Thursday, August 30, 2012

To Love and Cherish

In “To Love and Cherish” by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller we are once again welcomed to Bridal Veil Island, Georgia. Melinda Colson works as a ladies maid in Cleveland and has visited to island with her employers for several years. She has become friends with one of the workers on the island, Evan Tarlow. Melinda hopes that Evan will propose to her before she leaves to go back to Cleveland but she is very disappointed when he does not. While apart Melinda wonders if Evan really does love her but Evan knows that he has nothing to offer Melinda at that time. When Melinda receives word that a hurricane has hit the island she quits her job and travels to Georgia because she is worried about Evan. Evan is surprised that Melinda came back and he soon realizes they have different things in mind in their relationship. Melinda is able to get a job as a maid and then is promoted as a special activities planner. Evan is busy cleaning the island from the storm and getting it ready for the tourists to come back. He is also waiting for a promotion and feels the pressure from his supervisors. He knows he needs this promotion in order to provide for Melinda after they are married but there are people who are trying to keep them apart and also something sinister is going on at the island. Will Melinda and Evan live happily ever after?

This is the second book in the Bridal Veil Island series and it will not let you down. Peterson and Miller have done another great job with transporting the reader to the island. You will feel as if you are there with Melinda and Evan as their relationship grows. I highly recommend the first book as well but you do not have to read them in order. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Prayers of a Stranger

In “Prayers of a Stranger: A Christmas Journey” by Davis Bunn we meet Amanda and Chris Vance. Amanda works in a hospital in Florida as the personal assistant to the hospital’s director. When changes come to the hospital she contemplates going back into nursing. When she is told to take a vacation from work right before Christmas she learns that her neighbor’s husband will not be able to go on their trip to the Holy Land so she goes in his place. Amanda hopes that this trip will help her to heal from the loss of her child the year before. Amanda and Chris had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their firstborn when Amanda suffered a miscarriage. Amanda has never fully recovered from the loss and decided to quit nursing. Chris has been under a lot of pressure at work and is also pressured by his sister to spend the Christmas holiday with her family. While Amanda is gone, Chris has to choose between protecting his wife or pleasing the rest of his family. While Amanda is in the Holy Land she meets a local woman who asks her to pray for a sick child. Amanda decides to visit the child and realizes she may be able to help but she has to put her own fears aside. With the help of their neighbors and God Amanda and Chris are able to heal from their loss and are able to give their marriage a new start. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grant: Savior of the Union

In “Grant: Savior of the Union” by Mitchell Yockelson we get to know the general that brought the south to its knees. In this book we learn about Ulysses Grant as a child growing up in Ohio and the years he spent at West Point. West Point helped mold Grant into the great general he became during the U. S. Civil War. In between West Point and the Civil War, Grant served in the Mexican War and was able to learn a great many tactics he would later use. Many of the great Civil War generals attended West Point together and fought beside each other in the Mexican War. But friendships and loyalties would soon be tested. This book tells of the many heroic things Grant did during the Civil War from the Battle of Shiloh, to Vicksburg, to Petersburg and finally the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. We also learn about Grant as a president. Grant was elected our 18th president in 1868 and was re-elected in 1872. Despite his being a great General of the U. S. Army, he was not a politician and has since been said to be one of our worst presidents. There were many scandals during his presidency and that’s what most people will remember about him but if it wasn’t for Grant the Unites States may not be what it is today.

Growing up in Louisiana I have mainly read about the generals of the Confederacy. Of course I knew who General Grant was because of Grant’s Canal and Vicksburg but I have never thought what it was like to be in his shoes. The Union had been through several Generals before Lincoln appointed Grant as the leader of all the army. Many people questioned Grant throughout the war but in the end he proved to be not only what the Union needed. If not for Grant our country could have permanently been split and more wars could have followed. There will always be the debate of North versus South but we are all still The United States of America.

The Deposit Slip

In “The Deposit Slip” by Todd M. Johnson we meet Erin Larson. Erin has recently lost her father and is close to losing the family farm. When Erin goes to the bank to clean out her father’s safety deposit box she finds a deposit slip. The deposit slip is for ten million dollars. Erin knows her father did not have that kind of money and the bank has no record of the deposit being made. When she hires a lawyer to investigate, threats are made against her. Finally one lawyer decides to take a chance on the case. Jared Neaton left a big firm to go out on his own. The problem is he gambled on a big case and is now barely paying the bills. He is reluctant to take Erin’s case for two reasons. One is that he’s not sure he will win and if he does not he will not have any money left. The second is that the bank is in the town he grew up in. Jared, Erin and Jared’s assistant, Jessie, investigate the case and soon realize that there is a cover up at the bank and also at the law firm Jared used to work for. Where did the money come from? Where did it go? Who is covering it up?

This was an amazing first book for Todd Johnson. He hooked me from the beginning and I was not able to put it down. While I was able to figure some things out the book did keep me guessing and kept me interested until the last page. I highly recommend this book if you are a fan of legal suspense. I will definitely be reading more books from him in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

The Widow of Saunders Creek

In “The Widow of Saunders Creek” by Tracey Bateman we meet Corrie Saunders. Corrie gave up a life of privilege when she married her Army husband, Jarrod. Now Corrie is a widow and must face her life without him. She moves back to Saunders Creek in Missouri to a house that Jarrod inherited from his grandparents. Corrie’s plan is to renovate the old house and to hide from everyone so that she can grieve alone. Jarrod’s cousin, Eli, not only helps her restore the house but he also becomes her friend. Strange things start happening in the house and Corrie believes that Jarrod is trying to contact her. Eli tries to show Corrie that it is not Jarrod and that she needs to trust that God will see her through whatever comes her way. Corrie so desperately misses her husband and will not give up hope that he has come back to her. She even goes as far to have a séance in the house so that Jarrod can communicate with her. Soon after, she realizes the presence she is feeling is not her beloved husband. Meanwhile, throughout the process of restoring the house Eli and Corrie become closer than just being friends, but Corrie is scared to put her trust in another man because she is afraid something will happen to him. Will Corrie finally accept God? Will she and Eli have a future together?

In this book we see how far someone will go to hold on to their departed loved one. We never want to give up those we love even when we know we will see them again in heaven, but we have to trust and lean on God to see us through our times of need. He is the only one who will bring us through our pain and suffering and when we finally do make it through we will realize we can love again. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Click here to read the first chapter of the book.