We're going to make this short and sweet since I did this blog post once before and lost the entire thing. I set a very ambitions reading list for myself this month on top of everything else I wanted to read. I ended up reading 3/4 books out of the 5 I wanted and I will say I was unexpectedly surprised by 2 on the list.
*A book & it's prequel:Wyoming Wildflowers: The Beginning by Patricia McLinn & Almost a Bride by Patricia McLinn
This prequel is the beginning to the Wyoming Wildflower series. It features Ed who is a rancher in town for a stud show and Donna who is a theater actress. They start a brief fling but come to learn that they're deeply in love with each other. Ed is to Donna next stop in San Fran to tell her this "Sing,dance, and act. He'll wait for her". That declaration of love turns into a proposal of marriage. Donna surprisingly accepts and leaves the theater. Speed ahead, Ed is retiring and him and Donna a going to travel the world. Donna is fussing with leaving their three children behind to run the ranch. Ed finally convinces her to get in the car and that we're the next story begins. Overall a good book, it just threw me though a loop where in the end it speed ahead to Ed retiring. I thought the next book was going to continue with Ed and Donna and them getting married and her adjusting to living on a ranch after leaving the theater.
This story continues where the first ended. Dave is left to run the ranch while his parents enjoy their retirement and each other while traveling the world. Now onto Dave. A long time ago there was a girl in the ranch next door,Matty who was Dave's best friend and his first of everything. He would of did anything for her. But Matty got in her head that she would be settling if she continue on the path she was with Dave. So left and broke up with him and never came back home for even a visit until her uncle died and left the ranch to her. Now to present day, Matty know Dave even after all these years will do anything for her.So her asking him to marry her is easy but what she doesn't tell him until later on that she needs to marry him to apply for a grant to save her ranch. This is wear it gets interesting because I'm saying to myself this isn't going to work and they're all going to jail. Dave gets smart to her game and gets in contact with grant program and gives the grant money back.What Matty doesn't know is that the money she has been receiving is directly from Dave. All awhile they're trying to resist each other which they can't .Dave have and always will be in love with her. Matty tries to fight but it's playing a losing battle. In the end, he wins her over and they marry for real. It was fun reading all the nonsense Matty would come up with. The clauses in the prenup about getting the fouls if one decides to divorce before the 18 month period and Dave trying to win her over. Pure comedy. I would definitely continue on this series especially to read what brought Dave's sister back from NY so fast.
*A book set in Europe: Reckless Nights in Rome by CC Mackenzie
I wasn't too sure about this book but said to myself okay just read it. Surprisingly it was good. It's about Bronte who finds out a family hidden secret when her parents die unexpectedly in a car crash. In which she finds out her family is penniless and her father is not really her father. Because they are penniless with mountains of debt her brother partners up with Nico who turns their home into a hotel. However, Bronte was left Dower House that Nico has make several attempts to get her to sell. So while she's running her wedding cake business she's on the hunt to find her biological father which her brother isn't too happy about. He would rather let sleeping dog lie but Bronte must know who the man is. All the while she had a chance encounter with Nico who thinks she's a thief since he caught her leaving out a window of the hotel but she's really trying to leave a horrible blind date going wrong.Once they realize who each other really is they realize there is an attraction to each other that can resist. So they start a short fling which Bronte is convince it's a scheme by Nico to get Dower House. When her brother gets into a car accident in Rome.Bronte and Nico leave England for Rome where their romance heats but when ends just as fast. Nico tries everything to get her to talk to him but when he stops by Dower House on evening to talk to her he finds the house alarms going off, a woman screaming, broken glass everything. He finds her blind date from all those weeks ago who turned into her stalker thanks to ex-fiance attacking and attempting to rape her. Nico see red and fights the guy off her. Bronte ends up in the hospital for her injuries where she finds out she's pregnant. Nico always said he would never marry and fall in love but he has for Bronte. Nico finally talks to Bronte where they both profess their love for each other and Bronte tell Nico he will be a father. He's so happy he proposes marriage. The get married and the book ends where the family thought they were having one child but in turn she was carrying twins. A boy and girl. A good book overall, it was good to finally figure out who her stalker was. She did find her father who the media turned the story into with a wealthy sugar daddy.Which was funny who the media can run with idea and everyone believes it. Nico finally talk to his father and brother and learn to get everything in his past.
