Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Cute Story! 'Love Me Darling' - Love Me #4 - by Laura Burton

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About the book:

A short Christmas romance to warm your heart this winter.

Lottie: I hate Christmas.

The LED lights give me a headache.

I can't sing. And I get sick. Every. Single. Year.

This year is the worst. My Nan is practically on her deathbed and has planned for the biggest Christmas party this world has ever seen. Everyone will be there. Lucas Green is invited. My childhood crush. The guy I've been stuck in the friend zone for years. This is my last chance to get him to notice me. But how do I stop looking like an idiot with all the Christmas cheese at every turn?

Lucas: It's the best time of year.

Business is booming.

Ada's about to give birth any day now.

The town is full of cheer. And Lottie is coming home for the holidays.

This is it. The year I finally make a move. Otherwise, I think Ada will kill me. Problem is, every time I see her, my legs turn to jelly and I act like a total idiot. I need to woo her with lots of Christmas surprises. I mean, who doesn't love Christmas? Nothing can go wrong.

An adorable Christmas story including all of the couples from the 'Love Me' series. Laughter, tear-jerking moments and swoon-worthy romance all wrapped up in Christmas gift wrap. 


My review:

This was a really cute story perfect for Christmas!  I loved Lottie and Lucas.  She was introverted, quirky and fun while he was a sweet guy who put his family first and worked hard.  I loved the banter and funny one-liners!  He did do something really stupid that I couldn't believe but did apologize later.  It was cute to watch Lucas try to tell Lottie how he felt while Lottie felt like it couldn't be real.  The romance was really sweet and this was a clean story.  There was one point where living together was mentioned. There's no mention of faith.  I liked the British setting and there were a few crazy situations happening.  I did feel a little lost about who the couples were as I've never read the first three stories in the series.  Meeting them intrigued me, though, and I'd like to read about them, too.  I would recommend this story if you're looking for a cute Christmas romance!

I received this ebook from StoryOrigin.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

To Marry a Morgan - Romantic Pathways 1 - by Cinnamon Worth

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About the book:

A secret, an unseen witness, and a misunderstanding threaten to keep apart two people who have loved each other their entire lives. When these barriers to love are finally lifted, can she overcome her own insecurities and finally see the truth? 
Racked with guilt and blaming himself for his brother’s death, Phillip Heartford left his ancestral home five years ago.
After losing the love of her life, the beautiful Allison Morgan is resentful and angry. She has rejected countless suitors, and now, in the middle of her third season, she may be out of options.
Allison’s younger sister Julia is an ugly duckling. At least that is how she sees it. Although a happy marriage seems out of her reach, she hopes to one day live a quiet life as a spinster. If she cannot have her own fairytale ending, she is determined to do anything to help her sister and her dear friend, Phillip, find their happiness.
Little does Julia know that Phillip has always loved her. Unfortunately, he believes that it was this love that caused his brother’s death and destroyed Julia’s chance for happiness. He must now take a bride. Having convinced himself that his brother would want him to protect Julia, Phillip intends to become her brother by marrying Allison.
Returning home to fulfill his duty, will Phillip be able to follow his conscience or will his heart interfere?

To Marry a Morgan can be read as a stand-alone romance, though it is part of a sweet Regency series. It is a childhood-friends and second-chance romance.

My review:

I enjoyed this story set in the Regency time period.  I liked Julia and felt for her in her insecurity, especially since she had such a gorgeous sister.  It was nice to have a heroine who's not a size 2, though she was self-conscious about her weight.  I loved that Phillip encouraged her to eat sweets; that was a cute scene.  Phillip, too, was a wonderful character, honorable and caring, though a bit misguided in what he thought was best.  I loved that he rescued a kitten and kept it; that was so sweet!  There were a few cute moments between Phillip and Julia but I did wish for a bit more to show how they felt.  I had to listen to the book at 1.5 speed as normal speed felt way too slow.  The narrator was okay; I've listened to others with British accents I've liked better.  This was a clean read.  There was mention of God but it's not meant to be a Christian story.  If you like Regency stories, you'll probably like this one.


I received an Audible copy of this story from StoryOrigin.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

The Moon is Always Round - by Jonathan Gibson

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About the book:

Even young children want answers to the hard questions about God and suffering. In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God’s goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.

In this beautiful, two-color illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his sister’s death. Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life.

A section in the back of the book offers further biblical help for parents and caregivers in explaining God’s goodness to children. Jonathan Gibson reminds children of all ages that God’s goodness is present in the most difficult of times, even if we can’t always see it.


My review:

While this was obviously a sad story I think it would be helpful to a child struggling to understand that God is good even when bad things happen.  It's a simple yet profound analogy.  I liked the colorful illustrations and that that there's a section in the back where we're told how this story came about.  The two lessons in the back explaining more about the moon analogy and Good Friday were helpful, also.  I would recommend this book for parents trying to figure out how to explain difficult circumstances while believing in a good God.

I received this book from New Growth Press.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, December 6, 2019

She Did It Again! ' Misleading Miss Verity' - Regency Brides Daughters of Aynsley 3 - by Carolyn Miller

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About the book:

Verity Hatherleigh has a mind of her own—but her actions do not impress her viscount papa. When she gets into one scrape too many, he sends her off to the wilds of Scotland to rethink her headstrong ways.

Anthony Jardine relished his role as curate, but his new duties as laird of Dungally aren’t always to his liking. Though he thought his new inheritance would be a blessing, somehow he’s finding nothing but trouble on these estates. And the intelligent, compassionate, feisty lass who was sent to rusticate in his territory is one of the biggest problems. He’s falling in love with her, but she doesn’t share the faith that’s his foundation—not to mention he’s been lying to her about who he really is. For the truth-loving Verity, that may be unforgivable.

