A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas

Adeline Reed is photographer in Dodge City, Kansas. She has a past that is less than savory past that she wants to keep buried.
Deputy Miles Carr also has an unsavory past that he hopes will never get out despite his convictions about not telling.
When the general store owner comes up dead, Miles is put on the case to find the killer. Addie takes a picture of the scene of the crime and it might hold secrets as to who the killer really is. So they work together to solve the case and find how it’s connected to the break ins at Addie’s business and boarding room.
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This is a pleasant read. The descriptions draw you into the story and don’t let you go until the very end. But, because it draws you in, you don’t really realize until you pit it down that the action didn’t start until almost the end.
Addie and Miles’ romance is sweet and somewhat simple, while the romance of Fran and Jonas is complicated and requires a rescue by Jonas for the romance to get a shove.
The suspense part of the book isn’t really suspenseful, it doesn’t really leave you wondering or even make you stay up all night reading or thinking about it. The reason: it’s predictable. I figured out who the killer was about halfway through the suspense portion of the book, but I won’t tell who just in case you don’t know. Also the killer wasn’t a believable one.
The story did end well though, it tied up all the loose ends nicely, but it just didn’t wow me. In fact, I opened this book with high hopes of a suspenseful romance only to close it feeling jilted.
Overall, it’s a nice romance, but the mystery is predictable and unbelievable. I’d recommend this book for teens and adults. I give this book a three out of five.

I received this book free from NetGalley and Barbour Publishings for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

To Win Her Heart

After being jilted by her fianc├ę who took her father’s money and left, Eden Spencer has sworn off men and resolved herself to the life of the spinster librarian.
Levi Grant wants to start over after he’s released from a two year prison sentence for an unintentional murder. So he makes his way to Spencer, Texas to become the town’s blacksmith.
When Levi starts coming to the library, Eden thinks he’s just acting like he can read to impress her, but what she doesn’t know is that he has a lisp. When love starts to bloom will Levi’s past find him and will Eden forgive him for it?
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This book starts painstakingly slow. It took me a while to fully get drawn into the story, but looking back on the story I can’t see anything that could have been taken out.
I can’t deny Karen Witemeyer’s gift of weaving a fantastic story. Her characters are deep and don’t have shallow backgrounds or inconceivable histories. There are even the characters that get on your nerves because they feel like their better than anyone else.
The main character Eden was a little judgmental particularly when she found out about Levi’s past, which part of me wanted to wring her neck for being stupid while the other part of me wondered if I’d have done the same thing.
Levi’s character is basically what every woman dreams of in a guy. Tall, handsome, considerate, a real Christian guy. Even with the lisp, Levi is an incredible guy and his past only adds to it. Ms. Witemeyer definitely gets a thumbs up for that.
Chloe, the daughter of a prostitute that Levi and Eden take in, and Duncan, an Irish quarry worker who dreams of becoming a stone cutter and to woo his “bonny lass”, have a cute and quick romance and I actually hope that the author makes a book for that one.
The romance isn’t very passionate with very little hugs and kisses, but the romance has a nice speed, not too fast but not too slow, and you don’t really miss the absence of the gestures.
Overall, it starts out slow but it gets better and turns into a sweet romance novel that is perfect for new and old romance fans alike. I’d recommend this book to older teens and adults. I give it a four out of five.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating

85% of teens will be sexually active by the time they leave college. What are Christian parents supposed to do to make their child the exception, particularly with dating no where in the Bible? Andy Braner broaches the taboo and sometimes forbidden topic of sex and dating in teens and gives insight on how to talk to your children about it.
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First off, I think it’s fair to note that I had no idea this was a book for parents when I ordered it. I thought it was a for teens on the subject. So that was a bit of a disappointment.
On the other hand, I think this is a great book for parents of preteen or teenage children, because it gets inside the minds of teens and how we think.
There are things that Andy says that I don’t agree with, however. He encourages parents to read their children’s texts, look at their computer history, and any other thing of that nature. He emphasizes that total openness with a dating teen is important and I can’t agree more, but snooping?! Another point he makes is that you pay for everything, which is true but I’m not really sure that means that you can check up on everything your child is doing.
Also, Mr. Braner’s perception of “hooking up” is innocent at best. He tells that hooking up is just a steamy make out session when in truth it is so much more. This can really mislead adults into thinking it’s something it’s not.
There are a lot of good points that he makes. Like, platonic dating leads to good social skills and prepares kids for a proper marriage; also, he also urges parents to talk to their kids about sex, not just the physical aspect, but the emotional and mental aspect as well.
Andy touches points that may be sore for some parents, but what all parents need to hear. He helps you identify what kind of parent you are when your child has a date, also he tells that if your child is around thirteen your child knows about sex; which is very true.
Overall, this book is a great book for parents to know how their kids think and how to change the perception of dating in parents’ minds, but there are aspects that he says that parents need to be careful of and take into consideration before following every word. I give it a three out of five.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”