The Yellow Sock Review

The Yellow Sock: An Adoption Story

By Angela Hunt

Genre: Fiction, novella

This is a quick, sweet read. Megan and Dave have been trying to get pregnant for 22 months when they find out that they’re unable to have children. They decide they want to adopt and register with the state. Then, Megan gets an unexpected call from a missionary friend in South Korea. A baby has been placed on their doorstep and God put Megan’s name in his heart. Megan and Dave are so excited and they face many challenges as they try to bring their baby home.

I think Hunt did a good just of displaying Megan’s emotions as she wrestles with infertility, the unknown of adoption, and the many months of just waiting. I would’ve loved if this had been a full novel. Of course, because it was so short, it felt a bit rushed. Also, there were parts of it that didn’t seem realistic. Only $7,000 for an international adoption? Becoming approved for adoption in only 6 weeks? Still, it was a heartwarming read.

Read More

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day Review

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars

By Mark Batterson

Genre: Religious, Christian, Non-fiction

4 out of 5 chickadees singing! It only took me half a year to read this book! Ha ha. It wasn’t that this book was bad or not interesting, I think it was more that there’s a lot there to unpack and it’s hard to read all at once. I really enjoy Mark’s writing style. I was first introduced to him through videos for a Bible study and I think he has a very engaging manner and looks at scripture in an interesting way. This book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” is all about encouraging the reader to take a risk and leap into the life God has for him/her. Mark uses one passage of scripture about Benaiah who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day, killed him, and became a bodyguard to King David, to tie the whole book together. What is the lion you need to chase? Mark tells readers that Christian life isn’t boring. God is bigger than all our fears. We should chase lions, even when we don’t know the outcome. He gives us great Biblical examples, like Abraham, who left his home even when he didn’t know where he was going. Noah, who built an ark in the desert. John the Baptist who wasn’t afraid of looking like a fool for God. David, who danced wildly before God and defended his actions to his wife. I wrote down a lot of quotes from this book and there were a lot of good reminders in here for me. The only con I have about this book is that it is a little bit repetitive and a lot of his books seems to be on very similar topics. However, I would highly recommend this book to my fellow Christians, especially those who are wrestling with making a life change.

Read More

Instant Mom Book Review

img_0071Instant Mom

By Nia Vardalos

I must give this book five stars! I kept hearing that I should read Instant Mom. For some reason, I hadn’t realized that she actually adopted from foster care- I thought maybe it was a domestic or international adoption. This book immediately sucked me in. Nia is such a fascinating person. I had no idea the lengths she had gone to to get her movie, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding, made. Nia is one stubborn, persistent lady and doesn’t give up!

She applied this same philosophy to getting pregnant- going through IVF treatments 13 times! She did this quietly and privately while continuing to work on her career. Eventually, she and her husband, Ian, looked into adoption. They ran into some “sketchy” agencies at first, but eventually ended up on the wait list for international adoption. Nothing was moving on that front when Nia finally found out about all the children available for adoption through foster care. She realized that this was going to be the quickest and easiest route to becoming a mother.

Nia and her husband were then matched with an almost 3 year old girl with blonde streaks in her hair (the same blonde streaks she had a dream about). They immediately want to take her home after meeting her but have to wait until they are approved. When they do take her home, there are definitely some challenges as she adjusts to her new home and new parents. I thought Nia was really straightforward and honest about the challenges. She also discussed her fears that the adoption wouldn’t go through, since you must foster the child for 6 months before making it official. Spoiler alert (not really)- there is a happy ending here. At the end of the book, Nia answers frequently asked questions about how to adopt.

All in all, this was one of my favorite memoirs. I thought Nia was a really fascinating person and very down-to-earth for being a celebrity. I also thought this book was extremely informative for those wanting to adopt through the foster care system. I would highly recommend it to prospective parents!

Read More

The Prince Review

Do you love travel, mysteries, intrigue, cute guys, and spies? Then you will LOVE The Prince by Jillian Dodd!

the-prince

 

Summary:

 

Raised as an adept assassin at an elite, top secret academy for spies in training, X is at the top of her class. Determined to be the best in order to someday exact revenge against the shadowy man who murdered her mother, X will stop at nothing to make him pay. She pushes herself harder, and forces herself to be tougher, since nothing can get in the way of her ultimate personal goal- kill the bastard.

 

Shortly before graduation, the Dean of Blackwood Academy calls her into his study and offers her a mysterious envelope with a black x seal – a mission by the clandestine organization, Black X, an operation so covert that even the president of the United States does not really know of its existence.

 

Her challenge, should she choose to accept it, is to protect the Prince of Montrovia, and to ferret out where the threat on his life originated. And boy, is X up for the challenge! Finally, an opportunity presents itself to join the group that might finally allow her to hunt down her mother’s killer and make him pay.

