Friday, November 23, 2012

Right Where I Belong

Natalia’s about to discover her place in the world . . . and it’s not following in her father’s footsteps.

After watching her father jump from one marriage to the next, Natalia has completely written off love. And when her father divorces his third wife—the only one who has been a mother to her—Natalia is ready to write him off too.

Needing a change of scenery, Natalia leaves her home in Spain and relocates with her stepmother to sun-soaked Florida. But she didn’t realize just how far a new school, a new culture, and a new lifestyle would push her out of her comfort zone.

One of her biggest surprises comes from Brian, a pastor’s son with an adorable smile, who loves God with a sincerity that astounds Natalia. She doesn’t want to fall for him, but she can’t seem to avoid him long enough to get him out of her mind.

Love is the last thing Natalia wants. Even so, God has her right where she belongs.

I thoroughly enjoyed Krista McGee's first two books, and was excited to read her next novel, Right Where I Belong. Her third book is every bit as wonderful as her first two. I ended up staying up until past 2a.m. just to discover what would happen with these characters. I love that McGee keeps her readers up to date with the happenings of her previous main characters by creating stories that overlap with theirs. For example, her first book's main character was Addy, who was the best friend of the main character in her second book, Kara. Both Kara and Addy show up in this book, as supporting cast. Once again, I was completely engaged in McGee's book, and look forward to more by her.

I received a complimentary copy of Right Where I Belong through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Come to the Table

Kat Davies is suddenly wondering if her good deed was a bad idea.

Kat may be new in her faith, but she’s embraced the more radical implications of Christianity with reckless abandon. She invited Rochelle—a homeless mother—and her son to move in the apartment she shares with two other housemates. And she’s finally found a practical way to channel her passion for healthy eating by starting a food pantry at the church.

Her feelings for Nick are getting harder to ignore. The fact that he’s the interning pastor at SouledOut Community Church and one of her housemates makes it complicated enough. But with Rochelle showing interest in Nick as a father-figure for her son, their apartment is feeling way too small.

But not everyone thinks the food pantry is a good idea. When the woman she thought would be her biggest supporter just wants to “pray about it,” Kat is forced to look deeper at her own motives. Only when she begins to look past the surface does she see people who are hungry and thirsty for more than just food and drink and realizes the deeper significance of inviting them to “come to the table.”

I was so excited to learn that the newest installment of Neta Jackson's SouledOut Sisters Series, Come to the Table was going to be available on Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze Blogger program! I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Neta Jackson has a way of creating flawed, real characters that the reader can relate to. The characters are all from extremely different backgrounds, and have to overcome bias and misconceptions in order to become successful. The faith displayed in the characters is both heartwarming and inspiring. I always finish these books feeling like I am a little bit renewed in my faith and hungering for the Word.  This book was no different, and I am so glad that I requested it! Highly recommended!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Scent of Rain

When deprived of her most prized sense, Daphne discovers a life she never expected, right under her nose.

Daphne Sweeten has left Paris – and a career she loves – in order to marry a man she loves even more. But when he stands her up on their wedding day, Daphne’s left reeling. Trained as a professional “nose” or perfume creator, Daphne soon realizes that her sense of smell has somehow disappeared too.

In the days following she moves to Dayton, Ohio, to take on a job creating fragrances for household products. Without her sense of smell, she must rely on her chemistry skills, and hope her handsome new boss, Jesse Lightner, doesn’t notice before she can figure out how to get it back.

Despite her desire to return to Paris, she can’t deny the way Jesse makes her feel. But when Daphne approaches former contacts, she learns her missing ex-fiancĂ© has somehow snagged her old job.

As Daphne and Jesse work on a signature scent for their new line, she feels God at work in her life as never before. And the promise of what is possible is as fresh as the scent of rain.

I read about The Scent of Rain several times before finally deciding to request a complimentary copy through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. I was a little weary of the described plotline, as it seemed a bit strange to me. After reading a few reviews that the book was short and not up to Billerbeck's typical standards, I didn't expect much from this book.

I was very pleasantly surprised to thoroughly enjoy the novel. The characters are believable and it was easy to care about what happened to them. The plot was definately unique, and left me wondering what would happen next. The ending was satisfying, and as I looked at the other books Billerbeck has on her resume, I was reminded that she contributed to Smitten, which I also enjoyed.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lovelier Than Daylight

Susanna is a lady of principles who values family above all. Johann seems to represent all she despises . . . but appearances can be deceiving.

In 1875, Susanna Hanby is headed off to college in Westerville, Ohio, when she discovers her sister Rachel and Rachel’s children have disappeared. Susanna suspects that Rachel’s alcoholic husband knows more than he’s saying and she vows to uncover the truth.

Johann Giere is heir to a successful German-American brewery in Columbus, but longs for a career in journalism in New York City. When Johann signs on as the supplier for a new saloon in Westerville, his and Susanna’s paths cross and sparks fly. A fiery temperance crusader, Susanna despises Johann’s profession, but she cannot deny the attraction.

When Susanna learns that Rachel’s children have been indentured to orphanages in the city, she despairs that her family will be fractured forever. But Johann makes Susanna an offer she can’t refuse—pitting her passion and her principles against one another.

If she can find a way for her head and her heart to be in harmony, a future lovelier than daylight awaits her.

Lovelier than Daylight is a story of love and faith based on the Westerville Whiskey War of 1875, a dramatic real historical event featured in the 2011 documentary Prohibition by Ken Burns.

I received a complimentary copy of Rosslyn Elliott's Lovilier Than Daylight through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.
I personally found the main character of Susanna to be rude and judgmental. Although, the author seems to be intentional in that characteristic and brings Susanna's way of thinking to a head when she has a complicated decision to make; whether to follow her heart or her long held beliefs about people that brew beer. The storyline is sad, but believable and ends up with a happy ending. All in all, I think it is a solid book, but I wasn't loving it so much that I stayed up late to finish "just one more chapter."