Thursday, December 23, 2010

Within My Heart


“Within my Heart” by Tamera Alexander is about Rachel Boyd and her struggles trying to keep her ranch alive and raise her two boys. Rachel was left a widow after her husband Thomas was killed in a hunting accident. Rachel lays the blame for that accident on someone else and has never been able to move on with her life. When the new doctor in town, Rand Brookston, shows her some attention, she wants nothing to do with him. Her father was a doctor and she assumes all doctors are just like him. Slowly Rachel realizes that Rand is not the man her father was and she begins to trust him and become his friend. Rand wants more than friendship and does everything he can to win her heart. Together Rachel and Rand help take care of a friend who is dying. After spending so much time together, Rachel starts to care more about Rand. When Rand saves her two sons, she realizes just how much she loves him. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Masquerade


In “Masquerade” by Nancy Moser we meet Charlotte Gleason. Charlotte comes from a well to do family in England. Her family has fallen on hard times and her parents arrange for a marriage with a wealthy heir in America. Charlotte and her lady’s maid, Dora, are set to travel to America to meet her intended husband and his family. Charlotte does not want to marry without love and she also wants a chance to live her life. She convinces Dora to swap places with her. Charlotte will go stay with Dora’s family in America while figuring out what she intends to do with her life and Dora will marry the wealthy heir. Things start to unravel when Charlotte has no place to stay and no money. She has to survive the best she can. Dora is plagued with guilt over what she is doing and tries her best not to get caught. The two friends are put to the test and so is their friendship. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

In Every Heartbeat


“In Every Heartbeat” by Kim Vogel Sawyer is about three friends who grew up together in an orphanage. Libby, Pete and Bennett are heading off to college and they all have big plans for the future. Libby wants to become a famous journalist, but she soon finds many obstacles in her way. She quickly realizes that nobody wants a female writing for them but that does not stop her from reaching her dream. Pete feels that God has called him to be a minister. He suffered from abuse as a child and wants to be able to help everyone he can by being a better person than his father was. Bennett is looking for a place where he fits in and also wants to have a good time while in college. These three friends are always there for each other but are many tests along the way. The biggest comes when Libby and Pete find themselves attracted to each other. But when Pete finds out his brother is in jail for murder and his mother and siblings need him, it brings all three closer to each other and God. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Hatteras Girl


In “Hatteras Girl” by Alice J. Wisler, we meet Jackie Donovan. Jackie grew up in Hatteras and has always dreamed of owning her own bed and breakfast on the Outer Banks. She also prays that she will meet an honest man to marry. Jackie is a writer for a local magazine and she writes about the local businesses in Hatteras. When Jackie has to interview local business man Davis Erickson, she learns he holds the key to her dream house. Jackie thinks God has answered both of her prayers with one man, but she soon learns Davis is not the person he pretends to be. There is also another man in Jackie’s life, Buck. Jackie and Buck have been friends since childhood. They start to realize how important the other is to them and when Jackie needs a friend, Buck is there for her. Jackie finally realizes who her true friend is and the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Amy Inspired


In “Amy Inspired” by Bethany Pierce, we meet Amy Gallagher. Amy is a writer who is trying desperately to be published. She teaches college creative writing classes to help support her until she is published. Amy’s roommate and friend, Zoe is also a writer. Zoe seems to be able to write about anything while Amy is stuck. Zoe invites her friend Eli to move in with them while he’s looking for a new place to live. Amy and Eli do not get along at first, but they put that aside for Zoe’s sake. Zoe has to go back home to take care of her mother who is dying from cancer. Amy and Eli slowly become friends and struggle with their feelings for each other. When Eli moves out, Amy is left all alone and feels like her family and friends are moving on without her while she is trying to figure out what she wants out of life. Amy soon finds the courage to follow her dreams and her heart. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

