Saturday, September 21, 2013

For Every Season


Working hard to develop a new Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is fully committed to rehabilitating an orchard with business partner Samuel King. But an impulsive decision has created an unexpected strain in her relationship with her beau, Samuel’s brother, Jacob, threatening plans for the orchard. Amidst mounting tension in matters of the heart and business, Rhoda finds that this fledging settlement feels like the home she has always longed for, and she begins to embrace the God-given, heightened intuition that has always felt like a burden to her. She longs for Jacob to fully be free of his past, so they can work towards the future together.
 
But as Rhoda uses her gift to unpack an old secret with her Englisch neighbors, it is not her beau but an unlikely ally that cheers her on. With the orchard on shaky ground and Jacob’s plans in question, Rhoda is determined to see things through to harvest. But can she trust her insight to direct her path in matters of the heart?

I have been enjoying Rhoda Byler's journey thus far and was excited that For Every Season was available through the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was expecting the conclusion of the storyline and was surprised when it ended promising another edition in 2014. Rhoda and her friends and family have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout the first two books, and it seemed like perhaps things would finally settle down for them, but things just keep coming up that throw them all into a tailspin. This book continues with that trend, keeping the reader guessing about how each character will react to the new trials. I am looking forward to the next installment of the saga.

Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold



This story of a senior citizen daring to stand up for herself will resonate with Christian fiction readers everywhere.
In Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold by Joyce Magnin, Harriet settles into a new life in Grass Valley, California, and gets caught up in another adventure when she decides to lease a gold mine. After listening to the pleas of a desperate teen whose daddy needs money right away—and happens to have a gold mine to lease—Harriet falls hook, line, and sinker into the venture. Although she is nervous about her investment, Harriet chooses to keep it a secret from her son, Henry, and his wife who have just learned they are expecting a baby. And besides, this just may be the ticket to a golden windfall.
But when Harriet’s friend Martha comes for a visit, she convinces Harriet to come clean because she is suspicious and just doesn’t buy that the operation is legit.
Harriet may never see an ounce of gold, but it is the fate of the young teen that really begins to matter. And it takes an emergency with her daughter-in-law, Prudence, for Harriet to learn where her true treasure lies.

This book sounds like so much fun, I just had to request a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I anxiously awaited my copy in the mail and started it right away. It completely lost me quite quickly, however. I was looking forward to a spunky, sassy elderly character and was greeted by a sad, depressed woman that felt trapped in her life; too young for a retirement home but too old to be on her own she was living with her son and his wife in a tiny room where she couldn't even have all her stuff with her. She's resentful of her situation and her daughter-in-law and wishing for a way out. I made it four or five chapters into the book before I gave up on Harriet. She was not the spunky, gold mining character I was looking forward to meeting, and the book felt like it was getting nowhere fast. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Winnowing Season


The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.
Jacob King won’t be swayed by community speculation. He loves Rhoda, believes in her, and wants to build a future with her in Maine. But when the ghosts of his past come calling and require him to fulfill a great debt, can he shake their hold before it destroys what he has with Rhoda? Samuel has a secret of his own—one he’ll go to great lengths to keep hidden, even if it means alienating those closest to him. Throwing himself into rehabilitating the once-abandoned orchard, Samuel turns to a surprising new ally.
Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series asks: can the three faithfully follow God’s leading and build a new home and orchard in Maine? Or will this new beginning lead to more ruin and heartbreak?

I have not read the first book in this series, but the second book sounded good, so I requested a complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. 

The plot of this story was very engaging. There was a lot going on at all times, and it became difficult to see anything turning out favorably for the characters. So many things went wrong for almost every character that I couldn't wait to figure out how the author would resolve everything. But she didn't. I was really angry about that at first-I realize it's a series, and I'm glad the next book is already out because if I had to wait, I'd be kept in intense suspense for way too long. It was a great book, and I am looking forward to the next one. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Outcast



Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop. 

But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel’s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.

I received a complimentary copy of Jolina Petersheim's The Outcast through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. 

