Monday, December 29, 2014

Always on My Mind By: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.

Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts—and the future of the resort.

Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?

My thoughts

If you have been counting down the days for the next Chrstiansen family novel, the count down is over, and it is well worth the wait. Susan May Warren did such an amazing job on this book, it was emotional, entertaining and really made you pause and ask the question "what would I do?"  As both Casper and Raina struggle with their own past mistakes they must learn to forgive each other.  Always on My Mind reminds us that we must learn from the past but find peace and joy by looking towards the future.  I would recommend this book and can't wait to start reading it again. (But I will have to wait, because I have loaned it out to family.)

I was given this novel free from Tyndale House Publishers for my honest opinion.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Most Inconvenient Marriage By: Regina Jennings

Back of the Book

Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun's Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?

My Thoughts

  A Most Inconvenient Marriage is an entertaining novel that centered around the Calhoun family farm.  Jeremiah and Abigail seem to go back and forth between her staying or going, and Jeremiah liking her or going back to the girl he left before the war.  I never felt a real connection with anyone in the story to keep me drawn into the book. The setting for the novel was the end of the civil war and I did find it interesting to see how the town was divided because of the war, and some of the issues they faced because of those divisions.  

I was given this book free from Bethany House Publishing for my Honest review.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trading Secrets By: Melody Carlson

Back of the Book

Back in fifth grade, Micah Knight got an Amish pen pal, and over the years, they've exchanged many letters--and many secrets. At age seventeen, Micah finally has the chance to meet her pen pal face-to-face. The only problem is that because of confusion about her name when the pen pals were assigned, her pen pal was a boy, Zack Miller. And all this time, Micah's never told Zack that she's actually a girl! While she wants nothing more than to experience life on Zack's Amish farm, she's afraid he'll hate her for deceiving him all these years. But she makes up her mind to face the music--and that's where the fun really begins.

Bestselling author Melody Carlson brings young adults another fascinating tale of worlds colliding, secrets being revealed, and friendships forming. Teens will love this story of miscommunication and mishaps along the way to the truth.

My thoughts

This was a cute...hum, its not a romance or drama.  I would call it more of a snippet in the lives of Micah and Zack, where choices have to be made that will alter the directions theirs lives are going.  Trading Secrets was an entertaining book, but don't let the cover fool you, they are in High School.  I kept waiting for a large span of time to pass, because I looked at the cover picture and have honestly never seen a 17 year old look that old.  This is a clean, and enjoyable book for anyone preteen and up.

I was given this book free from Revell Publishing for my honest review.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Matter of Heart By: Tracie Peterson

Back of the Book

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two new men come into her life, and both manage to stir her heart.

Harrison Gable is a successful young lawyer with ambitions that match Jessica's dreams. His warm, attentive manner and thoughtful gifts make her feel special.

Austin Todd, a former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But after learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes. 

If Jessica follows her heart, where will it lead?

My Thoughts

This was a sweet historical romance with a few twists and turns to keep you entertained.  Tracie Paterson wonderfully weaved the etiquette and innovations of the time without overpowering the story.  Harrison and Austin are such polar opposites, one an excellent choice for who Jessica is, and one for who she is trying to become, It was hard not to skip to the back and find out who wins her heart in the end. A Matter of Heart was a clean novel, and even if you don't read many historical novels you will find this book entertaining.

I was given this book free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Bride in Store By: Melissa Jagears

Back of the Book

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store, mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early. But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers who steal her dowry and Axel, her groom-to-be, isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business and would much rather be a doctor. When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight, he feels responsible and lets her help around the store--where she quickly proves she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store, while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school. However, their troubles are far from over when Axel finally returns, and soon both Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams--or if God has a new dream in store for them both.

My Thoughts

I was looking forward to reading this book, while it followed the same pattern as the other book in the series, it just did not seem to hold my interest as much as Jagers previous book.  It was well written and the plot has a few turns to keep you entertained, but it just lacked something for me.  Will was a kind, lovable person and Eliza was strong willed and smart, whats not to love?  Both struggled with LOTS of guilt, and self doubt, they had to figure out what mattered most in life.  The book introduced different people in the town than her last book, and many of their personalities helped hold my interest but I don't think I will read it again. 

I was given this book free from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Unexpected By: Karen Tuft

Back of the Book

Eleven years ago, Ross McConnell was devastated by the betrayal of the woman of his dreams. Time does not heal all wounds, and after more than a decade, Ross is no closer to finding love. When his well-meaning family attempts to play match maker, he concedes by creating a list detailing his perfect mate: A member of the Church. Beauty-queen looks. College educated. Never married. Perhaps he'll give love another try, if such perfection exists. . . Natalie Forrester is no stranger to heartache. After two failed marriages, the beautiful single mother of three is determined to make it on her own. Without a college degree, she starts at the bottom: working as a housekeeper may not be glamorous, but it's her first exhilarating step toward independence. And Natalie's most recent cleaning job is ideal--the guy is always out of town, and the pay will go a long way toward supporting her missionary son. Maybe luck is finally on her side. And then Ross and Natalie meet . . . and meet again. And following a series of awkward encounters, Ross is shocked by his growing attraction for this woman. Natalie couldn't be further from his ideal woman, and she is firm in her determination to keep her heart closed to love. But as their tenuous friendship develops and deepens, will the unlikely pair have the courage to set aside the disappointments of the past to catch hold of a bright new future?

