Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An April Bride

Book description:  "War changes everything . . . even their love.
Bride-to-be Stella Carson can't wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and has suffered a head wound. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he has distanced himself from Stella, asking her not to visit him in a Washington, D.C., hospital. Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she's loved for most of her life has become someone else.
Can true love conquer all for Stella and Marshall, even the tragedy of war?"
My review:  Although novellas aren't my first choice, I am enjoying the "A Year of Weddings" novellas.  An April Bride, while not my favorite, was still pretty good.  Not only does a lot have to happen in a short amount of time because the book is short, a lot has to happen because of the time frame in the book.  The author, Lenora Worth, crams a lot of story in the pages of this book.  I enjoyed reading it, but some of the actual time frame was confusing as I read.  For awhile it seemed like more time had passed than what actually had.  I think Stella was a little too romanticized rather than real although the author did try for it to be more balanced.  I think part of that comes from the fact that she didn't have a whole lot of book space to make her more real. Stella and Marshall will however, make you think, give a few sniffles along the way, and stay with you for a few days after you finish the book.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Zondervan through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

A Lady's Honor

Book description:  "Society is concerned about her honor, but Elizabeth must realize her worth doesn't lie in her inheritance.
In order to avoid a forced marriage to a dangerous man, Elizabeth Trelawney flees London. An unexpected stranger arrives to help her, and as they elude her pursuers across Cornwall in the night, Elizabeth realizes her rescuer, Rouan Curnow, is familiar.
Their differences in social status kept Rouan from pursuing a courtship with the lady his heart wouldn't let him forget. Now because of dangerous smugglers and local murders, the two are plunged into a reckless alliance that rattles Rouan's fledgling faith in God.
The closer they get to Bastian Point-Elizabeth's true home-the more she realizes it is the only place she longs to be. Even the sight of its solid structure perched on the cliffs makes her feel safe. Elizabeth is the most likely to inherit Bastian Point if Grandfather never learns she spent the night, however innocently, with a near stranger.
As spring warms into summer, Elizabeth finds herself torn between wanting to be the perfect grandchild and her growing love for a man of whom no one will approve as a match for her, a man she knows she shouldn't entirely trust. Unsure whether she is being foolish or following the right path, she sets out with Rouan on a quest to find the true culprit behind the local violence.
Their quest leads them to danger, and she must choose whether to follow the man she loves or cling to the safety of her family home."
My review:  This book was a little slow starting for me, but it soon became a book I didn't want to put down.  The plot moves quickly with a few twists that keep the reader guessing.  The author, Laurie Alice Eakes, is able to paint amazing word pictures that take you into the story with the characters.  Her characters have depth and a realness to them.  I like that Elizabeth isn't your typical heroine.  Her struggles, emotional and spiritual, are real as well as her actions.  If you enjoy romance, mystery and suspense, then this is a book that you will want to read.  It gives you all three with spiritual lessons as well.  I look forward to reading a sequel.  I received a complimentary e-copy from Zondervan through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.   

Monday, April 14, 2014

Through the Deep Waters

Book description:  "Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive.
The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her.  Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?"

My review:  Kim Vogel Sawyer takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster in Through the Deep Waters.  On one hand this was a difficult book to read, but on the other hand I couldn't put it down!  Prostitution is a very difficult but real subject.  Ms. Sawyer did an excellent job portraying the horror and the devastation that results from that kind of lifestyle without going into inappropriate detail.  Even through the horror, a feeling of hope is woven throughout the story with the plan of salvation clearly given in the culmination of our ultimate hope and forgiveness being revealed. I would recommend that mothers read this book before allowing their daughters to read it.  While there is nothing inappropriate, the content is such that each mom will need to make the decision as to whether their daughters are old enough/mature enough to read this book.   I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.