Monday, December 12, 2016

The Angel of Forest Hill

Book description:  "When Old Order Amish Rose Kurtz is asked to leave her family, travel deep into West Vir­ginia, and help Joel Dienner with his children in the wake of tragedy, the quiet young woman recognizes a home where she might find kindness instead of criticism and hope replacing harsh words. She agrees to stay in Forest Hill and become Joel’s wife for the sake of his family needs, but their marriage is to be a partnership, one built from need, not love and affection.

As the years pass, Rose continues to beckon Joel to join life again, to take joy in his growing children, and to awaken his heart to the possibility of new love. Joel hopes that Rose can move beyond deep-rooted hurts to see the beautiful Christmas ahead, their season. But will the arrival of a beautiful widow and a series of misunderstandings reverse how far Rose and Joel have come?"

My review:  I really enjoyed reading this book, but I was very disappointed in the length! I couldn't believe when I got to the end that it was finished.  The author had a great plot that was not nearly developed as fully as it could have been. There was a lot of room for the growth of her characters as well. I felt like I was rushed through the story. This is not typical of Cindy Woodsmall and it really surprised me. I think it is considered a full-length novel, but it is more like a novella to me. If you like short stories, this book is for you. It has a great story-line as well as great characters. I just wish I could have gotten to know them better. I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Royal Christmas Wedding

Book description:  " Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?
College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.
Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.
When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.
Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?
In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew."

My review:  This has been a wonderful series to read! This fourth book in the series did not disappoint! A modern day fairy tale with characters that seem like family make for a book that you can't put down. It was great to catch up with some of the characters from the previous books as well. I hate to see the series come to an end. I especially enjoyed the bell ringing tradition that brought a little bit of the unexpected into the book. The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it is obviously the final book in this series. I highly recommend this whole series and look forward to reading more by this author! I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Love Made New

Book description:  "Abigail Schrock knows God can make all things new, but does that include her broken heart?
It seems as if everyone is falling in love in Birch Creek, including Abigail Schrock. But when heartbreak descends on her already fragile world, she can’t help but feel that if she’d only been a little prettier, she could be on her way down the wedding aisle. To make matters worse, Abigail’s two sisters have found love, while all Abigail can seem to find is the chocolate she has stashed away in the pantry.
Asa Bontrager has never had trouble with the ladies in his Amish community—his good looks have always gotten him far. Which is why he’s baffled by the call he’s received from God to pursue Abigail, a woman who seems determined to turn him away.
Can Abigail find the peace and joy she so desperately desires? Will she allow herself to stop running and melt into the embrace of unforeseen comfort? If she does, she may just discover a love powerful enough to lift the heavy burden of grief weighing her down and restore her hope in a promising future."

My review:  I enjoyed reading this third book in the series An Amish of Birch Creek Novel. This a been a great series, but you don't necessarily have to read the first two before reading this one, although you won't want to miss any of them. Abigail goes through many struggles that are so readily found in our world today. Her insecurities lead her on a journey of learning to trust that God does want what is best for her and will bless her. While this series has come to an end, there is a sub-plot that leaves the reader wanting to know more. I am looking forward to the next book and possibly the beginning of a new 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, November 8, 2016

The Wedding Shop

Book description:  "Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled.
It's the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman ​after having inherited her great aunt's wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.
​More than eighty years later, former ​Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart's Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.
When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.
As Cora’s and ​Haley's stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love."

My review:  I really enjoyed reading this book. The stories of two women from the same town whose lives are entertwined by a wedding shop made for a great storyline. A spattering of unexpected twists and turns kept me engaged in this story and quickly turning pages to see what would happen next.  The characters were well-developed and felt like family by the time the book was finished. I look forward to reading The Wedding Chapel, which is the first book in this series. If it is anything like this book, I will be captivated from beginning to end.  I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Love's Faithful Promise

Book description:  "Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. When Deirdre O'Leary, a feisty New Yorker, arrives in Toronto requesting he use his skills to help her stricken mother, he won't abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when his daughter suffers a health scare and needs a respite, Deirdre offers a trade--they can escape to the peace of her family's farm, if he will care for Mrs. O'Leary.