The tangled web these two have woven may spell disaster for their happiness—and for the tenants of Dungally.


My review:

This was another wonderful story by Carolyn Miller!  I loved this whole series and I've been looking forward to Verity's story since being introduced to her in the first book and it did not disappoint!  She's such a wonderful character, so bright and witty, straightforward and honest but also cared so much about people.  I really enjoyed the banter between her and Anthony, with their funny play on words.  My heart broke for her and the pain she felt from how her parents viewed her and treated her instead of loving her for who she was.  She had a hard time believing anyone, including God, would find her lovable.  Anthony was also a great character, honorable, witty, self-sacrificing and a strong Christian.  I admired his determination to keep God first and not become unequally yoked.  He did want to be judged for himself, not being the laird, so he didn't tell everyone who he was at first and that lie of omission got out of hand.  I also thought the scene at the end was a bit odd but I'm not sure how else it could have been resolved at that point.  The romance was wonderful; I loved that we got both of their points of view.  There was also some excitement with a horse race and an almost kidnapping!  This book worked well as a stand-alone but I highly recommend the first two in the series about her sisters.  This is definitely a must-read!

I received this book from Kregel Publications.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

My Bedtime Bible Prayers - by Karoline Pahus Pedersen

43659989

About the book:

My Bedtime Bible Prayers is creatively designed to encourage Bible reading and prayer as a natural part of any nighttime routine.

Inside are 44 prayers, each based on a Bible verse and Bible story, along with a takeaway question. The whimsical illustrations featured throughout depict both Bible scenes and contemporary life. With this caring guidance, children ages 6-8 will learn to share their hearts and thoughts with God--while also discovering how much He loves them!


My review:

I loved the colorful pages and it almost had the look of a scrapbook inside.  The prayers were straightforward and I liked that they were addressed to "God" or "Dad."  I also liked that a Bible verse was included and that there was a question to think about, sometimes a really easy one, sometimes a little harder.  There were a lot of great topics addressed, from forgiveness to loving each other.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book from Kregel Publications.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Amazing! 'My God Loves Me Bible' - by Cecile Fodor

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About the book:

This colorful book unpacks the wonderful truth that each child is loved by God

God speaks His love through every single story of the Bible. What a beautiful message for little hearts to hear!

With eighteen Bible stories from creation through the life and resurrection of Jesus, My God Loves Me Bible shows children that they are precious beyond measure in God's sight.

Each Bible story is supported by Scripture to bring out the truth it reveals. The stories are told both through words and colorful scenes and visual details young children will love.

With this Bible in their hands, they will say with joy, "God loves me!"


My review:

I loved the uniqueness of this board book in that at the beginning of each Bible story it tells the theme of the story, such as "He gives me courage when I am scared," tells the Bible story, then brings it back to the child by saying that God is with you and you don't have to be afraid.  Each theme and story shows a way that God loves you and me.  The stories are told in a very basic way but the passages are given if you want to find it in the Bible.  The illustrations are bright and cheerful.  There's a wonderful handle so the child can carry it easily.  I highly recommend this comforting book full of God's truth!

I received this book from Kregel Publications.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much - by David Powlison

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About the book:

Gus, a raccoon who loves all things sweet, learns what happens when you want something too much. After Gus gets caught taking candy from the store, Papa reminds him that temptation might be strong for us, but it’s not too strong for Jesus. Both Gus and Papa can ask Jesus for help when they want something too much.

The last page contains information for parents on how God, in his Word, helps us turn to Jesus when we are tempted. Together children and parents will be guided into meaningful conversations about living by faith in the details of everyday life.

Also included is a tear-out page of “Back Pocket Bible Verses” that will give children a practical way to remember God’s words when they want something too much.

A new series of hardback, illustrated children’s books for three-to eight-year-olds—each centered on an animal family—bring gospel help and biblical counsel to families. The animal characters, colorful illustrations, and the real-life issues each animal family face will captivate children. The first three books address anxiety, anger, and failure, bringing biblical help and hope to issues every child faces.

My review:

This was an excellent story about temptation and how even good things can become too important to us if we want them more than Jesus.  I liked how the dad realized he was doing this, too, with his fishing lures just as Gus was with candy, though the dad didn't steal any!  This was a good reminder for me and probably for everyone, young and old alike!  There were fun illustrations of different animals dressed in clothes, at a market, etc., behaving as humans do.  I liked how Gus asked forgiveness for stealing and the shop owner forgave him rather than just glossing over it.  The gospel and sin is explained in a relatable way and there's an excellent resource in the back for helping your child with the "I Wantsies" as they call it.  I highly recommend it!

I received this book from New Growth Press. I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Why Do We Say Good Night - by Champ Thornton

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About the book:

Why Do We Say Good Night?

Going to bed and turning out the light can be a hard time for many children. Award-winning author Champ Thornton wrote this beautifully designed and illustrated book to help parents comfort their children with three truths about God. As a mother and her little daughter talk, they remember together that God made the night, he sees in the dark, and he watches over them just like a shepherd protects his sheep. Children and parents will want to start a new nighttime tradition of reading together about why we can say that the night is good.

In this important, engaging children's book, parents can bring comfort and encouragement to their children, reminding them Jesus is near.


My review:

I loved the bright colors and creative illustrations in this hardcover that explains that God is watching over and protecting us as we sleep.  The girl keeps imagining scary creatures in the dark and wondering what that sound was but her mom tells her God made the night and He can see in the dark just as if it's light.  At first, the girl was seeing creatures in her room but at the end everything looks normal again.  This book is a great reminder in a fun rhyming style that God is always with them.  It's recommended for 3-5 year olds.

