Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Weaver's Needle by Robin Caroll

Weaver's NeedleWeaver's Needle by Robin Caroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Superstition Mountains, AZ is the setting for this adventurous read! Full of adventure, mystery, and a little bit of romance, Robin Caroll's newest title release is sure to fulfill the reading desires of fans.

Landry Parker, a former MP, and Nickolai Baptiste, a former police detective, are pitted against each other in a race to see who can find the missing information their client is desiring. As recovery specialists, the goal is to find the missing map and the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine first and claim the prize as their own. This treasure hunt leads Landry and Nickolai to very beautiful Indian country. Both Landry and Nickolai feel a sense of not being welcome shortly after their arrival there. They do not let that get in the way, but what about their feelings for each other?

I loved the characters in this book and how the author weaved them together so seamlessly. The interjections of Gopan's story were fascinating! This is a fairly fast-paced book that I was able to read quickly because I couldn't put it down!

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me to receive a complimentary copy of this book for review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Heart on the Line (Ladies of Harper’s Station, #2)Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grace Mallory hasn't had the easiest life. After witnessing the murder of her father and receiving his message to get away quickly, Grace finds herself in Harper's Station. She's at least found peace and comfort in her little community, made up mostly of women. She enjoys her job as the telegraph operator and finds her evenings to be entertaining by a mystery man corresponding with her on the other end of the line.

Amos Bledsoe is a simple man, one who enjoys his job as a telegraph operator. He prefers his bicycle over a horse any day and can't wait until his mom and sister leave him alone about finding the perfect woman. When he hears a distress call come over the line, he can't help but run to the aid of his "Miss G".

This was a super intense read that only took me a few hours to complete. I read this during my "anniversary weekend" and loved a few of the comparisons between the characters and my husband and I. We, like Amos and Grace, met "online". Our online meeting was more modern than what Grace and Amos experienced, but fun nonetheless. There is also a bit of an age gap between us all. Not that I mind, and I don't think Grace did either. We also all have a deep love for the Lord, which is above all importance.

I very much enjoyed the story of Amos and Grace and look forward to hearing more about their future. The secondary story line of Helen and Lee is also exciting and I can't wait to see how their relationship grows! I'm very much looking forward to the next book in this series! January 2, 2018 will be the release date of Hearts Entwined!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and Karen Witemeyer for providing a complimentary copy of this book to review on NetGalley. The thoughts you have read are my own opinions on this book.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury

Love Story (The Baxter Family #1)Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What's your love story? Is it worthy of writing a paper about it?

In Karen Kingsbury's newest release, the reader is reconnected to the Baxter Family. Or, maybe like in my case, the reader is meeting them for the first time. The Baxter's are a fairly decent sized family with many facets. John and Elizabeth Baxter are the cornerstone of their family. When their grandson, Cole, asks John to share his love story with his former (now deceased) wife, Elizabeth, John finds himself reliving the life he shared with Elizabeth. Their love story is unique, yet shares patterns that many find in their lives today.

Cody Coleman, long time family friend of the Baxters, is in utter romantic chaos. He's sick without the love of his life, Andi Ellison. However, how do you repair a relationship after two failed engagements? Can Cody come to grips with his feelings and explain to Andi why he's acted the way he has? Will Andi be accepting and welcome Cody back into her life for a third time?

There are a lot of tender moments shared in this love story of the Baxter family. I read this book in about 4 hours straight and found that I could not put it down until it was completed. I look forward to reading more about the Baxter family (there are multiple books in different series about them) in the near future.

Many thank to the author and publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book on NetGalley. These are my personal thoughts on the book.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Threads of Suspicion (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2)Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I took a break from my regular go-to Christian Historical reads and picked up this gem! It's been awhile since I'd read anything by Dee Henderson but she has never disappointed!

