Saturday, September 26, 2015

November Brides Saving the Best for Last!!

November Bride
Beth K. Vogt

Book Summary: Can a decades-long friendship marred by two romantic missteps ever lead to happily ever after? Sadie McAllister’s clients know how lucky they are to have her: an ultra-fastidious personal chef who leaves behind a spotless kitchen and a week’s worth of mouth-watering meals. Erik Davis, her best friend since middle school, is content to enjoy Sadie’s culinary skills too while maintaining their “friends only” status. Most of his energy is focused on his just-launched freelance business and casual dates that never come close to a commitment. But when Sadie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime cooking job across country, Erik realizes maybe he’s taken his best friend for granted.  Even more, he’s about to lose his only chance for lasting love. How can Erik convince Sadie that the well-known adage “Marry your best friend” just might apply to them? With God’s help, can they both move past their assumptions about each other and their future? Should Sadie and Erik risk taking their relationship to the romantic point of no return? If they do, their decades-long friendship is as a good as done . . . unless it ends at the altar.  

Review: I did not start out liking this book. I continued on thinking ‘I will see where it goes’ and than like a bolt of lightning it did not go the way I thought it would. It has a solid Christian message of forgiveness that is not preachy and great life to the story overall. For a novella it packs a lot! I really found this to be a sparkling end to the series. I am going to say the last ones were the best. The thing that turned me off in the beginning was when Sadie asks Erik to marry her. I am not that kind of person. I do not like bossy woman characters and that seemed the way this story was going, when suddenly that was a minor history portion and the characters had depth and were broken people in a fallen world.
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.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

October Bride was Like a Blast from the Past!

October Bride
Katie Ganshert

Book Summary: She wants to make her father's dream come true. She doesn't realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time. Emma Tate isn't a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they're getting married-so Emma's dying father can walk her down the aisle. While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other. In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father's dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.

Review: Sweet Story! It took me back to when I was in school and read teen books. This was such a sweet story and yet it is touched by a sorrow. Emma was great fun and she had such a sweetness to her, Jake was the ideal character - caring, manly and generous. How could you not want to have a happy ending. So much happened and yet it was such a short read. Lily was a great friend to help and yet not forget that this was not the way it should be for Emma. Liam was fun who seemed like a real big brother. The story earned some tears when reality comes crashing in and yet it was all put together so well. I am so glad I got to read this story.

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.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

September Bride was Predictable and Charming

September Bride
Kathryn Springer

Book Summary: Annie's always wanted a home and a family. But will pretending to be a bride get her closer to her dreams? All Annie Price has ever wanted is a place to call home. Growing up in the foster care system, that dream seemed far away, but now Annie's dream may be coming true. A friend she met in an online book group wants to retire and has offered Annie a fresh start managing her little bookstore. Believing the opportunity is an answer to prayer, Annie packs her suitcase and moves to Red Leaf, Wisconsin. The residents of Red Leaf welcome Annie into the fold . . . everyone except the bookstore owner's son, Jesse Kent. But Annie refuses to let the handsome deputy keep her from embracing her new home with open arms. She even volunteers to help the local historical society refurbish an old church and agrees to be the "bride" for a special reenactment celebrating the museum's open house. Jesse Kent can't believe his mother has handed the keys to her business over to a woman she met on the Internet. Annie's beautiful, of course, and smart as a whip, but what do they really know about her, anyway? What if she's come to their town just for his mother's money? The only way to see if his suspicions about Annie Price are true is to keep a close eye on her-even if it means he has to marry her! Planning their mock wedding will give him the chance to uncover Annie's motive for moving to town. But as the day of the wedding approaches and secrets come to light, Jesse must face the truth. He wants Annie to be his September bride . . . for real.

Review: Predictable and yet very charming. I loved Annie and Jesse. Whimsical characters that are delightful balanced out by some drama. It all made for a quick breezy read. I loved the amount of things that occurred in a short period of time and that at times Jesse was used to introduce us to all the characters. He lived in Red Leaf all his life and we got to learn of the changes and lives of everyone through great a well written novella. It was so well written I wanted to look Red Leaf up on the map and mover there myself.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondevan 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.

The Photograph is Magical!

The Photograph
Beverly Lewis

Book Summary: Eva Esch and her sisters are in a predicament. With the passing of their widowed mother, Eva's older brother Menno plans to move his growing family into the Eden Valley farmhouse where they all grew up, leaving little room for his three single sisters. Surely, Menno reasons, at least one of them will marry this coming wedding season. Eva does hope to marry, but she isn't sure she wants to give up her sweet shop for the life of a farmer's wife, and she has no other prospects. When younger sister, Lily, disappears in the night, leaving only a brief note, Eva fears she has been wooed away from the People by an outsider. And when Jed Stutzman, a young Amish buggy maker from Ohio, shows up in Lancaster with a photo of a Plain young woman, Eva's world begins to tilt. She feels powerfully drawn to the quietly charming stranger--but the woman in the forbidden photograph is no stranger at all. . . .