The fine print of this title states "A Modern Retelling of The Scarlet Letter," which I did not notice when I requested this book from Tyndale. I read The Scarlet Letter in high school, but it's been too many years to remember the details and notice the parallels between the two books other than the main storyline. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into the book, but once I did I found myself entranced with the complexities of the situations within the book. Each character has a heartbreaking history to overcome in order to feel they are worthy of continuing with their lives. Secrets that lay buried under layers of lies must come to light despite the risk of loosing everything and at the bottom of it all lies a baby's life that is in danger. I really enjoyed Petersheim's retelling of this story, and it almost makes me want to re-read The Scarlet Letter.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bending Towards the Sun



Divided between the love of her father and the desires of her heart, Emilie Heinrich must rely on the love and wisdom of the women in her quilting circle for support. Since Emilie is dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, she is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. 

Quaid McFarland has a gentleness and humor that causes Emilie to question her indifference toward romance. But her German father sees only one thing when he looks at the young man: an Irish teamster. And Johann Heinrich is not about to let such a man court his beloved daughter.
Her father’s prejudices test Emilie’s faith in God’s ability to mend the patchwork pieces of her life. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

The second book in Mona Hodgson's The Quilted Heart Series, Bending Toward the Sun is more of a novela than a full novel. It was a quick, easy read following the best friend of the main character in the first book as she tries to find love without upsetting her father and his judgmental tendencies. I enjoyed this book, and will most likely keep an eye out for more books in the series. I did feel it ended a bit abruptly, but didn't feel cheated in the conclusion. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Though My Heart is Torn



Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.
 
As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength  she has.
 
While Gideon’s guilt  and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all? 
 
Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?

The first book in The Cadence of Grace Series, Be Still My Soul was a moving tribute to how powerful God's love is in life when people give God their full faith and trust. I was overjoyed to see that the second book of the series was available through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. I jumped on the chance to review it, and was not disappointed. Lonnie and Gideon have overcome amazing trials and managed to not only begin a family, but fall deeply in love with each other and explore God's love. When news from home comes to them, urging them to return their lives are completely shattered. Though My Heart is Torn is an emotional book, that had me crying along with both Lonnie and Gideon as they attempted to move on with their lives and learn to trust that God always has a plan, and it is always better than our own. While I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to read an emotional reunion at the end, I am also excited for a book three to pick up where this one leaves off and see where these characters go from here. Another great book from Joanne Bischof!

Rock Harbor Search & Rescue


In Rock Harbor Search and Rescue, a middle grade fiction novel based on Colleen Coble’s bestselling Rock Harbor series for adults, kids will enjoy the mixture of pets, adventure, suspense, and a mystery.
Emily O’Reilly is obsessed with all things Search and Rescue. She volunteers with the team and goes on rescue missions with her stepmom. She is even selling homemade jewelry to save up for her own Search and Rescue puppy. But when an expensive necklace is stolen from a renowned jewelry artist at Rock Harbor’s fall festival and Emily is accused of the crime, it looks like she’ll never get her puppy and be able to join the Rock Harbor Search and Rescue team.
Emily isn’t willing to give up on her Search and Rescue dreams that easily, and she sets out to find the real culprit and to restore her reputation. With a few suspects in mind, Emily is determined to uncover the truth, but she isn’t prepared for the secrets she and the Search and Rescue dogs sniff out in the process. This exciting mystery is filled with twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them pining after a Search and Rescue puppy of their own!
I received a complimentary copy of the eBook, Rock Harbor Search & Rescue through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book. I read it in one day, and was kept guessing who stole the necklace throughout the entire novel. Emily is lovable, and the reader feels for her as she is unjustly accused of stealing. I also enjoyed that this book is geared for a younger audience, but involves the same characters as Coble's other search and rescue books. I felt like I was returning to a familiar place, yet focused on Emily and her pre-teen problems and concerns. Sometimes it's nice to not have to be an adult. All in all, a great, quick read that will keep you wondering how Emily will figure everything out. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Barefoot Summer

