Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

This is Julie Klassen's first series. I am so excited to continue reading about the characters of Ivy Hill. While this had a bit of romance to it, I would not call it a romance. It is more about strength to overcome what life sends at you. It is about relying on your friends to keep you going and how a small town works together to keep thriving. Forgiveness plays a big role. Another story plays along in the background that I really enjoyed about one of the main character's friends. I was quite enamored with that story as well, As always, Julie Klassen delivers an interesting and involved story that keeps you reading right until the very end...wanting more. This is a very enjoyable read and I look forward to her next book and many more to come. I was allowed by the author to read this book and give my honest review. SO glad I did!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Well, I just don't know where to begin. This is such an amazing story of decisions, forgiveness of oneself and others, and moving forward. It brings to life the age old question: Do I do what is right or what my heart tells me? It is a story of an older woman reliving her story as she writes it down and a young girl and how their lives and decisions are very similar and yet so very different. I really enjoyed the way the book was laid out and the writing involved. It felt as if you were right there with the person and going through all the things they were. Your heart ached for her to make the right decision while you aren't really sure what that is. It is an amazing story. Parts of it are predictable, but its like you know what is going to happen and you cannot wait because it is going to be so amazing. But there are a number of twists and turns involved also. Some total shockers! I highly recommend reading this book. It is NOT a fluff piece, but totally filled with weighty issues and emotions. LOVE IT! Thank you, Lynn Austin, for another great read that has touched my life!
*The author gave permission for me to read this book and asked that I give an honest opinion of it. I was not asked to give it a positive rating if I did not like it.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White

Maybe this should be named A Book Unrivaled!! It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Wow, don't really know where to start. I guess I love the fact that it includes two stories in one. The main character, Lady Ella, won over my heart immediately. She sees the world from a happy place and sees the best in every situation. Her way of looking at and loving life is something I aspire to. Then we have Kira who enters as a maid/spy and is living a life she thinks she wants until she gets a reality check. Although her and Lady Ella have little contact, the sunshine that Lady Ella spreads is contagious! She brightens and influences everyone's life for the better while she herself struggles with some issues she must control. The male character is included in some of the previous books of this series and I was NOT thrilled about him being a match to this wonderful girl. However, once you get to know him, well, he is a pretty awesome guy who has made some serious changes. He struggles with overcoming his past and being who he wants to be. No one better to encourage him than Lady Ella. And then there comes the entire story of the Fire Eyes and intrigue, mystery, and danger abound! How can one not love this story. One of my new favorite authors!! Thanks for an awesome read. Roseanna M. White!
*This book was given to me free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

Wow! There really is not enough good that I can say about this book! I have loved the whole Everstone series so far, but this one is my ultimate favorite! I was grabbed by the first sentence and intrigued as to why things were going the way they were. I instantly felt a connection with "Elle" that I was not sure was going to happen. Reading other books in the series, this particular character played a small role and was always kind of just there in the background. Well, let me tell you... this book clears all of that up and you just want to hang out with dear Elle (Estella). I also instantly had my interest piqued when Dexter comes on the scene. For one thing, he rides in the coach with his dog - which was really all it took to steal my heart - and he is gruff but yet mysterious. You see his good heart right off and I totally fell for him also. This book contains romance, mystery, intrigue, heartbreak, forgiveness, and is a wonderful story about gaining self-confidence in who you really are. It is a great book and I highly recommend it. You do not have to read the others in the series, although I recommend doing so as they are just as enjoyable and they do help you fit the pieces together. Totally looking forward to reading the next book! Thank you, Dawn Crandall, for all your amazing talent and sharing it with us!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

No Way Up by Mary Connealy

This book is packed full of drama, mystery, excitement, and real cowboys! Who could ask for more? I doesn't take very long to fall in love with the hero and heroine of the book and her family members! I enjoyed this read by Mary Connealy. It was a lesson about how to relate to and get along with siblings in a family setting and how to face past issues that may have driven siblings apart. With a serious mystery involved that did not get settled until near the end, the book was a page turner for sure. The characters were well developed and very realistic. This was a great story by a great author. I was given the book free of charge for my honest opinion.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

I find Elizabeth Camden's books to be so rich in word pictures that I often feel as if I am right there at the moment in time it is all happening. This book did not disappoint. I was intrigued and engaged throughout the story. It was actually two intertwined stories in one and I loved that about it. Sadly, I did not read the novella Toward the Sunrise first and although its not necessary, I highly recommend that you do. It will pull a lot of the pieces together for you. This story also has a good deal of mystery in it and finding the answer will shock you as it did me! I did not expect the ending to go as it did, which always makes a great read for me. The characters, though stubborn and frustrating at times, are quite lovable. I was given this book free for my honest opinion and I really did enjoy it. It gets a five star rating. It is clean and appropriate for any age. If you pick it up to read, be ready to be taken underground to Boston's first subway in a long ago time. ENJOY!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Bound Heart by Dawn Crandall