I received this book from New Growth Press.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

God Made Me Unique: Helping Children See Value in Every Person - by Joni & Friends



This was a sweet story about a new girl coming to Sunday School who has special needs.  The teacher is explaining to the class in a fun rhyming style how God makes each one of us different and unique.  Each person also has a different part to play for the church body, with different talents and abilities.  She talks about different types of disabilities, seen and unseen and reminds the children to treat each other kindly and that they're just like us.  There's a section at the back for parents to go deeper in teaching their child about what the Bible says about disabilities, how Jesus responded to those with disabilities and how to be a friend to someone with a disability.  There were fun, colorful illustrations in a nice hardcover.  This is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers or caregivers to show children how to treat others and understand them better.

I received this book from New Growth Press.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

About Joni and Friends
Joni and Friends is an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Founded in 1979, their mission is to communicate the gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disability.

The organization authors numerous books including the new releases The Gospel in Hard Times and The Gospel in Hard Times for Students (study guides about suffering in which participants are guided to look to Jesus to understand who God is in the midst of their own suffering and the suffering of others), God Made Me Unique (a children’s book helping parents and caregivers teach children that God creates every person in the image of God), and a series of minibooks providing personal insight & encouragement for tough circumstances.

You can learn more about Joni and Friends at www.joniandfriends.org



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Hold On To Your Seat! ' Protecting Tanner Hollow' - by Lynette Eason

Protecting Tanner Hollow

About the book:

Four nail-biting novellas in one!

Lethal Homecoming: 
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth's sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.

Lethal Conspiracy: 
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father's campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . .

Lethal Secrets: 
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help--but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.

Lethal Agenda: 
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he's met only once before--and has never been able to forget--he finds himself falling for her. But he'll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they're to have a future together.

My review:

These stories were incredibly suspenseful; you definitely need to hold on to your seat for the wild ride!  They move at a pretty fast pace since they're novellas with plenty of action and some romance thrown in.  They had varying levels of faith content as some of the characters were Christians, one even an interim pastor, and others had turned their back on their faith because of tough circumstances.  I liked how Nolan and Jason turned up in other stories than just theirs so there's more connecting the stories than just the town.  The characters were great, strong women and tough men.  There was also an incredibly cute and funny little girl in the third story that made me laugh out loud.  It was great to see a St. John story here as I had finished that series not too long ago.  I haven't read the rest of Eason's books yet so I wondered if there were more fun connections I was missing.  I highly recommend this book if you like suspense!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Lynette Eason
    © Mary Denman

    Lynette Eason

    Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Collateral Damage and Protecting Tanner Hollow, as well as the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards,...
    Continue reading about Lynette Eason 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Amazing! 'A Match for Emma' - Mitchell's Crossroads 3 - by Pepper Basham

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About the book:

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?


My review:

This was an amazing story I didn't want to put down!  I loved the modern day retelling of 'Emma' but with a little twist since it was set in the Blue Ridge mountains and they were also trying to catch a thief!  It was so cute to watch Emma and Jon's relationship develop from best friends to something more as the story progressed. This is one of my favorite tropes, best friends falling in love, and it was done so beautifully here.  The romance was amazing!  The banter was funny and there were so many wonderful quirky characters in this small town.  I also loved that the faith element was strong; most of the characters were Christians and Emma grew a lot in this story as she realized she was being prideful and not treating someone right.  She also gave some wonderful advice about a man not being able to solve the real problem in your heart; that only God can do that.  There's also some discussions about hard things, like losing a parent and dealing with that grief, or having a bad childhood, though the story doesn't dwell on these things.  It does give the story some depth so it's not all light-hearted fun.  This worked well as a stand-alone, though it looks like some characters overlap.  I can't wait to read her other books!  I highly recommend this one!

I received an ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wonderful! 'Deadly Deceit' - Harbored Secrets 2 - by Natalie Walters

43838201

About the book:

Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason -- to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth -- and the next big story -- is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called the Watcher force Vivian to fight for answers -- and her life.

My review:

This was a wonderful story, suspenseful and with such a cute romance!  I liked how this book had more emphasis on the relationship aspect than a lot of other suspense stories do.  It was fun to see how Vivian and Ryan interacted and I loved all of the references to superheroes!  They had some amusing banter and so did him and his sister.  There were cute little nerdy things Ryan did that just made him so endearing.  He wasn't perfect as he did do something stupid but he tried to fix it right away.  He also had a strong faith but I did think it was odd that they didn't discuss it much other than he knew she was uncomfortable when he wanted to pray for their meal.  We see her struggle with her faith and turn to God more throughout the story but he doesn't see it and they don't talk about where she's at or think maybe they shouldn't rush their relationship so I was a little disappointed with that. There's talk of faith and forgiveness and some good conversations about God.  There were some good suspenseful moments.  This book works as a standalone as I hadn't read the first book yet and didn't feel lost but there were characters from the first book in this one.  I can't wait to read the first one or for the last one to come out!  I highly recommend this book!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Red Journal - The Mosaic Collection - by Deb Elkink

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About the book:

Flirty globetrotter Sybil badgers her friend Libby to travel along in seeking out the world’s “sacred places”—a monastery in Japan, a mountaintop in Africa, a mosque in Istanbul. Her footloose wandering far from family values costs her more than money.

But Libby can’t afford to travel, and she’s plagued by a different kind of restlessness. Grieving the recent death of the grandmother who raised her in their inner-city Minneapolis tenement now slated for demolition, Libby faces homelessness in both heart and habitation.

