Casey - Reviews

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The Accidental Bride (Big Sky,Bk 2)
The Accidental Bride (Big Sky,Bk 2)
Author: Denise Hunter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 12/21/2011


4.5 stars to a novel that completely charmed me!

Ive gotta start this review off with props to the dialogue. It has some of the best dialogue to read and is fast-paced, quick and to the point and escalates the tension so quickly! Shay comes off snarky and stubborn, but I loved her. She knows what she wants and has struggles to overcome, but deep down, she is so completely relatable. More often than not she had me giggling at something she said or did. Oh, of course she was upset with Travis when she said it, but I loved her.

Oh Travis. Travis. Travis. What a hero to fall for. He has so many excuses to get angry and walk away from his accidental marriage (Ill let you read the book, and trust me, you should. ;-) to Shay, but making up for his past mistakes to her means more to him. And his love for her melted my heart. Oh to be in Shays shoes. Sigh.

From cover to cover, I sighed. I grinned. I groaned when Shay told Travis off because she was too stubborn to accept his help and I swooned during more than one kiss.

Really what it comes down to is you need to read this book. Its got just about everything it needs to be a really great romance with a plot that drives the story without stopping. A great read!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.


After All (Hanover Falls, Bk 3)
After All (Hanover Falls, Bk 3)
Author: Deborah Raney
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 5/10/2012


In the conclusion to the Hanover Falls series, I found a story riddled with the human condition. A sweet and tender love story that must test the odds. And a cast of characters, I couldnt help but care for. Its like stepping into real life, with a divine purpose to entertain.

I have to chuckle *just* a bit since a great deal of the scenes were centered around a meal of some sort with the characters; what is it about food and socialization? (wink) But its one thing that gives the novel its charm, because it carries a rich undertone of real life, while giving the reader characters they can cheer for, situations that keep us worried and wondering how they will outsmart their problems.

Having read all three books in the series in the order they were released, I have to say After All has been my favorite. It ties up some loose ends from books one and two, gives us snapshots of past characters lives and moves on with the third widow of the Hanover Falls Homeless shelters fire.

A quick read, but a fulfilling one, as it tangles and weaves life and family situations in Susan and Pete. Wonderful little subplots that keep the story focused.

A great way to end a good series. Now, this reader wants to knowwhats next?

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publisher for my copy to review.


All Things New
All Things New
Author: Lynn Austin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/11/2012
Helpful Score: 3


In a time when its more popular to write a novel about the lives of Antebellum plantations during the Civil War, All Things New begins at the end of the war and continues into the late months of that same year.

I will admit to wondering what the point of the novel was going to be in the first couple of chapters, but once I read past the preliminary set up, I was taken into a world completely far from my own. Its a devastated South with plantations families that have been destroyed, their lively hoods gone. Their past rising to haunt them, with no money or threats to keep things quiet. To imagine once having so much power and now having it stripped away as though it never existed except you have to live in the evidence.

This novel gives a windows view from the newly freed slaves, a young woman forced into a new identity, or maybe just discovering Christs identity for her and an aristocratic mother who cant release her past.

The different threads and layers of the story made for a great plot. The subtle taste of romance was just enough added incentive for me to become that much more invested. I was taken into 19th century Southern culture, for it truly was a culture, a way of living completely upended. This novel shows it so well. The reader will only continue to find hidden depths.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.


All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
Author: Betsy St. Amant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 9/10/2014


Definitely a sweet-tooth worthy surprise!

Alls Fair in Love and Cupcakes had one of those sweet heroes that literally made my hopeless romantic heart go pitter-patter. Lucas loves Kat with a beautiful, sacrificial love that is stuck in limbo between best friends and something more. I couldnt help but ache for him just a little and wish he would walk off the pages of the book and be the boy next door.

Between the combination of sugary cupcake sweetness and kisses that would make any girl swoon, this novel did nothing short of entertain and delight me from beginning to end. Sassy humor with a spunky story line, I cheered for Kat and wanted her to see her dream come trueand yet realize that love was directly in front of herif she would only open up her eyes and her mouth to communicate it! Much can be said for the romantic tension, but Ill leave it at that for now.

Kat is loveable and sweet, though she has her faults and I anxiously counted the pages until she realized its not just about the cupcakes, it has never been just about the cupcakes.
I loved the themes threading through the book and the sacrificial surrender of each of the characters in the end, in the face of their ultimate desire.

