Monday, December 1, 2014

The Secret of Pembrook Park was Captivating!

The Secret of Pembrooke Park
Julie Klassen




Book Summary: Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister. Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play… The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure. This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house. Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past. As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?

Review: This was a long book to read and yet I could not put it down. I read it until 1 AM and than finished is quickly in the next day. I loved all the characters. Even the one who was causing the mayhem was great. I do not like to give away secrets but the were many twists and turns that I was waiting for them at the edge of my seat for them to be revealed. I loved Abigail mostly because her growth and wisdom were sincerely well written and believable all in one. No matter what I would want Abigail to be my friend. She was kind and forgiving. The secret room was the hook that held me until the end. Sometimes I just wanted to climb in the story and search every room till I found it. Who cares about a treasure of goods, a secret room is worth it weight in gold alone. Secret passages too, although this story did not have secret passages. The men in Abigail’s life were great. All of them. They ebbed and grew in many ways that provided a dynamic storyline and kept me going while the mystery stewed in the background. The time flew and the story was well written. I will definitely read this story again someday.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good News for Weary Women was Unique

Good News for Weary Women
Elyse Fitzpatrick




Book Summary: Are you exhausted? Women today really do feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Every morning we are greeted with a long list of to-dos: get the kids up and out the door on time, have a meaningful quiet time, put in a full day at the office, spend an hour at the gym, prepare a healthy and delicious meal (organic and locally grown, of course), and make sure the sink sparkles before you go to bed. Oh, and don’t forget to look great and smile while you’re doing it. These are all good things to do, of course. But the bigger problem occurs when we start to feel as if our worth is measured by our to-do lists. And the messages we receive at church, on Facebook, and from the media only perpetuate these unrealistic expectations, creating a relentless cycle of exhaustion. As Elyse Fitzpatrick has traveled this country, she has seen increasing evidence of this weariness epidemic invading our churches and communities. And she has good news for women everywhere: there is hope! God doesn’t judge us by our to-do lists. Instead, He calls us to faith. Free yourself today from the endless stream of bad advice and discover the true rest God offers.

Review: Over all it was an easy read. I liked the reminder of not working for salvation. My favorite examples were the personal ones. I think that many of the examples were all the same complaint and therefore sometimes repeating things. The part I think that gets forgotten is that there is to be a changed life after Christ came into my life. That the Christian life is more challenging than prior to my conversion. There is no getting around that because while not looking to win more favor I am running a race to finish the Christian life by striving to see Christ more, that can not be done if my thoughts and heart are tied to this world. There is a tension that can not be overcome except by prayer and leaning on Christ
I would like to thank Net Galley and Tyndale House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Love at Mistletoe Inn was Warm & Cozy

Love at Mistletoe Inn
Cindy Kirk




Book Summary: They've helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection. Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right? Well . . .Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone. With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.


Review: This story was primarily about a couple that eloped during the senior prom and broke up due to the brides fear of poverty. A very real possibility when you are 18 and married. The sweet part was that through being young they thought they were not married. Yet they were. Thus begins the adventure of this story. I liked John a lot. He was a steady and loyal guy who loved Hope despite herself. Hope had a rough childhood of parents fighting over money. While this drove how she worked and saved it, she was not written as a penny pincher. I liked the story line and found it to be an enjoyable read. I did not find it to be a Christmas novella. I found it to be a winter story. There was a lot of snow and fire places since this was Idaho. Vera was the best of the characters and many times a secondary character holds the story together. So altogether this was a pretty enjoyable story.
I would like to thank BookLook Blogger and Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hidden a Spine Tingling Suspense Thriller!!

Hidden
Vannetta Chapman




Book Summary: Home is where our story begins ... DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs. Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one. Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?


Review: This was a pulse pounding no stopping action adventure story. I actually had to take breaks to catch my breathe. I loved Ben and Dana. They were well suited and written flawlessly. I think too much was made over him being a year younger and that seemed to be a stumbling issue for a small section of the story. The mystery and the ever present danger was spine tingling and exhausting. I absolutely loved t

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Promise to Protect was Pulse Pounding!

A Promise to Protect
Patricia Bradley




Book Summary: Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. When Tony dies just days later, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh and her nine-year-old son, TJ, from the killers. But how can Ben keep an eye on Leigh if she's doing everything in her power to avoid him? And could the secret that Leigh is keeping change Ben's life forever? Suspense, intrigue, and a touch of romance make A Promise to Protect perfect for readers who like their stories with a hearty dose of mystery.

Review: The story was electric with the who did it! I liked Ben from the first book. There were times when I did not care for Leigh or Ben. Thankfully as the book progressed they grew on me. I think the mystery was exciting a good standalone book if someone has not read the first in the series. It is not necessary to have read the first book to become engrossed in the story. T.J. is a cut kid and more flexible at times than Leigh. She is determined to keep her secret while bigger intrigue is swirling about them. The who did it kept me on my toes. One person is disclosed early on but the brains behind who murdered Tony is the real suspense. There are many things going on or wrong for Ben but that is the thrill of the suspense. The ending was quick and the book was definitely worth the read! Loved the first book and enjoyed the second in the series. I will definitely be waiting for a third!
I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snowfall a Fantastic Novella about Christmas!!

Snowfall
Shelley Shepard Gray




Book Summary: Twenty-year old Ruth Stutzman is a wonderful caregiver—but she has no experience with kinner. Laid off from her job at a retirement home due to budget cuts, she’s relieved to find work—even if it means temporarily watching widower Martin Rodes’ brood of six! Martin has done the best he can since his wife’s passing, but he and the children need help. Their house, once full of laughter and light, has been darkened by sadness. Soon after Ruth arrives, the children are drawn to her warmth and gentleness, and so is Martin, even though he feels it’s wrong. But the harder he tries to ignore her, the deeper he begins to care for this attractive young woman who has brought joy back into his children’s lives . . . and his own. Each passing day brings the Rodes closer to Ruth . . . and closer to Christmas, when she will have to say goodbye. Ruth, too, cannot deny the bond she feels with the children—and with Martin. When her old job becomes available again, Ruth finds herself torn. How can she stay with the Rodes? Yet how can she go?


