Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee

January 28, 2014

I first heard about this book through an email in which I was invited to review it. After reading the synopsis, I thought it would be a cute fun book to read. Although at times I was slightly bored, in the end I'm very glad I read it.

The main character's mother, Ophelia, died three months prior to the beginning of the story so the family is still trying to pick up the pieces. Ophelia does not believe in magic and wizards. She has an older sister Alice, and her father is a sword expert and was hired to prepare an exhibition in the museum where the Marvelous Boy was locked. Ophelia finds him and he pleads for her help to free him and defeat the Snow Queen before the quickly upcoming deadline.

This was a very cute book. Although I would never buy it, a nice read for the library would be perfect!

Live by Mary Ann Rivers (The Burnside Series #1)

January 21, 2014

While looking for new books to review, I thought romance seemed like a perfect read! This is a first in its series and I honestly can't wait to see how the series unravels! While reading this book, I found myself smiling, laughing, tearing up, and having my emotions run in circles!

 There are 2 main characters:

Destiny (or most call her Des) – has lived in Ohio all her life, a ginger haired girl with loads of freckles. She has 3 siblings, her mom passed away a while ago, and her father recently passed away. She’s unemployed, and to top it off: her sister is very sick and hasn’t recovered since an accident she was in. 

Enter Hefin Thomas from Wales. He is oh so dreamy and such a gentleman! I would love to talk to him just so I can hear his accent. Hefin is a woodcarver and has been in the US for about 6 years now, and though he has been divorced for some time, he still has emotions about his ex wife and the relationship they had together. After his current job at the library is completed, he plans on returning to Wales to see his parents who he misses, and eventually move to Beijing to resume the work field he was in. I completely fell for Hefin: from the way he spoke to Destiny, the way he thought of her, and the way he had such a sweet tooth: sugary tea, chocolate biscuits, and donuts!

Prior to actually meeting and talking with one another, they mostly stole glances at one another while neither one of them was looking. While having an emotional breakdown at the library, Hefin finally approaches Destiny. From that moment on, they continue on this whirlwind romance. The healing process for each of them was beautiful. It definitely was a journey about love for both of them. Love in its many forms: where you come from, where you’re going, and who you meet along the way to help you.

I loved all the characters of this book, and I anticipate reading the rest of the books and how it unfolds!

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

January 16, 2014

This is the 2nd book I read by Mary Ann Rivers and it didn't disappoint! I literally read this book in 1 day, a nice short quick and easy read!

Simple definition of a Story Guy: Somebody that makes a big bookmark in your life. That definitely was the case for Carrie West, a local librarian. One Tuesday morning at 4 AM, Carrie was looking through the personal ads for her enjoyment and there was one that struck her fancy: a guy (Brian) whose intentions were very straightforward and honest. His ad sought someone who would be interested in meeting up on Wednesday's at lunchtime for an hour of kissing. Only Kissing. Carrie was intrigued and immediately responded, knowing there was a chance that some other lucky lady filled that position already. Surprisingly he responded promptly and was interested in meeting up with her, even though he didn't bother asking for a picture or a name.

On the first Wednesday of meeting up, their chemistry was off the charts! The way Mary Ann Rivers described their kisses was perfectly detailed which draws you into the story even more. However, Carrie is a little saddened when Brian decides to meet up the following Wednesday instead of sooner. She can't stop thinking about him! As time goes on, Brian's walls he's built up to protect himself slowly comes down and he lets Carrie into his life. She finds out information about his family, and his past relationships (so-to-speak) and how sweet and good hearted he really is. He really knows the definition of being selfless and she loves that about him.

This story definitely left me feeling very happy for the characters! It also makes me want to check out the personal ads myself to see if I can find myself a Brian haha I look forward to reading more stories written by Marry Ann!

Now That We're Speaking The Same Language

January 1, 2014

Now That You're Speaking My Language
By: Gary Chapman
216 pages

Learning how to have good, positive communication and intimacy on all levels for a successful marriage.

The man who brought you The 5 Love Languages is back with another book. This time around, he's taking aim at the way married couples communicate and helping them have an intimate marriage.

I liked that Gary Chapman was open and honest about his own marriage. The early years were nothing like what he and his wife thought they would be. After several years of unhappiness, they were able to get on the right track. It was nice to see an author of a self-help book be this vulnerable. Mr. Chapman is very open about the mistakes he made and the misconceptions he entered his marriage with. He never once gave me the impression of him being better than anyone else, just someone who's navigated the bumpy road already.

He compares 4 different patterns of communication with birds that reflect that personality. He lists the 5 levels of communication for you, and which ones you should strive for.

The second half of the book focused more on intimacy- and he's not talking about just the bedroom. He tells you the different types of intimacy there are, and how to achieve them. He tells you what a contract marriage is and how it's different from a covenant marriage. Again, the author is open about how he participated in both. 

Now You're Speaking My Language is a positive read on how to have the kind of marriage God intended you to have. God doesn't want you to have a contract marriage, where it's all business. He wants you to have a covenant marriage, where your marriage is a sacred bond. This book is great for couples who haven't gotten married yet, just got married, or been married for decades. The approach isn't negative or hopeless, but a positive one. If you're struggling with the communication, or just feel like the bond isn't as close as you'd like it to be, you can make it better. As long as you have the will, Gary Chapman has a way.

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