Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Review: The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

Through the Bethany House Blogger Review program, I recently received a copy of Roseanna M. White's newest book, The Lost Heiress, in exchange for a review. I'm loving this review program, and--spoiler alert--so far I've only received books that I've enjoyed reading.

One thing to note of my Bethany House reviews: so far of their books I've read, they make mention of faith and faith in God, but they have not mentioned a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. These are works of fiction, not marketed as books to increase knowledge of the Bible or deepen a relationship with the Lord. (If you're looking for one of those, I have a bunch I could recommend.) They are clean and acknowledge God and His Sovereignty, and as such, they are definitely more edifying than other current mainstream fiction. That being said, here are my thoughts on The Lost Heiress!

A quick synopsis: Brook has always wondered who she truly was and where she originally came from. After her mother died in a carriage accident, she found herself raised among the royalty of Monaco. Now grown into a young lady who feels misplaced, she trusts her best friend and future Duke of Stafford, Justin, to find her true identity with the help of a mysterious packet of letters left to her. In the meantime, he's fallen in love with her, but will she ever see him as more than a friend? As Brook goes back to her original family as heiress to Eden and the Baroness of Berkeley with Justin by her side, she finds herself surrounded in web of intrigue and danger.

This is another piece of historical fiction that, similar to Downton Abbey, details the shifting social times and peels back the layer between the above stairs/below stairs relationships of the period.

I loved this storyline. However, what I thought was the primary conflict (the relationship between Brook and Justin) was not as developed as I would have liked. Justin's and Brook's insecurities around their relationship confused me. Based on how their characters and their relationship was portrayed early on, their miscommunications seemed out of place and immature. Regardless, you can't help but cheer for these two.

The big mystery surrounding Brook's disappearance and family conflict kept me guessing the entire time. This is part of the Ladies of the Manor series, so we were introduced to some characters that will make another appearance in the next novel, which I look forward to reading. I must know what happens next!

I really cheered for Brook the entire time. To find her family, to find her real identity, and to find true love, all while keeping her faith--what's not to love?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Meal Plan

I'm back this week with another Monday meal plan! Last week was the first week back at school. The week before that was one of the first with soccer practice. Tonight we start dance up again, so my great summer routine has been swept aside for convenience and just getting them fed something.

As much as I would love to braise meat all day or slow roast vegetables, I don't always have time for that because I'm running my kiddos to school, church, and extra-curriculars. That is absolutely not a complaint because I love that I have this time for this season. But it's a preface to the fact that we're having a freezer convenience meal tonight, because we had a great, fun, but tiring weekend, and I'm reclaiming the house today.

Monday: Birds Eye Garlic Chicken
My son told me last week that I am the best cook ever, and that this is his favorite meal I make. Maybe one day a daughter-in-law will appreciate how low I have set the bar for her in the kitchen. You can read a review I wrote on the freezer meal back in 2012 here. My little guy still loves it, although I have to buy a bigger family size bag than I did before. Relatively healthy with noodles that kiddos love.

Tuesday: Domino's Pizza
Batting a thousand so far this week. This is a soccer night, and we all go to practice together. Last season it became a tradition to pick up Domino's on the way home each Tuesday. I order on their app from the sideline while I'm (shocker) talking to other moms, and it's ready when we're done. Our standard order is a thin crust cheese, so it isn't quite as unhealthy as a regular pan pizza. Paired with fruit for kids, salad for adults.

Wednesday: Supper at Church
My oldest is big enough to have his own set of Wednesday night activities rather than just playing in the nursery. We have a relatively new dining/multi-purpose facility, with soaring ceilings and open space. I love the sound of our church family sharing a meal together. We'll eat whatever the kitchen is dishing up, and we'll be thankful.

Thursday: Chicken Tacos
I'm cooking up a big batch of chicken on Tuesday to take supper to a family that just had a baby. So, on our one night at home, this supper will be easy to reheat and serve. The chicken is cooked in the crockpot with a jar of salsa.

Friday: Date Night
We're meeting our Sunday school class for Mexican Food, my fave!

As you can see, my meal planning isn't quite so taxing these days, which is why I haven't posted the past couple of weeks. Mondays and Thursdays are all I mostly have going on since my family will riot if I don't order pizza on Tuesday. It's tradition, they say! Who am I to mess with tradition?!
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