bookreview, books, Rhe's Bookshelf

Rhe’s Bookshelf ~ A Military Romance, a 2017 Summer Must-Read and a Presidential Challenge {book review}

This summer has been such a good reading summer for me. I know how important reading is for my self-care and mental health, and I’ve really been trying to devote time to that. Bonus is that my kids are reading more WITH me, which is such an awesome thing. Creating independent readers has always been something I’ve wanted for my kids. If you are new to the blog and my bookshelf posts there is one thing you need to know. I’m one of those people that reads three or more books at a time. I know, its totally crazy!! Or perhaps its not so crazy and you’ve finally found someone as crazy as you. So, let me present to you my last multi-read group of books. A military inspirational romance from a repeat author for me. Please support Debby Giusti because not only is she a phenomenal writer, she has donated books to me for military spouses in the past and I just love that. I also try to read books (rather informally) with my good group of girlfriends here in the neighborhood. We had a tough time finding a book we could all request at the library, so I had the idea of searching last summer’s must read list. That is how we ended up with a rather interesting historical fiction book that I ended up truly loving. Lastly, my mom gave me the idea that inspired this latest read. I decided to read a book about each president. While I fancy myself a history buff, there is also something to be learned.

{click to purchase}

Colleen Brennan has one goal—take down her sister’s killer. But chasing after evidence leaves her in the path of a tornado and stranded in an Amish community. With the killer nearby, Colleen must depend on the kindness of Special Agent Frank Gallagher. Although the army officer is recuperating from a battlefield injury, he wants to help the beautiful woman he rescued from the tornado’s fury. He can tell she’s hiding something important. But getting her to reveal her secrets may be his most dangerous mission ever. {Debby Giusti Website}

Review

This is my second Debby Giusti book in the “military investigations” series. This book combines Debby’s affinity for military and amish writing. Her books always keep me on my toes and have a great twist in the end. What I also love about the books is that faith plays a constant, but subtle role in the books. Being weaved in and out of the characters, slowly pulling at their hearts in a way that really speaks to me. She makes it feel so naturally a part of the characters lives, which I think is such a realistic way of doing it. I’ve read many inspirational novels and there is definitely a wrong way to do it, where it is just rammed down your throat in such a way that you forget about the story that you are reading. The reality of the emotions that the character of Frank was going through, as a soldier recovering from wounds sustained in battle, were very real. Debby always delivers when it comes to the reality of military aspects of her books. As a reader, who also happens to be a military spouse, it is difficult for me to read books that have blatant discrepancy or do not ring true. While I do read books for fun, I expect books with military aspects to be accurate. {PS: I am available for consults – i take free books as payment, LOL}

This is a book I would read again so it gets by coveted 5 out of 5 stars rating!!

{click to purchase]

Raised among wealth and privilege during America’s fabled Gilded Age, a niece of famous novelist Edith Wharton and a friend to literary great Henry James, Beatrix Farrand is expected to marry, and marry well. But as a young woman traveling through Europe with her mother and aunt, she already knows that gardens are her true passion.

How this highborn woman with unconventional views escapes the dictates of society to become the most celebrated female landscape designer in the country is the story of her unique determination to create beauty and serenity while remaining true to herself.

Beatrix’s journey begins at the age of twenty-three in the Borghese Gardens of Rome, where she meets beguiling Amerigo Massimo, an Italian gentleman of sensitivity and charm—a man unlike any she has known before. {Goodreads Synopsis}

Review

It’s been awhile since I’ve read an historical novel. I’m fairly certain it was The Other Boleyn girl (which by the way is an amazing read). This book was on 2017’s summer must read list. I discovered it by perusing around on the internet looking for 2018 summer reads. It was then I realized that trying to find enough copies at the library for me and my friends to check out would be difficult for any of this summer’s must reads. That is how I found this amazing book. I’m a succor for a good cover and this one is lovely!!! From the losely swept up red hair to the beautiful gown that I can literally feel swaying as a I look at it. It caught my attention and drew me in. Beatrix Farrand is the focus of the story, however I would argue that our narrator is one of the characters that might have been intended to be secondary but ended up being the someone I wanted to read about just as much as our lead. Beatrix is a real person, and also happens to be on of the first female landscape architects {you go girl}. Its safe to say that I had never given that one thought, but I learned a lot about that line of work. What I truly loved about this book is that it really helped me picture the sweeping french landscapes, the bustling city life, Rome and the colosseum. And like any true Jane Austen fan, I love to get indigent about societies rules for love and men and women. A good romeo and juliet type love thrown in there makes for epic storytelling. Jeanne Mackin’s attention to detail and devotion to showing the trueness of the time and the characters showed in her writing. Seeing an author take on a real person with respect, while also creating a realistic story that is enjoyable takes talent. Its too easy to take on something like this and runaway with it.

Three and half out of five stars

{click to purchase}

In this thought-provoking look at George Washington as soldier and statesman, Richard Brookhiser traces the astonishing achievements of Washington’s career and illuminates how his character and his values shaped the beginnings of American politics.

Brookhiser recaptures the real George Washington in this against-the-grain biographical study that chronicles a remarkable quarter-century career in public life—a record of achievements that is virtually unmatched by any modern leader. Brookhiser recounts Washington’s heroic deeds as general and president, his temperament and training, and reflects upon his legacy.  {Goodreads Summary}

Review

I hadn’t done any research on what to read or what is recommended. I just went to the library and started looking around. I snatched this one because it wasn’t overwhelming in size really.  This was such a great book and I learned a lot about our first president that I didn’t really know. What I love about the idea of reading a book about our Presidents (especially our early ones) is that they should be known for more than simply being the first one or first ones. So often they are relegated to that title as being the only reason we should remember. We get very little about them beyond that. When we moved to Virginia I really wanted to take all of that in, and this book was a great addition to that education. I can’t wait to move on to President Number 2!! Join me in this challenge and snag this book from Amazon or your local library. Its easy to read but full of information, the perfect balance for those that consider themselves history buffs or those that would like to dip their toe in the history deep end. 

Four out of five stars

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