From the paranormal and surreal to a light Texas romance rife with twins and now… a Love Inspired HISTORICAL! What a weird collection these past few weeks. Set in 1881 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee His Mountain Miss by Karen Kirst was a rather sweet period romance. The third book (once again, like Carbon Copy Cowboy, right into the middle of the series… oops) in the Smokey Mountain Ranches series, this book centers on one of the daughters in the O’Malley family… Megan and her interactions with New Orleans aristocrat Lucian Beaumont.
Lucian has come to sell off his estranged and now deceased grandfather’s property so he can return to New Orleans free of what he sees as the abandonment of his mother by her father and himself in turn. Tied to this property is Megan and the people of Smokey Mountain who are (according to the will) allowed access to the property to continue on the good works of its previous owner.
I really appreciate the author’s grasp of the era (and since this is not my favourite… I prefer Regency, this was a wonderful surprise), she really does draw you into the scene and make you want to know all you can about the characters. There is a bit of a mystery to what happened to between Lucian’s mother and his grandfather to clear up… many members of Megan’s family to meet and the surrounding townspeople.
This is definitely a faith based book… Megan with her strong faith and Lucian needing to regain his in the face of his loss of his mother. Class differences in the era are touched upon lightly as are the conditions and difficulties of the time. This story deals with loss, with faith and love, with knowing what is best for yourself beyond your past and the future your family or your status seems to demand. And it helps that Lucian has his French words tossed in there for flair and a description that is quite marvelous. Definitely an enjoyable read!
Well we are still trucking along on the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Book number 4 or Mystery Ranch was a lucky garage sale find for us… we had it on hand and everything! So as soon as we got done our book 3 review (HERE) we moved onto this one. So please enjoy our review. As always, be aware that Gavin CAN let spoilers slip. I do not censor him when I type up his review.
I actually read this book in one sitting at the hair salon. It was a nice escape from the noise while I was stuck sitting down. I would say this is the shortest read (for me) so far. But the story is no less entertaining. There is the usual mystery, a new location and interesting characters to meet as well as the same basic 4 children and dog with their loving grandfather.
I think this is the first time I had Gavin question what something was listed in the book. An ore that came up had to be discussed but as usual the illustrations were fun (though our cover was more modern the illustrations inside were not and a lot more interesting.). I can honestly say it is not a hardship to be required to read this and have a discussion with Gavin. I am also looking forward to book 5 which we could only find on ebook form at our local library.
Now for Gavin’s opinion:
It is a really good book because they put a lot of effort into the mystery. I would read this book again. I did not know the answer to the mystery until I got to the last bit of the book. I like this series. I still enjoyed the second book (HERE) the most. My favourite character in this book was Benny with his dog (Watch) because Benny is funny and Watch is cute.
And then there were two readers… for this second installment just Gavin and I read the book. This time a digital read again we took turns and I think I can safely say BOTH found enjoyment in the tale.
Surprise Island by Gertrude Chandler Warner brings us to an all new summer adventure for the 4 boxcar children. This time one that their gentle grandfather has planned out for them on an island his family owns. Again you have the 4 children off on their own for an extended period of time. This time, however, with much more supervision and provisions.
As with the other book in this series there is a mystery person in the form of an island handyman. There are some minor incidents of course but nothing hugely life endangering. Just moments of excitement!
I do love how this series has the children working on their own, creating and imagining with what they have. Definitely a series I will continue to suggest the kids read. You can read the first book review HERE.
But first, Gavin’s review:
It is a good story. It did not feel very long to me. I think 10 year old or old would enjoy reading it. Little kids would enjoy this if someone read it to them. I want to read more in the series. I like Watch the dog best because he does funny stuff. It was a funny book. There are lots of chapters.