Friday, November 28, 2008

Summer by Karen Kingsbury

Dayne and Katie have just gotten married and are on their honeymoon in the Bahamas. While they're there, Dayne gets a phone call from his agent saying they'd like to do a reality show of their lives on the set. Dayne and Katy agree to do this. During the filming of their movie, there is alot of speculation that Dayne is having an affair with his previous co-star, Randi Wells. Katy also spends alot of time with the director of the movie. These things take a big toll on Katy and Dayne's relationship.

Kari finds out her and Ryan are expecting a little girl in August.

Ashley and Landon also find out they are expecting a girl, but they also find out that their little girl has a neural tube defect and that she will not live but a few hours once she is born. They are encouraged by Ashley's sister, Brooke to abort the fetus, which shocks and horrifies Ashley that Brooke would ever suggest such a thing. This causes a bit of a rift between them for awhile. They go back and have a second ultrasound to confirm the results of the first test were accurate. Ashley and Landon refused to abort the pregnancy, and she gave birth to baby Sarah. Sarah only lived a few hours. But, she was surrounded by her entire families, who were there to support Ashley and Landon. Sarah left an impact on each of Ashleys brothers and sisters, who were all struggling in one area or another.
My thoughts: There were a few other things going on in the book, but the storylines with Ashley's baby and Dayne and Katy are the two I want to remember. These books are definitely addicting, and Karen Kingsbury ends each book in a way that leaves the reader dying to get their hands on the next book!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunrise by Karen Kingsbury

Blurb: Sunrise mainly centered around Dayne and Katy's wedding and trying to keep their plans a secret from the Paparazzi. This starts out the day after thanksgiving and Dayne and Katy are at their new lake house in Bloomington. They work with a wedding planner who specializes in secret weddings, and plan for a March 18th wedding in the Mayan Riviera. Then the producer of an upcoming movie "But Then Again Now" wants to Dayne and Katy to star together in the movie. Katie agrees to go read for the part, and ends up getting the part.
Luke and Regan recently have moved back to Bloomington so Luke work exclusively for Dayne.
Ashley and Kari both announce they are pregnant at Christmas, and both are due in August.
John and Elaine are spending more and more time together. She is invited to the Baxter House on Thanksgiving for Dessert. Ashley is warming up to having Elaine around and Elaine's relationship with her dad, but Ashley still really misses her mom.
Cody, the boy who's living with the Flannigans was found unconscious laying next to an empty bottle of liquor. He wasn't successful. The flannigans rushed him to the hospital, and though he was in a coma for awhile, he did wake up later and recovered. He then announced that he was going to enlist in the army once he finished school. It was during this time that Jim found out that alot of the players on his team had been drinking alcolhol, and he made each of them sign contracts promising they wouldn't drink, and if they did drink they would be kicked off the team.
With her upcoming wedding and movie, Katy decides to pass on the role of CKT Director, over to Rhonda. There is also rumors that seem to threaten the future of CKT. The owners of the theater want to sell it to this developer who would then tear it down and build high-rise condos.
A guy from another CKT Theater group, Chad Jennings, agrees to move to bloomington for the spring and help direct the spring play, Oliver!
Thoughts: I loved this book just like all the only complaint was that I didn't like Rhonda....I thought she was too jealous and insecure. And Bailey got on my nerves some too. But other than that, the book was great!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Christmas Star by Thomas Kinkade

Blurb: Late one night, just days before Christmas, Jessica and Sam, and their two kids are woken up by a fire alarm. Their house ends up in flames, there is no time to save anything, and unfortunately, their dog doesn't survive. The whole family is devastated and has a tough time picking up the pieces and trying to move on. They stay with various family members, including Jessica's sister Emily, and Sam's sister Molly, but those arrangements don't last for very long. They soon move in to one of the Cabins at New Horizons where they try to get back into a normal routine. Through all this, Jessica and Sam's relationship is tested because they both have different ways of coping with things like this. But they pull through and they soon realize everything is going to be ok. Because Sam bought the house from an auction, and did alot of the renovations himself, the money they get back from insurance is not nearly enough to pay for building a new house exactly like the one they had. On Christmas, Lillian (Jessica's mother) surprises them by writing them a check for an amount that's more than enough to build a brand new house. They build their new house, that's not identical to the one they had before, but it's perfect for them. They also get a new puppy, much to Jessica's dismay in the beginning, but she seems to warm up to the idea as time goes on.
On that same night as the fire, Single mother, Julie and her young daughter Kate get stranded because of car trouble. They end up at Jack's Christmas Tree farm and she knocks on the door and asks to use the phone. Since it's so late at night, she's unable to find a tow truck so Jack offers to let her stay there for one night. Jack is a very lonely, disgruntled man who keeps to himself most of the time, and after losing his wife and son, has kind of given up and let everything go. The next morning, when Jack tries to help Julie get her car out from under the snow, he falls and sprained his ankle. Julie ends up staying with him longer to take care of him, and she soon works her way into Jack's heart. Then, Jack asks her to stay for Christmas. She leaves the day after Christmas. A week later, he decided he couldn't be without her any longer, so he goes to New York and tells her he loves her and asks her and Kate to come home with him.
Then, on Christmas night, Jack's son David shows up on his doorstep. He has been sent to Iraq and is to report to North Carolina in a few days. He came to spend a few days with Jack so they can talk and make amends and rekindle their relationship.
My thoughts: This book was definitely one of my favorites right along with A Christmas Angel and A Christmas To Remember. I can't wait until next year to read the next book in the series. The only people I didn't care for were Molly's sister and her kids. I thought the kids were spoiled Brats. I also really enjoyed hearing about Jack, Julie, and Kate, and hope to hear about Jack and Julie's wedding in the next book.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Forever by Karen Kingsbury