A Rush of Wings


“A Rush of Wings” by Kristen Heitzmann is about Noelle St. Claire and the danger she is running from. Noelle is the daughter of a very prominent man in New York. She has been dating a guy her father approves of and loves like a son. But when the relationship takes a turn for the worse, Noelle decides to leave without telling anyone why or where she is going. She ends up at a horse ranch in the Rocky Mountains. The ranch is owned by Rick Spencer. Rick is a nice Christian man and he and his brother, Morgan, are total opposites. Both of the brothers are drawn to Noelle and want to help her if she will let them. When Morgan leaves to go back to work, Noelle and Rick quickly find themselves caring for each other. Rick takes Noelle home to spend Christmas with his family and when Morgan shows up unexpectedly, there is major tension between the two brothers. There are many trials in Noelle and Rick’s relationship but they finally realize that no matter what happens or how much time passes, they love each other. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Dining with Joy


In “Dining with Joy” by Rachel Hauk, we meet cooking show host Joy Ballard. Joy took over the cooking show when the original host, her father, unexpectedly passed away. Joy learns that a major network has picked up her show, but there is a problem. She can’t cook. Joy has kept this secret so that she would be able to keep the show going like her father wanted her to. She struggles with telling everyone her secret, but she knows if she does she will not be able to take care of her mother and nieces. Joy meets Luke Redmond, a former chef from Manhattan. Joy sees Luke as the answer to her problem. Joy and Luke co-host the show and while Joy sees Luke a friend, Luke has deeper feelings for Joy. When Luke finally learns the truth about Joy, he keeps her secret but only if she will let him try to teach her how to cook. After Joy’s secret is exposed on national television, both Joy and Luke lose their jobs. When they go their separate ways and try to start over, they realized just how much they care about each other. This was an enjoyable book to read. I received a free copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Resurrection in May


In “Resurrection in May” by Lisa Samson, May Seymour has recently graduated from college and does not know what she wants to do in life. May plans a mission trip to Africa in hopes of figuring out what she wants to do with her life. While in Africa she meets people that are very different from her, and most surprising, she begins to love them. A great tragedy happens and everyone is killed but May. May has to learn how to survive on her own and is traumatized by what has happened to her and what she has seen. When May returns to the States, she decides to live with an older man she met before she left. Claudius takes May in and tries to help her heal from her experiences. When Claudius dies suddenly, May relies on other people to do for her like Claudius did. May soon realizes she has to learn to do for herself and she can get away from the farm without something happening to her. May has help with this from an old friend, Eli. Eli is in prison for murder and is awaiting his execution. May and Eli become pen pals and Eli talks May into getting off the farm and becoming independent again. And when Eli needs a friend in his hour of need, May makes a big sacrifice that will change her forever. I received a free copy of this book to review for Thomas Nelson.

Love's First Bloom


In “Love’s First Bloom” by Delia Parr, life changes for Ruth when her father sends her away with a young child to protect. Ruth’s father, Reverend Livingstone, has been ministering to young prostitutes and helping them find new paths in life. When one of the young ladies, Rosalie, is murdered, Reverend Livingstone becomes the prime suspect. He sends Ruth and Rosalie’s daughter, Lily, to live with a couple in New Jersey while he is waiting for his trial to begin. Ruth meets Jake, a man that frustrates and intrigues her. Jake is the type of person Ruth is most fearful of, a reporter. Jake has been sent to find the Reverend’s daughter for an article. Ruth slowly starts to trust Jake and they become friends, but Jake knows it’s not going to last when Ruth finds out the truth about him and Ruth worries he will leave her when she tells him her own secrets. Can their relationship withstand the secrets that separate them? I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride


“The Vigilante’s Bride” by Yvonne Harris is about Emily McCarthy, a young lady that does not have any family left, and Luke Sullivan, a cowboy who has set out to confront the man who cheated his father. Emily is a mail order bride and is on her way to Montana to marry a rancher in hopes of a better life. Luke is a vigilante that is looking for a different path in life while seeking revenge for his father. Luke kidnaps Emily and takes her to the orphanage that he grew up in. When her intended husband finds out what has happened, he sets out to destroy Luke. Luke also finds out that the orphanage is being cheated out of land and that someone is rustling their cattle. Luke and Emily have to work together and soon the attraction starts to grow. Emily also helps Luke realize that God is listening even though he thinks God is ignoring him. I received a free copy of this book to review for Bethany House.

