Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“Veiled in Smoke” by Jocelyn Green ~ Book Review


“Veiled in Smoke” by Jocelyn Green

Releases February 4th

The Windy City Sage Book One

Review copy from the author/publisher as apart of the launch team

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:


(Thank you to the author for sending the amazing prints and ash confetti!<3)


My Thoughts:

I must admit I have some conflicted feelings regarding this book. It is brilliantly written, and I definitely enjoyed the story, but there was an aspect that…well, I guess it was a trigger for me, and therefore how it ended was a bit of a wound to me.
I couldn’t deeply connect with main character Meg. Going into the story, I assumed that this story would be equally shared between the two sisters, and gravitated more towards Sylvie. Though her story was more of a side story, and I struggled with some of the ways she was treated.
Before I go on to explain some of what triggered me, I do want to preface it with saying how beautifully the author writes. This novel is gorgeous, and the story told vibrant and captivating. I still consider it a good read, worth my time, and I look forward to reading the following books in this series. The history was portrayed wonderfully, and the tragedy real.
As I don’t wish to spoil the book for anyone, I will warn that you may want to wait on reading the rest of this review until you have read the book for yourself. So, with that being said….
I really liked Sylvie. I really liked the relationship that blossomed between her and Jasper. It felt like throughout the novel though, that her feelings and her personal journey were not very well respected by the main character and supporting characters. It was really all about Meg and her end happiness. I know we are to root for the main character, but I couldn’t help but feel triggered by the fact that Sylvie was so often not given a voice or validated in any of her feelings. So yes, this ended up being a trigger for me but that doesn’t mean it will be for anyone else.
I have hopes that the next book in this story will be about Sylvie. However, I confess I still feel sorrow that she couldn’t have the ending she wanted in this book.
Again, my feelings will not reflect everyone’s, and as I also said this author is an excellent writer so her books are definitely worth the read!
“Sylvie rarely won a argument with Meg. She didn’t even like to disagree with her, preferring all the conflict in her life to be contained within the pages of books, where it was resolved by the last chapter…”
“But if she’d learned anything during the last several years, it was that the body repaired itself far easier than the spirit.”
“What a mercy that God was not limited by that which limited her. What a grace that His power and presence remained, regardless of whether she felt close to them. She must trust Him for what she could not see. Wasn’t that the essence of faith? Her hands were bound. His were not.”
“We will thank God as soon as we can.”
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers; all thoughts expressed are entirely my own.
Posted in Book reviews

“On Wings of Devotion” by Roseanna M. White ~ Book Review

On Wings of Devotion (The Codebreakers, #2)

“On Wings of Devotion” by Roseanna M White

Book Two in the CodeBreakers series

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed “Black Heart” every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.
Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.
But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.



My Thoughts:


This was so good! I’m not surprised – every single one of the books I’ve read by this author have been amazing and quickly become favorites. On Wings of Devotion was no exception! The writing is seamless, the plot amazing, and the characters just astonishingly lovely. Phillip Camden is a hero that is rough around the edges, but what an amazing heart he has, truly. I love his character. Same goes for Arabelle – she was utterly fantastic. So kind hearted, so down-to-earth and so real. The pain she felt at wanting to be chosen, to be cared for and about echoed one in my own heart, and so I bonded to her all the more for that. I loved both hers and Cam’s journey. And their relationship was so endearing.I want more of their story, honestly. Does it have to be the end? I know I will adore the next book in this amazing series, and will fall in love with those characters too, but for right now…I want to hang out with Cam and Ara a bit longer. ^.^Superb WWI historical fiction with everything good. <3

Posted in Book reviews

“Isaiah’s Legacy” by Mesu Andrews ~ Book Review


Isaiah's Legacy (Prophets and Kings #3)

“Isaiah’s Legacy” by Mesu Andrews

Sequel to Isaiah’s Daughter//Biblical Fiction

Releases February 18th

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars



About the Book:

At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.
Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.


