Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"To Win Her Favor" by Tamera Alexander {Age Warning!}

{{TO Those under the age of 15, I recommend you do not read this review or read the actual book as it is filled with marriage thoughts and actions through an arranged marriage. (read: not clean) TO everyone else interested in this book, I don’t recommend this book at all because of all the sexual content, which there is a lot of, this book has bedroom scenes and does not promote Philippians 4:8.}}   
About this book:

  “A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.
  An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.
  Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
  Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.”



Series: Book #2 in the “Belle Meade Plantation” series. {I have read & reviewed Book #1, “To Whisper Her Name”, but it looks like I never posted it! I can tell y’all that I give it 4 Stars for My Personal Rating.}


Spiritual Content- Psalm 61:3 at the beginning; Prayers; Mentions of Heaven; ‘H’s are not capital when referring to God; Scriptures are mentioned & Bible reading; Mentions of those in the Bible; Cullen isn’t a big fan of God and thinks God is cruel.
*Note: a ‘devilish’.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘bloody’ and a ‘dumb’; Curses are cut off (like “you sorry piece of—“); Hateful names are said but not written (though “n*gg*r” is said quite a few times along with “white n*gg*r”); Fist fighting (borderline semi-detailed to detailed); Violence to African American people, hanging them, burning their houses and just plain cruelty to them (semi-detailed); Blood (semi-detailed); Many mentions of slaves, freemen & the Civil War; Mentions of gambling & drinking; Mentions of tobacco; mentions of thrashings & whippings; Dead cows (semi-detailed); a sick horse (semi-detailed).


Sexual Content- Touches & Smelling (semi-detailed and goes to detailed); Noticing, staring, Imagining & checking someone out (semi-detailed up to detailed); Wanting to kiss & touch (semi-detailed to detailed); ; Hand kisses, forehead kisses & tingles; Remembering kisses (semi-detailed); five semi-detailed kisses; a Very-detailed kiss; two very-very-very detailed kisses that lead to unbuttoning clothing and a total of five hinted s*x scenes (lots of unbuttoning (semi-detailed), imagining body parts and making-out; the actual intercourse is not written); a form of ‘wanton’; Mentions of women’s curves; Men’s bare chest; Cullen says he hasn’t been with (read: in bed with) another woman since his wife’s death but there is a mentions of women who would lean over & offer “him a generous view of what was cinched beneath tightly-fitted bodices”; Many, many mentions of consummating a marriage, becoming one, sharing love not wearing clothing & being intimate with someone (Like: “Two of those union—interminable as they were—she could live with under the circumstances. But that of the body? She gulped. She could no more be intimate with this man beside her than she could any stranger on the street. And he’d been married before, which means he knew all about...Well everything. And she knew next to nothing. Then again, his being an Irishmen, he’d likely already known about all of that long before marriage.”); A memory of Maggie learning from her brother about the birds & the bees (“She and Savannah had “accidentally” been snooping in one of her brothers’ bedrooms when they found a stack of pencil drawings. Drawings of scantily-clad women. Why her brothers would ever want such things made no sense. But what stood out in Maggie’s memory most was the frank conversation Oak had with her afterward. ‘Knowing Ma, she’s not likely to ever say any of this to you, and it’s time you knew at least a little.’ Growing up on a farm, Maggie was familiar with how the animals often played with each other. But not until that enlightening conversation with her eldest brother had she begun to understand the full meaning of the word play.); three mentions of wifely duties; four mentions of a wedding night; nine mentions of sharing a bed (up to semi-detailed); Maggie wearing just a nightgown goes to the kitchen and Cullen walks in on her and comments quite a few times on how she should walk around and twirl for him; Mentions of ladies’ chests (Like: “Why was it men preferred women with larger busts? In the drawings she’d found in her brother’s room, every one of those women had a bosom ample enough to suffocate a small child. Women with waists so tiny and middles corseted so tight everything spilled over the top like bread left too long to rise. Well, if that’s what Cullen Michael McGrath liked in women, then he could just—“) A mention of girls who blossomed and when younger Maggie tried to get boys’ attention by pulling “her long hair forward over her chest, arranging the curls just so, hoping to give the appearance of substance where there was none. But as her brother Abe had told her in that teasing voice, “You can’t hide what you haven’t got, Little Mag.””; a mention of a man who had his female slaves come “visit” him in a home (barely-above-not-detailed); Love, an arranged marriage, falling in love & the emotion (lots and lots and lots!)
          *Note: Four mentions of a filly being sired by a stallion.

