Monday, December 14, 2015

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klaussen

WOW! I have no words. This is probably my new favorite book. The Tutor's Daughter (also by Julie Klaussen) has been my favorite book up to this point. I really, REALLY, REALLY loved this book. I felt like I lived it while I was reading it. More like being part of it than reading it. It is a story of mistakes and forgiveness, responsibility and acceptance, mystery and intrigue. I wanted to yell, scream, and laugh so many times. I wanted to pull the characters aside and have a little chat with them so many times. I LOVED the ending. I wasn't really sure how everything would work out until the very end. To me, that is a well-written book. The characters are lovable, annoying, frustrating, endearing, and amazing! If you like Jane Eyre, this is the book for you. You will really enjoy this book! I am SURE of it. Julie Klaussen does it again and I sure hope she has A LOT more to come!!
* I was given this book free in return for my honest review for Bethany House. Thank you, Bethany House!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary3) by Nancy Mehl

This is the third book in Nancy Mehl's series Finding Sanctuary. I did read her first two. This is another great read!  The three books are similar, but NOT the same.  Each one has a little twist that makes it interesting. I thought the character development in this one was amazing. Sophie (Emily?), the lead character, is very complex. She is immature, yet insightful; weak, yet so very strong; untrusting of others, yet wanting so badly to trust.  It is nice to see her character develop and grow. She also has a good idea of who she is and not so sure about who she wants to be, which makes things interesting. The male lead character is amazing, but not perfect.  The mystery in the story keeps you guessing and not at all what I expected.  Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I got through pretty fast (which translates.. I couldn't put it down).  I do like Nancy's books and would read her literature again. Thank you to Bethany House for allowing me to read this book in return for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fire & Ice by Mary Connealy

This was the first book I have read by Mary Connealy. I LOVED IT! I had a few of her other books I had gotten on Amazon and just hadn't gotten around to reading yet. I didn't really know what to expect from her. But I was impressed!  She has great detail and really draws you into the story. The only disappointment I had was that this was book three in the series and I had not read books one and two. It can be a stand-alone book, I was not at all lost. I just felt that if I had read the first two books  I would have enjoyed the third a little more and gotten a deeper understanding of some issues. But, all in all, I really liked the characters and the overall development of the story.  If you like stories about love and trust, a feisty main character, and a loving, caring hero with lots of patience, and a mystery to figure out.. then you will love Fire and Ice. I got the book free from Bethany House for my honest review. And here it is.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chivalrous by Dina Sleiman

This is the second book in the Valiant Heart series and the second book I have read of Dina Sleiman's.  I got the book free in exchange for my honest review. I liked it.  It had the same flavor of the firstbook, but a definitely different story. You can read this book as stand alone, but I think by reading the first book, you understand one of the main characters better.  But you would love him just as much by not reading the first book.  It's kinda like knowing someone from your childhood or just meeting them today. You can love them the same, the second way just takes a bit longer.  The  story line is really well developed. I love a story of a feisty girl, but not because she is spoiled, rather because she has to be to survive. I also enjoy reading some from this time period. It is so different that the usual Victorian era.  Things are more primal in some ways and more elegant in others.  The author does a great job of letting you live in the era for a time and feel what they feel.  I give this book a solid 4 stars and look forward to reading more of Dina's books.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not By Sight by Kate Breslin

WOW!  I do not have enough words to describe how much I loved this story! It is definitely a 5 plus star rating. Kate Breslin has just joined my list of favorite authors!!  In some ways I feel like the story line was very loosely based on The Beauty and the Beast type story, which is one of my favorite childhood stories.  This is a grown up version. It has so many twists and turns that you are not really sure how this will end up. When all goes well and things are working out just how you hoped, major change happens. I won't say much because I feel like the surprises are such a part of the enjoyment of the story that any tidbit can send your mind thinking too far ahead. But trust me when I say you will LOVE this story. Especially if you like intrigue, romance, mystery and suspense and some more romance..hehe.. Everything is very clean, but it touches your heart.  I really am having a hard time saying all I want to say to make you read this story. I believe Kate Breslin only has one other book and I am going on a hunt for it. She is an excellent author, comparable with Julie Klassen and Jody Hedlund.  LOVED THIS STORY!  Thank you Bethany House for giving me a free copy in return for my honest review.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