Book two has not been a let-down. In fact, I think I love it just a little more than book one, The Hesitant Heiress. I feel like I can totally relate to what "Mer'edy" is going through! She has such an internal struggle going on within her heart and mind that she cannot allow herself to see or experience happiness. When it starts to creep up within her, it scares her so badly that she shuts down immediately. And, not until she is absolutely confident and ready to let go, will it happen. I feel like at one time or another we have all been there. That place where we did something wrong or have had something done to us that we feel we must be punished for. It doesn't matter that God doesn't hold it against us, what matters is that WE hold it against ourselves. It is a real struggle with self-worth and guilt. Often, as in Meredith's case, someone comes along and as the saying goes 'holds us so tight that all the broken pieces come back together'. (I know I read that on Pinterest This is a wonderful story of forgiving not only ourselves, but those that have wronged us. Also, seeing the pure heart of a person, not what they have done in the past. I know that you will love reading this book as much as I did. You do not have to read the first book to enjoy this one, but if you do, it will be nice to see those characters pop up once again. A great story. Written beautifully! I have no doubt you will love it as much as I did!
PS> I also very much enjoyed the story of Wynn, a homeless girl that hopes to find love. She is so sweet!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

I have been wanting to read this author's books for quite awhile. Finally got to do just that. This book was the first in the Everstone Chronicles. I really loved reading it. It is full of depth. Not just a fluff piece, but something you really have to take time to think about. I love those kinds of books. This is a story of Amaryllis who, I will tell you, will frustrate you a time or two throughout the book. She has lived a rather sheltered life and does not believe that she will ever be good enough. So, she has talked herself into spinsterhood and a life without love. She also lives with a ton of guilt about her mother's death that weighs her down on a daily basis. Although the man of her dreams continues to try to convince her that he really does care about her, she just cannot believe him. I wanted to just sit her down and have a talk with her!! Then I wanted to scream at her, but then hug her because she is so damaged and adorable. You will love her and that will take over the fact that at some points you want to choke her! There is a fair amount of mystery in this story also, which I adore. You are never really sure who the bad guy is until he reveals himself. It is a well written, intriguing, frustrating, wonderful story that I encourage you to read. While you are doing that, Amaryllis and I are scheduled to have tea. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

So, I got this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. Well, honestly... I LOVED it! It is the second book in a series and the frustrating thing for me was that I HAD the first book, but did not realize it was a series. I was like... Should I go back and read the first one? I decided not to and I must say that Roseanna White did such a good job of incorporating enough of the first story that I was not at all lost. I was so impressed with her writing. This story really gets to your heart. The entire time I was reading it I kept thinking of poor Rowena. What will she do? Will she make the right choice? Even while not reading, she was always on my mind. This book does have a sensitive subject of abuse. The author says that she has never suffered abuse and I am so glad, but I was captivated by how she understood the feelings and emotions that go along with it so vividly. This is a great story and keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat throughout. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you, Bethany House and Roseanna White for a great read!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell

The latest book I received for free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review is Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell. I was a little unsure of it because I am not really a big fan of military novels and this one takes place on and near West Point. So, I started out with a little skepticism, but quickly got over it. I LOVED it. Not exactly what I imagined it would be about at all, much better! It was, also, my first Siri Mitchell book. She is wonderful author. I would give this book a solid 4.5 stars. There wee times I wanted to scream, laugh, and cry...but it all worked out as it should have. It is a great story of overcoming self-esteem issues, growing into who you really are, and not compromising standards to accomplish something. I am sure any age group would love it. It is definitely a book I would recommend to friends and family. Thank you Bethany House.. and Siri Mitchell for being a great writer!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Once again, Jody Hedlund does not disappoint! Being that she is one of my favorite authors, you know I jumped at the chance to review this book for Bethany House (free in exchange for my honest opinion). I have also read the other two books in the series. There is a common thread among these books of a symbol of hope that gets passed on. Without giving anything away, I will say, that if you have read the other two books, you will LOVE how that symbol plays into this story. If you haven't read the other two books, you can still read this one and enjoy it, It is a great story about leaving your past behind and trying to create a new future for yourself, The struggles involved with past mistakes and getting over them. The hard choices we make on a daily basis to keep our heads above water. This girl went from someone I really didn't like in the last book, to someone I adore in this book If that is not good writing, I don't know what is. The male characters in the book are also quite intriguing. There is a good amount of hardship happening in the town where the story takes place and it will tear at your  heart. It is overall a very enjoyable read. Thanks, Jody Hedlund, for keeping me so entertained! Looking forward to her next book!!