.  We can see how dedicated they are to them and their jobs.  The nurses had to be strong so they could endure what they saw and handled on a daily basis.  These women put their lives on the line to help others.  There is some foul language in the book as well as intimate situations.  An Angel’s Work will appeal to those who enjoy historical fiction especially stories set during World War II.  An Angel’s Work sweeps a reader back in time where bombs are falling, food is rationed, the work is hard, yet they hold out hope the end will come soon.

An Angel's Work is available from Amazon*.  If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read for free. You can find Kate Eastham's The Nursing Series here.  Both images today are Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nurses at Normandy after D-Day.  I appreciate you reading my review today.  Next time I am featuring One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts.  I am off to continue to sorting and purging process.  I am trying to convince my mother that if you have not used something in five years, you do not need it.  She is convinced that my father's suits from the 1980s would be worn by someone today (to work).  I told her they would, for Halloween.  She did not find it as funny as I did.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.




Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady

 Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady

Book Summary

Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady has Dr. Kate Turner in Oak Falls, New York working at the Oak Falls Animal Hospital while the regular vet takes a year long cruise.  At the clinics staff Christmas party, they are asked to reveal their secret selfish holiday wish.  Kate is feeling a little naughty when she wishes that two of their disgruntled clients would disappear.  Unfortunately, Kate’s assistant catches it on video and posts it online.  The next day, Kate and Mari stop by Frank Martindale’s house (one of the discontented clients) to drop off medication for his cat.  They find him dead in his living room.  Within a short amount of time, the second client named in the wish also dies.  Is it a coincidence or is someone making Kate’s wishes come true?  

My Thoughts

Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady is the beginning of A Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries.  However, I discovered it is a spin-off of Kate Turner DVM Mysteries (no clue why the change).  Dr. Kate Turner has taken a yearlong assignment in Oak Falls, New York.  This job gets her away from her cheating ex-boyfriend, Jeremy which she appreciates, but she does not like the distance from her grandfather.  I thought Saddled with Murder was easy to read.  I like the authors conversational writing style.  There are a variety of secondary characters from Kate’s co-workers, clients, and townspeople like Pinky.  I like the clinic staff and how they deal with their animal clientele.  I would take my fur babies to this clinic.  Kate makes a reckless (and naughty) wish at the clinic’s employee Christmas party that she regrets the moment she does it.  She had no idea that Mari recorded the event and accidentally uploaded it with the video of the litterbox cake she created.  When the two malcontented clients Kate wished would disappear die unexpectedly, Kate is a little suspicious.  At first blush, the cases do not appear to be the cause of foul play.  But then the Christmas cards arrive stating that her wish had come true.  The video goes viral and people begin to wonder if Kate is a witch.  Kate has no choice but to investigate so she can clear her name.  There are a couple of suspects including a glaring red herring.  I found it a cinch to solve the whodunit, but I have been reading cozy mysteries for over twenty years.  Kate is also dealing with a long-distance boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend who wants her back, and her father who would like to reunite.  It is a difficult holiday season for Kate Turner, but she is fortunate to have good friends and her Gramps.  I enjoyed reading Saddle with Murder and I look forward to the next A Dr. Kate Vet Mystery.  Saddled with Murder has discontented customers, wacky wishes, a viral video, a bothersome ex-beau, long distance afflictions, the holiday ho-hums, and good-hearted Gramps. 

Saddled with Murder publishes October 27 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon*.  A Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries is a spin-off from Kate Turner DVM Mysteries.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring An Angel's Work by Kate Eastham.  I have more purging and sorting to do.  It is endless.  I should do this more than every twenty years.  I hope that you have a friendly day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Monday, October 19, 2020

The Flame Within by Liz Harris

The Flame Within by Liz Harris

Book Summary

The Flame Within by Liz Harris has Alice Linford returning to London in 1923.  She is becoming a companion to Mrs. Violet Osborne in Belsize Park, London.  Alice applied for this position because of the proximity to her estranged husband, Thomas in Kentish Town.  Alice made a misstep that lost her Thomas.  She fell in love with Thomas the moment she laid eyes on him back at Queen Mary’s Convalescent Auxiliary Hospital when he arrived severely injured.  Alice does not know if Thomas will give her another chance, but she cannot move forward with her life until she tries. 

