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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2014 Whitney Awards Finalist Spotlight: DEADLY ALLIANCE by A.L. Soward (Historical)

From Covenant: Amidst the darkest days of WWII, will one star-crossed couple’s love survive?
When Peter Eddy and his commando team inadvertently upset the Soviets during their most recent mission, they never imagined the diplomatic nightmares that would ensue. They have one chance to redeem themselves: tasked with destroying a bridge in Nazi-occupied Bosnia, Peter and his war-weary team reluctantly agree to drop behind enemy lines. The assignment should be a simple one—were it not for the fact that they are being deployed on a suicide mission.
Genevieve Olivier is devastated by the news of Peter’s disappearance. After all they’ve endured in this war, the determined OSS worker is unwilling to simply let go of the man she hopes to spend her life with. Desperate for information, her work as a courier soon escalates into a counterintelligence duel with a Fascist assassin—and Genevieve is his newest target . . .

Genre: Historical, Inspirational
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Length: 336 pgs

Rating: 4

Review: That moment when you know you have to add all the author's books to your TBR? That. (Don't mind my hysterical laughter as my TBR lists grows increasingly out of control...) I love World War II stuff. I have a degree in history and specialized in World War II, specifically women in World War II so the cast of women in this novel was so dear to my heart. Realistic, but still satisfying to someone who needs a happy ending. (Perhaps there were a few things that turned out better than they might have in real life, but I love that about books.) Even though it is part of a series, I didn't feel lost at all, only very curious about the rest of the books! It's low on romance, but I expected that so it didn't bother me. Definitely recommend it if you're into historical books and especially World War II and resistance stuff (Me me me!!)

Sex - 0
Language - 0
Violence - 2 (War stuff, work camp stuff, injuries, etc. Nothing too graphic but its definitely there throughout the book)
Preachy - 1 (It's woven in perfectly with the narration and never out of place or overbearing)
Overall rating - PG-13

See the other 2014 Whitney Nominees here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Robyn Reviews: THE HUSBAND MAKER by Karey White

From AmazonCharlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one.  
Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?  
When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Length: 258 pgs

Rating: 4

Review: Spoiler Alert: you must read all three of the books in the series to get to the happy ending. 

I gave this book 4 stars because I got the end of the book and the story was not finished. This is a three book series and I feel that it should have been written as a 3-part novel. I read all three books and Charlotte's story is definitely worth reading three novels to find out who she ends ups with. 
In The Husband Maker, all of Charlotte’s boyfriends end up marrying he next girl they date. She goes to all of their weddings and tortures herself in the name of being friendly. Her best friend, Angus is always here to pickup the pieces. It is obvious that Angus is in love with Charlotte and wants to be with her. Right away, I was drawn into the story and felt for Charlotte in all her embarrassing moments and heartbreaks. I even got frustrated with her that she was so blind to the obvious. I liked Kyle. He was a good guy who thought he loved Charlotte and wanted to be with her. There was great interaction with Kyle and his family. I really liked Kyle's mom; she was a sweetheart. The best thing about this book was that the guy she didn't end up with wasn't a bad guy, just not the right one for her. I was actually torn between wanting her to wake up and see Angus as a man instead of as a friend and making things work with Kyle. I felt her longing to be married and have a family. Charlotte’s story is full of love, family and friends. It is full of hard choices and happy funny moments. I liked her story a lot, I was just surprised when I got to the end and it wasn't finished and I ‘had’ to read two more books to complete her quest for a husband. This is a clean, sweet romance with lots of love and a little heartache. If you like series and romance, then this one is for you. 

Sex - 0
Language - 0
Violence - 0
Overall Rating - PG (for adult romance and relationship themes) 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Whitney Finalist Spotlight Review: REMAKE by Ilima Todd (YA Speculative Fiction)

From Shadow MountainImagine a future without family. 
Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day—her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian, Speculative Fiction
Length: 304 pages

Rating: 4+

Review: A while back my husband watched this Christian dystopian movie. It was kinda crazy and weird, and I posted about it on Twitter. Ilima tweeted me back that she was worried about why I thought it was weird since her book REMAKE had a Christian dystopian theme.

Don't worry. REMAKE is anything but weird. I loved it. It was so goofy to me to consider Nine changing her gender by choice because anyone could be what they want, but Ilima set it up to be exactly that. A really great, imagine if scenario that, considering the way human culture works right now, is not actually that far fetched. And it's brilliantly set up in my opinion. I got the world. I got the culture. And then Nine gets plopped down into the middle of something we all know--families.

I adored this family theme. I adored the way Nine discovered her femininity and strength. How she discovered her family.

The only thing that I sort of shrugged at (the only reason I didn't rate it a full five) is that the stakes are pretty different from most books in the genre. And it wasn't in a bad way exactly. (Let's be honest, when I read dystopian, I'm cringing at every every-day comfort they don't have...) Things definitely got crazy, but I never got a sense that things were unsolvable.

My favorite line; I have to share. "You're not a mistake. [...] Sometimes I think you're the most deliberate thing I've ever seen. The rest of us are just shadows of what could be."

Loved this book.

Sex - 2+ (Much of theme surrounds choosing a gender and the differences, so there's discussion, in an absolutely tasteful and mild way, of gender differences, especially as Nine begins to notice her own changes.*)
Violence - 1
Language - 0
Overall Rating - PG

*For instance, I usually highlight or make note of content I feel needs noting. I made no notes in this book.

Check out the other 2014 Whitney Finalists here.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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