Review: I read Ms. Lewis’ newsletter where she made some comment about this was one of her personal favorites. I can honestly say that there is good reason for that. This story was riveting and I read it in one extended period of time. I found the characters to be so real I almost would expect to meet the if I were to go to the Lancaster area today. The time period was the 80’s and yet it could be today. I loved the main characters Eva and Jed while almost too perfect they were believable and lovable. The story was so seamlessly woven that I found I almost had to read it in a day to do the story justice. There was no long extended period of time occurring and things came together so effortlessly that I would have thought Ms. Lewis wrote it quickly, although from her newsletter it would seem the story was a long time coming. I am so glad that she was willing to share this story. It truly was ordinary and special all in one. The theme simple and magical. There is real tragedy all around both main characters and they do not down play the healing process, yet despite the tragedy this is not a story about weeping. There are many elements to the plot (loss of life, a wayward sister, uncertainty, and misunderstanding) and through it all I wanted the story to never end. I could go on and on but the best advice is dive in and see for yourself.

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.

Friday, September 11, 2015

No Place to Hide was Spine Tingling!

No Place to Hide
Lynette Eason

Book Summary: In the latest novel in her Hidden Identity series, Lynette Eason throws listeners right into the action from the very beginning, propelling them along a dangerous road and asking the provocative question of how far we'd be willing to go if we were up against a wall. It's not every day you see your childhood friend and one-time crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes that it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. But she's not the only one looking. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to save thousands of innocent lives.

Review: This is one heart pounding book. From the start it has my head spinning and my heart pounding. Is it questionable to try to save and old friend from a treason charge. False charges or real is the question. Jackie was convinced Ian was innocent. Loved seeing how they were hounded and in the midst of all this they have no idea how they were being tracked. Some of the timing seemed off, but the tension and mystery was pulse pounding. Lynette Eason books have taught me to expect anything. I think this book is no exception. I was sitting at the edge of my seat to the end. I will admit that I have put the book down just to take a breath!
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, September 10, 2015

The Flow of the Psalms just Flows into My Soul

The Flow of the Psalms
O. Palmer Roberston

Book Summary: For centuries the book of Psalms has been read as a random collection of poems with no intentional arrangement. But is this a correct understanding? O. Palmer Robertson equips us to see a clear redemptive-historical progression that develops across the five books of Psalms. With the aid of charts in full color, he demonstrates how an intentional structure is indicated by elements such as the placement of acrostic psalms, strategic couplings of Messianic psalms with Torah psalms, and the grouping of psalms by topics. If you love the psalms, Robertson will give you a better grasp of the whole Psalter and a deeper appreciation of each individual poem.

Review: I loved this book. Much of it was over my head at times and yet O. Palmer has a gift at bringing so much to a chapter and paragraph that there is something for everyone. He lays out the books within the Psalms. He masterfully weaves the entire Bible through the Psalms that it is another breathtaking view of Who Redeems the lost. I thrill at a book that brings scripture to scripture. He explains the Psalms in such a way that I am thrilled when other parts of the Bible intertwine in a book. This was a refreshing book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and P & R 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.

My Amish Childhood was Enjoyable

My Amish Childhood
Jerry S. Eicher

Book Summary: Bestselling fiction author Jerry S. Eicher (nearly half a million books sold) turns his pen to a moving memoir of his life growing up Amish. Jerry's mother was nineteen years old and nine months married when he was born. She had received Grandfather Stoll's permission for the wedding because she agreed to help out on the farm the following year. However, with Jerry on the way, those plans failed. Jerry recounts his first two years of school in the Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario and his parents' decision to move to Honduras. Life in that beautiful Central American country is seen through an Amish boy's eyes―and then the dark days when the community failed and the family returned to America, much to young Jerry's regret. Jerry also tells of his struggle as a stutterer and his eventual conversion to Christ and the reasons for his departure from the childhood faith he knew. Here is a must-read for not just Jerry's fiction fans, but also for readers curious about Amish life.

