Posted in Book reviews

“Heart of a Royal” by Hannah Currie ~ Book Review

 

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“Heart of a Royal” by Hannah Currie

Daughters of Peverell #1

Review copy from the publishers/author

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Heart of a Royal (Daughters of Peverell #1)

 

About the Book:

Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner.

But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust – both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with?

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My Thoughts:

 

This was every bit as delightful as I hoped it would be!! I fell in love with the cover first (it’s gorgeous!), and the description immediately drew my interest. And indeed, the story itself is amazing, and I daresay even surpasses the loveliness of the cover!”Heart of a Royal” is a delightful YA royal read – it reminded me a bit of “The Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale, only better (which I don’t say in disrespect of TPA as that is still one of my favorite stories!).It is written in first person, from main character Kenna’s point of view, and that worked so beautifully. It was extremely easy to become deeply invested in the story, and I didn’t want to leave its pages. :)I LOVED Ben, so much! His kindness, and patience, and over-all character was just amazing. I super loved Kenna too (though sometimes I wanted her to act/say/do differently, but I really liked her character as it was), and their relationship was the best. That ending was so good <3 The one thing I will say I wish was different was the length – I wished this story could’ve gone on forever. :D I am very excited for this author’s next novel! Her debut was superb and I definitely recommend it. The faith message, especially towards the end was great, and I very much appreciate its presence! The whole conclusion was lovely. :) So thankful for the chance I got to read this beautiful novel!

 

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*I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own. 

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“The Curse of Misty Wayfair” by Jaime Jo Wright ~ Book Review

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“The Curse of Misty Wayfair” by Jaime Jo Wright

Duel-Timeline Novel

Review copy through the publishers/author

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

 

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My Thoughts:

 

Goodness. Gracious. I’m quite sure that I resembled a wide-eyed owl upon completing this book! Just when I thought I had figured it out, I was wrong, and there was a different twist! And that brings me to how impressed I am with the authors writing ability. Like…how?..! This book and its plot is SO intricate and so detailed and complex, and yet it all weaves together so brilliantly and flawlessly – both the historical story and the present day story.
The characters themselves are each complex as well.  Historical heroine, Thea Reed, has lived her life as an orphan, not knowing her real parents. Her journey to find her identity is captivating, to say the least. Present day heroine, Heidi Lane is on the path to find her identity too, though in a different way. Having grown up in a Christian family, she still felt like a misfit. There was a theme and even a quote in the present day story that made me relate well to Heidi. The quote said: “But, Heidi had to admit, it was nice to finally be heard.”
I felt that this was actually a timely thing for me, and agree with that – it is nice to be heard, to know that there are others who are willing to listen and make us feel validated.
The overarcing theme of our identity and where it is truly found was beautiful. It unfolded at a good pace, and is a very lovely reminder.
I can’t continue without at least mentioning some of the other characters though, such as Simeon (past timeline), Rhett (present day), Connie (present day), and Emma (present day). Simeon is a sweetheart; felt for him immediately. Rhett could be a bit annoying at first (Heidi thought so too, so I’m not alone!), but I grew to love his character. Connie (Rhett’s mother) was amazing, and I adored her daughter (Rhett’s sister) Emma. <3 All amazing characters woven together.
And I loved both storylines pretty equally. Not sure I had a favorite…I love historical stories, but the present-day one was just as good!
There are many creepy things that occur in this novel that might give you a few shivers. I don’t generally take delight in reading eerie novels, but I know I am in for an enjoyable – and impressive – ride when I pick up one of Jaime Jo Wright’s books. As I said, her plotlines are just amazing, and nothing is as it seems until the very end. With each book, I’ve been a little more flabbergasted at how it all comes together.
But do prepare yourself….while things indeed aren’t what they seem, those things and events can still be a bit creepy. ;) Definitely worth the read, though! Thoroughly enjoyed “The Curse of Misty Wayfair”!

 

 

 

 

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano ~ Book Review!

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“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano

Stand-alone novel

Review copy through the publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the book:

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first. 

