Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“The Conqueror” by Bryan Liftin ~ Book Review

The Conqueror (Constantine's Empire, #1)

“The Conqueror” by Bryan Liftin

Review copy from Revell Publishers

My rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

It is AD 312. Rome teeters on the brink of war. Constantine’s army is on the move. On the Rhine frontier, Brandulf Rex, a pagan Germanic barbarian, joins the Roman army as a spy and special forces operative. Down in Rome, Junia Flavia, the lovely and pious daughter of a nominally Christian senator, finds herself embroiled in anti-Christian politics as she works on behalf of the church.

As armies converge and forces beyond Rex’s and Flavia’s controls threaten to destroy everything they have worked for, these two people from different worlds will have to work together to bring down the evil Emperor Maxentius. But his villainous plans and devious henchmen are not easily overcome. Will the barbarian warrior and the senator’s daughter live to see the Empire bow the knee to Christ? Or will their part in the story of Constantine’s rise meet an untimely and brutal end?

My Thoughts:

I was looking forward to this book, but unfortunately it wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect to the characters, and there was a lot of content that felt extremely unnecessary and inappropriate. I felt that the faith content was also more focused on religion vs a real relationship with Christ. The book wasn’t poorly written, I just didn’t care for its content and graphicness. The ending felt strange too.The story was quite crass. I know Rome was a very awful place, but it was all described with extreme crudeness, and the amount of sex that was discussed was unpleasant. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this book for anyone under the age of 20, and even then, as I said, there was a great deal of unnecessary content.For being a historical book, there were a lot of really modern phrases such as ‘girlfriend’ and ‘boyfriend’, ‘pimps’ and others. I found the story unsettling. Unfortunately not a book I can recommend.

*I received a copy of this book from the publishers. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“The Plans We Made” by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue – Blog Tour and Review

“The Plans We Made” by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue

Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Review copy from the publishers as apart of I Read With Audra Tour

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect – a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.

My Thoughts:

This is the story of two women whose lives remarkably intersected, connecting them in a powerful way.”The Plans We Made” is a gentle novel with good characters and a good plot. I enjoyed seeing how the stories connected, and also how their stories resulted. It covered a span of time but the timeline moved smoothly, and it was nice seeing how the characters changed, adjusted, and grew.There is a slight love-triangle towards the end for Caroline – while I understand her struggle, I had a bit of a hard time connecting to her and didn’t really like that she was kind of back and forth between the two guys. Especially when the one guy was pretty unhealthy in his view of life and relationships, but that wasn’t strongly pointed out.While I didn’t deeply connect to the characters myself, I still enjoyed seeing how it all worked out, and am glad I had the opportunity to read it. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publishers. All thoughts given are my own.

Enter the Giveaway by clicking on the image above or following THIS LINK.

Posted in Book reviews, Reviews, Tessa Afshar

“Pearl in the Sand” 10th Anniversary Edition by Tessa Afshar – Review

“Pearl in the Sand” by Tessa Afshar

10th Anniversary Edition

Review copy through the publishers/author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Can a Canaanite harlot who made her living enticing men be a fitting wife for a leader of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

This 10th anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand includes new features that will invite you into the untold story of Rahab’s journey from lowly outcast to redeemed child of God. Rahab’s home is built into a wall, a wall that fortifies and protects the City of Jericho. However, other walls surround her too, walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness… Years of pain and betrayal have wounded Rahab’s heart—she doubts whether her dreams of experiencing true love will ever come true…

A woman with a wrecked past—a man of success, of faith… of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

My Thoughts:

How has it been ten years since this beautiful novel first released? I have such fond memories including Pearl in the Sand. I just happened upon it after it first came out, sitting on our library’s New Release shelf, and it was my first foray back into the world of Christian Romance after taking a break. I’m so glad I picked it up, and I devoured it that first time. It touched me so much, I got my own copy and read it again…and again…and here I am now, having the absolute delight of reading the new revised edition. This beautiful story touched me as much now as it did each of the previous reads of it.The author does such a brilliant job of telling Rahab’s story – her life as a harlot and what led up to that point is delicately told in a matter of the first few chapters. It is never explicit, or summed up with no meaning; it truly is handled with care and grace. Each of the characters are so realistic and so multidimensional. We are engulfed in their struggles right alongside them, and it is a joy to become a part of their journey.I love this novel so much. The message is so touching. It’s not just about Rahab and Salmone, it is about God’s pursuing, redeeming, and precious love for us. He woos us, and calls us worthy. I tear up every time I read Pearl in the Sand, because these truths are so wondrously told – it impacts me every time.The author’s note in this new edition also had me misty-eyed. She writes so from the heart, and that heart is so for the Lord that it translates vibrantly to the page.This will remain one of my favourite reads for ever, I am quite sure. I love how God uses it, and how the author allows the Lord to use her! <3