Review: I loved all the children. The storyline while part of a series is easy to jump into even if you have not read the other books. Ms. Gray even saved some secrets for when I go back and read the other books. I love the Christmas theme. Christmas is the best time of year. I can read about it any time of the year. Ruth was very special, someone who had heartache and now was getting to turn heartache for others into great joy. That is a theme I enjoy reading about. The Keim family was great to visit and read about people from previous books. It was interesting to read a book about the New Order Amish. I like simplicity of the Amish and their tremendous relationships that are highly valued. It was an enjoyable experience throughout the book. This will be a story I will revisit in the future.
I would like to thank Edelweiss Above the Treeline and Avon Inspire for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

An Amish Second Christmas was Fun!

An Amish Second Christmas
Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, Kathleen Fuller & Tricia Goyer




Book Summary:Celebrate Second Christmas, a treasured, lighthearted time of community, with four Amish romances.
“When Christmas Comes Again” by Beth Wiseman
Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.
“Her Christmas Pen Pal” by Ruth Reid
Joy was expecting a wedding proposal from Henry; what she got instead was news of another woman. But when her heartfelt letter to a cousin ends up in the hands of a young cabinetmaker, an unexpected correspondence between two strangers gets interesting fast.
“A Gift for Anne Marie” by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
“The Christmas Aprons” by Tricia Goyer
Vanilla crumb pie has been Esther’s mem’s calling card for decades. But when Esther finally gets her hands on the secret recipe, she discovers that vanilla crumb pie is more than just dessert . . . it’s bachelor bait.


Review: I loved the cover! It was such a striking contrast of white and red. I enjoyed the entire book. out of the 4 I found only one of the stories slow to get into. I liked the characters in each book. For the most part they were fast reads and enjoyable. It was enjoyable to visit each story for Christmas and the fun of the season was present.
I think that I liked ‘When Christmas Comes Again’ the best it was a moving story of family and mending broken relationships. It was not romantic in the man to woman relationship but it was full of love in restoring broken people.
‘Her Christmas pen pal’ was fun and I found Joy & Noah to be perfectly suited for each other throughout. Sadly poor Henry was not even that sympathetic to Joy’s needs or loss.
‘A Gift for Anne Marie’ was a nice sweet story with a few bumps in the road. The sweetest part was her mother finding new love after loosing her husband earlier in life. I liked the honesty of Nathaniel when it came to his changing feelings. A perfect life changing situation of friends becoming husband and wife.
‘The Christmas Aprons’ was sweet. I found Esther & Ammon to be generous people. Although Esther was a bit of a wallflower she improved in this as the story progressed


I would like to thank BookLook, Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A July Bride was the Best of the Batch!

A July Bride
Beth Wiseman




Book Summary: Can she forgive the man who left her at the altar? Alyssa Pennington dated Brendan Myers for three years before she accepted his proposal. For almost a year, Alyssa's friends and family helped her plan a lovely wedding to take place in the church she'd grown up in. It was the happiest day of her life when she walked down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. But when Brendan left her at the altar, Alyssa was consumed by humiliation, embarrassment, and a broken heart that wouldn't allow her to trust anyone. Especially Brendan. Brendan Myers knows he will spend the rest of his life regretting what he did to Alyssa, the only woman he's ever loved. Without her, his life is empty. In one fateful moment, he'd panicked, destroyed their future, and ruined everything. Now he plans to win her back. But winning back his bride might prove much more difficult than he can imagine. And even if he does get her to the altar again, will she think turnabout is fair play?


Review: This is my favorite of the series so far. I really liked this book. I loved Alyssa, she was strong and yet wounded by Brendan. I thought it was well written and the story line was modern and realistic. Ethan was a great guy and yet his views of relationship were far different than mine. I loved Alex, Alyssa’s brother. He was protective without Alyssa knowing about it. Mr. & Mrs. Pennington were great. They wanted the best for their daughter sometimes without knowing what that should be. Alyssa’s best friend and her husband brought a believability to the story that was well written and made this novella packed with substances. It was a great sketch of life about the human condition as broken people in need of a savior.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mr. Miracle Less than a Miracle

Mr. Miracle
Debbie Macomber




Book Summary: Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store. After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons. Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget.

Review: I found Mr. Miracle to start out slow and once I got going it became a quick easy read. I personally do not find this to be Debbie Macomber’s best. I liked the characters Okay but thought that both Addie and Erich were immature at times and I did not buy their affection. It is rare that I do not care fro a Debbie Macomber book but this is one. I kept waiting for the magic of Christmas to start and It did not for me. I am certain for some people this will be a great hit and enjoy the story overall. Addie and Erich were not unlikable. I guess the old fashioned idea of Christmas being about family is what I find enjoyable. However, in this story both mothers decide to go on a cruise together.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Random House for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Deceived is Cat and Mouse

Deceived
Irene Hannon




Book Summary: For three years, Kate Marshall has been grieving the loss of her husband and their four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on an escalator in the mall, she is convinced it is the son she thought was dead. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan. The former Secret Service agent is dubious but agrees to investigate. Digging into the case he discovers that the incident may have been no accident at all. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may be willing to go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret. As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plot line that accelerates to an explosive finish.

Book Summary: The book started with the mystery from Kate’s perspective and from there I was hooked. It was a ‘cat and mouse’ kind of story where Kate hires Connor to look into it. As the mystery progresses Todd (Kevin) is asking Gregg questions about the lady from the escalator. Gregg seems like a great father, the question becomes how can this great & nice man be a murderer and kidnapper. The ending is explosive and the suspense builds to a brilliant ending. I loved Kate, Irene Hannon did a fantastic job of creating this character. She was fragile, strong, and genuine. She was almost too perfect. Connor was heroic and strong with flaws and tragedy in his past too. I loved Dianne and Pauline great secondary characters that were believable.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is Original and Historic!!!

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Sarah Ladd




Book Summary: Her secret cloaks her in isolation and loneliness. His secret traps him in a life that is not his own. Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace. But soon after becoming a lady's companion at Willowgrove Hall, Cecily finds herself face-to-face with a man well-acquainted with the past she's desperately hidden for years. Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own—one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father's position as steward of Willowgrove Hall. To protect his family, Nathaniel dares not breath a word of the truth. But as long as the shadow looms over him, he'll never be free to find his own way in the world. He'll never be free to fall in love. When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice: Will they continue running from the past . . . or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long suffered?

