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.