Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson

Fatal TrustFatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ian Wells had absolutely no idea what he was getting into when he took over his father's law practice upon graduation. He didn't know what to think when a malpractice suit landed on his desk either. How in the world was he to ever have a successful practice when money was tight, this lawsuit against him, and dealing with a mother with Alzheimer's?

One day he gets a mysterious phone call and subsequent appointment about a potential client. This client is willing to pay a very large sum of money up front, as well as more at the conclusion of the case, providing certain conditions were met. Ian is overwhelmed, because this offer couldn't have come at a better time. Can he meet the client's demands for meting out the trust funds?

I was completely captivated by this book from the first line. I do struggle with flash back scenes so I was a little confused for awhile but it didn't take long to figure out the differences. (Truth be told, I hate books and movies with flashbacks!) This story unwound and weaved through various angles and just when I thought I had it figured out, I realized I didn't. The twists and turns throughout this novel will have you wanting to go back and reread passages to see what you missed!! I was thoroughly entertained by this story and was completely surprised by the ending. I love it when a great author, such as Todd Johnson, can weave a story to keep the reader on his or her toes!

I would recommend this book to those who love a great mystery, thriller, or action! I appreciate very much reading a book of this magnitude that does not include the language and unsavory actions that is read in mainstream media. I'm so thankful for great quality books from authors like Todd Johnson and publishers such as Bethany House to keep me reading books in this genre without all the garbage!!!

Many thanks to Bethany House and Todd Johnson for providing a complimentary copy for review. The thoughts you have read here are my own.

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Treasured Grace (Heart of the Frontier #1)Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having recently read Beloved Hope and finding out it was the second book in the Heart of the Frontier series, I had to come back and read the first book!! While Beloved Hope can be read and understood without reading the first book, I did feel like I could tie up a few loose ends. I was not at all disappointed by doing so!

Grace is moving her sisters and herself from St. Louis to the unsettled Oregon country. She and her husband join a band of others travelling for the same purpose...to make a better life for themselves. During the trip, Grace's husband dies along the way. Once they arrive to their destination, Grace sets out to find her Uncle Edward, hoping that he can take the sisters in and help them establish their new life. While waiting to find Uncle Edward, Grace and her sisters find a place to stay at the Whitman mansion. Dr. Whitman isn't fond of Grace using her healing methods, as they are not true medicine in his eyes. However, several people in the mansion, along with the Cayuse Indians, are coming down with "white man's illness" and Grace feels obligated to help out. When the Indians decide that Dr. Whitman is killing their people instead of helping them, things get very heated and a massacre takes place. Will Grace and her sisters survived this tragedy?

This book is captivating from the very beginning and is a rather fast read. Grace is a strong woman who doesn't back down easily. I love that about her! Her strength is what helps Hope and Mercy endure the struggles that they will all face. I love the names that this author has chosen for these women, as they seem very fitting to their characters. I would caution allowing tender hearts to read this book as it is filled with tragedy and difficult situations. It's a heavy read, but one that I enjoyed despite all the turmoil.

I look forward to reading Cherished Mercy when it is released later on this year!!

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Beloved Hope (Heart of the Frontier #2)Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this second book in the Heart of the Frontier series, we learn that Hope has survived the Whitman massacre. However, just because she survived doesn't mean that she doesn't carry very deep scars of the event. Hope is not sure she will ever trust anyone again, especially a man. After what she's endured, Hope doesn't seem to have a lot of hope for her future. She's living with her sister, Grace and her husband, Alex, as well as her younger sister, Mercy. Hope spends her day tending to their flock of lambs.

It's time for the trial of the Cayuse who caused the trauma that happened at the Whitman plantation. Hope is expected to testify against those who wronged her and many other women in the community but she's not sure she can do it.

There's a new guy in town named Lance who's working at the jail that's holding the Cayuse until they go to trial. Lance is about to get out of the military and he's contemplating returning home to New Orleans to start his law practice and continue to run his family's plantation. After a chance meeting with Hope, Lance isn't sure he wants to go back home. There's a lot of factors that go into this though, including his secret past that he's not sure he could share with someone.

