Monday, May 13, 2013

Review: The Guardian by Beverly Lewis

Book Description:

When schoolteacher Jodi Winfield goes for a morning run, the last thing she expects is to find a disheveled little girl all alone on the side of the Pennsylvania road, clad only in her undergarments, her chubby cheeks streaked with tears. Jodi takes the preschooler home with her, intending to find out where she belongs. But Jodi is mystified when no one seems to know of a missing child, and the girl herself is no help, since she can't speak a word of English. It's as if the child appeared out of nowhere.

As the days pass, Jodi becomes increasingly attached to the mysterious girl, yet she is no closer to learning her identity. Then an unexpected opportunity brings Jodi to Hickory Hollow--and into the cloistered world of the Lancaster Old Order Amish. Might the answers lie there?

My Review:

I very much enjoyed this book. It was all that I have come to expect from Beverly Lewis and more.

I loved the way the seeming tragedy of a missing child (Sarah) brings together these two women, both struggling with grief, each in their own way. Though their lives are so very different, these unusual circumstances bring them together in a very unique friendship.

As always, the reader gets a nice taste of Amish life and theology, as well as visits with old Hickory Hollow friends like the Wise Woman.

Though part of a series, this book could very easily be read as a stand-alone too.

* I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review: Unrivaled

Book Description:

Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe's best confections, she's sure she'll come up with a recipe that will save her father's struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager--a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy’s skin.

Charlie Clarke's new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he's never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She's making his work life miserable...and making herself impossible for him to forget.

My Review:

Siri Mitchell is one of my favorite historical fiction authors, and I really expected to enjoy this book. While it was a decent story, it wasn't all that I have come to expect from Mitchell. This book lacked the rich detail and vivid descriptions that I've so enjoyed in her other books. Even with elegant balls in historic St Louis, there just wasn't enough detail to bring it to life. 
I also found it a bit difficult to relate to Lucy Kendall. For most of the book I actually found her to be beyond naive and annoying, and overall her character was just not very believable. She did not have the depth of character that I would have expected.
This is a book that had a lot of potential, but it just didn't really come together. That, being said I still won't hesitate to pick up Mitchell's next book.

*I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House.

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