Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Book Review: Irish Meadows

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Faced With an Uncertain Future, Sometimes All You Have Left Is the Courage to Dream.

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry---as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whalen returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. Lately I tend to grow bored with Christian historical fiction, as it can start to all be the same ol', same ol' and full of cliches, but this one actually wasn't so bad. I really enjoyed the fact that it followed two love stories as opposed to the usual one, which I think kept things interesting without either story dragging on too much. I don't think she focused too long on the boring details of things, so that was nice. It was pretty typical as far as historical romance goes, however I think the author is a good enough writer that she was able to keep things fresh and new. Brianna was pretty much your typical heroine, so I think I enjoyed Colleen's story a bit more. I tend to enjoy the characters who start in a "bad place" and gradually become better, as opposed to the characters who start out already "perfect". It just adds more depth and meaning to the story, in my opinion. So while it certainly wasn't a book that I absolutely loved and just couldn't put down, it was pretty good for its genre, so I give it a good 4 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book review: Eat Beautiful

Eat Beautiful:
Food and Recipes to Nourish Your Skin From the Inside Out
by Wendy Rowe

Beauty is as much about good health as the way you look. In Eat Beautiful, Wendy Rowe shows you how to achieve amazing skin, with 70 delicious recipes based on nutrient-boosting ingredients.

This is a really nice "cookbook". Not only does it contain lots of yummy recipes, but it is also full of nutritional and skincare tips, as well as lists of foods and ingredients and what they are good for. I love that it is seperated into seasons, with recipes containing ingredients that are easier to get your hands on for each corresponding season. I have only tried one recipe from it, a smoothie that we happened to already have most of the ingredients on hand, but I look forward to trying more! This seems to be a really nice book, and is also visually appealing with a nice hardcover in a pretty blush color with bronzy gold lettering! If you're into eating healhty, and/or are looking to improve your complexion through eating the right foods, I definitely recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.