Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Every Perfect Gift

In “Every Perfect Gift” by Dorothy Love we meet Sophie Caldwell. Sophie grew up in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee in the orphan home until a kind couple took her in and moved to Texas. Now the year is 1886 and she has returned to Hickory Ridge to revive the town newspaper. Ethan Heyward has moved to Hickory Ridge to build a majestic resort in the mountains above the town. There is an immediate attraction between Sophie and Ethan but they are both hiding something from each other. As time passes Sophie realizes she cannot keep her secret from Ethan any longer but she also realizes that once he finds out he may not like her any longer. Ethan also has a dark secret from his past and has a lot of anger bottled up in him because of something he saw as a child. Will Ethan and Sophie get the answers they seek? Will they have a future together?

This book is the third in the Hickory Ridge series. This book can be read as a standalone but if you want the background stories on some of the people in Hickory Ridge you will want to read “Beyond All Measure” and “Beauty for Ashes” first. This is a very easy book to read and it is also a very heartwarming book to read. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson Publishers.

A Kingsbury Collection

“A Kingsbury Collection” by Karen Kingsbury contains three of her novels in one great book. The first novel, “Where Yesterday Lives” is about Ellen Barrett. Ellen is a very successful journalist but her personal life is lacking. Ellen and her husband have been having trouble lately and things really take a turn for the worse when Ellen’s father dies. Ellen returns to her hometown for the funeral and things keep going from bad to worse. None of her siblings get along and they are constantly fighting. Will Ellen’s family be able to be a loving family again? Will her marriage survive?

In the second novel, “When Joy Came to Stay”, we meet Maggie Stovall. Maggie seems to have it all. But what nobody knows is the secret she has carried for years. When Maggie has an emotional breakdown she checks herself into a psychiatric hospital and cuts contact with her husband, Ben. Not knowing what else to do, Ben tries to learn the secret of her past. Will Maggie be able to forgive herself and save her marriage?

In the third novel, “On Every Side”, we meet Faith Evans. Faith is a very popular newscaster and she is also a very devout Christian. When someone threatens a hundred year old statue of Jesus that is located in her town’s park she knows she has to take a stand, even if it means losing her job. What she did not count on was that person, Jordan, was the boy she loved years ago. Jordan’s reasons for wanting the statue gone are very personal and deep. Will Faith make Jordan see the light? Will they have a future together?

In this collection of novels we see three different women facing very difficult times. You will ache and cry for them but you will also see how having God in their lives is what gets them through their tough times. Click here to visit the author’s website. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

All Things New

In “All Things New” by Lynn Austin we meet southern belle Josephine Weatherly. Josephine has just survived the Civil War and has returned to her Virginia plantation. She finds that most of their former slaves have left and the plantation is not the same as when she left. She knows that the times have changed and is willing to do anything to bring her plantation back to its former glory. However, there are those who are not ready to give up their opulent lifestyles; her mother for one. Her mother still thinks the freed slaves should be there to wait on her hand and foot and will not hear of her own daughter working like a servant. Josephine tries to befriend her servant Lizzie in order to learn how to survive in this new way of life. Lizzie is leery of all white people because of how she has been treated in the past and she fears for the safety of her family. Josephine also befriends a Yankee solider, Alexander, who is trying to help the newly freed slaves. She soon finds herself growing closer to Alexander but her family tries to put an end to their relationship. She is also discouraged that God would allow all of this suffering to happen and starts to doubt Him. What will happen to Lizzie and her family? Will Josephine find her way back to God?

“All Things New” is another great book by Lynn Austin. Once you start reading it you will not want to put it down. This book is a good example of how life was in the south after the war and how the southern attitude was for most. In this book we once again see how even though bad things may happen to us God is walking with us and will bring us through whatever it is we are going through. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Taming the Wind

“Taming the Wind” by Tracie Peterson continues the story of Carissa Lowe and Tyler Atherton. When we first met Carissa in “Touching the Sky” she was a spoiled brat who always got what she wanted. Now she has survived a loveless and brutal marriage and has grown up to be a loving and caring person and mother. The scars of her first marriage run deep and she is not ready to give her heart to another man. But then Tyler enters into the picture again. He helped save Carissa from her husband and he has never been able to forget about her. So when he hears that she is visiting her sister and brother-in-law’s ranch nearby he decides to visit and soon realizes he has lost his heart to her and her daughter. Carissa is still wary of him but when he leaves on a cattle drive she finds herself thinking of him and missing him. They both realize they have deep emotional scars that need to be healed before they can have a future together. Will they let their anger go and give it to God?

“Taming the Wind” is the third book in the Land of the Lone Star trilogy. Tracie Peterson does a great job of bringing the characters from the first two books back into this one. This book can be read as a standalone but I recommend reading the “Chasing the Sun” and “Touching the Sky” first so that you have more compassion for Carissa and Tyler and have more of their story. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.