Thursday, February 6, 2014

Echoes of Mercy

Echoes of Mercy
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Waterbrook Press
January 21, 2014
Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Historical

When a suspicious accident occurs at the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, in 1904, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate. Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father.

The book centers around Caroline Lang. She is an investigator for the Labor Commission. She is sent to work at the Dinsmore World-Famous Chocolate Factory. To find out what truly happened with an accident surrounding another investigators death and for the underage child workers. 30% of the workers are children ages 11-15. Caroline has a deep seated need to change those numbers and have things be different for kids. Much of that passion stems from her own painful childhood. 

Ollie is also undercover as the factory janitor. He's trying to learn the family business. When he meets Caroline he's instantly attracted to her. The stats she has differ greatly from the stats he knows to be true about the factory and the two can hardly seem to agree on anything. 

This is a sweet and easy to read book. I enjoyed the Chocolate factory perspective and I loved that Caroline was an undercover investigator. Woven throughout are moments of sweetness between Carrie and Ollie and Carrie's adopted parents. There is also a sibling group that steps into the story and they'll steal your heart away. Nothing too deep or earth shattering in this book but definitely an excellent read.

My thanks to Waterbrook Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

With Autumn's Return

With Autumn's Return
Amanda Cabot
Revell Publishing
Fiction, Romance, Historical 
January 21, 2014

Elizabeth Harding arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to establish her medical practice thanks to the wooing of her two older sisters who extolled the beauty of the land. She's certain she'll have a line of patients eager for her expertise and gentle bedside manner. However, she soon discovers the town and its older doctor may not welcome a new physician. Even more frustrating, the handsome young attorney next door may not be ready for the idea of a woman doctor. For his part, Jason Nordling has nothing against women, but he's promised himself that the woman he marries will be a full-time mother.

Despite their firm principles, Elizabeth and Jason find that mutual attraction--and disdain from the community--is drawing them ever closer. And when the two find themselves working to save the life and tattered reputation of a local woman, they'll have to decide how far they're willing to go to find justice--and true love.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Westward Winds series from Cabot and this book did no disappoint. Elizabeth is a great character. A wonderful mixture of spunk and softness. I liked her from the very beginning. She was prickly but she quickly grew on me. Jason is a sweet guy who develops nicely through the book as well. This is an easy read but not necessarily a moving read. In many ways it feels like there are too many storylines throughout the book. There's a murder, there's a Madam, there's an overweight single mother, there's a wanna be rancher, there's a doctor, and there's a lawyer. At times I wasn't completely sure where exactly we were going. However, I was in the mood for an easy read so I didn't get overly worried about the confusion. I would like to see Cabot take a stance and stick with it at some point. 

Elizabeth and Jason grow together as friends and then fall in love. It's sweet, it's how ideally real life may look like. I appreciated that. While they didn't resolve all of their issues between careers and marriage I was fine without having everything wrapped in a neat little bow. I think you'll be too. Sit back and enjoy. 

My thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 
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