Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette ~ Book Review

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“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette

Biblical Fiction// Cities of Refuge book Two.

Review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What fun to be able to read little Eitan’s story from when we first met him in “A Light on the Hill”. Except…little Eitan is no longer little in “Shelter of the Most High”! What happened?! ;) He grew up. Into a very strong, Yahweh-following, handsome young man.
This story is also shared with heroine, Sofea. The foreign speaking spitfire with the utmost concern for her cousin, Prezi. Both of these young woman are strong characters and immediately endearing. Kidnapped from their Island and families that were murdered, the girls manage to escape off the ship on which they were imprisoned, making it to shore but nearly dying in the process. They are rescued by a group of Hebrews who bring them back to the city of refuge, Kedesh.
Not only would the ordeal be terrifying, but not speaking their language or understanding at all would be remarkably hard. It was lovely to see the girls adapt, even through continued hardships.
Some of the tension that occurred towards the middle/end was a bit predictable, though there was one event that I hadn’t suspected that was interesting for sure.
I know the relationship tension is something done in almost every novel and it works for the stories, but I have to admit that I get a little tired of it. I certainly don’t mind realistic relationship problems because relationships are hard, but when it just seems to be a part of the plot it isn’t my favorite.
However, I loved how it was resolved, and the ending was very, very good! I don’t want to give any spoilers, but after the tension event occurred, I was completely riveted, wanting to know how a certain plot was going to be unwound.
I also loved the small hints we got for Prezi’s relationship status, though I know we probably won’t get a book for her story. I loved Prezi, Sofea’s cousin, and fell in love with her sweet character!
This is Biblical Fiction, so of course mentions of Yahweh are woven throughout. Its message wasn’t as strong as I was expecting, so I think that’s why it wasn’t my favorite compared to the first book in this series, but it was still very good, and as I said, I loved the ending – that is where we received some very lovely truths that were healing to the characters. I would’ve liked to see Sofea develop more in her faith in Yahweh, though. I feel like that wasn’t touched upon very deeply.
Eitan’s story was very good in this aspect though.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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Posted in Book reviews

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

Evertsone Chronicles Book #5 (novella)

Review copy from the author/publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

About the book:

 

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

A sweet novella! The first time I read this, admittedly it took be a tiny bit to really get into the story, but I think that is mostly because I wasn’t entirely familiar with the characters; I’ve only read one book of Dawn Crandall’s (which I loved!), and that was quite a while ago. However, once I kept reading, it all worked itself out and it can be read as a stand alone since it is Nichollete’s story. I found the second reading of it much more clear, too.
I loved Cal very much. He made such an excellent hero, and I fell in love with him immediately. I very much liked Nicholette but I didn’t really bond with her as much; not quite sure why. I certainly didn’t dislike her. She was a good character, and I felt for her, just didn’t deeply connect. I loved their relationship, though, and how it was all accomplished in a short amount of time. Of course,  I would’ve loved a fullsize novel from this story, but I just love full-sized novels. XD “Enchanting Nicholette” was written very well and didn’t feel like it was lacking.
The kissing scenes got very heated though, which did make me a little uncomfortable, especially when they weren’t married… I don’t mind reading about a kiss here or there in fiction, because frankly there are few books that don’t contain kissing, but these scenes were a bit much in my  opinion. They basically couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
But I know that is a personal-preference thing.
Otherwise, I enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading more of the authors books!

 

 

 

 

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You may recall that I’ve posted a review of this book previously, but I re-read it in paperback now, and polished up my review, so I figured I’d post this one too. ;)

Posted in Book reviews

“Wait For Me” by Susan May Warren ~ Review

 

“Wait for Me” by Susan May Warren

Book 6 in the Montana Rescue Series

Review copy through LibraryThing

My Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

 

About the Book:

Pete Brooks can’t believe he’s waited an entire year for Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart by getting engaged to her ex-fiancé. Worse, a series of mistakes on the job have cost lives, and Pete isn’t sure he wants to continue to work in Search and Rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward. 

EMT Jess Tagg has returned to Montana to finally give her heart to Pete, but it seems he’s no longer interested. When a terrible fight between them sparks an impulsive decision, she finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with Esme Shaw. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, she and Esme are taken captive and into the untamed Montana wilderness–with murderous intent. 

Now Pete and the other PEAK Rescue Team members are in a race against time, the elements, and the actions of a vengeful man. Pete will have to use everything he’s learned to find Jess and Esme–and pray that his past mistakes don’t cost him the life of the woman he can’t stop loving.

 

My Thoughts:

 

And so we have reached the conclusion to the Montana Rescue series. I think we have waited a long time to see the conclusion of Pete and Jess’s story, wondering with each book if they would ever truly reach their happily ever after, but finally it has come! Though not without many scrapes and bruises and trials.
WFM was full of action, excitement, and suspense. And not to mention drama, of course. How can there not be with Jess and Pete involved? ;)
Their relationship has certainly seen their fair share of bumps along the road, and there is more that works to tear them apart. But they grow through it.
I admit that I was just a little disappointed in the faith aspect of this one. It wasn’t central scene and seemed more like something that was worked in at the end. I don’t think that was the authors intention, but while it held meaning, the message at the end just didn’t hold as much of a punch as I was expecting. And there was a scene at the end that I wasn’t very comfortable with – it just felt off to me, and so what I think was meant to be touching, felt unsettling in my opinion.
I appreciated the theme of God loving us because of Him and not due to ourselves, but I would’ve loved for it to have been reflected with a bit more clarity throughout the entirety of the book instead of just the end portion.
Also, I’d say this was at least PG-13 when it comes to all the kissing and passion portrayed. More like adult-content without being fully sexual.
I enjoyed th plotline, and it was definitely suspenseful and we waited to see how it would all unfold. Seeing more of Ned and Shae (aka Esme) was very nice too; I liked their sidestory a lot!
“Wait for Me” was a compelling read that I enjoyed the majority of, but there were just some things that I wasn’t quite a fan of and would recommend it for ages 17+, not really younger.
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Secret To Die For” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