When Libby discovers a cryptic message from beyond the grave and an antique ring pointing to a mystery in an inner room of a mansion museum in North Dakota, she sets out on a quest of her own for the meaning of heritage and home.


My review:

I actually had a really hard time getting through this book.  Sybil drove me nuts as she only cared about herself and when the story was told from her perspective it had so much detail about new age practices and her reminisces about guys she'd hooked up with that I ended up skimming her parts after I was halfway through the book.  There were hints that she wondered if there was a different way to live but she quickly squelched those.  I liked Paige more as she was a pregnant grad student trying to finish her thesis before her baby was born.  She worked at the museum and her thesis focused on the builder of it but her sections also had so much detail about the history that I got a little tired of it.  I liked Libby a lot and felt for her trying to find her place in the world after her grandma died.  She wanted to make a forever home somewhere but worked for a horrible boss and lived in a bad part of town and I wondered if she would ever see her dream realized.  The story felt slow as she finally discovered the message and ring quite a ways into the book.  Her grandma seemed to have faith in God based on some of the things she said but it seemed like she never explained to Libby what that meant so she was wandering around in the dark.  She would have these strange memories or dreams and I was curious to see what that was about.  I'm glad everything is explained at the end.  There's at least one true story told in the book about the "Black-Bearded Barbarian" which was interesting.  I googled it and found out he was a real person.  The story deals with forgiveness and discovering the truth.  This might appeal to someone from a new age background or who likes less religious content in the stories they read. 

I received an ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Enjoyable! 'A Christmas Haven' - An Amish Christmas Romance 2 - by Cindy & Erin Woodsmall

43503069

About the book:

For fans of holiday romances and Amish life comes a new Christmas tale of surprising expectations and discovering miracles.

Old Order Amish Ivy Zook is wrestling with her need to shed her community's ways so she can grow the business of her dreams: planning parties. As long as she's stuck living without modernization, she can barely get her business on its feet. But if she leaves too soon, she'd cause trouble for her sister, Holly, who is planning her wedding to Joshua Smucker. All of their plans become twice as complicated when an old car crashes into the storefront of Greene's Pharmacy, carrying a Swartzentruber (ultra-conservative sect) Amish man, Arlan, and his very ill sister.

The Zooks take in Arlan and Madga, tending to the woman's illness and Arlan begins helping around the family farm. Ivy and Arlan are on different tracks, one wanting to leave her community and the other to return to his. But both young people are trying to discover what God has in store for their futures and what miracles might lie around the corner this Christmas season.
 

My review:

I enjoyed this story about Ivy as she tried to figure out where she fit in the world.  It was interesting to learn about the Swartzentrubers as I had never heard of them before.  I had a hard time with Arlan at first because of his judgmental ways but he, too, was trying to figure out his faith and how that fit with his ultra-strict upbringing as compared to the almost worldly Amish (in his opinion!)  It's hard to fathom this sect and how strict they must be if they won't even associate with Old Order Amish!  I really enjoyed Ivy's and Arlan's conversations as they challenged each other.  It was also nice to see Arlan's journey as he saw what a family could be like as they were open with each other about their thoughts and feelings and he realized he wanted that.  There was a hint of romance to the story and we also see Holly planning her wedding to Joshua but running into a snag with his bishop and her plans to work at the pharmacy and become an LPN after they marry.  This worked well as a stand-alone but you'd probably enjoy Holly and Josh's story, too, in book one.  I enjoyed the themes of freedom and grace.  I would recommend this story if you like Amish fiction.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Fire - San Juan Shadows 1 - by Lynnette Bonner

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About the book:


She’s a first-year teacher in a school where kids are dying because of a new drug.
He’s an undercover cop who’s been sent in to find the dealer.
Years ago, Kyra Radell’s brother died from a drug addiction, so when students in her new school start buying a new street drug called Fire—and dying because of it—she’s determined to help in any way she can. Even if that means putting her own life in danger.
Case Lexington, an undercover cop, has been sent in to pose as a high school senior. He wants her to stay safe and mind her own business. The only problem is, she’s not willing to listen to a mere student.
Can he protect her and keep his cover intact? More importantly, will he be able to find the drug dealer before any more students—or teachers—die?
My review:
I really enjoyed this story that kept me guessing!  It was hard to tell who the bad guy was and it was fun to watch Kyra and Case run into each other at the school after they met before he went undercover.  Talk about awkward!  He's worried about his cover and she thinks she might have flirted with a high school student!  I liked the investigation and I especially liked how both Kyra and Case had a strong faith in God and showed it by praying regularly.  I liked Kyra's intelligence and determination to get out of some sticky situations she landed in.  There were some good romantic moments and some exciting action, also!  I would recommend this is you like romantic suspense!
I received this ebook from the author.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Deadly Commitment - Deadly Secrets 1 - by Kathy Harris

44602076

About the book:

When Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she gets the eerie feeling someone is watching her. As days go by, she becomes convinced the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening--the truth about her fiancé. Deadly Secrets is a new fiction series with southern charm and big-city twists. Set in the author's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, it is filled not only with intrigue and suspense but subtle glimpses into how God is at work in the lives of ordinary people doing ordinary jobs . . . or maybe they aren't so ordinary after all.