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they’ll not soon forget.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I have been eagerly anticipating this author’s second novel, and I was so excited to dive into this gem. And what a gem it is! I thoroughly enjoyed “A Rumored Fortune”, being swept away between its pages and taken on quite the journey. So much beauty, and heart.  Main characters Tressa Harlowe and Donegan Vance were spectacular. I loved how Tressa’s portion (the majority of the novel) was in first person – it really flowed so nicely and bonded me even more to her. Third-person for Donegan’s portions was fantastic, too; the differences transitioned well, and you were never left with a feeling that it was incomplete or anything.
These characters complimented each other so well. Unlike Tressa, I fell for Donegan from his first words to her. ;)
I did really love their relationship, though! Sometimes her…resistance of him could get slightly frustrating, but I still understood her side of things –  her hesitancy to enter into ANY sort of relationship with anyone.
The plot-line of this novel was so superb. And I loved the vineyard aspect of it. Just so much. Each time I read parts about the vineyard and its care, I could see so much significance and resemblance to how God cares for us, including the pruning seasons. It was just really beautiful and remarkable! I should have taken a photo of my copy from the side, because I had marked so many pages that had just the best quotes! I will share some in my blog post with this review, but even so, there are so many worthy ones. A must-read book. <3
Just like in her debut novel, author Joanna Politano’s writing is superb, and absolutely captivating.
“A Rumored Fortune” is one you are going to want to savor, for certain. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next!!
Quotes:
I had sooo many! And not enough time to make graphics for each, unfortunately. But below are the graphics I did make, and then the quotes that I still loved but didn’t get the time to graphic-ize. :)

 

 

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“Sometimes being in your own company fulfulled you more than sharing space with someone who intensified your aloneness with every word.”

 

“The only perfect father is the one in heaven. Never forget that.”

 

“The best fruit arises from a hostile environment – harsh winters, dry soil, and unrelenting heat from the sun deepen a grape’s flavor and heighten its sweetness. Bearable conditions bring only mediocre fruit.” – Notebook of a viticulturist

 

“It would serve everyone far better if you spoke plainly. Once the sting of truth is dealt, it can being to heal, but an unspoken truth festers for a long time.”

 

“No, He’s bringing you to life. It takes a harsh summer to yield abundance in the vineyards. Perhaps this is your summer.”
She pulled back to look up at him. “What am I to do then? How do I endure it?”
“When you feel you’re dying in the heat of summer, all a branch needs to do is to hold on.”  He gripped her elbows and looked into her eyes to convey the importance of the truth he now uttered, for it was all he could offer her. “Cling with all its might to the vine. That’s all, simply hold on.”
I am, He seemed to say to my pleas. I Am all those things you want. A statement directly personally, to my wrung-out fatherless heart. My Father, who art in heaven.”
“God had a way of pruning off anything that came between Himself and His children, it seemed. I’d experienced it too and somehow I was grateful for it.”
A Rumored Fortune 7
Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, Books, reading, Reviews

“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette ~ Book Review

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“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette

Book One in the Cities of Refuge Series

Review copy from the publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

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About the Book:

 

Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.

 

 

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My Thoughts:

 

What a delightful treat to be able to read Moriyah’s story, whom we were introduced to in “Wings of the Wind” (part of the Out of Egypt Series, while this book is book one of the Cities of Refuge Series)!
I loved this book; it was excellent. I love how the author weaves a story that is at once so captivating and so meaningful and ripe with the Lord’s beauty.
And I loved the characters – of course, Moriyah, but also Ora, and Eitan (SO adorable!!), and the hero Derek – all such excellent characters, well-constructed and portrayed.
I was impressed that most of the book was one of the characters being on the move – they weren’t in one location for very long, and that made the setting very unique! And adventurous. Though the reason behind it was a sad one, the descriptions of the sights they saw were a pleasure to read.
Moriyah’s heart-journey was even more enjoyable, seeing her struggles from page one and how she found healing from Yahweh. Her finding her worth was beautiful. <3
She was so kind to those around her, and so strong even when she felt herself weak. I also loved how she could hear Yahweh’s Voice – so precious. Moriyah was such an easy character to bond with. I felt like I shared in her sorrows and also her joys. I wanted to see her triumph, but most of all I loved how she committed – and surrendered – her life to Yahweh. Such a humbling and good reminder, one I love to read about in fiction.
I was a little surprised by the amount of kissing involved…I am not a Biblical/Historical expert at all, but I wouldn’t think that a Hebrew maiden would give away so many kisses before commitment, let alone before marriage. And if it was a matter of getting caught up in the moment (understandable; the flesh is weak), I think because of their upbringing, she would have felt a bit of remorse afterwards, if that makes sense.
But otherwise, I very much adored this book.
Each piece of this book was well-written and engaging, and I can hardly wait for the next one (yay for getting to see an older Eitan in the next one!!)!!
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Quotes:

 

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“Hear, O Israel. The Lord your God, the Lord is One. And you should love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength…these words which I command you today shall be on your heart.” If I loved Yahweh, I would obey, no matter the cost.

 

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

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

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“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews

A Novel of Prophets and Kings

Review copy from the author/publishers as apart of Mesu Andrews’ Launch Team

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Stars!

 

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About the Book:

 

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bibleminiseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

 

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My Thoughts:

 

Wow, what an absolutely beautiful and captivating story! I was just utterly engaged the moment I started it right until the very end page. It was so very good.
Ishma and Hezi’s relationship from the very beginning was just the most endearing thing ever. It was so sweet how they bonded and grew so close.
The characters were all really amazing, and so believable, so three-dimensional. You didn’t just read about their trials and joys, you felt them with the characters. The heartbreak, the pain, and the beautiful healing.
I absolutely loved how Ishma’s name changed to Hephzibah, and that whole theme throughout the book with her new name meaning ‘God’s delight’. What a beautiful reminder for all of us!! We are the Lord’s delight. I love that. Her journey was so poignant – so touching.
“Isaiah’s Daughter” is a remarkable look into the prophesies of Isaiah, and how they might have interpreted them in their own time.
Author Mesu Andrews can take what might be normally seen as ‘heavy history’ and weave it into a compelling tale that is not only very understandable, but completely enjoyable and enlightening. This is one reason why I love Biblical Fiction so much. It really gives depth to the Bible accounts that are familiar, but sometimes less understood.
This book is so full that trying to write a review that would give it justice seems rather impossible. But I definitely recommend this beautiful story, and look forward to losing myself in its pages again!

I thought “Miriam” was my favourite book by Mesu Andrews, but now I’m thinking “Isaiah’s Daughter” tops the list!

 

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Quotes:

I actually highlighted a TON of quotes, and made several graphics. Below are a few of them, but you can go to my Pinterest Page here to see more graphics with ID quotes. :)

 

 

 

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BLOG TOUR:

1/15 – Lena Nelson Dooley

1/15 – It’s Storytime With Van Daniker!

1/15 – More Than Poetic Musings

1/16 – Seriously Write

1/16 – Lighthouse Academy

1/17 – Jill Eileen Smith

1/18 – Kristie Moments

1/19 – Coffee Cups & Camisoles

1/19 – Montana Made

1/20 – Fiction Aficionado

1/21 – Angie Arndt

1/21 – Christian Chicks Thoughts

1/22 – Carole Towriss

1/22 – Backing Books

1/23 – God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

1/24 – Faithfully Bookish

1/24 – Mommynificent

1/25 – Just Commonly

1/25 – Bibliophile Reviews

1/26 – Reading is my Superpower

1/26 – The Mary Reader

 

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Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

Book Review: “Out of the Dark” by MacKenzie Morganthal

 

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Yeppers, this book review is part of the lovely Blog Tour! Click on the image above to be brought to the first post that kicked off this amazing tour!

 

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“Out of the Dark” by MacKenzie Morganthal

Book Two in the Mission for Freedom series, Released October 27th, 2017

Contemporary, human-trafficking awareness, action, redemption

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

 

 

About the Book:

 

It’s not over yet…

     It’s been three years since Haley Hampton rescued her sister, Avery, from a human trafficking ring. They are still struggling through the aftermath as both women desperately long for healing to come. But the emotional wounds are not easily forgotten. And the past is quickly catching up to them. A string of death threats leaves Haley on the hunt for a potential killer. As tensions run high, a single mistake could jeopardize Avery’s life.