Review: I love the overtones of Pride and Prejudice that was sprinkled throughout the book. The storyline was fresh and appropriately historic throughout. Cecily was not so enjoyable at the beginning and her character evolved so well. It was great to read who Cecily became. Nathaniel was so much fun and such a remarkable character. While he seemed so perfect he was not perfect. He was frustrated and painted into a corner while living a gracious person was so well written it made this story so authentic as if it was written in the the 1700 or 1800’s. The secrets while during the setting were tremendous for all involved given choices that were made. Andrew was a surprise in some respects. It is always great when people are written as frail people like myself instead of wooden and unrealistic. I am adding Sarah Ladd to my must read list.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tried and True was Challenging

Tried and True
Mary Connealy




Book Summary: Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East. Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Review: I liked the plot overall although Kylie did not pretend to be a man that long before she was found out. I had a difficult time connecting with Kylie and the over all plot. I thought a lot of the theme was sad. Their ‘Pa’ was an unlikable character. There was a lot of sadness surrounding this story that I had difficulty with. I did not expect the underlining theme to be so depressing. I liked Kylie and Aaron they were well developed and multidimensional characters. The writing was realistic, the summary lacked details that would have been more helpful deciding whether I wanted to read it. It did a good job of setting up the idea that homesteading was difficult and dangerous. Gage was very realistic as someone who used the land until homesteaders came to settle. I see at least two more books to come from this at the very least.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nowhere to Turn was Spine Tingling Suspense!

Nowhere to Turn

Lynette Eason




Book Summary: She thought her days of hiding were over . . . but the danger has just begun. The day Danielle Harding takes her eleven-year-old son and flees from her abusive husband is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, things are just heating up. When Kurt was alive, he took something important from a mysterious individual--who wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . . From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold you in its iron grip as bestselling author Lynette Eason propels you along in a race to discover the truth.

Review: This is the first book that I have read by Lynette Eason from Revell. I was hooked from the start. There was a lot of intensity throughout the story. I did think the ones protecting Dani were not as attentive to the details as they should of been, they could not figure out how they were being tracked. That seemed a little sloppy for a group with their background. When Simon was not happy or following through with the hiding and on the run part was realistic. About 2/3rd of the way into the book I thought the suspense stalled and some of the mystery was taken away with key information provided was not preferred by me. I loved the suspense, plot and characters. Kurt was a real piece of work in the beginning and Stuart was really no different. Well written and believable over all. Loved the secondary characters of Tori and Kade. Overall the story line was enjoyable. There were several surprises when the final fireworks

I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vanished Has a Magical Storyline!

Vanished
Irene Hannon




Book Summary: Reporter Moira Harrisons is lost. In the dark. In a thunderstorm. When a confusing detour places her on a rural, wooded road, she's startled by the sudden appearance of a lone figure caught in the beam of her headlights. Though Moira jams on her brakes, the car careens across the wet pavement--and the solid thump against the side of the vehicle tells her she hit the person before she crashes into a tree on the far side of the road. A dazed Moira is relieved when a man opens her door, tells her he saw everything, and promises to call 911. Then everything fades to black. When she comes to an hour later, she is alone. No man. No 911. No injured person lying on the side of the road. But she can't forget the look of terror she saw on the person's face in the instant before her headlights swung away. The person she hit had been in trouble. She's sure of it. But she can't get anyone to believe her story--except a handsome former police detective, now a private eye, who agrees to take on the case.

Review: This was a buckle your seat belt, nail biting suspense. I loved the cat and mouse suspense. Much of the mystery was easy to solve it was just waiting for the other shoe to drop and all the blanks to be filled in. I liked Irene Hannon’s writing style and how she developed characters. There were some moments when Moira did some hair brained things that were somewhat out of character for her. Over all the story line was solid and the characters were likable with a good set up for the other books in the series.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Amish Blacksmith Great Stand Alone!!

Amish Blacksmith
Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner




Book Summary: New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Blacksmith (Book 2 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives. Apprenticed blacksmith Jake Miller is skeptical of Priscilla Kinsinger’s innate ability to soothe troubled horses, especially when he has own ideas on how to calm them. Six years earlier, Priscilla’s mother died in an awful accident at home, and Priscilla’s grief over losing her mother was so intense that she was sent to live with relatives in Indiana. She has just returned to Lancaster County. Not that her homecoming matters to Jake, who is interested in courting lighthearted Amanda Shetler. But Jake’s boss is Priscilla’s uncle, and when the man asks Jake to help his niece reconnect with community life, he has no choice but to do just that. Surprisingly, he finds himself slowly drawn to the beautiful but emotionally wounded Priscilla. Jake then determines to prove to her that it’s not her fault her mother died, but what he discovers will challenge everything they both believe about the depth of love and the breadth of forgiveness.

Review: Enjoyed the majority of the book. I liked Jake and Priscilla, was never sold on Amanda. I did like all the secondary characters like Amos, Owen and the Kinsinger family along with the Miller family. Great sequel and yet a good stand alone book. The thing that I found slow was toward the end. A lot happened yet it seemed to move slower than the beginning and middle. Great ending with believable events throughout. Enjoyed the real faith that was included and scripture use. That was real nice to see slipped in the story with sincere warmth for the scripture picked and used.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Shadows of the Past Leads to Nail Biting Suspense

Shadows of the Past (Logan Point Book #1)
Patricia Bradley




Book Summary: Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her. Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble. Join the chase as this determined duo search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present and moving into a future filled with new hope and love. Readers will be swept into the sultry South in this debut novel from a promising and already award-winning writer.