-Maggie Linden
-Cullen McGrath
                                        P.O.V. switches between Maggie & Cullen
                                              Set in 1869 (Epilogue 1870)
                                                        352 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens- 
 
Early High School Teens- 
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
*sigh* I have never been so disappointed in a book before. Ever. I’ve considered Tamera Alexander one of my favorite authors ever since reading three of her books, all which I really enjoyed. “A Beauty So Rare” being her last release (published by Bethany House) which got five stars from me. Her newest book (this one) is getting one star, as that’s as low as I can go. I am so disappointed. While reading it, I kept looking back at the cover to see if it really was her and not, say, Francine Rivers. Interesting side note: F.R. and T.A. have been going to a lot of writing conferences together, both ladies say they’re very good friends. I was a bit worried when I saw that...as I was not a fan of “Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers (Very, very, very sexual) and was hoping that Miss Tamera would influence her; looks like it was the other way around, sadly. Had I known this would be an arranged marriage book, I would have not picked it up. Arranged marriage books always have sexual content that is not needed. What happens in a married couples’ bedroom should stay in that bedroom; meaning being PRIVATE. Why authors think it’s okay to put this intimate stuff in, is beyond me. *sigh* The Civil War era is the hardest historical time for me to read about. I just can’t understand it, the prejudice is awful. And there was a lot of it in this book had me on the verge of tears and throwing up. I’m so disappointed about this book, I now will be cautious with this author’s books.


See y’all on Friday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Zondervan) for this review.


Monday, April 27, 2015

"Thick as Thieves" by Susan K. Marlow


About this book:

  “It's no secret that Andrea Carter would rather ride her beloved palomino, Taffy, than do anything else. Now Taffy's having her first foal, and Andi can't wait to train it to become as good a companion as its mother. The only distraction from those delightful plans is the fear that something may go wrong. When her foaling fears are realized, Andi is grateful for her brother Chad's intervention. It looks like smooth sailing from now on!
  Unfortunately, life as a teenager might not be all fun and games after all. There's a new girl at school assigned to sit beside Andi--but Macy Walker is nothing like the other girls. She's homeless and ill-bred, and her mistakes do more than make Andi uncomfortable; they put her life in danger. Meanwhile, cattle rustlers have suddenly descended on the Valley and the Circle C ranch is a target. These outlaws mean business--and their business is theft.
  When the thieves change from stealing cattle to stealing horses, it means heartbreaking loss for Andi. Her unpleasant classmate Macy may hold the key to getting Taffy's foal back. Can Andi trust Macy to do the right thing? Does she have a choice?”



Series: Book #1 in the “Circle C Milestones” series. {This series is a continuation of this author’s other series “Circle C Beginnings” (for ages 6-8) and the original, “Circle C Adventures” (for ages 8-14). {More about this new series: “Picking up the story line of Andrea Carter and the Price of Truth, Thick as Thieves sees Andi growing up just in time for her loyal readers to grow alongside her. The Circle C Milestones series will follow Andi from age 14 to 17, as she begins to tackle the more serious issues facing an older audience and--eventually--discovers love.”} }


Spiritual Content- 1 Peter 3:8 at the beginning; Prayers; Talks about & mentions of God & trusting Him; Scriptures are quoted and mentioned.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a unfinished ‘what the—‘, two forms of ‘shut up’, three ‘stupid’s, four ‘dumb’s; Curses are said but not written; Macy is spanked, slapped, thrashed and ruler swatted by her brothers & mentions of it (she also punches a boy in his eye); Macy is quite mean & rude; A mention of an Indian fixing to scalp someone (barely-above-not-detailed): Rotting livestock (barely-above-not-detailed); Knifes & Guns (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of hanging thieves; Mentions of a saloons, drunks & drinking;


Sexual Content- A jerk touches Andi’s check and she tells him to never touch her again; A couple mentions of crushes, winks & a kiss that didn’t happen.
          *Note: Foals are born (semi-detailed).

-Andrea “Andi” Carter, age 14
                                        P.O.V. of Andi
                                              Set in 1882
                                                        173 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
(and a half)
Early High School Teens- 
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
(and a half)
I wasn’t aware that this was a sequel series but I was able to follow along well (though it would have been nice to know all of Andi’s siblings' ages), but I am looking forward to reviewing the original series. I liked the Spiritual Content but Macy’s brothers were a bit much. Not for sensitive girls.
See y’all on Wednesday with a new review! 


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Kregel Publications) for this review.