My Thoughts

Unexpected is exactly how the book is, I love this book more than I thought I would.  It was amazingly well written and while it did not have any dramatic twist and turns I could not put it down. Tuft has such a talent in writing characters that seem so real, and many of the senarios you find them in are natural, so you never have that 'ya right, like that would happen' feeling with her books.

I would totally recommend you put your life on hold and read this book, you will not be disappointed.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wildflowers from Winter By: Katie Ganshert

Back of the Book

Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park.  An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. 

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years.  When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?

My Thoughts

There is more to this book than you think.  Wildflowers from Winter is well written and addressed some difficult topics.  This book starts at a slow pace but then seems to skip months at a time, while I did check to make sure I did not miss a few pages, the transitions were smooth and had enough information I never felt like I missed important points of the plot.   Ganshert dealt with the subject of grief in an amazing fashion and showed how we all have a choice on our happiness.  

I would recommend this book.  It is clean, well written, and has great characters.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Last Lie By: Leann Harris

The Back of the Book

In this inspirational romantic suspense, when Catherine Lyons comes home from college at Christmas she discovers her family has disappeared, vanished, leaving her alone. 

Fifteen years later when Catherine is on vacation in France, she sees her father getting on a bus, but he's had a stroke. When she tries to talk to him the nurse taking care of him won't allow it. Cat shows up at the clinic the next day, but the people there claim to know nothing of the man. This time Cat isn't going to give up. She learns the name of the nurse she talked to and goes to her apartment and finds her dead. 

Colin Montrose is with MI-6 and doesn't know who this woman is who has stumbled into his operation, but he wants to know. He follows Cat and asks if she murdered the nurse. Before she can answer, they hear police sirens and flee. Together, Cat and Colin chase after Cat's father, trying to discover the truth behind her life and her parents' lives. 

My Thoughts

The Last Lie was an interesting read, it's listed as a suspense but I admit that it did not take long to figure out the plot.  This has a lot of characters and had little detail which made some sections confusing.  One of the best parts about the book was the fact that Catherine was upset and questioned Colin about every part of his cover story.  I wish there was more to say, this book was entertaining, clean but did not leave you with any kind of wow feeling.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

With Every Breath By: Elizabeth Camden

Back of the Book

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. 

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

My Thoughts

With Every Breath is a thought provoking and emotional journey into the struggles and risks taken to help cure tuberculosis.  I would not say this was a quick summer read, it took time to understand and contemplate the trials and tests that were developed to not only understand the disease but to help cure it.  I would recommend this book, it was a well researched, wonderfully developed plot. And while the book deals with many struggles, it does not leave you depressed in the end. 

I was given this Book free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella By: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn't be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He's sure she'll love it. What's more romantic than Christmas in Paris?Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then--because disasters strike in threes--an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid's marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

My Thoughts

Evergreen is a beautifully written story about love, forgiveness and dealing with life's ups and downs.  I usually only read novels about the courtship of a couple and not the issues that come after they are established, I have enjoyed the Christiansen family novels in the past so I figured I would give it a try.  Many of the conflicts are common for a couple, they were easy to relate to, and true to Warrens past books.  The lesson that every relationship takes effort applys even after 30 years.  I am glad I took the time to read this book and loved continuing the Christiansen family novels.

I received this complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishing for my honest review.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Becoming Lady Lockwood By: Jennifer Moore

Back of the Book

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry...

William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous "Lady" to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation...

Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

My thoughts

Wonderful summer read!  This book was hard to put down.  Amelia has such a determined, kind personality you fall in love with right from the start.  William has a kind heart that he works hard to hide, but comes out in the sweetest moment.  I have not read a lot of historical novels but Moore blends important information about the time period into the story that it feels accurate but you are not overwhelmed by it.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears

Back of the Book

Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He's already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn't in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn't given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she'll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she's experienced there.

Although Everett doesn't see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she's more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

My Thoughts

This was a well written emotional story about 2 people struggling with their self worth and longing to be loved and accepted.  This was the first book in the series Unexpected Brides, but through the first half of the book I felt like I had missed a previous book that I should have read first. By the end you have it figured out, you just have to get though the first half first.

This was a good clean book, but not sure I would read it again.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Along Came a Cowboy By: Christine Lynxwiler

Back of the book

When Rachel Donovan, a strong-willed chiropractor with a past, meets Jack Westwood, a bullheaded cowboy looking for a future, it looks like hate at first fight. But when the dust settles, it may be love.

