Contemporary Fiction

The Wrong Prince... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

The Wrong Prince

C. K. Brooke

The Wrong Prince by CK Brooke  a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Goodreads Summary:

Two princes. One bride. A dire misunderstanding…

Geo and Dmitri are the princes of Tybiria. Though Geo is the obvious athlete, it's bookish Dmitri that yields the credit - and consequences - for slaying a foreign prince. But whose arrow really struck the boy?

Luccia Camerlane is the Baron of Backshore’s enigmatic well as Prince Geo’s secret mistress…until she learns of her disastrous betrothal to none other than his brother, Prince Dmitri.

When Dmitri is abducted by the deranged King of Llewes, star-crossed lovers Geo and Lucie must set aside their woes and differences to rescue the Crown Prince from the formidable Wintersea fortress. A precocious castle ward, a fascinating love-quadrangle, and a hit-woman harlot complete this action-packed rom com in another wickedly fast-paced fantasy adventure from C.K. Brooke, author of The Red Pearl and the Books of Jordinia.

Sneak Peek:

"What was she playing at? If she caught his eye, what would it accomplish? Cause the prince to simply hate her more?"  (location 191, e-reader)

Initial Thoughts

Surprisingly, with my current string of semi-hits to simply not impresses, I am really into the beginning of this book.  The characters are interesting, compelling. I want to know what happens and the action is swift, which is helpful!

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa @ Reading List

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

Book review

The Artisan's Wife {A Book Review}

Friday, September 02, 2016

The Artisan's Wife

Judith Miller

Historical Fiction is one of those genres that I have a love/hate relationship with.  When I was a young teenager I would read historical fiction so fast it was ridiculous. It helped that my grandmother was a fan of reading, and loved to discuss the history that these particular books gave. So we could spend our time discussing books - it was marvelous.

And then I got pulled into different genres, but now and again I find myself being pulled toward a historical fiction mostly in hopes of getting back some of that personal nostalgia. So my expectations for these books are often extremely high. It is a hard standard to reach.

The Artisan's Wife by Judith Miller a review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Ainslee McKay finds herself taking over a new family business after being snubbed by her twin sister, her best friend.  The hurt is deep, and the anger fuels her decision to try to run the new family tile business.  However, her stubbornness leads to a mistake that forces her to rely on the help of another. Of course, Ms McKay is not used to relying on strangers for help, and the experience is eye opening, on many levels. 

Levi Judson is a creative man, who is forced to leave the job he loves just as he was able to combine his love of art and his talent at tile making.  As he finds himself in a new town, looking for work, and keeping a secret, he quickly realizes some secrets are meant to be shared. 

Of course Levi ends up being hired by Ainslee right before her mistake, and the two are pushed together by circumstances.  Fate (aka Judith Miller) is all too kind in how he keeps Ainslee and Levi's life intertwined as they learn the need for healing through forgiveness for completely different reasons. 

While this is officially the third book in Miller's Refined by Love series, the reader does not need to have read the other books in the series.  Each book tells it's own story, so do not feel like you need to start at the beginning if this book calls to you.  Of course if you enjoy it, you will have a couple more books you can turn to next!

Personal Likes

It was fun to have a woman who showed both demure feminine behavior that was expected for the time period, while throwing in the role as business manager. While I am sure this is not accurate for the times, it made for a few fun scenes near the beginning of the book while Ainslee is starting to take over the tile works.  

I also appreciated Miller's approach to the asylum in this book.  While she says in her end comments, that asylums ended up being a tragic place for so many, their original purpose and intent was to help. This book takes a look at the system when it was starting and working as hoped before the need for more money and space lead it on the downward spiral that is the center of so many stories. 

The Artisan's Wife by Judith Miller  a Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

I seem to be having this issue a bit recently, but this book just did not connect with me.  I didn't fall in love with any of the characters.  I wasn't rooting for Ainslee and Levi's relationship, I wasn't heart broken with the disaster that surrounds Levi's brother, I wasn't nervous over the tile-work's contracts... I was just lukewarm to the whole thing.

Also, and this could be why I didn't connect to the love story, in an attempt to keep this a clean romance, the bulk of the relationship seemed to evolve in the character's minds. Not even while they were with each other, trying to figure out how they felt, but alone, separate. And then out of no where they were in love.  At least for me, that is how it read.

