Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

BookLook Review: “Written in Love” by Kathleen Fuller

 

Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Letters Novel.

BookLook Review Copy

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.

 

My Thoughts:

The idea of a book about letters immediately caught my attention – I love letter-writing. :)
This was an incredibly sweet story. And actually my first Amish fiction. The genre isn’t really my taste, but this book surprised me. It was really good – the story was really good.
I just loved how it started out with letters written between the two characters. There were pages of them, and I so loved that! And even when it melted into third-person telling, it was still captivating. I wanted to know what was going to happen between the two characters and their backstories.
It was a sweet love-story. And not without trials, either! There were several bumps and misunderstandings, making it real.
Even though I wasn’t extremely like the main character, I could still connect with her, and that made the reading all the more enjoyable.
All in all, it was a very sweet romance story. Clean, yet with realistic problems and lessons, some Faith-filled hope, and great characters. :)
I’m hoping to read the next book in this series when it comes out. :)

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

Revell Review: “Pursued” by Lisa Harris

 

“Pursued” by Lisa Harris

Book Three in the Nikki Boyd Files 

Revell Reads Review Copy

My rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars (leaning very close to a full five!)

 

About the Book:

 

Nikki Boyd’s flight into Nashville was routine–up until the crash landing at the airport. When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing–and no one will admit she was ever there. Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial. When she flees from the crash, is she running from trouble or straight into it? Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

My Thoughts:

 

This is the third book in the Nikki Boyd Files series, and certainly as exciting as the first two! When I selected this book for review, I knew I wanted to reread the first book (Vendetta) and read the second book (Missing) so I would be ‘up-to-date’, and I’m glad I did, because it was great to read the story and follow each up with the next one. Now, though, I have to wait for more again! Ah the pain of series. ;)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found it riveting. It was fast-paced, and well-written. I loved following the characters again and seeing each one grow more. And I’m impressed that the author can write three consecutive books with each being from the POV of the main character, Nikki, and none are at all boring or tedious! Usually when a series follows the same point-of-few, it can feel “stagnant” or as if you’ve heard it all before, but not so with the Nikki Boyd Files, which I really appreciate. :)
There was one thread of the story that I thought would be more intrical throughout the series by the topic from the first book, but it wasn’t the main plot-line, though I think it was better included in this third book than the second. And I want to read more! This bit may seem confusing, but when you read the books you’ll understand. I just don’t want to give anything away. :)
“Vendetta” is my favourite of the series so far, but “Pursued” is actually a close second. I just really enjoyed the whole plot, and it got me wanting to read more.
Very great suspense series!

 

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

Bethany House Review: “Treasured Grace” by Tracie Peterson

 

“Treasured Grace” by Tracie Peterson

Book One in the Heart of the Frontier Series

Bethany House Review Program Review Copy

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.

Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on.

With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.

 

 

My Thoughts:

I was looking forward to reading this book, but it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, actually. On the review-email it gave the description that the main characters were a midwife and a trapper  – and to me, that sounds very good, so I requested it. And while Alex was indeed a trapper, Grace wasn’t a midwife – she was a healer, which maybe they would’ve been called midwives back then, but there was nothing that even mentioned her being called a midwife or any midwifery duties…
But anyway, after I figured that out, I tried to get into the book, and it was a fine read. For me it was just that – a good read, not terrible, but not fantastic either. Pretty light.
Personally, I didn’t feel I could really connect with any of the characters much, and there wasn’t huge depth to the story. It was also a case of instant affection between characters, but not fully carried out till the end.
There was the incident in the middle that was fairly intense and a tiny bit gruesome, and while it was awful, it did help you connect a little bit with two of the side characters.
This book, I felt, was more of ‘tell rather than show’ – you didn’t get to really be involved in the characters or relate to them. You just read what happened to them.
Now, as I say this, I also want to repeat that it wasn’t an awful book – it was clean, and there was a slight sharing of the message of Salvation, albeit not a strong one. For me personally, I wouldn’t mark it as a favourite, but many may love it.

 

Posted in Book reviews, Tessa Afshar

Book Review: “Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

I just loved this book so much! Can’t wait till it’s released and can be enjoyed by all! Below is my review. :)

 

 

“Bread of Angels” by Tessa Afshar

Biblical Fiction, Releases June 6th, 2017

Review copy from the author/Tyndale Publishers (Launch Team!)

My rating: 5 out of of 5 Stars

 

Book Description:

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances―along with her father’s precious dye―help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What a beautiful book, inside and out! But what else would one expect from a Tessa Afshar book? Truly, her books astound me and I love spending time in each one.
“Bread of Angels” provides a very touching and impacting story of Lydia the seller of purple. I so enjoyed following her life-journey, through trials and joys. And “meeting” Paul! That was really good.
I was just incredibly impressed and touched my this book. The lesson of trust – the symbolism of the Bread of Angels, manna, and relying on God for everything. That really hit me. Needless to say, I have many, many marks in this book to revisit and cherish. :)
Lydia was such a real character. I identified with her struggle against fear and the anxiety that brings. And to see the Truth of Jesus and what He’s done for us heal her was beautiful, knowing that He can perform that healing in all of us. What I love about a Tessa Afshar book is the deep truths of Jesus woven so care-fully throughout the story, the absolute love for Him and glories to Him shines from the books.
I find these books healing – God uses them in my life and I am very thankful. To Him be the glory!
“There is never so much sorrow in a life that it should become devoid of hope. Hope may grow fragile as a thread of silk; it may get stuck inside a box of misfortunes. But it is there. Don’t misplace your hope, my sweet child, not even when all of Pandora’s monsters chase you.” Chapter 21
“He does not always keep us from danger, but He preserves us in danger.  I have known hardship, but my heart has felt secure in His steadfast love.” Chapter 24
“I see where this story is headed/ God wanted the people to trust Him for their daily needs. Trust Him to provide for them not just once but continuously.” Chapter 28
“There is nothing in the world so damaged that it cannot be repaired by the hand of almighty God.” Chapter 45
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Reviews

