Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Painter's Daughter

“The Painter’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen takes us to 1815 England. Here we meet Sophie Dupot and Stephen Overtree. Stephen is a captain in the military but he is currently searching for his brother Wesley. His search brings him to Sophie and within days of meeting her he guesses her secret. She is pregnant with his brother’s child. Knowing that his brother will not return and do the right thing Stephen proposes marriage to Sophie to save her from disgrace. Sophie agrees so that she and her child will be protected. They travel to Stephen’s home and keep the secret from his family. The months they are together bring them closer and soon they start to fall for each other. When everything seems to be going well Stephen must leave and Wesley returns. He finds that his former lover is now his sister-in-law and soon discovers he is the father of her child. He does everything he can think of to persuade Sophie to run away with him and then news arrives that could change everything.

This is a very well written book that will transport you to Regency England. You will love Sophie and feel compassion for her as you learn her story. You will admire Stephen for being the man his brother could never be. This book shows that by placing our faith in God and by doing what is right things do work out for the best even when we want something totally different. I received this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Streams of Mercy

“Streams of Mercy” by Lauraine Snelling takes us back to
Blessing, North Dakota. Angi Moen has returned to Blessing after losing her husband in Norway. She becomes friends with newcomer Thomas Devlin. Thomas is a priest but without a church. He passes the time in Blessing by being a carpenter. Angi settles back into Blessing easily as she begins to teach school and write for the newspaper. Things seem to be going well for everyone in Blessing until a diseased stricken circus train arrives to town. Not only do many of the circus performers fall in but so do several of our beloved citizens. Drs. Elizabeth and Astrid do everything they can to keep everyone well and then the unthinkable happens. The citizens of Blessing must remain hopeful and trusting in God to see them through this new crisis.

This is the third book in the Song of Blessing series and it will tug your heart. It is another wonderfully written book and that draws you into the daily life of the Bjorklund family and their many friends. This book shows us that sometimes life is not fair but we should never turn away from God in our most trying times. He knows our futures and will see us through the darkest of days if we only rely fully on Him. I highly recommended reading all of the books in all of the Blessing series’. Lauraine Snelling is a wonderful writer that knows how to draw you in and make you feel like you are a character in the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Refining Fire

“Refining Fire” by Tracie Peterson takes us back to the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, Washington. This book takes us once again into the lives of two young ladies at the school. Abrianna and Militine both live at the school but neither is thinking about finding a husband. Abrianna is set on helping the friendless in Seattle. Militine is hiding from a dark past. The two girls could not be any different. Abrianna is an outspoken and godly person and Militine would rather stay in the shadows and she definitely does not want anything to do with God. When her good friend Thane turns his attentions toward her she does not think she is worthy of his love. Thane also has a dark secret and is afraid of a relationship with Militine but he knows his feelings are not going away. With the help of his friend Wade he finally faces his past and turns to God for forgiveness. Militine’s friendship with Abrianna also opens her eyes up to who God really is. Will they trust in Him in order to have a future together?

This is the second book in the Brides of Seattle series and it is another wonderful book. Tracie Peterson has a way of drawing you in and bringing the story to life. This story shows us how important a relationship with God is. Without Him we feel hopeless and not worthy but once we let him in our lives we see all the wonderful things He can do for us. That does not mean we will not have hard times but it does mean that He will be with us during those times. If you read “Steadfast Heart” then I highly recommend this book as it continues Abrianna and Wade’s story. I received a complimentary copy to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Love Like Ours

“A Love Like Ours” by Becky Wade brings us the story of Jake Porter and Lyndie James. Jake and Lyndie were childhood best friends. They did everything together and neither could imagine life without the other until Lyndie’s family moves to California. They drifted apart but now twenty years later fate brings them back together. Those twenty years have brought a lot of change and mainly to Jake. He was in the marines and a tragic accident while serving overseas has left him with PTSD. He is deeply scarred inside and out and does not let many in his life easily. Lyndie is her same caring self and wants to help Jake and to become friends with him again. He does not make it easy for her but slowly she begins to get to him. However, Jake does not feel worthy of her love and keeps trying to shut her out even though he knows he has always been in love with Lyndie. Will Jake put his anger aside and turn to God to help him reconcile his past in order to have a future with Lyndie?

This is another wonderfully written book by Becky Wade that will keep you turning the pages and hoping the story doesn’t end. This book will make you laugh at Lyndie’s adventures and make you think about Jake’s troubles. This book show us that even when we think there is no hope for a happy life if we will only turn to God He will carry us through and give us piece of mind and make us whole again. This is the third book in the Porter Family series and while it can be read as a standalone I recommend reading “Undeniably Yours” and “Meant to Be Mine” first so that you can have the back story to many of the other characters in this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Creole Princess

“The Creole Princess” by Beth White takes us to 1776 Mobile, Alabama where we meet Lyse Lanier. Lyse is a young French girl who grew up in Mobile. Her best friend is Daisy Redmond who happens to be the daughter of the British commander in Mobile. When Rafael (Rafa) Gonzalez arrives in Mobile, Lyse is immediately drawn to him. Rafa is there as a spy and his plan is to befriend Daisy in order to learn secrets of the fort. He did not plan on his attraction to Lyse. The two of them grow fond of each other the more time they spend together. However there are many secrets between them that could spell disaster for a future together. Lyse must choose between her family, her country, or her heart during a turbulent time in America.