My review:

This was a suspenseful story with some unexpected exciting moments! I had a hard time connecting with Danielle as she was dating a guy she couldn't seem to make up her mind about.  One minute she was going to break up with him, the next she's making a lifelong commitment.  There were so many red flags about him, yet she kept making excuses.  She didn't really know if he was a believer but then she seemed like she'd strayed far from her faith, too.  I did enjoy seeing her making her way back with the help of her best friend, Jaycee, who I really liked.  She was a strong Christian and spunky.  Both Danielle and Caleb had baggage they were dealing with, which affected their relationships.  Caleb, especially, had a hard time forgiving himself for something terrible he'd allowed to happen years ago and couldn't quite believe God would forgive him.  I also felt like Danielle made some dumb decisions about her safety.  There was a little bit of romance.  If you like suspense, you might want to check it out!

I received this ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Non-Stop Thrill Ride! 'A Cross to Kill' - Shepherd Suspense Novel 1 - by Andrew Huff

About the book:


A gripping debut thriller pits a man of God against terrorists—and his own deadly past 

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God's calling. He's not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.

But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolfan assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to pay penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.

Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John's secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his voweven when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he's learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, his death may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer . . .

Andrew Huff's thrilling debut is not only a riveting story of suspense, it's also a deep exploration of the moral quandaries that face those who choose to follow the Prince of Peace in a violent world.

My review:

This story took off like a shot and didn't let up!  I loved all of the action and the fight scenes were incredible!  I could see everything playing like a movie in my head.  I liked both John and Christine as they're strong people, determined to stop the bad guys.  It was fun to see how Christine handled herself in tough situations as she wasn't trained the way John was and didn't have his experience.  I admired how John shared his faith  with others and was committed to not killing again, even when it was hard to keep that vow.  I liked that the gospel message was clear.  There was a hint of romance as John and Christine are drawn to each other but she doesn't share his faith so he's determined to not let it lead anywhere, which I also admired him for.  I would highly recommend this book if you like suspense!

I received this book from Kregel Publications.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.



Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Horse of My Dreams - Edited by Callie Smith Grant

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About the book:

Truly the horse is one of the finest creatures on earth. In it we find embodied all of our own hopes and dreams. Our longing to live noble lives. Our need for companionship. Our desire to do good and helpful work. Our yearning to feel truly free.

With contributions from both well-known and up-and-coming writers, this heartwarming collection of true stories is the perfect way for you to decompress from the day's stresses and remember God's good gift to us in the majestic, calming, inspiring, and even silly horses he created. Here you'll meet a stubborn Shetland pony who teaches her girl the importance of hanging on. You'll see how a young woman learned to trust again after a serious riding accident. You'll fall in love with a stray donkey who finds a home--and a friend. And so much more.

So make yourself a cup of tea, open up this book, and claim a few refreshing moments on a busy day for yourself . . . and the horse of your dreams.

My review:

This collection of true stories made me smile, cry and think about my own fond memories of horses when I went riding on vacation or at my friend's house or even remembering wonderful books I'd read about horses.  Different authors share their stories of how a horse helped them through a tough time, befriended them when they were down or connected them to people they would be friends with for years.  Many learned the power of perseverance while saving for a horse or training one they bought.  Some passed on their love of horses to a sibling or child while others saw a parent pass it on to them.  There were all different ages portrayed here.  Some interesting side bars talked about the history of sidesaddles or why we measure horses in hands.  There were even a couple about Civil War generals and their attachment to their horses.  There's a few references to God and prayer.  I would recommend this book if you love horses!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Unscripted - by Davis Bunn

Cover Art

About the book:

Line producer Danny Byrd is well known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner--and former best friend--makes off with their investors' money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.

LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to impossible bosses, only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it--even though she's not entirely clear what "it" is.

Danny and Megan are each other's best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other's best hope for love.

My review:

This was an interesting story about second chances and a behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made.  I liked Danny and Megan but felt I didn't get to know them very well.  We're told a little about their pasts and what kind of people they are and I did root for them, especially as the stakes got higher as the story continued.  There wasn't really much to the romance and just a couple of references to God and the Bible.  Most of the story was about discovering a young teen's star quality and helping her channel her grief over the loss of her father into acting while figuring out a plot and writing a story that audiences would resonate with all on a limited budget and time frame!  It got a little stressful and made me wonder how any movie gets made and also made me understand how they can fall apart before they get very far.  If you like seeing behind the curtain, you might like this story.

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Davis Bunn
    © Paul Wheeler

    Davis Bunn

    Davis Bunn (www.davisbunn.com) is the award-winning author of numerous national bestsellers with sales totaling more than seven million copies worldwide. His work has been published in twenty languages, and his critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for...
    Continue reading about Davis Bunn 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Sweet Amish/Englisch Romance! 'Summer's Promise' - Harvest of Hope 3 - by Barbara Cameron

About the book:

Can she leave everything she knows for love?

Summer Carson has lived near the Amish community in Paradise, Pennsylvania, all her life. Now she's following in her father's footsteps and earning her degree in agricultural science so she can continue his work helping local farmers.

In her job at the county extension office, Summer moves between the Englisch and the Amish worlds. While she sometimes finds herself speaking—and even thinking—in Pennsylvania Deitsch, the transition isn't always easy. But what has come naturally to Summer is her attraction to one of the farmers: Abram Yoder is handsome, steady, and hardworking. He's everything so many of the Englisch men she knows are not. And Summer quickly realizes that she's caught his eye as well.

Can Summer give up the comforts she's always known for a life with this Amish man? And is Abram willing to let her try?