I got this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I really did enjoy it. At first I got a little confused because it is the story of two sisters. Not realizing that or paying attention to names I got a bit mixed up, but once I figured it out I really did enjoy the book.  I wish the cover had the two girls on it, because both of their stories were equally entertaining.  I actually enjoyed Colleens story a bit better.  But both were very interesting. Its a nice story that keeps you engaged throughout.  Stories about trust and overcoming insecurities.  Stories about being true to yourself or doing what someone you care about expects of you.  Stories about true love and how deeply it takes root in your heart. Stories about caring for others more than you care for yourself.  I truly enjoyed reading it and would be happy to read more from Sarah Anne Mason.  I am sure you will enjoy this book as I did!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

Once again Jody Hedlund writes an intriguing, heart wrenching story of love and forgiveness and the weight of responsibility.  I really enjoyed Jody's latest book.  It is the second in the Beacons of Hope series, but it can definitely stand alone. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. Jody's style of writing really draws you into her characters lives. They become a part of your life.  My heart broke for each of the main characters at one time of another.  There were such frustrating parts of this story I wanted to scream, but it was only because they were real life struggles that I could relate to.  Does love rule over obligation?  Or is it a sacrifice you must make to care for those you must?  It is not an easy decision and one the strong female lead character must struggle with throughout the entire book.  You want so badly to tell her what to do, but the truth is - do you really even know what is best?  To trust someone that is hurt and broken or trust someone who can provide a home?  This book will keep you intrigued until the last page.  Twists and turns around every corner and a feeling of satisfaction when you are done reading it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I was given a copy to review from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Together With You by Victoria Bylin

This was a great story about a little girl with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and those that love her. I love the unique perspective we get in a few instances where the author speaks from the child's point of view. It really drove home to me the way a child with FASD thinks and why they respond the way they do.  I also enjoyed the main character and the struggles she went through from a mistake in her past. The guilt she carried with her did not allow her to experience joy in her life. How she is helped to overcome this and other struggles makes it an interesting read. I enjoyed the book. I got it from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.  Honestly?  Its a good story and I recommend it -especially if you know and love someone that suffers from FASD.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

What a fun story from Dina L. Sleiman.  It's a Robin Hood type adventure with a strong female lead character who has a huge heart and many struggles to overcome.  She cares for the orphans from the village she grew up in that was destroyed by a ruthless king. She loves and protects these children as her own. But they must live as outlaws and to survive, must do things they know are wrong.  The story is based on her struggle to overcome the past and her fears of the future. Will she be able to accept true love in her heart and who is the right person to give her that love.  Is she even ready for love at this point.  Can and will she ever allow God into her heart.  It was a fun read that kept you guessing right until the end. There was one or two things that I personally do not believe in that took place, so it kind of ruined that part for me, but that is just personal beliefs.  Overall it was a well written book and a nice change from 1800s romance.  *I was given this book from Bethany House for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary 2) by Nancy Mehl

The latest book I read is Deadly Echoes. The second in a series from Nancy Mehl. As I enjoyed the first one, I took a chance on the second one. I was not disappointed. This was a great mystery.  It kept you guessing until the end.  As I don't read very many books set in contemporary times, I am always surprised when I take a chance on one and I totally enjoy it.  The girl in the story is very likeable. She really comes to know and appreciate herself in this story and learns not to compare herself with others. That she is unique and God made her who she is. Therefore she should not criticize herself or think others are better than her. I connected with that part of the story. The mystery is intriguing and very entangled. I really did enjoy this book and look forward to others from this author.  I got the book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  Honestly?  Its great!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

I am truly at a loss as to what to say about this beyond being FABULOUS!!  Elizabeth Camden, once again, does not disappoint.  She is steadily becoming a favorite of mine.  The characters in this book (as in all others I have read of hers) absolutely come to life.  I want to invite them to dinner!!  I want to hang out with them.  I care about them and what happens to them. ONLY a talented writer can have that affect on the reader.
When I first read what this book was about I was torn. It is NOT a subject I am interested in. The Library.. yes... the Library of Congress and politics??  NOPE!  But when I saw the author I was so tempted. So I trusted and I was not disappointed. There is conflict with both of the main characters that keeps you reading.  You want to scream at some points and cry at others and laugh at others.  You feel the pain and love and warmth of these people.  It is an intriguing story with a mystery and romance. I am sure you will find it as endearing as I did.
*I got a free copy from Bethany House for my honest review.