Evie Blackwell is working on a task force who is trying to close up cold cases. She chooses to work on the case of Jenna, a missing college girl. Her partner, David, chooses to work on the cold case of Saul, a missing PI. I love how the author depicts a "day in the life" of a detective going through evidence, conducting interviews, etc and sharing a breakdown of how to break a case. Evie and David discover many similarities in their cases and, while they are working on their own respective cases, find ways to work together to help each other solve the cases they have presented to them.

Evie and David have a great mutual respect for each other and the work that they do. They are both in relationships that are very similar as well. David is dating Maggie, the lead for the hit band, Triple M, while Evie is dating a wealthy financier. Each relationship has commitment issues and having each other to bounce their ideas off of is helpful to both David and Evie.

I was not aware that this was book 2 in a series until I finished it, but I did suspect it some as I was reading. There were references to events in the past that had me a bit intrigued at times but I don't feel that the prior information was essential to understanding and enjoying this book. It could be (and was) enjoyed as a stand-alone book. That being said, there are several looming questions that I have that will no doubt be covered in the next book in this series!! I do enjoy a great cliffhanger!!

This was a very fast-paced, enjoyable read! I recommend it to those who enjoy a great mystery with a little bit of romance mixed in!

I did receive a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. Many thanks to Dee Henderson and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to review this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

A Love So True (Teaville Moral Society #2)A Love So True by Melissa Jagears
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's 1908 and the setting is in Southeast Kansas. David Kingsman just wants to make his father proud. It's all he's ever wanted in life...to have his father say, "Well done, son!" at the end of a business deal. The glass factory is in need of something major...in the forms of a shut down and sale to the highest bidder. David struggles with this as he is in Teaville to assess the business in his father's portfolio. Is shutting down really the best answer?

Evelyn Wisely is a young, single woman with a servant's heart. She braves the red-light district of Teaville to rescue any woman who expresses an interest in leaving a soiled past for a much cleaner one. Evelyn also has a huge heart for the children in the orphanage that her family manages. Evelyn has no regard for herself or her future...and marriage is definitely not an option.

David is quite smitten when he first lays eyes on Evelyn but is very intrigued by her work in the red-light district of town. Whatever is a lady of her station doing in such desolate and dark areas? David can't seem to get Evelyn out his mind despite the denials of his advances. Will he be able to wait this journey out to win her heart?

This is the second book in the Teaville series. I did not realize this, nor was I affected by that news. I would like to go back and read the first book now, knowing that this is a series. If I were to choose a favorite character in this book, hands down it would be David. I admire his persistence, his patience, and the way in which he turned his circumstances into something much more positive. Reflecting back, I didn't realize just how giving he was, as the book really focused on the amount of giving that Evelyn exuded. David is the strongest developed character in this book and I found myself falling under his charm a time or two.

There is a portion of the book where the characters become very open about their faith and how they are going to deal with the situation at hand. There are tender moments between couples at various stages of relationships in this book. However, I would feel comfortable with my teenager reading this book.

I did have a difficult time getting into this book but I feel it was more of a matter of somethings I was going through personally when I first started this book. It did not pick up for me as quickly as I would have liked but the ending did seem to come quickly. The longer I read this, the more I did enjoy the story. Many other reviewers have had a different experience (Loving it all the way through) so again, I feel it might have been where I was in life when I started reading this book.

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Melissa Jagears for providing a complimentary copy for me to review through Netgalley.com. What you have read here are my honest thoughts on this book.

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When God Says "Wait": Navigating life's detours without losing your faith, your friends, or your mind by Elizabeth Laing Thompson

When God Says When God Says "Wait": navigating life’s detours and delays without losing your faith, your friends, or your mind by Elizabeth Laing Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's not often that I read a non-fiction book, simply because I find that I enjoy a lot of fiction books. However, this one came across as one that I could really use and it was. This devotional book was written from a female perspective for females mainly. I can see where it would benefit male readers as well.