My review:

This was a sweet story about two people from different worlds.  I enjoyed getting to know both of them and seeing their attraction grow.  Summer really had a lot on her plate as she was going to school, working two jobs and worried about her mother's health problems.  It was interesting to try to figure out with them what was going on with her mother.  I admired Summer's strong work ethic and also that she had taken time off to help take care of her dad when he was sick.  She had her priorities in order.  By contrast, Abram had a very peaceful life, able to work at his own pace and his parents were actually on an extended vacation in Florida.  She was struggling some with her faith as she was angry at God for letting her dad get cancer and die while Abram's faith seemed to be strong.  It didn't really seem like she addressed those feelings other than being glad she visited church again.  I liked that Summer and Abram became friends first and got to know each other and that their romance developed slowly from there.  Even though this was book three, it worked fine as a stand-alone.  I had read the first book and it was nice to catch up on the characters from it.  There was a little glossary at the back of Amish words and a few recipes.  I would recommend this book if you like Amish stories!

I received this book from Kregel Publications.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Another Winner! 'Wyatt' - Montana Marshalls 4 - by Susan May Warren

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About the book:

He’s lost her twice…he’s not going to lose her again...

NHL Hockey Goalie Wyatt Marshall has everything--fame, money and a thriving career. But he’s hiding the two things that matter most...a career-ending injury, and his broken heart. He’s been in love with Coco Stanley since she walked into his life at age fourteen, a foster child for the Marshall family. She stole his heart years later, when, after a secret tryst, she returned to her home country of Russia. But she won’t let him back into her life—and he can’t figure out why.

She’s harboring a secret that could cost lives...

Coco Stanley is tired of living her life undercover. Or at least, with an assumed name, always pretending to be someone she’s not. And that’s not the only secret she’s harboring. If Wyatt discovers the real reason she left him, it might just destroy him. She’s resigned herself to loving him from afar...

But when he discovers she’s in danger...

Wyatt is horrified when he learns Coco has been shot and left in Russia, her fate unknown. There is nothing—nothing—that will stop him from finding her. So what if he’s not one of his super-heroic brothers, not a Ranger, not a SEAL...Wyatt is a hockey goalie, a special kind of crazy brave. Except, is he brave enough to face the secret Coco is keeping, or will it destroy everything he’s hoped for?

What will it cost them to save her?

What Wyatt and Coco don’t know is that revenge is stalking her and bringing her home just might cost them their long-awaited happy ending.

Continue the breath-taking Montana Marshalls series!


My review:

This was another story that was hard to put down but that's pretty much how I feel about all of Susan May Warren's books!  I've been loving the Montana Marshalls series and this one did not disappoint.  I loved how Wyatt was tough but also more emotional than his brothers.  He felt more alone and separated from his family and always felt like he couldn't live up to his incredible siblings.  He felt like a disappointment to his dad and that colored his perceptions and influenced his choices.  He looked to his status as a great hockey player to make him feel good enough but it was never enough.  He needed to realize that God loved him just because and he couldn't earn it.  He was incredibly brave to go after Coco, both emotionally and physically as she kept running away from him and she was in danger.  The romance was wonderful, of course, and there was some great action, too.  I liked Coco a lot, too, but was a little frustrated with her withholding the truth for so long.  She struggled with feeling unwanted and unloved.  It was great that the Marshall matriarch was more involved in this story and that she was so tough and also wise.  She had some great advice on turning to God.  I also loved that a character popped in from the Christiansen family series.  I can't wait to continue Ruby Jane's story in the next book as she's been through the wringer since the last one and we'll finally see how her and York's story ends!  I really liked how there were multiple stories going on.  I highly recommend this book!

I received this ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Amazing! 'Ford' - Montana Marshalls 3 - by Susan May Warren

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About the book:

Family…country…or the woman he loves…

Navy Seal Ford Marshall isn’t the kind to stand by and let a woman get hurt—especially when it involves his twin sister, RJ. So, when she makes the news, accused of sparking an international incident, he doesn’t care what it takes—he’s going to find her and bring her home.

But he might need a little help, so he calls on the woman who has had his back during the last three years—Petty Officer Scarlett Hathaway, former communications expert-turned Rescue Swimmer candidate. She’ll help him get into the country, watch his back, and…well, they might be able to have one last mission together before she leaves for a new life, a life he very much wants to be a part of now that she is off his team. Maybe he can convince her to give them a chance to kindle the spark that’s simmered between them for years.

Scarlett Hathaway isn’t sure what future she wants—not when she suddenly has to care for her little brother. Maybe she should quit the Navy and start a life with the man she can’t seem to get out of her heart. So yes, she’ll help Ford find his sister. And maybe, along the way, figure out if they have a future.

But finding RJ somewhere in the vastness of Russia with the FSB chasing them will push Scarlett beyond even her courage and make her question everything she thought she wanted…including Ford. What will it cost her to love a man who saves the world?

And when Ford is asked to choose between saving his sister, saving the world from a war, and rescuing the woman he loves…can he live with his decision?


My review:

This was an amazing story I didn't want to put down!  I fell for Ford in the last book as we were introduced to him and Scarlett in Tate's story and it was wonderful to see their relationship develop further in this story.  Ford was such a wonderful guy, protective and tough and self-sacrificing.  He was wonderful at putting Scarlett first as he knew what she'd gone through in her past and he wanted to be respectful of her.  I really liked Scarlett, too, as she was tough and could take care of herself.  I loved the adventure as they travel to Russia to save Ford's sister, RJ, as she's wanted and doesn't know who to trust.  We also get her story as she's on the run with York, the man who saved her life and is trying to protect her from everyone, it seems!  I liked both of them a lot, too.  RJ couldn't just sit idly by and do nothing to stop a terrible incident and I admired her a lot for that.  Ford was used to depending on himself and he needed to learn to depend on God instead.  Scarlett felt like God was never there for her and she had to learn that He really was.  There's some great action and some amazing kissing scenes.  I would recommend reading Tate first as Ford and Scarlett's story starts there.  I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read about Wyatt, the next Marshall brother!

