Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Love's Faithful Promise

Book description:  "Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. When Deirdre O'Leary, a feisty New Yorker, arrives in Toronto requesting he use his skills to help her stricken mother, he won't abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when his daughter suffers a health scare and needs a respite, Deirdre offers a trade--they can escape to the peace of her family's farm, if he will care for Mrs. O'Leary.

Matthew agrees for his daughter's sake, but is intent on staying as short a time as necessary. The sojourn at Irish Meadows does wonders for Phoebe, and as she begins to flourish, Matthew finds himself drawn to the O'Learys, especially to the captivating Deirdre. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?"

My review:  I believe that this is the first book I have read by this author, Susan Anne Mason. I was not disappointed! Although this is book 3 in the series Courage to Dream, I had no trouble following the story or the characters. It can definitely stand alone, but I am looking forward to reading the first two books in this series. Not only did this story follow Deirdre but her twin brother Connor as well. I felt that the author did a great job at balancing the two stories. This is a story that shows real life struggles along with answers that don't always come easily. If this book is any indication, I will be reading a lot more books by this author! I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

From this Day Forward

Book description:  "Deborah MacCallister, head nurse at the Blessing hospital, has loved Toby Valders since her school days, but she's had enough of their on-again, off-again relationship. With the help of the young women of Blessing, Deborah decides that by the end of the summer she will either have won Toby's heart--or she'll give up on him forever. 

Toby truly cares for Deborah, but he's never felt like he could commit to marriage or a family. When Anton Gendarme, the new schoolteacher, comes to town, sparks fly between Deborah and Anton. The sudden competition makes Toby do some serious soul-searching, but is it too late?

As the town of Blessing prepares for harvest, Deborah faces the most important decision of her life. But where does her heart truly belong?"

My review:  I really had a hard time getting into this book. I don't think that was the fault of the author. This is book 4 of 4 in the Song of Blessing series by Lauraine Snelling. I definitely needed to have read the first three books before reading this one. I couldn't keep all of the characters straight and there was just too much of the story that I couldn't follow very well without the background from the first three books. By the end of the book, I was enjoying the few characters that I could keep straight, and I did enjoy Mrs. Snelling writing style. I have enjoyed other books by her that I have read in the past.  Maybe one day soon I can read the first three books in this series and be able to appreciate this one a little more. 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, September 12, 2016

A Love Transformed

Book description:  "When her husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara Vesper is stunned. Not grief-stricken, as their marriage had never been a love match, but staggered by what might become of her and her children. For years she designed the sapphire jewelry that made her husband's company a fortune, but she has little money in her own name and soon discovers that she has inherited nothing. Fearing for the welfare of her two small children, she decides to take them to her aunt and uncle's ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy.

But much has changed since she last visited the Montana ranch, both for Clara and for those she was forced to leave behind. And when dangerous secrets from her late husband's past threaten everyone she loves, Clara must fight to remain where she can fulfill her dreams."

My review:  This month I had a hard time deciding which book to review for Bethany House. It was this book or Beverly Lewis's new book, The Wish. I obviously chose this book by Tracie Peterson and was not disappointed! This is the third and final book in the Sapphire Brides series. Don't worry if you haven't read the other two, all three books can stand alone. I would have a very hard deciding which of the books in this series is my favorite. Clara's mother was actually one of my favorite characters. Although I didn't like her as a person, she added a great element to the story. Clara was a strong character that had a backbone when she had to have one. She was meek to a certain point, which is a great quality, but she did not allow herself to be run over when the situation called for strength. This was one of those books I stayed up way too late reading! I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Twilight at Blueberry Barrens

