White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

white_chocolate_moments_by_lori_wickSynopsis: Arcie was eleven when her parents died and she went to live with her grandfather, Sam. Though the pair became closer than before, Arcie spent most of her childhood with the housekeeper. When Sam makes an announcement Arcie can’t live with, she leaves her life of luxery to make a living for herself. Years later, a chance encounter causes Arcie and her grandfather to come together and try to start over.

Pacing: The story spans over a decade of Arcie’s life and the author manages to seamlessly pass through time. This prevents the story from dragging –and being three times thicker!- while still allowing for prominent moments in Arcie’s growing older.

Location: Though the novel takes place in Chicago, it doesn’t tell much about the city. Other than the occasional business trip Sam took his grand-daughter on, most of story takes place either in a home or a workplace.

Character Development: Sam is a man who puts work before his family. He is also a man who plays favourites among his grandchildren, something that causes great contention within the family dynamic. During the time that Arcie was estranged, Sam found God and began to change his ways as he learned that family and faith is everything.

Romance: Arcie and Gabe meet is a series of “coincidences” that keep throwing them together no matter what obstacle gets in the way. This subtly shows that God always has a plan and a way to make His plan come to fruitation.

DIY: Arcie took dance classes as a child, but after leaving home she gave it up. Even if you don’t have time for regular classes or can’t afford them, you can always look into drop-in classes as plenty studios have that option.

Quote: “There you go again, picking those romantic settings… Our first real kiss was in your garage, then you told me you loved me in your office, and now you propose in a hospital room.”

The Verdict: This is a good read if you don’t want to deal with a whole series, as it is a stand-alone novel. I rather liked this book, but find myself curious about the parts of Arcie’s life that were passed over even though such details were not needed.

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Teaser Tuesday (May-3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

“Did God make white chocolate?”

“I’m damaged goods –rather broken right now.”
“All of us would have to say that, but I come with extra Band-Aids.”

Book Review: Wings of the Morning by Lori Wick

wings of the morningSynopsis:  Smokey Simmons is the best sea captain around with the fastest ship and the most loyal crew. What most people don’t know is that Smokey is actually a twenty-five-year-old girl named Victoria. Smokey doesn’t intend to sail forever, she just didn’t know what else to do upon the death of her father, but when she meets Captain Dallas Knight she begins to think of home and family… that is, until a treacherous pirate decides he wants Smokey and her ship for himself.

Product: The book I acquired from the library is a trade paperback; its size makes it difficult to hold comfortably in one hand and is a bit on the floppy side. There also seems to be a slight error in that the half-title page happens after the prologue, which may cause a reader to miss where the story actually starts.

Plot: I’d read this book previously a few years back so the storyline wasn’t a surprise to me, but I do love a tale that empowers women so it is fascinating to read about a lady captain in the mid-1800s.

Location: The prologue is set entirely at sea on a ship, while the remainder of the novel takes place in Maine, England, and the ocean in-between.

Character: Brandon and Sunny Hawkesbury, the Duke and Duchess of Briscoe, make an appearance in this second novel of the Kensington Chronicles. They are friends of Dallas Knight and try to help protect Smokey from the pirate who wants to kidnap her.

Point of View: The majority of this novel is told from the perspectives of Smokey and Dallas, with minor detours into the outlook of various friends and family of the pair.

Romance: It is rather lowering to know that Dallas only becomes interested in Smokey once he learns she owns the Aramis, prior to that he gives her little notice because she is not strikingly beautiful, well dressed, or comfortable in social settings. He does, however, fall in love with who she is as a person, a very competent sea captain, thus redeeming himself to both Smokey and the reader.

Ponderings: Kathleen’s mother wants Captain Knight for a son-in-law and advises her daughter that the way to catch a man is to be “slightly dull in a cute sort of way, and helplessly dependent on him”. Sadly, this idea is still somewhat prevalent today as it is often seen in various forms of entertainment that ditzy blond cheerleaders get dates with the handsome athletes, rather than drama club geeks or the debate team nerds.

Memorable Moment: Smokey is captured as part of the pirate’s plot to acquire Smokey and her ship, but Smokey still tells her “roommate” that God did not desert her, as she will always be free because Jesus died for her sins. Smokey’s worst days became the beginning of Aggie’s journey to salvation, because there is never a time not to share Christ’s love.

Quote: We have a God who loves to give us the desires of our heart.

The Verdict: This novel was just as enjoyable, if not even more so, that the previous Kensington Chronicles novel. It is a cross between a sea-adventure, a romance, and a suspense novel. I have said it before, and I will say it again: Lori Wick is a fabulous author who is not to be missed.

