The Dressmaker’s Secret by Kellyn Roth

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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the-dressmskers-secretThe Dressmaker’s Secret by Kellyn Roth

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Eight-year-old Alice loves and admires her mother, Claire, a seamstress in 19th Century London. But as Alice’s curiosity grows around the apparently taboo subject of her absent father, she’s determined to find some answers in The Dressmaker’s Secret by author Kellyn Roth.

This novel has an old-fashioned feel. Here and there, it gave me an impression much like the starkness I’ve felt while reading Dickens and Brontë (Charlotte more so than Emily.) My favorite parts were those centered on the antics and young struggles of the novel’s children, and I couldn’t help being reminded a bit of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi and her friend Peter, the shepherd boy, during the scenes with Alice and her friend Kirk, the stable boy.

I’ll admit that modern middle grade fiction is unfamiliar territory for me, as this novel is aimed at an upper middle grade to young adult audience. Yet, while the book’s stylistic aspects like the clear melodrama, the childlike or vague explanations, and the excess of exclamation points seem more fitting for children, much of the story’s subject matter might be pretty mature for readers younger than teens.

At times, I lost the sense of a vital plot behind the novel’s course of events. Then as the story headed toward its ending with a rather sudden and convenient solution for the characters’ predicament, I felt unsure about whether Claire and Alice were meant to grow and learn a central lesson through it all, beyond their outward circumstances.

Still, the novel’s mix of faith, mystery, romance, and the perspectives of characters of different ages should appeal to a number of Christian Fiction fans.

Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy: 7 Christian Winter Romances

 *Newly Released!*
Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy:
7 Christian Winter Romances

00 Kisses, Kids, Bundles

I’m the type of bookworm who likes to read any “seasonal” book during any season. I’m also a person who starts celebrating Christmas in September (yes, folks, I’m serious!), and I therefore tend to get a jumpstart on winter. Now, what better way for a bookworm to get a jumpstart on winter than with winter-themed reads?
Kisses, Kids and Bundles of Joy has seven brand new Christian winter romance novellas from bestselling and award-winning authors.

One Winter Kiss by Lindi Peterson
Childish Ways by Jenn Faulk
The Baby & the Bachelor by Cindy K. Green
For Tracy by Trisha Grace
Tropical Kiss or Miss by Liwen Y. Ho (I’ve read this one!)
To Gain a Mommy 
by Tanya Eavenson
Foolish Heart by Cindy Flores Martinez

You can pick up this novella collection now at Amazon, Kobo, or Apple iTunes.

Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

Add to Goodreads

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Visit the authors!

Lindi Peterson | Jenn Faulk

Lindi PetersonJenn Faulk

Cindy K. Green | Trisha Grace | Liwen Y. Ho

Cindy K. GreenTrisha GraceLiwen Y. Ho

Tanya Eavenson | Cindy Flores Martinez

Tanya EavensonCindy Flores Martinez

A Matchmaker in Middlebury by Anita Higman

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Five Gold Stars

a-matchmaker-in-middleburyA Matchmaker in Middlebury by Anita Higman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“Yes, the time is ripe to allow two hapless souls to benefit from my gifts. We shan’t wait a moment longer. Is shan’t a real word?”

With her opera glasses and other tools of her matchmaking trade on hand, Meredith Steinberg is ready to wield her romantic powers on behalf of two single neighbors in A Matchmaker in Middlebury by author Anita Higman.

I found this romantic comedy thoroughly charming. It was clear I was entering a setting and encountering some characters who’d already been introduced in another book, but I didn’t feel lost. The story doesn’t rush, which is great, though some parts feel a bit too slow. The climactic event seems somewhat out of place, as far as its timing, and then the story shifts and carries on with another subject a tad too long, as if the novelette isn’t sure where to end.

Still, to me, the humor and the bold touch of the unexpected here make up for the story’s flaws, and I wouldn’t at all mind reading more from this author.

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A Marriage in Middlebury

A Spoonful of Spice by Liwen Y. Ho

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Four Silver Stars

a-spoonful-of-spiceA Spoonful Of Spice by Liwen Y. Ho

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

It’s an IT Boy Meets IT Girl situation when Josh Pepper is chosen to train Cin Thomas, the newbie at Josh’s job. But the fact that the two work together in a male-dominated department could ruin their chances at becoming more than coworkers in A Spoonful of Spice by author Liwen Y. Ho.

This is the second short story I’ve read in the Seasons of Love series, and like the first story, this one is a delight. It gives a nice helping of autumnal charm and the sweetness of an easy and airy romance. I appreciated Cin’s attitude, Josh’s acuity, and the brief appearance of characters I’ve gotten to know before. The plot is pretty light as far as its conflict goes, but there’s an interesting little twist to things that I didn’t see coming.

I feel I’ve read this story at the perfect time, what with autumn currently coming on where I live, but anyone who’ll appreciate a quick and pleasurable romance read can enjoy this tale anytime.

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Here’s my review of the first story in the Seasons of Love series, The More the Merrier.

The More the Merrier