Saturday, May 23, 2015

Novella Review: A December Bride by Denise Hunter

Title: A December Bride

Series: A Year of Weddings Novella (#1)

Author: Denise Hunter

Publish Date: November 26, 2013

Genre: Clean Adult Romance Novella

Why I Read this Book: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.


About Book 1 (from Goodreads):  

What started as a whim turned into an accidental - and very public - engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O'Reilly's ex-fiance would be the last person she'd marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she'll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she's landed her client. For Layla, it's the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it's his last chance to win her heart. 


A December Bride is such a sweet romance story. A fake engagement turns into... well you will have to see when you read the novella.

This novella series is a collection of clean adult romance novellas, which are each written by a different author. I love these types of novella series. I read this novella for the first time during the October 2014 Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.  I was busy at the time and did not get to review the novella. I re-read this novella recently.

An interesting aspect to the novella is that previous events that influence the current story are slowly revealed throughout the novella.  So at first you do not know much about the previous relationships of the characters and this lead me to want to read more of the story.

This clean adult romance is perfect for anyone.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: Any

Overall Rating: 5/5

Friday, May 22, 2015

Participation Announcement: Booking Through Summer Reading Challenge

Booking Through Summer Reading Challenge
I am happy to announce that I will be participating in the Booking Through Summer Reading Challenge which is hosted by kimberlyfaye reads and BookNerd Betsy. This challenge is reminiscent of the Book It Reading Challenges that school age kids would participate in over the summer. 

This challenge takes place from Memorial Day to Labor Day and you can enter daily to read prizes by linking up reviews that you have written (either at Goodreads, a major retailer's website, or on your blog) of books that you have read throughout the summer. In addition to these prizes, there will also be weekly challenge hosts that will give away prizes associated with there challenge. How cool is that? You get to do what you love and sign up for a chance to win prizes!

You can find more information about the reading challenge here and here at the hosts' blogs. You can also sign up to participate in this challenge. I know you want to :)

Are you participating in this reading challenge? What books are you most likely reading this summer? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet me at @blog_gal

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp

Title: I Still Believe

Authors: Jeremy Camp

Publish Date: September 5, 2011

Genre: Christian Nonfiction, Inspirational, Autobiography

Why I Read this Book: Jeremy Camp is one of my favorite Christian contemporary singers. I enjoy the lyrics in his songs. My husband had previously read this book and begged me to read it. I began this book during Dewey's 24 Hour readathon.



About the Book (from Goodreads):  

A leading artist on the contemporary Christian scene, Jeremy Camp has gained a sizable fan following. I Still Believe follows Jeremy's life from growing up in Indiana and his struggles as a teen, to his love for his first wife Melissa and her untimely passing, to his growing music ministry and re-found hope and love in his wife Adrienne. "We have choices when life hits us with tragedy or despair, crisis or loss. That's the message of Jeremy Camp's books, and it's the reason you will find hope and healing by journeying through the pages of this story."

Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, from the Foreword


This book was so inspirational. Jeremy Camp has went through a lot of tribulation, but has survived by knowing that God is loving. For those who do not know, Jeremy Camp's first wife, Melissa, died from cancer very shortly after they got married. This book shows how his parents became Christians and his struggles during his teenage years, how he grew in his faith due to his first wife's passing, and how he came to love his second wife, Adrienne.

For me, this book encouraged me that God is always with you even when you are suffering, everything happens for a reason (God's plan), and that God always wants the best for us. This is a must read!

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 12+ for very real emotions

Overall Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Release Day Review: The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Title: The Choosing

Series: Seer (Book 1)

Authors: Deborah Raney

Publish Date: May 19, 2015

Genre: Christian Dystopian

Why I Read this Book: I received this book from the publisher (Tyndale House) in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.


About the Book (from Goodreads):  

“Not to be Chosen would yield a cruel fate of my own making.”

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority. 

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within. 

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

About the Book from the Author:


This book was nothing like I expected. I have read several of her Father's books (Ted Dekker) and I have loved them, but Rachelle Dekker brings something new to the table. I have wished for a long time to find a Christian Dystopian novel and was excited to see this book available for review from Tyndale House.

I expected the typical Dystopian novel, but this book brought so much more. There is an underlying message of worth and where your worth comes from. The underlying Christian themes reminded my of God's love for all of His children. It made me feel whole and wanted by a loving God.

In many Dystopian novels, you are left with a feeling of loss and sadness. Many dystopian novels do not have a happy ending, but instead leave you feeling depressed. The Choosing is different.  Although there are dark themes throughout the book, the overall feeling is happiness and hope.

The Choosing is an action packed novel set in a world where a woman's worth comes from being chosen to be a wife. Carrington, the main female character, is shown that there may be more to life than just being chosen and that there may be another way to evaluate her worth.

Although The Choosing was somewhat predictable, the underlying message of the novel and the story in general was exciting, fast-paced, and incredibly enjoyable.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a different kind of Dystopian novel, one filled with hope without lacking any of the action that we Dystopian lovers enjoy.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 13+ for dark themes

Overall Rating: 5/5

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

Bout of Books

Last week was Bout of Books 13. Bout of Books is a week long, low pressure readathon.  Here is the official blurb about the readathon:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
This post is my wrap-up post so I will be talking about all I accomplished during the read-a-thon and my thoughts.

I was able to complete 2 challenges from last week, Character Face-Off and Book Haiku. I also finished reading two books that I began before the readathon, A January Bride and Pool of Echoes.  I have already reviewed Pool of Echoes and my review can be found here. I enjoyed A January Bride (5/5 stars) and I have my review for this book scheduled for May 27. 

I also started and completed The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I will also review this book soon on my blog.

Finally, I started Choosen by Rachelle Dekker and I am loving this book! This book will be released tomorrow. I will have a review up for this book before the end of the month.

I loved all of the books that I read during the readathon and I enjoyed the challenges that I was able to participate in. I cannot wait for the next Bout of Books.