Pursuit of Justice


In “Pursuit of Justice” by DiAnn Mills we meet Special Agent Bella Jordan. Bella is one of the most promising up-and-coming agents the FBI has. When Bella is sent to investigate the murders of three men on a ranch in West Texas, she has to confront her past. Bella is connected to one of the prime suspects, Brandt Richardson, and is slowly falling in love with another, Carr Sullivan. Carr has a past that he has tried to put behind him, but now it seems to be catching up with him. Carr is out to prove he is innocent and works with Bella to try to find the real killer. With Carr’s help, Bella is able to reconnect with her father and siblings. Carr also tries to show Bella she isn’t alone in the world and God will always be there for her. I received a free copy of this book to review for Tyndale.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Greater Love


“Greater Love” by Robert Whitlow is the third book in the Tides of Truth series. This book continues the story of Georgia lawyer, Tami Taylor. Tami comes from a very strict Christian family and is now faced with the realities of the world. Tami joins a law firm in Savannah and has to defend a young girl named Jessie. Jessie has run away from home and has many secrets she is hiding from Tami. Tami and her landlady take her in and show kindness she has never had before. When Jessie is kidnapped, Tami thinks she has run away again and she is worried for her safety. Tami also has her own problems to worry about. Her landlady has a form of dementia and her health has declined. Tami also must figure out who she wants to spend the rest of her life with, Zach or Vince.

This book shows us what many lawyers have to go through everyday at their jobs, and the hard decisions they must make in their cases so that they do not compromise their Christian principles. “Greater Love” could be read as a stand alone novel, but I would recommend reading the first two books in the series, “Deeper Water” and “Higher Hope”, so you could read Tami’s story from the beginning. I received a free copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hearts Awakening


“Hearts Awakening” by Deila Parr is about two people in desperate circumstances. Life has left few choices for Elvira Kilmer. Her dreams for marriage and a family of her own have long since passed her by, and her arrival on Dillon's Island is not of her choosing, but she needs work. Jackson Smith needs a housekeeper and someone to take care of his two young sons. Ellie never imagined Jackson would be so young and handsome. Jackson, on the other hand, has never met anyone quite so plain. Jackson quickly comes to realize that Ellie's presence may solve his own problems with both the raising of his young boys and the shame that surrounds his first marriage. Ellie and Jackson have a hard time agreeing on how to raise the boys, and Jackson has a hard time trusting Ellie because of the infidelity in his first marriage. They both have to trust in God to get them through this time and realize the love they have to each other. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Somewhere to Belong


“Somewhere to Belong” by Judith Miller is a story of two young women trying to figure out what they are looking for in life. When Berta Schumacher’s parents move her the Main Amana colony she is certain that her life is over. Berta is used to the Chicago city life and she doesn’t know if she can settle in to life in the religious village. Johanna Ilg was born and raised in Main Amana, but she sometimes wonders what it would be like to live somewhere else. Johanna is given the job of teaching Berta her new duties in the kitchen and the way of life in Amana. Johanna has her hands full with the willful girl, who is determined to find a way to return to her home in Chicago. Johanna had always believed her roots were in Main Amana, but after she stumbles across a family secret, she begins to wonder exactly where she does belong. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

She Walks in Beauty


“She Walks in Beauty” by Siri Mitchell is set in the Gilded Age in New York City. The Gilded Age was a time when debutantes looked forward to the social season in hopes of finding a husband and to secure their position in society. Ladies played the game in the middle of banquets and balls in order to achieve a lifetime of wealth and status. Clara Carter and her best friend Lizzie Barnes are on the verge to debut into New York society. While Lizzie is looking forward to the social season, Clara is dreading the dinners, balls and events to come. Both girls soon find that they are both trying to catch the De Vries heir and that their friendship will be tested. Clara is drawn to Harry De Vries but he is not the one her father and aunt want her to marry. Clara must choose between doing what her family wants for her or true love. This book was wonderfully written and easily takes you to a time we can only dream about. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sixteen Brides


