Saturday, November 5, 2016

Wild Montana Skies

"Wild Montana Skies" by Susan May Warren takes us on a fast paced adventure in Mercy Falls, Montana. The story opens with Kacey Fairing returning to Mercy Falls after she left many years ago to join the military. She became a helicopter pilot and a hero in Afghanistan. But she has returned with a broken spirit and hopes to be able to set her life back on track and to become more involved in her daughter's life. What she didn't count on was being thrown together with her high school boyfriend and love of her life, Ben King. After Ben and Kacey's relationship ended Ben moved to Nashville to pursue his music career. He hoped it would help him get over Kacey but when he sees her back in Montana and realizes some fires can't be put out. When the two must work together to save a group of teenagers many secrets are revealed that dramatically alter Kacey and Ben's futures.

This is a wonderfully written book that will keep your attention. The author does and incredible job of painting a vivid picture of the town and people. This book shows us that even though we make mistakes and may be broken on the inside we can still move forward and with God's help have our happily ever after. We also see that with His help we can forgive others in order to have a life full of happiness and love. This book does a great job of setting the scene for future books and I can't wait until the next one. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Revell.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

From This Day Forward

"From This Day Forward" by Lauraine Snelling takes us once again to the small town of Blessing. The main storyline revolves around Deborah MacCalister and Toby Valders. Deborah and Toby both grew up in Blessing and have been friends for years. However their feelings for each other are very different.  Deborah has been in love with Toby for many years but Toby thinks of her as just another friend. Deborah is ready for her chance at marriage but Toby is afraid to commit because of events from his early childhood that have left him emotionally scarred. When a new man arrives in town and starts spending time with Deborah, Toby finally opens his eyes and searches his heart to learn his true feelings for her but he may be too late.

This book shows us so many examples of why we should always place our trust in God. We see that when Deborah turns to God to direct her path she finally gets the man she deserves. We also see that with the help of God Toby is able to finally put his past behind him and become the man worthy of Deborah. There are may other life lessons to be learned from this story as well.

This is another wonderfully written book that will transport the reader to our favorite fictional town in South Dakota. Lauraine Snelling does an amazing job of painting a vivid picture of what life was like during that time and makes the reader see the town, the farms, and the people. You will wish you could shop at Penny's store, have a sweet treat at Rebecca's, or have a conversation with the wise Ingeborg. I highly recommend all of the books set in Blessing so that you can "watch" the town and people grow. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Love Transformed

“A Love Transformed” by Tracie Peterson begins in the spring of 1917 in New York City where Clara Vesper learns that her husband has been killed. She is told that her husband lost their fortune and she is no at the mercy of her brother-in-law. Clara does not want her life once again orchestrated by her demanding mother so sneaks away with her four-year-old twins and heads to the one place where she knows she can find love and comfort, Montana. She spent many summers there with her aunt and uncle and fell in love with a young cowboy, Curtis. She has always carried her love for Curtis in her heart even though she was forced to marry another. She hopes that in returning she can once again be happy and give her children a loving and caring home. When she arrives in Montana she soon finds, much to her surprise, an angry and broken Curtis. Even at his worst she knows she will never love another. However, there are many obstacles in their way and danger lurks around the corner.

This story is one full of love, mercy and hope. We see how true love never dies even through time and distance. We also see how God’s love for us is always there even when we do not deserve it. This book shows us that even after our worst God will forgives us if we will turn to Him and put our lives in His hands. We also see that no matter what we are going through we should always hope for a better future and trust that God will bring us through whatever troubles we are facing.