Madison’s heart has been closed for years. But one summer can change everything.
In the years since her twin brother’s drowning, Madison McKinley has struggled to put it behind her. Despite the support of her close-knit family and her gratifying job as a veterinarian in their riverside town, the loss still haunts her.
To find closure, Madison sets out to fulfill her brother’s dream of winning the town’s annual regatta. But first she has to learn to sail, and fast.
Beckett O’Reilly knows Madison is out of his league, but someone neglected to tell his heart. Now she needs his help—and he’ll give it, because he owes her far more than she’ll ever know.
Madison will do anything—even work with the infamous Beckett O’Reilly—to reach her goal. And as much as she’d like to deny it, the chemistry between them is electrifying. As summer wanes, her feelings for him grow and a fledgling faith takes root in her heart.
But Beckett harbors a secret that will test the limits of their new love. Can their romance survive summer’s challenges? And will achieving her brother’s dream give Madison the peace she desperately seeks?
I was thinking to myself, "I wish there was another Smitten book I haven't read, I could really use a Christian romance," when I opened my door to Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter, one of the Smitten authors. I received a complimentary copy of Barefoot Summer in exchange for an honest review through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger Program. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is as readable and moving as Smitten and Suddenly Smitten, with flawed characters that are learning to trust again, through the grace of God. While I did find the plot to be a bit transparent, it wasn't enough to keep me from wanting to know exactly how the characters would get to where I knew they'd end. This is the first in the Chapel Spring Romance Series, and I am looking forward to the rest of the series, as I guess who the next two character will be the main storyline (I'm pretty sure I know. . . )

Monday, May 6, 2013

The House that Love Built


Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?
In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s memory by even thinking that way?
Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. Can he bring himself to trust a woman again?
Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town’s teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat—and one thing becomes clear: God is bringing them all together for a reason.
I received a complimentary copy of The House that Love Built through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. 
I loved this book. The characters are going through situations that are pretty normal for this day and age-one is recently divorced and the other lost her husband in a car crash two years prior to the start of this novel. While one clings to God for support, the other abandons Him. The book follows the characters as they deal with their grief, the need to forgive, and finally their redemption. There is romance and love in a respectful manner and I simply couldn't put it down-I tried twice and ended up not being able to sleep until I knew how it ended! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Secret of Ella and Micha


A rule-breaker with a fiery attitude, Ella always wore her heart on her sleeve. Then she left everything behind to go to college, where she transformed into someone who follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. Now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. But once there, Ella fears that everything she's worked so hard to bury might resurface-especially with Micha living right next door.


Smart, sexy, and confident, Micha can get under Ella's skin like no one else. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. If he tries to tempt the old Ella to return, he will be impossible to resist. But what Ella doesn't realize is that when she left, she took a piece of Micha's heart with her. Now he's determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.

This is one of those books that I couldn't put down. A classic story of broken characters denying their growing feelings for one another. They both have to come to terms with broken pasts before they can start anew together. There is a preorder available for the next book, and I am looking forward to seeing where Sorenson takes these characters. In the mean time, I have downloaded two more of her books.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rescue Team

Tired of running from her past, nurse Kate Callison intends to become Austin Grace Hospital’s permanent ER director and make Texas her home. Despite staff friction, she’s moving ahead. Then unthinkable tragedy wraps the ER in crime tape, bringing swarms of media, legal chaos—and a search-and-rescue hero who seems determined to meddle in her life. 

For Wes Tanner, nothing beats finding someone who’s lost; he’s known that helpless terror firsthand. So he’ll expand his team’s lifeline of hope: K9 tracking, swift water rescue, even horse-mounted searches. He’s ready for anything—except Austin Grace’s prickly and dismissive ER director. 

As Kate and Wes discover more about each other, new respect becomes something deeper. Kate wonders if her heart might have finally found a home. Then an unsolved missing persons case—and a startling new one—become catalysts that threaten the loss of all she and Wes have found.


I received a complimentary copy of Rescue Team through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. 

Although this is the second in a series (which I haven't read), you wouldn't know it. I looked the first book up and the characters from the first book aren't even in the second book. 

I really enjoyed Rescue Team. The characters were flawed, and believable, and you will find yourself rooting for them to succeed. A couple of minor plot lines were transparent, but that did not detract from the overall storyline. This was a book that I had to force myself to put down, and I wondered about when I wasn't reading it. If you enjoy Christian fiction with a little bit of mystery, crime and medical drama you will enjoy this book.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Letters to Katie