And one more point, because this is partly why so many seem reluctant to pick up Christian historical fiction, at least I've been told from a quite a few...:There are some wonderful scenes in this book where Ainslee realizes the need of each part of the body, the human body, in order to complete even the most simple daily tasks.  It was easy, as a reader, to take the obvious step to correlate to need of the church body.  But the point was hammered too hard, when one page later, another character spelled out the correlation as if the reader were a child and needed it explained.  While I realize that this point could have been placed in this book because of need to help those who are not familiar with the Bible, the vast majority of the readers picking up Christian historical fiction are already, at least to a small extent, familiar with the major points of the Bible.  There needs to be some points that are not beat so hard in that we become defensive over it.

Reading List Rating

I can only give this book three hearts.  I simply was not drawn into it like I had hoped. As I mentioned above, I have high expectations for these books, and it can be a hard standard to reach. I will not be reading this one again, but I do know some who would enjoy it. So it's not a horrible read, just not for me.

My Suggested Audience

I would recommend this one to those who are fans of the Christian Historical Fiction. It is a small niche, but for those who are fans, this will most likely, be a hit.  That being said, I am not sure it will appeal to many.  The focus on prayer is heavy, which can turn off some historical fiction fans (of course it shouldn't... but let's be honest here) and as well as the need to keep the romantic elements completely clean which resulted in some very slow sections of the book (clean both in violence and relationships).  As far as ages, it's a completely clean book, so I wouldn't fear a young teenager picking this one up.  Be aware that part of the plot includes mentally handicapped as well the institutionalizing of women by their husbands (all historically accurate). While this is not to be seen as a demonizing action in way, I know there are some that avoid such parts of literature (if you are concerned, shoot me a message, and I'll try to be more clear).

Goodreads Review

The Artisan's Wife (Refined by Love #3)The Artisan's Wife by Judith McCoy Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I expected something more from these characters. It just was too by the book for a Christian historical fiction.

The attraction between Ainslee and Levi was slow and then suddenly they were flirting mostly in their thoughts which did not translate well to me. And the subplots often overshadowed the main plot. Overall this was just a so-so read.

Although, I can tell how this could be a popular book for the genre. Christian historical fiction, with a light romance, is popular. And if that is the genre you are looking at, that you enjoy, then this will certainly fit that perfectly. Know that prayer and leaning into God during the bumps of life is the goal of these characters. As well as a major focus on seeking forgiveness and giving forgiveness. If you are a casual reader of the genre, know that God, Christianity, and prayer are heavy in this book - this is not a bad thing or a good thing, but be forewarned if you are leery of it.

I just wish there would have been more speed to the pacing of this book, it is slow, steady, but slow. And for this season of life, it was just not enough to pull me away and engage me as much as I would have hoped. In a different season, this could have gotten a better reaction from me - I guess that is why there are so many options in fiction, no?

~~I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review - all opinions are my own.~~

View all my reviews

Wondering Questions to Consider

At what point do we, as people, as Christians, need to seek help in giving physical care to our relatives?  How easy is it for you to seek forgiveness of family members? To ask for it?  Overall, the need of giving and receiving forgiveness plays a huge role in this book, especially when it comes to family members.  How is it that so often those closest to us are the ones that hurt us most deeply, and then we selfishly refuse to forgive?

the real achievement is learning to live a full life even when scars remain... #TheArtisansWife @Reading_List1

What are your thoughts on adult historical fiction romances? Should they be completely clean, without even alluding to flirtations past basic courting? (And no I am not saying this needs to be a discussion about the crazy over the top details that so many contemporary romances go...)

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, BethanyHouse. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #157

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Reading List Freebies...

Alright guys... I'm stumped, what kind of freebies would you all like for the rest of the year?  I am putting together a simply Autumn banner that you can print out for next week... but then what?  Let me know!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Suzanna from Wonder-filled Days: Painless Geography.  She shares a wonderfully fun way of teaching kids geography through an awesome globe puzzle. 
Painless Geography  a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Barbara from Cordially Barbara: Give your child the world. She shares a great resource for reading to your kids and encourages parents to keep on with the task of helping our kids fall in love with reading. 
Give your child the world  a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page.
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes the link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

See where I link up!

blog tour

Tenderfoot: A Review, Blog Tour, & Giveaway!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Abby Drinen

There is something about stories where regular people, living fairly regular lives, end up in some unknown world facing an adventure of a lifetime that calls to me.  Maybe it's because life can be so daily?  Or the routine that keeps sanity in my house can leave my mind screaming for some kind of shake up?  Do you know what I'm saying?