This is another wonderfully written book by Tracie Peterson that will keep you reading until the end. She has an amazing ability to pull a reader into her stories and paint a vivid picture for them. This is the third book in the Sapphire Brides trilogy. Although the books are standalones I highly recommend reading “A Treasure Concealed” and “A Beauty Refined” as well. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Where Hope Prevails

“Where Hope Prevails” by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan takes us back to Coal Valley, Canada with Elizabeth Thatcher. Beth has just experienced a summer like no other and is ready to once again head to the quiet town of Coal Valley where she is a school teacher. She expects to return to the same place and people but soon finds many changes have taken place and they are changes she is not fond of. Her biggest change is she is no longer the only teacher in Coal Valley and she finds herself in opposition with her teaching partner. Beth also has to deal with the uncertainty of her future. She knows that she and her Mountie, Jarrick, will one day marry but she is uneasy not knowing what their future will hold. She knows that Jarrick wants only the best for them however she has a hard time excepting the fact that she may be forced to leave her new friends in Coal Valley.

This is the third book in the Return to the Canadian West series and it is another winner. The authors are quick to draw the reader in and keep them involved in the story. The book paints a vivid picture of what live in a little Canadian town would have been like during the time period. In this book we see that even though Beth always turns to God and put her faith in Him to guide her she still stumbles. This book shows us that nobody is perfect but with God’s help and forgiveness we can always improve to become a better person.

I highly recommend ready the first two books, “Where Courage Calls” and “Where Trust Lies” first so that you will have the full back story of Beth, Jarrick, and the people of Coal Valley. I also recommend reading the Canadian West series by Janette Oke. This is the series that started it all with Beth’s aunt also named Elizabeth. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Beauty Refined

“A Beauty Refined” by Tracie Peterson takes us to Helena, Montana in 1907 where we meet Phoebe and Ian. Phoebe’s father, a German count, takes them to America in search of sapphires. Ian is a lapidary in Helena and is fascinated by the young German lady. The more time he spends with Phoebe the more he comes to care for her. He also realizes her life is not what it seems. It is during this time that Phoebe learns that her father is not the man he portrays to be. He is a lying, vindictive man that will not let anyone get in the way of what he wants. Phoebe learns just how far his treachery has gone when she comes face to face with a very important person from her past. With Ian’s help she is able to face her past and move toward a bright and better future.

This is another wonderfully written book by Tracie Peterson that will draw you in from the beginning. She paints a picture with words that will take the reader on the adventure with Phoebe and Ian and leave them wanting more. This book is a heartwarming read that will also take the reader on the spiritual journey of Phoebe as she grows close to God during her difficult time. This story shows us that even when things are at their darkest; God will carry us through if we will put our faith in Him to bring us to a better tomorrow. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

From This Moment

“From This Moment” by Elizabeth Camden takes us to 1897 Boston where we are taken on exciting ride with Stella West and Romulus White. Stella is an artist that is well known in London and Romulus has been trying to get her to work for his magazine for several years; however, Stella has no plans to ever return to America. Then her life is turned upside down when her sister mysteriously dies. She returns to Boston to try to discover the truth of what really happened. Romulus quickly finds out she is in his city and pursues her but Stella only has one goal in mind. When Stella discovers she can use Romulus for his connections in the city she changes her mind but both of them figure they will both get what they want and that will be it. Neither expected the attraction they instantly feel for each other. Romulus and Stella grow closer as they search for someone who can tell them what really happened to her sister. Things become very dangerous for them when it is discovered Stella’s sister was indeed murdered and Stella discovers secrets in Boston’s political circle.

This is a wonderfully written book that will keep you guessing as you go on the journey with Stella. This book also has several lighthearted moments that will make you smile as the two main characters fall in love. You will also see how Stella learns to trust in God and put her faith in Him to protect her in her desperate time of need. This book will keep you turning the pages and leave you wanting for more when it ends. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Her One and Only

“Her One and Only” by Becky Wade takes us to Texas to the Porter family. Dru Porter is the baby and only girl of the family but she is no princess. She is a former Marine who is now a bodyguard. Her new client is NFL star Gray Fowler. Gray has a stalker who is sending him threatening letters. He is not concerned and definitely does not want the beautiful Dru protecting him. Dru has something to prove after her last job went bad. She has no time for starting any kind of relationship with Gray. But neither can deny their attraction for the other especially after spending so much time together. They both start to realize there is more to the other than what they initially thought. However, they both have their reasons for not becoming romantically involved with the other. But when Dru puts her life before Gray’s they both know they can no longer deny their feelings. Will they be able to move from their pasts in order to have a future together before it’s too late?

