Sunday, February 16, 2014

Where Courage Calls

“Where Courage Calls” by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan takes us to the rugged Canadian frontier. Beth Thatcher has been raised in an easy life and has not known the harsh realities of those less fortunate. Beth feels that God wants her to take a teaching position in the frontier town of Coal Valley. She has been inspired by her aunt Elizabeth who set out to teach in the frontier many years before. However, Beth is not prepared for what awaits her in Coal Valley. A mining incident killed many of the men and left widows struggling to raise their children. Beth takes the children under her wing and begins to teach. Beth makes friends while she is in Coal Valley and soon begins to really care about the people. When Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer Jarrick Thornton walks into her life she feels an attraction she has never felt with anyone else. Jarrick is drawn to Beth but holds back especially with her lifelong friend and fellow officer Edward makes an appearance. Will Beth be able to make a difference in the people of Coal Valley? And who will she choose, Jarrick or Edward?

This is a very well written book that details the life of on the Canadian frontier during the 1920’s. The details of the landscape, the people and there day to day lives makes you feel like you are there with them. This is a book about family, faith, trust, and love. In this book we see how Beth is faced with many decisions and hardships but she always relies on God to see her through. I highly recommend reading Janette Oke’s Canadian West series as well as this one. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rachel

In “Rachel” by Jill Eileen Smith we are taken to Harran 1879 BC. Rachel and Leah are sisters and they do not get along very well. They both want to get married and leave their father’s house. When Jacob comes to their home he immediately wants Rachel for his wife. Her father makes him work for him for seven years before he will allow Rachel to wed. When the time is up and everything looks like it will work out for Rachel and Jacob a switch happens and Leah is the one Jacob marries. Rachel and Jacob are both devastated and he will do anything to have her even working seven more years for her father. The animosity between the sisters grows when Jacob makes it known that he does not have feelings for Leah and that Rachel is his one true love. Things only get worse as Leah has son after son and it looks like Rachel may be barren. Will they all be able to put their anger and jealousy aside for the man they love?

This book brings to life the struggles Rachel, Leah, and Jacob had for many years. This is a very well written book that will make you feel like you are there with the women as they try to get along. You will understand the anger and jealousy that Rachel and Leah had towards one another and you will see that with time and compassion they are able to accept the situation they were thrown into. This is a very moving book that shows us that God is always with us in our struggles and that things will always happen in His time and not ours. I highly recommend reading “Sarai” and “Rebekah” as well to have the full story of Jacob’s family. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Revell.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Quilted Heart Omnibus

“The Quilted Heart Omnibus” by Mona Hodgson is three novellas in one book that are set in St. Charles, Missouri in 1865. In “Dandelions on the Wind” we meet Maren Jenson. Maren came to America in hopes to be a mail order bride. However, her intended left her and joined the war. She moved in with Mrs. Brantenberg to help her with the farm. The war is now over and Mrs. Brantenberg’s widowed son-in-law, Rutherford, has returned. Will Maren and Rutherford be able to let go of their painful pasts and have a future together?

In “Bending Toward the Sun” Emilie Heinrich is a loving and dedicated daughter who helps run her father’s store and takes care of him. Her father wants a better life for Emilie and convinces her to get a higher education. When Emilie reunites with her childhood friend Quaid she finds herself falling for him, but her father forbids Quaid to see Emilie. Will Emilie listen to her father or follow her heart for a future with Quaid?

In “Ripples Along the Shore” Caroline Milburn has returned to St. Charles and finds many of her friends preparing to head west on a wagon train. Caroline lost her husband in the war and begins to think maybe a better future awaits her in the west as well. When the leader of the wagon train, Garrett Cowlishaw, tells her she cannot go with them Caroline thinks her hopes for a brighter future are gone. Will she turn to God to see her through?

These were three very well written novellas that will make you feel like you are in St. Charles with all of the women of the quilting circle. There are many more characters that you will enjoy as well. In this book we see how different tragedies affected the women and how they overcame them with God’s help. I recommend also reading the first book in the Hearts Seeking Home series “Prairie Song” as the story of these women continues as they head west to a new home. I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. Click here to read chapter 1.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Avenged

In “Avenged” by Janice Cantore we are once again taken to Las Playas, California. Carly Edwards is a street cop for Las Playas PD and when she and her partner find three gangbangers shot execution style the whole department fears there will be another gang war. Carly’s husband, Nick, is a sergeant and is head of the gang unit. Carly fears for her husband’s safety but knows that he is ultimately in God’s hands. As the two dig deeper they realize that someone is purposefully trying to start a war between the two gangs in Las Playas but things are not adding up. When a reporter starts making false accusations about Carly they soon discover that someone is out to get her and will do anything to bring her down.

This is the third book in the Pacific Coast Justice series and it is another page turner. This book is full of mystery and intrigue. In this book we see how Carly and Nick have to rely on God and trust that He will see them through no matter what the future may bring. We see how even strong Christians sometimes have difficulty putting our troubles in God’s hands and keeping our faith when things are really bad, but like Carly and Nick we must always turn to God during those hard times. I highly recommend reading “Accused” and “Abducted” first in order to appreciate the relationship Carly and Nick have with each other and with God. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.