Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: Tortitude: The BIG Book of Cats with a BIG Attitude by Ingrid King

Explore the wonderful world of tortoiseshell cats and tortoiseshell cat behavior

Tortie cat behavior: With about 2 million tortoiseshell cats in the United States, these special felines tend to be strong-willed, a bit hot-tempered, and often very possessive of their humans. Other words used to describe torties are fiercely independent, feisty and unpredictable. In Tortitude: The BIG Book About Cats With a BIG Attitude, cat expert Ingrid King (The Conscious Cat) brings her professional and personal experience to explore why these cats are so special. With expert insights combined with stunning photography and passages dedicated to the cats and their passionate guardians, King offers a new perspective on these exceptional cats.

My Review:

I have been a follower of The Conscious Cat Blog for years.  The cat tips, advice and product reviews are always very helpful.  I also enjoy hearing about Ruby and Allegra's antics.  I was also first introduced to the term "tortitude" through the blog.

I had a slight idea what tortitude was, but I found out first hand when I adopted my new little girl Honolulu "Lulu".  When I was presented with a chance to read this book, I got really excited.  It was much more than I expected.  The book is filled with lots of beautiful cat photos, quotes and lots of interesting information about tortoiseshell cats.

This book is a must read for anyone who has ever been loved by one these special cats with their unique personalities.

Purchase: Tortitude: The BIG Book of Cats with a BIG Attitude by Ingrid King   

Meet my little tortitude girl, Honolulu "Lulu"

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: Carrigan Christmas Reunion by CJ Carmichael

Wren’s most perfect Christmas ever is turning into a nightmare. The Carrigan family is in chaos with various medical issues, no one has put up the tree or done any Christmas baking. The only bright spot is Harris Quinby, a ranch hand at the Circle C, who manages to be there for Wren every time her family lets her down.

Harris Quinby has never forgotten the summer Wren spent on her grandfather’s ranch when she was fourteen and he was sixteen. She’d changed his life that month, and now he finally has the chance to thank her…but what if he falls in love with her instead?

Spend Christmas with the Carrigan family at the Circle C Ranch in Montana 

My Review: 

An emotional reunion.

All Wren Bishop wanted was to go home and spend time with her family.  She thought this would be the best Christmas ever.  It turned out to be anything but that.  Her family was plagued by illnesses and stress.  And, her Boyfriend decides not to join her as they had planned.  But, Wren did reunite with her old friend Harris Quinby, who still works at the ranch.   Wren had a huge crush on Harris when she was only 14.  He gave Wren her first kiss.  But Harris knew Wren was too young for him and backed away.  Neither of them had seen each other since then.  Now that they are both grown up, they just might have a chance at love.

This book is a short story, but it is packed with so much information, you would think it was a full length book.  Some authors just can’t get it right when they do short stories.  Information can be missing or the story feels rushed.  But, CJ Carmichael gets this right.  She didn’t miss anything.  I fully enjoyed the story and reuniting with some of my favorite characters from past books.  This is a hard book to review without giving away too many details, so I will keep it short.  All I have to say is if you have read any of the books in the Carrigans of Circle C or saw the Hallmark Channel’s version of A Bramble House Christmas, you’ll want to read this book. 

Carrigan Christmas Reunion is currently only available in e-book through Tule Publishing.

Buy your copy here: The Tule Bookshop


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Review: Something Worth Saving by Sandi Ward

Sandi Ward’s shrewdly observed, funny, and wonderfully touching novel tells of a fractured family, a teenage boy, and a remarkable cat whose loyalty knows no bounds . . .

A boy and his cat. It’s an unconventional friendship, perhaps, but for Charlie and Lily, it works beautifully. It was Charlie who chose Lily from among all the cats in the shelter. He didn’t frown, the way other humans did, when he saw her injured back leg, the legacy of a cruel previous owner. Instead, Charlie insisted on rescuing her. Now Lily wants to do the same for Charlie.

She’s the only one who’s seen the bruises on Charlie’s body. If she knew who was hurting him, she’d scratch their eyes out. But she can’t fix this by herself. Lily needs to get the rest of the family to focus on Charlie—not easy when they’re wrapped up in their own problems. Charlie’s mother kicked his father out weeks ago and has a new boyfriend who seems charming, but is still a stranger. Oldest son Kevin misses his father desperately. Victoria, Charlie’s sister, also has someone new in her life, and Lily is decidedly suspicious. Even Charlie’s father, who Lily loves dearly, is behaving strangely.

