Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Harp on the Willow - by BJ Hoff

Harp on the Willow

About the book:

Love is patient and kind…1 Corinthians 13:4

West Virginia, 1869

Three years ago, Dr. Daniel Kavanagh settled down in the quaint town of Mount Laurel and established a medical practice there. The single doctor has been nursing an unrequited crush on Serena Norman, the local schoolteacher.

Just down the road lies the coal mining town of Owenduffy, considered by most in Mount Laurel to be a backwoods hamlet. When the mine company’s doctor abandons his post, Daniel agrees to visit one day a week, much to the consternation of his fellow residents, including his secret love, Serena.

Addie Rose, the daughter of an Owenduffy coal miner, has a gift for caring for others. When a receptionist position in Daniel’s office suddenly becomes available, what windows of opportunity will God open for Addie Rose—just a job, a possible career as a nurse, or maybe something more?

Harp on the Willow is a touching tale of true love, the kind that can only come from a Savior who first loved us.

My review:

I liked this story about a small-town doctor, his medical practice and the two women he's interested in who couldn't be more different.  It was interesting to see what the medical practices were like during the 1860s in America.  It was also sad to see what the justice system was like then, too, as men who beat their wives weren't usually punished.  I felt for him as it would have been hard to treat women who you couldn't really help.  I liked how much he cared about others and put them first, even to the detriment of himself.  He had a strong relationship with the Lord and prayed often.  One thing I thought was odd was that he prayed for two deceased people and he wasn't Catholic.  I also liked the moments of humor as Daniel could be pretty amusing when he wanted to be.  There were a few romantic moments but the scene I was really waiting for took place off page, so I was disappointed  at the seeming build-up.  I would recommend this story if you like historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Meet the author

BJ Hoff

BJ Hoff

BJ Hoff’s bestselling historical novels continue to cross the boundaries of religion, language, and culture to capture a worldwide reading audience. Her books include Song of Erin and American Anthem and such popular series as The Riverhaven Years, The Mountain Song Legacy, and The Emerald Ballad. Hoff’s stories, although set in the past,...
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Monday, June 11, 2018

Deceived & Honored - The Baron's Vexing Wife (Love's Second Chance 7) - by Bree Wolf

Deceived & Honoured - The Baron's Vexing Wife (Love's Second Chance #7)

About the book:

A simple man. A vexing lady. And an unforgettable night.

LADY MADELEINE has vowed not to marry below the rank of an earl. Using her clever wit and fierce determination, she has passed up several marriage offers as well as successfully sidestepped the occasional scandal. Ultimately, her choice falls on the Earl of Townsend who is handsome, rich AND an earl and thus everything she’s ever desired in a husband.
Until one night when her plans go horribly wrong, and she is compromised by the wrong man.

DEREK MCKNIGHT, BARON AINSWORTH, is a self-made man. As a farmer’s son, he gained glory in the war and was given a run-down barony for his service to the crown. Now, he only wishes to keep a safe distance from the peers he despises and rebuild his estate to see his family and tenants well settled.
Until one night when he sees a raven-haired lady on the arm of a man from his past.
Determined to protect her, he takes a wrong step, dooming them both.

Will Madeline ever be able to see past his title? Can Derek come to love a woman of high standing?

My review:

I enjoyed this story about a seemingly mismatched couple who find they have a lot more in common than they thought.  While I usually review Christian books, this was classified as a clean story and there wasn't really a faith element.  There were a few swear words.  There was some romance and while it did get passionate, it didn't go too far and I agree this was a clean story overall.  I liked how Madeline grew from a spoiled rich girl into a strong, capable woman.  Her values got a little off course for a while but she came to her senses.  Derek seemed like a great guy who was just trying to do the right thing and it got misinterpreted.  I loved how he encouraged Madeline in her growth and took care of his family so well.  It was interesting learning more about the time period, such as learning how to light the tinderbox or some of the medical practices of the day.  I liked a lot of the secondary characters, too, and am interested to read their stories.  I would recommend this story if you like Regency romances.

Disclaimer: I received a kindle copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wonderful! Review of 'Cowboys of Summer' by Mary Connealy, Cheryl St. John, Tina Radcliffe, Missy Tippens, Lorna Seilstad and Sherri Shackelford

About the book:

As the summer weather sizzles, relax by the pool with stirring tales of handsome cowboys and the spirited ladies who wrangle them into romance. Six of Christian fiction's most beloved authors join forces to bring you a collection of humorous, romantic and heartfelt novellas set against the sultry heat of summer.
In Mary Connealy's, "Dr. Tess and the Cowboy", sparks fly when Dr. Tessa Rhoades discovers dinosaur bones on Joe Holt's ranch and decides to excavate-even if that means kicking Joe off his own land.
In "Hometown Girl" by Cheryl St.John, injured rodeo champion Justin Cooper returns to the sleepy Oklahoma town he escaped for fame and fortune--and takes his biggest tumble yet--straight into the arms of Stevie Marshall, his first love who soon has him questioning his life choices.
In Tina Radcliffe's, "Lake Effect", cynical cowboy Tucker Jackson knows he's in trouble when he starts counting the days until the end of summer and praying 'summer girl' Jessica Richards will find a home for her heart in Paradise.
In "His Lone Star Heart" by Missy Tippens, rancher Zeb West tries hard not to fall for Beecher Brown, the feisty but off-limits sister of his best friend. As she tries to prove she's capable of running her family's ranch--the one he's trying to buy--he might just find he's met his match...for life.
Will Lorna Seilstad's characters make "Great Strides" when Dana Etherton, the owner of a horse therapy ranch, must choose between the kids she serves and Adam Malone, the embezzler who's been assigned to do community service there?
When Paige Monroe agrees to draw the press away from a country star's wedding by pretending to be the look-alike bride, she wasn't counting on having very real feeling for her decoy fiancé, Sterling Tanner. Sherri Shackelford's, "The Decoy Bride", shows what happens when two people feigning love forget they're acting.

