The review of books on this site, are my own opinions. I have either bought these books, borrowed these books or been given an advanced reader's copy to review. I never receive any money for my personal reviews.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

Charlotte Gleason learns that her family is about to take a downturn in society. With no money and a scandal brewing with her father, she is about to be sent to America to marry a rich man. Charlotte has always had her own way and she insists that she will only marry for love. When her mother becomes ill, the decision is made for Charlotte's maid Dora to accompany her to New York instead of Charlotte's mother. During the passage across the ocean, Charlotte hatches a plan to swap identities with Dora, thus giving Dora the chance to live the life of a rich heiress. Things don't go as planned and Charlotte has a lot of obstacles to deal with and Dora has pangs of guilt from having to maintain the lie that she is Charlotte.
If you enjoy historical fiction, this is a good book for you to read. The descriptions of the clothing and the rules of society during the gilded age are very interesting to read. It was also interesting to read about the awful conditions in the slums of New York City during that time of high immigration from Europe and Asia to this new land of opportunity. I have to admit that Charlotte was more then a bit irritating at times and rather selfish. I suppose that her privileged upbringing was the main cause of her headstrong behavior, but it still irritated me. The swings between her selfishness and the generosity to help less fortunate people in spite of her own limited ability to help seemed a bit out of character. Overall I did enjoy the book very much in spite of my irritation with Charlotte's behavior.

I received this book to read and review from Bethany House Publications.

The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

Emily McCarthy is on her way to the Montana Territory. She expects to become the bride of Bart Axel, a widowed and wealthy man whom she knows nothing about. On her way to Bart's ranch, the stagecoach is stopped by a cowboy with a grudge to settle. The cowboy takes money from the lawyer in the coach, thus settling part of his grudge, and also manages to save Emily from being taken to Bart's ranch to become his bride.
After looking at the cover of this book, I was a bit reluctant to read this "cowboy" book. I'm so glad that I overcame my initial reaction and began to read this exciting story. I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this book. One scene that I especially enjoyed was the change of clothing between the cowboys and Indians. There was humor in this scene but also the message that people of different backgrounds can get along when the truth is recognized by everyone and a common good needs to be achieved. By the end of this story, I was ready to read more. I do hope that there will be additional stories with Emily and the cowboy Sullivan.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to read and review.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Thorn by Beverly Lewis

The Thorn

Book 1 of the Rose Trilogy

by Beverly Lewis

The setting is Amish country in Pennsylvania. A beautiful place where Amish people live their lives, mostly isolated from the hectic pace of cities and suburbia. This story centers on Hen, her younger sister Rose and various people in their lives who seem to have their own needs that may not be best for these two sisters who were brought up in the plain ways of the Amish. Hen has married outside of the sheltered environment of her family. After realizing that her own daughter is not getting the type of love and discipline that she experienced in her own family home, Hen wants to find a way to return to her roots and remove her daughter from the fast ways of MTV on TV and being spoiled with worldly goods. Her husband is not cooperative in any way and claims to be agnostic. Rose is friends with a boy who was adopted by the Bishop, but has never really given up his worldly ways or become a true Amish son to the Bishop. Rose is interested in a Amish young man, who has shown interest in her and wishes to court her.

I really enjoyed reading this book. There are many characters within the book who add a lot of layers and texture to the main story. I've never read any of Beverly Lewis's other books, but look forward to reading more about Hen and Rose and how their lives progress. This book is worth reading and you won't be disappointed with the characters and the story. The book has definitely left me wanting more and as far as I am concerned, that is a high recommendation for this book.

Bethany House Publishers provided an ARC for me to read and review.