Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Refuge at Highland Hall

Book description:  "Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.

Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of  chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war.

As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?"

My review:  This is another great book in the series Edwardian Brides.  I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series before starting this one.  A Refuge at Highland Hall is another page-turner in a series you don't want to miss.  The author is able to transport the reader to another time and place. The emotions are as real as the struggles and triumphs. While this book concluded the series quite satisfactorily, I will miss Highland Hall and all who live there.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All is Bright

Book description:  "As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.

Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.
Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?"

My review:  Even though this was a novella, I think the author, Colleen Coble, did a great job developing the story-line and characters.  All is Bright is set in Hope Beach, which is the setting for 3 previous novels.  It is not necessary to have read those novels, but it was fun to check in with characters that I had already met. I love to read books by Colleen Coble, and this novella had another great mystery and romance that is signature of her books.  This is a fun quick read that I highly recommend.  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, October 7, 2015

Ties that Bind

Book description:  "Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever." 

My review:  This book was amazing!  After reading the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a book that I couldn't put down.  It left me on the edge of my seat until the last chapter, and I will continue to be on the edge of my seat until the next book in this series comes out.  Reading this book will leave you emotionally wrung out as you experience the emotions of each of the characters. While this book is mainly about Ariana, there are several characters with stories all their own and as you read you want to know as much about each of them as you can.  Ms. Woodsmall has started an amazing new series with plenty of stories to tell.  While I can't wait to see what happens with Ariana and Quill, I would love to follow the stories of other members of Ariana's family as well.  Although not your typical Amish fiction, if you enjoy reading books about the Amish, this is a must read!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Love Everlasting

Book description:  "Growing up in a Seattle bridal finishing school never prepared Abrianna Cunningham to become one of the brides, but now Wade Ackerman, who has always been the reliable boy next door, is indicating he wants to be more than friends. And even the people closest to Abrianna believe Wade is the man she should marry. So why is she having such a hard time choosing between Wade Ackerman and Priam Welby?

Watching Welby's relentless pursuit of Abrianna is making Wade's blood boil. Welby can offer her wealth and security, but what about character and integrity? Surely Abrianna can see past Welby's smooth tongue and fine clothes. Can't she?

Caught between the devil and the boy next door, either choice she makes will change Abrianna's life forever."

My review:  This is the third and final book in the Brides of Seattle series.  I do recommend that this series be read in order.  I have enjoyed following the life of Abrianna especially.  There is never a dull moment when she is around.  The aunts also add to the fun of the story-line and gave me many a chuckle throughout the series.  Ms. Peterson wrapped up the series quite satisfactorily with this final book and even threw in a few unexpected twists to keep the reader on her toes. This is a fun quick read by one of my favorite authors.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

When Love Returns

Book description:  "It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family. 

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter,  Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? 

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?"

My review:  When Love Returns is the final book in The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy.  I hate to see this series come to an end, but this final book did not disappoint.  As with the first two books, I could not put this one down. I do recommend that this series only be read in order.  This final book ties together all the loose ends and answers the remaining questions that were raised in the first two books.  Ms. Sawyer has woven an intricately detailed story that is full of real characters and emotions.  As a reader, I felt like I knew the characters personally. I can only hope that Ms. Sawyer includes these characters in future stories.  They became like family and I don't want to lose track of them.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

A Reluctant Bride

Book description:  "When tragedy strikes an independent Amish woman, she must accept a marriage proposal from the man she vowed never to marry.
As the oldest daughter in an Amish family, Sadie's life was mapped out since the day she was born. She would join the church, marry an Amish man, and eventually she and her husband would take over her family's store. But when her parents unexpectedly die in a buggy accident, her life goes into a tailspin. Determined to keep her parents' legacy alive, Sadie works harder than ever to provide for herself and her younger sisters.
However, the bishop is unwilling to let a young woman manage the property and business all on her own. He gives Sadie two choices: marry his son, Aden, or relinquish the business and land to the community. Not willing to give up on her dream, she weds Aden, resigning herself to a loveless marriage.
But while working with Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn't the same boy who had betrayed her in the past. In fact, she begins to look forward to the time they spend together, getting to know the man with a kind heart and gentle smile. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, several dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family-and herself."

My review:  A Reluctant Bride is an amazingly gripping story!  It is also not your typical Amish story.  The author, Kathleen Fuller, tackles some very difficult topics and handles them very well. It is a very moving story and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't put it down.  The characters are so very real, and the struggles they endured carried a powerful message.  No matter how simple and set-apart from the world you try and live, we are all sinners and no belief is exempt from sinful struggles and practices.  I am looking forward to the next book by this author.  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.

The Photograph

Book description:  "When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother's passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the People. Yet Lily's disappearance isn't Eva's only concern: She and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . "
My review:  Once again Beverly Lewis was written another intriguing story.  Wonderful characters, engaging story-line, and a few twists work together to make this another five-star book. The Photograph is another story that highlights the faith of the Amish and their simple ways in a way that pulls you into the story and leaves you sad when it is finished. Although it is a quick read, it is one that I didn't want to put down. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.