Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton - a book review




This is the second book of the Path Finders series.  I’m glad I had already read the first one. I found it very helpful in understanding the relationships and background.  The author begins the book with a short review of the story from book one, told in a folklore style. 

This is a book that requires concentrated attention to read. 


It is set during the Revolutionary War in what we now call New England, more specifically, the Mohawk Valley of New York State.  The author does a good job of portraying the confusing political and social culture of the time.

This is from the back cover:

Hearts are Divided
Loyalties Will Be Tested 
The Fates of Two Families Hang in the Balance

 

Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.

 

No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.

 

Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.”


At points the narratives seem overly long and wordy.  They didn’t hold my attention and I found myself tempted to skip them. 

There are so many characters to keep track of, many of them spies and double agents that I found it hard to keep straight who was on which side.

Christian faith is a major theme throughout the book and the merging of the Native American culture and Christianity is very well presented.  The romantic aspect of the story takes a back seat to the war aspect but it is an important part of the story.  I was a little uncomfortable with the intimacy portrayed, it was a bit too provocative for my taste.

This is a story of repentance, forgiveness, friendship, tolerance, acceptance, choices and sacrifice.


I found the author’s notes in the back of the book, and the map in the front to be very helpful.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press 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.”


Friday, September 30, 2016

From this Moment by Elizabeth Camden - a book review




I have read some of this author’s books before and liked them, this was no exception.  While it is listed as an historical Christian romance, I would say it is more of a clean historical romance with a smattering of Christian faith.  That being said, it is a very enjoyable book.  It has a very strong mystery theme throughout. 


This is from the back cover:

“Stella West's artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister's death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.
Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board.
Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister's death worth the risk to his publishing empire?”


With the witty dialog that Elizabeth Camden is known for, and the thread of mystery, this is a story worth having in your collection.  It is a story of love, mystery, corruption, danger, greed, rediscovered and new love.  It also deals with the topic of mental illness, not often written about in historical romance.


Learn more about the author 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.”

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White - a book review



This book is part of the Gulf Coast Chronicles series and includes many of the characters from the previous books.  It is set during the War of 1812.  Most of the time, when I think of the War of 1812, I think of the northeastern part of the country.  I never gave much thought to what would have been happening in the rest of the country, particularly, in the Gulf Coast.  This book brings that particular time and place alive. The battle scenes are well researched and presented vividly.  The author includes real life characters and events and also invents characters based on real life personalities.


This is from the publisher’s website:

“As the War of 1812 rages across the newly formed United States, another war rages in Fiona Lanier's heart--one that threatens to tear her family apart.

Fiona can scarcely take in the news of her brother's capture and imprisonment by the British Navy. It is almost as unbelievable as the half-drowned British sailor who is washed ashore on the beach of Navy Cove.

Charlie Kincaid claims to have no memory of his life before being discovered by Fiona, but in a world that seems saturated with treachery, she cannot be sure he is telling the truth.
As Charlie's memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide. But when political allegiances collide, they'll each have to decide where their true loyalty lies.”

The way the author presents the story keeps the reader on their toes.  There are confusing time leaps that happen without any notice or warning but once you realize it, you get used to the writer's style.

This is a story of sacrifice, spies, mystery, loyalty, patriotism love and faith in God.  This isn’t a preachy kind of book but it is evident that the character’s faith is important to the story,


You can read an excerpt HERE.

I really liked this book and give it four stars. I would have given it five were it not for the awkward time jumps.

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.”


Faith by Lyn Cote - a book review



This book is the third book of the Quaker Brides series.  I have read the first and liked it.  I’m looking forward to reading the second but not having read it didn’t take away from this one.  It is easily a stand alone book.  The author does a good job of bringing the reader up to date.  It is set in the midst of the Civil War.  It is a very easy book to read.  It’s about love, patriotism, family, slavery and tolerance all in a faith based story.

Here’s what the publisher’s website says:

“The Civil War battlefield is the last place Quakeress Faith Cathwell thought she’d find herself. But with a gift for nursing, Faith seizes this opportunity to join the fight for abolition—and to search for Shiloh, a freeborn childhood friend who was kidnapped and sold south by unscrupulous slave catchers.
Knowing it’s much too dangerous for her to search enemy territory alone, Faith enlists the help of Colonel Devlin Knight, who is indebted to her for saving his cousin’s life. A career soldier, Dev is committed to the preservation of the Union but conflicted about freeing his own slave and confidant, who plans to enlist as soon as Dev gives him manumission papers.
Blazing a trail east with the rest of Grant’s army, Dev and Faith fight their personal battles—and a growing attraction to each other. When beliefs clash and passions flare, they quickly find that the only thing more dangerous than the war surrounding them is the battle within their hearts.”
I really liked this book.  I give it 4 stars mainly because I would have liked a little more depth in the characters.  I wanted to feel more from them.  It is apparent that the author really researched the historical aspects of the story and the nursing profession at that time. It was very interesting to learn about the practices at that time.



