Friday, July 14, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund - a book review



This book is part of a series that is very near to my heart and I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series.  This is the first story in Jody Hedlund’s Orphan Train series.  My grandmother and great uncles were orphan train riders so this book, while fictional, was very interesting to me.  My grandmother rarely spoke of her experience, and like so many children, lost touch with her siblings. She was fortunate in later years to be reunited with them.

The main character in this story, Elise, is a German immigrant whose family falls on hard times and becomes destitute. She ends up being responsible for not only her own siblings but children of a family friend.  She and the children take refuge in a mission house that provides them with a place to sleep and a job for Elise.  When the banks fail and the mission closes it’s sewing shop, she must look for employment elsewhere.  She makes the difficult decision to travel to Illinois as part of the Children’s Aid Society skilled workers program, and must leave the children until she can make enough money to send for them.  





This is from the publisher’s website:

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?
One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.
Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?”


This is another book that I would classify as a clean, historical romance with an underlying thread of faith.  It’s a story of desperation, hard choices, integrity, suspense, ethnic prejudices, rivalry, danger and love.
The author does a great job of putting the reader in the middle of the bank failure and ensuing gang riots.
I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!






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.”

Monday, July 03, 2017

Freedom's Price by Christine Johnson - a book review and Blog Tour



This books begins in 1846, in England, when our main character, Catherine, is a young girl.  The events that occur at that time are the basis for the rest of the story.  The author then jumps ahead to 1856.  Catherine has lost her father and her unscrupulous cousin has inherited her estate. Rather than face an arranged marriage she decides to look for her mother’s family in America.  This is where the adventure starts! Taking a leap of faith, she sets sail for Louisiana.
This is from the publisher’s website:
Sometimes the hardest step to take is the first step forward

When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her father and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother's family in Louisiana. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships.

When Catherine arrives at the plantation, she finds that her family has left it in the care of a manager--who's let it fall into disrepair. Torn between returning to Key West with Tom and beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation, Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance. When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice: grip their dreams ever tighter or step forward in faith--even if it costs them everything.”
The author does a good job of integrating the character’s faith into the story without being overwhelming.  There is no doubt about their reliance on their faith
This is a story about love, mystery, betrayal, deceit and secrets.  The author puts the characters in exciting dangerous situations. 
While slavery was the basis for the deep south economy, the author deals with it in a respectful manner without downplaying the horrors of it.
This is the third book in the Keys of promise series.  While it is helpful to have read the first two, it isn’t necessary.  It is a stand alone book.
I really enjoyed this book.


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.”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan - a book review and Blog Tour



Maggie Brendan always delivers a delightful story.  This one is no exception. It is encouraging, heartwarming and gentle.  If you are looking for a feel-good story to read that will leave you feeling uplifted and serene, then try this one!  It is very straight forward and easy to read. There are no complicated plots to figure out.  In fact, there is only one scene that might qualify as intense.

One thing I really like that this author does is she  gives a date and location for the story. I don’t like to try to deduce what the setting is.

This is definitely a Christian historical romance in every sense of the word.  Faith is an integral part of the story.  It’s not an overly humorous story but it’s in no way depressing.

Here is what the publisher says:
With a farm to run, can a widow possibly hope for new love?

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband's farm until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

Get swept away into Montana's lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional story.”

This was a very relaxing and refreshing book to read.  

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.”











 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson - a book reiew

This novel is not what I’d call Christian fiction.  While it is certainly not “un-Christian”, I would prefer to call it ‘clean’ fiction.  Christianity is more of an undertone in this book, rather than a prevailing theme.  As I said, I would consider this more of a ‘clean’ fiction.  In my opinion, there were no inappropriate intimate situations or foul language that would have made this just another contemporary novel.  While there is no real strong thread of personal faith, this novel does deal with what I call ‘soul’ issues.  Topics such as self esteem, addiction, PTSD and disfunctional families. 

The main characters are not the usual perfect cookie cutter characters.  They are delightfully imperfect. Caden, the main female character is described  like this…”what she lacked in height, she made up for in breadth.”  The main male character, Adam, is often rumpled and disheveled.  Both very human, likable and relateable.

The story is set on Prince Edward Island at a quaint island inn.  The author does a very good job of describing the landscape, customs and local attractions.

This is from the publisher’s website…
In her kitchen at Rose's Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.
Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets. 
When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival--it might also break her heart.


This was a very easy to read, enjoyable book.  A ‘feel good’  story  If you’re a fan of contemporary , clean fiction, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Take a look for yourself, read an excerpt HERE.



I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell 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.”

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White - a book review





This is one of those books that requires dedicated concentration to read.  The story line is very interesting but the list of numerous characters, each with three or four names or titles, gets in the way.  At least it did for me.  It was very confusing to keep them straight.  Fortunately, the author includes a list in the front of the book.  While it is historically accurate for the aristocracy in the early 20th century to have several titles, for those of us in this century who are not accustomed to it, it was confusing. 

It is also a very long book, the paperback version that I read was over 400 pages.  It took me much longer to read than most books and I really didn’t fully enjoy it until I was about three quarters of the way through.  I’m not sure of the writing changed or if I just got used to it but the last quarter finally got my attention and I looked forward to reading it.

The author does a great job with the historical aspects of the time.  The landscape, building styles, fashion, and cultural differences are very clear and you can imagine yourself there. 

It is the third book of the Ladies of the Manor series.  It would benefit the reader to have read the previous books in order to fully enjoy the plot.

The story is mainly a mystery, full of intrigue, suspense and danger but also plenty of romance, humor and Christian faith.

This is from the publisher’s website:

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All
Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.
Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?”


If you’re like me and like easy reading, this might not be the book for you. However, if you like a book that requires dedicated concentration, then give this one a try. You can read an excerpt 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.”


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...