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.