Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Every Bride Has Her Day - Brides with Style 3 - by Janice Thompson

Cover Art

About the book:

Katie's determined to make it down the aisle this time--but it may be easier said than done
Katie Fisher is ecstatic. Pro basketball star Brady James has proposed, and she can't wait to start planning their life together. But it's hard to focus on her own happily ever after when her calendar is filling up with celebrations for friends and family. Beyond that, it seems everyone around her has an opinion--and a strong one at that--on what Katie's special day should look like. Will she ever manage to settle all of the details for her storybook wedding? Or will her overzealous friends and relations make a mess of everything?

My review:

This was an enjoyable conclusion to the series with a lot of happy endings, though there were still some bumps along the way.  I loved the quotes from Audrey Hepburn at the beginning of each chapter.  She's one of my favorite actresses and I feel like I got to know her a lot better after reading those.  The chapter titles from Martina McBride songs was a great idea, too.  Both were fun tie-ins to dresses designed at the bridal shop.  It was fun to see Katie finally get to plan her wedding, along with some other wedding surprises in the story!  A Gone With the Wind wedding?!  That I would have liked to see!  There's romance, of course, and a wonderful conversation where Katie reminds one of the few single girls in the book that you don't need a man to complete you.  You only need Jesus and the important thing is knowing who you are in Christ.  There's more to the spiritual element as prayer is mentioned quite a few times and also being thankful to God for all of your blessings.  It was also wonderful to see what a strong man of God Brady was.  It was amusing to see the people from Katie's small town cause a large problem and then see it resolve.  She was surrounded by quite a few characters, both in Fairfield and in Dallas at the bridal shop.  There were quite a few funny moments and a lot of happy ones.  You definitely need to read this series in order.  I would recommend it if you like romance and amusing stories.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Janice Thompson

    Janice Thompson

    Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the...
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Silence in the Dark - Logan Point 4 - by Patricia Bradley

Cover Art

About the book:

Bailey Adams is running for her life . . . again.
When Bailey Adams left Logan Point two years ago she thought she was getting away from her problems. Running into her ex-fianc├ę Danny Maxwell was not part of the plan--neither was being chased through the city by the local drug cartel, the Calatrava. Now despite her best efforts, Danny is her only chance of escaping the people chasing her and getting back to Logan Point safely. Can Bailey find the strength to face what's coming? And in the midst of the chaos, can she keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

With lean, fast-paced prose that will keep you turning the pages, Patricia Bradley pens a superb story of suspense and second chances.

My review:

I enjoyed this suspenseful story with a cross-cultural flair!  Part of the story took place in Mexico and part in Logan Point, Mississippi.  The excitement started almost right away with an attempted kidnapping and race to escape the drug cartel.  It was interesting learning who was behind the attempt and wondering who Bailey could trust.  There was also some romance as she had to depend on her ex-fiance to help her and her young charge escape and she struggled with her feelings resurfacing.  Bailey also struggled a lot with fear as she went through a very traumatic experience as a child and had a hard time trusting.  I really liked a conversation she had with her mom about that and her mom's advice about turning it over to God.  It's okay to question why God allows things to happen and even when we don't understand why, we can trust who He is and look at the ways He's been faithful in the past.  Danny also struggled with forgiving himself and trusting God and I liked the clear way the author reminded him and us that nothing we do can separate us from God's love and that Jesus died for every bad thing we've ever done or will do.  While there were characters in this book from the previous ones, it's not a story you need to read in order as those characters were fairly minor.  I don't enjoy stories that deal with drug dealers and cartels as much as other topics, but this story kept my interest and was a good mix of action and relationships.  If you like suspense, I'd recommend this book.

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Patricia Bradley

    Patricia Bradley

    Patricia Bradley is the author of Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, and Gone without a Trace. Bradley has been a finalist for the Genesis Award, winner of a Daphne du Maurier Award, and winner of a Touched by Love Award. Bradley...
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Murder Comes by Mail - A Hidden Springs Mystery 2 - by A. H. Gabhart

Cover Art

About the book:

Doing a good deed never felt so bad
Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn't particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses--a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn't last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs' concerned citizens.

Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves--because the killer could be targeting one of them next.

My review:

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery set in the quirky small town of Hidden Springs.  I really enjoy Gabhart's writing, especially the unique sayings she'll incorporate that give you a real sense of the place.  Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane was a great character who tried to always do the right and honorable thing, which is usually an admirable quality.  I loved the interesting characters that made up this small town; it was fun to get to know them better after reading book one.  This book worked fine as a stand-alone and I actually liked it better than the first.  It felt like the pacing was better and that the story moved along more quickly and that more was happening.  The mystery was interesting and not really easy to figure out, but I did guess correctly.  There was a little bit of romance and a little bit of a faith element.  It was intriguing to see a different detective with another law enforcement agency in charge of the investigation and how Michael and he didn't get along.  This mystery was wrapped up in the book, but I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Michael, his love interest and the rest of the characters in the next mystery!  I highly recommend this book if you like mysteries!

