Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BLOG TOUR: How Four Feet of Plywood Saved the Grand Canyon by Jerry Borrowman


ABOUT THE BOOK

History turns on small points. From the world's most catastrophic game of chicken to the nail-biting success story at the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River, discover fascinating events you've probably never heard of. In this collection of eight true stories from the forgotten pages of history, learn about disasters caused by human error as well as calamities avoided by quick and clever thinking—the lawsuit that launched Abraham Lincoln's political career, the collapse of the Teton Dam, the invention that revolutionized the world of sound, and more. This book is truly love at first sight for lovers of history.

REVIEW

Being a history buff, I love to read about lesser known events and how people responded and behaved. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the eight historical events Borrowman covers in this book.  I also found it interesting the way Borrowman explained his own personal connection to each story and why he included it in this book.  Some of the events in this book I had heard of before such as the Halifax explosion and Abraham Lincoln's involvement in the lawsuit surrounding the Rock Island Railroad Bridge disaster that led his rise to national prominence.  I was also already aware of the Yellowstone Supervolcano and the Teton Dam disaster.  But I've found that it doesn't hurt to read multiple accounts of historical or geographical topics because there is never just one view and there is always more to learn.  The account that I found the most compelling because I had never heard it before was the story about the almost failure of the Glen Canyon Dam.  Stories of human ingenuity always fascinate me, especially since it's so much easier to come across stories of human failure.  The saving of the Glen Canyon Dam involves both.  I can recommend this book to those like myself who enjoy reading about lesser known events of human history that nonetheless left there mark on the world.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Pride & Politics by Brittany Larsen


ABOUT THE BOOK

As the daughter of a well-known senator, Summer Knight is all too familiar with the nasty side of politics. She’s always stayed out of the drama, until an incident involving her fellow Mormons drives her out of her hometown—and out of the Church. What she needs is a change of scene, and sunny California seems like just the place. Enter Benson Hardy. He’s just her type—until she finds out who he is. Not only is Benson a nephew to her father’s political rival, he’s also a devout member of the Church. The last thing Summer wants is to be mixed up in politics—or religion. But Benson challenges her like no one else, asking the tough questions about her inactivity. Though their incompatibility is clear, their connection is undeniable, and soon Summer finds the embers of her faith reigniting. Just as it seems that the pair might be on the road to romance, a series of embarrassing misunderstandings—and the appearance of a handsome charmer determined to sweep Summer off her feet—knock the couple completely off course. As Summer finds herself at a crossroads, she must decide if she’s willing to set her pride aside for a shot at true love.

REVIEW

While I'm not a big fan of books involving politics, I couldn't resist picking this up when I discovered that it's a modern take on Pride & Prejudice.  And overall, the author does a nice job of incorporating elements of the original story into a contemporary world.  But the story doesn't lose it's modern feel either.  Summer makes for an amusing narrator as she struggles to deal with the curve balls thrown at her.  When she meets Benson, she is attracted to him, but the fact that he is the nephew of her father's political rival leads her to put the brakes on that attraction.  Besides that he is close-mouthed and stand-offish, and she gets really irritated with him on multiple occasions.  And then she meets Jake, who like Wickham in the original story, leads her astray with his stories about Benson and his family.  When Summer's younger sisters arrive to stay with her for the summer, complications ensue.  When Summer discovers Benson's role in the breakup of her friend Allie from his friend Chase, her feelings get even hotter.  Containing many of the main elements from the main story, along with plenty of modern twists, Larsen has created an enjoyable take on a classic.

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TOUR SCHEDULE


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Thursday, May 12, 2016

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: The Earl's Betrothal by Karen Tuft


ABOUT THE BOOK

Wounded both mentally and physically from the Peninsular War in 1812, Anthony returns home to find that his older brother has died, placing Anthony next in line to inherit the estate. But he's not ready for such responsibilities. And when Anthony's dying father pleads with him to marry and produce an heir to preserve the family title, it nearly send Anthony over the edge; nevertheless he dutifully faces a long line of hopeful young ladies who await him. No one grabs his attention, though, like Amelia Clarke, his mother's stunning companion, who is off-limits for the earl. But when Anthony unwittingly puts Amelia in a compromising situation, he dedicates himself to protecting her reputation.