Review: While Taylor took a little time for me to warm up to I really did come to understand her character and root for her. She grew as a character throughout the story by admitting her weaknesses and wrongs. Her coming back in to the faith was welcomed. Livy and Nick were great additions to the story of the stalking & missing father story. It was well blended and easy to follow. I read it quickly from page 15 onward. I am looking forward to the next books in the series and would like to see one about Taylor’s brother and his missing wife along with Livy. I loved Taylor’s mom and their home which seemed so breezy and comfortable even if Mississippi/Tennessee is hot and humid in the summer. Liked how well things were woven together throughout the story that the ending was believable. I found Scott’s character to be believable and amazingly resilient throughout all his problems. Worth the read and am looking forward to the next in the series.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Healer's Touch was Enjoyable

The Healer’s Touch
Lori Copeland




Book Summary: Lyric Bolton doesn't ask for much--just friendship and acceptance from her rural Missouri community. But her family is regarded with suspicion and fear because of her mother's sickness--a sickness of the mind that grows worse by the day. Lyric is resigned to a life of isolation and doesn't see any way out...but that's before Ian Cawley bolts into her life on a runaway stallion. As she opens her heart to Ian, Lyric dares to imagine a different life. But what will happen when he discovers the secret she holds closest of all?

Review: I forgot how much I love reading Lori Copeland’s books until I started this one. I was hooked right away and read 75% of the book in one day. I will not wait this long to read another book of hers. I loved her vivid description and could picture the mountains of Missouri and the Bolton Holler easily. The characters were well written and likable. Lyric and Ian were easy to like and root for. I found Lyric to loosen up a bit after tending to Ian. The only thing I was not enthralled with was the light. It did not add to the story and seemed to weigh it down at times - with Katherine and Levi. Overall a fast paced story that kept me interested all the way to the end.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Family of Jesus

The Family of Jesus
Karen Kingsbury




Book Summary: America’s favorite inspirational novelist offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible. Through The Family of Jesus, readers will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning. In The Family of Jesus, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately care more deeply about the Bible by helping you grasp the truths in Scripture not just with your mind, but with your heart. The characters in these short stories were among those closest to Jesus—Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah, and Elizabeth. Each has a compelling tale to tell. Kingsbury intersperses fictional, emotionally gripping details anchored in Scripture with historical and theological insights and questions that will guide soul-searching and reflection. The Family of Jesus not only provides a deeper understanding of the relatives of our Savior, but also helps readers acquire tools that will draw them closer to Christ, to the Scriptures, and to each other.


Review: I find Karen Kingsbury to be a talented writer and this book puts flesh on the people surrounding Jesus and puts the dust on your face and leaves sand in your mouth from the skillful way she weaves a story.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blind Trust is Part of a Unique and Exciting Series!

Blind Trust
Sandra Orchard




Book Summary: Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?

Review: Very suspenseful and well written. Even though this was a sequel to Deadly Devotion it was still readable as a stand alone. There was some spoilers throughout the book, but not enough to keep me from reading the first in the series someday. I found the storyline to be interesting. There was a lot going on throughout the story but I never felt like things were so scattered that they couldn't be resolve in the last 30 minutes of reading the book. It is nice to see the immediate things resolved. There were times that I was on the edge of my seat and a bit jumpy due to the events occurring in the book. I love the thrill of the suspense and the characters were original and likable. The secondary characters and some surprises kept me going to the end. I am looking forward to the next book in the Port Aster Secrets series.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Christmas Gift for Rose is Very Special!

A Christmas Gift for Rose
Tricia Goyer




Book Summary: Award-winning author Tricia Goyer writes a heartwarming novel of faith and family in her first Christmas novella. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns the truth of her birth. She was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. Was she meant to be Amish, or would she have been better off growing up with her own kind---Englischers? And was her intended's gift of discovering her birth family given out of love or fear? Inspired by a true story, A Christmas Gift for Rose is a heartwarming novella of sacrifice and deep love.

Review: This was a sweet and wonderfully written story about family, faith and love. A love that transcends our earthly relationships and shine on the love of God. It was inspiring and gave me much to ponder. Rose and her Amish parents were so well written that I felt like the room cam alive with them and their home. The landscape and events were so vivid that it was very real. Rose’s struggle and those of the other characters was very moving. It celebrating the true spirit of Christmas self sacrificial love.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Firewall was an Intense Thriller

Firewall
DiAnn Mills




Book Summary: After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company? With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

Review: From the moment I started the book right through the very end it was non-stop! The action and story was moving so fast that I was on pins and needles for the majority of the time. I had to put the book down just to calm my pounding heart. The twists and turns were fantastic! It was as if the bad guys always knew where she was and there were so many of them that I was just daunting at times. Taryn was a multifaceted character with lots of personality and easy to like and empathize with. She was exceedingly smart, surprising in the things she did and well written. This is the first book by DiAnn Mills that I have read and I will be looking forward to reading many more.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Tyndale House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Inn at Last Chance was Unique

Inn at Last Chance
Hope Ramsey




Book Summary: Jenny Carpenter is the unrivaled pie-baking champion of Last Chance, South Carolina's annual Watermelon Festival and the town's unofficial spinster. With her dream of marriage and children on hold, she focuses on another dream, turning the local haunted house into a charming bed-and-breakfast. But her plans go off course when the home's former owner shows up on her doorstep on a dark and stormy night . . . Mega-bestselling horror writer Gabriel Raintree is as mysterious and tortured as his heroes. His family's long-deserted mansion is just the inspiration he needs to finish his latest twisted tale, or so he thinks until he learns it's been sold. The new innkeeper proves to be as determined as she is kind, and soon Gabriel finds himself a paying guest in his own home. As Jenny and Gabe bring new passion to the old house, can she convince him to leave the ghosts of his past behind-and make Last Chance their first choice for a future together?

Review: I am torn on this book. There were some things I did like and some things I did not like. Jenny and Gabe were as different as night and day. Ms. Ramsey almost succeeded in making Gabe so dour that I did not like the entire fighting and strife that was the first 25% of the book. I almost stopped reading it. I liked parts of the middle when things were moving along with the inn and the dog. I could have done without the ghost. I liked the secondary characters of Zeph, Nita, Sheriff Rhodes, and Maryanne. They helped the book along tremendously. I loved the setting of Last Chance, SC to be fun the description were well written and painted vivid pictures of all the settings. Overall the book was not as much my style of reading that I thought it would be. I do think the author is a talented writer. Her use of words and description were vivid and well done. Her storyline was consistent and well developed.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hopeful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One was Powerful

Hopefu: Return to Sugarcreek, Book One
Shelley Shepard Gray




Book Summary: In the Amish town of Sugarcreek, love comes in many forms. But will it come at all for Miriam? Miriam Zehr has worked at the Sugarcreek Inn longer than she cares to admit. The restaurant is a favorite of town residents as well as the many tourists who come to taste the famous Amish fare. Though she always tries to have a smile for every customer, deep down Miriam knows something's missing: a family of her own. Miriam has never felt particularly beautiful, especially because she's always been a bit heavier than other girls her age. When Junior, the man she's pined for all her life, suddenly seeks her out, she's thrilled to be noticed . . . until she realizes he's only asking her to help get the attention of Mary Kathryn Hershberger, her pretty friend. If Miriam helps Junior court Mary Kathryn, she'll get to spend a lot of time with him, but she might lose him in the process. Are these few stolen moments worth a lifetime of sacrifice? Is Miriam right to even hope for the life she dreams of?

