Posted in Bethany House, Blades, Book reviews, reading, Reviews, Tomahawks

A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter ~ Book Review

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A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

Haven Manor Book 3

Review copy from the publisher as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A Pursuit of Home (Haven Manor, #3)

About the book:

In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.
Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to solve the puzzle.
As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I’m feeling very inadequate to write this review. I just can’t believe this series is over, and that this particular story is over. I didn’t want it to end! Still don’t, but I suppose I must come to terms with that fact at some point.Readers of the Haven Manor series have been anticipating Jess’ story for quite some time. And oh goodness did it satisfy!! Right from page one of “A Pursuit of Home”, I was drawn into the story, and became even more entwined withe the characters. It was so nice (and sad too) to finally understand Jess and her past. Her snarky character really is marvelous, by the way. Every hardship only made her stronger and more resilient, and I just love her sarcasm. And Derek! Oh my word, was he fantastic too. The banter held between these two was beyond exemplary. I laughed numerous times, and I just loved their chemistry. A sentence that had me grinning:
“Unless you’ve an axe for me to use, I can’t go any farther,” Derek whispered. “And I feel I should warn you, before you produce an axe from some random corner of your person, I haven’t the ability to chop wood silently.”
At first, Derek irritated Jess, and that made for some very humorous situations. Jess was used to being hardened, and the thought of actually caring terrified her. And sometimes I could understand this. “This made her feel vulnerable. This was terrifying”  – I get that. ^.^ Truly, I was just very impressed with the characters as a whole. Beautifully done!The plot was exciting, and I loved seeing how everything unfolded. The mystery, the journeys, the danger, and the growth in each character – it was all just marvelous and I felt right at home within the pages. I also loved the knife-throwing aspect. That was extremely fun as knife-throwing is one of my hobbies  – and I was just flabbergasted to read the acknowledgements and find my name listed there. THANK YOU Kristi Ann Hunter! Being able to share info about knife-throwing was a delight and having my name in the acknowledgements an extreme honor. I’ve been squealing over it for days! :)But yes, in conclusion, this book is amazing, it never disappointed, and I adore these characters. I loved this book so much and am truly sad to see it end. But what an ending it was. I highly recommend this fabulous series! <3

 

 

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Quotes:

 

“The problem with inevitability was that no matter how much effort one put into avoiding them, they still happened.”

 

“Derek loved the scent of books. Paper, ink, leather, and dust created an aroma that always made him feel at home.”

 

“Interesting thing about opinions. They tend to vary from person to person. If they didn’t, they would be facts.”

“This made her feel vulnerable. This was terrifying” — I feel ya Jess.

 

“God had given the sacrifice she needed, not the one she’d asked for. That was the sacrifice love demanded. It wasn’t sacrificing to make someone else happy; it was sacrificing to provide what they needed.”

 

 

 

**I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.  

Posted in Book reviews

Something Needs to Change by David Platt ~ Book Review

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need

Something Needs to Change by David Platt

Nonfiction

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

My Thoughts

 

Admittedly nonfiction takes me a while to read, however it is often quite worth it especially with an author like David Platt. As he takes us along his journey through the Himalayas, we experience a taste of what he did, and that was incredible and sobering, and humbling to say the least. This book brought tears, joy, encouragement, and a humbling sense of awareness.The writing style flowed effortlessly, with lots of information to digest and ponder on. Not one to be rushed through.

God calls us all to different paths, and He will accomplish His will in us when we submit to Him. Great book with a great message.

Posted in Book reviews

“Heart of a Royal” by Hannah Currie ~ Book Review

 

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“Heart of a Royal” by Hannah Currie

Daughters of Peverell #1

Review copy from the publishers/author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Heart of a Royal (Daughters of Peverell #1)

 

About the Book:

Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner.

But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust – both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with?

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My Thoughts:

 

This was every bit as delightful as I hoped it would be!! I fell in love with the cover first (it’s gorgeous!), and the description immediately drew my interest. And indeed, the story itself is amazing, and I daresay even surpasses the loveliness of the cover!”Heart of a Royal” is a delightful YA royal read – it reminded me a bit of “The Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale, only better (which I don’t say in disrespect of TPA as that is still one of my favorite stories!).It is written in first person, from main character Kenna’s point of view, and that worked so beautifully. It was extremely easy to become deeply invested in the story, and I didn’t want to leave its pages. :)I LOVED Ben, so much! His kindness, and patience, and over-all character was just amazing. I super loved Kenna too (though sometimes I wanted her to act/say/do differently, but I really liked her character as it was), and their relationship was the best. That ending was so good <3 The one thing I will say I wish was different was the length – I wished this story could’ve gone on forever. :D I am very excited for this author’s next novel! Her debut was superb and I definitely recommend it. The faith message, especially towards the end was great, and I very much appreciate its presence! The whole conclusion was lovely. :) So thankful for the chance I got to read this beautiful novel!

 

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*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own. 

Posted in Book reviews

“A Cross to Kill” by Andrew Huff ~ Book Review

A Cross to Kill (Shepherd Suspense #1)

 

“A Cross to Kill” by Andrew Huff

Book One in the Shepherd Suspense Series

Review copy from the author

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

John Cross is a small-town pastor, bent on leading his flock to follow God’s calling. He’s not the sort of man one would expect to have a checkered past.
But the truth is that the man behind the pulpit preaching to his sheep was once a wolf–an assassin for the CIA. When John decided to follow Christ, he put that work behind him, determined to do penance for all the lives he took. He vowed never to kill again.
Now someone wants the peaceful pastor to pay for his sins with his own life. And when a terrorist out for revenge walks into the church, John’s secrets are laid bare. Confronted with his past, he must face his demons and discover whether a man can truly change. Can he keep his vow–even when the people he loves are in mortal danger? Will his congregation and the brave woman he’s learning to care for be caught in the cross fire? In the end, John’s life may be the only sacrifice he has left to offer. . .

