Monday, July 18, 2016

Fraying at the Edge

Book description:  "The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can help steady Ariana’s tilting ground between the two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?

At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.

New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?"

My review:  This is another amazing book by Cindy Woodsmall! Fraying at the Edge is the second book in the series The Amish of Summer Grove.  I would recommend reading these books in order. There is so much that happens in the first book, Ties that Bind, that you don't want to miss. Once you read Ties that Bind you will be scrambling to buy a copy of this book and then be sorely disappointed when you come to the end and realize you have to wait for the third book to be written. That is how good this series is. I find myself wanting Ariana and Quill to get together, but at the same time I really like Rudy who she is currently planning to marry. I don't know how Ms. Woodsmall is going to resolve that one but I can't wait to find out. From start to finish and even beyond, this book will not let you go. 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.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Beauty Refined

Book description: "Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions--both for her and the gemstones--are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie--a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom. 

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel."

My review:  Even though I enjoyed reading this book, it is not one of my favorites by Tracie Peterson. This is the second book in the series Sapphire Brides, but these novels stand alone. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. Ms. Peterson always has such interesting characters and this novel was no exception. The historical references always make a historical novel that much better and A Beauty Refined included some interesting history. Even though this wasn't one of my favorites, I still highly recommend this book. Tracie Peterson is an amazing author. You won't be disappointed! I received a complimentary e-copy from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender

Book description:  "The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences."

My review:  After reading this book, I will certainly look forward to reading other books by this author, Melanie Dickerson. Once I started The Beautiful Pretender, I totally lost track of time as I got caught up in the story. This medieval fairy tale will hold you captive from start to finish! There is a great balance of suspense and romance, and Ms. Dickerson beautifully handled difficult topics associated with the medieval time period. As you head to the beach or pool this summer, this is a book that you will want to take with you. 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. 

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.