Review: I really loved this story line. I found Miriam and Junior to be well written and believable characters that you could be empathetic to while rooting for Miriam to have her hero at the end no matter what happened. I found the plot and the other characters to be just as enjoyable. I could not believe how quick it was to read. There were no surprised yet it was a great book. I believe that the strong characters and a well written story to be the key to this book Shelley Shepard Gray did an amazing job writing this story! Every book she writes just seems to get better and better.
I would like to thank Edelweiss -Above the Treeline and Avon Inspire for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Plain Faith is Awesome!!

Plain Faith
Irene Eash, Ora-Jay Eash, & Tricia Goyer




Book Summary: This is the true story of Ora-Jay and Irene Eash, Amish farmers from northwest Montana whose lives changed in an instant when a semi-truck struck the family buggy, killing their two young daughters. After the accident, the couple turned to their Amish community for comfort, but they remained haunted by the thought that they might not see their girls again in heaven. Would their deeds be good enough? Eventually Ora-Jay and Irene learned that grace---not works---was enough to ensure their place in eternity. But with that knowledge came the realization that they could no longer live in an Amish community that didn’t share this precious belief. Could they sever their connection to the Amish family they loved? This is the story of their journey to the hope that is heaven, a hope stronger than the loss of children, family, and a way of life. Fans of Amish fiction will appreciate such a real-life look into the Amish community, co-written by bestselling author Tricia Goyer, and readers of all kinds will resonate with this tale of courage, resilience, and the redemption found in the grace of Jesus.

Review: This is a well written book about an amazingly tender, sad, joyful and tragic story. I loved the switching back and forth between Ora-Jay and Irene. Trisha Goyer did a remarkable job of keeping their voices while working with them to write this book. I loved their honesty in telling of their leaving the Amish life. It was beautiful and tragic insight into the Amish life. I came to respect their love and care for their families and friends. It truly painted a fair and loving account of their community and the difficulty leaving that way of life. I have read other books about leaving the Amish life which demonstrated the challenges of leaving along with being under the ban, but this story was mature and more tragic because they were leaving for a greater life and desperately wanted their family and friends to enter into this greater life. I enjoyed everything about these people and found them to be open and honest. It seems to me it would be a privilege to know them!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Non-Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seagrass Pier is Thrilling!!!

Seagrass Pier
Colleen Coble




Book Summary: In a secluded corner of Hope Beach, one woman must decipher a stranger’s memories . . . before they cost her everything. Elin Summerall was one of the lucky ones. Not only did she get a heart transplant, but the donor was a perfect fit. A miraculously perfect fit. But when Elin begins having violent flashbacks—and vivid dreams of being strangled—she realizes that she has been the recipient of more than just a new heart . . . Elin is remembering her donor’s murder. Her strange affliction has attracted some unwanted attention: from the press, from the authorities . . . and from the killer himself. Now, living alone with her young daughter and aging mother, Elin is being stalked—by a man she’s only met in her nightmares. The police are dubious of her story, but one off-duty FBI agent is eager to help her: Agent Marc Everton, the father of Elin’s daughter. Of course, he doesn’t know about that. Yet. Now, in a remote cottage on Hope Island, Elin and Marc must probe the secrets buried in her borrowed heart. And there’s no time to waste. One man is desperate to silence her—before she remembers too much.

Review: I love Colleen Coble books and this one is another winner. It is a great standalone book with some of the previous characters showing up from the other Hope Beach books. I loved the secondary mystery and was a little sad this was not played out a little more, but was just as exciting. I loved the mystery and was putting the pieces together as Marc and Elin were. They made a fun couple to read about and the entire book was filled with an enjoyable storyline and great characters. They were introduced slowly and blossomed the storyline even greater. Since I began reading Colleen Coble’s books the one quality that has never changed is the spine chilling fun that her mysteries pack in them.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Death Takes a Ride and it was a Wild Ride!!

Death Takes a Ride
Lorena McCourtney




Book Summary: Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Classic Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Kate even there--this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense. Owner Matt Halliday wants to hire her, but not for this case. Instead, Cate is charged with finding a man who owns a particular motorcycle Matt would like to buy. As her search progresses, she begins to suspect that the shooting in Matt's office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Review: I loved this book! It is a great series and at the same time a standalone book. Easy to read and a brisk storyline make for a suspenseful mystery! I did figure out the who and the why but it was so much fun to see it all come together that I could not put it down. I loved Cate and Mitch - they make a great team. I am hopeful for more stories but if this was the last in the series I can see them working together to track down hackers and other suspects. This was my first book of the series and I can not wait to read the other ones. I was predisposed to like this series when I started it because of Ms. McCourtney’s other books but to me this book was culmination of series she wrote. The suspects were realistic and memorable. Well written overall and believable. This PI was what you would really expect - rote work, occasional excitement and stumbling on things no one wants to be part of. These are all the elements wonderfully blended to make the story seamlessly written. Candy, Lily, Andy, Matt and Shirley were realistic people caught up in life. I really liked the parts with Candy and Cate together. They made a funny duo, it is the humor of these things that were tastefully blended throughout the story that made the entire book five stars!


I would like to thank Net Galley and Revell for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Julotta is an Early Christmas Present

Julotta
Tracie Peterson




Book Summary: Esteemed author Tracie Peterson brings to life the Swedish community of Lindsborg, Kansas, in 1887. Sigrid Larsson may be resigned to spinsterhood, but she is not ready to sell the family homestead and move in with well-meaning relatives. When a dashing young man from the railroad approaches her, followed soon after by her neighbor, Erik Lindquist, Sigrid is thrown into confusion. On whose arm will she attend the Julotta, a Christmas morning worship service?

