Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“Unscripted” by Davis Bunn ~ Review

Unscripted

 

“Unscripted” by Davis Bunn

Contemporary Fiction

Review copy through Revell Reads

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Young line producer Danny Byrd is well-known in Hollywood for being someone who gets things done on time and under budget. But when his reputation takes a beating after his partner–and former best friend–makes off with their investors’ money, Danny has but one chance to redeem himself and restore his ruined career.
LA lawyer Megan Pierce has sacrificed years of her life proving herself to her impossible bosses only to find herself disgusted at their snobbery and their specious business practices. When an opportunity to actually make a difference comes her way, she knows she has to grab it–even though she’s not entirely clear what “it” is.
Danny and Megan are each other’s best hope for redemption. What they never could have imagined was that they might also be each other’s best hope for love.
Bestselling and award-winning author Davis Bunn takes you into the beating heart of Hollywood with two characters determined to thrive in a cutthroat business.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This was the first book I’ve had the plasure of reading by this author and I was quite impressed by the writing talent. The story moved along smoothly, and you could tell the filming aspect was well-researched to add an authenticity that really enriched the story. I found the ploit line intriguing, and enjoyed watching how it unfolded. The characters were interesting, and I thought that Danny Byrd made a good lead character.The romance aspect was tame which I appreciated, though it felt like it was missing the chemestry. I knew the two characters liked each other because the novel told me so, but I didn’t really connect to their story together.The faith strand was extremely light, only mentioned a couple of times with no clear “redemption” or completion arc. I was expecting Danny to find what he was searching for in Christ, but it seemed more that he found it through Megan, which rather disappointed me because there was great potential for things to be turned back to Christ.

The ending was sweet, and it was good to see how the whole project portrayed throughout the novel was brought to completion.

 

 

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

Posted in Book reviews, Books, Revell Reads, Reviews, Spiritual beliefs

“Finding Lady Enderly” by Joanna Davidson Politano – Book Review (I loved it!!)

DSC02198

“Finding Lady Enderly” by Joanna Davidson Politano

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

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

I loved this book, so so much. It meant so much to me, the message and everything, because it is something I am learning too – my identity in Christ. During the reading of it, I even wrote a poem that, if Rania were real, I’d love to share with her. I will include it at the end of this post, but first read on for the description of this beautiful book and my “official” review! :)

 

DSC02205

 

About the Book:

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

 

 

DSC02202

 

My Thoughts:

 

Oh my word, this book. Wow. It floored me in its gentle beauty and remarkable message. It is no coincident that I read it when I did, and took my time to savor it, for the message lined up with what God has been showing me lately, and that just blessed me so much.
I fell so utterly in love with this story, that it will long remain on my favorites shelf. How it is written is so beautifully smooth and captivating, and the plot was fantastic as well, with characters that will just sweep you off your feet.
Truly, I don’t know how I could write a review that would do this book justice. I loved it so much. Dear sweet Rania went through such a journey. And that ending! Not quite what I was expecting, but so much better and full of redemption. Gorgeous prose, amazing characters, and truth about identity that is sure to bless any reader who stumbles into its pages.
The absolute heart that is woven through the story is touching, and that it all shines back to our Creator, is astounding. I’m so in love with this book and its characters. The author did a beautiful job, and I am in awe of her ability to turn it all back to God. <3
I marked SO many places in this book that it would be nearly impossible to share them all. I so badly wanted to make a graphic for each one, but our computer has been so slow that I’m not sure I can even get one made. But the quotes were fantastic and I will savor them for a long time. Hopefully I can get them typed up soon and perhaps I will devote a special post to them in the near future. :)
DSC02195
My Worth // by Raechel Lenore
I’m building my courage
One strand at a time
I’m lifting my head
by the inch
Healing can come
not all in a wave
but in soft whispers of strength
A Change slowly happening
A change still occuring
My eyes ever upward I raise
Coming to learn
and coming to know
that I reside in a place of grace
Beauty and truth,
they shine from within
they rely not upon another soul
I need not look to another’s face
to know my worth is whole
A crown slowly forming
upon my head
I let it there reside
Not knowing its strength
yet feeling its weight
I’m learning to accept it as mine
My worth to you I do not owe
My worth secure within me
I used to look towards anothers face
to change what grew so simply
Freedom’s glance
feels just wihin reach
and I’m starting to stand taller now
Knowing I am enough on my own
this truth is a new beginning, allowed.
I’ll raise my head another inch
I’ll lift up sparkling eyes
I’ll look into my reflection close and say ‘You are dignified.
My Father has put His crown on you
to His children He has given all
The garments are complete on you
Dignified and without pall
Raise up, you daughter of courage
raise up and continue to mend
Your worth is not held by anothers hands
Your worth is found in Heavens stead
You are worth
all on your own
You are worth and enough
You are a beauty
a pearl all desired
treasured by heavens touch.’
My worth is not measured by others opinions
my worth does not fluctate by anothers whims
My worth cannot be tossed by the wind
when I’ve found it secured within.
DSC02194
I do ask that you respect that this poem I shared belongs to me and is copyrighted as such. I would be pleased as punch if you wanted to share it linking back to me, just please don’t steal. :) Thank you!!
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“Deadly Intentions” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