In this novel, Tracie Peterson picks up where she left off in the first book of the series, Treasured Grace. I have not yet read this book but it's my next read as this one was so captivating. I had to download it immediately!! I have also learned that Cherished Mercy, the third book in this series, is set to release in Sept. 2017!! How exciting to read more about this family!

I really fell in love with this book pretty quickly. The story captivated my attention, even though there were a few moments that I was unclear on having not read the first book. For the most part, this is an easy read in terms of picking up pieces though. It is a bit of a heavy read learning of Hope's situation and all she endured while being captured by the Cayuse. For that reason, I would not recommend this book to tender aged readers. There are several "adult" issues faced in this book that might be difficult for a younger crowd.

I loved the story of Lance as well. The way that he handled the past issues he faced was done with much grace. I am not sure I could have been as forgiving as he was (or Hope either for that matter). The overarching theme of this book is forgiveness as well as hope. I felt I could identify with both Lance and Hope on some level and I appreciated the ways in which they handled their issues. My only real issue with this story is that the path to salvation was shortened by a few steps. I do believe that one must Hear the Word (Romans 10:17), Believe on the Word (Matthew 16:16, John 8:24, Acts 16:30-31), Repent of those sins (Luke 24:47, 2 Cor. 7:10, Acts 2:37-38), Confess their sins publicly (Matt. 16:16, Matt. 10:32-33; Romans 10:8-10; Acts 8:35-38), and be Baptized (immersed) (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Col. 2:12; Acts 22:16) for the forgiveness of sins. Then and only then do I believe, as the Bible points out, that one is saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). In this story, Lance was strongly encouraged to hear the Word, believe on the Word, and ask for forgiveness. He was not encouraged to follow through with baptism for the remission of his sins.

Many thanks to Bethany House publishers, as well as Tracie Peterson, for allowing me to read a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The thoughts written here are my own and I was allowed to read this novel in exchange for my personal thoughts.

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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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Friday, April 7, 2017

Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow

Andi Saddles Up (Circle C Stepping Stones #1)Andi Saddles Up by Susan K. Marlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's Andi's birthday and what she wants most is to have a new saddle for her horse, Taffy. She also wants to be able to ride her horse whenever and wherever she wants. She's opening her gifts and there isn't a new saddle anywhere among those gifts.

After awhile, Andi's brother calls from the barn and Andi sees a brand new saddle on her horse. Then her brother, Chad, takes her on a ride and shows her a spot she can call her own. Andi is so excited about this serene spot that Chad has shared with her and she spends hours there. During one particular day there, Andi hears someone riding up and sees a young girl about the same age as she. Andi hops down from the tree she's in to find out her new friend's name is Sadie. There's a problem though...Sadie is the daughter of the sheep herder across the way that is causing her family some issues with their land. Andi doesn't let that stop her from befriending the young girl.

Andi loves being able to ride her horse to her special spot and to meet up with her new friend there. One day, Andi learns that Sadie can ride bareback and do tricks on her horse. Andi has always wanted to learn to do that!! Sadie begins to show Andi how to do these tricks when something terrible happens. How will the families deal with this tragedy? Can peace ever be restored?

I recommend this book to young readers. There are many valuable lessons presented in this book that apply to today's kids, even though this happened back in the 1800's. It will also give a brief glimpse into what life was like 'back then'. I love how Andi and her family are not afraid to express their beliefs as well. We need more books like this one for our youth of today!!

Many thanks to Susan K. Marlow and Kregel Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book to review. All thoughts and recommendations are my own in this writing.

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Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow

Andi Under the Big Top (Circle C Stepping Stones #2)Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Andi is super excited as she sees all the posters going up around town about the upcoming circus. She's never been to the circus before, at least not that she remembers, until her older siblings remind her of the clowns. Suddenly, going to the circus doesn't have quite the thrill it once did, but Andi is still super excited to go!

Andi is in awe as she sees trick riders with their horses. One horse even looks like Taffy! Andi does wonder why the horses are not a matching pair but that thought quickly goes away when Miss Minnie Mae looks Andi's direction and waves. She's the coolest trick horse rider around!

