Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Litfuse

“Keturah” by Lisa T. Bergren ~ Book Review & Giveaway!

“Keturah” by Lisa T. Bergren

Book One in The Sugar Barren’s Daughters Series

Review copy from the publishers through Litfuse

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Image result for curly q

About the Book:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

Image result for curly q

My Thoughts:

I love the cover of this book – it is definitely one that draws you in. The story setting was quite a unique one, which I enjoyed!

It was adventurous, three sisters deciding to set out on their own to an unknown place. I admired how the sisters banded together; their bond was very sweet.
This book focused primarily on Keturah – the title of the book indeed. :)  We learn from the beginning that her first marriage was not a good one. That was sad, and all too true for many. I liked the message that God does desire for everyone to be loved well, as He cherishes us.
Because of her previous abuse, her actions were very understandable. Her determinedness to never be ruled by a man made sense due to her background pain. I hurt for her when her painful memories resurfaced.

However, I guess personally, I was a little concerned with how ‘glorified’ it was to put yourself above men – to the point where she reveled in donning men’s clothing at one point. And granted, the act was reasonable in itself for what was needing to be done at that point, but I think during that time period especially, it would have felt very odd and not been so…glorified. I know most people just adore the ‘strong female lead who doesn’t need any man’, but I guess they’re just not my favourite. Yes, woman are capable – not denying that at all – but I don’t think that means we need to constantly be rising above the men.

This is not to say I didn’t have compassion on Keturah’s suffering and what made her feel this way – I did get that. I was just hoping for some more healing portrayed. Learning that yes, we are whole in Jesus (hallelujah!), but also that God created men and women alike, and we don’t have to be so independent. God created us to be wholly dependent on Him and to need each other, as Paul tells us constantly in God’s word.

The setting of this book, Nevis Island, was very well portrayed. Beauty and danger wrapped into one.

I also liked the reoccurring theme spoken between the characters, of “One limb at a time” – meaning that we can only take each day as it comes. A very wise – and Biblical – thing. :)

I’m guessing, from the title of the book and series and way this book was, that each book  will focus individually on each sister. I must say, I am very much looking forward to Verity’s book – I really loved her character, and would love to see more of her. And Captain McKintrick. :D

So yes, in conclusion, I enjoyed this book though personally struggled with the one aspect, but I do look forward to the next. :)

Image result for curly q

 Quotes:

 

“But this is a harsh world, full of harsh realities. We cannot expect to shield ourselves from all harm, forever. You cannot assume you can do that for us. We shall, as you say, use our good minds. Look for God’s lead and do our best to follow. But we cannot live in fear of hurt. It will keep us from venturing into new things, welcoming new people.” – Selah

“All God asks of us is to do our best, from morning until night. He doesn’t expect us to do things that only He can accomplish – only what we’ve been given to do and to trust Him with the rest.” – Gray

Image result for curly q

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She’s the author of the Christy Award-winning “Waterfall,” RITA®-finalist “Firestorm,” bestselling “God Gave Us You,” and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She’s also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
Find out more about Lisa at http://lisatawnbergren.com.

Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “The Pretender” by Ta’Mara Hanscom

Toothless Books (3)

The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise  by Ta’Mara Hanscom

Caselli Family Series Book One

Review copy from the publishers through Litfuse Publicity group for review purposes. All thoughts stated in my review are purely my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

 

 

About the book:

Set in South Dakota in 1975, where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beer in a bar, and loaded guns were kept under the counter.
Frankie Valli sang “My Eyes Adored You,” and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
It’s within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined-and had been for many years-yet they had no idea. 
From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart—and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

 

 

My Thoughts:

Hmmm, I don’t know where to start with this review. You see, this book has me a little torn. More than a little, I suppose.
I liked it, but I didn’t. Somehow, I got extremely emotionally invested into it, but the ending wasn’t what I was hoping for, and it was a cliffhanger on top of that.
The focus of the book confused me. The first half of the book was so focused on a story plot, that it seemed to only have been concluded in the expected way, but then the latter half was totally different, and almost as if that first half never happened. It was weird. I was fully rooting for the first half to be brought to a satisfying conclusion, but it wasn’t to be so. If it had, I think this could’ve become a favourite book. The cover is beautiful too. But instead, it left me…discontent for the story.
I loved Noah, pretty much from the beginning. His parts of the story were my favourite, and seeing his redemption play out was good, though maybe a little fast. I liked Tillie a lot too. But I questioned her character towards the second half, and how she reacted to a certain occurence.
 I admire Noah’s choice for one of his decisions, and reluctantly came to terms with that. He was a great character, but the book wasn’t what the reader hopes for, and therefore you find yourself feeling disappointed. At least that is how it was for me.
So, like I said, it’s almost as if the first half never happened in regards to how the second half continued.
And I know that life doesn’t always end “happily ever after” but this ending, I felt, was kind of uncalled for as far as unhappy endings go.
Another thing that was a pretty big caution to me was how the parents were sure to say that nothing can thwart God’s will (and that’s only true when we fully submit to His will since we can definitely thwart His will when we let our own will get in the way), but then later on at the end, and in the description for the second book, it was a contradiction –  the parents clearly regret their decision, as if admitting that they indeed sought their own will, not God’s And yes, we can certainly mess up and not follow God’s will mistakenly, but the fact that they were so adamant that this decision was God’s will and then later said perhaps they were wrong as if to say God’s will was wrong, when in actuality they just didn’t seek or heed His true will – this  just didn’t sit well with me.
So  yes, very conflicted. The story definitely grabs your attention – and emotions – but there were several things that I just wasn’t too happy with.

 

 

 

About the author:

Born and raised in South Dakota, Ta`Mara loves to write about the Great Plains and the beauty and people of Italia. While her husband and children manage their two pizza ristoranti, Ta`Mara works full time on The Caselli Family Series, and ministers to women. It is Ta`Mara s prayer that as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, forgiveness, obedience, and God’s plan for marriage

Find out more about Ta’Mara at https://www.tamarahanscombooks.com.

 

 

 

Despite just meeting each other, Tillie and Noah’s lives have been mysteriously intertwined for many years in Ta’Mara Hanscom’s The Pretender. From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart-and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

Join Ta’Mara in celebrating the release of the second printing and new covers by entering to win her $75 prize basket giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Pretender
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
  • A decorative box containing measuring cups, ten recipes from the book, a potholder, a kitchen towel, pepper and salt grinders, kitchen utensils, and an olive oil dispenser

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 11. The winner will be announced October 12 on the Litfuse blog.

 

The Pretender Ta'Mara Hanscom

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Litfuse

“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White ~ Book Review

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)

“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White

First book in Shadows Over England.

Review copy from publishers through Litfuse Blogger Program

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

The cover alone makes this book a worthy addition to any bookshelf. But add in the amazing story, and you know “A Name unknown” is a definite keeper!
The story pulled me in immediately, and I was drawn right into the world of these characters. There were many unique twists, and mysteries, and the history was woven beautifully into the story. But one of the best elements of this book was the heart of it – the Faith aspect. I was very pleased with it, and there were many places I marked down. It was gentle, and beautiful, and meaningful. To me, a Christian fiction’s main theme should be revolved around a godly message – one that is filled with Christ, and I was ever so pleased to discover that in this novel. Personally, when I pick up a CF title, I don’t want it to just be ‘clean’, I want it to be filling. And “A Name Unknown” was that.
I loved the characters – Rosemary and Peter. Oh, Peter was just darling! I liked him right away, and Rosemary too. They were very different characters to be sure, but blended so well and balanced each other out.
Rosemary a thief, and Peter a secret novelist. They both have so much richness to them!
As a writer myself, I loved Peter and seeing his writing mind take over; how he’d get lost when thinking up a new idea – very relatable. :) And his overall love of books and letters! Be still my heart. ;) He was just splendid.
I just really loved the characters – how real they were, and how they didn’t always do what you expected. Life doesn’t always go as expected, and that was portrayed so well in this book.
Every page begged to be turned again, not left unread. If only I had an ample amount of time to read from beginning to end! But still, I savoured this book for the time it took me, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. And set right before WWI broke out – a very fascinating time to read a novel in.
So yes, I can definitely recommend this one! Fellow booklovers, you will fall in love with “A Name Unknown”!