Book description:  "'I need you to keep these girls safe . . .'
Kate Mason has devoted herself to caring for her family’s blueberry barrens. But after her fields stop producing fruit, she’s forced to come up with alternative ways to make a living.
Renting out the small cottage on her property seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When entrepreneur Drake Newham shows up looking not only for a place to rent but also for a nanny for his two nieces, it’s almost too good to be true. And maybe it is—because Drake brings with him dangerous questions about who might be out to kill his family. The more time Kate spends with Drake and the girls, the more difficult it becomes to hide her attraction to him. But a family crisis isn’t exactly the ideal time to pursue a romance.
Meanwhile, Kate learns that her uncle—in prison for murder—has escaped. Add to that a local stalker who won’t leave her alone, and Kate is looking over her shoulder at every turn. With threats swirling from multiple directions, she wonders if her blueberry fields will ever flourish again . . . or if this twilight is her last.
Set on the beautiful coast of Maine, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens brings together suspense, romance, and the hope that one day new life will come again."

My review:  This is the third and final book in the series A Sunset Cove.  While not my favorite of the series, it is still another example of the great writing that Colleen Coble consistently provides.  Once again Mrs. Coble is able to surprise the reader with the unexpected, balanced with romance and faith. The reader is held captive from the beginning to the end! I enjoyed following the characters from the previous books in the series as well as characters from a series by Denise Hunter. That was an unexpected pleasant surprise.  The ending of this book tied up all the loose threads  in this series and definitely left a feeling of completeness. I really enjoyed this series, and look forward to the next book/series from Colleen Coble. 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.

Just a Kiss

Book description:  "Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.
Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.
But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.
Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.
As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?"

My review:  I would have a hard time choosing a favorite book or character from this series, A Summer Harbor, by Denise Hunter. Just a Kiss is the third and final novel in this series. It does stand alone, but you certainly do not want to miss the first two books.  I anxiously waited for this book to be released and was not disappointed! The struggles that Paige and Riley had were real and were characters that I could become connected to. Denise Hunter is also able to handle difficult topics without making them too light or too heavy, and there were many lessons, which were woven throughout the story, that will cause the reader to stop and think.  This is such a wonderful story that you will not want to miss!  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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Where Hope Prevails

Book description:  "Elizabeth Thatcher's highly anticipated return to her beloved Coal Valley after a long summer with her family back east is filled with surprises . . . and not all of them good ones, in her estimation. Maybe the worst one of all relates to her treasured students. Can she adapt and learn to cope with this enormous change?

Her Mountie, Jarrick Thornton, hasn't yet proposed, but she already knows what her answer will be. His duties take him away from the valley much too often, in her view, but the two of them, with patience and understanding--and one significant misunderstanding--are learning to know each other better. 

The dark cloud looming on the horizon in Beth's mind, though, is filled with questions about where their future might take them. As a member of the RCMP, Jarrick is stationed wherever his superiors send him . . . but what about her teaching position in Coal Valley?

Beth attempts to do her best with each obstacle she faces, but does she rightly assess each situation as it surfaces? Good intentions don't always lead to good results. . . ."

My review:  I think that each book in this series gets a little bit better. This was my favorite of the three books in this series. In my opinion, Where Hope Prevails had more substance to it. The plot was more developed and the characters seemed to grow as well. I always appreciate when an author of Christian fiction places Biblical truths in the very center of the story. This is one such book. I would like to have seen more of the relationship between Beth and Jarrick. Time wise there was plenty of time for their relationship to develop, but it was not included in the story. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Guide Me Home

Book description:  "Working in the massive cave might allow 
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will it claim more than it gives? 

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.  
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. 
The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?" 

My review:  As I began to read, for some reason I did not like the idea that Rebekah was going "undercover" as a boy in order to secure a job. That is not normally something that bothers me, but it just it didn't seem to fit Rebekah's character in this book.  It didn't take long, however, for the author, Kim Vogel Sawyer, to convince me she knew what she was doing. Devlin also didn't seem to fit Rebekah, but Mrs. Sawyer created a wonderful story-line that quickly changed my mind. I also enjoyed getting to know Rebekah's family especially her sister, Cissy.  Mrs. Sawyer has once again created a story and characters that will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.