Matthew agrees for his daughter's sake, but is intent on staying as short a time as necessary. The sojourn at Irish Meadows does wonders for Phoebe, and as she begins to flourish, Matthew finds himself drawn to the O'Learys, especially to the captivating Deirdre. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?"

My review:  I believe that this is the first book I have read by this author, Susan Anne Mason. I was not disappointed! Although this is book 3 in the series Courage to Dream, I had no trouble following the story or the characters. It can definitely stand alone, but I am looking forward to reading the first two books in this series. Not only did this story follow Deirdre but her twin brother Connor as well. I felt that the author did a great job at balancing the two stories. This is a story that shows real life struggles along with answers that don't always come easily. If this book is any indication, I will be reading a lot more books by this 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.

From this Day Forward

Book description:  "Deborah MacCallister, head nurse at the Blessing hospital, has loved Toby Valders since her school days, but she's had enough of their on-again, off-again relationship. With the help of the young women of Blessing, Deborah decides that by the end of the summer she will either have won Toby's heart--or she'll give up on him forever. 

Toby truly cares for Deborah, but he's never felt like he could commit to marriage or a family. When Anton Gendarme, the new schoolteacher, comes to town, sparks fly between Deborah and Anton. The sudden competition makes Toby do some serious soul-searching, but is it too late?

As the town of Blessing prepares for harvest, Deborah faces the most important decision of her life. But where does her heart truly belong?"

My review:  I really had a hard time getting into this book. I don't think that was the fault of the author. This is book 4 of 4 in the Song of Blessing series by Lauraine Snelling. I definitely needed to have read the first three books before reading this one. I couldn't keep all of the characters straight and there was just too much of the story that I couldn't follow very well without the background from the first three books. By the end of the book, I was enjoying the few characters that I could keep straight, and I did enjoy Mrs. Snelling writing style. I have enjoyed other books by her that I have read in the past.  Maybe one day soon I can read the first three books in this series and be able to appreciate this one a little more. 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, September 12, 2016

A Love Transformed

Book description:  "When her husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara Vesper is stunned. Not grief-stricken, as their marriage had never been a love match, but staggered by what might become of her and her children. For years she designed the sapphire jewelry that made her husband's company a fortune, but she has little money in her own name and soon discovers that she has inherited nothing. Fearing for the welfare of her two small children, she decides to take them to her aunt and uncle's ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy.

But much has changed since she last visited the Montana ranch, both for Clara and for those she was forced to leave behind. And when dangerous secrets from her late husband's past threaten everyone she loves, Clara must fight to remain where she can fulfill her dreams."

My review:  This month I had a hard time deciding which book to review for Bethany House. It was this book or Beverly Lewis's new book, The Wish. I obviously chose this book by Tracie Peterson and was not disappointed! This is the third and final book in the Sapphire Brides series. Don't worry if you haven't read the other two, all three books can stand alone. I would have a very hard deciding which of the books in this series is my favorite. Clara's mother was actually one of my favorite characters. Although I didn't like her as a person, she added a great element to the story. Clara was a strong character that had a backbone when she had to have one. She was meek to a certain point, which is a great quality, but she did not allow herself to be run over when the situation called for strength. This was one of those books I stayed up way too late reading! 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, September 7, 2016

Twilight at Blueberry Barrens

Book description:  "'I need you to keep these girls safe . . .'
Kate Mason has devoted herself to caring for her family’s blueberry barrens. But after her fields stop producing fruit, she’s forced to come up with alternative ways to make a living.
Renting out the small cottage on her property seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When entrepreneur Drake Newham shows up looking not only for a place to rent but also for a nanny for his two nieces, it’s almost too good to be true. And maybe it is—because Drake brings with him dangerous questions about who might be out to kill his family. The more time Kate spends with Drake and the girls, the more difficult it becomes to hide her attraction to him. But a family crisis isn’t exactly the ideal time to pursue a romance.
Meanwhile, Kate learns that her uncle—in prison for murder—has escaped. Add to that a local stalker who won’t leave her alone, and Kate is looking over her shoulder at every turn. With threats swirling from multiple directions, she wonders if her blueberry fields will ever flourish again . . . or if this twilight is her last.
Set on the beautiful coast of Maine, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens brings together suspense, romance, and the hope that one day new life will come again."