Either way, I was pretty excited to get a chance to check out Abby Drinen's premier book that promised to take the reader away to a new land and on a serious adventure.

Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen  A Book review

Story Overview - from Goodreads

Tenderfoot (Enova #1)
Abby Drinen
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: June 25th 2016

“No lights, no sound. But my skin knows this isn’t home. Why aren’t I afraid?”

Orphaned teenagers, Linnea, Sammy, Logan, and Daisy, have never met until they’re drawn into the fabric between worlds, crossing over from Earth to a place called Enova. Leaving behind lives filled with pain and loss they find hope in this new place. Adopted by caring, Enovan families they begin to settle in, but an assassination attempt on their lives changes everything. These four strangers must now band together and unravel the mysteries behind their purpose in Enova if they want to survive.

About the Author

I call Northern California home and share my hearth with my husband, three kids, and a red Rottweiler named Paco. I like to write about real characters in unreal worlds. The question I ask myself when I sit down at the keyboard is: how can I make this next scene a whole lot of fun to read?

Email: (I LOVE to hear from readers!)

Pinterest: (lots of pictures of Enova, plus characters, and other extras!)

Wattpad: (rough drafts of my novellas)
Movellas: (rough drafts of my other stories & novellas)

Author Links:

Personal Likes

The diversity of the four Earthers was wonderful. Linnea, Sammy, Logan, and Daisy are completely different, from different parts of the world, and yet when they end up in a new world, they soon realize working together is the key to their survival, and the unity between them was refreshing, even though it had a rocky start.

I also enjoyed the visuals Drinen gives of Enova (the new world).  The sana (sort of like water, but not) was interesting. The way she develops it throughout the story helps to keep the reader going, and makes it more real as the characters also learn slowly, through experience.

Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen  A Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

I wish I had connected with one of these characters.  There ended up being about 8 regular characters, and I never once felt a pull towards any of them.  Maybe it was the decision to give a different character's perspective for each chapter, or the fact that this is a setup book for a series, but I never once cared if a character really pulled through or not... which isn't good.

And, for regulars on Reading List this will sound like a broken record, I was greatly distracted by poor editing on the grammar and story structure.  There were many small grammatical issues that alone should be ignored, but when they added up to so many, and I wasn't distracted by a great pull to a character it was just too much.  Maybe the story structure issues spawned from an introductory book, but overall it was distracting for me.

Reading List Rating

I can only give this a three heart rating.  I read the entire book, and it was fun enough, but for me, that is enough.  All that being said, I know many fantasy/sci-fi fans will enjoy this, so do not be deterred by my noncommittal rating. 

Check out My Review on Goodreads

Tenderfoot (Enova Book 1)Tenderfoot by Abby Drinen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

~~I was given this to review ~~

I was interested in Enova and the new world but somehow I never connected with any of the main characters... Or their guardians for that matter. With the lack of connection issues with editing and grammar stood out like a sore thumb and I simply could not ignore it.

This is certainly a teen fantasy book as the world and special capabilities of these earthens go through a crazy adventure. While this book did not interest me greatly, I am sure young high fantasy fans would get into this story as it is full of spins and twists. Overall it is completely clean and acceptable for young teen readers.    

View all my reviews

My Suggested Audience

I would suggest this for teen readers who enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, new world series. While there are some flirtatious scenes, it is clean and harmless, only a few times alluding to previous decisions made on earth. And there is some violence that fits right into the sci-fi genre, but nothing unexpected or mature. As far as the adult sci-fi fans... this one might be a little young.  That might be why I personally did not connect... but then again, I am only one person. 


Enter to win prizes, including a kindle fire and signed copies of Tenderfoot, by subscribing to the author’s newsletter! See flyer for additional giveaway info! 

Tenderfoot giveaway flyer

"Arrogant people can't be trusted." #Tenderfoot @abby_drinen @Reading_List1

How often have you picked up a book that friend was not impressed with and then loved it? Do you allow others to completely influence your choices, or do you go with your gut when it comes to picking out books? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author & YA Bound Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

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