Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Refuge at Highland Hall

Book description:  "Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.

Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of  chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war.

As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?"

My review:  This is another great book in the series Edwardian Brides.  I would definitely recommend reading the first two books in the series before starting this one.  A Refuge at Highland Hall is another page-turner in a series you don't want to miss.  The author is able to transport the reader to another time and place. The emotions are as real as the struggles and triumphs. While this book concluded the series quite satisfactorily, I will miss Highland Hall and all who live there.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

All is Bright

Book description:  "As manager of the Tidewater Inn, Delilah Carter has been planning a spectacular Christmas wedding for her friends at the grand hotel overlooking the ocean. While picking up still more twinkly lights and some last-minute groceries for the reception dinner, a huge truck runs her off the freezing, wet roads into the dark night. Her car stops just short of an enormous tree and the truck speeds off into the night. Delilah escapes with her life and has almost convinced herself the whole thing was an accident, but then she begins to receive threatening phone calls. With the wedding just hours away, she’s distracted and anxious. Then Sheriff Tom Bourne stops by the inn and volunteers to help.

Tom has always had a soft spot for Delilah, and he’s determined to protect her. But he is pulled away by a bizarre Christmas stunt that has the neighborhood reeling, and Delilah is attacked again.
Will Delilah have to cancel the Christmas wedding at Tidewater Inn? And will Tom’s protection be enough to save Delilah from the shadowy figure looming in the background?"

My review:  Even though this was a novella, I think the author, Colleen Coble, did a great job developing the story-line and characters.  All is Bright is set in Hope Beach, which is the setting for 3 previous novels.  It is not necessary to have read those novels, but it was fun to check in with characters that I had already met. I love to read books by Colleen Coble, and this novella had another great mystery and romance that is signature of her books.  This is a fun quick read that I highly recommend.  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.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ties that Bind

Book description:  "Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever." 

My review:  This book was amazing!  After reading the first chapter, I knew this was going to be a book that I couldn't put down.  It left me on the edge of my seat until the last chapter, and I will continue to be on the edge of my seat until the next book in this series comes out.  Reading this book will leave you emotionally wrung out as you experience the emotions of each of the characters. While this book is mainly about Ariana, there are several characters with stories all their own and as you read you want to know as much about each of them as you can.  Ms. Woodsmall has started an amazing new series with plenty of stories to tell.  While I can't wait to see what happens with Ariana and Quill, I would love to follow the stories of other members of Ariana's family as well.  Although not your typical Amish fiction, if you enjoy reading books about the Amish, this is a must read!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Love Everlasting

Book description:  "Growing up in a Seattle bridal finishing school never prepared Abrianna Cunningham to become one of the brides, but now Wade Ackerman, who has always been the reliable boy next door, is indicating he wants to be more than friends. And even the people closest to Abrianna believe Wade is the man she should marry. So why is she having such a hard time choosing between Wade Ackerman and Priam Welby?

Watching Welby's relentless pursuit of Abrianna is making Wade's blood boil. Welby can offer her wealth and security, but what about character and integrity? Surely Abrianna can see past Welby's smooth tongue and fine clothes. Can't she?

Caught between the devil and the boy next door, either choice she makes will change Abrianna's life forever."

My review:  This is the third and final book in the Brides of Seattle series.  I do recommend that this series be read in order.  I have enjoyed following the life of Abrianna especially.  There is never a dull moment when she is around.  The aunts also add to the fun of the story-line and gave me many a chuckle throughout the series.  Ms. Peterson wrapped up the series quite satisfactorily with this final book and even threw in a few unexpected twists to keep the reader on her toes. This is a fun quick read by one of my favorite authors.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

When Love Returns

Book description:  "It wasn’t easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa—the daughter she raised as her own—have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family. 

Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter,  Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again—but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? 

Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne’s apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?"

