Friday, September 28, 2012

The Trouble With Cowboys

Book description:  "Only one pair of boots—and the cowboy wearing them—can get Annie out of the mess she’s in.

Annie Wilkerson is Moose Creek’s premiere horse trainer and equine columnist for Montana Living. Money is tight as she tries to put her kid-sister through college and provide for her young nephew. When Annie’s column is cancelled, she’s given first shot at a new lovelorn column—and she can’t afford to turn it down. Only problem is . . . Annie’s never been in love.

Always resourceful, she reluctantly strikes a deal with the town’s smooth-talking ladies’ man Dylan Taylor: She’ll work with his ailing horse, Braveheart, if he’ll help her answer the reader letters.

Working closely with Dylan is harder than Annie imagined, and she quickly realizes she may have misjudged him. But her unwavering conviction that cowboys are nothing but trouble has kept her heart safe for years. And she can’t risk getting hurt now.

The more Annie tries to control things, the more they fall apart. Her feelings are spinning out of control, and her sister’s antics are making life increasingly more difficult. Annie knows she needs to turn the reins over to God, but surrender has never come easily.

When Dylan reveals his feelings for her, Annie doesn’t know what to trust—her head or her heart. The trouble with this cowboy is that he might just be exactly what she needs."

My review:   This book was an enjoyable quick read.  Although The Trouble With Cowboys is part of A Big Sky Romance series, it can stand alone.  While the reader will encounter characters from other books in the series, the story focuses on Annie and Dylan.  Their story will keep you turning pages, so that they will see what everyone else in the book as well as the reader knows will happen between them.  Denise Hunter is able to weave a fun story that also has a spiritual lesson.  I enjoy her writing style, and her ability to make the reader fall in love with her characters.  I recieved a complimentary e-copy this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

His Love Endures Forever

Book description:  "An unplanned pregnancy. An absent father. Can love really endure all things?

Danielle Kent is anything but Amish. But as destiny would have it, she has fallen in love with an Amish man.

Now she’s 18, pregnant, and hopeful that the child’s Amish father—Matthew Lapp—will do the right thing and marry her. She knows Matthew plans to leave his Colorado settlement for a life in the Englisch world. But that plan never included a baby.

When Matthew walks away from her and their unborn child, she has nowhere to turn. Her unlikely friendship with Levi offers some comfort—yet they have so little in common. This wasn’t the plan she had for her life, and she has never felt so alone. She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Doesn’t want to be Amish. Doesn’t want to trust God.

And yet.

God has plans beyond what her mind can imagine . . . loving plans to show a lost young woman that His love never fails but endures forever."

My Review:  This is another great book by a great author!  His Love Endures Forever is a great reminder that God's love does endure even when the circumstances in life seem to indicate otherwise.  The story also reminds us of the power of forgiveness.  The characters were real and down-to-earth.  The reader could put himself in the shoes of any of the characters.  I also enjoyed reading more about Danielle, who was introduced in another book.  This is a great book to read with great lessons.  I couldn't put it down!  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, September 19, 2012

The Truth About Grace

Book description:  “Is the experience of God’s grace in your life a thrilling thing? Just thinking about the fact that God, by His own sovereign plan, decided to be gracious to me is overwhelming. There is nothing greater than receiving grace upon grace.” —John MacArthur

"Simple definitions can make grace feel like an obvious―even mundane―concept. Nothing could be further from the truth. Grace is the defining feature of the Christian faith. Once we understand how undeserving we are and how much favor we’ve been given, grace becomes shocking, thrilling, inspiring, and contagious.

Best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur illuminates this profound concept with verse upon verse of Scripture. He also shows that misunderstandings about grace have led to some of the church’s greatest problems, perhaps because grace is her most precious gift.

For decades, MacArthur has encouraged countless Christians to develop a deeper understanding of the Bible and a greater respect for God’s truth. In The Truth About series, he now gathers his landmark teachings about core aspects of the Christian faith in one place. These powerful books are designed to give readers a focused experience that centers on God’s character and how it applies to their daily walk of faith."

My review:  This is not a long book, but John MacArthur has packed it full of great truth!  A mature believer will not necessarily learn anything new, but will certainly find great encouragement in their walk with Christ, as well as necessary reminders that all Christians need to hear.  New believers will find this book very helpful in understanding more about the grace of God and how God's grace is manifested in our lives.  MacArthur uses numerous verses throughout the book to support what he says, and he does not hestitate to tell it like it is.  This is a great book that every believer would benefit from reading.  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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

To Love and Cherish

From the back of the book:  "Melinda Colson has been waiting months for Evan, the assistant gamekeeper at the Bridal Veil Island resort, to propose.  Without an offer of marriage, she must return to Cleveland with the family she works for as a lady's maid.

Evan isn't afraid of hard work, and he hopes to be promoted soon.  He wants to marry Melinda-but not until he's sure he can support her and a family.

Letters strengthen their romance until a devastating storm strikes the island.  With no word from Evan, Melinda knows she must journey back to Bridal Veil in search of her beloved.

But the hurricane isn't the last calamity to shake up Bridal Veil.  Melinda finds a new job on the island, but still no offer of marriage comes her way.  Has she given her heart to the wrong person?  Will she ever find a man to love and cherish?"

My review:  I love the setting of this story.  Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller have once again done an outstanding job in creating a wonderful setting.  Having grown up on the Gulf Coast, hurricanes are not unknown to me, but I never stopped to think what it would have been like to have experienced one 100+ years ago.  This story allows just a glimpse of what it might have been like to have lived on an island and survived such a storm.  I also loved the characters, even the ones that were "unlovable".  Each character made the story come alive.  This is an excellent book!  One that you won't want to put down.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

When Hope Blossoms

From the back of the book:  "Amy Knackstedt hopes a new start in Weaverly, Kansas, will help heal the pain of losing her husband and provide a better future for her three children.  But her new neighbor, Tim Roper, is not pleased to have an Old Order Mennonite family living next to his apple orchard.  Tim left the Mennonite faith years ago and doesn't want any reminders of his former life.

Yet when circumstances throw Amy and Tim together, they form a friendship that surprises them both.  Will past hurts always be a barrier between them, or will this tentative relationship blossom into something more?"

My review:  I really enjoyed reading When Hope Blossoms by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  The simplicity of the story draws the reader in, but the characters will keep you reading.  This is a story with events that could happen to anyone, so the reader is able to relate.  The characters that Ms. Sawyer created could be anyone that I know, and I enjoyed reading their story and getting to know them.  I have read many Amish novels, so reading a story about the Mennonites was an interesting change.  This was another book that I didn't want to put down, and I look forward to reading even more stories by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Be Still My Soul

From the back of the book:  "Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent-she's used to fading into the background within her family and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills.  Though they are poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith.  But when handsome ladies' man and bluegrass musician Gideon O'Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.

Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon- a man she barely knows and does not love.  Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.

Her distant groom can't seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie's God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?"

My review:  There are not many books that I read where I really do not like one of the main characters.  This is one such book.  While I enjoyed the book, Gideon's character was one that I just could not like.  The book was written in such a way that I think that is what the author intended, and  I was sure that I would change my mind by the end of the story.  I just wasn't sure how the author, Joanne Bischof, would be able to accomplish that mind change.  Although predictable and frustrating, I enjoyed the story and by the end of the book I found myself actually liking Gideon.  I think this a good debut novel, and  I would certainly be happy to read other books by this author.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.