Friday, April 24, 2015

"The Meeting Place" by Janette Oke & T. Davis Bunn



About this book:

  “Set along the rugged coastline of 18th century Canada in what was then called Acadia (now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), The Meeting Place re-creates a world that was home to native Indians, French settlers, and English garrisons. Such diverse populations did not live in accord, however. Instead, they were isolated within their own groups by a brewing political tension under the difficult English rule.
  Amid such chaotic times two women, both about to become brides and both trying to live lives of quiet peace, meet in a lush field of wildflowers. Louisa, a Frenchwoman, and Catherine, who is English, continue to meet secretly through the seasons, sharing both friendship and growing faith.
  The outside world does not mirror their own tranquil happiness, and the dreaded crackdown by the English throne threatens far more than their growing bond. In the face of a heart-wrenching dilemma, Louisa and Catherine strive to maintain their faith and cling to their dreams of family and home.”



Series: Book #1 in the “Songs of Acadia” series.


Spiritual Content- Matthew 5:9 at the beginning; Many, many Prayers; Many talks about the Bible & reading it; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Bible reading & many Scriptures are quoted or mentioned; Very, very strong Faiths!


Negative Content- Eel hunting (semi-detailed; Yes, it’s a thing, call me na├»ve but I didn’t know that!); Blood (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of wars, fires & guns (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of killing and hanging (not-detailed).


Sexual Content- A couple kisses between married couples (barely being barely-above-not-detailed); An urge to kiss someone; A mention of touching his wife’s hair (barely-above-not-detailed).

-Catherine
-Louise
                                      P.O.V. switches between them, Andrew, Henri, & John (three times)
                                              Set in 1753-1755
                                                        281 pages

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Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
(and a half)
Older High School Teens- 
My personal Rating-
I’ll admit I really didn’t know much about the French Acadians or King George’s War before reading this book, so this was educational! This also was my first Janette Oke book! (Though I’ve been watching the “When Calls the Heart” series on Hallmark, #Hearties unite! ;D ) I was a little worried at first because of the married couple being the main characters, because most married couple books have a lot of Sexual hints...it gets awkward for us unmarried, young girls (and I would think those who are married, too, but I can’t speak for them)  but Oh. My. Goodness. There was seriously nothing! Like, look at the Sexual Content! Can we get all “new” Christian authors to do like Janette Oke?! It was so refreshing with the super strong Faiths and lack of icky stuff! And another note: Eel hunting. Okay, what? It’s makes since I guess, but I’ve sure never thought about that before!


See y’all on Monday with a new review!
 


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"The Piano Girl - Part One" by Sherri Schoenborn Murray



{Congratulation to Ellie A. for winning a copy of “After a Fashion” by Jen Turano! Please look for an email from us! We’ll need your address by the end of month to mail your prize!}

About this book:

  “She plays from memory. Her memories.
The day after her sixteenth birthday, Princess Alia finds out that she's been given away in marriage to a man she’s never met. The war has just ended, and for Alia’s protection, she must travel to her future kingdom disguised as a chicken farmer's daughter. This princess to pauper story is filled with problems, prayers and plenty of piano. This is Part One of a two-part series. In 2016, the Counterfeit Princess series will continue with Alia's sister, Wren.”



Series: Part One of Book #1 in the “Counterfeit Princesses” series. {Part Two will be reviewed next Friday.


Spiritual Content- Proverbs 2:2 at the beginning; Many, many Prayers; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Psalm 23 and another Scripture are quoted; Mentions of Goliath-sized creatures.
*Note: “the bowels of this h*ll” and “the pit of h*ll”; Plus, a witch.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘dummy’; Alia has to pretend to be mute and dumb, therefore being called ‘dumb’, ten times; Hunting & shooting animals for food (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of beheadings & removing someone’s thumb (neither happen, barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of drinking; Mentions of giants that eat people (not-detailed).


Sexual Content- Alia’s first kiss is stolen (barely-above-not-detailed); Noticing; Long is blind so when he talks about his wife, he outlines her plump curves and when singing about her a line says “Little old woman who shared my bed” .

-(Princess) Alia Dory Vankern Wells. Age 16
                                        1st person P.O.V. of Alia (with Prince Wron once in 2nd)
                                              Set in 1882 (Prologue set in 1869)
                                                        141 pages

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Pre Teens- 
New Teens-
(and a half)
Early High School Teens- 
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
(and a half)
This was a very interesting story! I wasn’t expecting it to be historical, so that was an interesting twist! I’m not normally one for fantasy but this was a fun, light fantasy! I did get a bit confused over all the accents, but it had me laughing to decode them. ;)
I think this will be a good series and y’all can see my review of Part Two on Friday, the 1st!


See y’all on Friday with a new review!


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this e-book for free from the Author for this review.