My review:  This is the third and final book in the series A Sunset Cove.  While not my favorite of the series, it is still another example of the great writing that Colleen Coble consistently provides.  Once again Mrs. Coble is able to surprise the reader with the unexpected, balanced with romance and faith. The reader is held captive from the beginning to the end! I enjoyed following the characters from the previous books in the series as well as characters from a series by Denise Hunter. That was an unexpected pleasant surprise.  The ending of this book tied up all the loose threads  in this series and definitely left a feeling of completeness. I really enjoyed this series, and look forward to the next book/series from Colleen Coble. 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.

Just a Kiss

Book description:  "Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.
Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.
But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.
Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.
As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?"

My review:  I would have a hard time choosing a favorite book or character from this series, A Summer Harbor, by Denise Hunter. Just a Kiss is the third and final novel in this series. It does stand alone, but you certainly do not want to miss the first two books.  I anxiously waited for this book to be released and was not disappointed! The struggles that Paige and Riley had were real and were characters that I could become connected to. Denise Hunter is also able to handle difficult topics without making them too light or too heavy, and there were many lessons, which were woven throughout the story, that will cause the reader to stop and think.  This is such a wonderful story that you will not 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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Where Hope Prevails

Book description:  "Elizabeth Thatcher's highly anticipated return to her beloved Coal Valley after a long summer with her family back east is filled with surprises . . . and not all of them good ones, in her estimation. Maybe the worst one of all relates to her treasured students. Can she adapt and learn to cope with this enormous change?

Her Mountie, Jarrick Thornton, hasn't yet proposed, but she already knows what her answer will be. His duties take him away from the valley much too often, in her view, but the two of them, with patience and understanding--and one significant misunderstanding--are learning to know each other better. 

The dark cloud looming on the horizon in Beth's mind, though, is filled with questions about where their future might take them. As a member of the RCMP, Jarrick is stationed wherever his superiors send him . . . but what about her teaching position in Coal Valley?

Beth attempts to do her best with each obstacle she faces, but does she rightly assess each situation as it surfaces? Good intentions don't always lead to good results. . . ."

My review:  I think that each book in this series gets a little bit better. This was my favorite of the three books in this series. In my opinion, Where Hope Prevails had more substance to it. The plot was more developed and the characters seemed to grow as well. I always appreciate when an author of Christian fiction places Biblical truths in the very center of the story. This is one such book. I would like to have seen more of the relationship between Beth and Jarrick. Time wise there was plenty of time for their relationship to develop, but it was not included in the story. 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, August 25, 2016

Guide Me Home

Book description:  "Working in the massive cave might allow 
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will it claim more than it gives? 

After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.  
     
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale. 
     
The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?" 

My review:  As I began to read, for some reason I did not like the idea that Rebekah was going "undercover" as a boy in order to secure a job. That is not normally something that bothers me, but it just it didn't seem to fit Rebekah's character in this book.  It didn't take long, however, for the author, Kim Vogel Sawyer, to convince me she knew what she was doing. Devlin also didn't seem to fit Rebekah, but Mrs. Sawyer created a wonderful story-line that quickly changed my mind. I also enjoyed getting to know Rebekah's family especially her sister, Cissy.  Mrs. Sawyer has once again created a story and characters that will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read.  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.  

The Courtship Basket

Book description: "Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.
Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.
Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six-year-old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.
With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.
The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?"