Henry is a wee lad who is working in the circus. He befriends Andi and her siblings and Andi learns that he has a family. Andi also learns that his family is his aunt and uncle. Henry didn't want to work on their farm so he ran away and joined the circus. Henry quickly learned that circus life wasn't all that great and that some people were really mean. Henry misses his family dearly and wants to go back but cannot afford the train ticket home. He also isn't sure his aunt and uncle would want him back.

Good thing Andi has a brother who's an attorney!! Andi shares Henry's story with her brother and wheels start moving. Will Henry ever be able to go back home? What will Andi think of the circus?

I love that this book was written for youngsters from a historical perspective. There just aren't enough books out there covering these time periods for today's youth. I also love how this book does have a slight, but not overbearing, religious tone to it. It's obvious that Andi and her family are believers. I would highly recommend this book to young readers as it will give them a great story with historical perspective.

Many thanks to Kregel Publishing and Susan K. Marlowfor providing a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. These thoughts and recommendation are entirely my own.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

To the Farthest ShoresTo the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Camden is a writer who is fairly new to me (I've read one other book that she's penned) but she never disappoints! I love how she weaves elements of intrigue, romance, and delight into an elegant story. This story was a fast read for me as I had a very hard time putting it down.

I feel in love with Jenny right off the bat. Jenny is a civilian nurse who is working in a military hospital. She works the dreaded night shift, because that's what they do to civilian nurses. Jenny loves her job and loves her patients. She is very dedicated and committed to her calling. Six years ago, Jenny met and fell in love with Ryan Gallagher.

I had a hard time liking Ryan at all through this story. I'm sure deep down he's a really great guy but I really don't like what he did to Jenny. I guess maybe I took this story a little personal because of an experience I once had with a military person. I do struggle with whether or not what he did was considered being unfaithful, however. In today's terms, I don't think it would have been at all. My heart breaks for what Jenny endured, and what she continued to endure. I am happy for the way things turned out in the end and feel that Jenny could finally begin her healing process.

My favorite part of this story was learning more about the pearl industry. During the time of this story, the pearl industry was really just beginning in terms of technology. Reading about the process of a forming pearl and ways that biotechnology were being used even back then were truly fascinating to me.

I would recommend this book to lovers of christian-fiction and those who enjoy historical stories!

My thanks and appreciation to the publisher and the author for providing a complimentary copy for me to review in exchange for my remarks. I was not compensated financially in any way for my review and these thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

The Noble Servant (A Medieval Fairy Tale, #3)The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Noble Servant is a fairy re-telling of the Goose Girl story. I don't believe I've ever read this story (gasp!) before and as I was reading this book, I didn't have anything to compare it to as other reviewers have.

I absolutely love a good fairy tale and this one is no exception. This is the story of Lady Magdalen (I just love that name!!) and Duke Steffan. They are both in the wrong place at the wrong time and things get really messy really fast! Lady Magdalen has her sites set on marrying Duke Steffan and when a letter arrives to her home requesting she come marry him, she jumps at the chance! I mean, who wouldn't want to marry a Duke! On her quest to reach her future husband's home, Magdalen is hijacked by her ladies maid and the maid's father and is demanded to change places with Agnes. Fearing for her life, Lady Magdalen complies and ends up becoming the Goose Girl at the castle. Can she stop the wedding of her ladies maid to the Duke? Whatever will she do?

This is the third book in a series of medieval fairy tales. I have not read the other 2 books so I'm not sure if these characters appear in other novels by Melanie Dickerson or not. However, I did not feel like I was missing any pieces by reading a book "out of order". I love Ms. Dickerson's writing style and how she weaves a great story! There is romance, suspense, and even a few comical moments throughout.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Maybe It's You by Candace Calvert

Maybe It's You (Crisis Team #3)Maybe It's You by Candace Calvert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Candace Calvert has done it again!! Writing a witty, romantic, and sometimes deep, tangled mess of a relationship book is her specialty! Sprinkle in some nursing action from her lead heroine and you have the perfect book!