 

Those were just a couple of my favourite quotes. I have several others, just without images:

 

“Were he a different man, one who could command a presence and charm people wherever he went, perhaps he would have struck off to see more of the world than this imitation jungle. Perhaps he would have made his own way, cut his own path with machete and pistol. As it was, even the jungle of London sent him running for cover.” – Pg 30
“Treasures were never where one sought it.” Pg 48
“I am by no means an expert, of course, but love of the written word runs deep in my family- also no great mystery to you, having seen the library. But I do hold fiction in especial esteem. Fiction is a way to express mankind’s deepest heart. His fears. His hopes. His failings. His successes. Fiction is truth…in a pretty wrapping.” Pg 56
“Everyone needs a distraction from sad things. Especially when there is nothing they can do about them.” – Pg 211
“Peter had used it as an example in one of his notes this week. That giving one’s life to God was very much like what she’d done with those dresses of Jenny’s. It was still the same fabric – still the same basic person. But just as she’d changed the shape and drape and the seams, God remade the old man into a new one. But unlike the dress, which had no say, people had to choose to put themselves in God’s hands. He wouldn’t start snipping and sewing against their will.” – Pg 292
“You listen to me, Rosemary Gresham. If Jesus could save tax collectors, and harlots, thieves and hypocrites, who are you to say you’re too far gone, hmm? Our God is bigger than our sins. And if there’s something saying otherwise into your ea, know it’s a lie straight from the devil.” – pg 383
And believe it or not, I still have more that I marked down, but I won’t overload you with them all. ;)

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

“Dawn at Emberwilde” by Sarah E. Ladd

Book Two in The Treasures of Surrey Series

Source: Litfuse

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

 

My Thoughts:

I was expecting to love this book. I’ve read two of Miss Ladd’s previous books (the first two books of the Whispers on the Moors Series), and enjoyed them both, so I figured it would be likewise with this one. And while I didn’t hate this book, I didn’t fully enjoy it either, unfortunately.
The setting was good, and the writing well-done, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and it was very predictable.
But what disappointed me the most was the lack of faith in this book. I remember reading Ladd’s first book and the faith-strand was great; the second book had it too though not as strongly, but this book was almost completely void of it. There were many, many places where it could have been accomplished in a beautiful manner, but there was only one or two mentions of God. That really saddened me. This story really could’ve used God’s hope and truth. It kind of just fell flat for me without it.
The love-triangle was a bit much too…I don’t really care for those types of things. It was the typical “I don’t know which man to choose”, yet it’s overly obvious to the reader who is the “hero” of the book. It was just frustrating to me.
But yes, I liked the England setting, and I enjoyed the character Lizzie quite well, and Colin on occasion. But sometimes the characters did things that just didn’t make sense.
They put a pretty heavy point on physical appearance too, as well as not wanting to have to rely on anyone else – that we are sufficient by our own strength. I don’t agree with this – we should be sufficient by God’s power alone. It was just really lacking in God’s glory and that really reflects in a book, I think.
It wasn’t a terrible book (it was clean, and I have no doubt that many will enjoy it – I myself enjoyed aspects of it, just not all), but it  wasn’t really a hit for me.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Litfuse/the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Litfuse, Revell Reads

Book Review: “Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah Sundin

 

“Anchor in the Storm” by Sarah Sundin

Book Two in the Waves of Freedom Series

WWII Historical Fiction

Review copy source: Litfuse/Revell

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the book:

One Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance–and Danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War Ii means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War Ii to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

 

 

My Thoughts:

Sarah Sundin never disappoints. :) “Anchor in the Storm” was another fantastic book, with a great plot and fantastic characters. There was also a bit of mystery in it which was fun to follow along with!
Lillian Avery was a really well-rounded character; unique too, and still relatable. And Arch was charming as well, and with his own flaws – I do really appreciate flawed characters. :)
The faith strand was good, and consistent, which was lovely – Christ is our Anchor!
The struggles and trials they went through were very real, and the background pain was believable and came across well.
“Jesus is you anchor, your hope in any storm, you sure refuge.” (Page 28)
And I must admit, I loved the romance – it was sweet and I really wanted the two together. Arch was the perfect gentlemen – seriously, he was just so thoughtful and sweet.
“Yet she was worth the effort” (Page 144)
There was a grandmotherly character in this book who had a great influence on Lillian, and helped her to open her heart, which was so nice – we all need someone to remind us! Because it is hard, and it does sometimes hurt, but God desires an open heart.
“Oh, sweet girl. You may be able to hide your feelings from people, but you can never hide them from the Lord.” (Page 67)
“Now you’ve experienced great love. Now you’ve suffered great loss. Now your heart is truly open” Lillian pressed her free hand to her chest. Why did an open heart have to hurt so much?” (Page 346)
There were just a couple of instances of their romance that I didn’t care for fully – it wasn’t horrible, but sometimes it seemed a little rushed (or rather, happened quickly once it did happen), and there were a lot of kisses, and

*** SPOILER***  I was a little bummed when there had to be the typical turmoil stretch in their relationship. I know that they don’t want it to seem too perfect all of the time, but it just seemed…too much in the ‘norm’. ***END OF SPOILER***

But yes, I enjoyed this book very well, and look forward to the next! Sarah Sundin’s writing is spectacular, with much talent, and always so captivating!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers (Revell) and Litfuse in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.

In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love? Pharmacist Lillian Avery and Ensign Archer Vandenberg are about to find out in Sarah Sundin’s new book, Anchor in the Storm. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling? As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Celebrate the release of Sarah’s Anchor in the Storm by entering to win her All Hands on Deck Prize Pack!

anchor in the storm - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A signed copy of Anchor in the Storm
  • Nautical tote bag lined with anchor fabric
  • Anchor necklace made from copper reclaimed from the USS Constitution in Boston during restoration
  • 365 Devotions for Hope by Karen Whiting
  • Shine: Nautical Inspirational Adult Coloring Book
  • “Hope Anchors the Soul” journal
  • Set of two nautical tea towels
LF AIS full group 2 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 8th. The winner will be announced June 9th on Sarah’s blog.

anchor in the storm - banner
Posted in Books, Litfuse, Uncategorized

Litfuse Book Review: “Blue Ribbon Trail Ride” by Miralee Ferrell

“Blue Ribbon Trail Ride” By Miralee Ferrell

Book four in Horses and Friends

Review source: Litfuse

My rating 3 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Thirteen-year old Kate and her friends came up with the perfect way to raise money for her autistic younger brother and others to attend summer camp—a horse scavenger hunt! As local businesses donate money and prizes, Kate keeps the entry fees in her mom’s antique jewelry box.

But when the box and the money disappear, Kate and her friends must unravel the clues, hold on to hope, and solve the mystery along the Blue Ribbon Trail Ride.

 

My Thoughts:

I read through this series with my younger sister, reading each one in order. While these books were entertaining, clean, and did keep my sister interested, there were some things that I am very concerned about which I will discuss below.
Each book had similar plot-lines, but I think that for their age group and for horse-loving readers, they are good. I’m afraid I am not an extreme horse-lover (or in that age group of 12-15), but for those who are, these are interesting reads. My favourite character would have to be Tori. She was very sweet, kind, and a great role-model.
The things I wish were different were that there could’ve been a stronger thread of faith and influence of godly character. The character of Kate was written well, I had just hoped the parents would’ve exhibited more in the way of leading their children in godly ways and turning things back to God and prayer, etc. I also was concerned with how often Kate did things she knew she wasn’t supposed to and going behind her parent’s backs or eavesdropping, etc. and then it was just skimmed over like it wasn’t that big of a deal. As it happened, we had to stop and discuss why Kate’s behaviour wasn’t okay, and what she should have done to honour God and her parents. My concern is that young girls will read this and not have an older sibling or parent to stop and discuss the right and wrongs of the book and will think that it’s normal and even okay to act as Kate did. I understand that they want to write a realistic character, but then there needs to be consequences for bad actions and corrections so that the readers will learn how to handle situations with a godly attitude.
This book was aimed more for public-schooled children of that age, I believe, which isn’t bad. My younger sister is the same age as the main character, but there were some vast differences and also we’re a homschooling family so there is that difference where we couldn’t relate fully to the main character.
I did appreciate that these books had a variety of people, like having an autistic character, a homeschooled character, a Hispanic character, a freckled character, and popular character, etc.
There were just quite a few issues that weren’t handled how I had hoped and things that were brought up and then ignored instead of being dealt with in a good way. And for those reasons I would strongly suggest that the book be read with an adult so that morals can be discussed and the reader can learn from Kate’s often selfish and disrespectful behaviour.
As I said, I would strongly advise this book not be read alone by younger readers.
I received complimentary copies of all four books from the publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Fiction Guild, Litfuse

FictionGuild/Litfuse Book review: “The Wedding Chapel” by Rachel Hauck

“The Wedding Chapel” by Rachel Hauck
Review copy source: Litfuse and Fiction Guild
My rating: 4 out 5 Stars
About the Book:

A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.

For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.

Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.

Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.

My Thoughts:
This was certainly a cute read. I really enjoyed it. :) Normally I don’t pick up too many contemporary books, but having read one of Rachel Hauck’s other books and enjoying it, I wasn’t hesitant to try another, and I’m glad I did! This one had pieces of the story that were set in the late 40’s/early 50’s, and it was all so delightfully depicted.
The only thing I didn’t care for and would warn others about is the amount of ‘intimate’ moments there were. I don’t think they were necessary at all, at least in any detail.
The faith strand was very powerful at the end, and had me a tiny bit water-eyed I admit. :) Though I didn’t “agree” that once you’ve heard God’s heart, it stops and becomes solely part of walking by faith. Yes, we are definitely to walk by faith (amen to that), but we can also hear the heart of God no matter what.
The characters were very real – their flaws and all. I enjoyed the journeys each went on within themselves. Not sure I could pick a favourite…Jimmy and Collette in their teen years especially, and I really enjoyed Taylor’s character. And Jack. At the first introduction of him, I wasn’t sure, but as we got to read from his point of view, my heart ached for him.
I really like Rachel Hauck’s writing – oh! And there was a mention of one of her previous books that I thought was cute. :)
All in all, I found this to be quite an enjoyable book! Recommended for ages 18+
I received a complimentary copy from the publishers/Litfuse/FictionGuild in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: “A Respectable Actress” by Dorothy Love

“A Respectable Actress” by Dorothy Love

Historical Mystery Fiction

Review copy source: Litfuse

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

When India Hartley is accused of murder, she must uncover the deceptions of others to save herself.

India Hartley, a famous and beautiful actress, is now alone after her father’s death and embarks upon a tour of theaters across the South. Her first stop is Savannah’s Southern Palace. On the eve of the second night’s performance, something goes horribly wrong. Her co-star, Arthur Sterling, is shot dead on stage in front of a packed house, and India is arrested and accused of the crime.

A benefactor hires Philip Sinclair, the best—and handsomest—lawyer in Savannah to defend India. A widower, Philip is struggling to reinvent his worn-out plantation on St. Simons Island. He needs to increase his income from his law practice in order to restore Indigo Point, and hardly anything will bring him more new clients than successfully defending a famous actress on a murder charge.

Because India can’t go anywhere in town without being mobbed, Philip persuades the judge handling her case to let him take her to Indigo Point until her trial date. India is charmed by the beauty of the Georgia lowcountry and is increasingly drawn to Philip. But a locked room that appears to be a shrine to Philip’s dead wife and the unsolved disappearance of a former slave girl raise troubling questions. Piecing together clues in an abandoned boat and a burned-out chapel, India discovers a trail of dark secrets that lead back to Philip, secrets that ultimately may hold the key to her freedom. If only he will believe her.

