Wednesday, August 31, 2011
There's a new hero in town . . .
When Summer Bennett returns to Richfield after a five-year stint at her aunt’s finishing school, she discovers a lot has changed. Her father has suffered a crippling injury, and Summer is desperate to get the money to pay for surgery that could allow him to walk again. She hears of a reward offered for the capture of a cunning gang of bank robbers, and her years of etiquette training fall by the dusty roadside.
What Summer doesn’t count on in her quest to capture the bandits is the competition from her family’s longtime friend, Jesse Slade. Now a deputy marshal and local hero, Jesse keeps thwarting Summer’s plans, just like he did when she wore pigtails. She would like nothing more than to use Jesse’s head for a slingshot target, but soon Summer finds her aim shifting from his head to his heart. Problem is, Jesse is engaged to her sister Violet.
For seven years, little Summer Bennett was the burr under Jesse’s saddle. Now he feels a different irritation as Summer is always on his mind—whether he wants her to be or not. But Summer’s father expects him to marry Violet, and he won’t let him down. So why does Jesse find himself encouraging Summer’s attentions, and why do sparks fly every time they are together?
Heart of a Hero is such a fun read. The tension between the two main characters keeps this story moving along. Summer and Jesse dance around each other through most of the book. I found myself "telling" them to quit being dumb and admit to loving each other. The beauty of Summer and Jesse is that they are not the perfect couple you usually find in a romance. They once were just children/teens that lived to annoy each other. As you can see, this makes for a rocky road at times, but also shows the deep intimacy they have.
Summer is a great character as the tomboy turning into a lady. Jesse is a young man, now a deputy marshal, engaged to Summer's sister, but deep down in love with Summer.Many funny things happen as they try to stay away from each other, but keep being pulled together. Marie Higgins always does a wonderful job with her romances. They are clean, but she has a way of writing really wonderful kissing scenes.
You have to read this excerpt from the book that shows the tension, but deep attraction, the two main characters have for one another:
The deputy marshal must be the one holding me. She let her body relax against the contours of his body. Normally, she wouldn’t want to be protected and cared for by a man, but at the moment she was reluctant to break the spell.
She dared a peek at his face. His deep blue eyes grabbed her attention. Kind eyes. Sunlight glinted off the golden tones of his light brown hair. He must have sensed her watching, for his square jaw changed shape and a soft smile bracketed his mouth.
He was very handsome. She couldn’t have dreamed up a better vision of a hero, and dream it must be because things this good just didn’t happen to her. Safety and security spread over her like a warm blanket and she melted against him, closing her eyes while his long fingers continued to stroke her cheek. It was the first time in her life she had allowed a man to touch her like that—a soft stroke, a gentle caress—and the first time she had ever really relaxed in a man’s presence.
She sighed. Wonderful.
“How do you feel, Summer?”
The soft baritone voice rumbling in his chest seemed oddly familiar. Summer frowned and took a second peek at his hair and his mouth. He gave her a full smile. Awareness tugged at her memory and a large knot formed in the pit of her stomach. When recognition came, it struck like a thick piece of wood right between her eyes. She jerked, moving off the comfortable nest she had made of his chest.
A crafty smile claimed his face. “The one and only, darlin’.”
She widened her eyes. “Darlin’? I’m not now, nor will I ever be your darling, Jesse Slade.” She couldn’t believe her rotten luck. She fought to move from his grasp, batting his hands away. “Get your hands off me.”
“Be still Summer, or—”
“Let me go,” she demanded.
“Tarnation, Summer.” His hands moved to her waist. “You’re as slippery as a wet weasel.”
“Quit touching me and put me down.”
Although he tried to hold onto her, she managed to slither from the horse.
“Of all the confounded foolish female stunts.” He pulled the horse to a halt and dismounted.
The moment her feet touched the ground, dizziness overtook her and she plopped down on her bottom. When Jesse reached for her, she slapped at his hands.
She glanced up at him from her undignified position and clenched her teeth. “You. Of all people, it had to be you.” Holding onto a stirrup, she pulled herself to her feet and gazed into the heavens. “Why Lord? Why me?”
“There’s no need to get your feathers ruffled.” Jesse looked at the blood oozing from her shoulder wound. “Look what you’ve done. You’re bleedin’ again.”
She glanced at her injury. It was worse than she thought, but she’d die before admitting it to him. She was not riding into town perched on Jesse’s lap for the whole town to see.
If you like a good, old fashioned romance, wrapped up with a lot of tension and angst set in the old West, you will love Heart of a Hero. If you are not patient and want to see the love interests get together right away, you would be reading the wrong book. Half the fun of this novel is the adventure of Summer and Jesse finally admitting their love and getting together. So hop into your saddle, grab the reins and ride on over to get your copy of Heart of Hero, you won't regret it!
Heart of a Hero can be purchased here at
http://www.amazon.com/ OR http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
FCI: FYI This review copy of Heart of a Hero was given to me by Walnut Springs Press. In no way did this influence the review that was given.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Megan has the perfect life, but when her mother dies in an accident, everything spins out of control. With the rest of her family falling apart, Megan must confront her past to uncover the truths that will keep everyone together. Thought-provoking and heartfelt, this book shows that even in times of trial, you can often find blessings.
Bitter Blessings starts with a very normal setting of a family getting ready to sit down for dinner. You turn the page, and the world of this family collapses down around them with their doorbell ringing. On the other side of the door is a policeman, who informs them that the Mother of the girls has died in a car accident. The reality of this piece of fiction is, anyone's world can change in a moment.
The novel's main character, Megan, is thrown into the role of taking care of her younger sisters and her grandmother. The reader is taken into her mind where we experience the grief, guilt and stress of Megan as she is coping with her mother's death. Along with dealing with her sick grandmother, a spoiled middle sister and a baby sister looking for stability and love, an old family secret comes to light.
Bitter blessings is such a great read because:
-Megan is likable and relatable. You want her to find out the family secret and you want to see some relief and happiness given back to the family.
-Good supporting characters are written throughout the story. Her best friend Adam and his father, Megan's lawyer, add the support and relief that the readers need amongst the sadness in this story.
-There is also a surprise twist where her friends' Mormon religion is identified, and it hits close to home for Megan.
-You will experience a satisfying ending at the end of the story.
Bitter Blessings is a great story written by a first time author. It is a quick read at 183 pages. I love what it says on the back of the book, "Thought-provoking and heartfelt, this debut novel shows that the power of love brings the best blessings even during the bitterest trials."
I recommend this book to young adult and adult readers. I gave this book 4 stars on goodreads.com.
To learn more about the author Christine Mehring, go to www.bitterblessings.com
This review copy of Bitter Blessings was supplied by Cedar Fort, Inc. In no way did this influence the review that was given.