Monday, May 28, 2012

Arms of Love

Book description:  The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.

Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.
Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.
Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

My review:  Set in the year 1777, this Amish story is different than most.  Kelly Long chose an unusual time period, but I think that helped make this a very interesting story.  It gave a different perspective and insight into the lives of the Amish.  I enjoyed the characters as well as the story-line.  The struggles the characters faced were believable and real.  The reader is able to enter into the lives of the characters and feel the pain as well as the joy.  Ms. Long wrote a "real-life" story with a surprise ending.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chasing the Sun

From the back of the book:  When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but also for the Texas ranch her father recently acquired.  A marriage of convenience could ease her predicament...but is it the true desire of her heart?

Wounded soldier William Barnett returns home only to find out that his family's ranch has been seized.  Though angered at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running.

Despite these circumstances, Hannah and William form an uneasy truce...and an undeniable attraction builds between them.  In a land where loyalties are divided in a country ravaged by war, is there any hope that the first blush of love can survive?

My review:  Chasing the Sun is the first book of the new series Land of the Lone Star by Tracie Peterson.  This is another book I enjoyed so much that I had a hard time putting it down.  It kept me reading till late at night.  Parts of the story were a little far-fetched, but I guess that is the liberty an author has when writing a fictional story.  I will definitely be looking forward to reading book two in this series.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wildflowers from Winter

From the back of the book:  A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her trailer-park teen years.  An unexpected call from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long.  Then unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years.  When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his own dreams.  But even as he disagrees with Bethany's vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn't seem like the path to freedom.  Is letting go the only way to new life, love, and a peace that she's not even sure exists?

My review:  Katie Ganshert is a new author for me, and I enjoyed reading her book Wildflowers from Winter.  Bethany's story is so real and believable.  I felt like I knew her.  Her struggles and her journey toward peace represent the struggles that so many of us face.  The book seemed to come to an end a little abruptly, but otherwise I thought this was an excellent book.  I look forward to reading more by this author.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

The Secret Path of Destiny

Book description: In "The Secret Path of Destiny", a young, disabled, German-American girl, named Isolde, and her destitute mother reach out for a lifeline being offered by a widower in the German town of Fredericksburg, Texas. The year is 1865, and the two travel from New York City through the aftermath of the Civil War. But another war is brewing, this time with Native Americans, and Isolde and her mother are heading right into the heart of Comancheria, the homeland of the Comanche. It is not the Comanche Isolde fears, but her mother’s new employer, who becomes her stepfather. Isolde realizes he is a cunning man who is not who he pretends to be. As the situation worsens, Isolde is forced to make a life-changing decision to escape; desperate, she seeks refuge with a Comanche Indian, who befriends her at first, but later joins a warring band of Comanche. Her malevolent stepfather pursues her across Texas, turning her life upside down. Eventually, Isolde accepts the difficult circumstances of her life and realizes that a person’s destiny is often hidden from view because the path is sometimes rocky.

My review:  This is another great book by M.B. Tosi.  Once I was finally able to start reading this book, I couldn't put it down!  I was totally drawn into the story and into the lives of the characters.  Once again, Ms. Tosi has combined historical facts with a fictional story.  The Secret Path of Destiny is about the Comanche, and I enjoyed reading the history about the Comanche during this time period as much as I enjoyed the fictional story.  Ms. Tosi is a wonderful story teller, and I look forward to reading more of her books.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from WestBow press through the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.