Friday, April 10, 2015

Twisted Innocence

Book description:  "When Holly's secrets backfire, is the mess too big to unravel?
Holly Cramer has worked hard to keep the identity of her daughter's father a secret, shamed and embarrassed by the one-night stand. But when the police knock on her door searching for Creed Kershaw, she realizes his identity isn't as hidden as she thought. The fact that Creed is a person of interest in a recent drug-related murder only increases her humiliation.
When Holly's and Creed's paths cross, Holly is unsure whether to be terrified of him or trust him. His tenderness with their daughter makes her want to believe his story that he had nothing to do with the murder. Then she discovers that Creed has a connection to Leonard Miller-who killed both her sister's fiancé and her brother-in-law, and kidnapped her nephews-and things only become more complicated.
Will Creed lead them to the man who has plagued her family, or become another of his victims?"

My review:  Twisted Innocence is the third book in the Moonlighters Series.  I have really enjoyed this series, but this particular book was my least favorite.  I enjoyed continuing the story and while it was very good, I just didn't think it was one of Terri Blackstock's best books.  Even though this is the third book in the series the reader does not need to have read the first two books.  Ms. Blackstock explains enough of what has already happened so that the reader will not be lost.  I felt that Holly's story was not developed enough.  I think her character could have had a little more depth.  As usual with Ms. Blackstock's books you will be kept on the edge of your seat and quickly turning pages.  If you are a fan of suspense novels with a tab bit of romance thrown in, this is a great series to read.  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.

More Than Just the Talk

Book description:  "The old ways of having the "sex talk" just won't cut it anymore. Sadly, the number one place today's young people go to for answers about sex is Google. Meanwhile, kids view nearly 14,000 sexual references a year on television, and 70 percent of teenagers have encountered pornography on the Internet. If we want our children to know the truth about healthy sexuality, we need to create a comfortable climate of continual conversations.

Jonathan McKee will show you how to move beyond the initial awkwardness of this subject into an ongoing communication with your kids about God's amazing gift of sex. He equips you with what you need to talk openly about dating, temptation, porn, and purity, and you will find answers to tough questions and relevant Scripture on sexual issues.

It's normal for kids to be curious about sexuality, and they need to know that their parents are the most reliable source of information. Be the one your kids turn to on this crucial topic."
My review:  "More than Just the Talk"  is a wonderful resource for parents!  Jonathan McKee presents astonishing statistics that help make you realize how important it is to have open communication with your children.  Not only does he inform and convince the reader of the importance of talking openly with your children about sexual issues, but he gives tips and suggestions on how to talk with them while referencing Scripture throughout the book.  I highly recommend this book to all Christian parents.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Inn at Ocean's Edge

Book description:  "A vacation to Sunset Cove was her way of celebrating and thanking her parents. After all, Claire Dellamore's childhood was like a fairytale. But with the help of Luke Elwell, Claire discovers that fairytale was really an elaborate lie . . .
The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean's Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there. She feels it in her bones. Her ensuing panic attack causes a scene, upsetting her parents. Claire attempts to quiet her nerves with a walk on the beach, to no avail. She's at too great a distance to make out details, but she believes she witnesses a murder on a nearby cliff. When local police find no evidence of foul play, they quickly write off the "nervous" woman's testimony as less than credible.
But Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, has reason to believe Claire. Years ago when his mother went missing, Luke's father suspected she'd been murdered. He died never having convinced the police to investigate. So when an employee of the grand hotel doesn't show up for work, Luke steps in to help Claire track down the missing woman.
As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for."
My review:  Colleen Coble seems to get better with each book she writes!  I stayed up way too late in order to finish this book.  I was pulled into the story and the mystery from the very first page and was kept guessing until the very end.  Fast-paced with many twists and turns The Inn at Ocean's Edge is a book that readers don't want to miss.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

When Grace Sings

Book description:  "Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.

But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.

Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures."