My Thoughts

The Flame Within by Liz Harris is the 2nd novel in The Linford Series.  The Flame Within can be read as a standalone.  We do, though, get to catch up with Robert and Lily from The Dark Horizon.  This historical tale takes us back to 1904 when Alice Forster is ten years old.  Her mother works twelve hours a day in the weaving shed while her father works at the local quarry.  Alice is determined to get away from Waterfoot, Lancashire when she grows up.  She wants a better life for herself and begins by improving the way she talks.  We follow Alice as she attends school, does chores, and spends time with her friend.  Life throws a detour in Alice’s way, but that does not stop her determination to get ahead.  Alice becomes a registered nurse and gets a position in London at Queen Mary’s Convalescent Auxiliary Hospital where she meets Thomas Linford.  Thomas’s family owns a construction company that is doing very well in the post-war economy.  Thomas lost a limb along with some fingers as well as being badly scarred.  Alice and Thomas fall in love, but their path is a bumpy one.  We also spend time with the rest of the Linford family.  I thought The Flame Within contained good writing with the story moving along at a gentle pace.  The author captured the time-period with the clothing, current events, people’s attitudes, politics, etc.   I did feel that some things were described with too much detail.  The details allow readers to imagine the scenes but makes for a slow-moving book (that had me skimming at times).  We get to see what soldiers who lost limbs went through following the war.  How it affected their mood and the prostheses available to them.  The Flame Within is a lovely historical tale that will transport you back to learn what happens with Alice and Thomas. 

The Flame Within is available from Amazon*.  The first book in The Linford Series is The Dark Horizon.  Both books are on Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Liz Harris' other novels here.  The two images I used today relate back to the book.  In the first image, a woman is making shoes (Alice's first job) and in the second image we see nurses from Queen Mary's Convalescent Auxiliary Hospital. Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  I am just about done clearing out the one shed (we call it The Annex).  I have kept the trash men busy with all the junk I found inside.  Once I sweep it out, I can then fill it with items for the garage sale.  I have also been busy inside the house.  We have accumulated quite of a bit of detritus in the last twenty years.  I am doing an extensive fall cleaning as you can tell.  Tomorrow I am featuring Saddled with Murder by Eileen Brady.  It is the first book in Dr. Kate Vet Mysteries.  It is a spin-off of the Kate Turner, DVM Mysteries. I hope that you have a fruitful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black

 For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black
Book Summary

For Whom the Books Tolls by Laura Gail Black has Jenna Quinn retreating to Hokes Folly, North Carolina at the invitation of her uncle.  After what happened in Charlotte, Jenna needed an escape.  Jenna arrives in the middle of the night and heads straight to bed in the guest room.  She wakes up the next morning and goes looking for her uncle.  She finds Uncle Paul dead at the bottom of the spiral staircase that leads from the apartment to the bookshop.  Unfortunately, Detective Frank Sutter has pegged Jenna as the prime suspect because of what occurred in Charlotte.  When Detective Sutter learns that Jenna is the sole beneficiary of over a million dollars, he is even more determined to nail her for the crime.  Jenna decides to take matters into her own hands.  She makes friends with her new neighbor, Rita who wants to help Jenna prove her innocence.  Rita knows the players and who had a beef with Paul.  Jenna will need to work quickly if she does not want a repeat of what happened in Charlotte.