Everything changed between them the first time he called her Katie.
Katherine Yoder has loved Johnny Mullet since they were children, but he never actively returned her affections. Like so many things in their world, he assumes Katherine will always be there. Once his horse farm is a success, then he will court her in earnest.
For several weeks, Katherine has been plagued by severe headaches and dizziness. While resting at home, Johnny unexpectedly visits, but when dizziness strikes, she loses consciousness. She awakens hours later in a hospital bed, unable to remember how she got there.
Seeing Katherine injured and vulnerable stirs something in Johnny, and his guilt compels him to spend time with her while she heals. Soon his heart begins to stir with questions: Does she even remember why he'd come to her house that day?
As Katherine struggles to recall recent memories of Johnny, a surprise visitor arrives in her already unsteady world—a man named Isaac who claims they had been writing letters to each other, even considering marriage, before her illness.
With two men vying for her attention and her memory still elusive, Katherine has never felt so divided. The answer may lie behind a door she never considered opening.
I received a complimentary copy of Letter to Katie through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. 
Letters to Katie is the third in a series by Kathleen Fuller, one of the leading Amish Fiction authors in my opinion. I have also reviewed the first two in the series, Treasuring Emma and Faithful to Laura. Letters to Katie is a typical Amish Fiction book, and if you enjoy those you will certainly enjoy this one as well. While there is not as much action in this book as there was in Faithful to Laura, there was more of an emotional journey. This book also ties up loose ends from the second book and is a good parable for God's faithful love and how it feels to live with unrequited love as God does when his children choose not to follow him.
Bottom line, it's a good story with lovable characters. I would recommend reading the first two first to get the most out of the storyline.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Game Changer Series

I read The Game Changer over my Spring Break back in March. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down. I tried several times, and ended up staying up until 5a.m. reading. I just had to know what was going to happen to these characters. I was completely taken off guard by the ending and a little mad that I'd have to wait until mid-April for the second in the series. L.M. Trio mentioned on Goodreads that she was hoping to get the book out before April 15th, so I found myself searching for it on bn.com for several weeks before it finally came out on the 15th. I forced myself to finish some work before I'd allow myself to start it, knowing how engrossed I would become in the story. Trio did not disappoint me, except to say that this is the conclusion of the story for these characters. However, the book leaves them in a good place, where it was satisfying for me to say good-bye. In all, these books are a steal at $1.99 for Nook or Kindle. I loved them both.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dandelions on the Wind


Tattered relationships and broken hearts, like a quilt, can be pieced together by God’s love.
                                                                                     
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. 
 
But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren. Despite the failing eyesight that caused her suitor to reject her, she can see that Wooly desperately needs to reconnect with the family he abandoned when his grief sent him running toward the army—and into the Civil War. She also senses there could be something more between the widower and herself, if either can move beyond their past hurts.     
 
Comforted and counseled by the wisdom of the women in her beloved quilting circle, Maren begins to discover the cost such decisions demand of her heart. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan? Is it too late for love to be stitched into the fabric of her life?

I received a complimentary copy of Dandelions on the Wind through the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for an honest review.

This is a short, quick read that is good for passing time if you're looking for a light Christian fiction romance novel. I enjoyed it and wanted to read about the characters living happily ever after, bu it wasn't so amazing that I couldn't put it down. All in all, I give it three stars. I liked it, but for me it was missing something that could have made it great. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Broken Wings



Angels with wings of blade. Demons with renewed sight. And a girl who has never been more broken.
Brielle has begun to see the world as it really is, a place where angels intermingle with humans. But just when she thinks she’s got things under control, the life she’s pieced together begins to crumble.
Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her. Something important.
And her overprotective father has turned downright hostile toward Jake. Brielle fears she’ll have to choose between the man who’s always loved her and the one who’s captured her heart.
Then she unearths the truth about her mother’s death and the nightmare starts. Brielle begins seeing visions of mysterious and horrible things.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who saw through the Terrestrial veil. When he pulls the demon Damien from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for the ultimate battle of good versus evil.
Brielle has no choice. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight.
But can she fly with broken wings?

I received a complimentary copy of Broken Wings through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchanged for an honest review. 
This book is the second in a trilogy. I did not read the first one, but decided to go for this one. It is certainly an interesting concept; celestial world coexisting with our world but we cannot see them. I found myself confused throughout most of this book because I hadn't read the first in the trilogy. Had I read the first, I would have appreciated that it wasn't redundant by constantly reviewing what had already happened. However, not having read the first one, every time the author referred to "the warehouse" I didn't know what she was talking about. I got the gist of it by the end of the book, but spent a good 100 pages trying to piece it together. I also was pretty disappointed in the ending-or lack of an ending. My Nook said I had 15 pages to figure out what would happen and when I turned the page it was the reading guide! I hate that! I know, it's a trilogy and if I want to know the end I have to read the third book. It would have been nice to have SOME type of conclusion though. I felt like I was left high and dry.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Color of Hope




Stephanie London led a life of comfort and ease in St. Louis before feeling inexplicably drawn back to her father’s roots in the tiny Southern town of Hope Springs. Charlotte Willoughby has lived there all her life and longs to make a new life somewhere else. Stephanie doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing there—or how to occupy her time. And Charlotte doesn’t understand why, despite her overbearing family and reminders of her failed engagement, she’s suddenly led to stay.

