An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter {book review}


An Elegant Facade by Kristin Ann Hunter {book review}  This is the second in the Hawthorne House series, which began with A Noble Masquerade. Though this is a stand-alone story, ‘Georgina’s story begins before Miranda’s story ends.’  

AnElegantFacadeSummary:  Lady Georgina Hawthorne has always known she must marry well. After years of tirelessly planning every detail of her debut season, she is poised to be a smashing success and have her choice of eligible gentlemen.

With money and powerful business connections but no title, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. He intends to marry someday, but when he does it will not be to a shallow woman like Lady Georgina, whose only concerns appear to be status and appearance.

But beneath her flawless exterior, Georgina’s social aspirations stem from a shameful secret she is desperately trying to keep hidden–and that Colin is too close to discovering. Drawn to each other despite their mutual intent to avoid association, is the realization of their dreams worth the sacrifices they’ll be forced to make?

My Review:  
It is difficult to write this honest review, as every other review of this book is top-notch. I did not care for this story. It is not my favorite setting. I was stretching myself in choosing to read it to begin with.

It is my first read of this author. I have not read A Noble Masquerade, but I did read An Elegant Facade knowing that it overlaps with the previous book, though it stands alone. Perhaps that is part of what I didn’t like about the book, without knowing it. What the author attempted is a difficult feat, which she seems to have nailed.

If so, then I fault the publisher for the problems. I’m really surprised, because I love this publisher’s books. There are a number of seeming errors in various areas, which should have been corrected in the editing. Numerous times I read and re-read aloud a sentence to get the sense of it. Some structure, and some word choices and tenses were confusing to this reader.

The story did move along. The book is easy to read. Georgina’s secret is early on exposed to the reader, but because it could not be called by its present-day name, it required a huge amount of showing and attention, which was enmeshed in Georgina’s personality. Granted, not an easy task for a fairly new author to tackle.

Why was the mother not involved in the story after the beginning? Her absence is explained, but not believable. This family’s living situation is awkward, to say the least.

I would like to see more consistency in the faith element in the story. Georgiana was sorting through each of her closest people’s relationship to God, which made it a bit choppy and impersonal. I get the importance of being able to read, but that’s not the basis of one’s faith in God.

My rating: 2 stars   I recommend this book to those who enjoy Jane Austen and other stories among the classes in 19th century England. It is a squeaky clean read, appropriate for any age.

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

This review is also posted on Goodreads and Christianbooks.com

KristiAnnHunter

 

About the Author: Kristin Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Her debut novel, A Noble Masquerade, is a RITA double finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com .

 

Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez {book review}


Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace by Mary A. Perez {book review}

Abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism,  teen pregnancy, divorce, dysfunctional family, step-dad, half-siblings, sibling death in childhood, faith in God, grandparent-grandchild relationships, hunger, racism, the list goes on ..

Running in Heels Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave her mother’s bed after breaking in through their bedroom window, Mary figured out that her family was dirt poor. Worse than her empty stomach, she was hungry for acceptance and love.

Mary’s grandparents, first generation immigrants from Puerto Rico, took her in and gave her a glimpse of faith and stability. For a brief, shining spell, she had a real home—until they decided that Mama needed her. They may have been right, but Mama needed more than a little girl could give and Mary lost her way again.

Running in Heels is a memoir of the grit and grace that carried a young girl through the shadows of her mother’s choices and on through an abusive marriage. Mary A. Pérez narrates an incredible story of survival in the face of hopelessness, and learning to forgive against all odds.

A story of coming of age, and coming into grace.

My Review:  This book is incredible in every sense of the word! I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is the memoir of a girl who, by the grace of God, lived to tell the story. The story is one of hope. A hope that clings to a God Who deals in the ordinary, and uses the ordinary for His glory.

Personally I enjoyed the Puerto Rican heritage, blended with NY and Miami. There were many pieces of the story with which I identified, partially because I grew up in the same era, albeit in different circumstances. I love the many period identifiers in the author’s childhood.

If you were raised in an intact and safe family, you may have difficulty believing this memoir. At one point I thought this reads like unbelievable fiction, though I don’t believe any of it was made up or written for effect. It is incredible to me that children who are neglected and abused can not only survive, but lead productive adult lives – by the grace of our loving God.

This book touched my heart in so many ways, some because I could identify with the author, and some which were convicting to me. The best part of the book (no spoilers) is the relationship between the author and her mother by the end of the book. Regardless of the reader’s circumstances this will speak to your heart as well.

I give this book a 5-star rating for a couple of reasons. One, the author is not a writer by trade, yet this book is very well written. I believe she worked very hard to make it so. And two, because it reached way down to my toes – it ‘got me’ where it matters. I absolutely love the transparency of the author. She claims to serve a perfect God, while she continues to be human. This is not a preachy book, but rather as down-to-earth as can be, giving credit to God and His grace.

mary a. perezI received my copy of Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace by Mary A. Perez from the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions are my own.

Thank you so much, Mary, for asking me to review your book. The blessing is all mine!

Please visit Mary’s website to read her blog and find stores where her book is available. She is also on Goodreads.

 

Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley {book review}


Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley {book review}

Gone Without a Trace Patricia Bradleybook

Gone Without a Trace (Logan Point, #3)Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy. So thankful for my public library!

This is the third in the Logan Point series, which are stand-alone stories set in the same place. Patricia Bradley is a newly published author who has quickly become one of my favorites. Her writing is just that good. It is full of suspense, suspects and squeaky-clean. While it is about murder(s) it is tastefully told.

And the characters, of which there are not a few, have enough depth and description to carry the reader with them as the mystery unfolds. Bradley hides her suspects well.

I love the multiple relationships and levels in the book. Even though her books are quick reads, there is always something to be learned from the characters, as they learn and grow with each other and with God. Bradley’s books are not preachy but have a firm line of faith which occasionally pops up in the story.

The one thing I questioned was the conversation by the ten-year old girl — she sounded much younger, especially in the beginning.

I highly recommend this book to all readers of either gender and any age. I’m looking forward to the next book.

My rating: 4 stars

View all my reviews

The above review is posted on Goodreads and Christianbook.com .

Read my reviews of the first two books in the series, Shadows of the Past and  A Promise to Protect