Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: my stubborn heart ... 5/5

I loved this book. I cannot say it any other way. The main character, Kate Donovan, is a woman who thinks that marriage and kids are not God's will for her life. She also thinks that good looking men are out of her league (or not worth the trouble). Enter the good looking man. Matt Jarreau is a hockey star who hung up his skates when his wife died. He has completely withdrawn from life. He has been hired by Kate's Gran to renovate the family home. He anticipates working in peace and quiet. But Kate and Gran have other ideas. Kate constantly works beside him (even with his not so subtle hints that she should leave). But she is on a mission to heal him. 

The book is wonderful and funny and really well written. Kate is a very secure, warm and loving individual with just a few insecurities to give her character. Matt Jarreau is a great guy who is buried under a mountain of grief. He comes alive bit by bit and at the end he is the man that God meant him to be. There is an elderly gentleman in the book who has a major crush on  one of gran's lady friends. He bribes Kate into helping him get a date and it is hilarious what she has to go through to get him the date.

Publisher page for my stubborn heart

Back page:

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.

Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not. 

When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Book Review: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning ... 3/5

Every once in a while I come across a romance where I don't identify with the characters. And I think it may be that they are just people I would not understand in real life. In this case the heroine Lucy Banning has a thirst for knowledge and loves learning in a time when learning for women was discouraged. She goes behind her fiancee's and parent's backs in order to pursue her goal of a degree. She calculates and plans how to escape notice. I think her goal was noble and in the end people understood that this is what she wanted to do. But it just seemed dishonest.

However, the book was really well written. I loved the setting in Chicago months before the world fair opened. I also loved how the Lucy's ex-fiancee's suffered from a mental illness and how it was portrayed and dealt with within the family. Lucy showed great compassion in going to the rescue of him, after he had stalked her and tried to kidnap her. I will look for Olivia Newport's next book to see if I can relate to those characters better.

I also love the cover picture... =)

Publisher's page about The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

Back Cover:
She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?
Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.
When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?
Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago's high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".