Thursday, August 27, 2015

Falling Like Snowflakes

Book description:  "Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how her life came to this—on the run with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. When a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.
Beau Callahan is a habitual problem solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over his family’s Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas alone.
When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.
Eden has been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches, Eden’s past catches up to her.
Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again?"

My review:  I stayed up way too late reading this book!  I couldn't put it down.  Having just read Married till Monday, I was looking forward to reading Falling Like Snowflakes, and I was not disappointed!  This book is a perfect mix of romance and suspense, and the ending was not as totally predictable as I thought it would be. I loved the characters and look forward to meeting up with them again in the next book in this series.  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, August 25, 2015

Her Brother's Keeper

Book description:  "Charlotte came to Amish country to find answers. What she never expected to find was peace.
Charlotte Dolinsky is not above playing dress-up and telling a few lies to find out what happened to her only brother. In fact, that is exactly what she’s come to Lancaster County to do. Now, calling herself Mary and slipping on a kapp, Charlotte will lie her way into the confidence of anyone who knows why Ethan had to die. Unless she gets found out first.
But when Charlotte befriends a quiet Amish man named Isaac Miller, she begins to rethink her motives. And with a little help from a friend back home, Charlotte might find out that love comes packaged in ways she couldn’t have foreseen.
Isaac’s been caring for his cancer-stricken father and sympathizing with his frustrated mother for three difficult years. And that means he hasn’t been dating. He believes Hannah King is the woman for him, but Hannah is still grieving the loss of her fiancĂ©, and Isaac has all he can handle on the farm. When Hannah’s family plays host to a woman named Mary, their new cousin shakes things up for all of them.
As Charlotte digs deeper into the mystery of Ethan’s death, she finds more than she’d bargained for in the community he once called home. But will she ever learn the truth? And what will the community—and her new family—do if they learn the truth about her?"

My review:  I usually enjoy books by Beth Wiseman, but this was not one of my favorites.  I enjoyed the plot even though the Amish perspective was more on the outside looking in.  It didn't seem possible that Charlotte would be able to fool people into thinking she was Amish.  Their way of life is not easily adopted.  I did not agree with the way the topic of salvation was handled.  Ms. Wiseman had an opportunity to present the gospel very clearly, and she chose not to use that opportunity.  In fact, she seemed to indicate that our salvation is based on our works and not through the shed blood of Jesus. I am disappointed in this book, but will look forward to giving her books another chance.  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. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Married til Monday

Book description:  "With a big anniversary party in the works for her parents, Ryan will pretend to be Abby's husband for just one last weekend.
Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He's sulked, he's gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive 2-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.
Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she's finally succumbed to her mom's pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.
Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he's going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can't say no. Her parents still think they're married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college-her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It's just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?"

My review:  This is the fourth book in the "A Chapel Springs Romance" series.  I read the first book in the series, but somehow I missed the second and third.  After reading Married til Monday, I will be going back and reading the other two.  Although this book was written to stand alone, it was so good that I wish I had read the others.  Denise Hunter has been a hit or miss author for me, but this book was definitely a hit! Real life characters combined with a great plot make for a great summer read! While there is plenty of romance, Denise Hunter touches on some hard and serious issues.  She handles these issues very well and in a way that pulls you right into the lives of the characters.  This is a book that I highly recommend, and I will be looking for the next book by this author in the hopes that it is just as good as this one.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Potter's Lady

Book description:  "When Rose McKay convinces her brother, Ewan, to invest in a pottery business, she's determined to assist him in making the endeavor a success. A recent graduate of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, she believes she can design pieces that will sell well. Rose also reconnects with Joshua Harkness, who oversees his own family's pottery works and promises to help her.

Rylan Campbell has never liked change, but the new owners of the pottery seem to be decent folks. He just wishes Rose wouldn't insist on changing the way they do things. Then McKay Pottery begins to lose business to the Harkness company, and Rylan suspects Joshua may be secretly taking advantage of Rose.