My Thoughts

For Whom the Books Tolls by Laura Gail Black is the debut of An Antique Bookshop Mystery series.  I enjoyed this new cozy mystery.  I thought it was well-written with steady pacing.  I loved the descriptions of the historic district of Hokes Folly, North Carolina.  There are charming shops with apartments above them.  I was envious of the bookshop filled with regular and antique books.  Jenna gets the glorious task of sorting through all the volumes and putting them into order.  I liked Jenna’s neighbor, Rita.  She is a lively character.  The whodunit was intriguing.  Jenna finding her uncle dead and becoming the prime suspect is a clichĂ©, but I loved the bookshop so much that I overlooked it.  I was not a fan of Detective Frank Sutter.  I am tired of the truism of a nasty detective who becomes determined to pin the crime on the relative.  Detective Sutter’s partner, Detective Keith Logan was much nicer, and he is easy on the eyes.  There are a couple of suspects along with good clues and a red herring.  Jenna turns out to be a decent amateur sleuth. I liked that there was a complete wrap-up of the crime with an unexpected revelation or two.  We are not left with any lingering questions regarding the mystery.  I am looking forward to reading the next An Antique Bookshop Mystery.  For Whom the Books Tolls is an engaging cozy mystery with bibliophile lovers’ bookshop, a determined detective, a kindly neighbor, a dubious developer, and a resolute relative.

For Whom the Book Tolls is available from Amazon*.  Thank you for reading my review.  I am off to finish cleaning out one of the sheds on our property (we have too much stuff).  I found items in there leftover from a yard sale we had almost fifteen years ago.  Unfortunately, it looks like squirrels  used the box for a nest (yuck).  It is all heading for the trash.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on The Flame Within by Liz Harris.  It is the 2nd book in The Linford Series.  I hope that you have a rewarding day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

It's That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney

Book Summary

It’s That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney has Annie getting married on her sixtieth birthday to longtime friend, Matt.  She has invited three of her former foster children to attend.  Out of all the children she fostered over the years, Annie felt compelled to invite Steph, Julia, and Eddie.  Julia is a famous singer and songwriter who lives in a luxury penthouse in Paris.  Eddie works as a chef in a restaurant in London while Steph lives with her writer boyfriend in Greece where they also host writers’ retreats.  Annie and Matt have known each other almost their whole lives.  Matt has always been there for Annie when she needed him.  It is only now in their twilight years that their friendship has blossomed into a romantic love.  As the wedding weekend progresses, the three special guests do some long put off thinking and make some startling discoveries.  What does the future hold for Steph, Eddie, and Julia? 

My Thoughts

It’s That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney takes readers to Ireland where a special wedding will take place.  Annie will be turning sixty years old and marrying her longtime friend, Matt on the same day. I enjoy reading stories where the characters find love later in their life (it gives me hope). It’s That Time of Year gives us Annie’s story along with that of Steph, Julia, and Eddie.  It switches between Annie’s present life and what led up to her wedding to Matt.  It takes us back to when Annie went off to college to become a teacher and how her journey toward that goal got diverted.  We also get the story from Steph, Eddie, and Julia’s point-of-view.  We learn how each of them came to live with Annie and what happened to them after they left her house.  With the switching around of POV and time-period, I found it difficult to get into this book.  I read the book, but I never became immersed in the story.  There are some longwinded descriptions (like those regarding food) that were unneeded, and the pacing is varied. While I found the story lacking in some areas, there were some good sections.   I enjoyed the depictions of Ireland as well as the humor interspersed throughout the tale.  I like how Annie rolled with the punches on her wedding day.  There is fun and festive celebrating while everyone rejoices in Annie and Matt’s nuptials.   It’s That Time of Year is a sweet, heartwarming story about love, secrets, and second chances.

