Saturday, April 15, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1)Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a historical christian read with a lot of humor, run out and grab a copy of this book today!!

I may be mistaken but I'm pretty sure I've never read anything by Jen Turano prior to picking this one up to read. I am already anxiously awaiting the next story in this series as I love the style of writing Jen uses to convey her story. The humor in the book is very appropriate and a few times I even found myself snorting because the situation was so funny! Sometimes, they are even subtly funny, which to me makes it even more interesting.

Miss Permilia Griswold is a known wallflower in social circles. She bumbles through events and then faces the wrath of her step-mother and step-sister. They simply don't understand why Permilia insists on being frugal with her purchases, especially when it comes to social attire!! Imagine Miss Permilia's horror when Asher Rutherford comes here way at the largest social event of the year, held at the Vanderbilt mansion! Of course, she loses all sense of polite society graces and actually appears that she may have insulted the greatest fashion merchant in the area. Something really attracts Asher to Permilia and she to him and they find themselves dancing. Permilia manages to blunder through that as well and can only save Asher's reputation by composing an article utilizing her secret talents as Ms. Quill.

During a rather daring adventure during the Vanderbilt event, Permilia finds herself in a predicament, overhearing a plot that could change many events in coming days. How will she protect those she cares about?

There were so many elements in this book that made it extremely enjoyable. As previously mentioned, I loved the humor scattered throughout. Without trying to spoil too much, during a scene with the Huxley sisters, I couldn't help but think of a Miranda Lambert song ("Mama's Broken Heart"--even though the storyline of the song did not match their story) and it made a very serious situation a little humorous to me. I also loved the adventure scattered throughout this story. Permilia is full of sass and is surely a very independent woman of her time. The romance is subtle but the forces of attraction are very strong.

I would recommend this book to lovers of historical christian fiction who enjoy humor and romance. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!!

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishing and Jen Turano for providing a complimentary review copy of this book through NetGalley. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

View all my reviews

Friday, April 7, 2017

Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow

Andi Saddles Up (Circle C Stepping Stones #1)Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's Andi's birthday and what she wants most is to have a new saddle for her horse, Taffy. She also wants to be able to ride her horse whenever and wherever she wants. She's opening her gifts and there isn't a new saddle anywhere among those gifts.

After awhile, Andi's brother calls from the barn and Andi sees a brand new saddle on her horse. Then her brother, Chad, takes her on a ride and shows her a spot she can call her own. Andi is so excited about this serene spot that Chad has shared with her and she spends hours there. During one particular day there, Andi hears someone riding up and sees a young girl about the same age as she. Andi hops down from the tree she's in to find out her new friend's name is Sadie. There's a problem though...Sadie is the daughter of the sheep herder across the way that is causing her family some issues with their land. Andi doesn't let that stop her from befriending the young girl.

Andi loves being able to ride her horse to her special spot and to meet up with her new friend there. One day, Andi learns that Sadie can ride bareback and do tricks on her horse. Andi has always wanted to learn to do that!! Sadie begins to show Andi how to do these tricks when something terrible happens. How will the families deal with this tragedy? Can peace ever be restored?

I recommend this book to young readers. There are many valuable lessons presented in this book that apply to today's kids, even though this happened back in the 1800's. It will also give a brief glimpse into what life was like 'back then'. I love how Andi and her family are not afraid to express their beliefs as well. We need more books like this one for our youth of today!!

Many thanks to Susan K. Marlow and Kregel Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book to review. All thoughts and recommendations are my own in this writing.

View all my reviews

Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow

Andi Under the Big Top (Circle C Stepping Stones #2)Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Andi is super excited as she sees all the posters going up around town about the upcoming circus. She's never been to the circus before, at least not that she remembers, until her older siblings remind her of the clowns. Suddenly, going to the circus doesn't have quite the thrill it once did, but Andi is still super excited to go!

Andi is in awe as she sees trick riders with their horses. One horse even looks like Taffy! Andi does wonder why the horses are not a matching pair but that thought quickly goes away when Miss Minnie Mae looks Andi's direction and waves. She's the coolest trick horse rider around!

Henry is a wee lad who is working in the circus. He befriends Andi and her siblings and Andi learns that he has a family. Andi also learns that his family is his aunt and uncle. Henry didn't want to work on their farm so he ran away and joined the circus. Henry quickly learned that circus life wasn't all that great and that some people were really mean. Henry misses his family dearly and wants to go back but cannot afford the train ticket home. He also isn't sure his aunt and uncle would want him back.

Good thing Andi has a brother who's an attorney!! Andi shares Henry's story with her brother and wheels start moving. Will Henry ever be able to go back home? What will Andi think of the circus?

I love that this book was written for youngsters from a historical perspective. There just aren't enough books out there covering these time periods for today's youth. I also love how this book does have a slight, but not overbearing, religious tone to it. It's obvious that Andi and her family are believers. I would highly recommend this book to young readers as it will give them a great story with historical perspective.

Many thanks to Kregel Publishing and Susan K. Marlowfor providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. These thoughts and recommendation are entirely my own.

View all my reviews