Review of My Soul To Wake

My Soul to Wake Book Review

Title: My Soul to Wake

Author: Tara Oakes

Pages: 216

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fiction, Historical

Published: May 25, 2015 by Twelve Oakes Publishing Inc.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. There is a “naughty” version of this book with some erotica and a “nice” version for younger readers. This is a review of the “nice” version. :)

This book was fabulous! I give it four out of five chickadees singing! If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you should know that books about the paranormal world are not my typical fare. That is more in line with my blog partner, Lindsey. However, when I read the synopsis for this book, I was intrigued. I definitely liked that it took place in the modern world, even though there is a focus on the past. Some of the book almost felt like chick lit, especially before Leah came to know Will better. Of course, that’s a plus in my book.

Leah has a secret. She has never been able to spend the night with anyone (friends or a man) due to a recurring nightmare where she is killed and separated from her true love. Only her family and two best friends, Courtney and Nina, know about her dreams. She, Courtney, and Nina head to Salem for a girl’s trip. While there, Leah meets the very handsome Will. Their relationship is going well, until Will reveals that Leah is his long-lost lover from 300 years ago that he has been waiting for. Leah doesn’t know what to believe- is Will crazy, still in love with his deceased wife, or does this explain Leah’s recurring nightmare? You’ll have to read it to find out.

I liked all the characters in this novel (except the few we were not meant to like! Lol). Leah was relatable, hard-working, and kind. Leah’s two friends were everything you could want in gal pals- extremely supportive and generous. I can be very picky about male love interests, but I really liked Will. He was a manly man and quite swoon-worthy. This is a romance, but the romance didn’t come off as cheesy to me. (That’s hard to do, so kudos to the author!) Their relationship seemed realistic (within the realms of paranormal fiction).

I don’t want to say too much without giving things away, but this book definitely kept my attention and left me eagerly anticipating a sequel! The pace was quick enough to keep my interest, the plot was interesting (especially the mystery aspect of it all), and the characters were likeable. Congratulations Tara Oakes, you turned this non-paranormal fan into a fan of this series!

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Violette Between Book Review

Violette Between Book Review

Title: Violette Between

Author: Alison Strobel

Genre: Christian Fiction

Pages: 266

3 out of 5 stars! Alison Strobel’s books seem to be hit or miss for me these days. From the synopsis, I thought Violette was actually being transported back to the past, rather than just re-living old memories. In reality, Violette is in a new relationship with a man named Christian. She is still haunted by memories of her deceased husband, Saul, though. She is having trouble fully committing to Christian. Christian is also a widower, but he is ready to move on with Violette. Violette falls off a ladder while painting and is in a coma. During this coma, she re-lives memories of her husband and must decide whether she wants to stay there or move forward with Christian.

I liked the character of Christian and felt for him trying to move on with Violette. He seemed to be a very good man and was very patient with her. I couldn’t relate to Violette as much. I understood her being caught up in the past, but I could never really tell where she was in her faith. I also didn’t really understand the artist side of her, as I don’t have a creative bone in my body. It was sometimes hard to understand the reasoning behind her actions. I could see her being a character others can relate to more, though.

My main issue with this book was that there wasn’t enough of a plot. This is the same critique I had with her book, “Worlds Collide.” Although this book wasn’t a collection of conversion stories like that one was, it was nearly all flashbacks. I never felt that invested in their future with all the focus on the past, I guess.

Overall, this book was just so-so for me. I was motivated enough to finish it, but it never fully engaged me.

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Cradled Dreams Book Review

Cradled Dreams

Author: Beverly  Hoffman

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Drama

Published: April 23, 2013 by Abbot Press

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3 out of 5 stars! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review as part of a Brook Cottage Books tour. I love reading about complicated ethical issues, especially related to the unprecedented situations technology puts us in. In this book, Georgie has been unable to get pregnant. Her sister-in-law, Robin, has a broken heart over it. At Thanksgiving, she blurts out that she is willing to carry a child for Georgie. The family takes nearly a year to decide if they want to move forward with the offer. They sit down and work through every question they come up with. They have a contract written. They seek religious advice. It appears as if everything has been thought out.

However, as Robin feels the baby growing within her, she begins to wonder how she can give it to Georgie to raise. She is torn between feeling like she is abandoning the life inside her and breaking Georgie’s heart. For much of the book, Georgie and her husband prepare for the child, not knowing Robin’s struggle.

There are many outside characters in this story that are somewhat (often very loosely) connected with the two main characters. I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth, Georgie’s mother and Robin’s mother-in-law, who is still recovering from the loss of her husband. Georgie and Robin attend different churches and various church members are profiled. I didn’t like this part of the story. It profiled “Christians” on completely opposite ends of the spectrum- those who are legalistic, judgmental, and self-righteous and those who believe every path/religion/spirituality leads to God. I am a Christian and I found most of the character’s belief systems to be inconsistent and unrealistic. I think the author was trying to make a religious point with the book, but it was very unclear to me what it was. I thought it would have been better to focus in on the two main characters. Perhaps she could have profiled their husbands’ thoughts and feelings rather than focusing on outside characters.

When the book was relaying the story of Georgie and Robin, I was engaged. Although I got frustrated with Robin, I did understand where she was coming from. My heart hurt so much for Georgie with the possibility that she might not end up with the baby she had longed for for so long. I definitely became attached to the characters and wanted to see them end up fulfilled and happy. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in the ethics of surrogacy and in reading about family relationships.

 

Cradled Dreams

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The Time-Traveler’s Boyfriend Review

Review of The Time-Traveler’s Boyfriend

Author: Annabelle Costa

This book was AMAZING!! Isn’t it the best thing ever to get a free Kindle book and have it be great? I love that!!

This story sucked me in immediately with the engaging dialogue. I also like to see people with disabilities included in a book, so I was automatically intrigued. I felt for Claudia with her boyfriend being unable to commit. Their relationship was so sweet and charming, anyway, though. I loved both of these characters.

I also loved reading about the incredible things Adam created! That was a fun little extra in the book. I have read a few time-traveling books and enjoyed this author’s “take” on the whole time-travel thing.

This book was also VERY clever with its ending. I figured out some twists before the character did, but it didn’t bother me. I just thought the whole story had great foreshadowing and clever follow-through.

Overall, I really enjoyed everything about this book! It was a light, yet intelligent read!

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