Then Haley encounters Elaine, a young teen trapped by human trafficking. Could she be their missing link in the case? Is there anyone they can trust? Haley must rely on God now more than ever if they intend to make it out alive. Will they find a way out of the darkness closing in? Because evil is lurking closer…and determined to win this time.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Oh this book. Where do I start? I had the immense – and I do mean immense – pleasure of reading this book twice before its release. It was so fun to see how it changed and strengthened.
As with the first book in this series (“Not Abandoned”), “Out of the Dark” is a very strong, poignant story, full of action, and truths. The author deals with the topic of human-trafficking with such gentleness and expertise.
Revisiting the familiar characters was an absolute delight – I was so happy in particular to reaquaint myself with a character whom we met in the first book of this series. I was eager to see his journey continue, even though he’s not necessarily a central character. :)
Each of the characters are well-built up, and relatable. Sisters Haley and Avery each have to go through their own unique process of healing; their struggles are present, and very well-portrayed. I believe the struggles a character goes through towards healing is a very good element in novels, and that was evident in “Out of the Dark”. I really loved the healing aspect – the journey of healing. It was beautiful, and meaningful.
Not only is this book full of beauty, it is also full of danger and suspense. There is always darkness to overcome, but sometimes a character questions whether or not it might overcome them.
Have I mentioned that this book is exciting? I can assure you that it’s not a dull one. And that ending – you will just have to read it to find out what I mean. And I highly recommend that you do so!! “Out of the Dark” is a fantastic sequel to “Not Abandoned”, and it is a story I will cherish for many years to come. I can hardly wait to read the next installment in The Mission for Freedom series!
*I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Enjoy some sneak peaks into the story:

 

And don’t forget to see the first blog tour post to follow along with the other stops, and enter the GIVEAWAY!!!

Posted in Book reviews

Book Review: “Lady Layne Disappears” by Joanna Davidson Politano

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“Lady Jayne Disappears” by Joanna Davidson Politano

 

Review copy from publishers through the author’s Launch Team

My rating: 5 out of 5  Stars

 

 

 

About the Book:

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is one of the most beautifully crafted novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a very long time. It was such a masterpiece of writing.
A story within a story, with twists and turns, and curiosities that leave you wondering but keep you oh-so absorbed in its pages.
Upon closing the final page, I had to sit back in a bit of awe. The author has a way with words, just as the main character Aurelie has. May I also say how much I love that name – Aurelie. So beautiful.
The characters were marvelous. I love real feeling characters, and these definitely filled that.  Aurelie: a most beautiful and unique heroine, Silas Rotherham: the perfect hero. And each of the side characters were brilliantly crafted as well.
Every scene was depicted so well, with so much feeling – you were definitely present in the novel. And the bit of mystery – goodness! I was entirely surprised by the culprit behind the murder. What murder you ask? Well, you’ll just have to read the book yourself to find out!
Truly, this was a lovely novel. The faith aspect was beautiful and poignant. The struggles felt by the characters were most real and relatable.
I wish I could give a review that would justly describe this book, but I am afraid I’m at a bit of a loss for words. I thoroughly enjoyed “Lady Jayne Disappears” and was very reluctant to leave its pages!
This stunning tale just sweeps you away with its beauty and richness. I definitely recommend, especially for fans of Charles Dickens (think Little Dorrit and Bleak House), Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre) and just excellent English/Gothic fiction that is inspiring and full of faith.

Below are graphics I made for this lovely book:

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-A good book will enable you to both lose yourself and find yourself.- - Nathaniel Droll, Lady Jayne Disappears.
-I admit I'm an escapist when it comes to books. I become drunk on story, on words, as a buffer against reality.- If only she knew how often. If books were alcohol, he'd be the worst dru
Lady Jayne
It's always a choice, Aura Rose. Happiness is always a choice
-And the maiden found her escape into books, the worlds created by the pen of some stranger who would creep into her mind and rearrange the furniture.-
-Reading is the perfect way to engage and excite your mind while appearing to merely pass the time.-
-The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. I'd never had to depend so fully on the Lord before this, and it seemed now He was all I had.-