Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Engaging Brooke

by Dara Girard
(The Browards of Montana)

Although she is more interested in her art than ranching, Brooke Palmer still doesn't want her family's land to fall into the wrong hands after the recent death of her father. She thought that she and her sister, Meredith, would inherit the ranch, but her father's will stipulates that both be married before they can do so. With Meredith already married, living on the East Coast and wanting nothing to do with the land, that leaves Brooke to come up with a solution to save her family's property. And she has thirty days to do so.

Jameson Broward agrees to Brooke's business proposal of a fake marriage to help rescue her land from outsiders bent on taking over in Granger, Montana. Being the oldest and serious of his siblings, he understands the importance of maintaining a family legacy. Through their alliance Jameson begins to see Brooke, not just as the little sister of the woman he almost married (for real), but as a determined woman.

Dara Girard's books are always a hit or miss for me as she tends to wrap up her stories a little too quickly sometimes. I felt the same about this one, but because this is the second book of three in the series, at least I know the mystery of who is buying all the land in Granger and why will be answered in the next installment.


I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wrangling Wes

by Jacquelin Thomas
(The Browards of Montana)

Granger, Montana is the setting of the beginning of this series surrounding the Broward family, headed by Steven and Gwendolyn, whose marriage partnership 34 years ago created a wealthy ranching dynasty. Their children, Wesley, Jameson, and Laney have taken their places in the family business making sure that the legacy continues. Wesley, however, is feeling a little restless and boxed in and wants to explore opportunities away from ranching and Montana, but he's not sure what he's looking for. 

Lydia Emerson has been sent to Granger by her employer, a Hollywood actress, so find information on and get to know Wesley Broward for some unknown reason. Bidding on him at a bachelor charity auction will be her introduction. She finds her bosses urgency and secrecy unnerving, but she really needs this job and there are worse assignments than getting close to a good-looking, wealthy rancher. 

I'm not a huge fan of Jacquelin Thomas' books because quite frankly her love scenes tend to be a bit glossed over, but Wrangling Wes does a good job kicking off this series by portraying the changes Granger, Montana is going through as outsiders discover this town, it's rich history and charm. The Browards, who own a large chunk of the land, have a lot to be concerned about with these changes. 


I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Heart of the Plate

Vegetarian Recipes For A New Generation

by Mollie Katzen

I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I have flirted with it many times over the years and am constantly looking for ways to add more veggie variety into my diet. Katzen is most known for the Moosewood Cookbooks which were a hearty staple of the average vegetarian kitchen for years. The subtitle suggests that this book if for a "new generation" and that is reflected in the contents. The hippie, granola feel of the Moosewood books is mostly gone and replaced by color photos and illustrations. The recipes themselves are lighter and probably healthier as they don't include nearly as much dairy as in the past, making this more vegan-friendly.

The extensive menu recommendations (vegetarian and vegan) are perfect for people who have limited time for planning such things and the ingredients used are surprisingly accessible given the penchant for vegetarian cookbooks to require obscure produce and spices. The Heart of the Plate is indeed a classic cookbook for modern times.


I received a complimentary copy of the e-book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Man Repeller

Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.

by Leandra Medine

The Man Repeller was probably the first hugely popular fashion blog. I was an intermittent reader at best because, even though her aesthetic didn't appeal to me, the concept of embracing your personal style even if it repels men was kind of funny. This is not a style guide, but rather a fashion biography of sorts where Medine uses articles of clothing as chapter titles and jumping off points to tell the high points (mainly surrounding love) of her life thus far. 
Her sometimes wacky "I Love Lucy" style anecdotes that take her from her first crush in elementary school to joining the adult job market are at once endearing and annoying in a Carrie Bradshaw kind of way. Medine's clear devotion to fashion are what kept me reading long after I decided that I couldn't relate to her at all.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book of this title in exchange for my honest review

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Yours Forever

by Farrah Rochon

Farrah Rochon returns to the town of Gauthier, Louisiana in the third book in her Bayou Dreams series. In this installment, Tamryn West arrives in the small town to.spend the summer doing research that will fill in the blanks of her grandmother's story and further her career as a history professor.
She hopes to finally meet Matthew Gauthier, a member of the town's most prominent family, hoping that he can help her find what she's looking for. Matthew, on the other hand, hopes she isn't successful because it could mean exposing his family's secrets and effectively end his burgeoning political career. Neither one, however, is expecting the sparks between them to fly so furiously. 
I have loved all of the Bayou Dreams books, this one included. The combination of romance with history and small town life is something that Rochon does well.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book of this title in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Juice Generation

100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies

by Eric Helms

There are plenty of books on juicing out there, but The Juice Generation is probably the most beautiful and accessible that I've read so far. The layout is what really sets this book apart from others as the nutritional information is presented in a clear way without the reader feeling bogged down with facts, as is the tendency with writings on this subject.
The author eases you into the world of juicing by breaking it up into a plan of three phases. The first phase introduces you to easy recipes with familiar fruits and veggies an even includes choices to make with your blender if you haven't committed to buying a juicer yet. Each subsequent phase adds in more produce and supplements and leads you up to juice cleanses when you're ready.

The pictures throughout are gorgeous and there are also testimonials from avid juicers. The only drawback for me was the namedropping of celebrities, but it didn't detract that much from the text. The Juice Generation will definitely reside in my healthy eating library.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book of this title in exchange for my honest review

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Returned

by Jason Mott


With the recent popularity of zombies and all things undead, you would think that a book about long dead loved ones reappearing is just another modern horror story. The Returned is not that. Instead it's a quiet, yet complex story about love, faith, and fear.
Harold and Lucille Hargrave's son Jacob died at the age of 8 in 1966. Now, over 40 years later, he is brought home to them by a government agent who is as perplexed as they are but is just doing his job. It seems that this is happening all over the world and no one knows why. Are they living or dead? Are they back for good? What do we do with them? 
If you're looking for an action packed zombie novel like The Walking Dead, this is not for you. If you're interested in a story of ordinary people forced to deal with an extraordinary situation, then pick this up. The American television series based on this book, Resurrection will start in March 2014.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the e-book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.