My review:  When Love Returns is the final book in The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy.  I hate to see this series come to an end, but this final book did not disappoint.  As with the first two books, I could not put this one down. I do recommend that this series only be read in order.  This final book ties together all the loose ends and answers the remaining questions that were raised in the first two books.  Ms. Sawyer has woven an intricately detailed story that is full of real characters and emotions.  As a reader, I felt like I knew the characters personally. I can only hope that Ms. Sawyer includes these characters in future stories.  They became like family and I don't want to lose track of them.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

A Reluctant Bride

Book description:  "When tragedy strikes an independent Amish woman, she must accept a marriage proposal from the man she vowed never to marry.
As the oldest daughter in an Amish family, Sadie's life was mapped out since the day she was born. She would join the church, marry an Amish man, and eventually she and her husband would take over her family's store. But when her parents unexpectedly die in a buggy accident, her life goes into a tailspin. Determined to keep her parents' legacy alive, Sadie works harder than ever to provide for herself and her younger sisters.
However, the bishop is unwilling to let a young woman manage the property and business all on her own. He gives Sadie two choices: marry his son, Aden, or relinquish the business and land to the community. Not willing to give up on her dream, she weds Aden, resigning herself to a loveless marriage.
But while working with Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn't the same boy who had betrayed her in the past. In fact, she begins to look forward to the time they spend together, getting to know the man with a kind heart and gentle smile. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, several dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family-and herself."

My review:  A Reluctant Bride is an amazingly gripping story!  It is also not your typical Amish story.  The author, Kathleen Fuller, tackles some very difficult topics and handles them very well. It is a very moving story and kept me on the edge of my seat.  I couldn't put it down.  The characters are so very real, and the struggles they endured carried a powerful message.  No matter how simple and set-apart from the world you try and live, we are all sinners and no belief is exempt from sinful struggles and practices.  I am looking forward to the next book by this author.  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.

The Photograph

Book description:  "When her sister Lily disappears only months after their widowed mother's passing, Eva Esch fears she has been wooed away from the People. Yet Lily's disappearance isn't Eva's only concern: She and her sisters must relocate once their older brother takes over the family farmhouse. Then Jed Stutzman, an Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Eden Valley with a photo of a Plain young woman. Eva feels powerfully drawn to the charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . "
My review:  Once again Beverly Lewis was written another intriguing story.  Wonderful characters, engaging story-line, and a few twists work together to make this another five-star book. The Photograph is another story that highlights the faith of the Amish and their simple ways in a way that pulls you into the story and leaves you sad when it is finished. Although it is a quick read, it is one that I didn't want to put down. 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, September 10, 2015

Counting on a Cowboy

Book description:  "After losing everything dear to her, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy spurs her to wonder if maybe love is worth the risk.
Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the homey town of Wishing Springs, Texas, after her favorite advice columnist found love and a home there. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby too . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it.
Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become-or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But unexpectedly the young child he never knew about appears on his doorstep and Bo's world is turned upside down.
This confirmed bachelor might not need a wife, but he sure needs a woman . . . and newcomer Abby Knightly is definitely a woman. When she comes to his rescue to help him navigate fatherhood, he slowly uncovers her own history. And suddenly Bo's thinking maybe, just maybe, together they can help each other work through the problems of the past to create a future of their own."

My review:  This book was a fun quick read.  It is the second in a series, but it can certainly stand-alone.  Abby and Bo both have serious issues they are dealing with, and Ms. Clopton handles these sensitive topics in a very appropriate way.  Not only did I enjoy the story of Abby and Bo, I also really loved the character Pebble.  Her story plays a minor role, but it is still very important.  This book is definitely fiction, but even though there was quite a bit in the book that was unrealistic, I still really enjoyed it. 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 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 fiancé, 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.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What a Girl Needs from her Mom

Book descripton:  "Mystified by the situations girls face today?

There's a good reason, Mom. Our girls are growing up in a completely different world than we did. But whether your daughter is very young or a teenager, you can equip yourself with the wisdom and practical help she needs for the pressures and decisions ahead.

With keen insight and warm encouragement, Cheri Fuller shares how you can become a more welcome influence at every stage in your daughter's life. Drawing from her own experiences and the expertise of others, Cheri answers all the top questions, including:

"How can I help my girl avoid the dangers of social media and navigate the digital world?"
"How can I counter society's unhealthy messages about body image and sexuality?
"How can I help my daughter (and me!) deal with her emotional ups and downs?"
"What are the best ways to instill good values?"
"How can I help her grow a firm faith in God?"

Filled with trustworthy suggestions, this book will help you steer your daughter toward becoming a healthy, confident young woman."