I had taken a bit of a reading break (almost a year!!) and came back to pick this one up. Sloane is a mysterious woman who's an amazing nurse. She cares above and beyond for her patients and her co-workers to the point that Micah is incredibly intrigued by her. Sloane has sworn off ever having a relationship again and has thrown herself completely in her work, wanting a strong sense of privacy. Micah sets out to do anything but give Sloane privacy. He sees her as the next face of the hospital and will do what he can to make sure she receives that honor.

These characters are so real that they could be your next door neighbors. I felt a lot like Sloane in many ways and understood her need for privacy (but for much different reasons). I understood why she did what she did for Zoey. I'd do the same. Micah reminded me of so many people I have worked with over the years. They come across as snooty and only out for themselves but after cracking the shell and getting to really know them, you see them as someone with a tender and caring heart. I love how these characters bare their souls to each other and get through the dark times together.

If you've never read a Candace Calvert book, please do yourself a favor and pick up any of her stories. You'll be happy you did!!

Many thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and Candace Calvert for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sisters of the Veil by Bryan M. Powell

Sisters of the VeilSisters of the Veil by Bryan M. Powell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

INTENSE!!!!! Those are the first words that come to my mind about this book! From the very beginning sentence to the period closing this story up, I was on the edge of my seat. Bryan M. Powell is new to me and came recommended by my friend, Jessie. I met Mr. Powell at an event and spent some time talking to him about the various books he has penned. I opted to start with the Jared Russell Series because it seems so relevant to today's times! I'm so glad I chose this one to start with and I'm looking forward to the next book (I bought the entire series after meeting Mr. Powell!).

Jared Russell is a former Marine who is commissioned to work on building the new mosque that is going up in town. Being a Christian man, Jared isn't sure about this task but uses his knowledge of the Word and of the beliefs of the Muslim people to help guide him in his daily tasks. He has a great crew of workers, who are eager to finish the task on time, but who also demand to take their religious prayer activities throughout the day as well. Jared is blessed with two secretaries, Shirin and Fatemah, who are his eyes and ears in the office.

Little did Jared know, a radical Muslim cleric is on the way to ensure the final completion of the Mosque. Boy did things change then!! Jared's job becomes even more challenging and he becomes the source of multiple death threats. Will Jared be able to maintain his Christianity and show these Muslim people the love of the Lord?

I know I gave you a very brief synopsis of this story but I truly could not share more without giving too much away! This story will take you on a ride through the eyes of Jared and the struggles he goes though in terms of his beliefs and working with people who don't believe as he does.

A few things of note for my readers....

I do disagree with the approach used in this book for conversion. I have yet to see the Sinner's Prayer in the Bible. I do believe that one must Hear the Word (Romans 10:17), Believe on the Word (Matthew 16:16, John 8:24, Acts 16:30-31), Repent of those sins (Luke 24:47, 2 Cor. 7:10, Acts 2:37-38), Confess their sins publicly (Matt. 16:16, Matt. 10:32-33; Romans 10:8-10; Acts 8:35-38), and be Baptized (immersed) (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Col. 2:12; Acts 22:16) for the forgiveness of sins. Then and only then do I believe, as the Bible points out, that one is saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

I learned several new things about the Muslim religion that I had never heard of before. I also did not realize that it was so prevalent in the state of Michigan that there were lawsuits to make Sharia Law the law of the land there. Reading this book and the author's notes to follow has me curious as to how many other states have seen these lawsuits.

I have a few Muslim friends but I've never felt comfortable enough to ask them some of the questions I have had in the past. I feel like I could have a more open dialogue with those friends now (If you're reading this, let's meet up for lunch and chat!). This book is written from the perspective of the strict, tyrannical, radical Muslims. It should be understood that not all people will react or act as those in this book did (and not everyone in the book was a radical!)

I appreciate the opportunity to read this book and I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series. I would encourage you to also check out other titles Mr. Powell! If you are ever in the Hiram, GA area, Mr. Powell owns a book store. It's worth your time to stop in and say "Hi!" if you're ever in the area.


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