Tuesday, July 03, 2018

A Rebel Heart by Beth White - a book review and blog tour



This is book one of The Daughtry House Series and I can’t wait to read the second one.  The author does a
very good job of incorporating faith and Christian values in this book without being ‘preachey’ so it is aptly called a historical Christian novel.

The book begins with a prologue that portrays some of the horrors of the Civil War.  What happens then influences the characters throughout the rest of the story. 

The story revolves around three sisters and their fight to retain their family plantation.  They are forced from lavish opulence to near starvation.  Assistance comes in the form of a mysterious northerner.  The author lets the reader in on the secret and mystery but the characters are left to figure it out.  

The characters are well developed and interesting and we see them trying to come to terms with issues of prejudice and the loss of a former lifestyle. The story is easy to read and the plot engaging.  There is a good balance between faith, romance and mystery.

This is from the publisher’s website:

“Five years after the final shot was fired in the War Between the States, Selah Daughtry can barely manage to keep herself, her two younger sisters, and their spinster cousin fed and clothed. With their family's Mississippi plantation swamped by debt and the Big House falling down around them, the only option seems to be giving up their ancestral land--until a hotel management agent for the railroad offers her hope for the future.
If she'll turn her home into a hotel, Levi Riggins says, he can all but guarantee it will be saved. Selah isn't sure she entirely trusts the handsome Yankee. Yet what other options does she have? She'll have to stay on her guard . . . but she never expected to have to guard her heart.”


I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the second book of the series.
If you like easy to read historical novels based in the Civil War era then I think you’ll like this one. 




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.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen



This is the second book in the Tales From Ivy Hill series.  As with most series, it is useful to have read the preceding books. Some books in a series can be enjoyed as stand alone books, but I think I would have enjoyed this one more if I had read the first one.  There are numerous characters to keep track of and trying to remember them all proved very distracting.  In the first paragraph alone there are seven characters mentioned. I think it would have been easier had I become acquainted with some of them in the first book.  It also would have been easier to follow the multiple story lines had I had a background from the first book.  The author does include a map of the area which makes it very easy to follow the characters movements.

There is an occasional mention of faith but not enough for me to consider this a Christian novel.  I would call it a clean, historical novel instead.


This is from the publisher’s website:

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she's inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel's hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or whom--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.”

There are a couple of mysteries that the characters encounter, which add to the appeal of the story and keeps you interested but they are not the ‘keep you on the edge of your seat’ kind of mysteries.

This was not my favorite book by Julie Klassen, but if you like long novels and are a Jane Austin and a regency novel fan, this is a book you would likely enjoy. Use the keywords on the right side of this page and click on Julie Klassen's name to read my review of another of her books, that I really liked.













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.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Beneath the Surface : Dive Team Investigations by Lynn H. Blackburn - a blog tour book review



If you’ve read any of my previous reviews you know I tend to lean toward historical Christian romance.  This book is a departure from my usual repertoire.  I surprised myself with how much I liked it!  It’s a contemporary Christian romance crime novel.
    It opens with the discovery of a mutilated body found at the bottom of a lake.  Homicide detectives and dive team investigators, Ryan and Gabe, are on a routine training dive when they make the gruesome find.  The lake also happens to be where his best friend’s sister’s home is.  Leigh is a nurse and has moved back after being stalked by a former patient.
    This is a really exciting book, with lots of mystery and suspense. Who is the body in the lake?  Who killed them?  How did they get there?  Are there more victims? Does this murder have anything to do with Leigh’s stalker? And, where is the rest of the body?
    This is also a love story and the romance is handled in a very respectful manner. Ryan and Leigh’s brother, Kirk, are best friends and have been since their childhood. Unknown to Leigh, Kirk had warned all his friends to stay away from his sister.  Now that they’re grown, the attraction they both felt as teenagers resurfaces.
    Ryan’s faith and reliance on God is very evident but the author doesn’t bombard you with it. However, you are not left with any doubt about his convictions.
    One aspect of the story that I really liked was the relationship between Ryan and Gabe.  I loved the witty conversations between them.  They were funny and very believable.
   
    This is from the publisher:

“After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.”


    Any lover of police crime stories should give this book a try.  It held my attention from the first page and that’s not always easy to do.

Try it for yourself, read an excerpt HERE 

 
          Learn more about  Lynn H. Blackburn and her other books 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.”




Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano - a book review



I you like romantic comedies this is a book you might enjoy.  The characters are a delight!  They have quirky personalities which often land them into hilarious situations. The dialog is witty and comical.  This is not a story meant to call attention to a particular social issue of the time.  It’s simply a humorous story about two people who have feelings for each other but are afraid to admit it. It can be a bit wordy at times but that doesn’t detract from the story.  Both characters are people of faith and the author does a good job of incorporating that into the story without being too preachy.  There is an element of mystery without any real danger or suspense.  It is really just a comical , fun to read, historical romance. I found myself chuckling out loud several times at the antics of the various characters. 


Here’s what the publisher’s website says:

“Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader's eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can't help coming to his friend's defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.”


This book is one of the selections from Apart from the Crowd series.

 














 If you'd like to buy this book, you can use the Amazon search box on the right side of this page to purchase it.  I do get a small reimbursement, but it doesn't cost you anything.


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, 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.”


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