Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Daugher of Highland Hall

The Daughter of Highland Hall (Edwardian Brides, #2)The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

The Daughter of Highland Hall is book two in the Carrie Turansky's series Edwardian Brides. The first book shares the story of Julia Foster and Sir William Ramsey. If you've read book one, The Governess of Highland Hall, the newest novel jumps right in after book one concludes. Except the main character Katherine Ramsey, Julia's former charge. If you haven't read book one, the back story would help, but the main story focuses on Katherine (Kate) and her coming out in London, so you wouldn't need to if you wanted to jump right in with this title!

Kate struggled when her cousin, Sir William Ramsey inherited her family's estate. William became her guardian and Kate became bitter. When Julie arrived, she helped Kate turn her life around. The largest part was showing her God's love and importance of leading an honest life. Kate takes her lessons to heart as she struggles with debuting during the London season. Her critical Aunt Louisa wears her down, but she believes honesty is best. Kate catches the eye of eligible bachelor Edward Wellington, but also Julie's brother Jonathan Foster who is in London finishing his medical training. It's a great year of change for Kate. As the season progresses, she begins to discover what matters in her life and what will bring joy to her, to others, and to God.

It was a pleasure reading Kate's story. The London season is always fun to read about in books. Her Aunt was quite the pusher, but if the goal is a good marriage to someone with high standing, it's what would need to done. Kate has a very strong personality and you can understand the struggle she faces between respecting her aunt and standing her ground. She questioned her faith, her future, and her foundation of marriage. I think it was wise for her to contemplate and see the differences of relationships that surrounded her. It's not always easy to know your mind and your heart. It's wise to question, pray, and seek council with others.

I look at my own life and can see a similar path during points of my past. Time and events can change your perspective. It's not always easy, but having friends and family and faith will help smooth the journey. Julia, Jon, and others offered beautiful advise shared in faith that can help sustain a person going through trouble times. Turansky wove together a beautiful story. I look forward to her next piece that is coming out in 2015 - A Refuge at Highland Hall.

Time Period: Edwardian, 1912
Location: London, England

Thank you, Blogging for Books for this review copy! I enjoyed it!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Review: Tried and True

Tried and True (Wild at Heart Book #1)Tried and True by Mary Connealy

Book 01: Wild at Heart

The Wild family finished fighting in the Civil War and moved West. They wanted to be part of homesteading new territory and create a large claim in honor of their lost family member - Jimmy. In actuality, father Cudgel Wilde wanted his daughters to homestead on their own and after they homestead for their required years, their large piece of property would be in honor of his lost son. The daughters, Kylie, Bailey, and Shannon agree to homestead, but it turns out to be more challenging then they all expected. Someone is out to get Kylie for her land. The land agenda, Aaron Masterson, sees through the sisters' "manly" disguises instantly and they could be written up for fraud. And what about the after effects of fighting in the Civil War?

Mary Connealy always weaves such a delightful and unique story. I'm always at the edge of my seat for the next book she has published. This new series was no exception! Right away, readers know it's going be to a series instead of a standalone novel. She set it up by having three sisters creating their own unique homesteads as well as giving each girl strengths and weaknesses. They compliment each other very well. Kylie and Aaron are the main characters, but plenty of others in the territory and town come into play. There is a mountain man named Matt Tucker, a rancher named Gage Coulter who was building up his property before settlers began arriving; Neville Bassett - a confederate with a grudge, and Sunrise - an outcast from the Shoshone tribe. Readers are in for a high-paced treat during the land run after the War Between the States. I cannot wait to read the next installment of the Wild at Heart series!

Time Period: Post-Civil War, Western, 1866
Location: Idaho Territory

Reviewed from a NetGalley copy. Thank you, Bethany House!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Martha Stewart's One Pot Cookbook

One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and MoreOne Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More by Martha Stewart

Are you familiar with Martha Stewart Living magazine? It's a magazine that is filled with recipes, products, home decor, and helpful hints. The format is clean and crisp with photographs that are in muted and welcoming tones. It's a mix between old world, well-loved pieces and modern marvels. It translated very well into their newest cookbook.

The recipes were divided by there cooking pots - dutch oven, skillet & saute pan, slow cooker, roasting pan & baking dish, pressure cooker, then stockpot & saucepan. Dessert options are at the end of the book, but they are prepared between a variety of the above listed pots and pans. The beginning of each section offered a list of the recipes and a page about each pot. The introduction to each pot includes basics and cooking tips. These extra pages are very helpful for the reader who has never cooked with certain pots before in their kitchen.

The recipes in each section offer a wide variety of dinner options. There is a different range of food and flavors as well as cooking abilities. Some recipes throw everything together and cook it (Linguine with Tomato and Basil) while others ask for an additional step or two before throwing it all together (Braised Chicken with Potatoes and Lemon). All in all, each recipe focused on one pot creations that will please a wide audience. If the cook doesn't like the written recipe, it can always be adjusted. If you're new to adjusting a recipe, each section offers one recipe that can be cooked four different ways. All I can say is dig in and enjoy the cooking adventure!

Photographs accompany each recipe. I appreciated that each photograph showed a different food presentation. The finished dishes were displayed in different pots and pans or serving dishes or on plates or bowls. The variety of the photographs kept the art interesting and heartwarming with their mix of well-used kitchen equipment and new pieces for the kitchen.

Lastly, I noticed a couple book design features I've enjoyed in this book. The sections are divided by the pots. On the recipe pages next to the page number, the publishers included a small gray scale watercolor image of the highlighted pot in that particular section. Artwork that is cute and helpful when flipping through the cookbook. Another design plus is having built-in bookmarks with the book cover flaps - very helpful when marking a page.

I previously cooked Linguine with Tomato and Basil (except, I used penne). It was delicious and simple. I am looking forward to expanding my culinary skills and trying some new recipes. I also enjoyed seeing recipes done using different pots. I would have never thought to make Mac and Cheese in a skillet or cook sausages with potatoes in a dutch oven.

Thank you, Blogging for Books for this review copy! I heartily enjoyed it!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...