Teaser Tuesday (Mar-3)

 

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences (or more).

 

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Every storm – Lori Wick

“I wished I shared your confidence.”
“You don’t have to. Just ask me, and I’ll keep telling you what to do.”

“She’s a bang-up little reporter.”
“I give her cookies.”

Teaser Tuesday (Feb-2)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

The Rescue by Lori Wick

“We don’t own anything. We have what we have only because God bestows it upon us.”

“I think believers do this. They try to overcome a sin without putting something else in their heart. Don’t let there be an empty space inside of you, and God will see you through every moment of pain.”

WWW Wednesday (Nov-4)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What did you recently finish reading?

2. What are you currently reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

To do something a little different with this, I thought I’d find out what my friends are reading and post that whenever I can get answers out of them!

Anna is finished reading “The Name of the Star” by Maureen Johnson
Anna is reading “Beyond the Picket Fence” by Lori Wick
Anna is next reading “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien

Book Review: Bamboo and Lace by Lori Wick

Synopsis: Twenty-four year old Lily Walsh has been raised in a remote Asian village where women are second-class citizens, but goes to visit her brother in Hawaii for three months. Mere days after her arrival, Jeff is called away on business and Lily is to stay with the Kapaia family at their resort until he can return. Lily has a difficult time adjusting to this new culture and also finds herself falling in love with Gabe, Jeff’s best friend.

Author: Lori Wick is a renowned inspirational fiction writer. Her stories are set in various time periods from historical to contemporary, and often include a romantic element. She has approximately fifty novels in print through Harvest House Publishers.

Writing Style: Lori Wick uses a fish-out-of-water scenerio, but does it in a way that is meaningful rather than take it to humorous extremes. It allows the reader to consider what it would actually be like to move to a foreign country with different practices and languages. It also illuminates how we North Americans take for granted all our advantages, such as running water or even sun block and bubble gum.

Location: Part of the novel takes place in Kashien where women are subservient, always keeping their eyes lowered, keeping silent, dressing conservatively, and walking ten paces behind the men.  The other portion of the novel takes place in Hawaii where females can speak and act on equal terms with men.

Character Development: Lily was raised in a culture where women are considered a second-class citizen.  She arrives in America and struggles with learning that women are equal to men, and that she is just as important as anyone else. Lily gradually learns that she does not need to suffer in silence, but can speak out and share her feelings because she is valued as a person.

Theme: One of the ideas behind this story is that we must all be held accountable. Pastor Owen is the Christian leader in Kashien and helps lead others to God’s word, but fails to see his own sins while constantly finding fault in others.

Character: Evan is Gabe’s brother-in-law, and is the epitome of a family man. He is considerate to his wife, and shows his children by example what it is to be a good person. Whenever the children misbehave he takes the child to a different room to discuss the problem, never embarrassing them in front of others.

Romance:  Gabe and Lily knew of each other through Jeff, but soon care for each other during Lily’s stay. Their budding relationship grows through caring, conversing, and prayer. The physical side of their relationship never goes beyond handholding and the occasional kiss, not just because of cultural differences but also because of religious belief.

Secondary characters Evan and Bailey have been married for years and realize they have become “lazy” with their relationship. It reminds the reader that marriage is not just happily-ever-after but a relationship that needs to be worked on through compromise, dialogue, personal time, and keeping faith.

Point of Interest: Lily tries to explain to Ana the relationship between God and humanity. She compares God’s right in asking us to be obedient followers to a sculpture’s right in asking a lump of clay to conform into a bowl.

Memorable Moment: I had read this book years ago and the scene that has stuck with me the most is a telephone conversation between Lily and her father. Mr Walsh allowed Lily to go to Hawaii for the purpose of learning new things and when she accidentally dented golf cart, her father said she shamed him and made her promise not to eat until she learns to golf.

Do It Yourself: When Lily was feeling discouraged her friend Wang Ho asked where she was a year ago and what she had now; he reminds her that in one year she will have still more blessings. So when struggling through a tough time, just think of the blessings you have received in the past year, and know that in the year to come you will obtain more.

Quote: For years, whenever any of his siblings teased him about getting married, he would say that he would marry the first woman he found who knew what “perspicacity” meant.

The Verdict: I love Lori Wick novels, and this is one of the few stand-alone novels she has written. This book had been on my mind lately, so I picked it up from the library on a whim. I found that I enjoyed the novel just as much as I did reading it the first time, and believe it can open your eyes to something new every time you crack the cover.

 Previous Reviews: Cassandra’s SongA Place Called HomeThe Doctor’s BlessingJune