It's That Time of Year is available through Amazon*.  You can find Roisin Meaney's other novels here.  Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review.  I always suggest you download a sample or read a sample online to see if the book will suit you.  Tomorrow I am featuring For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black.  It is the first book in An Antique Bookshop Mystery series.  I am off to clear out our shed.  It is stuffed to the gills.  I need to clear it out so I can stuff new junk in it. I hope you have a cheerful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Gingerdead Man by Maya Corrigan

Book Summary

Gingerdead Man by Maya Corrigan has Val Deniston and her grandfather, Don participating in Bayport, Maryland’s Dickens of a Holiday Festival where 19th century London comes alive for a day.  Val’s Granddad is playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge this year because newcomer, Jake Smith took over the role of Santa.  Jake looks the part of Santa with his dyed white hair and beard along with his rounded figure.  However, his sneezing and coughing along with frequent sips from his flask are unbecoming for the Jolly Old Elf.  At the volunteer tea, the Ghost of Christmas Present delivers gift bags with gingerdead men cookies.  Jake dives into his, collapses, and dies later at the hospital.  Two days later, Oliver Naiman is found in his kitchen after eating chocolates that were left as a gift.  When Val’s friend, Bethany becomes ill, Val rushes her to the hospital.  It turns out that Bethany had received some chocolates as well.  It turns out that they were spiked with poison.  Val and Granddad work together to find the Christmas killer.  They are going to make sure the guilty party spends the holidays behind bars where he will consider himself fortunate if he finds coal in the toe of his stocking. 

My Thoughts

Gingerdead Man by Maya Corrigan is the 7th A Five-Ingredient Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I thought Gingerdead Man was well-written with developed characters.  Val Deniston keeps busy with managing the Cool Down CafĂ©, catering events, spending time with Granddad, and dating Bram Muir.  Granddad is always up to something.  When not whipping up five ingredient items for his Codger Cook column, he is working on his detective skills.  Granddad is a hoot.  I liked that he managed to surprise Val with some of the things he did regarding the case.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the Dickens of a Holiday Festival with people dressed up in Victorian costumes.  It reminded me of German Village where I grew up (instead of Dickens, they do German traditions).    The mystery was well-plotted and went nicely with the theme of the book.  I especially enjoyed the Christmas killer dressed up as the Ghost of Christmas Present.  While I was able to pinpoint the identity of the killer early on, I still enjoyed following the mystery to the end.  The whodunit had a good reveal and wrap up.  I like that the case was wrapped up with a bow.  Gingerdead Man was an entertaining and creative cozy mystery with a snockered Santa, a disenchanted Scrooge, killer cookies, contaminated chocolates, and one consumed Christmas killer.

Gingerdead Man is available from Amazon* along with other major booksellers (Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, Chapter's, Powell's, Waterstone's).  You can find the other six novels in A Five-Ingredient Mystery series here.  Thank you for joining me today and reading my review.  I am off to continue with the cleaning and purging.  I am having a hard time convincing my mother to dispose of items (do we really need the cookie cutters that we have not used in ten years or twenty plastic spoons that were hidden in a drawer in the hallway).  I will return tomorrow with It's That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney.  I hope that you have a cheerful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Thursday, October 15, 2020

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason

Book Summary

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason has Olivia Rosetti collapsing in St. Olaf’s Church after being released from Mercer Reformatory in April of 1941.  Olivia is fortunate to be found by Ruth Bennington who takes her into her home.  The two women soon learn that they have one thing in common that binds them together.  Olivia wants to find a way to help women, so they do not end up in a reformatory or on the street when they find themselves pregnant out of wedlock.  Olivia comes up with the idea for a maternity home to provide women with a place to stay that is free of judgement and condemnation.  Two months later, Olivia and Ruth open Bennington Place Maternity Home.  Darius Reed works for Walcott Industries where his boss wants to purchase the Bennington property.  Ruth has no interest in selling her deceased husband’s family home.  Mr. Walcott wants Darius to get the property by any means that he can.  Darius is determined to provide a better life for his daughter after his wife and in-laws were killed because of prejudice.  Obtaining his current position was one step in his plan and the next to marry socialite Meredith Cheeseman.  But then Darius meets the compassionate and fiery, Olivia.  Despite their attraction for each other, they are on opposite sides.  