 

To achieve her mission, she must first get close to the prince. An entire new identity is created for her- she now becomes the sexy and stylish Huntley Von Allister, a girl who recently found out that her “real” father was a billionaire, and that in addition to inheriting a boatload of money, she inherited a brother as well. “Ari” is actually her partner on this case, and the recently dead recluse as their unknown father is their perfect cover story.

 

The partners launch themselves into D.C. high society, with the hopes of forming friendships that will give them access to the prince. Their plan works, both of them sleeping their way a little bit closer to the royal they are charged to protect. Tumbling into the bed of an Olympic athlete/vice president’s son wasn’t exactly a chore, and if it gets Huntley nearer to her mark, then so be it.

 

With her wits and beauty, Huntley catches Prince Lorenzo’s attention nearly as soon as they arrive in the wealthy coastal country of Montrovia. As the two get closer, it becomes alarmingly difficult to remain emotionally unattached, as her training demands. Still, her swirling feelings don’t cloud her judgement badly enough to prevent her from stopping multiple assassination attempts on the prince’s life.

 

There’s no room on this mission for romantic nonsense, but all the expert training in the world couldn’t have prepared her for the emotions she’s feeling towards both the prince and the vice president’s son. As she hops from fast race cars to vast yachts, she fights to protect both the prince and her true identity as she desperately tries to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

 

Rating:

Four out of five chickadees singing!

 

Bonus Points For:

Global politics done well

Kick ass female heroine who refreshingly thinks she’s beautiful and talented (we all know I love this type of heroine after my review of The Vampire Academy)

Believable shadowy government (non-government?) agency

Fast cars, yuppy yachts, gorgeous clothes and glittering jewels, and fancy-pants techy spy gadgets that I wish were real life (or are they already real life?!)

Settings that felt so real I wanted to reach out and touch fabrics or grip guns

 

Downers:

Love triangle (sorry, not sorry, 98% of the time this kind of romantic trope bugs the crap out of me)

Less than fully developed secondary characters (X/Calliope/Huntley is the only character that I felt was fully fleshed out)

Maybe TOO much mystery behind the agency Huntley works for? I’m not sure if I’m annoyed because it is JUST the right amount, or because I can’t figure it out. It’s hard to say.

Unrealistic casual sex- I love me some sexy times, but in the beginning, it made Huntley sound like she enjoyed a varied sex life, and then she randomly wouldn’t (*spoiler!*) sleep with the prince even though she wanted to? Suddenly I felt like the author was forcing Huntley to do (or in this case, not do) something that felt inauthentic for her character.

 

Notes for Folks:

Story contains sexy times, violence, under-age drinking, gambling, etc. It would probably be best enjoyed by those 16 and older.

Save

Read More

Single By Christmas Book Review

unnamed

Single By Christmas

By Rosa Temple

Genre: Christmas, Chick Lit, Romance

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Alex is a 27 year old office-working girl who believes she has found the love of her life in Charlie. Charlie is a scientist, working to find a cure for breast cancer. Charlie is mature and sophisticated, a man who likes jazz, while Alex is a bit of a party-er. The story begins with Alex waiting to see if Charlie is going to show up for Christmas Eve. The reader knows something has gone wrong in their relationship, but not what happened. The book then rewinds to about a month earlier. Alex receives a job offer in another country, but isn’t ready to tell Charlie about it yet. She goes to visit the office and makes a mistake she regrets. Now she has to choose whether or not to tell Charlie and what that will mean for their future. In the meantime, her friend is sure her husband is cheating on her and enlists Alex and their other friend as spies.

Alex was definitely a mess of a main character. It was hard to feel sorry for her at times as I watched her make bad decision after bad decision and drive Charlie away. Still, I liked that she eventually realized the mistakes she made and tried to fix them. She was a good friend to her two girlfriends. Charlie was a great love interest and many readers will swoon over his patience and generosity.

The story moved quickly and kept my interest. It was engaging. Although it was difficult at times to empathize with the main character, I did want to see how her story ended up. There were a couple surprise plot points that I didn’t see coming. There was an epilogue so everything was tied up very nicely in the end, although I didn’t think the epilogue was even necessary. I thought the way that the book started, in a pivotal scene waiting to see if Charlie would show up, to rewinding back to when things went wrong, was a clever idea. I’m a sucker for Christmas books, so if you are, too, and enjoy romance and chick lit, I would recommend this read.

Author Links

Blog – Rosa Temple Writes: http://rosatemplewrites.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RosaTempleWriter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RosaT_Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14071311.Rosa_Temple

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LY2MLIH

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY2MLIH

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read More