Tuesday, January 21, 2014

That Dog Won't Hunt by Brandilyn Collins

Title: That Dog Won't Hunt
Author: Brandilyn Collins
Genre: Christian Contemporary
Pages: 256
Release Date: April 8, 2013
Published by: Challow Press
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Meet the Dearings, a crazy, loving, boisterous family in small-town Mississippi. There's mom and dad, three daughters and their families, and the youngest-twenty-five-year-old Ben. Oh, and the family dog, a Yorkie who thinks she's royalty. "This one's perfect," Ben says about his new fiancee, Christina, when he brings her home for a family reunion. Ben is just sure everyone will love Christina, and she'll fit right in. He always did tend to wear rose-colored glasses. Christina loves Ben but secretly fears their relationship will never work. They've only known each other ten weeks. She hasn't told him about her horrific past as an only child-the beatings, the neglect, and verbal abuse. Christina doesn't know how to trust or be honest about her feelings. Being thrust into the middle of a tight-knit family like the Dearings is sure to send her over the edge. With poignancy and humor, That Dog Won't Hunt explores the complexities of relationships and the inner strength needed to overcome a difficult childhood. The Dearings are no perfect family, but they know how to love-if only Christina will accept it.


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®--fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. 

Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is a sought-after teacher and speaker at writers' conferences.


That Dog Won't Hunt is the first book in the Dearing Family series. 
Recently engaged Ben Dearing believes that his fiancee, Christina, will fit right in with his family; unfortunately for him, that isn't what happens. 

I really enjoyed this book. The family dynamic was different and interesting. For the most part, the way they constantly teased each other about everything was entertaining

The characters were well written and realistic. With Christina, because she grew up in an abusive home, she tended to view herself in a negative light and perceived that others saw her that way as well. I can see how overcoming that, plus the hurt and anger towards parents who abused her, wouldn't be a simple process.

The Yorkie on the cover is so cute! I really enjoyed reading about their little dog, Lady Penelope. She was something else! 

Overall, I thought That Dog Won't Hunt was a fun, interesting, and enjoyable read. I look forward to reading Pitchin' a Fit, book two in the series.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Shadows in the Mirror by Linda Hall

Title: Shadows in the Mirror 
Author: Linda Hall
Genre: Christian Suspense
Pages: 256
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Published by: Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

"Never go back to Burlington!"
Those were the dying words of the secretive aunt who'd raised orphaned Marylee Simson. Yet to discover who she was, Marylee had to go back, sure the Lord would look out for her. But learning anything about her past was proving impossible. Why were there no records of the accident that claimed her parents' lives? No records of her parents, period? And who was trying to stop her from fi nding out? Someone whose threats were escalating. Someone close to her, such as Evan Baxter, the handsome photographer she'd entrusted with the one clue she had.

My Review    

Before Shadows in the Mirror, I had only read one other book by Linda Hall (On Thin Ice) which I liked.

The story had an interesting plot. Marylee's parents died when she was just three, and she was raised by her aunt and didn't know anything about what happened, who she was, or why her aunt had begged her not to go back to Burlington.

Some things that happened in Shadows in the Mirror just didn't seem very realistic. For instance, Marylee is worried about someone following and wanting to harm her; yet, she decides to go look for evidence by herself in the rain. I find it hard to believe someone would do that if they actually thought someone was after them.

Another thing I didn't care for was that Marylee said she didn't trust Evan and that she wasn't interested in dating him; yet, every time he asked her out she accepted and even let him kiss her, all the while still being suspicious of him.

Also, the timeline was messy. In chapter one it says twenty-three years later, but further on in the book she says it's been twenty-eight years since the death of her parents.

Overall, Shadows in the Mirror was an okay read. I didn't hate it, but I never really got fully into the story.

*I did not receive this book for review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*

My rating 2.5 Stars