 

My Thoughts:

I was pretty pleasantly surprised with this book. It would’ve gotten a big higher rating had it had a fantastic faith-strand, but that was sadly missing. However, the mystery and suspense of this book was gripping. It wasn’t creepy, or dark at all, and the feel of it was lovely, truly. I really liked the character India and Philip, as well as Amelia, and a several others.  The historical aspect was rich and yet it didn’t bog the book down at all, which I really appreciate. It really was a rather beautiful book.

The setting was intriguing, and well described so that I could picture it well. There were some interesting twists, and this book kept my attention quite well!

This quote made me happy:

“Anybody who collects books can’t be all bad” – Phillip Sinclair, A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love

So true. :D

The romance was a little too fast, and as usual, the kissing was too soon, and before marriage. That was a shame.

To be honest, I’m not sure what else to say about this book. I enjoyed it, and would have enjoyed it a great deal more if God had been involved. That was really the only disappointing fact. I think with a great godly-theme, this book would be amazing!

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

 

 

Posted in 1940's, Book reviews, Books, Litfuse

Litfuse Book Review: Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

 

(Click image to go directly to book on Amazon)

 

Through Waters Deep” by Sarah Sundin

#1 in Waves of Freedom Series

WWII Fiction

Review copy source: Litfuse

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

My Thoughts:

I was so excited to read this book – so excited! :D After reading “A Distant Melody” by Sarah Sundin, I was quite hooked on her writing. And “Through Waters Deep” didn’t disappoint. While it didn’t top “A Distant Melody” for me (not much can! Hehe), it was still very satisfactory.

I loved the main characters, Mary and Jim. I related to Mary in her quiet, calm manner, and felt deeply for her in her struggles. And Jim was a dashing hero. ;) He had his own struggles too, and I appreciate that he and Mary shared their struggles and burdens with each-other, each growing in the Lord as well.

There were some great side characters – I’m really looking forward to the next book involving Arch and Lillian! Yay! Mary and Jim will remain my favourites, but I know they will run a close second. However, I did not care for Quintessa at all. She bugged me and I felt like Mary saw herself too indebted to her – it wasn’t an even-sided friendship, if that makes sense. Though, I am expecting Quintessa to have a more favourable story in the third book of this series. :)

The plot was engaging and the mystery gripping! I must say, I was pleased to find out the one I suspected was the culprit in the end! =D Following mystery stories are fun, and I was relieved that this was a ‘clean’ one, without murders, etc. as many mysteries are.

There were several ‘happy’ parts in this book that just made me melt with happiness. :D So many sweet parts and feelings. That being said, I think there were more ‘turmoil’ parts than necessary…I know many like the riveting, edge-of-your-seat plots, and while this was that in a good way definitely, it also had some frustrating parts that I could’ve done without. ^.^ But at least it all ends happily and how we want!! I do like having that guarantee in stories.

The faith strand was there, and I was glad for that. I loved the theme of Nehemiah to it, and how Jim and Mary relied on God for their strength! Very cool. I loved that they each prayed beforehand about things instead of charging forward. A good reminder for all of us, myself definitely included!

I was impressed with how thorough Sarah Sundin’s research was and how lovely it was displayed in this book. Very authentic and still easy-to-read. I appreciate that! I also appreciate that there weren’t too many ‘battle intensive’ parts – it was handled with great care, and I liked that. I get very emotionally invested in books, and so it’s nice not to get pulled too far down when the scenes get overwhelming; thankfully, as I said, this book wasn’t that way. It was perfect in that aspect.

There is so much I could say about this book – the setting, the themes, the interactions. But I’m afraid my review would be quite lengthy! :)

All in all, I enjoyed this read for sure! Looking forward to more. :)

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse and the Publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

Sarah Sundin through waters deep image