Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hometown Courtship / Witness to Murder / Lonestar Cinderella

Author: Diann Hunt
Publisher: Love Inspired
July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-81417-6
Genre: Inspirational/romance

Callie Easton has several unpaid tickets. And now, in court, the judge has assigned her to do forty hours of community service. Unfortunately, the community service is helping build houses for an organization similar to Habitats for Humanity, and Brad Sharp is the supervisor.

Brad Sharp is tired of being set up by his happily married brother, the judge. And Callie is just one more reason he’s had enough. Okay, she seems to know her way around a hammer and nail, but she has a bit of trouble with punctuality, and she is into pedicures, manicures, and the entire beauty thing, something that Brad is convinced killed his sister.

Callie has a heart of gold, plus she works hard. Soon Brad finds himself fighting off his attraction to her. But when he finds out that Callie knew his sister—and was even friends with her—well, that is the last straw. What will it take for God to reveal that He wants them to make a home—together.

HOMETOWN COURTSHIP is a book that I’ve looked forward to reading for quite sometime. Full of humor, the sizzle of attraction, and a story line I haven’t read recently, it is a recipe for romance.

Callie is definitely a sweetheart. A lot more girly-girl than I, she is more at home around hair colors and nail polish, and knows her way around specialized bakeries and coffee shops. Brad is a bear, gruff, and tending to roar a bit. His anger issues kind of turned me off of him, but well, it was nice to read about a less than perfect hero for a change. If you are looking for a good romance then HOMETOWN COURTSHIP might be a book you’d be interested in. Available from Discussion questions included at the end of the book. $6.25. 268 pages.

Author: Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-44345-1
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

TV Reporter, Hallie Berglund is supposed to interview a model for a fluff segment on TV, but when she arrives at her destination, she finds the door open, and the woman dead, with a popular sports figure standing over her, holding the murder weapon. Hallie quickly notifies the police of her discovery, and the suspect flees the scene of the crime.

Brody Jordan is a sports reporter, and apparently on good terms with the popular jocks, as the first person the suspect thinks to call is Brody when he needs help. Brody is quick to respond, and he tries his hardest to convince Hallie that he is innocent, but Hallie will have nothing to do with it.

Then the murder weapon arrives via the mail in Hallie’s office, with a note, informing her she could be next. Not only that, but the victim in the crime was wearing an exclusive piece of Hallie’s mother’s jewelry, and now Hallie is the only person who can unearth the secrets of the past—if she can survive long enough.

WITNESS TO MURDER is the second Love Inspired Suspense by popular suspense author, Jill Elizabeth Nelson. I enjoyed getting to know Hallie, and Brody, but I did think that both of them needed to learn some lessons in caution! Most people would not just enter a house (not theirs) where the door is standing open; they would call out and announce their presence first.

However, the story was fast paces and intriguing, and I had to keep reading to discover how the victim got Hallie’s mother’s bracelet, and who the murderer actually was. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 212 pages.


Author: Debra Clopton
Publisher: Love Inspired
July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-81415-2
Genre: Inspirational/romance

Melody Chandler is looking forward to her time living in the former stage coach stop on a ranch. But the owner of the ranch is less than thrilled to have her there. He knows all about the rumors that gold was hidden on his land back in the days of stage coaches and outlaws, and he doesn’t want a bunch of treasure hunters pounding on his door.

Seth Turner is surprised when he goes to evict his new tenant and discovers she refuses to leave—she has a lease, signed by his brother. So, he decides to do the next best thing and work with Melody to control what she finds in his great grandmother’s journals and limit the community involvement.

But when Melody finds a map, leading to the treasure, Seth finds himself out in the woods with Melody, trying to follow the clues. Will he find a treasure at the end of the search?

I’ve read all the books in Ms. Clopton’s Mule Hollow series so far, and I just love her voice. Her stories are full of humor, and real life, and loveable characters. LONE STAR CINDERELLA is no different. I enjoyed getting to know Melody and Seth and seeing Seth’s ranch as they explored it, looking for that ancient treasure.

Melody and Seth are very expertly developed, and it was nice to revisit some of the characters from previous books. I can’t help but love all the elderly matchmakers living in the community. Makes me wish that Mule Hollow is actually a real place. Don’t miss any of the books in the Mule Hollow series, but most especially not LONE STAR CINDERELLA. Available at Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 268 pages.

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