In this book we see how Dru has put her faith in God and turned her life around for the better. We see how God uses her to help Gray turn his life around as well. Through Gray we are able to see that no matter what has happened to us we all have the power to change who we are with God’s help. This is the fourth book in the Porter Family series and it is another page turner. This book not only gives us Dru’s story but it also brings the other Porter siblings back to continue their stories. This book is wonderfully written and full of action, laughs, and romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

The Magnolia Duchess

“The Magnolia Duchess” by Beth White continues the story of the Lanier family in Mobile, Alabama. This book takes place in 1814 during the War of 1812. The United States is a war with the British once again and Fiona Lanier brings the enemy to her family’s door without them knowing. Fiona finds Charlie Kincaid washed up on the beach and rescues him. Fiona remembers him from when she visited his family in Great Britain. Charlie however has no memory of anything due to the accident that brought him ashore. Fiona lost her heart to him many years before and never thought she would see him again. She is torn between love for Charlie and loyalty to her family and country. Charlie soon starts to fall for Fiona but her family tries to keep them apart especially when his memory returns and they find out who he really is. Will Fiona and Charlie find their happily ever after with their countries at war with each other and the turmoil going on around them?

This is the third book in the Gulf Coast Chronicles and it is another wonderfully written book. This book will keep you turning the pages and make you wonder what will happen next. You will be transported to the Gulf Coast and feel like you are there in the story. In this book we see how Fiona and Charlie rely on God to bring them through this awful time with the uncertainty of what will happen to America and the uncertainty that they will be with each other again. I highly recommend reading “The Pelican Bride” and “The Creole Princess” to follow the family’s saga from the beginning. I received complimentary copy of this book to review from Revell.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Land of Silence

“Land of Silence” by Tessa Afshar takes us to Jerusalem into the world of young Elianna. Elianna is a young girl with a wonderful future ahead of her. She comes from a good family and will soon marry the man of her dreams. Then in one second her life is forever changed. Her young brother dies while in her care and her father blames her and does not want anything to do with her anymore. She also blames herself and cannot let go of the guilt no matter what her fiancĂ© tells her. She takes over running her father’s business and does quite well. Unfortunately for her when things seem to be going well something bad is lurking around the corner. We see how tragedy after tragedy happens to her and changes her life a little at a time. Until finally she becomes ill and is cast aside by everyone except for a few close friends and relatives. During this time she comes to have a closer relationship with the Lord and continually prays for physical and spiritual healing. Nothing helps until an encounter with the prophet Jesus and she learns that only He alone can heal her and make her clean.

This story brings to life a few scriptures in the Bible and makes you wonder just who the woman who touched Jesus really was. The author does an amazing job of bringing the Bible life in a way that will make you feel you are there with Elianna. This story also shows us that no matter all the bad we encounter we should never give up on God to heal us and make us whole again. Only He has the power to set us free from whatever bondage we are enslaved to. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Inheritance

“The Inheritance” by Michael Phillips takes us to the Shetland Islands off of Scotland. The book is set on the island of Whales Reef and opens in June 1924 where we meet Laird and Chief of Whales Reef, Ernest Tulloch. Tulloch faces a decision of who will be is heir. He decides to split the two titles of Laird and Chief which works well until we are taken to the summer of 2005. Here we meet David Tulloch, current Chief of Whales Reef, and Loni Ford. Loni works for an investment firm in Washington, D.C. and seems to have a wonderful life but deep down she wonders who she really is. She lost her parents at a young age and was raised by her grandparents. She knows nothing about her mother and her family and has always wondered who they were and where they came from. David works hard to make sure life for his people on Whales Reef is good. Unfortunately his uncle who is the Laird of Whales Reef dies and leaves everything in turmoil. Another Tulloch cousin claims he is the heir and should be Laird even though everyone has assumed David would inherit the title. This sets forth a search for the truth that will eventually bring Loni to the Shetland Islands where she finally learns who her mother’s family is.

