Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yale University Press Sale!

There is a sale on Yale University Press books right now over at One Kings Lane, so be sure to check it out! The sale ends some time Saturday - or whenever they sell out (which they often do) - so check it out soon.

One Kings Lane offers $15 off $30 purchase when you join thru 

I have been following sales on One Kings Lane for a while now. Most frequently, they offer closeouts of designer brand housewares and furnishings at a percentage of the original cost. They also have a clearance section with some really great steals, though it is on hiatus for the holiday shopping season and has been replaced with the Gifts sales:

If you are looking for a classy gift for someone, the section of gifts under $50 has some really pretty serving ware and candles for a good price. This sale ends some time Friday, and shipping is guaranteed by Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

To Win Her Heart

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0757-0
347 Pages

Levi Grant leaves prison a changed man, sorry for his unintentional crime and embracing his re-found religion. He hopes to make a new start in a new place, and Spencer needs a new blacksmith. When Eden Spencer came to town five years ago, she was hoping for a new start of her own. One without the hindrance of a man. She spends her days running the local library and attending Ladies Aid meetings, and has no time for or interest in relationships. Can the new blacksmith change her heart, and when she learns about his past, will it be broken again?

My Thoughts:

To Win Her Heart is a touching story of unexpected love. The author paints a perfect picture of a peaceful little town in old time Texas. She uses images of vibrantly colored fields of wildflowers and dusty streets to help the readers to imagine themselves walking throughout the town and the outlying areas.

The characters are well thought out and each has a memorable personality. The reader is easily able to empathize with Levi and Eden in their plights, to feel the sting of hurt and indignation brought on by the closed minded inhabitants of Spencer, and to find a place in their heart for the scruffy stray Ornery.

The story progresses at a good pace and avoids the cliches in many romance novels. There are distinct moments where events affect the the characters and make them come to terms with their feelings without the frequent lustful encounters so often found in such books. For a romance novel, To Win Her Heart is quite tame. It shows that you can have a good book without all of the sex.

To Win Her Heart is clearly written from a Christian perspective - not only determined by the lack of lustful imaginings and sex scenes, but by every element of the writing. The main characters are sure in their faith and are set to live their lives by it. This does not deter from the romance in any way, but adds to it. It lets you know that their feelings are pure and true. It puts the assurance in your heart that this relationship is strong. You can close your eyes and see these characters still together 40 years down the line, rather than like many modern couples who change partners every year. That makes it all the sweeter.

Overall, To Win Her Heart is a great read. It has a solid plot and an endearing story. It has it's few "action" moments to keep you from getting bored, and it teaches respectful values. If you are a fan of romance novel and want to avoid all the smut, this is a good book.

I was contacted by Bethany House publishers and given a free copy of To Win Her Heart in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Parent's Guide:
To Win Her Heart is a perfect romance novel for young readers. I would highly recommend this book to preteens and teens who like sweet stories. It displays healthy values - i.e. no girls wanting to die because their guy doesn't want them around, or other foolishness like that. It does not use foul language or inappropriate actions. There are one or two minor violent encounters, none of which are really graphic or gory. To Win Her Heart is a nice, safe read for young ones.