A Secret to Die For

 

“A  Secret To Die For” by Lisa Harris

Review Copy through Revell Publishing

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I absolutely loved Lisa Harris’s Nikki Boyd series, so I was looking forward to another book by this author.
I had a hard time getting into this novel, and couldn’t bond with the characters, so for me, this book wasn’t my favourite.
While it could be compelling at times, I didn’t connect, and found it much like watching an episode of a suspense show I’ve already seen.
The plot picked up a bit towards the end few chapters, but it felt a little predictable.
Like I said, I really do love this author’s work, and I will continue to read her novels, but this one was just a miss for me.
Love that cover, though! So pretty to look at :D
Posted in Books, update

September 2018 Recap

Happy October, readers, and welcome to one of my most favoritest months of the year! ;) I love fall, and October, and just yes <3

How was your September?

For me, blogging took a major backseat as life was continually busy, and also our computer crashed…we have a temporary one working right now but since it’s just as old as the previous one…I don’t want to get too attached. So for now I am not committing to any blogging schedule just yet – I haven’t really had time to do so anyway. I do have some reviews coming up because I am sadly behind on those.

We harvested the majority of our garden in September, continued on with the farmer’s market, celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles with a friend, and were kept busy with day-to-day life.

I completed the Instagram book photo challenge I took part in, though with a few hiccups along the way.  ^.^

As for books, I read:

 

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And as always I acquired my fair share of books but haven’t had time to photograph them, so….yeah.

 

This is a very short post, and I always keep hoping for more, but it’s hard to keep up with right now.  Maybe soon, right?! ;)

What are you looking forward to in this fine month of October? For me it is the chilly weather, fall colors, my birthday, hot cocoa, and book-reading!

 

Posted in Book reviews, Tessa Afshar, Tyndale House

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar ~ Book Review

 

Thief of Corinth

 

“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction

Review copy through Tyndale Review Program

My Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars

About the book:

 

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

My thoughts:

Oh, what to say about another Tessa Afshar novel? If you’ve followed my reviews, or reading habits in general, you probably know Tessa Afshar is one of my most favorite authors, and I am always soooo very excited for a new novel of hers. And of course, this was no exception! I will always read a story by Tessa Afshar. Always. Her Biblical Fiction is the best, and always uplifts me, encouraging me in my walk with Christ.
I so enjoyed reading “Thief of Corinth” – the first person style once again fits perfectly, and I loved Ariadne – she was real, and that showed in every aspect.
I was drawn into the story immediately, and it was nearly impossible to set down. Not only captivating, but full of meaning. The over-arcing message of love was beautifully portrayed. The story worked up to that message, setting the foundation for Ariadne’s vast need of His love.
Eeeek, just all so beautiful!! I was very touched by Paul’s words (Ms. Afshar really does a superb job in bringing this apostle to life!), and how Ariadne grew. None of it was forced; everything felt natural and realistic, and absolutely encouraging. I love the importance put on love. <3
Everything about the book is well-done. The setting, the characters, the plot – it all blends together to create this breathtaking piece of a story that you are so drawn in to that you won’t want it to be over.  I definitely wanted more. ^.^ Annnnnd, I did indeed catch the hint that we’ll possibly be seeing more of Theo, so that is most exciting, because I love these characters!
I just really, really loved “Thief of Corinth”, and can’t wait to reread it! Waiting for another TA book will be hard though. ;)
Definitely recommend this one!!!
Posted in 1940's, Bethany House, Book reviews

“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White ~ Book Review

An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England, #3)

 

“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White

Book Three in the Shadows Over England Series

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

 

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

 

My Thoughts:

 

Barclay. Barclay. And did I mention Barclay? Because yes. I want to reiterate how much I adored his character! His whole story. But okay. I suppose I should attempt to say more about this novel, right? Because it was all amazing! Barclay just greatly helped that factor. ;)

What a conclusion to the Shadows Over England series! But I am also so sad that it is over. Because these characters have become so real and the family so…familiar that is sad to say goodbye! I am very glad to know that the next series will still give us glimpses of these beloved characters, because I really am not ready to say goodbye. Each family member could have their own book and I would be very happy. ;)

The plot for this one was so well done, so well executed, and just perfect. I loved every piece of it. It held the right amount of intrigue, and mystery, while still not being too overwhelming. The only thing that frustrated me was a reaction of Evelina’s towards the end – understandable, but still I wanted her to do the opposite of what she did! XD Ah if we could only advise characters, right?

The setting was very good, and interwoven into the story so well that it was just part of it. I really enjoyed the clock making aspect of the book, and how the characters would relate it to God. Barclay’s faith was so real and very nicely portrayed, and encouraging. It wasn’t “perfect” because our faith does sometimes falter and we do sometimes question, but it is still strong.

And the relationships between Barclay’s makeshift family was darling to see.

I know I keep coming back to the characters but to me, a book is only as good as its characters and these really were so marvelous!! I loved them all so very, very much.

I just really loved this book. Its character, its setting, its lessons. A superb story for Barclay and Evelina <3