It’s been a while. So much has happened since last I posted. My husband of almost forty-six years went to the doctor with chest pain and a few weeks later, underwent a multiple-bypass surgery.
He did very well and thankfully, I was able to remain with him during his three days in the ICU and three more in the cardiac ward. Only six days total sounds like a miracle to me but bringing him home presented new challenges. However, God is good and rich in mercy. My husband is now recovering nicely and itching to get back to a more normal life. He prefers to be in the driver’s seat.
Life as a chauffeur to numerous doctor visits translates into more time for me to read (like the chauffeur in Sabrina who originally took the job to have more time to read).
I read three books, which is more than I’ve read in a year. I’ve written short reviews for all three.
The Captured Bride by Michele Griep
Historical fiction, upstate New York, 1759
I knew I was going to like this book from the first moment I picked it up. It’s been on my TBR pile for nearly two years since I bought it when it first came out. Anyone who has ever read a Michele Griep book will not be disappointed.
What I liked most: The prose. Michele Griep is an artist who paints “wordscapes.” Her scenes are rich and vibrant. I often took the time to reread a scene because it was so beautifully written.
What I liked the least: Some of the scenes were so gut-wrenching and action-packed, I wanted to chew my nails. I couldn’t set it down but had to know what happened next.
In a nutshell: I highly recommend this book, especially if you are a fan of historical fiction. The research is spot-on but not overdone, so there are no info-dumps, just richly written scenes. I loved the colorful characters, too.
One thing that drew me to this story, in the beginning, is the setting. My husband’s family is from Upstate New York. I’ve visited there, so I was familiar with many of the landmarks and rivers named in this novel.
Breaking Point by Marji Laine
Mystery, romantic suspense.
This is another one I grabbed as soon as it was released. I had started reading it but life got in the way. It’s the second book in the Heath’s Point Suspense series. I haven’t read the first book but that didn’t harm the story. However, now that I’ve read book two, I definitely want to read the first one.
What I liked most: The author has a good handle on writing this genre. The suspense remained taut throughout.
What I liked the least: What I would like to say would be a spoiler, so I’ll just say I was a little frustrated at times with the main character. She was not at all what she seemed in the beginning (a good thing because I didn’t like her). Sometimes we are too quick to judge, however. Once I knew a little more about her past, I better understood her life decisions.
In a nutshell: If you love romantic suspense and big, crazy families, you will like this book. My recommendation would be to start with Book I Counter Point. The action level is high, so they make a quick read.
The Cowboys, Jennifer Uhlarik, Linda W. Yezak, Cindy Ervin Huff, and Sandra Merville Hart
The Cowboys is a Western collection of novellas. I’ve been a fan of western fiction since my childhood, so this book kind of felt like that chocolate bar you keep hidden on the top shelf in the pantry. Author Linda W. Yezak was the main reason I bought it, but the other three did not disappoint. I loved all four stories and would have a difficult time choosing my favorite.
What I liked most: The length. Each novella-length story is a breeze to read, especially since I loved all the characters.
What I liked the least: The length. I could easily have read more about each of these. I’d arrive at the end and think, “already?”
In a nutshell: I whole-heartedly recommend this collection of novellas, especially if you are a big fan of western historical romance. If you’ve never read it before, this is a great way to try it on for size. It’s also a great way to try out new authors. These four are quite talented and well able to stand on their own, which makes this collection worth so much more. This one goes on my reread shelf (kind of like that secret stash of chocolate—shh! Don’t tell my husband!).