My review:

These were wonderful stories of sweet, clean romance.  Some had a little bit of a faith element. There were some funny moments and some cute romantic ones.  I liked how there were some careers you don't see that often in stories, such as a paleontologist or the owner of a horse therapy ranch.  The stories were mostly light but did have some serious moments, such as Zeb thinking about growing up in foster homes or different characters having loved ones who'd died.  I thought some were better written than others and had better flow and pacing but overall, this is a great deal to get six stories by well-known names for such a great price for kindle.  I'd highly recommend it if you like romance.

I received a kindle copy of this book from JustRead. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Enjoyable! 'Buried Secrets' - Harvest of Hope 2 - by Barbara Cameron

Buried Secrets (Harvest of Hope #2)

About the book:

Family secrets could get in the way of a second chance at love

After her husband dies, Rose longs to be near her family—especially her twin sister, Lillian—so she packs up her young son and leaves their life in Ohio to move back to Paradise, Pennsylvania.

Luke Miller is ready to settle down in Paradise. He soon forms a partnership with Rose to help farm her land. He finds that he’s enjoying the company of the quiet, modest widow and she may be just the woman he’s been waiting for. But is Rose hiding a secret beneath her reserved exterior—one that could keep her from having a future with Luke?

And Rose isn’t the only one concealing something. Luke has a secret of his own, and it could threaten their partnership—and their chance at love.

My review:

I really enjoyed this story about a sweet widow and her adorable son finding a second chance at happiness and love.  Rose was a wonderful, caring person, still grieving the loss of her husband.  Luke was an upstanding guy, very helpful, even in the kitchen!  They both had a strong faith.  They learned the value of truthfulness and not keeping secrets.  There was quite a bit of humor in the story from Rose's son as he says and does things that are just so cute and funny.  He was my favorite character.  There's also some suspense as he gets into danger more than once.  An interesting cardinal made an appearance at significant moments sometimes, very mysterious.  A little bit of romance rounded out the story.  This worked very well as a stand-alone; no need to read the series in order.  I would highly recommend it if you like Amish stories.

I received a copy of this book from Gilead Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fascinating! 'Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus' - by Lois Tverberg

Cover Art

About the book:

"The Bible is an Eastern book. We see it through the colored glasses of Western culture. Much is lost. We miss the subtleties of humor and many of the underlying assumptions. . . . What lies between the lines, what is felt and not spoken, is of deepest significance."--Kenneth Bailey, The Cross and the Prodigal

What if you could sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to you? What life-changing insights might emerge?

Vast treasures await us when we read the Scriptures as a native, through the eyes of one of Jesus's first-century Jewish disciples. Combining careful research with engaging prose, Lois Tverberg acts as a master guide, transporting us across the cultural divide between our world and that of the Bible.

As we begin to understand "how the Bible thinks," our own thinking will be transformed as well, and we will be able to approach God and the stories and teaching of Scripture with fresh insight. By opening our eyes to the way Middle Eastern people would have understood Jesus, Lois Tverberg takes us on a journey that will deepen our love of this very Jewish book, enriching our lives in the process.

My review:

This was an amazing book!  It was eye-opening to see how different our Western culture is from so much of the world, even today.  To realize that we have to overcome that, along with the difference in time periods, as well, was a lot to take in.  She makes a good point that I'd wondered about, too, that much of the world has a lot easier time understanding the family, the agrarian, just trying to survive mindset versus the individual, industrial, rich mindset of the West.  She had wondered why God had let the Bible become difficult for people to understand but she realized that for most of the world, it's not.  She unpacked what the word "Christ" means, that to us we don't quite get it without knowing more about the culture and Hebrew language. She compared how the Hebrews and Greeks thought and how the Greeks influenced the West. It was fascinating to see how the Hebrew rabbis link different passages of Scripture together because of a certain phrase used in each and how Jesus used the same technique.  We finally learn the importance of all the "begats" in the Bible; why do we really need to know the genealogies?  There were wonderful questions at the end of each chapter where you can dig deeper.  I have to read the other author's books; this one was just amazing.  I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the roots of our faith.

I received this book from Baker Books.  I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for this.  This is my honest opinion.

           The Author

  1. Lois Tverberg

    Lois Tverberg

    Lois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past 20 years. Her passion is to translate the Bible's ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. She is cofounder of the...
    Continue reading about Lois Tverberg