Lily knows what it’s like to feel helpless. But she also knows that you don’t always have to be the biggest or the strongest to fight fiercely for the ones you love . . .

My Review:

This is an enjoyable tale told from a cat’s point of view. 

Lily was an abused kitten who was turned over to a shelter with her siblings.  She was the last kitten adopted because she was flawed.  She had a broken leg that didn’t heal properly and she was left with a limp.  So, she knows what it’s like not to be perfect.  She adopted by a family that she has come to love and will do anything to protect.  She especially wants to help Charlie, the youngest son, after she discovers bruises on him.  Lily does her best to find out who is hurting her favorite boy.  She also shows great concern for the rest of the family.  I can’t go too much further with the details because it would give away too much of the story.  But, it is a well told tale of a broken family and a cat that is willing to do anything she can to bring them happiness again.

Even though this story is told from a cat’s perspective, I do not feel it is appropriate for younger readers because of certain subject matters.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves cats, women’s fiction or is looking for a good heartfelt story. 

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book early in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Review: Not Christmas Without You (Love on Chance Avenue Book 4) by Jane Porter

She's swearing off men, but the rules don't apply to him.

Charity Wright has a history of picking the wrong guys and has decided to swear off men for the month of December – no dates, no kisses, no holiday romance. Great idea, in theory, until she meets the man that could be her Mr. Right: Marietta native and professional baseball player Quinn.

Just out of a long-term relationship, Quinn Douglas isn’t looking for love at the Little Teton Resort, and he certainly isn’t interested in a girl from home. But now that he's met Charity, he can't get her out of his mind. Charity even has him re-thinking his career and life on the road. Is Charity the missing piece he's been looking for?

My Review: 

A beautifully written romance that I won’t soon forget.

When Charity Wright went to Little Teton Resort in Wyoming, in her friend’s place, she had no idea she would meet the man she was destined to be with.  Charity‘s last relationship ended badly and she had given up on men.  She was only looking for someone to talk to while she was at the resort.

Quinn Douglas was at Little Teton Resort to see if it was worth investing in.  He used a different name and profession because he didn’t want everyone to know he was a popular baseball player with the Seattle Mariners.  

When Charity and Quinn met, under assumed names, they formed an instant friendship where they shared a lot of personal things with each other.  In the end, they shared an unforgettable kiss.  When the weekend was over, Charity headed back to Marietta without saying goodbye to Quinn.  Charity told Quinn that she lived in Marietta during one of their talks, so he went there looking for her.  Quinn also grew up in Marietta, but didn’t know Charity.  The shock came when they met again and Charity found out who Quinn really was and Quinn found out Charity used her friend Tricia’s name while at the resort.  Charity and Quinn were total opposites. Charity grew up in a struggling family with an alcoholic father.  Quinn was popular and loved by everyone in town.  But, Quinn didn’t care about Charity’s past or upbringing.  He had fallen for her and he was willing to do anything to win her over.  He just needed to convince her that she was worthy of his love and attention. 

This book is hard for me to review without giving away too many details.  But I can say, my heart went out to Charity with everything she had gone through and how she was afraid to fall in love with Quinn.  Quinn’s tragic past is something that was visited in previous Marietta books, but it is told again in this story.  Even though this is fiction, I still couldn’t help thinking how a person would overcome what he went through.  This book is easy to read and follow and not a detail was missed.  I felt I knew the characters well and enjoyed seeing them get their happily ever after.  This book is the perfect addition to the other Marietta books and a wonderful, feel good Christmas story. 

My favorite quote: 
“Because you make me happy.  Being with you makes me happy.  And as we both know, life can be hard, and there are no guarantees, so we have to make the most of every single day we’re given.” 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review: Love Always by Carol Marinelli

After a tumultuous year, Kate Madison is hoping for an uneventful Christmas alone. When her family offers to change their plans to join her, she impulsively declares she’s headed to her family’s little cottage on the rugged Irish coast. Baile Dóch holds many cherished memories and will be an ideal Christmas retreat.

Kate is stunned to learn that her first love Liam O’Farrell has moved back to Baile Dóch. Sparks fly when they meet again and though Kate tries hard to attain her planned peaceful Christmas, Liam has other ideas that include a scorching reunion.

This time Liam’s older, wiser and sexier too.

And not inclined to lose her twice.