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. A. H. Gabhart
    © Memories by Chris

    A. H. Gabhart

    Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--and...
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Friday, May 27, 2016

Delightful Amish Romance! Planted With Hope - The Pinecraft Pie Shop 2 - by Tricia Goyer & Sherry Gore



Planted with Hope

About the book:


In the second installment of the Pinecraft Pie Shop series, you’ll return to a town and a family you’ve already grown to love.
When Hope Miller is offered the plot of land behind the Me, Myself, and Pie shop to start a garden, she jumps at the chance. Finally—some space away from her four sisters! But everyone in town seems to have an opinion about what she should grow and how she should grow it. When the widower schoolteacher, Jonas Sutter, asks if his students at the Amish school can help turn the plot into a community garden, Hope only halfheartedly agrees, wondering if she will ever get the peace and quiet she craves. And will she get anything to grow?
The stories of friendship, community, and unexpected love within these pages will plant real seeds of hope within your heart.
- See more at: https://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/books/planted-with-hope-9780736961318#sthash.t0bAFbs9.dpuf
In the second installment of the Pinecraft Pie Shop series, you’ll return to a town and a family you’ve already grown to love.
When Hope Miller is offered the plot of land behind the Me, Myself, and Pie shop to start a garden, she jumps at the chance. Finally—some space away from her four sisters! But everyone in town seems to have an opinion about what she should grow and how she should grow it. When the widower schoolteacher, Jonas Sutter, asks if his students at the Amish school can help turn the plot into a community garden, Hope only halfheartedly agrees, wondering if she will ever get the peace and quiet she craves. And will she get anything to grow?
The stories of friendship, community, and unexpected love within these pages will plant real seeds of hope within your heart.
- See more at: https://www.harvesthousepublishers.com/books/planted-with-hope-9780736961318#sthash.t0bAFbs9.dpuf

In the second installment of the Pinecraft Pie Shop series, you'll return to a town and a family you've already grown to love.

When Hope Miller is offered the plot of land behind the Me, Myself, and Pie shop to start a garden, she jumps at the chance. Finally--some space away from her four sisters! But everyone in town seems to have an opinion about what she should grow and how she should grow it. When the widower schoolteacher, Jonas Sutter, asks if his students at the Amish school can help turn the plot into a community garden, Hope only halfheartedly agrees, wondering if she will ever get the peace and quiet she craves. And will she get anything to grow?

The stories of friendship, community, and unexpected love within these pages will plant real seeds of hope within your heart.


My review:

This was a wonderful story about a young woman who loved the peace and quiet of working her own garden, but ultimately must choose whether to stay in her comfort zone or open her garden and her heart.  I could relate to Hope's need for quiet and time to herself.  I've never really done gardening myself, but I could understand the satisfaction of seeing the results of your hard work.  I really enjoyed seeing Hope grow in her relationship with others and with God.  I especially enjoyed a prayer time she had and the result of that.  This series shows a lot more spiritual growth in the characters than a lot of other Amish books I've read.  There was some wonderful advice in this story, from the spiritual to relational to gardening.  There were either wonderful recipes or gardening advice from back before and during World War II after each chapter.  I loved the journal Hope was reading from World War II and the lessons she learned from it.  There were a few cute romantic moments.  The setting of Pinecraft was wonderful and I would love to visit this laid-back Amish and Mennonite community.  I also liked seeing characters from book one, especially her sister, Lovina, along with the rest of the family, and their wise elderly friend, Elizabeth.  The story does work as a stand-alone, but I do suggest reading book one as that was wonderful, too.  I'm excited for the next one!  I highly recommend this story.

I received this book free from Harvest House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.







Sunday, May 22, 2016

Great Read! Like Never Before - Walker Family 2 - by Melissa Tagg

Cover Art

About the book:

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley's haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But when the newspaper she runs is in danger of closing, she pins all her hopes on a story that just might convince the new owner to keep the paper running.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker has the chance of a lifetime: a spot on a presidential campaign. But first he has to return to his hometown to sell the newspaper he's suddenly inherited.

But instead of a quick sale, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She's scrappy, but wounded. He's dependable, but lost. And working together to break the story on Maple Valley's unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

My review:

Melissa Tagg has done it again!  I loved this book!  The characters were wonderful and fleshed out well, from quirky Amelia who loves the small town she's made home and the newspaper she's keeping alive to Logan who's trying to be the best single dad he can be while writing speeches to get candidates elected.  They're both recovering from broken hearts for different reasons and both struggling to keep their faith alive after going through some really tough circumstances.  There were some cute romantic moments, but I did wish for more.  There were some insightful spiritual conversations with good reminders for my own faith.  I loved the Walker family and it was fun to catch up with Colton, Kate and the others from the previous book and while you can read this as a stand-alone, why would you want to?  You should definitely check out her other books.  She's one of my new favorite authors.  I loved their small town, too, with the unique people that live there and made it home.  The references to classic movies was great!  The mystery was interesting and I could totally relate to Amelia's love of history.  Melissa's writing is wonderful and I can't wait for the next book in the series!  I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

 The Author

  1. Melissa Tagg
    © David’s Gallery

    Melissa Tagg

    Melissa Tagg, author of Made to Last and Here to Stay, is a former newspaper reporter, current nonprofit grant writer, and total Iowa girl. When she's not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever. She's passionate...
    Continue reading about Melissa Tagg