Utilizing popular Bible stories, Elizabeth Laing Thompson uses Miriam, Sarah, Hannah, Naomi, David, Jacob, Ruth, Mary, Gideon, Joseph, Martha, and Abraham to explain how sometimes in our lives, God does say, "Wait". Each of these Biblical people faced uncertain dilemmas in life and had to wait for the right time before receiving answers they were searching for.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book include:

"When battles change us, even wound us, we can use our scars for good: They are reminders of God's power in our weakness."

"...build a life where he is in that moment."

"The ability to comfort others who are going through a similar trial. The ability to sympathize--and strongly."

"Never forget this: Our suffering becomes our story. God's nos are a much a part of our testimony as His yeses."

There is also great advice given in this book. Something I often struggle with is remaining positive, especially when it feels like the world is crumbling down around you. The author suggests to write down three things that happened in a positive way or three ways you saw God at work. Do this daily before going to bed each night. Focus on these things and keep your mind from wandering to the negative, especially before bedtime, but also to help you wake up refreshed and more positive for the coming day.

I appreciate how the author used these situations we read of in the Bible to remind me that, first of all, I'm not alone. Waiting can be so hard, no matter what it is you may be waiting on. Secondly, this book helped me to refocus my thoughts on Biblical matters and I found a deeper connection with these people by re-reading their stories and struggles. Third, I found this book to be very encouraging. Not only will it have you spending more time in the Word, but also reflecting on different situations you and your loved ones may be facing. Be encouraged to know that whatever it is you are going through, you are not alone in the wait. It can seem like it at times but remaining faithful and true to the Lord will reap bountiful rewards in the end.

I do hope that you will find encouragement in this post! I would recommend this to anyone hurting from the wait of your answer. I encourage you to have your Bible handy and read these accounts from the Bible, then read the devotional and commentary on each situation and apply it to your life. Be prayerful while reading this as well....I found myself having an even more active prayer life during the reading of this book and even since then. Finally, reach out to someone to pray for you, encourage you, whatever you need...you're not in this alone!!

Thank you to Barbour Publishing and the author for a complimentary review copy made available to me on NetGalley.com. What you have read are my honest thoughts and opinions on this book.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1)Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a historical christian read with a lot of humor, run out and grab a copy of this book today!!

I may be mistaken but I'm pretty sure I've never read anything by Jen Turano prior to picking this one up to read. I am already anxiously awaiting the next story in this series as I love the style of writing Jen uses to convey her story. The humor in the book is very appropriate and a few times I even found myself snorting because the situation was so funny! Sometimes, they are even subtly funny, which to me makes it even more interesting.

Miss Permilia Griswold is a known wallflower in social circles. She bumbles through events and then faces the wrath of her step-mother and step-sister. They simply don't understand why Permilia insists on being frugal with her purchases, especially when it comes to social attire!! Imagine Miss Permilia's horror when Asher Rutherford comes here way at the largest social event of the year, held at the Vanderbilt mansion! Of course, she loses all sense of polite society graces and actually appears that she may have insulted the greatest fashion merchant in the area. Something really attracts Asher to Permilia and she to him and they find themselves dancing. Permilia manages to blunder through that as well and can only save Asher's reputation by composing an article utilizing her secret talents as Ms. Quill.

During a rather daring adventure during the Vanderbilt event, Permilia finds herself in a predicament, overhearing a plot that could change many events in coming days. How will she protect those she cares about?

There were so many elements in this book that made it extremely enjoyable. As previously mentioned, I loved the humor scattered throughout. Without trying to spoil too much, during a scene with the Huxley sisters, I couldn't help but think of a Miranda Lambert song ("Mama's Broken Heart"--even though the storyline of the song did not match their story) and it made a very serious situation a little humorous to me. I also loved the adventure scattered throughout this story. Permilia is full of sass and is surely a very independent woman of her time. The romance is subtle but the forces of attraction are very strong.

I would recommend this book to lovers of historical christian fiction who enjoy humor and romance. I am looking forward to the next book in this series!!

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishing and Jen Turano for providing a complimentary review copy of this book through NetGalley. The thoughts expressed in this review are my own.

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