My Thoughts

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason is the first novel in Redemption’s Light series.  I thought Susan Anne Mason tackled some difficult subjects in this historical novel and she did it beautifully.  A Haven for Her Heart is well-written and well-researched.  Olivia Rosetti finds herself imprisoned after becoming pregnant out of wedlock under the Female Refuges Act in Toronto, Canada.  She is sentenced to Mercer Reformatory where she endured unspeakable tragedies.  This story is based on true events.  Olivia’s story is heartrending and hard to read at times.  The author walked a fine line between explaining enough and not too much.   I was glad that she did not give the nitty gritty details.  A Haven for Her Heart is an emotional story that deals with domestic violence, prejudice, archaic laws, and bullying, I liked the characters especially Olivia Rosetti and Ruth Bennington.  They are Christian women who have not let the past make them bitter.  They are kind, compassionate women who wish to help others.  They rely on God to see them through the struggles they must endure.  A Haven for Her Heart is a gritty novel that is different from this author’s other works.  I found the story compelling and stayed up quite late to finish it.  I like that the story is not all sunshine and roses.  It provides a realistic view on the various subject as well as representative outcomes.  The one thing that stuck with me from A Haven for Her Heart is that we all make mistakes and that we are all worthy of redemption.  A Haven for Her Heart transports readers back to a different era for a touching story that will linger with you long after you finish it. 

A Haven for Her Heart is available from Amazon*.  You can find Susan Anne Mason's other novels here.  The pictures I used today are of the Mercer Reformatory and a Salvation Army Maternity Home.  Thank you for visiting today. I wanted to let you know that the 2nd  book in The Homeswappers  series is now out.  It is A Wedding and a Funeral in Mecklenburg.  It is available through Kindle Unlimited.  Tomorrow I am sharing my thoughts on Gingerdead Man by Maya Corrigan.  It is the 7th A Five-Ingredient Mystery.  I hope you have an enriching day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd

 

Book Summary

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd takes us to 1820 in Pevlyn, Cornwall on the Wyndcliff Estate where Evelyn Bray has lived since she was eight years old.  Her grandfather, Rupert Bray became the steward to the estate after he lost Keverne Park.  The last ten years, Rupert Bray has run the estate without the landowner being present.  Liam Twethewey has reached majority and is eager to take the helm at Wyndcliff.  He has plans for clay pits on the moorland which will bring in some much needed revenue and allow him to make necessary repairs.  Liam is surprised when he learns that shipwrecks frequently happen along his stretch of property which has cargo washing ashore.  It seems that it can be a profitable venture if the laws are followed.  Liam is awakened during the night when there is a shipwreck in which the only survivors are a woman and her daughter.  The woman suffered a head injury which has affected her memory.  Liam feels there is something fishy about the wreck and has the survivors recover at Wyndcliff.  Liam needs Evelyn’s assistance to unravel the mystery surrounding the shipwrecks.  As the pair spend time together, romance begins to bloom.  Evelyn, though, has always planned to leave Wyndcliff and live in Plymouth with her mother.  The closer Liam gets to the truth, the more dangerous it is for those involved.  Can Liam and Evelyn expose the truth and live to tell the tale?