Review: This was the first book I ever read by Tracie Peterson. It a book that made me laugh, cry and read read. I loved the Sigrid who is a spinster with the best and worst of problems to solve during the holiday season - 2 suitors. It is full of cultural details and historic details. I loved the learning about the customs and the characters were very realistic. It is a quick read filled with the spirit of Christmas and Christ.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Unshaken is the Woman of Faith

Unshaken: Ruth (Lineage of Grace #3)
Francine Rivers




Book Summary: A beautiful retelling of the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Ruth gave up everything, expected nothing, and God honored her. Readers will be encouraged by the truth that God will faithfully provide for His children even when all hope seems lost.

Review: My favorite of the series. It is a magnificent retelling of the story of Ruth & Boaz. Ms. Rivers does a reverent writing of this story with details that are fiction but believable. She honors the scriptures but set up this retelling with scripture and historic details that go together beautifully. I loved the entire series but this novella was my favorite.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Murder at the Mikado was Full of Suspense!!

Murder at the Mikado
Julianna Deering




Book Summary: British High Style Meets Old-Fashioned Detective Work in This Witty Series. Just as Drew Farthering thinks his life has found smooth waters, Fleur Landis, an old flame, reappears in his life. She's married now, no longer an actress, and he expects she'll soon disappear--until she comes to him in dire need. The lead actor in her old troupe's production of The Mikado has been murdered, and Fleur is the police's number one suspect. Drew would love nothing more than to just focus on his fiancé, Madeline, and their upcoming wedding, but he can't leave Fleur in the lurch--even if she did break his heart once. As Drew, Nick, and Madeline dive into the murder, they discover more going on behind the scenes of the theater troupe than could ever have been imagined. Nearly everyone had a motive, and alibis are few and far between. It's Drew's most complicated case yet.

Review: I really liked the third book in the Drew Farthing series. I found Madeline more human and less standoffish. She was exactly what a heroine should be. The mystery was great and realistic. I found Drew to be the main constant who was fun to read and a strong character along with Nick. The secondary characters were realistic and brought out the solid storyline that I heard Ms. Deering wrote. I enjoyed the mystery and went back and forth in my mind as to who did it and concluded who I thought it was, although many things were thrown into the pot to keep me questioning my conclusions. This made the ending quite suspenseful. I found Fleur to be well written with her wishy-washy ways toward men and other! I am hopeful for a book four to tie up some loose ends!

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Let Me Be A Woman in an Unisex World

Let Me Be A Woman
Elisabeth Elliot




Book Summary: The author combines her observations and experiences in a number of essays on male-female relationships. In these days of conflicting demands and cultural pressures, what kind of woman do you wish to be? How should you respond? What should you think? Elisabeth Elliot is one of Christiandom's most able and articulate writers. In this profound and moving book she presents her unique perspective. Now married a third time after losing two husbands through death, she offers golden insights which apply to the single, the married, and the widowed.These notes on womanhood, written to her daughter Valerie a few weeks before Val's marriage, are a gift of lasting worth for all Christian women.

Review: This is a fantastic book for any woman to read. I loved the humble and godly advice and wisdom that Ms. Elliot possess. She is a favorite of mine. I love how she breaks down the culture and the call on a woman who belongs to Christ. This is must read for me yearly. I need the guidance of woman who have walked the hard steps of this world and kept on going with Christ’s help and guidance. I believe this book is just as relevant today as it was when she first wrote it. Books like this are disappearing from the Woman’s section of Christian bookstores.

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Match of Wits and Love

A Match of Wits
Jen Turano




Book Summary: After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiance, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home. Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home. . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempt to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics. Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

Review: This was a fun story with strong characters. They were the same as they started out as in Change of Fortune. It was a fun storyline! There were great twists and turns that made the story great. Going from Colorado back to New York provided a great change of scenery and a great first meeting after two years apart. Drusilla and Francis brought added humor and interesting secondary characters to the story. The madcap adventure that Agatha takes everyone on whether she tries to or not is always fun. The plot was solid and all the characters were believable and realistic. This story was just as exciting as when the series started. Easily to read whether within the series or as a standalone.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told
Carol Cox




Book Summary: Wild West Romance and Mystery. When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father's newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences. Her father's revealing articles about Great Western Investment. Company’s business methods have caught the notice of the wrong person, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements. Determined to find the truth, Amelia goes through her father's notes and begins to interview members of the community. She can't seem to shake Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company. The more Ben and Amelia learn, the more Amelia's father's claims appear to be accurate. In fact, it's probably worse than he realized. Even Ben is beginning to wonder if he's become a pawn in the workings of a corrupt empire. But Great Western isn't about to stand for a female reporter and one of their own men bringing down their lucrative schemes. Working against time, and never knowing what danger lurks around the next corner, Ben and Amelia set out to reveal all they've discovered before Great Western silences them for good.

Review: This is the first, but not last book by Carol Cox that I have read. I enjoyed getting to know Amelia and Ben. The sadness of Amelia loosing her father at the start was hard, but realistic. The Great Western thing was realistic for the most part, although Owen Merrick, in my opinion, could have been a little more slick. Since he had someone do all his dirty work it would have been more realistic. Clara, Martin, Jimmy, and Homer were good secondary characters that helped move the story along. The mystery was not so mysterious and that was disappointing. Overall I liked the writing style. Ms. Cox did well painting a picture of the town and the surrounding areas. The newspaper aspect was a great hook to draw me into the story. The newspaper office was realistic and interesting to think of all that went into printing a newspaper.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Unforeseeable was a Great Ending to this Series!