Blurb: This book starts out just after Dayne proposes to Katy. Dayne is ready to move to Bloomington, and one day Katie sees this perfect house thats right on Lake Monroe. It is really run down, and will need alot of work before they can move in, but Katy and Dayne both see the potential that house has. Then, a short time later, Dayne plans to go back to Bloomington to see the last performance of a show at the Drama camp. On the way to the airport the Paparazzi are trying to chase him and Randi Wells, his co-star Down. This results in a horrible accident leaving Dayne in a coma for 30 days and even the possibility of losing one of his legs. His prognosis does not look very promising. Through the Miracles of God, he pulls through, with Katy by his side the entire time. During this time, the media also finds out that the Baxters are Dayne's family and publish some nasty things about them in the tabloids. All of the Baxter Children seem very accepting of Dayne, and are eager to get to know him. All except Luke. He seems to be having a hard time getting used to the idea, and he feels like all anyone can talk about lately is Dayne. Almost like jealousy toward Dayne. He goes into a tumultous period for a short while and almost ruins his marriage. Luckily, John sends him a letter that Elizabeth had written each of their children. It was all about how to have a successful marriage. Regan finds the letter and realizes how some of this is her fault and realizes alot of things that she could've done differently. They have a long talk one evening and are able to work out alot of their problems. Luke also changes his mind about Dayne, and realizes how awesome it is to have that brother he always wanted. Dayne even offers him a position working exclusively on his contracts and holdings in Bloomington. Luke accepts this position, and they make plans to move their after Christmas.
After Dayne wakes up, though, and sees the article where Luke stated stated "Blood doesn't make him a Baxter" Dayne begins having second thoughts about moving to Bloomington. He is starting to wonder whether it was really a good idea to contact the Baxter Family. Katy still tries to assure him that it was a good idea to find them and that his sisters and his dad still love him. She talks him into at least going to visit for Thanksgiving and meeting Luke and Erin in person. Dayne agrees but is dreading the whole thing.
However, when they show up for Thanksgiving, they find their house is completed and BEAUTIFUL, even though they were told contractors wouldn't be able to get started until the spring. Instead the entire Baxter family, the Flanigans, friends of various family members, and family from CKT chipped in to help get their house ready. After seeing this, Dayne realizes that he is HOME and that this is where the belong. Now, it's time to start planning that wedding.
My thoughts: I think this was my most favorite book out of the Baxter Saga yet. I got tears in my eyes when I was reading about that beautiful new house, and all the people who worked together to make it beautiful. And also the day that Dayne and Katy came home. I CANNOT wait to read the next book in the series and plan to rush to the library to pick it up ASAP.
This is the review I left on
Normally I don't post reviews for books, but I wanted to for this one. I found myself with tears rolling down my face in several parts of this book. I have read the Redemption Series and all the previous books in the Firstborn Series but this is definitely my favorite so far. I always keep these books coming and reserve the next 1 or 2 from the library as I'm reading each book, so I don't have to go too long between them. I, too, think this series would make a great movie, and often find myself thinking of actors/actresses to play each part.
I've read several of Karen's other books and I don't plan to stop until I've read them all.
I finished this book on 11/8/2008. This is book #61 for the year!!!

A Cedar Cove Christmas

On Christmas Eve, a very pregnant Mary Jo Wyse comes to Cedar Cove, hoping to find David Rhodes, who happens to be the father of her baby. She doesn't find him, but she does find Grace Harding and Olivia Griffin, who happens to be David's stepsister. It is snowing and there isn't any room in any of the hotels, so Grace invites Mary Jo to stay at her place for the night. Later in the evening, Mary Jo goes into labor and delivers a baby girl, who she names Noelle Grace. Mack McAffee is the one who ends up delivering the baby, and sparks definitely fly between him and Mary Jo.
Meanwhile, Mary Jo's brothers, Ned, Mel, and Linc, are on their way to Cedar Cove to find Mary Jo. She left Seattle without telling them because they said they were going to make David Rhodes pay, and Mary Jo wanted everyone to hear the news from her first. The brothers get lost several times, but eventually find their way to the Harding Ranch where they are reunited with Mary Jo, and they meet their brand new neice.
My thoughts: I did enjoy this book, but at the same time it was somewhat of a disappointment. Kind of the way I felt about 74 Seaside Avenue. The storyline seemed a bit corny, but it was still cute. I hope Mary Jo will end up in Cedar Cove (and of course I hope she ends up with Mac!) and we will get to know her better in 92 Pacific Blvd. I didn't really care for Mary Jo's brothers.
I finished this book on 11/8/2008. It is book #60 for the year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr

After losing her husband last Christmas, Marcie comes to Virgin River to try and find her husband's best friend, Ian, a man who saved his life a few years earlier when they were in the marines. Ian lives in a secluded cabin in the woods, surviving without an indoor bathroom, no shower, and living off money he makes moving people and chopping wood. Deep down, he's lonely, but he survbves and prefers minimal to no contact with people. Marcie just wants to talk to him, give him Bobby's Baseball cards, and thank him for saving her husband's life. Originally, he is not happy that she's found him, and demands that she leave immediately. She is on her way to the outhouse when she falls and is knocked unconscious. He later finds her and brings her inside to get her warmed up. She ends up very sick, so she stays in his cabin for days, which eventually turn into weeks. Ian starts to enjoy her company, meanwhile Marcie realizes she's not ready to leave yet, and keeps calling her older sister and telling her she needs more time. As time goes on , Marcie gets Ian to take her into town and into the library, and he starts to realize that being around people may not be such a bad thing. They soon fall in love with each other, and she plans to go home to Chico on Christmas Eve. Then, while she ends up helping by driving the ambulance for him, Ian shows up in town, and finds Marcie and tells her he wants to go to Chico with her for Christmas and he wants to see his dad again. He also tells her that he can't imagine life without her and wants to see if they can make their relationship work. He doesn't quite ask her to marry him, but I could see them going in that direction.

My thoughts: Honestly, at first I wasn't sure if I'd like this, since it didn't center around the people in the other Virgin River books (Jack, Mel, Preacher, etc.), but there was plenty of mention of them as it was. I came to love Ian and Marcie and was hoping they'd end up together, but I think I have yet to see more of their story in Second Chance Pass. I can't wait. I would really like to find some other series that have this small town feel. I'm thinking the McKettrick Series by Linda Lael Miller might be similar. I even got tears in my eyes when (they thought) they were saying goodbye to each other on Christmas Eve. THATS how I know this was a good book!!

I finished this book on 11/4/2008 and it is book #59 for the year!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Family by Karen Kingsbury

Blurb: Some of the major things in this book that happened were centered around Dayne and Katy. Katy goes to Los Angeles to testify against the stalker/fan that tried to kill Katy. The fan is found guilty. While Katy is in Los Angeles, she and Dayne spend some time together, and try to avoid the Paparazzi. They both realize their true feelings for each other, and desperately try to tell themselves that a relationship would never work for them because their lifestyles are so different. After some soul searching, and a talk with his friend, Bob Asher, Dayne makes a list of things that are most important in his life. The first thing on his list is having Katy in his life. The second thing is having a relationship with his birth family.
That was the other major thing that took place in this book. Dayne has known about his birth family, and has met his father, John Baxter, and talks to him on a regular basis. John has been struggling with telling the kids they have an older brother, and also telling them WHO that older brother is. One night, he decides to call each one of them and tell them about their older brother. At that point, the shock that they even have an older brother is enough, so he doesn't tell them who he is. They are all anxious and surprised, but seem pretty accepting of the news. I'm not sure who was the most shocked. Probably Erin, because she seemed to have the closest relationship with their mother. Later, during the trial, Luke Baxter happens to be the defense attorney. Katy realizes how closely he and Dayne resemble each other, but shrugs it off. Dayne knows the whole time, but doesn't say anything. Then, one day Ashley is at her father's house painting. John's cell phone rings and it is Dayne calling him for Luke. Ashley is curious to know why her dad has Dayne's cell phone number in his phone. But she, too, shrugs it off, until she is at the Flannigans talking with Jenny who tells Ashley that she's surprised that Dayne didn't come to Opening night of Narnia, especially since his birth family lives in Bloomington. Ashley puts two and two together and figures out that this must be their brother. She calls him herself and asks him, and Dayne admits that he is, in fact their brother. Ashley and Dayne make a plan for Dayne to come to the 4th of July picnic and spend the day with the family. That is when the rest of the family will find out who Dayne really is. That day arrives, and Dayne brings Katy, who he has just asked to marry him, to the picnic. Everyone is shocked, once again, but accepts Dayne into the family. They all have a great day getting to know one another. Unfortunately though, Luke, Erin, and their families could not be there..
My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, just like all the others. I'm really going to miss this family when I'm done reading this saga. Luckily, I still have several books to go. I can't wait to hear more about Dayne and Katy getting married and starting their life. And I'm anxious to see how Dayne will fit into the Baxter family, and how Luke and Erin will accept him as their older brother. As always, I loved hearing about Landon and Ashley. I think theirs is my favorite relationship to read about. I plan to get right to the next book, Forever, as soon as I finish a couple other books I'm reading right now.
This was book #58 for 2008 and I finished it on 11/2/2008.