This is the first book in the Secrets of the Shetlands series and it does an amazing job of setting up the series. Michael Phillips is a wonderful writer that can transport you anywhere with his amazing detail in his writing. In this book we see the physical and spiritual journey Loni takes in order to find herself. We see how she has drifted from her faith but through the book is brought back to God to help her find her way. This is a wonderful book that will keep you turning the pages and leave you waiting to find out what happens in the next book. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Treasure Concealed

“A Treasure Concealed” by Tracie Peterson takes us to 1895 Montana where we meet Emily Carver and Caeden Thibeault. Emily is a young lady who lives with her parents in a gold mining camp. She has endured a hard life moving all around and dreams of having her own permanent home. She spends her days taking care of her dying mother and doing everything she can to provide for her family. Caeden is a geologist from the New York. He comes to Montana surveying the area for the government. When he meets the Carvers he finds a family that is full of love no matter the hardships they are facing. He is drawn to Emily but has vowed to never marry. His feelings for her deepen through every tragedy she faces and he longs to protect her. Emily tries to distance herself from Caeden as well but he is constantly in her thoughts. She knows that they want two different things in life and does not think there could ever be a future for them together. Will they be able to put their trust in God to bring them together?

This is a wonderfully written book that will bring life in 1890’s Montana to life. Tracie Peterson does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture and keeping the story going. In this book we see the two main characters grow spiritually closer to God and following His path for them even when it’s not what they intended. This is the first book in the Sapphire Brides trilogy and I can’t wait for the next one. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Prophetess

“The Prophetess” by Jill Eileen Smith takes us to 1101 BC Israel and into the world of the prophetess Deborah. The story starts with Deborah as a young lady going about her daily life until her life is forever changed in a big way when the Lord speaks to her. Her life is changed again when her father and brothers are killed and she has to marry a man she does not love. The book then takes us forward several years to an adult Deborah who not only has to deal with being a mother and grandmother but also as the one God has chosen to lead His people back to Him. The Canaanites are an evil people who are out to destroy the Israelites. No one is safe as the Canaanites make their way across the lands killing, raping, and kidnapping. Deborah has the help of a young Israelite man named Barak to finally put an end of the Canaanite terror. What Barak did not count on is dealing with the attentions of Deborah’s young daughter Talya. Will Barak’s past keep him and Talya apart? Will the Canaanites finally be stopped from destroying God’s people?

Jill Eileen Smith does an amazing job of pulling us into a world many of us only know from the Bible. This book is well written and has many different story lines that all tie in together to make for a wonderful read. This book shows us that no one is perfect and we all have doubts but when we listen to God and follow His word He will take care of His children. I received a complimentary copy to review from Revell.

Beyond the Silence

In “Beyond the Silence” by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse we meet Lillian Porter and Woody Colton. Lillian lives in Indianapolis but is determined to head west like her mother always dreamed. She moves to Angels Camp, California to become a nanny to Woody’s son Jimmy. Woody’s wife was killed in a gruesome way and Jimmy has not spoken a word since the day his mother died and only he can identify the man who killed his mother. When Lillian arrives to California she learns that the people of Angels Camp suspect Woody of killing his wife. But the man Lillian comes to know does not match what she has heard. She makes friends with Jimmy and tries everything she can to make the little boy happy again. As time goes by she soon finds herself falling for not only Jimmy but Woody as well. And then tragedy strikes and Woody is once again a suspect of foul play. Will Lillian be able to uncover the truth before it’s too late?

This is a wonderfully written book that will transport you to 1891 California. This book will draw you in from the beginning and keep you turning the pages until the end. We learn early in the book the truth behind the murder but the authors do a great job of keeping the reader engaged as the plot unfolds. This book does a wonderful job of showing that if we put out faith in God he will work things out for us as we go the trials of our daily lives. I received a complimentary copy for review from Bethany House Publishers.