All together, thumbs up and I will eagerly wait for more!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers and Litfuse for my copy to review.


Almost Amish
Almost Amish
Author: Kathryn Cushman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 7/9/2012


The minute I read the back cover copy of this novel I loved it. A modern family enters a reality television show to become almost Amish.. Love that premise and the novel pretty much followed what I expected, in both story and quality.

I loved Julies heart. She is a woman every house wife in America can relate to. I immediately sympathized with her situation and hopeless driftlessness in it all. The only thing I wish was that the dynamic between her and her husband had been brought into the story in a stronger aspect.

I now own and have read all of the authors novels to date and let me say this: I love her stories. Each word effortless slides into the next and the next, stringing a story that takes no energy to read. I simply have to turn the pages and join the world of the characters. Setting, emotions, character portrayal and situations are all great.

I thought the middle sagged just a tiny bit. At times I was wondering what was going to happen, but thought the showing of the character growth (and sometimes not) was great through this entire part.

Character growth was genuine. So often in a novel, to find that tidy ending, events are rushed or feel fake. Nope. All good on that front here.

All in all, I really enjoyed the novel. And maybeI really dont want to become Amish like I thought. (wink)

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.


Almost Like Being in Love (Destination Wedding, Bk 2)
Almost Like Being in Love (Destination Wedding, Bk 2)
Author: Beth K. Vogt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/4/2016


Almost Like Being in Love is truly a delightful and captivating read. A novel that is all but impossible to put down with characters that invite you in to discover their story. This one should not be missed this summer for fans of Christian romance.

The subtleties and intricacies that are woven through the characterization and storytelling jump this book into life with true-to-life characters that feel as real as your next door neighbor.

Dialogue is witty and pinched with sass, story world is vibrant and Caron and Kade's romance tap dance a believable rhythm of "will they or won't they?"

I'm a lover of the nontraditional romance. The kind that isn't just all about guy getting, losing and finally getting the girl. Almost Like Being in Love blends complicated questions and characters, with answers that demands the reader jump with both feet into the story to find the answers right along with the characters. I was captivated. Charmed. Emotionally drawn and tethered. A recommended read this summer and any season!


Always the Designer, Never the Bride (Another Emma Rae Creation, Bk 3)
Review Date: 3/27/2012
Helpful Score: 2


There is something about the Emma Rae collection of fiction novels that makes me smile, giggle and upon the close of that last page, give just a tiny sigh delight and comfortlike enjoying a yummy plate of your favorite desert. Decadent, with just the right amount of fluff and sweet.

Oh there isnt much to worry about, but having an old fashioned good time with this latest installment in the Emma Rae collection. Audrey is such a loveable, quirky character and one that you just cant help but cheer for. A totally loveable ensemble of characters, including a little girl in pink cowgirl books put a smile on my face and joy in the moment spent reading their story.

I would definitely advise the reader to pick up the previous two novels in this collection. Just as much a hoot (though the first remains my fav), you will be better able to track the large ensemble cast. There were times I thought the cast a bit too large, but as the book continued, I separated them better.

More than one yummy kiss, some tasty entrees, gorgeous wedding gowns and just a quirky, light read, its a chick lit/romantic comedy Id definitely point readers toward.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.


Baroness (Daughters of Fortune, Bk 2)
Baroness (Daughters of Fortune, Bk 2)
Author: Susan May Warren
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/11/2012


What a drama!

That was the only thought running through my head on the close of that last page. And the drama isnt ending any time soon!

Baroness picks up on the heels that Heiress left off. Though not a specific requirement that the reader have read book one before two, youll appreciate characters and their situations greater if you have.

Only Susan May Warren can take 361 pages and PACK it jam-full of angst, character depth, emotional turmoil and span several years and *not* give the reader whiplash.

The two story lines between Rosie and Lilly start together, diverge in the middle and eventually come back together. What happens in between is not for the faint of heart reader. There were moments when Lilly wing-walked that my heart literally dropped out of my chest.

Rosies story pierced my soul and I felt deeply for the struggles she walked through, trying to discover herself and since the third book is still about her journey, Im eager to know what will happen with this lost woman.

Cover to cover, the historical is a great novel. Never slows down, keeps a consistent pace the entire book through and like I said at the topwhat a drama! Not a slick soap opera drama, just the story of life. And how God takes our drama and uses it to mold, shape and guide us. I cant wait to find out what happens to Rosie!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.