But the horrors Anthony faced while away from home have left him feeling broken and tormented. And Anthony finds himself drawn to Miss Clarke, the only one who can chase away his demons, but he must overcome the hostility of a society driven by class, a jealous duke bent on revenge, and himself—for could Amelia ever really love a haunted man?

REVIEW

The Earl's Betrothal is going on my favorite's shelf with my other well-loved regencies. Not only is it well-written and compelling, but I fell in love with the characters immediately.  Anthony and Amelia are the kind of characters that I thoroughly enjoy reading about.  Anthony arrives home from the war in Spain to discover that his older brother, the heir to the Marquess of Ashworth, has been killed in an accident and he is now the Earl of Halford.  But haunted by his experiences in Spain, he struggles with nightmares and feeling worthy of his new position and the responsibilities it entails.

Amelia, the untitled daughter of a vicar, works as Lady Ashworth's companion.  Her kind temperament, yet educated mind intrigue Anthony from the moment they meet.  The attraction between the two is clear from the beginning, but the obstacles between them are legion.  Amelia works for the Ashworth's for one thing and little is known about her background and family.  Anthony promises his father he will marry quickly in order to carry on the family line, but is reluctant to burden any woman with his past.  But a moment of temptation leads to the two becoming betrothed.  But opposition and scandal as well as the pair's own past experiences threaten to derail the relationship.

I found this book a quick read but also a story to relish.  For those who enjoy clean regency romances, I can highly recommend this one. The plot has more than enough twists and turns to be satisfying along with plenty of romance.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*May 9th:
http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/,
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http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/,
http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/
*May 13th:
http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/,
http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/,
http://thethingsilovemost.com/,

http://www.kindleandme.com/


Thursday, May 5, 2016

A PROPER ROMANCE: Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi S. Kilpack


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt—and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him.

However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well.

Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton’s life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice. But can Alice risk her heart a second time?


REVIEW

Once again, Kilpack has created a romance that has more depth than most.  Her characters feel real with real strengths and weaknesses who make both good and bad decisions and have to live with the consequences.  Lord Fenton for the first time in ten years is forced to grow up in order to retain his position as heir to the Earl of Chariton (his father).  He even signs a contract agreeing to learn how to manage his property as well as marry.  But after ten years of hiding behind his drinking and ridiculous behavior, refusing to let anyone see the real him, Fenton doesn't know how to find a bride.  As a result, he takes his mother's advice and proposes to Alice Stanbridge by letter.  At first, Alice is thrilled as she remembers the boy she once had a crush on, but when it becomes apparent that he does not care for her and hides behind his drinking and absurd behavior, she puts up walls of her own.  With walls firmly in place it appears that all Alice and Fenton are capable of doing is arguing, refusing to let the other in.  But when Fenton's mother becomes ill and leaves London with Alice for company things begin to change.  And at Foxcroft, Fenton's mother's property, Alice realizes that there is more to the family than she ever imagined. And as Fenton begins to face the consequences of his parents' decisions, he realizes that he just may need Alice more than he would have ever thought.  

I found the slow-growing romance here remarkably believable as both Fenton and Alice are forced to deal with the walls that Fenton has put up and doesn't know how to take down.  Both are uncertain and want to protect themselves and as a result they shut each other out for quite awhile.  The struggles that the characters go through facing both their own poor choices as well as the poor choices of others makes for great character growth, which I always enjoy reading. Not only is this book full of the period details that I so love, but full of characters great and small who shine through so clearly.  Kilpack has done a wonderful job creating a clean, thoughtful, brilliant read for those who enjoy not just a romance, but a romance with depth.

 
 
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