My review:  This was a very timely book for me since I have two young daughters.  The author wrote in such a way that was as comfortable as having a conversation with her.  She gave practical suggestions to help with the particular topic she was covering in each chapter.  She also gave plenty of stories to support and illustrate what she was talking about.  Cheri Fuller is a mom that has done her best to understand and encourage her own daughter, and has chosen to encourage other moms by writing this book.  Each chapter covers a specific topic, and they are all very good.  While a lot of what she has written is practical and common sense, there is still plenty of information that I know I never thought of.  Every mom with girls would benefit from reading this 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.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Book description:  "An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand, 
and his new client, missing far too long...

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time. 

When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn't mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they'll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon's life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her--even if it means stirring up a hornet's nest of secrets."
My review:  This novel, Taken, keeps Dee Henderson as one of the top suspense authors! Not only is the whole book full of suspense, one of the main characters, Shannon, is full of suspense within the book.  While Shannon slowly unfolds her story, the reader will find herself quickly turning the pages in order to get her to tell her story faster.  Dee Henderson gives her characters such depth that the reader is able to enter into their lives in such a way that makes them seem so real.  Just a hint of romance is included for those that like romantic suspense.  This is another awesome book that I highly recommend!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

To Win Her Favor

Book description:  "A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.
An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He's come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he'd wagered, especially when Maggie Linden's father makes him an offer he shouldn't accept yet cannot possibly refuse.
Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Drayton Stakes at Nashville's racetrack--the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie's father--aging, yet wily as ever--makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail--Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.
Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts--and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids--may prove too much for even two determined souls."

My review:  Tamara Alexander is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  To Win Her Favor is just one example of why I love her books.  Cullen and Maggie are both very strong characters that make the reader laugh and yell almost in the same breath. Strong prejudice intertwined with a marriage of convenience gives the readers a sense of the struggles still endured four years after the Civil War. Add in a horse farm and this historical romance has everything it needs.  I love the characters, the setting, and the plot.  This is another book that I finished in record time and was sad to see it come to an end. Definitely a page-turner you don't want to miss!  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.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Twisted Innocence

Book description:  "When Holly's secrets backfire, is the mess too big to unravel?
Holly Cramer has worked hard to keep the identity of her daughter's father a secret, shamed and embarrassed by the one-night stand. But when the police knock on her door searching for Creed Kershaw, she realizes his identity isn't as hidden as she thought. The fact that Creed is a person of interest in a recent drug-related murder only increases her humiliation.
When Holly's and Creed's paths cross, Holly is unsure whether to be terrified of him or trust him. His tenderness with their daughter makes her want to believe his story that he had nothing to do with the murder. Then she discovers that Creed has a connection to Leonard Miller-who killed both her sister's fiancé and her brother-in-law, and kidnapped her nephews-and things only become more complicated.
Will Creed lead them to the man who has plagued her family, or become another of his victims?"

My review:  Twisted Innocence is the third book in the Moonlighters Series.  I have really enjoyed this series, but this particular book was my least favorite.  I enjoyed continuing the story and while it was very good, I just didn't think it was one of Terri Blackstock's best books.  Even though this is the third book in the series the reader does not need to have read the first two books.  Ms. Blackstock explains enough of what has already happened so that the reader will not be lost.  I felt that Holly's story was not developed enough.  I think her character could have had a little more depth.  As usual with Ms. Blackstock's books you will be kept on the edge of your seat and quickly turning pages.  If you are a fan of suspense novels with a tab bit of romance thrown in, this is a great series to read.  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.

More Than Just the Talk

Book description:  "The old ways of having the "sex talk" just won't cut it anymore. Sadly, the number one place today's young people go to for answers about sex is Google. Meanwhile, kids view nearly 14,000 sexual references a year on television, and 70 percent of teenagers have encountered pornography on the Internet. If we want our children to know the truth about healthy sexuality, we need to create a comfortable climate of continual conversations.

Jonathan McKee will show you how to move beyond the initial awkwardness of this subject into an ongoing communication with your kids about God's amazing gift of sex. He equips you with what you need to talk openly about dating, temptation, porn, and purity, and you will find answers to tough questions and relevant Scripture on sexual issues.