My Thoughts:


What a beautiful book. Going into it, I knew that it might be bit heavy, and more…hard to read as it showed the depravity of the nation under pagan worshipping, and how wicked Manasseh had become. And it was hard in that aspect. But by no means did this story ever drag on or have cause for me to want to put it down.
Brilliantly written, we are thrust into the characters lives and connected so deeply, that the things that cause them pain echo pain in our own hearts just from watching. Likewise, the joy – at the end especially – finds rest upon our soul.
I loved the message of this book. That no one is ever too far for Yahweh to reach, to redeem, to call back home to Him. And King Manasseh’s story is an exceptional tale of this. And not only his, but Meshullemeth’s (Shulle) – her story equally wrote itself upon my heart and touched me deeply. I am still pondering the truths found in this story, and how everything Yahweh promised was fulfilled – just maybe not in their preferred timing. Isn’t that so often the case? We want immediate results, and it’s so easy to doubt when we don’t see His immediate provision or answer…but sometimes those answers don’t come right away. But that doesn’t mean the fulfillment won’t come eventually, right at the time Yahweh desires it to come. Like I said, this theme especially is one that I am personally pondering in my own life, and I am thankful for the corresponding truths in this book to bring it to light.
Oh yes, there was a great deal of pain, a great deal of sorrow in Isaiah’s Legacy. Watching it all play out was hard, but it was also necessary, and it only amplified the redeeming end all the more.
The two books in this series, Isaiah’s Daughter and Isaiah’s Legacy now are definitely two of my most favorite books by this author. They are beautiful and full of meaning, and I look forward to going back over them again.
This book is full of so many good quotes/sections I tabbed, and I wanted to make them intor graphics but our computer has been too slow to do so. =/ But here they are typed out. Maybe eventually I can make them into graphics.
“Why did others ridicule what they couldn’t understand?”
“I don’t know why Yahweh gave me only fifteen more years. But I do know this. Though we don’t always understand God’s plan, we can trust His goodness for a future we can’t yet see.”
“Every man – especially a king – must search his heart to discover what he believes about Yahweh, my love. Nasseh is no exception. He’s simply forced into these decisions younger than most.”
“The blacker the darkness, the brighter God’s spark.”
“There is only one God, my queen, who loves His people enough to pursue you with such powerful detail. Yahweh must have a mighty plan for you, indeed.”
“We learn the Truth in daylight so we can walk in darkness.”
“I don’t believe Yahweh is angered by sincere questions or even when we express anger, but He commands our trust, my king. I hope someday you can trust Him.”
“We’re helpless in this moment, Shulle, but we’re never hopeless. Not as long as we serve El Shaddai, the Almighty One.”
“My God is good. He has a plan. And His victory will somehow be bigger than our sorrow.”
“Never begin a sentence with ‘Yahweh can’t’. Our minds are too small to imagine what He can do.”
“Marvel at the moon and stars, Manasseh, but worship the God who hung them in the sky.”
“No place on earth is beyond Yahweh’s reach – including a man’s heart.”
“Yahweh doesn’t hate you. No matter how many Yahweh followers you kill, we’ll scream forgiveness from our graves…May Yahweh deal with you as gently as you’ll allow, while He draws your heart back to Him.”
“Can you trust My love when you don’t know My plan?”
*I received a copy of this book as apart of the launch team; I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book reviews

“The Heir of Ariad” by Niki Florica ~ Book Review

The Heir of Ariad

The Heir of Ariad by Niki Florica


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

The weight of a vanished father’s legacy and the secrets of the past have forced Kyrian to carve a place among his people at the price of his own sweat and blood. Ariad is withering. The Skies seem a strange place to die of thirst, but no one can fetch the Rains against the tyrant king’s will, and no one but the Creator who has vanished into legend can kill an invisible king.
But there is a force at work beyond Kyrian’s sight. A powerful, masterful will. Suddenly there is blood on his hands, the Skies are filled with enemies, and the only way to escape a dark end is to flee the clouds forever. But there in the Lands waits a powerful prophecy, along with a powerful weapon, and now as Ariad withers to dust all hope may rest with the one young mortal who fled his home a fugitive and must return to it a king.


My Thoughts:


This is quite the fantasy novel! I was very impressed with the writing talent shown, and the complexity of the whole story.
For me, it was a bit of a heavier read that took a while to get through, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all. The Heir of Ariad is an excellent story with a well-crafted fantasy world. I loved all the symbolism that pointed to the Biblical accounts of both Moses and David. The verses included at the beginning of most of the chapters was an excellent addition.
The characters are all so well-formed, and easy to relate to and understand. When you pick up this book, you are embarking on an adventure as you journey right along side Kyrian and his new discovery.
There was one particular character that I was extremely impressed with – the Robin. His character was one that was complicated, and easy to hate at first. But his whole….journey has been amazing to see, and I am very hopeful we get to see more of him in this series!
Be prepared to want the sequel! That ending only begs to be continued!!
*I received a copy from the author.
Posted in Book reviews

“The Dating Charade” by Melissa Ferguson ~ Book Review


The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

Contemporary romance

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?
Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.