Despite its small-town charm, Hope Springs itself is at a crossroads. After a failed reconciliation attempt by two well-meaning pastors, the town is split along racial and cultural lines, with little hope for redemption.

When a terrible tragedy puts Hope Springs on the national radar, the entire town is tested, and both Stephanie and Charlotte feel their lives unraveling. In the midst of heartache, though, they’ll discover the true color of hope . . .

In the past, I have reviewed Cherished and Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate. These are two of my favorite Christian fiction books. Naturally, when I received an email from Booksneeze asking if I would be interested in reviewing Tate's latest book in exchange for an honest review I jumped at the chance. The publication date is listed as April 2nd, 2012 on Amazon, and I highly suggest everyone purchases this book as soon as they can. 

I think Tate's books are so powerful because they deal with real life situations that any typical reader could see him or herself in within their own lives. The characters are dealing with each other, racial issues, bullying, and romance while trying to sort it all out with dignity and God's guidance in the foreground. This book had me laughing, wishing I was at the Sander's family reunion, and finally bawling through to the end. I stayed up half the night to find out how the story would conclude and was not disappointed. I look forward to more books by one of my favorite authors, Kim Cash Tate.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Secrets


Jessica ran from her past...but can she hide from love?

Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small, peaceful town tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the place to start over—Glenbrooke. Once there, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets—including the compassionate paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than to destroy her. 

Will Jessica’s deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all? 

This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

Upon finishing my blog review of Echoes by Robin Jones Gunn, I looked for a new book to review on the Multnomah website and was pleasantly surprised to discover the first book in the Glenbrooke series available for review. I quickly requested a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Despite knowing how the book would end, I found it hard to put down. I had to discover what Jessica was hiding and how she and Kyle would get to the point they are in in the third book. I found the secret to be a little bit disappointing, but that is probably because I already knew it from the third book and was expecting there to be a bit more to it than there actually was. The characters are fun and it was nice to take another journey with them. I will certainly keep looking for more books in the series, as I have enjoyed the two I have read so far. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Echoes


In this dramatic contemporary romance by bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn, Lauren Phillips enters the wild, uncharted territory of the Internet on her home computer and "connects" with a man known only as "K.C." As she struggles to recover from a broken engagement, Lauren keeps busy by working full time and striving to finish her college degree. But her correspondence with K.C. quickly becomes the thing she loves most...and the source of dreams she cannot bear to relinquish. When the opportunity comes for them to meet after a year of corresponding, Lauren faces a tough choice: Is she willing to risk everything...including a broken heart? Readers will stay "on-line" to find out in this bestselling former Palisades release, now the third book in the new Glenbrooke series.


Will Lauren risk losing her heart...to a man she's never met? 



Lauren Phillips tries to keep busy while recovering from a broken engagement. Then one day, through her home computer, Lauren accidentally connects on the Internet with a mysterious man she knows only as K.C. 

I received a complimentary copy of Gunn's Echoes through Multnomah Publishing's Blogging 4 Books program in exchange for an honest review. I was a little weary of this book to begin with. I figured it could either be very good, or really creepy by the teaser. I decided to go for it, and ended up reading the entire book in one night. I was a little surprised that the book was actually published in 1996, so the technology parts of the book are a bit outdated. Despite that, the book was very good-obviously, as I read it in one night! Lauren is clearly trapped in her engagement and seeking ways to express herself, so when the engagement ends it's almost a celebration instead of a sad event. Lauren is a believable character, and I found myself rooting for her to find the relationship she deserved. I was a bit annoyed at the end, when she **SPOILER ALERT!** was literally HANDED a teaching job without even turning in a resume or going to an interview. Sure, I wanted her to have the happy ending, but with a dose of reality. All in all, it was a good book, and I might even go back and read the first two in the series.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Matter of Trust