My Thoughts

The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd is the 3rd installment in The Cornwall Novels.  Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.  I thought The Light at Wyndcliff was well-written with developed characters.  The main characters as well as the major secondary characters have depth.  I appreciated that the author took the time to do this.  There are vivid descriptions of the estate, the moorland, town, and coastline.  It allowed me to visualize the scenes.  Liam Twethewey is a strong, male character.  He was eager to take over the Wyndcliff Estate and make changes that would benefit the estate as well as the tenants.  He may have made some unpopular decisions, but Liam knew they were the right ones to make.  Evelyn Bray grew up in a discordant household with her mother unhappy and at odds with her grandfather, Rupert Bray.  The mother liked the lavish lifestyle, and she was never going to be content until she got it back.  I found myself yelling at Evelyn to stand up for herself and make her own decisions.  It was interesting to learn about the china clay pits and how they extracted the clay from the ground.  I also found it fascinating to learn about the shipwrecks and the laws regarding the recovery of cargo.  I could tell the author did her research for this story.  I was shocked at how people would rush to grab the goods without concern for the crew floundering in the water.  I like how the story wrapped up and the epilogue that provided a complete ending.  The Cornwall Novels was a wonderful series with a great conclusion.  The Light at Wyndcliff is a unique Regency tale with the rocky Cornish coastline, suspicious shipwrecks, the clay pit project, shocking secrets, a gallant gentleman, a guarded grandfather, and the striking steward’s granddaughter.  

The Light at Wyndcliff is available from Amazon*.  The other two books in The Cornwall Novels are The Governess at Penwythe Hall and The Thief of Lanwyn Manor.  You can find Sarah E. Ladd's other Regency novels here.  If you like Regency novels, you cannot go wrong with Sarah E. Ladd.  The pictures I included today show a manor home in Cornwall (similar to Liam Twethewey's Wyndcliff Estate) and a china clay pit in Cornwall (which is what Liam was establishing on estate).  Thank you for visiting today.  Tomorrow I am reviewing A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason.  It is the first book in Redemption's Light series.  I hope that you have a peaceful day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber

 

Book Summary

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber has Everly Lancaster at her wits end over her assistant who made another large and embarrassing mistake.  Annette is the niece of Everly’s partner, Jack Campbell who does not seem to notice her mistakes or spoiled nature.  When Everly confronts Jack about firing Annette, he insists that she take a month off to relax.  Jack requests that Annette book Everly a luxury cruise and leaves all the details to her.  Before Everly can protest, she is booked on a two-week cruise with all the necessary paperwork and shots.  She arrives at the ship in Brazil to find it is not a luxury cruise.  The trip allows passengers to learn about the Amazon rainforest and explore the area.  There is no internet, television, or phone service.  Everly becomes ill on the first night and Asher Adams takes care of her during her recovery.  The more she gets to know the naturalist, the more Everly likes him.  The time spent recuperating gives Everly a chance to examine her life and her priorities.  Everly and Asher enjoy their time together.  As the cruise nears the end, they must decide if they can make a relationship work in the real world.  Can they find a way to compromise and overcome their differences? 

My Thoughts

Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber is a charming Christmas tale. It contains Debbie Macomber’s trademark writing style.  The author has a way of drawing a reader right into a story which was what happened to me with Jingle All the Way.  Everly Lancaster aka Daisy has spent the last six years working to make the real estate company she, Easy Home that she co-owns with Jack Campbell a success.  Work has dominated her life to the detriment of her family and other relationships.  Now she has an inept assistant who happens to be her partner’s niece.  Jack insists she take a thirty-day vacation.  The inept assistant is tasked with finding a relaxing cruise in a warm climate.  You just know that this is not going to go well.  What ensues are embarrassing and humorous situations along with a chance for a romantic encounter.  Asher Adams is a naturalist who works on the cruise Everly takes down the Amazon River.  He is the perfect counterpart for Everly.  A beautiful setting and a cozy cruise ship have a way of bringing two people together.  Staying together, though, is the tricky part.  I enjoyed meeting Everly’s large, boisterous family.  It is amazing how time gives us a different perspective on our family and where we grew up.  I liked that Everly took her time while laid up to gain a new perspective about the cruise as well as reflect on her life.  I was surprised by how quickly this story flew by for me.  I loved the epilogue that nicely wrapped up the tale.   Jingle All the Way is a heartwarming holiday story that will leave you smiling.  I wish we did not have to wait a year for Debbie Macomber’s next holiday novel.  Jingle All the Way is an entertaining holiday story with an incapable assistant, wardrobe woes, tribal tribulations, insect irritation, sociable siblings, and Christmas cheer. 