The Dating Charade

My Thoughts:

Wow! This book will surely make it on my favorites of 2019 list! What a story. I was absolutely captivated through every page, and didn’t want to put it down – in fact, I rarely did put it down, devouring almost all of it within the day. It was so good!Melissa Ferguson knows how to write an exceedingly enjoyable novel that remains packed full of heart and love. Truly, this book floored me. I was expecting a nice, fun read, but this far exceeded that expectation. The characters were amazing, the relationships fantastic, the tales humorous, and the plot so heartfelt and superb. The realities of the topic dealt with (fostering, child abuse, etc.) definitely pull on the heart strings – the author did a great job of writing it truthfully and with grace.I have nothing but good to say for this book and definitely want to re-read it. Adding Melissa Ferguson to my favorite authors list now!

Posted in Book reviews

“The Perfect Christmas” by Bell Renshaw ~ Book Review

“The Perfect Christmas” by Bell Renshaw

A Winter, Montana Novella

I own this book; it was not provided for review.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Will the perfect Christmas be enough to convince Beau that a life with Ansley could be equally perfect? Born and raised in Winter, Montana, Beau Bradley can’t imagine life anywhere else. During the holiday season his coffee shop, Mountain Grounds, is as busy as ever and now that his girlfriend is back in town, things finally seem to be lining up—until he gets a call that could change it all. Ansley Strauss is back in Winter after a nine-month, art intensive in Canada and she’s ready to celebrate the Christmas season in the tried and true Winter-style. There’s only one problem: her boyfriend lacks Christmas spirit. Her solution? Make this Christmas perfect to remind Beau just how special this time of year is. Set on a course for ultimate Christmas joy, Ansley and Beau find that life doesn’t always work out the way they hope it will. Beau faces the reality that plans can’t account for everything and sometimes risking it all is the only way. Ansley will have to come to the realization that no matter how perfect things are, it’s the imperfections in life that make it worth living. It’s another Christmas in Winter, Montana where the coffee is always hot and the mistletoe beckons lovers to share a kiss.


My Thoughts:


Well, now I would very much like to go back and catch up on book one in this lovely series!
“The Perfect Christmas” is a perfect holiday read. I loved the setting, the characters, the story. I think what was my favorite part was that it wasn’t all ‘perfect’. This romance was a really realistic one with lots of bumps along the way. I loved the restoration story. I related to the characters, and loved seeing their progression through this novella. Which, by the way, for being a novella, the story didn’t at all feel too short or rushed or anything, which I appreciated immensely! Sometimes with novella’s it can leave you feeling like it was rushed and all squeezed in, but this one felt like the perfect length.
And the epilogue definitely leaves us wanting more. :)
A sweet, clean, holiday romance!

(And for a personal note for when I come back to read my own review – yeah, I do that – I will say that I wanted to shake Beau a few times, and may have reprimanded him a couple times…but I also saw myself in him at times, so…yeah. XD But I really liked him -and his hair on the cover, let’s be real – and loved seeing how he grew, and that ending was so perfect! <3)



Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Way of the Brave” by Susan May Warren ~ Book Review

The Way of the Brave (Global Search and Rescue #1)


The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren

Book One in the Global Search and Rescue Series

Review copy through the publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure–and his injuries–has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones’s elite rescue team, but he also can’t shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.
Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun’s yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she’ll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes–the man she nearly killed.
Her skills and his experience are exactly what’s needed to prevent another tragedy–but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They’ll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?



My Thoughts:

Well, I can say with even more certainty now that I hope to never climb a mountain. XD While I may not get the fascination, that doesn’t stop me from reading books where they take on all sorts of peril and danger, and Susan May Warren is one of the best authors for that type of fiction! The Way of the Brave is the first book in her new Search and Rescue series, and it promises to be an epic series indeed.
This book was nonstop action, with strong characters, gripping plot, and an ending that leaves readers begging for more. I really, really want the next book, stat. ;) I can’t wait to read Jake and Aria’s story, not to mention Ham’s story. While I liked the main characters of this story, I felt more pulled towards the side characters. But still, it was a delight to get to know all of the characters, and I know the following books will be a treat.
Very exciting series!


Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin ~ Book Review

The Land Beneath Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #3)

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin

Book Three in the Sunrise at Normandy series

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars


About the Book:

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.
Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.
After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-Day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?


My Thoughts:


Goodness do I love Sarah Sundin’s novels! Each and every one of them have become favorites and I always eagerly await the next. It was such a treat to be able to read The Land Beneath Us – it is such a beautiful conclusion to this wonderful series. That epilogue pulled everything together so nicely, and just filled me with all the warm feelings.The characters are so beloved – I immediately took to main character Leah (Thalia!) in this book, and Clay was a perfect hero. Their relationship was amazing, and I so dearly loved reading their story. They each went through wonderful journeys, and the faith message was lovely. I don’t have one bad thing to say about this book, it was so good. So, so good. I’m a bit sad to finish this series, but glad it is one I can revisit time and time again!Excellent WWII fiction. <3



*This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.