Be Still My Soul (Cadence of Grace, Bk 1)
Be Still My Soul (Cadence of Grace, Bk 1)
Author: Joanne Bischof
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/12/2012


Its a mountain romance with a very interesting twistbecause technically the reader isnt inclined to like the hero.

How do you enjoy reading a romance where the hero is completely unlikeable? Surprisingly enough, that is exactly what I did: greatly enjoyed this novel. Its an unconventional romance, but one the reader is aware of when they start the book. Honesty with the reader is so key in a novel where the norm is far from the expected and it kept me from becoming overly frustrated with this young man.

The plot is one reason I loved the novel so much. The unexpected takes an ordinary setting, a tried and true plot and crafts it captivating.

Be Still My Soul is a quick read, but a fulfilling one. The Blue Ridge Mountains make for a great backdrop for our characters struggles, contributing to their hardship, but also how they handle them. And I loved these characters. I know, I know a hero you cant like, you ask? Read the book, I promise youll find something in Gideon to love, I know I did. By the end of the last page, I held every confidence in this young couple. That to me, is writing at some of its finest. Take a character you cant love and believably change them before the end of the novel? Youll have to read the book to see for yourself. I dont think youll be disappointed.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my advance copy to review.


Beyond Molasses Creek
Beyond Molasses Creek
Author: Nicole Seitz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/21/2012


From the first hundred or so pages of the novel, I wasnt exactly sure where the plot was going. But the writing and characters were intriguing and I wanted to see what would bring them together in a unique telling. After those first a hundred or so pages, the story that came upon me, kept me turning the pages to the climax.

The novel is a masterful writing creation. Its a bit slow in the beginning, but once youve read through to the end, everything in the start completely falls into place and I could be nothing but in awe of all the little details set in place.

There is poetry to the writing and a style that lends to be more graceful and not as hard-edged or fast paced and more of a literary style. Im not sure I am completely in love with it, but at the same time, I appreciate it and it fit the story very well.

I hate to say too much in this review for fear of giving away too many details, but I can say that I loved Ally characterization. She started out hard-edged in the beginning, but seemed to be embracing Gods love in the end. I didnt like a certain action she did in the end, at the same time I can understand it I just dont agree with it.

All in all, its a good novel. Crafted exceptionally well, written in a style that keeps the reader moving forward and never stale in the motion of the characters or story.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse for my copy to review.


Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege, Bk 1)
Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege, Bk 1)
Author: Jessica Dotta
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 9/2/2013


They say that the first page sells the book and the last page sells the next book. That is pretty much 100% truth to describe my response to Born of Persuasion.

I wasnt completely sure about the novel within the first 100 pages. I loved that it was in first person and I was growing to know this character on an intimate level, but the description did start to weigh the story down, in my opinion. Once that first third of the book was crested, however, I couldnt stop for the reading of it and the last two thirds of the book did truly sell me on reading the second release.

Written very much in a Jane Austen style, what I especially appreciated about this title was realism of these characters. I often forgot it was a historical novel, not because there werent plenty of descriptions for their period, but because these characters came alive with struggles that even the modern girl can relate too.

At times over dramatic, the romance is ardent, the writing engaging and the story depth not even a little bit shallow. This will definitely be a sequential series and Im curious to what will happen with Julia. She certainly doesnt have a neat and tidy story life that is for sure.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.


A Bouquet of Love (Weddings by Design, Bk 4)
A Bouquet of Love (Weddings by Design, Bk 4)
Author: Janice Thompson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/11/2014


A story well worth the time to giggle over, A Bouquet of Love is a sweet and simple story with some zingy (and zany!) characters sure to entertain and make it very worth the readers while-at least this reader!

Cassia and Alex are a yummy coupleand I dont say that just because their loyalties lie around good food and restaurants, though the strong clash between the Pappas and Rossis certainly make for some comedic and tension worthy moments.

I love a good romantic comedy. Elements of the ridiculous coupled with a duo you can cheer and root for, not to mention plenty of opportunities for comedic relief, the book was great at keeping me on my toes and still laughing.

Sometimes its just nice to relax with a book that will take you away. Remind me of the sweet and the hilarious. Remind me to take that time and find the laughter and joy in a day. And oftentimes its found in the hands of a book like this. A laughable, enjoyable, funny romantic comedy set around a hilarious and boisterous family we all love in the big Rossi clan. Because really, who doesnt want to sit around and stuff themselves on cheesy pizza and watch the love between a cute couple? Pass me another slice!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.