It's normal for kids to be curious about sexuality, and they need to know that their parents are the most reliable source of information. Be the one your kids turn to on this crucial topic."
My review:  "More than Just the Talk"  is a wonderful resource for parents!  Jonathan McKee presents astonishing statistics that help make you realize how important it is to have open communication with your children.  Not only does he inform and convince the reader of the importance of talking openly with your children about sexual issues, but he gives tips and suggestions on how to talk with them while referencing Scripture throughout the book.  I highly recommend this book to all Christian parents.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Inn at Ocean's Edge

Book description:  "A vacation to Sunset Cove was her way of celebrating and thanking her parents. After all, Claire Dellamore's childhood was like a fairytale. But with the help of Luke Elwell, Claire discovers that fairytale was really an elaborate lie . . .
The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean's Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there. She feels it in her bones. Her ensuing panic attack causes a scene, upsetting her parents. Claire attempts to quiet her nerves with a walk on the beach, to no avail. She's at too great a distance to make out details, but she believes she witnesses a murder on a nearby cliff. When local police find no evidence of foul play, they quickly write off the "nervous" woman's testimony as less than credible.
But Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, has reason to believe Claire. Years ago when his mother went missing, Luke's father suspected she'd been murdered. He died never having convinced the police to investigate. So when an employee of the grand hotel doesn't show up for work, Luke steps in to help Claire track down the missing woman.
As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for."
My review:  Colleen Coble seems to get better with each book she writes!  I stayed up way too late in order to finish this book.  I was pulled into the story and the mystery from the very first page and was kept guessing until the very end.  Fast-paced with many twists and turns The Inn at Ocean's Edge is a book that readers don't want to miss.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

When Grace Sings

Book description:  "Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren’t what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she’s operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk.

But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa’s insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths.

Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures."

My review:  I'm so glad I read book 1 in this series, The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. When Mercy Rains introduces the family and begins to unpack the many family secrets. When Grace Sings continues the story of the Zimmerman family.  As Ms. Sawyer delves deeper into the lives of the Zimmermans, she seems to raise even more questions about this family than she answers. More secrets, twists, and turns will leave you on the edge of your seat.  And as the title indicates, grace is a thread that runs through the entire book.  I loved this book as much as I loved the first one, and I will be anxiously waiting for the third and final book in this series to be published!  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Love Letters

Book description:  "Marlena Wenger's life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister's baby. Spending the summer in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, to assist her Mennonite grandmother, and miles from Marlena's Old Order Amish beau, she feels out of her element in nearly every respect. Yet Marlena determines to do her best and stay focused on her future, even as those hopes become drastically altered."

My review:  This is another great book by Beverly Lewis!  The title of the book is so appropriate.  Mrs. Lewis has woven different "love letters" throughout the story.  Although the book is mainly about Marlena Wenger, there are other characters with their stories intertwined  with Marlena's.  With those characters come some very weighty issues, but Mrs. Lewis did a wonderful job handling these delicate topics!  Marlena is a wonderful character, who sacrifices a lot to do what is right.  She is a marvelous example of placing others needs ahead of your own and gives the reader much to contemplate.  Loving all the characters as well as the story, I know fans of Beverly Lewis will not be disappointed with The Love Letters.  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, February 26, 2015

Where Trust Lies

Book description:  "She loves her friends and students in the West, but family obligations have called her home. Where does she truly belong?
After a year of teaching in the Canadian West, Beth Thatcher returns home to her family. She barely has time to settle in before her mother announces plans for a family holiday--a luxurious steamship tour along the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. Hoping to reconnect with her mother and her sisters, Beth agrees to join them, but she quickly realizes that things have changed since she went away, and renewing their close bond is going to be more challenging than she expected. 

There's one special thing to look forward to--letters and telephone calls from Jarrick, the Mountie who has stolen her heart. The distance between them is almost too much to bear. But can she give her heart to Jarrick when it will mean saying good-bye to her family once again--and possibly forever? And will she still want to live in the western wilds after the steamship tour opens up a world of people and places she never imagined?

Then comes a great test of Beth's faith. Someone in her family has trusted the wrong person, and suddenly everything Beth knows and loves is toppled. Torn between her family and her dreams, will Beth finally discover where her heart truly belongs?"