“Sixteen Brides” by Stephanie Grace Whitson is about six women who are looking for a new start and head out West to get free homesteads. Sixteen women start out on the journey but they soon discover that they have been deceived. Instead of land waiting for them, the women have been brought out to Nebraska for the men in a new town. When the women reach Plum Grove, Ella and her mother Zita, Ruth and her son Jackson, Sally, Hettie and Caroline decide to stay and find land to homestead together. Zita is the mother figure for all the women and trusts that God will provide for their needs. Ella soon finds a new friend in her neighbor Jeb but finds it hard to trust him because her first husband has destroyed her confidence. Ruth starts to develop feelings for local rancher Lucas after she helps take care of him when he breaks his leg. Sally has a crush on Lucas’ foreman, Pete. Hettie is running from her past and has several secrets she is keeping from her new friends. Caroline falls in love with widower Matthew and is daughter Linney, but Matthew has never dealt with his wife’s death and the falling out with his cousin Lucas. The women stand by each other and help each other face the difficulties in life and love, and they soon become the family that they were each looking for. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hand of Fate


“Hand of Fate” by Lis Wiehl and April Henry is about the murder of the host of a popular Portland radio talk show. Jim Fate dies tragically from a poisonous gas that fills his recording booth while his show, “The Hand of Fate” is on air and everyone in downtown Portland panics and tries to evacuate. Luckily no one else is harmed during the event. In the days following Fate’s murder, the Triple Threat Club, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw and federal prosecutor Allison Pierce, tries to figure out who would want to kill Jim Fate. The better question may be who wouldn’t want to kill him. Fate has made many enemies over the years, from a family that lost a daughter to a politician who was once one of his closest friends. “Hand of Fate” also continues the storylines of Nicole, Allison, and Cassidy. We learn more about Nicole’s past, Allison’s fears throughout her pregnancy and impending motherhood, and Cassidy’s insecurities of being a news reporter.

“Hand of Fate” is the second book about the Triple Threat Club. We were first introduced to the women in “Face of Betrayal”. Lis Wiehl is becoming one of my favorite authors. Her books are well researched and written. I could not put “Hand of Fate” down until I knew who the killer was. Wiehl brings her characters to life and makes then seem real to the reader not only in their jobs but also in what is going on in each of their personal lives. I would definitely recommend “Hand of Fate” to those who love a good mystery. I received a free copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hunter's Moon


Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel is about well known writer, CJ Baxter. After being gone for seventeen years, CJ comes back home to Adelia, NY after the death of his grandfather. The Baxter’s have always wanted to build a political dynasty and those dreams are finally coming true through CJ's brother, Graham. But there is a secret that the brothers share and it could ruin Graham’s plans. CJ is a new Christian, and has trouble dealing with his family, his soon to be ex-wife and knowing that it’s time people really knew what happened. CJ soon finds himself in grave danger and finds out a secret his mother and father have kept from him all his life. This book is a good illustration between good and evil, and right and wrong. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Never Say Never


In "Never Say Never" by Lisa Wingate, Donetta Bradford and her friends, Imagene and Lucy, are from the tiny town of Daily, Texas. They decide to take a adventurous trip and go on a cruise. After they begin their journey to the ship, the people in the port town of Perdida, Texas, the group’s destination, receive word that a major hurricane is coming their way. When the women reach Perdida, they learn that their ship has already sailed and their only choice is to turn around and become part of the evacuation. Kai Miller, an employee of the cruise ship, misses the boat and must also evacuate. Kai and the three ladies meet up during the evacuation and must travel together to find shelter. The trip is full of humor, adventure and peril as the ladies try to make their way to Daily, Texas. Once they finally get home, Kai meets Donetta's nephew, Kemp. Kai and Kemp are immediately attracted to each other, but another woman threatens their happiness. This is the third book in the Daily, Texas series but it could also be read as a stand alone. This was a very fun read. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not a Sparrow Falls


After her siblings are placed in foster care, Mary Bridget "Bridie" Washburn flees the hills of Virginia with a man who lives on the wrong side of the law. When she decides she wants out, she reports him to the police and strikes out on her own. Assuming a new identity, Bridie lives a quiet life until she meets a teenaged girl begging God for help. Alasdair MacPherson, the girl's father, is a widowed pastor struggling to raise three children after his wife's suicide. He hires Bridie to take care of his children while he is working and Bridie is finally happy and realizes God has always been there for her. But Bridie's happiness is threatened when the man she sent to jail is released and tracks her down. "Not a Sparrow Falls" by Linda Nichols is a book that shows us that no matter what we have done, God never turns away from us, we turn away from Him. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beguiled