This is a wonderfully written book that you will not want to put down until the end. Beth White does a fantastic job of describing the time and people of 1776 America. This book brings the Revolutionary War to life from a different standpoint that we usually read about. In this book we see that when things are there bleakest for Lyse, she puts her trust in God that He will see her through to a future and love she desperately wants. This is the second book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles series and I highly recommend reading “The Pelican Bride” as well. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Revell.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Harvest of Hope

“A Harvest of Hope” by Lauraine Snelling takes us back to Blessing, North Dakota in 1905. Miriam Hastings came to Blessing for nursing training at the Blessing Hospital. She was called back home to Chicago when her mother became deathly ill. While in Chicago she feels torn. Part of her wants to stay in Chicago with her siblings and the other part wants to return to Blessing and to Trygve Knutson. Trygve is anxiously waiting for Miriam to return because he knows that this is the woman he is to marry. Finally the day arrives when Miriam returns. Miriam is busy training but also finds herself spending more time with Trygve. She does not want to get his hopes up because she will be returning to Chicago as soon as her training is over. Trygve is persistent and soon starts winning Miriam over but she is still torn between Chicago and Blessing. Which will she choose?

This is the second book in the Song of blessing series. This book picks up where “To Everything a Season” left off. This series continues the story of Blessing and the Bjorklund family. This is a book full of hope, faith, and love and it will draw you in and you will not want to put it down. This book shows us that God is ultimately in control and we should always trust in Him no matter what is going on in our lives. I highly recommend reading all of the books about the Bjorklund family. These books will give you a glimpse of what life was like in the 1880s through the early 1900s. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sabotaged

“Sabotaged” by Dani Pettrey once again takes us on a suspenseful ride in Alaska. Reef McKenna and Kirra Jacobs have known each other their whole lives but they have never been friends. Now they are thrown together as partners in the search-and-rescue team for the Iditarod. Reef sees Kirra leaving the checkpoint station in the middle of the night and follows her. She is worried about her uncle when he fails to check-in and together they search for him. Her uncle tells Kirra that his daughter Meg has been kidnapped and that Kirra and Reef must find her before he reaches Nome or something bad will happen. With the help of the rest of the McKenna family Kirra and Reef start out on a race of their own across Alaska before more lives are put in danger.

This is the fifth and last book in the Alaskan Courage series that features the McKenna family. This book, like all of the others, will pull you in and keep you turning the pages until the end. Dani Pettrey does an amazing job of showing us how Reef must put his trust in God to guide him in not only in finding the bad guys but also in his relationship with Kirra. We also see how Kirra must overcome her anger and uncertainty in trusting God because of something that happened in her past. I highly recommend reading “Submerged”, “Shattered”, “Stranded”, and “Silenced” as well. These are all wonderfully written books and you will appreciate Reef more in this book as you learn about him in the first four books. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

The Crimson Cord

“The Crimson Cord” by Jill Eileen Smith tells the story of Rahab. In the Bible Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho who helped Israelite spies. Rahab protected the Israelites and was promised safety when the Israelites took Jericho. She was told to hang a crimson cord on her window and when the time came she and anyone who resided in her house would be safe. “The Crimson Cord” takes us into Rahab’s world and brings the scriptures in the Bible to life. The Bible does not say why Rahab became a prostitute but this book gives us one possibility. This book also makes us think what her thoughts and feelings were during that dark time in her life. We also see how she moves from her past to a bright future and become an ancestor to Jesus. While we can only speculate about most of Rahab’s life, this book will bring her to life and make us wonder what this woman was truly like.

This is a wonderfully written book and that will draw you in from the first page and keep you turning until the last. Jill Eileen Smith does an amazing job in bringing the Bible to life and detailing what life was life back then. This is the ultimate story of redemption and forgiveness. We see that if we put our trust and faith in God He will forgive us of our sins if we are sincere and repent. Rahab’s story shows us that God can and will use anybody from any walk of life for a greater good. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Revell.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Steadfast Heart

“Steadfast Heart” by Tracie Peterson takes us to 1888 Seattle, Washington where we meet Lenore Fulcher and Kolbein Booth. Lenore’s is the only child of a wealthy businessman and her father is pushing her to marry. However, Lenore vows to marry for love and there is currently no anyone who interests her. Then in walks Kolbein. He has come to Seattle in search of his sister who ran away from home. When Lenore and Kolbein meet it is love at first sight. Before they can get to know one another very well Lenore’s parents take her on a trip to San Francisco. While Lenore is away she and Kolbein realize that even though they have not known each other very long they are destined to be together. In this book we also meet Lenore’s best friend Abrianna. Abrianna feels that God has called her to help the less fortunate even if it means putting her life in danger. Abrianna trusts that God will protect her and continues with her work even when danger shows up at her front door.

This is a wonderfully written book that will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. We meet many other characters in this book as well that will make you smile and leave you waiting for their stories to be told in the Brides of Seattle series. Even though Lenore is not a conceited person we see how she changes for the better once she realizes what is truly important in life. We also see how Kolbein accepts Christ in his life and learns to fully trust in Him. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.