Learn more about Lyn Cote here:  http://www.lyncote.com/

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers 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, August 24, 2016

Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell - a book review



 Flirtation Walk is a historical story based on real life events and places.  It’s set in the pre-civil war days at West Point.  The author obviously has researched the topic thoroughly. 
The publisher describes the story this way:


At West Point, Only True Love Should Lead You to Flirtation Walk
Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father's sordid past behind her. When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives.                                                                              

Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy, is proud to be at the top of his senior class. But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man. But the army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier . . . which leaves Seth with some tough choices.
When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?”


While there are some comical moments in the story, for the most part it is a drama. The romantic aspect of the story almost takes a back seat to the other story lines.  Many of the characters are based on bits and pieces of real people, so they are very believable. The author also gives a great historical account of the times, places, politics and customs.  Her research into the practices and customs particular to West Point is evident and very informative.  She also includes a small section at the back of the book with notes from her research and the reader will benefit by reading it. This story isn’t a difficult read but it’s not a story you can quickly read through and I found myself not wanting to put it down.  It isn’t a particularly ‘religious’ book, even though it is often included in the Christian fiction genre.  I would classify it as more of a “clean” historical novel. I’ve always enjoyed Siri Mitchell’s books and this one is another hit with me!


Learn more about Siri Mitchell HERE  
http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/siri-mitchell/1077
 

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.”






Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan - a book review




I love a story where the main character is a spunky, feisty woman and Maggie Brendan has hit the mark with this one.  Rachel has lost her family but yearns to earn enough money to buy back her family’s ranch.  Her brother had made a deal with his best friend and time is running out.  Employment for young women in the 1860’s was almost non-existent so Rachel did what she felt was the only thing she could do.  She took a job in the local saloon. Reluctantly, her brother’s best friend, rancher John McIntyre, grants his friends request to rescue her and take her to his home.

This is from the publisher’s website:

“Rachel Matthews isn't one to rely on others to take care of her. Homeless and alone, she still wants to make her own way and her own money to buy back the family ranch--even if she's forced into the life of a dance hall girl. Horrified by her circumstances, Rachel's brother, who is away mining for gold, sends a friend to rescue her.
Cattle baron John McIntyre is focused on acquiring as much land as possible in Montana and has little time to deal with a dance hall gal. Rachel isn't sure she can take one more day in John's home--especially once she discovers that he's the one who holds ransom the key to her family's future.



Sparks fly between this spunky, independent heroine and the ruggedly handsome hero as they navigate the snarled terrain of pride, greed, faith, and love in Maggie Brendan's delightful series set in the Old West.”


I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, faith based story.  The characters are well developed and believable.  The author takes you back in time with her  descriptions of the landscape and living conditions. It always makes a story more enjoyable if you can imagine yourself in the surroundings and this author does a great job of taking you there.  It’s a perfect balance of romance, history, and faith.















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.”

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy by Debra Clopton - a book review



This book was a slight departure from my usual reading material.  I usually gravitate toward faith based historical romance, so this faith based contemporary romance was a refreshing change.  I have read other books by this author and liked them so I wasn’t surprised that I liked this one as well.  Her characters are believable her dialog is easy to follow.  You don’t have to try to figure out what the characters are trying to say. 
This is from the back cover:
Having lived through her parents’ divorces, Cassidy Starr knows when the stakes are not in her favor. Divorced herself and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground Cassidy is done with love. Finished. So over it. …Instead, she’s returned to Wishing Springs Texas and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the organic strawberry farm and a Bed & Breakfast– follow in her aunt’s footsteps and remain forever-independent, happy and single…
Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, helping to look after his ailing grandfather and track rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed all longings for a family of his own right off of his list of priorities. Besides he was in love once and ran scared and lost his shot. But suddenly the regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded, closed up heart determined to become a spinster…and that’s not happening on his watch.  
Suddenly sparks are flying as Jarod has one thing taking priority and that’s breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. He’s going to prove that being kissed by this cowboy comes with a lifetime commitment and the matrimonial bliss she’s given up on.
And the good folks of Wishing Springs have decided that falling in love has never been so fun to watch.”
This was a really fun book to read.  While it is definitely faith based, it doesn’t hit you over the head with it, so even readers who don’t necessarily gravitate towards faith based literature will enjoy it.

It’s the 3rd in the A Four Hearts Ranch Romance series.  There are discussion questions at the end and an excerpt of another of her books. I’m definitely going to read the other three books in the series.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and HarperCollins Christian Publishing 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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