I received this ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Thrilling Ride! 'The Gryphon Heist' - by James R. Hannibal

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About the book:

Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe--a department only known as "Other." When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she'll be back in DC within a few days. But that's before she knows where the designs are stored--and who's after them.

With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where criminal minds and unlikely strategies compete for access to the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault that hovers in the mesosphere. But is Tyler actually helping her? Or is he using her for his own dark purposes?

My review:

Well, talk about an exciting thrill ride full of spies, cons and heists!  You're never sure who to trust as Talia goes from new spy to being involved with a group of thieves looking for a payday.  Talia was a great character with a strong sense of justice, always trying to do the right thing and not believing in the end justifying the means.  She avoided God because she felt like He had punished her by taking her father so if she lived a moral life, He would leave her alone.  Her beliefs get turned on their head when she meets one of the thieves, who seemed to have a strong relationship with God and who knew forgiveness firsthand.  I admired Talia's smarts but on the other hand, sometimes she seemed a little too trusting.  I liked Eddie, too, for his chivalry and comedic relief.  He was her partner and resident tech geek/hacker.  The rest of the team were unique and interesting, too.  There's plenty of action, smaller cons leading up to the big one, cool technology and fast cars.  There were some funny one-liners, too, and a hint of romance.  If you like action and suspense, you need to check it out!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. James R. Hannibal
    DigiSmiles Photography

    James R. Hannibal

    James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. A former stealth pilot from Houston, Texas, he has been shot at, locked up with surface-to-air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion...
    Continue reading about James R. Hannibal 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Wonderful Debut! 'You Belong With Me' - by Tari Faris

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About the book:

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents.
Unfortunately, selling houses isn't one of them.

When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map--and hopefully restore her disgraced family name. But she'll need help to do it.

As a foster kid, Luke Johnson never truly felt he belonged. Now he has a chance to earn his place in his hometown. But he doesn't anticipate how his relationship with Hannah will set into motion events that reveal the truth about who he is--and who he was.

My review:

I absolutely loved this book!  Best friends who have secret crushes on each other and a bachelor auction!  What more could a girl ask for!  Luke was my favorite character, a good guy who wanted a family of his own and to belong, yet felt like he wasn't enough.  He's always supported Hannah but sometimes she goes too far with her ideas.  Hannah has tried to control everything ever since her mom left when she was a kid.  She would like a happily ever after for herself but doesn't want to be rejected again.  There were a lot of cute moments between Luke and Hannah as they fight their feelings for each other.  I liked that we got a second story line about Hannah's brother, Thomas, and his ex-girlfriend, Janie.  Janie was a strong Christian but was questioning what God was doing in her situation with Thomas and Hannah and Luke both were struggling a bit with their faith.  I loved Nate, the new pastor, a tattoo-wearing, motorcycle-driving guy who's full of wisdom for everyone but seemed to have a bit of a relationship problem himself.  He gave wonderful wisdom about putting God first.  The conversation about adoption brought tears to my eyes; there were also some funny parts in the story.  I loved the references to the movie, "Say Anything."  I highly recommend this book if you like romance!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Tari Faris
    Tari Faris

    Tari Faris

    Tari Faris has been writing fiction for more than 10 years. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she works for My Book Therapy, manages learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury...
    Continue reading about Tari Faris 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Supernatural Suspense! ' The Girl Behind the Red Rope' - by Ted and Rachelle Dekker

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About the Book:

Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history.
When a terrible scourge is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure--and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red rope.

Her older brother's questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she's seen in a decade set in motion events that will cause Grace to question everything she has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides--but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?

For the first time, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker team up and deliver an intense, tightly focused ride through the most treacherous world of all.


In a world where the boundaries are clear and punishments severe, a young woman risks everything to break free from the system of fear and control to find freedom and love.

My review:

No surprise, this was definitely a suspenseful story!  It was a bit of a mind game, also, as cults often use some truth mixed in with the lies so it was hard sometimes to know who to trust.  There were supernatural and physical enemies in this story, which made it all the more unnerving.  I felt for Grace as she was torn between what she'd been taught since childhood and the new things she was starting to question.  It was also heartbreaking to see these people being deceived.  I loved the message of choosing love over fear.  The message really hit home because I know I give in to fear all too often.  I would recommend this book if you like suspense!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.


           The Authors

  1. Ted Dekker

    Ted Dekker

    Ted Dekker is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide. He was born in the jungles of Indonesia to missionary parents, and his upbringing as a stranger in a fascinating...
    Continue reading about Ted Dekker
  2. Rachelle Dekker

    Rachelle Dekker

    Rachelle Dekker is the Christy Award-winning author of The Choosing, The Calling, and The Returning in the Seer series. The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle was inspired early on to...
    Continue reading about Rachelle Dekker 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Enjoyable Family Drama! 'As the Light Fades' - by Catherine West

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About the book:

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.