Unforeseeable
Nancy Mehl




Book Summary: Mystery, Romance, and Suspense Seamlessly Combined in a Mennonite Small-Town Setting Callie Hoffman knows she has a good life in Kingdom, Kansas. She's thrilled to be engaged to Levi Housler, the new pastor of Kingdom Mennonite Church, and she spends her days working with her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler, at Cora's Cafe. However, Callie's idyllic life is interrupted when a body is discovered on the road outside Kingdom and the deceased turns out to be a victim of a serial killer. As Washington County's new sheriff begins questioning Kingdom residents, Callie and the rest of the town are appalled at the prospect of a killer among them. The very reason Kingdom exists is to protect the people from the temptations and dangers of the outside world, but all the town founders' attempts to plan ahead couldn't prevent a threat like this. Unsettled at this unforeseen danger, Callie is concerned when it appears Levi knows more than he's telling. Desperate to find answers for herself, Callie never expected that she'd have to face some of her own past's skeletons. As Callie and the residents of Kingdom fear this danger for which they never planned, they must learn anew that only God knows the future and their trust must always lie in Him.

Review: I loved the series overall. I found this last in the series to start out slower than the first and took more time to grab my attention. It was about a 1/4 of the way through when the story took off. I was hooked and enjoyed the characters immensely. Many things were easy to guess the outcome for, but right at the end Nancy Mehl threw in a curve that made the entire story a smashing success!! At times I found the relationship between Callie and Levi to be unexciting, but after the first secret was revealed their relationship got more believable. The most believable constant throughout the series was Lizzie’s dad. Many times it is those little things that make a story worth reading because the secondary characters help to make or break a storyline.
I would like to thank Library Thing and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Second Success of the Mercy Falls Series

The Lightkeeper’s Bride
Colleen Coble




Book Summary: When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart. Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California. But since childhood she has been expected to marry well. Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn't stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future. Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice. Katie soon learns that Eliza has diappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Katie and Will soon form an alliance. An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more. Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will. But she is not at liberty to marry for love. And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can't help but notice Will's sense of peace. It's a peace that rests on his trust in God--a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her. But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

Review: I love the start of this mystery. It put the mystery right at the center of the storyline. It was a fun book of ignoring the society expectations and the relationship between Katie and Will. I loved the cove which was spectacular and drew me in right away. I love lighthouses and was excited to read the second in the series too.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Surprisingly Good Read

Hannah’s Courtship
Emma Miller




Book Summary: Amish widow Hannah Yoder never intended to marry again. Yet when her friendship with veterinarian Albert Hartman begins to bloom into something more, Hannah wonders if perhaps she's finally ready for a new love. Albert waited his whole life to find the right woman, only to realize Hannah was there all along. But there's more than their friendship to consider. Albert is a Mennonite, born-and-bred, and Hannah cannot—will not—leave her Amish faith, not even for him. Does Albert have the courage to give up his modern life for Hannah…and will Hannah have the courage to let him? 
Hannah's Daughters: Seeking love, family and faith in Amish country

Review: When I first got the book I was excited. Than I started to read it and had mixed feelings. Than about page 7 I got more interested than I ever thought I would. Ms. Miller did a fantastic job of mixing the themes of maturity and liveliness. At no time did I dwell on Hannah being a mother of grown children or a grandmother. The romance was complicated in the eyes of the Amish religion. I really liked the tie in with Albert’s nephew and Hannah’s daughter Grace. It makes me long to read all the previous books. Someday I hope to do that .
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harlequin for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Fun Group to Join the Smitten Book Club

Smitten Book Club
Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, & Kristen Billerbeck




Book Summary: At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town. As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie! One by one, each of the women finds romantic love—often in spite of the historic book's advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts.

Review: I liked the overall theme that the stories kept of the Treasure hunt through the book historic book of advice. It was fun to watch this time into the stories. I liked most of the characters but did not enjoy Molly’s story as much. I felt sorry for her the book opened with the death of her husband. But for me I could not connect with Molly as easily as I did Lia, Heather and even Abby. I like the male characters in all the stories. I think the changing seasons lent itself to the moving of time that led into Molly’s story. I liked Heather’s story the best overall. Usually if I like the first story I tend to enjoy all of them. Despite not connecting with Molly, I did find her spunk to be a plus by her learning to run the company. I think the most moving part for me is that Diann Hunt is now with the Lord and this is her last story. It is bitter sweet for her friends and family left behind. All that being said the book was worth the read and continues in the periphery the characters that have gone before always a real plus when reading a series style book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Investigation Can Be Deadly Business!

A Deadly Business
Lis Wiehl




Book Summary: A prosecutor of violent criminals. A detective on a dangerous beat. When these two pros take on an off-the-books case, the line between professional and personal becomes perilously blurred. When a twenty-two-year-old convict walks into the courtroom, his eyes confirm what Mia Quinn already guesses: he blames her for his conviction. In seconds, he knocks her to the ground and holds a razor blade to her throat. While she manages to escape without injury, it's just one more reminder that Mia's job prosecuting Seattle's s most dangerous criminals is far from low risk.  As a single mom, the last thing Mia wants is for her work to follow her home¬ – or discover that it already has. Now Detective Charlie Carlson is suggesting the very thing Mia doesn't want to believe—that her accountant husband’s deadly car accident was no accident at all. When Mia and Charlie encounter resistance to reopening the case, they take the investigation into their own hands. And they find much more than they bargained for. Was Mia's husband more than an accountant . . . and less than an honest man? As the truth becomes more shocking and the case grows more complex, her husband's killers take note of Mia . . . and her children. How far will this prosecutor go to learn the truth about her husband—and how far will she have to go to protect her family? 

Review: This is the first book I have read by Lis Wiehl. I loved the pace, story line and action. The page flew by. Mia was a sympathetic character along with being easy to like. She and Charlie make a great team. I thought the investigation to her latest case sad and very true for our times - the grocery cart being dropped on Tasmin’s while walking out of a store. It was so real and sad. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. It was a great mystery although I did catch on to who did it about half way through. The person who ordered the murder was a coin toss for me. I loved the compassion Mia has although not a hard core Christian message the living the Bible message out was distinct. I believe that more people today are Mia, Eli and Charlie than not. This is a great fast pace read with a lot of twists and turns filling the pages.
I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gathering Shadows a Fantastic Read!!