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is an action-packed novel, with a non-stop moving plot and characters that fight danger at every turn. Right from the start we are plunged into the thick of suspense as our main character rescues the leading lady. Full of chases, near-miss gunfire, and government intrigue, A Cross To Kill is definitely for fans who thrive off action. There was the ever-important message of Salvation present, and I particularly liked church-member Lori. She was a sweetheart. :)For me personally, the story was a bit dramatic, and maybe a little too-action packed, but as I said, that is just my personal opinion, and for big fans of action I’m sure this will be a hit. :)Thanks to the author for the review copy!

 

 

 

*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own. 

Posted in Book reviews

“A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest” by JA Myhre ~ Book Review

 

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest (The Rwendigo Tales #1)

“A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest” by J.A. Myhre

Middle grade fiction

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Ten-year-old Mu, orphaned as a toddler, has lived his entire life in the heart of Africa. For as long as he can remember, he has served in the household of a great-uncle where he is unloved and ignored. In his drudgery-filled life, Mu has little hope of happiness and little hope that anything will ever change. But one day everything does change. On his way to draw water one morning, Mu is astonished when a chameleon greets him by name and announces that they will embark on a quest together. And what a quest it turns out to be! Mu faces danger and finds unexpected allies as they journey through an everchanging landscape. Through his adventure, Mu learns many things about himself. Along with Mu, you will walk through Africa, encountering good and evil. Read carefully and you just may find out who you are too.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

The cover of this book is quite endearing, and the illustrations inside are lovely as well.The writing style flowed really well, and I found this to be an interesting tale. It’s middle grade fiction, I believe, though I’m not honestly sure which age I would personally recommend it to. For sensitive readers/children I would definitely warn that there are serious subjects, and one scene that I found particularly upsetting. I at first thought it was a bit of an allegory, but upon finishing the book, that point never became clear, and I felt was a bit on the harsh side for a children’s book. The spiritual thread I also found to be unclear. I enjoyed the tale itself, and the journey the boy, Mu, takes is enjoyable to follow along with, but to be completely honest, by the end of the book I felt a bit unsettled by the spiritual aspect of it.So while mostly cute, and I liked the setting and adventure, I’m not sure it was my cup of tea.

Posted in Book reviews

“The Yellow Lantern” by Angie Dicken ~ Book Review

 

 

“The Yellow Lantern” by Angie Dicken

Part of the True Colors crime series

Review copy through Barbour Publishing

My rating: 4 out 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Josephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck–Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission–posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Terrance. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

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My Thoughts:

 

This is the second book I’ve read apart of the True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime Series, and I’m enjoying it so much. They are so fascinating! Being based on true crime, they kind of focus on the…darker aspects of life, however, they aren’t too heavy or scary-dark that they are off-putting, in my opinion. :) “The Yellow Lantern” tells the story of grave-robbers – what a morbid occupation for certain! As I said, I find the true crime stories really interesting, and this was no exception. The heroine, Josephine Clay, was a lovely character and easy to root for. Hero Braham was an upstanding character with a story to tell as well, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow.I look forward to reading more from this intriguing and enjoyable series!

 

 

 

**I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own – I was not required to write a review.

Posted in Book reviews

“Like a Winter Snow” by Lindsay Harrel ~ Book Review

Like a Winter Snow (Port Willis)

 

“Like a Winter Snow” by Lindsay Harrel 

A Port Willis Novella

Review ecopy from the author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In this standalone holiday novella, return to the charming Cornish village readers fell in love with in The Secrets of Paper and Ink.
Women’s counselor Joy Beckman has always been a friend and helper to all. That’s why she’s given up everything to be with her parents as her mother suffers through Alzheimer’s. Joy may not have a thriving career or a love life at the moment, but she’s doing what she does best—taking care of others. And even though it’s difficult, she knows it’s where she is supposed to be.
But life throws a curveball when she has to leave her parents temporarily to travel to Cornwall, England, for the Christmas-time wedding of her best friend. While there, Joy helps Sophia tackle her last-minute to-do list, and in the process, finally meets a man who turns her head—and her heart. The only problem? He lives in snowy London, and her life is with her parents back in sunny Florida.
She tries to resist Oliver Lincoln’s charms, but it’s harder than it should be. With her heart torn in two, Joy is forced to choose between a life she knows she’s meant for and the one she didn’t see coming.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I do believe that this was a deliciously perfect winter novella! It was so sweet, with such a beautiful message, and I just connected to the story so much in the short amount of time given! It gave such a warm feeling and winter glow, with the soft touches of the Christmas holiday.Joy Beckman was such a well constructed character, and I felt like we really got to know her a lot better, even though this was a short story. And I loved seeing the familiar characters from The Secret of Paper and Ink! So special to return to Port Willis.If you’re looking for a sweet, but meaningful novella with lovely romance and that warm winter feeling, definitely check this one out! I loved how the  the point was shown that with God nothing is impossible. That message was poignant and beautiful, and I really didn’t want this story to end!

 

 

**I was provided an ecopy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.