My review:

I enjoyed this family drama, heavy on the drama!  Both Liz and Matthew have a lot to deal with as Liz tries to pick up the pieces of her life and decide on a new path and Matthew tries to help his niece who's been through who knows what with an addict for a mother.  Liz's family is also trying to renovate their family home to turn it into a B & B and her father has Alzheimer's.  Matthew has parent issues, too, as his somewhat estranged parents show up.  I liked the different viewpoints we get as not only do we have theirs but Mia's and Liz's father's as well.  That really gave a varied perspective to the story.  Matthew is such an amazing guy as he takes in his troubled niece, trying to parent this rebellious teen who's been through hell while dealing with his parents and money troubles.  I really admired his strong character.  He was definitely my favorite character in the book.  There's a little romance as Matthew and Liz are drawn to each other but resist due to all of the baggage they each carry.  I was a little annoyed with some of Liz's choices as she was so used to being independent she didn't want to ask for help, even when she really needed to.  They talked some about faith as Matthew believed in God and Liz wasn't sure.  Forgiveness was also a big issue for more than one character that they had to work through.  There were some heavier issues dealt with here, from physical and sexual abuse to drug addiction and cutting but nothing graphic or dealt with too deeply. They were more skimmed over or hinted at.  This seems to be in a series but it worked fine as a stand-alone.  I would recommend it if you like family dramas or romance!

I received this ebook from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Everyone Should Read This! 'Something Needs to Change' - by David Platt

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About the book:

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it "changed the trajectory of my life." Meeting a man who'd lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, "Where is God in the middle of suffering?" "What makes my religion any better than someone else's religion?" and "What do I believe about eternal suffering?" Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel--to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

My review:

This was a fascinating book that was hard to put down!  Part travelogue, part Bible study, part call to action, it grabbed my attention from the start.  The true stories of each person they met, along with that of some of the men travelling along, were just heartbreaking.  I thought it was interesting how he struggled with questions I struggle with, like do these people who have never heard of Jesus really go to hell and why don't they even know the name of Jesus and why do they have such hard lives when mine is so easy.  His reading and study of Scripture as he walks these trails correlates with questions he has and situations he finds himself in.  It's also fascinating to learn about possible jobs someone could take on in a foreign country to do good and be a witness, like a trout-poop expert!  The end of each chapter had a few questions to make you think.  He also challenged us at the end of the book to discover what we can do to alleviate earthly suffering and also eternal suffering where we are right now and also expand our view to the world further away.  I highly recommend this book!  Every Christian needs to read it!

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.
   

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Art of Rivers - Coastal Hearts 3 - by Janet W. Ferguson

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About the book:

Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.


My review:

I enjoyed this story featuring a topic I haven't read much about.  I felt like we really got into an addict's head as we see how much Cooper struggled with the shame and guilt of his choices and still struggled with his addiction even after five years of being clean.  I admired him a lot for all that he overcame and for all he was doing to help others.  I liked Rivers as well and admired her strength and willingness to forgive.  I liked the strong faith message as the gospel is clearly given and Rivers, Cooper and others encourage each other with Scripture and prayer.  Davis especially has a funny, direct way of encouraging a person and telling it like it is at the same time.  I also like how they knew they were fighting a spiritual battle.  There was some sweet romance and I thought there was going to be more suspense than there was but the story went in a different direction.  I liked how the past was brought in by the journal Rivers found and read that belonged to Cooper's grandmother but I wish more would have been done with it.  I liked the gorgeous setting of St. Simons Island.  I really liked the focus on art and art therapy.  I hadn't read the first two books in the series but I didn't feel lost at all.  Overall, I liked this story and it kept my interest.  I would recommend it if you like stories with more spiritual depth or that deal with issues.

I received this book from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Unique! ' Light from Distant Stars' - by Shawn Smucker

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About the book:

When Cohen Marah steps over his father's body in the basement embalming room of the family's funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory.

Over the next week, Cohen's childhood comes back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his parents' separation. The accident Cohen witnessed and the traumatic images he couldn't unsee. And the two children in the forest who became his friends--and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he's been avoiding:

Is he responsible for his father's death?

Master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.

My review:

This was definitely a unique story as I wasn't quite sure if it was spiritual warfare or a dream/nightmare or an allegory for much of it.  I liked how the story moved from past to present and back so there were two stories happening at once.  Cohen struggled with his faith as he felt he needed to keep confessing his guilt, yet won't confess all.  He wondered where God was in all of the mess.  He's angry at his parents for their divorce when he was a kid and the events surrounding it and how his life fell apart afterwards.  It really drove home how much selfishness affects other people and especially can hurt the children.  There were some creepy and suspenseful moments in the book and led to a somewhat shocking event I figured was coming and then another I didn't see coming!  This story dealt with faith and coming to terms with our parents' humanness and remembering the good times and the bad.  It's about the importance of dealing with things before it's too late and loving people while you have them.  If you like stories a little twisty and unique, you might want to check it out!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Shawn Smucker
    Photo by: John Sanderson of Sanderson Images

    Shawn Smucker

    Shawn Smucker is the author of the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him...
    Continue reading about Shawn Smucker 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Action-Packed Thrill Ride! 'The String' - by Caleb Breakey

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About the book:

Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him.

Ready to play?

My review:

Talk about a wild ride!  This book was hard to put down!  It just doesn't let up; it's suspenseful and action-packed from start to finish!  There were some crazy mind games as Markus tries to figure out who the conductor was and what his end game was.  It definitely got spooky a few times as it seemed he was everywhere and always one step ahead of Markus.  There was a hint of romance and a little bit of talk about faith as Markus cries out to God when he's terrified for his girlfriend, Stephanie, and her kids.  She has a strong faith and I liked her a lot.  I also liked Janet, an I.T. genius.  Both were strong female characters.  There were so many twists and turns; I was never sure who to trust!  It also sounds like there could be a sequel!  I highly recommend this story if you like suspense!

I received this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Caleb Breakey

    Caleb Breakey

    Caleb Breakey is the CEO of Speak It To Book, the premier ghostwriting agency for influencers, thought leaders, and industry celebrities. He is an ECPA Award finalist and a winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers, and he loves exploring...
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