Midnight Promises (The Sweet Magnolias, #8) by Sherryl Woods

Midnight Promises (The Sweet Magnolias, #8) by Sherryl Woods
Published by Harlequin MIRA on June 26, 2012
Pages: 384

When Elliott Cruz first courted struggling single mom Karen Ames, it it was a romance worthy of any Sweet Magnolia fantasy. The sexy personal trainer made it his mission to restore Karen's strength—physical and emotional—and to charm her children.
Now, a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear a few years into the marriage, colliding dreams threaten to tear them them apart. Elliott's desire to finance the business opportunity of a lifetime with their hard-earned "baby money" stirs Karen's deep-rooted financial insecurities. It's the discovery that their brother-in-law is cheating on Elliott's sister—and thinks it's justified—that puts their irreconcilable differences into perspective. Will their own loving fidelity be a bond so strong they can triumph against all odds?

As usual I really liked this book, but then again I like the A Sweet Magnolia Novel, especially since the same people that we came to know and to love in previous books keep popping up in these new books. This is the first book in a new trilogy of A Sweet Magnolia books, and I have to be honest and say that while I remember Elliott from the Corner Spa I didn’t really remember Karens’ character. I guess I need to go back and read the fist set of Sweet Magnolia books, it has been awhile since I read them.

Karen and Elliot have a lot going on in their lives, and both have things from their pasts that they are having a hard time letting go of. For Karen it is trusting Elliot to stay with her and also being able to take some chances financially. For Elliot it is being the kind of man who will stand by his wife and be there for her no matter what, even when that means letting his sister be and letting her solve her own problems. And not turning into the kind of man who believes that it is his way or no way. Karen and Elliot really do love each other, but they like every other couple have to learn how to work together in order for them to stay together. The path that Karen and Elliot takes is not an easy one, but one where they both make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. This gives the book a realistic feel and makes the ending so much sweeter.

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1) by Michelle Rowen
Published by Harlequin Teen on May 22, 2012
Pages: 352

I don't do dangerous.  
Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. 
Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... 
When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...

This is a pretty quick read, and one that will catch your attention quickly. I found it to be very enjoyable and I look forward to any others from this Nightwatchers series. If you like fantasy paranormal books with angels and demons then you should like this one too.

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali, Sophie Windham

The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali, Sophie Windham
Published by Lion Hudson on September 1, 2011
Pages: 32

Three forest trees dream of what they will one day become. One dreams of becoming a royal throne; one of being a ship that can withstand any storm; and one longs to stay in the forest and grow as tall as tall can be. When they are felled, it seems their dreams are over. But as each tree is crafted into a new item--a manger, a fishing boat, and a rugged cross--it becomes clear that through the role they play in one important life their hopes are more than fulfilled. This traditional folktale is accompanied by stylish artwork from a highly sought-after children's book illustrator, and will help set the Christmas and Easter stories into the overall context of the Christian faith.

This story has a special place in my heart, because when my daughter was in her 4 year old pre-school class her Christmas program was based on this story. So as we read the story I had fond memories of when she was younger with her classmates. But beyond that I really do like this story. It tells you that while you might have plans and dreams of your own, things might just not happen the way you want them. But in the end things happen the way that God has planned them. The pictures are great, and will keep a younger child interested in the story. All in all I really did like this story, and for the next few years I do see us reading it during the Christmas time and Easter time, as reminders. When my daughter does out grow this book I am sure that we will pass it along to a family member with younger kids so that they can get the same enjoyment out of the book as we do.