My review:  I'm so glad I read book 1 in this series, The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. When Mercy Rains introduces the family and begins to unpack the many family secrets. When Grace Sings continues the story of the Zimmerman family.  As Ms. Sawyer delves deeper into the lives of the Zimmermans, she seems to raise even more questions about this family than she answers. More secrets, twists, and turns will leave you on the edge of your seat.  And as the title indicates, grace is a thread that runs through the entire book.  I loved this book as much as I loved the first one, and I will be anxiously waiting for the third and final book in this series to be published!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Love Letters

Book description:  "Marlena Wenger's life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister's baby. Spending the summer in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, to assist her Mennonite grandmother, and miles from Marlena's Old Order Amish beau, she feels out of her element in nearly every respect. Yet Marlena determines to do her best and stay focused on her future, even as those hopes become drastically altered."

My review:  This is another great book by Beverly Lewis!  The title of the book is so appropriate.  Mrs. Lewis has woven different "love letters" throughout the story.  Although the book is mainly about Marlena Wenger, there are other characters with their stories intertwined  with Marlena's.  With those characters come some very weighty issues, but Mrs. Lewis did a wonderful job handling these delicate topics!  Marlena is a wonderful character, who sacrifices a lot to do what is right.  She is a marvelous example of placing others needs ahead of your own and gives the reader much to contemplate.  Loving all the characters as well as the story, I know fans of Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed with The Love Letters.  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, February 26, 2015

Where Trust Lies

Book description:  "She loves her friends and students in the West, but family obligations have called her home. Where does she truly belong?
After a year of teaching in the Canadian West, Beth Thatcher returns home to her family. She barely has time to settle in before her mother announces plans for a family holiday--a luxurious steamship tour along the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. Hoping to reconnect with her mother and her sisters, Beth agrees to join them, but she quickly realizes that things have changed since she went away, and renewing their close bond is going to be more challenging than she expected. 

There's one special thing to look forward to--letters and telephone calls from Jarrick, the Mountie who has stolen her heart. The distance between them is almost too much to bear. But can she give her heart to Jarrick when it will mean saying good-bye to her family once again--and possibly forever? And will she still want to live in the western wilds after the steamship tour opens up a world of people and places she never imagined?

Then comes a great test of Beth's faith. Someone in her family has trusted the wrong person, and suddenly everything Beth knows and loves is toppled. Torn between her family and her dreams, will Beth finally discover where her heart truly belongs?"

My review:  I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one in this new series, although I still think that this is not the best that Janette Oke can do.  Beth's character is well-developed, but I think that Jarrick needs to be developed  more.  He seems to be an important character, but is left in the shadows. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the shipmates, but it dragged on a little too long and then ended too abruptly.  I enjoyed the setting on the ship, and the different ports-of-call.  That is an unusual setting especially for this time period.  Overall, this book was good, but not great.  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, February 5, 2015

A Brush with Love

Book description:  "Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.
Ginger Winters drapes her hair over her right shoulder and adjusts the scarf around her neck to cover her scarred, withered skin. She’s had the scars since she was twelve, but she’ll never get used to the ugliness.
The fire changed Ginger’s life, but out of the pain and humiliation of her own disfigurement, one quality unexpectedly emerged: a gift for bringing out the beauty in other women. In a twelve-year ascent from top salon jobs in New York, Atlanta, and Nashville, Ginger traveled the world as personal stylist to country music sensation Tracie Blue. The success was almost enough to make her forget her own appearance.
Almost. Now that she’s opened her own salon in Rosebud after a dozen years away, the truth is staring Ginger in the face again: she’s still that girl, ugly and scarred, forever on the outside looking in. And this weekend she’ll be looking in as “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.
But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts. Can this professional beauty-maker manage to recognize the beauty in herself, or are some scars too deep to powder over?"

My review:  This was a fun quick read.  The story was just not long enough to fully develop the characters or the plot.  However, there are great lessons to be learned from this book, and an unexpected "mystery" that added to the plot.  This is another novella in the Year of Weddings. While better than some, it was not my favorite.  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.