My review:  I enjoyed this book more than I did the first one in this new series, although I still think that this is not the best that Janette Oke can do.  Beth's character is well-developed, but I think that Jarrick needs to be developed  more.  He seems to be an important character, but is left in the shadows. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the shipmates, but it dragged on a little too long and then ended too abruptly.  I enjoyed the setting on the ship, and the different ports-of-call.  That is an unusual setting especially for this time period.  Overall, this book was good, but not great.  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, February 5, 2015

A Brush with Love

Book description:  "Revealing the beauty in other women might be Ginger Winters’s specialty—but it will take an unexpected kind of love to help Ginger see the beauty in herself.
Ginger Winters drapes her hair over her right shoulder and adjusts the scarf around her neck to cover her scarred, withered skin. She’s had the scars since she was twelve, but she’ll never get used to the ugliness.
The fire changed Ginger’s life, but out of the pain and humiliation of her own disfigurement, one quality unexpectedly emerged: a gift for bringing out the beauty in other women. In a twelve-year ascent from top salon jobs in New York, Atlanta, and Nashville, Ginger traveled the world as personal stylist to country music sensation Tracie Blue. The success was almost enough to make her forget her own appearance.
Almost. Now that she’s opened her own salon in Rosebud after a dozen years away, the truth is staring Ginger in the face again: she’s still that girl, ugly and scarred, forever on the outside looking in. And this weekend she’ll be looking in as “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.
But when high-school crush Tom Wells shows up looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her from love once again . . . despite Tom’s best efforts. Can this professional beauty-maker manage to recognize the beauty in herself, or are some scars too deep to powder over?"

My review:  This was a fun quick read.  The story was just not long enough to fully develop the characters or the plot.  However, there are great lessons to be learned from this book, and an unexpected "mystery" that added to the plot.  This is another novella in the Year of Weddings. While better than some, it was not my favorite.  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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Steadfast Heart

Book description:  "Despite her spoiled upbringing, twenty-year-old Lenore Fulcher isn't pretentious. She simply believes a marriage should be built on true love. Her father, however, thinks she's wasted enough time searching for the perfect husband. He wants to marry her off to one of his business partners--who is seventeen years her senior--an idea that is out of the question for Lenore.

Kolbein Booth, a young lawyer from Chicago, arrives in Seattle looking for his headstrong sister, who he believes may have answered an advertisement for mail-order brides. Sick with worry, he storms into the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister, only to learn she isn't there. But Lenore Fulcher is, and something about her captures his attention.

Is this the man Lenore has been searching for? She may not have long to find out..."
My review:  Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors, but this book does not live up to her usual quality.  The book description is deceiving, because most of the book centers around Abrianna, who is Lenore's best friend.  The little bit of story that there is for Lenore is very shallow and unrealistic. However, I did enjoy Abrianna.  Her character has a lot more depth and her story is what kept me reading.  I was also very disappointed in the ending.  The story shifted back to Lenore, ended quickly, and left many loose ends; one of the loose ends being Abrianna.  I will only be reading the next book in the series in the hopes that Abrianna's story will be finished. This book is just not what I have come to expect from Tracie Peterson.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.    

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Woodland Miracle

Book description:  "Grace feels like she can't measure up to those around her, and Ben could use a good dose of humility.
In their small northern Michigan district, where women outnumber men three to one, Grace doesn't believe she will ever attract a husband, especially with her limp. Tired of struggling both emotionally and physically, Grace is ready to see the specialist in Ohio, even if it means going against everything she's heard about God's grace being sufficient.
Ben Eicher is a young man from Pinecraft, Florida, whose carefree ways have caused him to lose his father's respect-again. According to Ben, though, life shouldn't be so serious that it suffocates all the fun. When he is sent to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to get his life back on track, he never thought it would mean working alongside a woman-especially a hardworking one like Grace. The last thing Grace wants is another friendship with a man who pities her.
Meanwhile, the Amish community becomes entangled with two potentially dangerous men on the run. When Ben discovers Grace has been kidnapped, he sets out to find the woman who has captured his heart and risks his own life when he attempts to lure the captors away.
Grace must learn that God's love is sufficient, and Ben is left to ponder whether he belongs back in Florida, or in the northern woods-with Grace."

My review:  This is another Amish novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The characters pull you into their story and become like family.  There is plenty of trouble to keep you on the edge of your seat, as well as plenty of surprises.  This is a story that will help you evaluate your own ideas and opinions.  Ruth Reid did an excellent job of writing a story that not only entertains but exhorts as well.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.