A Bride for Keeps (Bride for Keeps, Bk 1)
A Bride for Keeps (Bride for Keeps, Bk 1)
Author: Melissa Jagears
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 10/9/2013


Since I was old enough to read Christian fiction, mail order bride stories have been one of my first loves. Fostered through Al and Joanna Lacy and Janette Oke, if it said mail order bride it didnt take me too long to think about reading it and the same still holds true to this day. But could you image ordering three bridesand all of them picking a different spouse? Oh I cringed for the hero for such is his lot.

Julia is an interesting and at times, confusing character. Her angst goes deep and needed much tender love, which Everett learns to give to her, however she at times confused me. A façade that seemed happy and cheerful when viewed from other characters, but timid and fearful when we saw the world from her eyes. The extremes were so distant I had a hard time reconciling the two, though it became a smoother transition the further I read.

I think what I missed the most in this particular title was the lack of a subplot. I would have loved to see more depth added by weaving in another characters story.

Otherwise, the story is a sweet and simple love tangle about characters the reader quickly grows to care for.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.


A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California
Author: Keli Gwyn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 7/10/2012


A book for the heart. A Bride Opens Shop has a cast of characters to adore, situations to inspire conflict and a love romance that will blossom in the heart of even the most reticent of participants.

Tildy. Oh. My. Goodness. What a little girl. She had me giggling by the first time I met her and sharing her witty tidbits with my family. Elenora is a very determined woman. Nothing is going to get in her way, especially Miles. Her drive at times got her into trouble, physically and emotionally. Watching her bloom was a pleasure and at times I thought moved too gradually, but read further into the novel and youll see as I did that all was preparation for crafting her character.

Elenora and Miles are very proper young people with backstories rich in conflict. Each background played a strong role in the story and how they accepted each other in their romance.

Between Tildy, the romance and the feuding mercantiles, the story was kept lively and enjoyable with something always going to happen. The ending was absolutely charming. I loved it most of all and once youve watched these characters grow together, I have no doubt it will be your favorite part of the novel as well!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.


Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California
Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California
Author: Erica Vetsch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 11/19/2012


Oh sweet romance, what a pleasure you are to indulge in.

Yes, I am emotionally passionate reader. I liked the romance of Julie Lessman and Laura Frantz, but a sweet romance such as this title makes me just as happy and satisfied. A compelling time period matched with equally as compelling characters and I found a sweet, enjoyable story that warmed my heart to read.

One thing I loved: Meghans spunk. I wish I had just a little dose of her spirit in dealing with difficult situations. Caleb is a complex (and frustrating) character, one that I wished would simply share what was wrong with his situation and why he hadnt enlisted in the war. But then, as I so often like to instruct my dad in these kind of novel situations: then you wouldnt have a story.

And what a fun story it is! Needles must be one *hot* place, because I felt the oven baking heat through the entire book. I enjoyed the glimpse into the life of a Harvey girl and the devastating calamity of an influenza outbreak.

Truly? A wonderful book to add to my collection. Its charming and sweet of course, but lively and spunky. The romance is a forbidden one that drives the characters all the further toward resolution until it seems quite impossible.

Heartwarming story telling from page one.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publisher for my copy to review.


A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee
A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee
Author: Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 8/12/2012


I do think this novel might be my latest cute novel find. A sweet romance with characters that had me chuckling and loving their antics upon the page, was the perfect end to my restful Sunday, while also completely entertaining me.

I have to give a bit of attention to the most unique character names I think Ive ever read. Heaven and Angel threw me once in a while, thinking I was reading a cliché instead of a name, but I loved the little twists given their names for the enjoyment of the reader.

I loved the light-hearted side of this novel. Yes, there were serious issues the characters tackled; its not comedy by any means, but some of the characters thought processes and their excellent dialogue had me chuckling.

Angel just might be my favorite character in the story. What the little girl lacks in sight, she more than makes up for in wit. What a pistol.

Heaven and Travis have great chemistry on the page and their dialogue was great. Their story is a quick read, but one that took me out of the everyday stress of my life and gave me welcome, pleasure-filled time amongst the pages. A good score for this newest Barbour line!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.


The Bridesmaid (Home to Hickory Hollow, Bk 2)
The Bridesmaid (Home to Hickory Hollow, Bk 2)
Author: Beverly Lewis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/3/2012


The Bridesmaid is more than just a story about a young woman who cant find love in her future, its a story of trust and faith that Gods best is more wonderful than anything we can orchestrate in our own control.