Gathering Shadows
Nancy Mehl




Book Summary: Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

Review: The beginning cinched it for me. I was immediately drawn in with the kidnapping of Ryan! I really liked the mystery of Wynter’s brother and who sent her the newspaper clippings. I hope to see Zac in another story. He was a great addition. There were so many memorable events and situations spread throughout the story it made the story more engrossing. It all ended up with a fantastic finally that was worth the wait. I enjoyed the relationship between Reuben and Wynter. The secondary characters like Wynter’s dad and Esther were a tremendous addition that made each part of the book they were in more treasured. The suspense throughout the story was perfectly timed enough to make me jumpy. I am waiting for the next book in this series.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Glimpse at Dear Friends

Bluebonnet Brides: A Butterfly Palace Short Story

Colleen Coble




Book Summary: Escaping a forced engagement, Elli sought refuge in an arranged, mail-order marriage. Her betrothed is a Texan named Nathan White. As she glimpses her future husband and his darling niece at the train station, she instantly knows her risk will prove the best decision she's ever made. Nathan White never took an interest in marriage until he became the guardian of four-year-old Hannah. He’s arranged a mail order wife to love and care for his orphaned niece. But his mind changes when he first sees the beautiful Elli Korpela. After a glorious wedding ceremony in the gardens of a place called Butterfly Palace—the grandest estate Elli's ever seen—a peaceful beginning takes a disquieting turn. An intruder brutally attacks Elli. Nathan intervenes, but the devil escapes unidentified, leaving Elli to face two chilling possibilities: either the attack was arranged by strike workers in Nathan's employ or her shadowy past followed her across the sea. As the danger mounts, Elli and Nathan must face their enemy together, fighting for their newfound marriage—and for their lives.

Review: I love revisiting previous characters and this novella is just the right touch of tying up loose ends and bringing us back in touch with beloved characters. I liked Nathan from Butterfly Palace and grew to really like his character in Bluebonnet Brides. The mystery was a nice touch to keep me off center to the changes being made in the lives of Hannah and Nathan. Hannah has grown into a nice young girl and it was great to see how wonderful Belle has become. I hope that Belle someday gets her own story. I fully appreciate the glimpse into these characters through this short story. No big surprises other than how dear the characters are.
I would like to thank Book Look Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adrenaline Rush!

Silenced
Dani Pettrey




Book Summary: A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him. Kayden's climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. 

Book Review: This was a suspense filled story that kept clicking with the other in the series. I am now set up for the next book and can’t wait!! I found Kayden to be a little cold at times and not as easy to identify with. She was driven and determined, traits easy to understand. The distance she kept from everyone was less believable when you read the other about the other family members. These things were not overly consuming when the mystery was tangled web of intrigue!!! It was fast paced and well written the page flew by. My heart was beating so fast as the end drew near. I really liked Jake, he is a great character!. The climbing angle was interesting but more a diversion to the real underbelly of the story. Without spoiling the ending it was worth the read and set in motion the next installment.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Story That I Have Been Waiting For!!!

Chateau of Secrets
Melanie Dobson




Book Summary: A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past. Gisèle Duchant guards a secret that could cost her life. Tunnels snake through the hill under her family’s medieval chateau in Normandy. Now, with Hitler’s army bearing down, her brother and several friends are hiding in the tunnels, resisting the German occupation of France. But when German soldiers take over the family’s château, Gisèle is forced to host them as well—while harboring the resistance fighters right below their feet. Taking in a Jewish friend’s baby, she convinces the Nazis that it is her child, ultimately risking everything for the future of the child. When the German officers begin to suspect her deception, an unlikely hero rescues both her and the child. A present day story weaves through the past one as Chloe Sauver, Gisèle’s granddaughter, arrives in Normandy. After calling off her engagement with a political candidate, Chloe pays a visit to the chateau to escape publicity and work with a documentary filmmaker, Riley, who has uncovered a fascinating story about Jews serving in Hitler’s army. Riley wants to research Chloe’s family history and the lives that were saved in the tunnels under their house in Normandy. Chloe is floored—her family isn’t Jewish, for one thing, and she doesn’t know anything about tunnels or the history of the house. But as she begins to explore the dark and winding passageways beneath the chateau, nothing can prepare her for the shock of what she and Riley discover… With emotion and intrigue, Melanie Dobson brings World War II France to life in this beautiful novel about war, family, sacrifice, and the secrets of the past.

Book Review: This is a book that sticks you! I spend days after finishing this book wishing there was more to read of it. I loved the moving back and forth between World War II and present day. I loved both the stories. I never wanted either to end. It was a spectacularly written, very believable and such a tender story of redemption. I once read a book similar in nature but this story fulfilled everything that other story could not. It was a private wish of mine to read a story developed as Melanie Dobson did. I laughed, I cried and I lived every moment of the story. I can not thank the author enough for writing this moving piece of fiction that was thread around the true events of World War II and the beauty of God within those horrific events. Gisele’s story was wrapped in the gospel of Christ who is greater than any tragedy man can think up. I love secret tunnels and rooms. A mystery of how things really were versus what people tell. These are the things that make a good mystery.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Howard Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Classic Mystery

Death by the Book
Julianna Deering




Book Summary: With Farlinford Processing and the family's good name safe again following the events in Rules of Murder, Drew Farthering wants nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself involved in another mysterious case. The family lawyer has been found dead in a Winchester hotel room, skewered through the heart by an antique hat pin with a cryptic message attached: Advice to Jack. Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the man's double life, but what does that have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem. Nothing except for another puzzling note and the antique hat pin affixing it to the doctor's chest. Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all sure they have the right man. Could the killer be one of his society friends, or is it someone much closer than that?

Book Review: I will confess that I started with this book. I heard all the hype from the first in the series and was interested. I found the book to be easy to get into and the main characters of Drew, Nick and Madeline were likable and fun to get to know. It was obvious I came into the series late, but enough details were given about the first book, but not so much to spoil reading it. I liked Madeline’s aunt who was a great catalyst for the author to use to explain to those who joined the party late, like myself some of the background. This new mystery was a real puzzle. The entire book was well written and had an authentic historic British feel to it. While I enjoyed the book very much as a mystery I did not feel a tremendous suspense that anyone was truly in danger except for people that were introduced as peripherally. It was easy to read, but it was not till the last 10 pages that the mystery twisted to become exciting. Yes, it had a tremendous Agatha Christie feel to it at times, but the suspense was not that intense.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.