Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review: The Potter's Lady

I recently had an opportunity to read and review the book The Potter's Lady by Judith Miller. This book is part of the Refined by Love series. Rose McKay is a recent design school graduate and she's on her way back home to rejoin her family. Her brother Ewan used to oversee a brickyard, but he's choosing a new business to invest in. Despite his experience with brick making, Rose manages to convince her brother to purchase a pottery business instead. She's excited for the opportunity to get to use her artistic talent to paint on these pottery pieces, but she feels a tremendous amount of pressure to make the fledgling business succeed. Even with their best efforts, McKay Pottery begins to lose contracts to Harkness Pottery. Rylan Campbell does his best to help the business to succeed as he did for the previous pottery owner. He and Rose begin to work together on designing pottery in the hope of winning a design contest sponsored by Franklin Hotels. McKay Pottery needs the contract from the hotel in order for the business to survive.

I loved the historical fiction setting of the book and the pottery business part of the plot. The novel is quite suspenseful and full of mystery. I feel that the book stands alone even if you haven't read the first book in the series, but the first title might give you some background on the other characters and the story itself. In general, I think book would be best for adults because of an implied (not described) physical relationship between two characters that are not in love or engaged. The relationship is integral to the plot, but I do believe it makes the content of the book a bit more adult. I feel that the plot was wrapped up and resolved very tidily and quickly, which was not necessarily completely believable. The book is an entertaining read that I think most readers who enjoy historical fiction would like.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Clothing Budget

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post and I skipped my June clothing budget round up, but I thought I'd check in and share what I bought it July. I've thrifted some pretty pieces, got a pair of made in the USA sandals, and finally got a multi colored paper bead necklace!

July Clothing Budget

July Clothing Budget by gracenote30 featuring a paper necklace

  • Colorful paper bead necklace from Lot 2545: $12.20 (I also joined their silver level jewelry club for $10 a month to support their ministry. I will get a small piece of handmade jewelry each month as a part of this club.) **Use code 50FIFTY at checkout in their Etsy shop to get 50% off until the end of August!**
  • White Mountain Lipstick cognac leather flats (Goodwill): $4.58
  • American Apparel navy and white gingham button up (Goodwill): $2.30
  • Old Navy nutmeg polka dot shorts (Goodwill): $1.76
  • Apt. 9 gray and black animal print jersey dress (Goodwill): $5.65
  • Sbicca Auckland sandals (6pm.com): $19.22
  • Coldwater Creek and Lands' End blouses (Goodwill Outlet): $2.14

Total spent: $47.85

I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book Review: In Good Company

When I saw the cover for the new book In Good Company by Jen Turano, I knew it looked like something I wanted to read. I read and reviewed the first book in the series back in April. While this book is part of a series and does have some characters in common with the first title, it isn't necessary to read that book first; this title does a fine job as a stand alone book. In Good Company is the story of Millie Longfellow, an orphan turned misunderstood nanny, and Everett Mulberry, a respected and wealthy member of high society. When Everett is looking for a nanny for three children in his care, he discovers he needs Millie's help - despite her lack of good references. The unlikely pair find themselves embroiled in a variety of major and minor dramas, both serious and amusing - from peacocks to trying to get to the bottom of the children's parents' untimely deaths. Everett discovers that status isn't everything and learns that Millie, while unconventional, is actually a wonderful nanny.

This book is a historical romance published by Bethany House. It is funny and serious at times, but very enjoyable and unique. Millie is a quirky character that is full of personality. Everett's character goes through a number of changes during the book as well. This book is definitely in the Christian fiction genre, but the story line is not heavily religious. The plot contains a bit of mystery and suspense, plus some romance and comic relief. I would recommend this charming book to anyone that likes historical fiction. I liked it even more than the first in the series!

I received a copy of of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: Hearts Made Whole

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund is book two in the Beacons of Hope series. The book is a historical fiction novel set in 1865 in Windmill Point, Michigan. Caroline Taylor has been running the Windmill Point Lighthouse on her own, while caring for her younger siblings, after the death of her father. The lighthouse inspector does not believe a woman can or should be running the lighthouse, a fact he makes perfectly clear. He tells Caroline he's assigned the lighthouse keeper job to someone new and she and her family must vacate the home adjacent to the lighthouse immediately. Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran who's been assigned the position of lighthouse keeper. He arrives at the lighthouse before Caroline has left, much to her surprise and chagrin. The reality is, Ryan needs Caroline's help to run the lighthouse, so she stays on to assist as he heals from the war and learns how to do the job - which they both desperately need and want.

This historical fiction novel is predictable in some ways, but there were also a number of plot twists as well. The romance aspect between the characters is somewhat what I expected, but the path it took was different than I anticipated. There were also villains in the novel and those individuals were unexpected as well. I did feel that there were more references to the physical aspect of the relationship, which might be more intense for a younger reader (maybe a teen). Overall, I thought this was a solid historical fiction title.


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