Monday, June 13, 2016

A Haven on Orchard Lane

Book description:  "Famed actress Charlotte Ward stepped away from the Victorian London stage five years ago. Now in desperate circumstances, she tries to restart her career--only to experience a complete collapse. Against her better judgment, Charlotte's estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother's rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village where her mother can evade the gossip columnists, at least for a time. 

Charlotte is grateful to re-establish even tenuous family ties with Rosalind. As one with regrets over her own romantic past, she's happy to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it's time away from teaching, and now she must care for the mother who wasn't there for her. And what could possibly be more complicated than romance?

But there can be no permanent escape from the threats of recent months. As the privacy they seek is threatened, mother and daughter must make some difficult decisions--ones that jeopardize those they care about most."

My review:  A Haven on Orchard Lane is a very simple story with plenty of wit and charm. I think this is the first book I have read by this author, and while I would not put Lawana Blackwell on my list of favorite authors, I certainly wouldn't mind reading some of her other books. To me the plot is a little flat, but I still enjoyed the story. The characters are unique and fit the story very well. If you are looking for a laid back novel that flows steadily along, this is the book for you.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Traces of Guilt

Book description:  "Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . .

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks."

My review:  This is a book I didn't dare start reading until I knew I had plenty of uninterrupted time to read! There is not one Dee Henderson book that I have not thoroughly enjoyed and Traces of Guilt is no exception. From start to finish I couldn't read fast enough to see what would happen next, yet I hated when the book was finished. I stayed up way too late reading, but it was totally worth it. Ms. Henderson has a way of making her characters come alive. By the end of the book, the characters feel like family and the setting feels like home. I can't wait for the next book in the series!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Atonement

Book description:  "The mistakes of the past haunt Lucy Flaud, now twenty-five and beyond Amish courting age. Instead, Lucy focuses on volunteering in both the Plain and fancy communities of Lancaster County. Yet no matter how hard she strives, she never feels she's doing enough. Then her father strikes up an unexpected friendship with an Englischer in search of a simpler way of life. Lucy forms a connection of her own with the thoughtful young man even as she rejects courtship with her longtime Amish friend. Is it too late to embrace redemption . . . and the power of love?"

My review:  This is another wonderful book by one of my favorite authors, Beverly Lewis. This book is a great example of the futility of trying to atone for your own sins. There are plenty of good works that we should be doing, but not as a means for atoning for our sins. This is a story of love and true forgiveness that comes from God. A message that we all need to hear and be reminded of. I loved how human Lucy was and how she represented the human race in so many ways. I loved how Tobe Glick showed great patience and understanding. This was truly an amazing book from start to finish! I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy

Book description:  "Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.
Having lived through her parents' endless string of "matrimonial bliss gone wrong," Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She's been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she's inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She'll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt's footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.
         Rancher Jarrod Monahan's hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He's pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster . . . and that's a challenge that Jarrod can't pass up.
        Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy's stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy's kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness."

My review:  This was another fun story in this series by Debra Clopton. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but it was definitely predictable. Although this is the third book in the series, it can stand alone. However, it does help to understand some of the other characters if the previous books have been read. This would be a book to take to the beach. A fun quick read with a little bit of suspense and a whole lot of romance, characters that you grow to love, and some laughs along the way make for an intriguing story. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Room for Hope

Book description:  "Neva Shilling is accustomed to bearing full responsibility for home, business, and children, but she still anticipates her husband’s return from his month-long sales route. Times are hard in 1931 Glen Hill, Kansas and Warren’s work is all he can do. When a wagon pulls up after supper, the family rushes to greet their head of house. But instead of Warren’s wagon, a sheriff has arrived with a wagon of belongings and three small children. He asks for Warren’s sister, Neva. Sending her twins inside, Neva introduces herself as Warren’s wife. The sheriff hesitantly informs her Warren Shilling and his wife have died, leaving three orphans. Before his death, Warren instructed the children to go to “Aunt Neva.”

Neva is shocked to learn Warren and his wife Violet, ran a large dry goods store in Beloit. Instead of traveling, as she’d always believed, he’d been setting up housekeeping with another family and selling their extra goods in the Beloit store.

The sheriff asks Neva if she wants the trio sent to an orphanage, but despite the pain of Warren’s betrayal, she takes in her husband’s children. Facing extreme financial burdens and the weight of unresolved questions, can Neva still find the joy in choosing God’s plan?"

My review:  Kim Vogel Sawyer chose a very unusual and difficult plot for this story, but she handled it very well. She also chose to tell the story from the viewpoint of several characters, which I think added depth to the story. I really enjoyed the story and found it hard to put down. It is full of forgiveness and hope. A wonderful story of redemption! Ms. Sawyer did a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing, and the story did not end as one might necessarily expect. Though the ending was unexpected, it did not disappoint. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Goodbye Bride

Book description:  "Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancĂ© Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
 Zac was just beginning to get his life back on track after Lucy left him with no explanation. And now she’s back—vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. Has he been given a second chance with the only woman who stirs his passion and haunts his dreams?
 Lucy knows she must unlock those missing months and discover why she threw everything away. And Zac knows that if he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life—but if Lucy’s memory returns, his would-be bride might say goodbye forever."

My review:  I thought the last two books I reviewed were good. The Goodbye Bride was even better, and I couldn't put it down! I read the book in one sitting staying up until 2:00 in the morning to finish it. Even though this is the second book in the series, it can certainly stand alone. This is a story full of forgiveness and love. A story that quickly pulls the reader in and doesn't let go even long after the book is finished. If you are looking for a top-notch series to begin reading, this is the one. I am looking forward to reading the third book in September. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Treasure Concealed

Book description:  "Emily Carver longs to have a home of her own, but instead she endures a transient existence in the gold mining camps of Montana, where her father's hopes for riches lie endlessly buried. Promises of wealth from this wild land have brought only hardship and disappointment, causing Emily to wonder if her own modest dreams will ever see the light of day.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist working for the government, is a man trying to escape the pain of his past, and the idyllic mountains of Montana serve his purposes well. In the course of his work, he has seen more than his share of starry-eyed gold seekers. So when Emily Carver catches his attention, he is intrigued by the fact that she isn't pinning her hopes on striking it rich. 

Will an unexpected discovery come between them or draw them together?"

My review:  I really enjoyed this first book in a new series by Tracie Peterson. Ms. Peterson never fails to deliver a wonderfully captivating story. Her characters are always real and become like family. The gospel message is included in such a way that it does not feel fake or forced. There is just enough suspense to keep you turning pages and just enough romance to keep the romantic at heart satisfied. I am looking forward to reading the next books in this series. I received a complimentary e-copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.