*A book about a culture you're unfamiliar with: The Thorn by Beverly Lewis
Now this book was a complete surprise. I kept putting it on the back burner until I realized I didn't read enough challenge books for the month.Being close to 400 pages I was dreading it but it was a complete surprise on how good it was. Set in the Amish community. The story follows two sister Hen(Hannah) and Rose (Rosie). Hen leaves the Amish community and marries a non-Amish and has a daughter Mattie Ann. She abrutely comes back home for a short stay we hope when she gets this pull for her daughter's sake to be more plain Amish-like. Her husband isn't too happy about that and basically threatens to take her to court for his daughter if she doesn't return home soon and act more Enlish-like since she said that's what she wanted when she met and married him. The story ends with Hen loving being back in the Amish community even working on the local fabric store and Mattie Ann taking very good the change in the community. Even dressing and learning to speak the local language. Hen hopes to win her husband over and bring him in to the church. God himself would have to have a hand in that because her husband is a hard shell to crack.
Onto Rose, she's embodies everything Amish. She got baptized much earlier then most girls due to her mother having an accident many years earlier which left her parallelized from the waist down. Her mother suffers great pain and no medication works due to making her mother very ill. Since Hen left Rose has been the sole carer of her mother until her grandmother is able to help when her grandfather is better. So besides Rose's chores and taking care of her mother she really doesn't have time for much else. She finds some fun riding with the bishop's adoptive son Nick who lives next door and works for her father. Their best friends since the day he arrived at the bishop's home. He's a non-Amish who was placed with the bishop through the state. Despite the bishop's every attempt to integrate Nick into the community and culture Nick resists. When the bishop tells Nick to show attention to Rose Hen realizes he's actually sweet on her. Which is a bad thing in their community since he's more of the black sheep.Rose doesn't realize this until the very end of the book. All awhile, Rose is worrying about finding someone to marry. She was being courted by Silas before her mother's accident but that stopped when she stopped attending the Singings. That's where eligible boy and eligible girls get together sing together but it's really to see who's available. You might talk and flirt a lil' bit. At the end of the night one of the boys might offer to give your lift home where they might ask to see you again.
Back to Rose, she gets a letter from Silas asking her to a carriage ride a couple days later. This carriage rides leads to Silas asking Rose to marriage where she accepts despite her love for Nick. Nick at the end of the book goes off with his brother for a ride and comes back home which his long hair chopped off and his brother half died. His brother ends up dying after all attempts to save him. Nick was not the cause of the death since he fell off his horse and landed on rock. Nick wants Rose to leave with him after they both realize they love each other. Nick is even willing to join the church for her but Rose tells him no. So in turn Nick leaves which Rose says to herself is the best.
The book ends with Rose preparing for one of her cousin's wedding while thinking about her upcoming nuptials the coming year. This books was a total surprise on how much I enjoyed it. I really thought I wasn't. I will continue with this series to find out what happens with Hen and her husband. Will Rose really marry Silas? Will Nick come back? And if he does what will Rose do? Hmmm....
May is here and it's time to knock some books off the challenge book list. I'll set the bar high again and aim for 6 books.Maybe I'll surprise myself.
*A book you haven't read since high school: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
*A book based on a fairy tale: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
*A dystopian novel: Awakening by C.B. Stone
* A book about a road trip: The Road to Price by Justine Elvira
*A book that takes place on an island: Aloha Texas by Chris Keniston
* A murder mystery: Death by Marriage by Jaiden Skye