In "Beguiled" by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand, Rylee Monroe is a young woman from Charleston, South Carolina. Rylee's father left when she was a little girl and then her mother overdosed on sleeping pills. Rylee was raised by her grandmother. When her grandmother can no longer take care of herself, Rylee has to put her in a nursing home. In order to pay the bills Rylee begins to walk dogs for the wealthy residents of Charleston. After several burglaries in the historic district, Rylee becomes the prime suspect. She teams up with writer Logan Woods to try to figure out who really is the Robin Hood Burglar. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Sense and Sensibility


“Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen focuses on sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their search for love. We see how these sisters love each other no matter what happens and their loyalty to each other, their mother and younger sister. This enduring classic is full of insight from several different authors. It includes interesting details from Jane Austen’s own life to the historical and cultural details from the early 1800’s. The faith in the book is brought out and given Scripture references throughout the book. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Clouds Roll Away


In “The Clouds Roll Away” by Sibella Giorello, forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and is soon investigating a cross burning at a celebrity's mansion. It appears to be a hate crime but as she continues to investigate, things become more puzzling and complicated. Raleigh is also helping with a gang related case. When the two cases start to intertwine, she starts wondering who the bad guys and the victims really are. Raleigh also has a hard time with her supervisor who is not certain she learned anything from being sent to Seattle. Her mother is also behaving in an unusual manner and Raleigh has to keep her job in the FBI a secret from her. Raleigh’s former boyfriend, DeMott Fielding, is also trying to win her heart.

“The Clouds Roll Away” is the third book about Raleigh Harmon. The book was well written and researched and I enjoyed reading it, but it was predictable. I would recommend reading the first two books, “The Stones Cry Out” and “The Rivers Run Dry” first if you want the background on Raleigh and what happened to get her transferred to Seattle. But this book could also be read as a stand alone novel.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Hidden Flame


“The Hidden Flame” by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn is the second book in the Acts of Faith series. Abigail lost her family when she was a young girl but she discovers her brother Jacob is alive. Abigail and Jacob become followers of the Messiah, and Abigail finds a new purpose in life while Jacob is confused on what path he should follow. Two men want Abigail's hand in marriage. One, Ezra, is a successful merchant and widower looking for a mother for his children. The other, Linux, is a Roman soldier who is captivated by her beauty and charm. But she does not love either man. Stephen, one of the leaders of The Way, has a character and faith that she admires. Abigail’s faith is put to the test when the one she loves is in grave danger.

This series is about the birth of Christianity in the first century. “The Hidden Flame” picked up where “The Centurion’s Wife” left off. Oke and Bunn continued the story of Leah and Alban from the first book while telling us the story of Abigail and Jacob. This book shows us that we need to trust and rely on God at all times. He knows what is best for His children even if we don’t understand at the time. I received a free copy of this book to review for Bethany House.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Silent Governess


“The Silent Governess” by Julie Klassen is about Olivia Keene who is running away from home and a secret that could bring harm to her. She runs into Lord Bradley and overhears a secret that could ruin him. Olivia finds herself imprisoned and wounded, leaving her temporarily speechless. Lord Bradley does not want his secret revealed so to keep an eye on her, he hires Olivia as a nurse for his young cousins. Even though the family and servants get to know Olivia, there are still some doubts about her past.

This book is full of romance and suspense. I could not put it down. It will keep you guessing until the end. I would definitely recommend this author to everyone. She makes the story come to life and teaches us valuable life lessons. I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Face of Betrayal


"Face of Betrayal" by Lis Wiehl and April Henry is a mystery that will keep you guessing through out the whole book. Allison Pierce, a Federal prosecuting attorney, soon finds herself involved in the mysterious disappearance of a 17-year old Senate page, Katie Converse. With the help of her friends Cassidy, a television reporter, and Nicole, a FBI agent, Allison tries to figure out who would take Katie. As the investigation continues we find out Katie was having an affair with a much older man, a U.S. Senator whose political career could be over if the affair was publicized. The plot offers a many different twists and turns.

This was a very intriguing book that keeps the reader guessing until the end. The book was very well written and is very believable. The characters, the storyline, and the legal aspects all came together to make this book a page turner. The author draws the reader not only into the main story, but also in the three women’s personal lives. I would definitely recommend this book to everybody. I will be buying more books from Lis Wiehl.