Thursday, December 23, 2010
“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.
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” 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.
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.
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” 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.
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.