Jingle All the Way can be obtained from Amazon* along with other major booksellers.  You can find Debbie Macomber's other novels here.  Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review.  In addition to Jingle All the Way, The Light of Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd and A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason were published today.  I will be featuring The Light at Wyndcliff by Sarah E. Ladd next time.  It is the 3rd book in The Cornwall Novels.  I hope that you have a positive day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


Kris

The Avid Reader

*This post contains affiliate links.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.




Monday, October 12, 2020

The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere

 

Book Summary

The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere has John Creighton determined to make a dining table for his family before Thanksgiving in 1972.  He has checked out several books from the library since his never tackled a project on this scale before.  Joan wants to make sure her Thanksgiving meal equals the table that John is building, so she digs out the recipes her mother gave her when she married.  They are written out on index cards with ingredients, detailed instructions, and special anecdotes.  She also wants to make sure that her children (Christopher and Gigi) have memories of family meals and desserts.  But then Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.  As Christmas nears, John prays for a miracle to save his beloved wife.

Lauren Mabrey discovers in 2012 that she is going to have a Christmas baby.  She wants a warm, cozy home for their child.  The group from Glory’s Place led by Miriam gathers to paint the rooms and search out new furniture.  At Larry’s, Miriam and Lauren find a refinished walnut table that will fit perfectly into the Mabrey home.  Lauren and Travis discover a hidden drawer with a stack of handwritten recipe cards inside.  Lauren grew up in foster homes and she never had the opportunity to learn to cook.  She begins reading the cards and making the recipes.  Lauren loves the stories included which has her wondering about who owned the cards.  Lauren decides to search for the previous owner of the table in the hopes of returning the cards to them.  She feels they are a part of their family legacy.  As Christmas draws near, Joan continues to battle her cancer while Lauren prepares for the arrival of her baby.  What miracles will take place this season in Grandon?

My Thoughts

The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere is part of the Christmas Hope series.  Lauren’s story started in The Christmas Town and I recommend reading it prior to beginning The Christmas Table.  All the books in this series are a delight to read.  I thought The Christmas Table was well-written with steady pacing.  The characters are realistic and relatable.  They have fears, joys, heartaches, and tribulations just like real people.  This is a dual timeline novel that takes readers between 1972 and 2012.  Joan Creighton along with her husband, John and their two children are looking forward to the holidays.  John is determined to build the family a dining room table out of walnut he found in an old barn.  While Joan tackles the recipes given to her by her mother.  Their lives are upended when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer.  Things begin to look grim for the family when John meets someone who gives him hope.  Lauren Mabrey discovers she is pregnant which thrills her and her husband, Travis.  She wants to make sure that her child has a warm, loving home to grow up in.  Her friends from Glory’s Place begin the makeover under bossy Miriam’s direction.  Lauren finds handwritten recipe cards in a dining table that she purchased.  They contain detailed instructions along with family memories.  Lauren wants to return the recipe cards to their rightful owner and sets out to find them based on clues in the stories.   I like how the author tied the two stories together.  We see Lauren learning to cook using the cards and enjoying the special tales on each one.  The ending was touching.  Some of the recipes from the book are included at the end.  I am looking forward to trying Aunt Dee Dee’s Peanut Butter Fudge (I have been trying to find the right recipe for years).  The Christmas Table would make a charming Christmas movie.  I enjoyed reading The Christmas Table which is a heartwarming, faith filled tale.  


The Christmas Table is available from Amazon* along with Donna VanLiere's other Christmas novels which include The Christmas Town and The Christmas Shoes.  Thank you for reading my review today.  I hope I have helped you find a new book to read.  Tomorrow I am featuring Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber.  I hope you have an uplifting day.  I am off to do more sorting.  I am amazed at how much stuff is packed into this house.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

Kris

The Avid Reader

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