My Review:

A second chance with a first love, beautiful Ireland, and a Christmas story all rolled into one.  It doesn’t get much better.

Kate Madison never forgot Liam O’Farrell, the boy she met while in Ireland one summer with her family.  He was her first love.  When Kate discovers her fiancé cheating and calls off the wedding, she decides to spend her Christmas holiday alone in Ireland.  But Kate doesn’t spend the holiday alone when she finds out Liam is also single.  Catching up couldn’t get much better and Kate soon finds herself falling in love all over again.  And, that was the last thing Kate planned.  Liam told Kate from the start, he doesn’t have time for a relationship.  He’s too busy with his career.  Being a doctor in a small town doesn’t leave much free time for anything.  Will Kate and Liam be able to turn their temporary reunion into the happily ever after that they both deserve? 

I was hooked on this story from the very start and when Kate landed in Ireland and saw Liam, I knew it would only get better from there.  Second chance love stories are some of my favorites, so I really enjoyed this book.  I look forward to reading the rest of the series with Kate’s sisters too.  They played an important part in this book and I want to know more about them and learn their stories as well.  The author did a fantastic job with all of the details.  I felt like I really knew the characters when the book was over and even had great visuals of the Ireland scenery.  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance in a beautiful location.    

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Review: Wedding at Mistletoe Chalet by Dani Collins

Eager for a home-style Christmas while she considers a career shift, Kristen Benz leaps on the temporary job at Mistletoe Chalet. Soon she’s wrapping presents, trimming the tree, and helping her new boss’s tween daughter plan a Christmas Eve vow renewal for her parents. The holiday is imbued with a magical glow—especially when Kristen’s high school sweetheart appears on the doorstep.

After years of medical school, Finn Garrett has promised his parents he’ll be home for the holidays. His detour to see his first love is supposed to provide closure, not rekindle their long-ago romance.

Can a matchmaking tween and the magic of Mistletoe Chalet spark the happily ever after that eluded them in the past? 

My Review: 

A sweet second chance at romance set during Christmas time.  

When Kristen Benz decides on a career change, she takes a temporary job at Mistletoe Chalet to see if it was what she wanted to do.  The last thing she expected was to run into her old boyfriend, Finn Garrett.  Finn found out where Kristen was working and he set out to win her back.  A little bit of Christmas magic goes a long way in this story and gives Kristen and Finn the happily ever after they deserve.  

I enjoyed this book a lot.  The characters were very likable and the story flowed easily along.  The descriptions made it believable.  If you are looking for a good holiday romance, you will really enjoy this one. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review: A Marvell Country Christmas by Jeannie Watt

Murphy Anderson is coming home for Christmas…

And as soon as she arrives, she’s putting the family ranch on the market. Her plan is to get in, get out, and head back to the city, where she belongs. Growing up on the hardscrabble property next door to the prosperous Marvell Ranch, and being constantly reminded of everything she didn’t have, left her with no love for ranching, or her handsome neighbors—especially Cody Marvell, who always rubbed her the wrong way. And maybe that’s why, when Cody shows an interest in the ranch, she hesitates to sell.

Cody Marvell has a way with people...unless that person is Murphy Anderson. Cody never understood what she was dealing with when they were younger. Murphy had a hard time while growing up, with no mom and a cold-hearted father. He made some mistakes, which he now regrets. He wants her ranch, and more than that, he wants her.

When a Christmas flood makes Murphy's home uninhabitable, he invites her to stay at the Marvell Ranch. With the help of country Christmas magic, Cody hopes she'll start to see him with new eyes.

My Review:

This is a fun holiday romance about Murphy Anderson and Cody Marvell who were neighbors when they were younger.  Cody was the rich boy who lived at the ranch next to Murphy.  Murphy and her father struggled to survive and often ended up working at Marvell Ranch to make ends meet.  Murphy secretly had a crush on Cody, but he never seemed to notice her.  When Murphy’s father passes away and leaves the house to her, she plans to spend her Christmas holiday cleaning everything up and getting it ready to sell.  But, when the river rises and threatens Murphy’s safety, the only person she can call for help is Cody.  They spend Christmas together at Marvell Ranch and get to know each other better.  Could it be holiday magic that breaks down the walls between them and leads them to each other’s arms? 

I really enjoyed Murphy and Cody’s story.  They were both tough people and set in their ways.  But once they got to know each other, things quickly changed.  The story was very believable and easy to follow.  This is an all-around good book with a lot of Christmas spirit.