I will have to admit here at the start of my review, that Ive been a bit disappointed with the last couple books Ive read by this author. Im afraid this title failed to sweep me into the Amish world as previous titles have. While a love story is always timeless, I think the plot moved too slowly to truly capture meand I confess to skimming.

Ive loved many of the Amish books in the past, several series fill my keeper shelves, but this title and the one preceding it havent entertained me as I expected them too.

I can say I thought the uniqueness of Joanna and Ebens interests made them different in the genre of Amish fiction and how they overcame their struggles to triumphs was fulfilling.

I am truly sorry to say this book disappointed me. Its with no malice, only grievance that I say as much and I hopeI know there will be other readers more taken than me.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for an ARC to review.


A Broken Kind of Beautiful
A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Author: Katie Ganshert
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/14/2014


There are many reasons why, as a reader, I should not have cared for Ivy. Reasons I would agree with and could say she is not the easiest heroine to cuddle up with on a rainy day. But, to know Ivy, to read about her life, is truly to love her.

Characterization through this book was in a word: stellar. Davis is a rugged, tormented kind of hero. Wearing the weight of the world on his shoulders and yet holding a love for Ivy he cannot allow himself to express or explore. A hero who denies himself for the best of the heroine becomes a character every girl dreams after.

When characters are this complex, you cant rush where they start the book to where they end it. Every moment must be believable and every moment was. The writing is rich and textured, layered with meaning and emotions, beauty and depth. The title is truly perfect for the book. Beauty is fleeting. Loveliness is here but a moment, the heart, the soul of a person, pure or rotten is lasting.

Ivys transformation is like the unfolding of a beautiful flower. But I think it was the power behind Daviss forgiveness and heart transformation that tugged at my emotions the most.

Two thumbs up beginning to end. A truly beautiful story.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author for my copy to review.


The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, Bk 1)
The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, Bk 1)
Author: Kristy Cambron
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/4/2014
Helpful Score: 1


There is something truly beautiful about this Auschwitz story. I know you are thinking what I was: how in the world can a book about a terrible German concentration camp be a beautiful story? But it was. And it surprised me, in a good, good way.

Weaving present day and history is not always the easiest thing to do in fiction. But the two blended so well. Between Seras passion for this piece of art and Adeles passion for her music, there is much room for parallels and symbolism.

Sera and Adele are two extremely strong and vulnerable heroines. To watch them walk through their struggles is heart breaking and yet manages to put all the pieces of your heart back together by the time the story has come to a close.
The voice of the w
ords on the page sweeps you away. I was enthralled and wanted to take each little bit slowly to soak it all in. Again, its a topic you do not think could be painted with grace and beauty and yet it is. And in that beauty, is great heartbreak for the reader to realize just what all is behind these words. The stories behind these people who truly lived through Auschwitz (though this book is pure fiction).

Over all, I admire the book and its ability to tell a great story. Recommended most definitely!

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Litfuse Publicity for my copy to review.


Catch a Falling Star
Catch a Falling Star
Author: Beth K. Vogt
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 12/29/2012


Beth Vogts debut novel Wish You Were Here was great. A good story.

Catch a Falling Starsuperb.

I couldnt put the novel down. Could. Not. I dont have stronger words to describe how much this novel captured meoh wait Ill say this: I could have dealt with one or five more of those kisses

Beth Vogt has hit her sweet spot. Talk about a great story! (I really need a stronger arsenal of vivid descriptors for novels I love). Griffin and Kendall are characters that go deep in their characterization. The dialogueoh the dialogue! Snappy, quick and perfect for every single moment. I dont think one word was wasted, each one built upon the other to create a story soso wonderful to spend time reading, I couldnt put it down. Oh, wait, Ive already said that.

Characters are great. Writing is superb. Themes are clearly evident and excellently woven through the story. Descriptions take you right into the heart of the story while not distracting anything from it. I have a feeling THIS is the voice, people are going to love discovering on book shelves. And talk about a romance. I dont think it can get much betterexcept, I could have had a few more kisses. (broken record, yeah I know, whats your point?)

Oh sighdo I have to shut up now? I really could go on and onlet me say this: I had an advance ecopy. Im going to buy the book. And get it autographed.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through Netgalley for my copy to review.


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