Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd is the next historical novel from this author.  Camille Iverness has been raised by her father in the Curiosity shop that he owns ever since her mother left them when she was quite young to take care of her ailing mother in Portugal.  She just never returned afterwards and Camille has never understood how such a loving mother could just leave her only daughter and then only write her once or twice a year.  Camille finally quit reading even the letters that she did write.  Her father depends on her to run the shop when he is gone and to keep the books always.  He is a demanding father but she has never thought that he didn't love her.  This time though when he was gone the shop was robbed and Camille was hurt and hurt bad and he just yelled at her for leaving the shop and allowing it to be ransacked.  He said it was all her fault and then to further add insult he threw her out into the street to fend for herself with nothing but the clothes on her back.  Jonathan Gilchrist is the son of a rich property owner.  Ian Gilchrist is a property owner but has been down on his luck when it comes to his hobby of buying up curiosities for his collection and now what should happen but his prize ruby, the Bevoy, has been stolen and by a person who he has done much business with, James Iverness.  Ian had sent Jonathan down to the shop to retrieve the ruby, which is not only beautiful but legend has it is both blessed and cursed, and he arrives just in time to witness the robbery of the shop and rescue Camille.  When her father throws her into the street Jonathan convinces her that he can help her to get a job at the local private school.  And there begins this whodunit.  
Though this novel is written in a historic romance format it also has the markings of a mystery so it casts a wider net of readers than most romances.  I really liked this book and think that woman and older girls of any age would like reading it. 
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy is a fantastic read.  In this book Ms McCoy takes the reader into the life of Eden and Jack Anderson who have purchased an old historical house in the suburbs of Washington D.C.  Eden and Jack are trying to have a baby and have been trying for  years.  They are exhausted and the hormones that Eden is forced to take is making her short tempered and self centered.  Jack is often away from home for his job and has hired the neighbor girl to help out with the new dog he has brought home.  Eden and Cleo, the young neighbor girl, are getting acquainted and start discovering more and more about the old house and the new dog.  The house was possibly once a part of the Underground Railroad and Cleo and Eden are looking for the clues necessary to get it on the National Register of Historic Places with the first clue being the china doll head found in the root cellar.  Side by side in separate chapters is told in fictional tone the story of Sarah Brown, talented and intelligent real life daughter of the famous John Brown.  The house which the Andersons now reside is one of the many that Sarah lived with her family.  She was a talented artist and drew pictures into which were hidden clues for the passengers on the UGRR (underground railroad) to find their way north.

I love reading history and so I also loved reading this fictionalized version of some of the things that Sarah Brown might have done to help continue her father's cause after his hanging.  This book is well written and holds the reader's attention well.  Anyone who is interested in the history of the underground railroad would love reading this novel.  I would give this book 5 stars in all categories and it could be read by anyone of any age who could read the words.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson

Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson is the next novel by this prolific author.  This is the 2nd in the Brides of Seattle series and she does not disappoint the reader.  Militine Scott has escaped her father's violence and is now spending her time in the Madison Bridal School in Seattle in 1889 learning to become a respectable woman that could marry and know everything that a wife should know in order to run her own home.  It would be fine except Militine has no intention of ever marrying anyone and who would want her once they found out that her mother was murdered by her father?  She was just hiding out here to keep safe in the city.   Militine's best friend at the school is the niece of the founders of the school, Abrianna Cunningham.  Abrianna keeps herself busy learning what it is that God intends her to do with her life and trying to convince Militine that God exists and loves her.  Abrianna has just opened a Food House to feed the poor of Seattle at least one soup and slice of bread meal per day and that has been keeping her and Militine busy along with Wade and Thane who volunteer at the school as male escorts to keep the young girls safety assured.

Refining Fire is another fine example to Ms Peterson's great writing ability.  She completely holds the readers interest as these 2 best friends seek to learn and plan out what it is that God has in store for their young life.  Militine and Abrianna get into many predicaments that young ladies just should not be acquainted with because of their impetuous natures.  Abrianna seeks to do God's will for her and Militine still can't quite believe that God exists.  How can the 2 of them be such good friends and have such different natures?  Read this book to find out.
I received this book from Bethany House  which is a division of Baker Publishing Group for this review.