Review: I will admit this is my first Jerry Eicher book. I loved his writing style and his ability to weave a perfect story around his growing up years. He has a way of making the mundane sound so interesting. It is like I am sitting in his living room telling these stories. He truly had an exciting childhood. His time in Central America was so very interesting in how they set up this community and the fun he and his family had. I love how he weaves in how the very things in his childhood led him away from the Amish life. It sounded mostly due to the stricter orders than the one his family was part of in Central America. To me it sounded like an ideal lifestyle of working together, family, and faith. The life in Central America could be a mirror to the Amish life, except for their worship styles. I think anytime someone can write an autobiography or biography and make it seem like a casual visit to that home is a winner.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harvest 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, September 9, 2015

Get Fluffy is Worth Getting (and Desperate Housedogs too)

Desperate Housedogs/Get Fluffy
Sparkle Abbey

Book Summary: In DESPERATE HOUSEDOGS, pet therapist Caro finds her client (the human one) dead. What did his two German Shepherds witness and how can Caro track down the killer? In GET FLUFFY, Caro's cousin, Melinda, the owner of a fancy pet boutique and spa, feuds with one of the snarkiest divas in town: Mona, whose pampered pup lives the life of a canine princess. When Mona is found dead, Mel is a prime suspect. Can she clear her name or will her career go to the dogs? Book 3: Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. "A mystery worth barking about." - Linda O. Johnson, author of THE MORE THE TERRIER, Berkley Prime Crime Yes, Melinda was feuding with the queen of Laguna Beach dog-loving divas, Mona. But Mel never expected Mona to end up dead. I stumbled through the doorway into a mini-palace fit for a movie star. Fluffy's palace. A white sheepskin rug in front of her personal fireplace, a king-sized sleigh bed and a dressing screen (why a dog needed a dressing screen was beyond me). Fresh, filtered water dripped into her Wedgewood doggie bowl. It was also a disaster. Fluffy's wardrobe was strewn throughout the room, draped precariously on the bed, and hanging out of open drawers. While Mona had an obscene amount of photos, Fluffy had her own slew of trophies and ribbons. All of them haphazardly tossed about. The room looked like it had been ransacked.Fluffy disappeared behind the disheveled bed. Her tail stopped wagging and she whined softly. Mona was sprawled on the floor as if posing for a men's magazine. It was almost picture-perfect, except for the blood matting her five-hundred-dollar haircut and the gold statue stuck in her head. I hesitantly moved closer. Fluffy nuzzled Mona's cheek. When she didn't move, Fluffy pawed her shoulder, still whining. "I don't think she's getting up, girl," I said softly. Mona was deader than a stuffed poodle.

Review: When I first started reading this book (these books) I struggled to get into them. Than like a lighting bolt I was into it. I had the same thing happen during the second book. Now I NEED TO READ all of the them!!!! The language is salty at times. They are rather tame in comparison to most mainstream mysteries and the stories are just fantastic!! The Laguna Beach lifestyle is not for me, however it is fun to read about the people. The pampered pet & dog children is a bit over the top and yet it is funny. I love my pets but do not take them everywhere. The characters are rich in personality and the authors show repeatedly not to judge a book by it’s cover when it comes to preconceived ideas about who people are. The background on the characters is the best. I love that now (not when I started mind you) that the stories go from Caro to Mel and back again. That keeps things fresh and fun. Especially Grandma’s broach. All around the mystery is not the only exciting thing in these books.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bell Bridge Books or 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, September 8, 2015

Not Much Found in 'Found in Him'

Found in Him
Elyse Fitzpatrick

Book Summary: Believers’ union with Christ stands at the heart of the gospel. Thankfully, this neglected doctrine is garnering renewed interest among academics and lay people alike. Writing with everyday readers in mind, Elyse Fitzpatrick embarks on a journey of discovery and joy as she explores the wonder of the Incarnation and the glory of the Christian’s unbreakable connection to Christ. Fitzpatrick looks at the Bible’s use of marriage as a metaphor for the relationship that Christians enjoy with their Savior, examining its significance for understanding key doctrines such as Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Directing Christians to the core of their salvation, this devotional book will stir readers’ affections for God and renew their confidence as beloved children “in Christ.”

Review: I found this book difficult to read at times. I struggled the most at the beginning with some of Ms. Fitzpatrick’s statements like Jesus was made in man’s image and before the next chapter, if that long later, closed she reversed that statement. There were many statements that she and I do not agree on along that vein. I do not want to go into all of them for fearing to sound like I am picking on her. I think the greatest thing this book did for me was prove I can defend my position with scripture and find the scripture that refutes things written in this book. I also disagree with some of her ideas about what Peter stated at the Transfiguration, since they were based on Ms. Fitzpatrick’s ideas and not on scripture I won’t argue about being right or wrong. I will say that she is wrong about the Jews not being able to kill another Jew. Stephen is a perfect example of that along with Paul. I believe maybe she meant that they could kill him to the point where He was a cursed, the only way to do that is by hanging him on a tree. For the Bible say ‘cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree’ they did intend to kill him in His own home town by picking up stones to stone Him with. The only one to live through a stoning in the Bible is Paul. That is not because of him but God.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Crossway 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.