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 have his father say, "Well done, son!" at the end of a business deal. The glass factory is in need of something 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 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."

" 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're not in this alone!!

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

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