IMG_6886

 

“Deadly Intentions” by Lisa Harris

Romantic Suspense

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey is convinced that someone is taking out her team one by one. First, a friend and research partner was killed in a home invasion. Three months ago, her boss died in a suspicious car accident. Four days ago, another partner supposedly committed suicide. And now Caitlyn herself has miraculously survived a hit-and-run. Afraid for her life with nowhere to turn, she reaches out to one of the victim’s husbands, Detective Josh Solomon.
Though initially skeptical about Caitlyn’s theory, Josh soon realizes that the attack that took his wife’s life was anything but random. Now the two of them must discover the truth about who is after Caitlyn’s team–and what their end game is–before it’s too late.
In this nail-biting thriller, award-winning author Lisa Harris will have you believing that there’s no such thing as random.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Lisa Harris writes some suspensful suspense! Her Nikki Boyd series is by far my favorite of her books, but “Deadly Intentions” would be a close second. The plot moved swiftly and smoothly, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I had to know what was going to happen! I read the first half in one sitting, and wished I could’ve done the same with the last half. :)
It was pretty much non-stop action – and so much danger! A thick plot of deceit and not knowing who to trust…with well formed characters who carried out the story with ease.
The overall plot was my favorite aspect of the book. I liked the characters and their romance story well enough, but the suspense was definitely my favorite part!
The faith message was present but not very strong – I would have liked it to have been a bit more evident, but it wrapped up nicely.
If you’re a fan of exciting, dangerous, and captivating suspense you’ll want to pick this book up. :)

 

 

.

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

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Light from Distant Stars” by Shawn Smucker ~ Revell Reads Review

Light from Distant Stars

 

“Light from Distant Stars” by Shawn Smucker

Review copy from publishers

My rating: 3.5/4 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

When Cohen Marah steps over his father’s body in the basement embalming room of the family’s funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect.

Over the next week, Cohen’s childhood memories come back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his father being asked to leave his pastoral position. The game of baseball that somehow kept them together. And the two children in the forest who became his friends–and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he’s been avoiding: Did he kill his father?

In Light from Distant Stars, master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Well that sure was interesting! This is one of those books where once you’ve finished it you kind of just sit back and think, “What exactly just happened?”!
The writing style is captivating, and everything about it pulls you into its pages. The story was interesting, and the back says it well with “one that will have you questioning reality”. To be honest, I’m still not exactly sure what all happened in this story – I “get” it, but there was a lot left unexplained – left to the imagination, I suppose.
I enjoyed it.  But I guess I was left a little bewildered! So much that was real and not real, and it all morphed together, in twisted threads wound so tightly that you’re not sure which end is which.
A captivating ride to be certain. ^.^ This was my first book to read by this author, but I would definietly like to catch up on his past works. Very interesting!
That cover – gorgeous! I love the starry artwork!
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.  

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“All Manner of Things” by Susie Finkbeiner ~ Review

IMG_6013

 

“All Manner of Things” by Susie Finkbeiner

1960’s Christian Fiction

Review copy through RevellReads program

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

When Annie Jacobson’s brother Mike enlists as a medic in the Army in 1967, he hands her a piece of paper with the address of their long-estranged father. If anything should happen to him in Vietnam, Mike says, Annie must let their father know. 

In Mike’s absence, their father returns to face tragedy at home, adding an extra measure of complication to an already tense time. As they work toward healing and pray fervently for Mike’s safety overseas, letter by letter the Jacobsons must find a way to pull together as a family, regardless of past hurts. In the tumult of this time, Annie and her family grapple with the tension of holding both hope and grief in the same hand, even as they learn to turn to the One who binds the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Author Susie Finkbeiner invites you into the Jacobson family’s home and hearts during a time in which the chaos of the outside world touched their small community in ways they never imagined.

 

My Thoughts:

I didn’t want this book to end. And I don’t just mean that flippently. I am quite sure I could live in this book and not grow tired of it. I have been wanting to find Christian fiction set in the 1960’s for quite some time, and author Susie Finkbeiner didn’t just deliver, she knocked it out of the park with this amazing novel. Will there be more? Please tell me we can see more of Annie and her family? Because that would be amazing.
“All Manner of Things” didn’t feel like an ordinary story – it felt so real right to its very spine. The characters were so much like real people – as one of the endorsers said on the back, they are the kind you want to write a letter to and see how they are doing. I agree, and wish that were possible! I don’t want to be done with this special family.
And speaking of letters, it was such a delight to this letter-writing-fan (me XD) for many of the chapters to end in exchanged letters. It added another beautiful level of depth to the already fantastic story.
This wasn’t a fluffy, lighthearted book, yet it wasn’t too heavy either. It was the perfect amount of sorrow and hope combined, in such a realistic way. Everything that played out was so realistic, and sometimes there were tears.
“All Manner of Things” is a book that will stick with me for a long time. It is one of those books that I don’t mind if it becomes worn from many readings, because it is special.
The characters amazing, the plot superb, and can’t forget that perfect cover. <3
I’m so thankful I had the chance to read this book!
IMG_6164

Quotes:

“Live today and then tomorrow and then the next day…the same way you’ve lived all the other days.”
“Don’t duck and cover. Keep your eyes open.”
“Achter de wolken schijnt de zon: Behind the clouds the sun is shining. If only we have eyes to see it.”
“Sometimes He feels so far, as if to never reach us. We call for Him, we beg Him to come. And when He seems to stay away, we might even ask where He is. Then we see His power on display and remember, He has gone nowhere. And He’s lost not one bit of His strength.”