Posted in Book reviews

One of my new favorite books: “Love You, Truly” by Susan L. Tuttle

Love You, Truly JustRead Takeover Tour

I am participating in the JustReads Instagram tour (my IG is @vikinglady10) for “Love You, Truly” by Susan L. Tuttle, but I wanted to post my review here on the blog too because it is such a good book! It was my first time reading a book by this author, but it quickly became a favorite and I can’t stop thinking about it, weeks after I finished it.  Here is my finished review :)



My Review:

I’ve definitely found a new favorite author to follow! “Love You, Truly” was my first book to read by Susan L Tuttle, and I fell absolutely in love with it – truly ;) Puns aside, I really did love this novel, and must get it in print so I can read it again.
The writing was marvelous, the plot light-hearted and fun, the characters fantastic, and a message of depth that was beautiful!
While I don’t watch the Bachelor or those type of shows, I confess to loving that trope in fiction. They are so fun to read XD And actually, I somehow missed going into this book that that was the plot of the story, so I was pleasantly surprised! It was executed so well, and I would love to see this novel as a movie/show.
Okay, so let’s talk about the characters a bit – Harlow was so relateable. My heart completely reached out to her, and I felt connected over her striving to be ‘good enough’. “Coincidentally” I have been learning this lesson recently too, and seeing it mirrored in this story was touching. Harlow was such an authentic character, and had such a good heart. Then there is Blake Carlton, seen as America’s playboy. Oh did I dislike him at first! XD I wasn’t sure how I’d get past that first meeting, if I could grow to like him. Of course I shouldn’t have been worried. He is actually an amazing hero, and you can’t help but fall for him too.
I seriously can’t stop thinking about this book and plan to get my hands on a print copy asap! It needs another read, and I greatly look forward to that pleasure. <3
There is also a giveaway occuring for this Instagram Tour, so be sure to stop by @JustReadtours on Instagram for that!
Posted in Books, lists

The Books I Enjoyed in 2019

Img bookstack 96

Hello readers!

I feel a little strange sitting down to put together a blog post that is not a review post – I have definitely drifted away from blogging consistantly this past year, and I apologize. Life is like that though; it changes and flows and you kind of just have to go along with it.

The end of 2019 didn’t go exactly as I had planned. I always look forward to putting together a nice, organized list of favorite books, taking pictures of them, with the hope of sharing on my blog here as well as my instagram (@vikinglady10). But I’ve had some more health struggles, and my pain has kept me from doing much of anything. Except reading. I have been reading still. ;) Thankful for that.

So while I don’t have a nive and pretty organized Top Ten Reads or pictures or anything like that, I did make a list of the books I definitely enjoyed in 2019. It’s long, and I’m okay with that. I mean, can one ever get tired of good reads? I don’t think so.

I’ll probably copy and paste the cover pictures in, since that’s easier than taking a photo myself.

According to Goodreads, I read 23,809 pages across 80 books. My goal was 75, so I was very excited to top that goal. Someday I’d like to reach 100, but I’m making my 2020 goal 80. We’ll rise slowly. ^.^


My year in books

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

The White City by Grace Hitchcock

Far Side of the Sea by Kate Breslin

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner

The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

Irrelevant by Sarah Addison-Fox

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner

Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette

Magic by Midnight by Allison S. Bass

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

All this Time by Melissa Tagg

Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie

A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter

Misleading Miss Verity by Carolyn   Miller

The Dating Charade by Melissa    Ferguson


Love You Truly by Susan L. Tuttle

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin


Img bookstack 96

I also vastly enjoyed:

The Songbird and the Spy by J’nell Ciesielski

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

Dance With Me by A.M. Heath

Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

Cameo Courtships by a collection of authors including Debra Marvin

A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

Bella At Midnight by Diane Stanley

The Heir of Ariad by Niki Florica

The Perfect Christmas by Bell Renshaw

Like a Winter Snow by Lindsay Harrell


and SO many others that would take too long to name. Bravo to you if you’ve actually read this whole list. I realize I am more so putting this together for my own personal reflection XD

I’d love to hear what books you enjoyed in 2019! I’m looking forward to many more books to come in 2020.

(you can find my reviews for these titles on goodreads – my username there is also vikinglady10)