Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"A Daring Sacrifice" by Jody Hedlund

About this book:

  “The only thing harder than fighting for what’s right…is fighting their feelings for each other.
  For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little dos anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.
  Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility—as well as win her heart.”

Series: Book #2 in the “An Uncertain Choice” series. Review of Book #1 Here!

Spiritual Content- A few Prayers & Thank God (twice); An ‘H’ is capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying & a chapel; A few mentions of Mary & Saints; A few mentions of blessings/being blessed; A few mentions of sins; A mention of Heaven; A mention of a convent.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: two ‘idiot’s and two form of ‘stupid’s; Sarcasm & Eye rolling; A few mentions of curses (said, not written); Lots of Torture, being tied to a stake, pain, being hit/thrashed/slapped, injuries, blood/bleeding & passing out (semi-detailed to detailed); Fighting, arrows, shooting, knifes & injuring others (semi-detailed to very detailed); Thieves, stealing, ambushes & threats (up to semi-detailed); Many, many mentions of torture methods, blood/bleeding, major injuries, being burned at the stake, hangings, being quartered, slitting throats, eyes gouged out, cutting off someone’s hands/fingers, it almost happening and threats of doing so (semi-detailed to very detailed); Mentions of deaths, pain, injuries & blood/bleeding (semi-detailed to detailed); Mentions of knifes, arrows, fighting, beatings, ambushes & stealing; Mentions of hunting, dead animals & stealing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of drinking, ale & wine; Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of an injured horse bleeding & dying (barely-above-not-detailed); A few mentions of fights; A few mentions of lies.

Sexual Content- a thumb-to-lips touch, two (semi-detailed) palm/finger kisses, a (semi-detailed) cheek kiss, an ear kiss, three hair/head/forehead kisses, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, four semi-detailed kisses, and four detailed kisses; Remembering kisses (up to detailed); Lots of Touches, Embraces, Nearness, Shivers, Warmth & Heat (very semi-detailed to detailed); Lot of Noticing & Staring (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of kisses, kissing & self-control (semi-detailed); A few mentions of scandals, reputations & chaperones; A few mentions of flirting & swooning; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of the thought of a lusty man taking advantage of a woman; Love, desire, falling in love & the emotions; 
            *Note: Mentions of a man’s bare chest & his muscles (semi-detailed); A few mentions of how a dress hugs Juliana’s curves.

-Juliana Wessex, age 17
-Collin Goodrich, age 20
                                        1st person P.O.V. switches between them
                                              Set in 1390 {Medieval}
                                                        221 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
I wasn’t a fan of this author’s adult books because of the sexual content. I wasn’t a fan of the first book of this series due to the fluff plot-line and harsh torture methods. I thought I would try her once more, before I said no more.
The torture, gore & overall gruesomeness was out of hand. Never mind all the kisses, touches & desires, the torture scenes alone would have been enough for a one-star rating.
But this book had all those kisses, touches & desires.
You know what really got me though? We’ve got the instant love, okay, no shock, whatever, I can deal. But, Collin. Collin says he loves Juliana. If you love her, Collin, why didn’t marriage come to your mind? You’re totally enjoying kissing & touching her, but you don’t even think about marrying her until her protector tells you “If you want her, then you’ll make her your wife first.” I swear, it’s like a light bulb went off in Collin’s head.
So, Collin. Not my favorite.
Juliana. I wanted to like her at first. I had a hard time though. At one point, she’s over here holding a knife to Collin’s throat and then check him out at the same time! (In semi-detailed muscle and tight pants noticing, might I add.)
Both of them were just too good at what they did. They did everything pretty well and it always impressed the other. (Then, in Collin’s case, he basically bragged about how much better he was at shooting, tracking, etc. than someone else.) They both just came across as flat to me. They would show off how good they were at something, but then there would be a “coincidental” flaw in their personalities that felt like it was added as an afterthought.
The torture and details of all the methods was just awful. Honestly, it wasn’t needed. You can write about something without getting fully into the details. Why does the author find it so fascinating to include such details?
So, I’m disappointed. But I’m not shocked.

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.

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations" by V. Joy Palmer

About this book:

  “Isabel "Izze" Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find The Dress for years. She loves nothing more than helping make wedding dreams come true...but sometimes the happy endings grate on her. How many times can a girl discover someone else's gown without dreaming of the day it'll be her turn to wear one?
  When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, he represents everything Izze can't handle: change. He's determined to bring the Ever After Bridal Boutique into the black...and to prove to Izze that she should give him a chance.
  But if there's anything Izze handles worse than change, it's trust. She may have a few issues-fine, she knows she does. But will they keep getting in the way of any chance of her own Happily Ever After? She wants to trust God to give her those dreams of love and lace, but that's going to require some...minor alterations.”

Series: As of now, no. 