My review:  This book is the second in a series. I enjoyed reading this book, but have to wonder what I missed because I didn't read the first book. There was a lot that happened, and the story moved along quickly. I found myself turning pages quickly in order to "keep up".  I thought the picnic basket was a really neat idea to use as a thread throughout the story. The story surrounding the basket is intriguing, and I look forward to reading a book devoted to the basket's beginnings. I enjoyed Rachel, but thought her a bit shallow at times. I think she could have had a little more depth. Mike is one of those characters that you want ask what you can do for him.  The reader is able to see the growth of his character as the story progresses. I look forward to reading the next book in this series as well as reading the first one.  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, 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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Room for Hope

Book description:  "Neva Shilling is accustomed to bearing full responsibility for home, business, and children, but she still anticipates her husband’s return from his month-long sales route. Times are hard in 1931 Glen Hill, Kansas and Warren’s work is all he can do. When a wagon pulls up after supper, the family rushes to greet their head of house. But instead of Warren’s wagon, a sheriff has arrived with a wagon of belongings and three small children. He asks for Warren’s sister, Neva. Sending her twins inside, Neva introduces herself as Warren’s wife. The sheriff hesitantly informs her Warren Shilling and his wife have died, leaving three orphans. Before his death, Warren instructed the children to go to “Aunt Neva.”

Neva is shocked to learn Warren and his wife Violet, ran a large dry goods store in Beloit. Instead of traveling, as she’d always believed, he’d been setting up housekeeping with another family and selling their extra goods in the Beloit store.

The sheriff asks Neva if she wants the trio sent to an orphanage, but despite the pain of Warren’s betrayal, she takes in her husband’s children. Facing extreme financial burdens and the weight of unresolved questions, can Neva still find the joy in choosing God’s plan?"

My review:  Kim Vogel Sawyer chose a very unusual and difficult plot for this story, but she handled it very well. She also chose to tell the story from the viewpoint of several characters, which I think added depth to the story. I really enjoyed the story and found it hard to put down. It is full of forgiveness and hope. A wonderful story of redemption! Ms. Sawyer did a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing, and the story did not end as one might necessarily expect. Though the ending was unexpected, it did not disappoint. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from the publisher through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Goodbye Bride

Book description:  "Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancĂ© Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
 Zac was just beginning to get his life back on track after Lucy left him with no explanation. And now she’s back—vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. Has he been given a second chance with the only woman who stirs his passion and haunts his dreams?
 Lucy knows she must unlock those missing months and discover why she threw everything away. And Zac knows that if he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life—but if Lucy’s memory returns, his would-be bride might say goodbye forever."

My review:  I thought the last two books I reviewed were good. The Goodbye Bride was even better, and I couldn't put it down! I read the book in one sitting staying up until 2:00 in the morning to finish it. Even though this is the second book in the series, it can certainly stand alone. This is a story full of forgiveness and love. A story that quickly pulls the reader in and doesn't let go even long after the book is finished. If you are looking for a top-notch series to begin reading, this is the one. I am looking forward to reading the third book in September. 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, March 1, 2016

A Treasure Concealed

Book description:  "Emily Carver longs to have a home of her own, but instead she endures a transient existence in the gold mining camps of Montana, where her father's hopes for riches lie endlessly buried. Promises of wealth from this wild land have brought only hardship and disappointment, causing Emily to wonder if her own modest dreams will ever see the light of day.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist working for the government, is a man trying to escape the pain of his past, and the idyllic mountains of Montana serve his purposes well. In the course of his work, he has seen more than his share of starry-eyed gold seekers. So when Emily Carver catches his attention, he is intrigued by the fact that she isn't pinning her hopes on striking it rich. 

Will an unexpected discovery come between them or draw them together?"