 

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads, Reviews

“Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” by Bethany Turner – Review!

I am so embarressed by how late this post is. Among all the shuffle and trials life has been throwing at my family and I lately, I somehow missed posting this even though I wrote the review immediately after finishing this amazing book. So I am very sorry, Bethany, for my delay! But at long last, here is my review…

IMG_6063

 

“Wooing Cadie McCaffrey” by Bethany Turner

Christian Rom-Com

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

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Bethany Turner is back with more of the heart and humor readers love. Anyone who enjoys a good romance or binges romantic comedies on Netflix will devour this delightful story.

My Thoughts:

Is it really over? Bethany Turner sure knows how to write a spectacular romance book that gives you all the happy-tingly feels! Seriously, that ending…I just want to spend a bunch of time awwwwing at it all.
The story is adorable. Really truly it is. But it’s not just adorable. It’s full of real-life struggles, and real-life mistakes and how said mistakes affect life, and yet bring us closer to God through His forgiveness. That message was very sweetly and aptly portrayed in “Wooing Cadie McCaffrey”.
The characters, Cadie, and Will, and Darby, and Kevin, and Ellis (do you want me to go on?), were all so much more than just characters. I loved them all so very much. Will Whitaker is absolutely amazing, and I while I know where Cadie was coming from, I also don’t know how she could even possibly entertain thoughts of resisting him after all he did to show he cared. Okay, as I said, I do understand where she was coming from. Totally. Their misunderstanding was real. But Will is such a sweetheart, and I certainly wouldn’t turn him away if he showed up at my door reenacting favorite rom-com movies. XD Adorable.
There is sex mentioned frequently in this book. And while in some cases that might have been a “turn off” for me, this wasn’t. It certainly wasn’t glorified, nor was it explicitly shown or talked about – it was real life. And I must say, I am incredibly impressed how the author handled it all – with such grace and tact, and real-ness. Nothing about this book felt ‘dirty’ or ‘inappropriate’ in any way to me. I know every reader is different though, which is why I thought I should mention that this book does involve that subject. But trust me when I say, it is all handled extremely well. And really, I don’t think this story could have been what it is without that element, because it shaped the situation. While what happened may not be my ‘normal’, I know it is normal, and seeing how it affected the various characters was realistic, and again, handled so well.
I loved all the movie references, even if I haven’t seen a couple of the ones mentioned. Just knowing what they were was an extreme delight, and it was just such a fun element!
Also, I simply cannot leave this review off without touching on the cover…Oh.My.Goodness.!! It is adorable!! So, so beautiful, and meaningful, and stunning. Definitely a favorite. <3
I love this author’s writing style. So very much. Waiting for her next novel is going to be hard!
WooCam1
WooCam2
WooCam3
“I’m just saying I’m doing this because I love her, and I happen to think you’re what’s best for her. And clearly you can’t handle it on your own.” -Darby to Will
“I researched. Believe me. You haven’t known a wild Friday night unless you’ve been at Kevin Lamont’s house watching 27 Dresses, and Odell Beckham and Alex Rodrigues show up, because Kev forgot to let them know a cocktail party had been rescheduled.” 
Darby gasped, but it quickly turned into a laugh. “That didn’t happen!”
“Oh, I assure you, it did. But it worked out okay. With Alex there, we breezed through Maid in Manhattan and The Wedding Planner too.” 
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Revell Reads

“Living Lies” by Natalie Walters ~ Book Review

IMG_5994

“Living Lies” by Natalie Walters

Harbored Secrets #1

Review copy from publishers/author

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name–but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I love getting the opportunity to read an author’s debut novel. It feels so special, to be trusted with their first book baby. :)
“Living Lies” is a romantic suspense title, and I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense plot – it was really well-written, and I enjoyed seeing how the whole thing played out and worked together in the end.  That thread was my favorite for sure.
The characters themselves were great, and nicely written. I appreciate how  Lane dealt with depression and anxiety, and that message of the book was definitely handled very well and with care.
The romance didn’t really ‘click’ for me, personally. Not that the two characters weren’t good for each other – they were, and I certainly didn’t dislike them as a couple. I don’t really know why I wasn’t getting engaged in the romance thread. Sometimes it felt a little like insta-love but it wasn’t exactly like that because the main character had some things she felt she needed to overcome.
Charlie was a fantastic guy. I loved how patient he was. And little Noah was a cutie. Also, I had a soft spot for Miguel. His character was really well-written.
The story flowed so nicely, and was an enjoyable read to be sure.
.
*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own.