Monday, December 15, 2014

A Matter Of Heart by Tracie Peterson

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

I wanted to like this book, but I found the main characters too caught up in mistakes of the past and thinking back on them and not so much with getting on with life. Jessica still seemed pretty self absorbed - even though she was concerned about it, if you really are you start thinking of others instead of dwelling on how selfish you are and how you need to change. Jessica's mother is very unconcerned and just tells her she's fine as she is. Apparently when you are beautiful you don't need much in the way of character.

Austin Todd's character and that of Harrison Gable are so stereotypical they aren't even interesting in the least. Jessica and Austin seem to fall in love rather suddenly. They really don't spend much time together and all of a sudden they are pining for each other. 

This was not Tracie Peterson's best by any means, but there's nothing terribly objectionable about it either.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Playing By Heart by Anne Mateer

book review of Playing By Heart by Anne Mateer (Bethany House) by papertapepins

Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was nicely different, starting with having such a studious and intellectual main character in Lula. She's a mathematician, and loves numbers, even finds comfort in them when things turn stressful. She's hidden herself away in a world of scholarly pursuits and has forgotten much about how to live the rest of life - outside those walls she's constructed for herself.

It's an age old story of the withdrawn girl learning to take risks and live more fully with a different twist, that being the early days of basketball. How fun to read about the beginnings of the game, and about the adaptations for the girls so that they wouldn't end up with "bicycle heart" of all things! There are serious subjects in this story but there's also humour to lighten it up. It's a nice escape from the modern age.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Anne Mateer
    Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray

    Anne Mateer

    Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.Visit for more information.
    Continue reading about Anne Mateer

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot

book review of At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot (Revell) by papertapepins

Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.
Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort's unassuming handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

I hate to say it but I did not enjoy this book. It is in a word, boring. Very. With just as much cheese thrown in for good measure. This was so disappointing. I am a fan of Amanda Cabot's historical fiction, especially her Texas Dreams series. I don't mind a light, fluffy read once in a while, but this was over the top with the cheese factor and not much happened to anyone in the course of the story, especially not that you couldn't see coming from the get go. 

I couldn't connect to any of the characters. I didn't find them interesting or even very likeable. I found it additionally annoying that this story is told from 3 points of view which just serves to draw it out longer without adding much to it in my mind. I wanted to like this book, I was excited to read it because it was by Amanda Cabot even though the writeup didn't thrill me, but it wasn't worth it. Skip it and find her historical fiction instead.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


  1. Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot

    Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, Christmas RosesSummer of Promise, and Waiting for Spring. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers Best. She lives in Wyoming. Find out...
    Continue reading about Amanda Cabot

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