My review:  I really enjoyed this first book in a new series by Tracie Peterson. Ms. Peterson never fails to deliver a wonderfully captivating story. Her characters are always real and become like family. The gospel message is included in such a way that it does not feel fake or forced. There is just enough suspense to keep you turning pages and just enough romance to keep the romantic at heart satisfied. I am looking forward to reading the next books in this series. I received a complimentary e-copy from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

If I Run

Book description: "Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.
But what is the truthThat’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.
Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet."
My review: Terri Blackstock certainly knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat! I'm usually not a fan of first person writing, but the characters and plot made it worth reading. In fact, I couldn't put the book down. Casey is an amazing character and her willingness to act in the interest of others even at great personal cost just added to the depth of this story. Dylan's character adds a lot to the story and will have readers cheering him on. The only thing I didn't like about the book was that it leaves you hanging, and now I have to wait to read the next installment. That is good for the author, but bad for me since I can't wait to find out what happens next. I will be first in line when the next book is published! 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, February 22, 2016

Keeper of the Stars

Book description:  "When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain—but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.
Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself . . . and so does Brad’s sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend.
Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak."

My review: I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to going back and reading the first two books in this series. This is a story full of hope and forgiveness but also contains a lot of pain and heartache. The characters struggles are real, and I couldn't put the book down. I enjoyed the flashbacks from Brad's point of view, which gave some background information.  It is an emotional read, but one you don't want to miss. I received a complimentary e-copy from the publisher through the Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mermaid Moon

Book description:  "Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”
Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.
Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.
When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.
As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together."
My review: Colleen Coble never disappoints! Just when I think her books can't get any better, she publishes another one. Mermaid Moon is the second book in her A Sunset Cove series. It is not necessary to read the first book, but I highly recommend it. Ms. Coble's books are not ones you want to miss. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it ended. The characters became like family. The story kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing until the end. The romance was not overdone and the suspense kept me up late at night. I am already looking forward to the third 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.

Amish Sweethearts

Book description:  "For years Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were best of friends. But just as Zane gathered the courage to discover if their friendship could develop into something more, her controlling father arranged for her to be courted by their bishop's son. Zane, heartbroken and frustrated, joined the Army, running away from his shattered dreams.

The passing of time and the distance between Zane and Lila haven't been enough to halt their--now completely hidden--feelings for each other. Any hope for their love grows even more impossible though as Zane's service takes a dangerous turn when he's deployed to Afghanistan. Being on the frontline, confronted with the hard choices of war, has him questioning everything, including whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences, and with Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?"

My review:  While I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book, it was a bit unrealistic for me. Trying to combine the Amish and English world is not an easy task. I think that Leslie Gould is a very good story-teller, and this book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat at times. I was kept guessing until the very end even though I knew how it was supposed to end. I loved the characters and will look forward to reading more books in this 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.

The Painter's Daughter

Book description:  "Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape. 

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble. 

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?"

My review:  This was a book that I didn't want to put down. Sophie was one of those characters that you could continue to read about and never get tired. There was plenty of tension between the two brothers and a few twists along the way. Ms. Klassen gave plenty of detail and did a great job developing her characters. She is a great story teller and is quickly becoming an author that I look forward to reading. This is a book that certainly did not disappoint. 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, January 7, 2016

Money Making Mom

Book description:  "When it comes to finances, many of us feel strapped and stressed, buried under bills, worried about an uncertain future. Even if money is plentiful, we long for greater wisdom to manage it well. 

In Money-Making Mom, finance and family blogger Crystal Paine shares real-life stories, practical tips, and hard-won wisdom from the failures and successes that have carved her family's path to financial freedom. 

Paine blends insight with inspiration as she shares creative ways to manage money, generate income and--most importantly--live a life of deeper meaning, fulfillment, and generosity than you might have ever imagined possible."

My review:  This is a great book!  What woman doesn't want to have a way to make more money. Crystal Paine has written a complete guide to help women do just that. Money Making Mom is full of practical advice with questions along the way to help you start thinking. She has written in a very easy to understand way and has given plenty of personal examples from her own journey in establishing her own business.  This is a book that will challenge you and get you motivated to take the next step in starting your own business. What I also like is that this book is not only about making money, but giving and being generous with your money. This is one of the most practical books I have ever read. I highly recommend it. 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.