When life is murder, who can you trust?
One minute Mia Quinn is in her basement, chatting on the phone with a colleague at the prosecutor’s office. The next minute there’s a gunshot over the line, and Mia listens in horror as her colleague and friend Colleen bleeds to death.
Mia’s a natural for heading up the murder investigation, but these days she has all she can do to hold her life together. As a new widow with a pile of debts, a troubled teenaged son, and a four-year-old who wakes up screaming at night, she needs more time with her family, not less—and working Colleen’s case will be especially demanding. But Colleen was her friend, and she needs to keep her job. So she reluctantly teams up with detective Charlie Carlson to investigate Colleen’s death. But the deeper they dig, the more complications unfold—even the unsettling possibility that someone may be coming after her.
Lis Wiehl’s signature plot twists and relatable characters shine in this absorbing series debut . . . with an intriguing cameo from her best-selling Triple Threat series.
I love Lis Wiehl books and was very excited to see that Thomas Nelson Publishing offered her newest book for free through their Booksneeze Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. 
As is typical for Wiehl, this book is a murder mystery with a female lead investigating the case. I didn't even read the teaser before requesting the book, as several of my recent favorite books have been Lis Wiehl books. I enjoyed this one almost as much as the previous books. I did find that this one seemed to repeat itself a lot at the beginning of each chapter, which got to be a bit redundant  I could understand it more if it was a movie or series, as someone could have missed a moment or episode, but with a book it's unlikely someone would skip a chapter. Despite that, I would recommend this book to friends. It has real characters that readers will care about and a storyline that will keep you coming back for more of the story. There are several minor storylines that I found myself caring about almost as much as the main story. I look forward to more books by Lis. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Asylum: The Circeae Tales


When Chase’s wife, Trista, goes missing, he follows a trail that leads to imprisonment on a space-based facility for the insane. Chase leads a revolt against the doctors and takes control. Other circumstances bring Trista to the ship, but when she encounters Chase, she is different. She calls herself Krissa.

I was looking through Booksneeze's offerings one day and found myself disappointed that there was "nothing" to read. I started looking through other blogger's reviews and came across a review for Ashley Hodges Bazer's Asylum. As I read through the review, the author of the blog compared the book to some other Science Fiction storylines and I realized that despite loving Sci Fi t.v. shows and movies, I have never really read any Sci Fi books. I decided to take a chance and request a complimentary copy of Asylum through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. 

The synopsis of this book is only a few sentences long, and did not really entice me to read the book, however, I am thankful I came across the blogger's review as I really enjoyed the book. I found myself staying up late to discover how the characters would get through yet another harrowing experience. I was consistently appalled at the actions of the Legacy and amazed at the eloquent way that Bazer wove Biblical principles into the storyline. Bottom line; this was a great book. I enjoyed the characters, the story, and the Biblical messages. I would recommend it to Christians that enjoy Science Fiction and non-Christians that enjoy SciFi in order to start a conversation about Christ. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Twice a Bride



Love lost doesn’t mean love lost forever. 
Can unexpected romance deliver a second chance for two deserving widows?
 
Full of resolve, young widow Willow Peterson decides to pursue her dreams to be an artist as she settles into a new life in the growing mountain town of Cripple Creek.  When she lands a job working as a portrait painter with handsome entrepreneur and photographer Trenton Van Der Veer, the road before Willow seems to be taking a better-than-anticipated turn.  
 
With questions tugging at several hearts in town, including the Sinclair Sisters’ beloved Miss Hattie, change is traveling down the tracks as several unexpected visitors make their way out West.  Will the new arrivals threaten the deep family bonds of the Sinclair sisters and the roots of love that are just taking hold for Willow?     
 
Filled with the resonating questions that all women face, this romance awakens hope against grief, love against loss, and dreams against life’s unexpected turns. 


Although Twice a Bride is the fourth book in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, it is the first one that I have read. The author does a good job of filling the reader in with past events without dwelling on them in a way that would be annoying to a reader that has read the previous books. My only complaint about this book is the title. There are two female leads trying to gain the attentions of Mr. Van Der Veer, and only one of them is a widow. The title Twice a Bride makes it pretty obvious which of the leading ladies will end up with the groom in the end. If the title were different, there would have been much more suspense for the reader as we wonder if Mr. Van Der Veer will go back to his fiance or pursue Willow Peterson. However, the book was very good, I enjoyed the characters, their growth, and their commitment to God and each other. I will most likely be checking out the first three books of the series even though I know which couples end up together through this story. 

I received a complimentary copy of Twice a Bride through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing's Blog 4 Books program in exchange for an honest review.