Spiritual Content- Many Prayers & Thanking the Lord; Crying/Yelling out to God; Many Scriptures are mentioned, remembered, quoted, read & talked about; Bible reading & Devotional time; Church going & a sermon; Many, many talks about God, praying, trusting Him & forgiveness; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Many, many mentions of God, trusting Him & forgiveness; Many mentions of prayers, praying & blessings over food; Mentions of Bibles, Bibles reading, & devotional time; Mentions of those in the Bible; Mentions of Christians & being one; Mentions of pastors, churches & church going; Mentions of a youth pastor & youth group; A few mentions of praising & thanking God; A few mentions of a ministry; A few mentions of a church worship team; A few mentions of blessings; A mention of fleeing a country to worship Jesus; A mention of a miracle; A mention of communion; A mention of a Christian school; A mention of a Christian bookstore;
*Note: {I’m quite tickled that there’s mentions of books by Karen Kingsbury, Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck & Janice Thompson books; Also a mention of a Brit Nicole song.}; Mentions of Greek goddess dresses; A couple mentions of the devil’s arsenic & lair.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘duh’, a ‘geesh’, a ‘shut up’, a ‘stinking’, two ‘drat’s, two forms of ‘dumb’, two ‘oh my gosh’s, three ‘shush’s, six forms of ‘idiot’, twenty forms of ‘stupid’; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Sarcasm & Eye rolling; Mentions of pain, hitting & being slapped; Mentions of child abuse & an abusive father; Mentions of liars, lying & lies; A few mentions of murder; A few mentions of serial killers & stalkers; A few mentions of throwing up & vomit; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of bleeding, blood & injuries; A couple mentions of emotional abuse; A couple mentions of gambling & betting; A couple mentions of gossip; A mention of attempted homicide; A mention of (not) drinking; A mention of (not doing) drugs; A mention of wounds & infections;
             *Note: Mentions of movies, TV shows & characters (Pride and Prejudice, His Girl Friday, I Was a Male War Bride, Ever After, Letters to Juliet, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Fair Wedding, Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress, What Not to Wear, Gilmore Girls, Friends, Full House, Shrek, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, Powerpuff Girls, Star Wars, Donkey Kong, Chewbacca, Jedi, Yoda, Wonder Woman, Flash, Mr. Darcy, Katniss & Peta (The Hunger Games), Westley & Buttercup (The Princess Bride) ); Mentions of brands (Coach, Prada, Citizens of Humanity, Vera Wang, Maggie Sottero, Melissa Sweet, Alfred Angelo); A few mentions of celebrities (Patrick Dempsey, Cary Grant, Vanna White); A few mentions of food places (Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts & Wendy’s); A mention of a song (Wedding Bell Blues); A mention of Disney; A mention of Comic-Con; A mention of yoga; A mention of Weight Watchers; A mention of V-8 drinks; A mention of being flashed a peace sign.

Sexual Content- a (semi-detailed) almost kiss, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, a semi-detailed kiss, and a boarder-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss; Remembering a kiss (barely-above-not-detailed); Wondering about touching & kisses (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Shivers, Nearness & Flutters (up to semi-detailed); Blushes; Noticing & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); a ‘hot’ and two ‘babe’s; Many, many mentions of dates, dating, boyfriends, girlfriends, exes, breakups, being cheated & being dumped; Mentions of kissing & kisses (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of blushes & winks; Mentions of flirts & flirting; A few mentions of touches & embraces; A couple mentions of an unmarried girl being pregnant; A couple mentions of watching a couple kiss twice (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of crushes & puppy love; Love, falling in love & the emotions;
             *Note: Mention of women’s figure; A couple mentions of a strapless gown for a girl’s ample bosom; A mention of a very clingy dress that’s neckline leaves little to the imagination; A mention of a dress with a deep V-neck; A mention of a body-hugging dress; A mention of a butt hitting the ground.

-Isabel “Izze” Vez, age 25
-James Miles Clayton, age 28
                                      P.O.V. switches between Izze (1st person) & Miles (3rd person)
                                                        297 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
Okay, let me just say right now that I had some pretty high hopes for this novel because Janice Thompson (If you follow my BookTube you know that she’s a very author of mine and I don’t think a video as gone by where I don’t talk about her or her books) gave a blurb for this novel. Um, say what? Oh, Heavens, yes, I will review your book, dear author. ;)
I was so impressed by all the Spiritual Content in this book, the message of waiting & trusting God reminded me of “Katie in Waiting” by Erynn Mangum, which I really do love seeing this topic discussed in Christian Fiction.
Love, love, love that the author thanked Erynn Mangum, Jenny B. Jones, Janice Thompson, Robin Jones Gunn & Melody Carlson for their books in the acknowledgements. Great taste in authors, right there. I can so see the influence that those authors have had on this debut author, and I so love that.
Let me also add that, I so get Izze. Her humor, her worries, everything. I get her and very much liked her personality and growth she has to go through in these 300 pages. I’ve said it before that I’m not big on instant love or love at first sight—and I’m still not. That was something I wasn’t overly thrilled with in this novel, but I ended up okay with it, because so much more happens that they have to work through—together and separate. I really appreciate that angle of the plot. 
I really enjoyed this novel, the epilogue leaves off like there could be sequels with Izze’s roommates—which I would so enjoy reading and am already ready for—but I’m eager to hear about what this author puts out next. V. Joy Palmer is now on my watch list. :)

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 Author for this honest review.