When Franklin Hotels announces a design contest, it could be the opportunity McKay Pottery needs to achieve recognition and clients. Rose and Rylan work together to create something magnificent. With Joshua's company as their main rival, can Rylan convince Rose her trust in Joshua may spell ruin for them all?"

My review:  While this novel is historical fiction , it doesn't seem to be set during a specific historical event and covers a very short period of time.  The author, Judith Miller, develops the plot quickly and the reader is subsequently pulled into the story.  The themes of pride and honesty come through in the characters of Rose and Joshua.  The ending of the story seems to catch the reader off guard, but I don't want to spoil the ending by elaborating any further.  This was an enjoyable story to read and Judith Miller is quickly becoming a favorite 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.    

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Refining Fire

Book description:  "Twenty-two-year-old Militine Scott is in training at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, yet she has no intention of pursuing marriage. What respectable man would have her? But she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to keep her unsavory past hidden.

Thane Patton, though fun-loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing that she harbors a haunting pain similar to his own.  Will they allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of their past?"
My review:  Refining Fire is book 2 in the series Brides of Seattle.  I am enjoying this series by Tracie Peterson.  Mrs. Peterson seems to always develop her characters very well, and this book is no exception.   While I enjoyed the story of Militine and Thane, who are the main characters in this story, I enjoyed the continuing  story of Abrianna even more. Although not the main character in the first book in this series either,  Abrianna was introduced in Steadfast Heart, and her story continues to thread it's way through book 2.  I am especially looking forward to book 3, since Abrianna's story will be the focus. She has been my favorite character.  As usual, Mrs. Peterson also does a great job with the historical aspects of the book.  Because of her attention to details, she continues to be one of my favorite authors for historical fiction.  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, June 25, 2015

Whenever You Come Around

Book description:  "Just when Charity's wild imagination failed her, a flesh-and-blood hero walked into her life.
Best-selling author Charity Anderson returns to her hometown of Kings Meadow to defeat a bad case of writer's block. She imagines she'll spend a lonely summer writing and then return to her home in Boise. She soon finds herself caring for Buck Malone, a wilderness guide-and the object of her unrequited teenage crush. But what else can she do? Her dog Cocoa caused the accident that left Buck with a broken ankle and wrist, taking him off the trail for weeks of prime tourist-season work.
Buck and Charity have gone different ways since high school, and at first it seems they have little in common. Buck loves the simple, low-key life he's made for himself in the mountains of Idaho, and she's a woman accustomed to the faster, bustling pace of the city. But spending so much time together has Buck hoping to change her mind about staying in the small town she thought she'd left behind for good.
It's a summer for discovering that young love is a spark not soon extinguished."

My review:  This is a wonderful story of forgiveness.  While part of a series, this book can stand alone although after reading it, the reader will probably want to read the other books in this series. Robin Lee Hatcher does an amazing job with her characters, but especially with Charity and Buck's relationship. There were times I sat and chuckled at them, and other times I wanted to yell at them. Even though the ending is inevitable, the reader can't help but wonder at times if Charity and Buck know how the ending is supposed to go.  This is a great summer read especially for fans of Robin Lee Hatcher, and one you won't want to put down.  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.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hearts Made Whole

Book description:  "1865, Windmill Point, Michigan
Can She Forgive the Hurting Man Who Costs Her the Role She Loves?
After her father's death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren't supposed to have such roles, so it's only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper--even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He's secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope...and possibly love?"
My review:  Although this is the second book in the series, you do not have to have read the first book in order to enjoy this one.  A wooden cross ties the stories in the series together, but other than that and the fact that the stories take place at a lighthouse, there is not much of a connection between the two.  Jody Hedlund is an awesome story-teller.  Her characters are real and the story pulls you into their lives and doesn't let go.  There is a little bit of mystery and a lot of romance, so if you like romantic historical fiction this is a great book.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.