Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dangerous When Wet by Jamie Brickhouse: St. Martin’s Press ISBN 978-1-250-04115-9

Reading Dangerous When Wet, a memoir by Jamie Brickhouse, is a memorable reading experience.  He was born in Beaumont, Texas, the son of a woman known as Mama Jean.  In the Author’s Note he writes “This book is the story of my relationship with her told through the lens of my love affair with alcohol, the other dominant relationship in my life.”  Mama Jean was glamorous, outspoken and generous.  She was his biggest fan and even though she would have liked him to stay close to her, she knew he belonged in New York City.  She accepted the fact that he was gay and she wanted him to write. Jamie wanted glamour and sophistication, but the route he took to achieve this was perilous.  He is candid in his telling of the frightening situations he found himself in as a result of    drinking and drug use. The narrative in this book is conversational.  It’s as though  the reader is in the same room with the author.  He is open and forthright about his struggles with alcoholism and his attempts at sobriety.  All the while, Mama Jean remained a powerful force in his life.  Mr. Brickhouse presents his story with wit and candor and in my opinion, that is what makes this one of the best memoirs I have read.  Mama Jean was right.  Mr. Brickhouse should write as he is very good at it.  Highly recommended.

I received this book free of charge through LibraryThing and I give this review of my own free will.

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Love Arrives In Pieces by Betsy St. Amant; Zondervan ISBN 978-0-310-33847-5

For those who think being beautiful is everything, Stella Varland could certainly tell them otherwise.  Love Arrives In Pieces, a novel by Betsy St. Amant, is the vivid portrait of Stella’s life after the beauty pageants and after a failed marriage.  Suffering from anxiety attacks and self confidence issues she struggles to earn enough money to continue living on her own.  An unexpected job offer reunites her with Chase Taylor who is an old flame who had wreaked havoc with not only her life but that of her older sister.    It had taken years to rebuild a relationship with her sister and now with Chase’s reappearance old hurts resurface.

The author has created very human and complex characters.  They are sometimes vulnerable, sometimes strong.  It is obvious she understands people.  Stella and Chase seriously struggle to overcome their pasts and to possibly make a future.  Quite often they take one step forward and several steps back. Misunderstanding between them runs rampant.  Yet, there is a mutual connection and an attraction, but it may not be enough.

The author has crafted a highly readable novel with important themes.  It was written with wit and packed with emotion. I highly recommend reading this book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

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The Midwife’s Tale (At Home in Trinity *1) by Delia Parr: Bethany House ISBN 978-0-7642-1733-3

Widow Martha Cade is an accomplished woman. In the tradition of her family, she serves her community of Trinity as a midwife. The Midwife’s Tale, by Delia Parr, opens in 1830 as Martha is delivering a baby. Afterwards, at the celebration she learns that her daughter, Victoria, has run away with a theater troupe which, in the year 1830, is scandalous. After a three month search for Victoria ends in failure, broken hearted Martha returns to Trinity with the hope that her daughter will return. Unfortunately, Martha faces even more challenges upon return home. A new doctor has set up a practice and may be a threat to Martha professionally. Old romantic feelings for a man from her past resurface. A minister and a group of orphans move to Trinity and at the same time crime increases. Are they the perpetrators or just scape goats? With every turn, Martha’s faith is tested. Is she expected to cope on her own?
The author has crafted an engaging tale which takes place in a rich setting. The novel is filled with well-depicted characters, interesting back stories, mystery and heartfelt emotions. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

I received this book for free from Bethany House and I give this review of my own free will.

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Don’t Lose Her by Jonathon King ( The Max Freeman Series) Open Road Integrated Media ISBN 978-1-5040-0121-2

Don’t Lose Her, by Jonathon King, is set in Southern Florida. The story opens with Diane Manchester, a US federal judge, hearing the case of a Colombian cartel leader. She calls for a lunch break and the defendant agrees and expresses his wish for her and her baby’s good health.  Was this a thinly veiled threat?  On Diane’s way to lunch she is kidnapped. Her husband asks his private detective friend, Max Freeman, for help with finding his wife.  Max immediately embarks on his investigation because time is of the essence as Diane is eight months pregnant.

The story is told by Diane, Max and one of her kidnappers which brings depth to this fast paced story. While there is no shortage of possible suspects, the reason for the kidnapping is not immediately clear. No calls demanding ransom or a prisoner release are received.  Who would do this and why?

Well drawn characters, solid prose ,a suspense filled plot and a surprise ending make this book a great read.

I received this book free of charge and I give this review of my own free will.

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