Tnydale Book Review: “With Love, Wherever You Are” by Dandi Daley MacKall

 

“With Love, Wherever You Are” by Dandi Daley MacKall

 

About the Book:

Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real―and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

Based on the incredible true love story, With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel from beloved children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall.

 

My Thoughts:
This was a sweet WWII fiction, but what was better was that it was based upon the true story of the author’s own parents. That fact I found most touching.
Frank and Helen had a bit of a whirlwind marriage – a war marriage – and they went months in between seeing each other, yet their love for one another remained strong. They chose one another, and that was very sweet.
The story was well written, and I think very realistic. Sometimes I found it a tad bit slow, but not at all uninteresting – it’s a very good story.
I’ve read quite a few WWII fiction books and this was one that really felt authentic – the real story of it shone through beautifully and added a great depth to it. Truly, I think my favourite part of this book was the end bit where the author gave us a look behind the fiction into the fact. That was so neat to read, and see a copy of one of the original letters – what a special keepsake!
Fans of good WWII Fiction will definitely enjoy this one. :)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Tyndale Review Program. All thoughts are my own.
Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Why Not?” By Debra E. Marvin

Why Not (A Valentine Matchmaker novella)

 

“Why Not?” by Debra E. Marvin

Part of the Novella Collection: “Valentine MatchMakers”

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

Love Puts These Two On the Edge!

Grand Canyon, 1914

Society girl Amber Wynott’s wintry escape to the Grand Canyon provides a chance to pursue her dream and prove she has what it takes to be a successful architect. It doesn’t take long to realize the incredible scenery can’t hide the simmering anger between ‘railroad money’ and the struggling locals.

Which side is master builder Stone Morrison on?

Amber has met her match in the handsome, hard-headed man. He’s been directed to keep an eye on her, but when iron meets iron—oh the sparks! As their unlikely old matchmaker tells them, pride goes before a fall, and this is a bad place to fall. Will danger finally knock some sense into the pair?

 

 

My thoughts:

 

A very cute little romance story – perfect for a Valentines Day read, as the collection promotes!
Amber and Stone both had very strong personalities, but blended really well together without diminishing the other one – that was pretty impressive. Usually when I read about a strong female lead, the man becomes less of a…well, a man, and backs down, losing his strong personality, but even though Amber was independent, she still came to rely upon him, and he didn’t back down, but also didn’t demean her either. It was a good match.
There was also a bit of mystery involved – always a fun thread to keep up with.
I think it would’ve been fun to have a bit more backstory – because it was a novella, it at times was a tiny bit rushed and I would’ve liked to get to know the characters more, but it was still a good read and well put-together. The romance was sweet, and you were rooting for the characters from the start. :)
The setting was fascinating, too – the Grand Canyon in 1914. And the unrest at the time – all very interesting! I enjoyed the touches this brought to the story.
So yes, a quick but enjoyable read. :)
I received a complimentary ecopy from the author. All thoughts are my own.
Posted in Book reviews, Uncategorized

BookLook Review: “The Silent Songbird”

Eeek, I’ve been silent on my blog for quite a while! I should’ve posted this review sooner, but between life and memory, it didn’t occur…I apologize! 

 

 

The Silent SongBird by Melanie Dickerson

Review copy from BookLookBloggers.com

About the Book:

“Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.

More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy.Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?”

 

My Thoughts:

I really love the cover of this book. As usual for a Dickerson book, the cover is very beautiful and captivating, and represents the story inside very well.
This was a retelling of The Little Mermaid – what I love best about Melanie Dickerson’s books is that they are Christian Fairy-Tale Retellings *without* magic. That’s so great. And they have a historical feel with the setting, which is neat too.
This was a fun story to read. I enjoyed seeing the similarities to The Little Mermaid a great deal, and yet also reading new twists to the story.
There were only a couple slight concerns I had for this book towards the end. I don’t want to give too much away so I will try to keep it brief, but I wasn’t very pleased with an act of disobedience that was shown in a good light, and later condoned because it was “courageous”. The goal for this act could’ve been accomplished in a way that was not glorifying stubbornness and disobedience. That disappointed me, though I see it in stories a lot –  a strong female character doing what they want because they know they *can*, even when they’re requested not to out of care from the other person, and then later the other character saying she was right in going against his wishes. It just could’ve been handled in a better way, in my opinion, and still reached the desired ending.
The other thing was the romance bit, where they fall in love without knowing each other – even when a father warns against it because “the heart is deceitful”. They never really truly got to know each other better before kissing happened.
But otherwise, it was a great story, and a sweet romance for the most part. Strong characters, great plot, and a well-done retelling. :)