Sunday, January 14, 2018

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter - a book review



This is the fifth offering in Hunter’s Hawthorne House series.  It begins with a prologue that provides a good background to the characters.  The first part of the book was a little slow for me but the author uses that time to connect the people and places to the other books in the series. So, while I recommend reading them all, this is a great stand alone story.  I have read several of the previous stories and it was nice to become reacquainted with some of the characters from them.
This is called  a Christian Historical romance and while the faith of the main character, Griffith,  is an underlying theme, the author doesn’t hit you over the head with it.  Griffith has a plan for his life. A plan that centers around the elusive Miss St. Claire.  Her father is wealthy but she has never married.  She doesn’t consider herself to be physically appealing.  On the other hand, her farm girl cousin is beautiful but has no interest in finding a husband. Her only interest is in helping her family save their farm. 

Here’s what the publisher’s web site says:

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes--as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.
As all Griffith's and Isabella's long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?”


If you like following a common thread through several stories, this is a series you should read.


Find more about the author, Kristi Ann Hunter,  HERE.  















I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and Baker Publishing Group through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Sunday, October 08, 2017

These Healing Hills by Ann B. Gebhart - a book review and blog tour

First of all, I need to preface this book review with an explanation.  This was supposed to be posted a week earlier but we've had an interesting time here the last couple of weeks and it just didn't get done.  First of all, our newest grandchild decided to make her appearance a few days early and then I got slammed with the cold of all colds!  I haven't even met our newest baby yet and she only loves a couple of streets away.  So....that's my excuse.

And now for the review.



These Healing Hills by Ann B. Gabhart

To call this book a Christian romance is stretching the term.  This is decidedly a Christian story.  But the romance aspect is very underplayed.  The history of the main “character” takes a front seat to any romance there might be.   The main character, in my humble opinion, is the Frontier Nursing Service.  This book is a really interesting telling of how they formed, who they were and what they did.  The author does a great job of covering that.
The story is set in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of World War 2.  The author does a really good job of painting a picture of what the living conditions were, the superstitions, and the speech patterns and phrases.
The main female character, Francine, is a city girl who has been jilted and enlists in the service to not only fulfill her desire to help others but also to not be home when her former fiancé returns from the war with his new girlfriend.
The main male character, Ben, is a mountain boy, who  has been injured in the war.  Actually, his young brother, Woody, meets Francine first and we see a sweet platonic friendship develop.  Ben and Francine do not actually meet until chapter 11.
While the author hints at a romance between Francine and Ben, she takes a long time to develop it.
This was not my favorite book to read.  It was very wordy. I found myself wanting to skip paragraphs to move it along. 
This is what the publisher’s website says:

“Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.


Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.


When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.”
You can read an excerpt HERE


The author includes a reader’s note about the Frontier Nursing Service at the end of the book that was very interesting.  Read more about the author HERE



I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books and Baker Publishing Group through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher - blog tour and book review



This is the third book in the An Amish Beginnings Series.  The series focuses on the early Amish and the hardships they faced in their new and wild country in what we now call Pennsylvania.  This particular book begins in 1762.  Many of the characters are carried over from the other two books.  The author includes a list of characters and their relationships at the front of the book that was very helpful. 

The story begins with a love triangle. Tessa and Betsy both love Hans, but Hans only has eyes for Betsy.  Unfortunately, Betsy and her brother are taken captive by a tribe of Indians after her parents were brutally killed.  As the story unfolds we learn more of the details. The author does a good job of conveying the horrible brutality without being overly gruesome.

While the Amish community live a pacifist life, the neighboring Mennonite community does not.  One man stirs the emotions of many and encourages revenge.  So, while Betsy and her brother are battling with coming to terms with their situation, their friends and families are battling amongst themselves.  

This is from the publisher's website:

"In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family's rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans--but then she never had to. Not until the night she's taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she's developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy's captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans's hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women."


This is a story filled with emotion, suspense, danger, sorrow, love and hope.  Through it all, the faith of the characters holds them and carries them through some seemingly impossible situations.

The author does a great job acquainting us with the customs and lifestyles of the early Amish, Mennonites and Native Americans.

I wish the author had included a map, showing the communities, towns and Indian settlements and camps.  That would have been helpful.




I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books and Baker Publishing Group through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”








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