My Thoughts

This book, while entertaining, had a lot of tension.  You figure out Rachel's past pretty early on and just seem to hold your breath waiting for Jack to figure it out.  It was hard for me to really enjoy the book when I felt like I was just waiting for the plot to get moving.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Firewall By Diann Mills

Back of the Book

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

My Thoughts

Two thumbs way up!  Five stars!  (Take your pick.)  Firewall was another amazing thriller by Diann Mills.  The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat 'til the very end... and then your jaw will drop.

Firewall was a clean novel that I can't wait to read again.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Husband Maker By Karey White

Back of the book

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one. 
Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? 
When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

My thoughts

I was really looking forward to this book, I have read Karey Whites novels and have loved them all.  This book however was a disappointment for me.  It has many of the things you expect from one of White's novels, like an interesting plot and depth, but it also lacked a few of the things I depend on from her novels. I never felt a good rhythm and it always felt choppy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Doctor's Lady By Jody Hedlund

Back of the Book

Historical Romance from the Author of The Preacher's Bride
Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field. 

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

My Thoughts

This book was long, and did not hold my interest.  I felt like anything that could go wrong did go wrong, and that made the story unbelievable to me, but...  When I read the authors notes in the back, and found this book was based on actual events, all of the things that I felt were unbelievable really happened, and the one that I felt was believable, was one of the few things that was fictional.  

I would recommend this on the basis that I have a whole new respect for Narcissa Whitman (Priscilla in the book) and leaves you feeling in awe at what she went through.

Friday, June 20, 2014

When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

Hawaii was the last place Grace Christiansen ever imagined she’d vacation, much less fall in love. But when her family surprises her with a cooking retreat in paradise, she is pulled—or maybe yanked—away from her predictable, safe life and thrown headfirst into the adventure of a lifetime.

Max Sharpe may make his living on the ice as a pro hockey player, but he feels most at home in the kitchen. Which is why he lives for the three-week culinary vacation he takes each year in Hawaii. Upon being paired with Grace for a cooking competition, Max finds himself drawn to her passion, confidence, and perseverance. But just when Grace dares to dream of a future beyond her hometown, Max pulls away.

Wrestling with personal demons, Max fights against opening his heart to a love he knows he should never hope for. And as his secrets unfold, Grace is torn between the safe path in front of her and what her heart truly desires. If love means sacrificing her ideal happily ever after, Grace’s faith will face its toughest test yet.

My thoughts

Susan May Warren took this book to the next level.  It picks up right where the last one leaves off, but where the last ones have Grace in the background, in this book she is in the spot light and totally lovable.  The love between Grace and Max is so sweet that I had to read the book twice, the first time to see if they would end up together, and a second time to enjoy more of their dialogue.  The book had a lot more back and forth, between her in Hawaii, and her family at home.  But it never seemed choppy and the transitions never seemed out of place.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It Had to Be You by: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.

Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.

My Thoughts

I have been a fan of Susan May Warren for a while and have really enjoyed reading the Christiansen Family books.  This novel was so wonderful and smooth.  The story flowed well and you just cheered Eden on in her quests to not only discover that she is a worth while person, but for Jace to do the same.  This leaves your heart happy and just continues to make you love the Christiansen clan as your own.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Stuck Together By: Mary Connealy

Back of the Book

When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas! 

Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

My Thoughts

Tina was a wonderful, spunky character right from the start, the first chapter had me laughing at her antics and I never stopped.  She was such a cute girl just looking for her place in the small town and you just loved her for that.  Vince was also an entertaining person trying to keep his distance and spar with her all at the same time.  Connealy did a wonderful job making two strong personality characters blend so well.  Stuck Together was sweet clean book that would be a great summer read.

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishing in return for my honest review.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Shadows of the Past By: Patricia Bradley

Back of the Book

Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve--the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she is stalking the truth about the past, someone is stalking her.

Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife--a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. With his estranged brother the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.

Join the chase as this determined duo search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present and moving into a future filled with new hope and love. Readers will be swept into the sultry South in this debut novel from a promising and already award-winning writer.

My Thoughts

This was a thrilling novel with a deep plot.  I read this book twice!  The first time through I could not put the book down, needing to figure out who the killer was.  During the second go around I went a lot slower, this book has so many twist and turns, I wanted to slow down to get it all.  I was amazed that  while figuring things out, Nick and Taylor realize how much their lives crossed paths.  This is a Christian novel but does not push religion.  It was clean and I would recommend this to anyone.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dancing with Fireflies

Back of the book

Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she'd never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He's loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she's back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she's hiding secrets from her family, and she's strangely attracted to the man who's always called her "squirt." Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

My thoughts

What a wonderful story of love and strength!  Denise Hunter really hit the mark with this book about overcoming great challenges and always being there for the ones you love.  This is the second book in the Chapel Springs series, and while I have not read the first book I never felt lost.  This was a love you were able to watch grow, as both Jade and Daniel turned to each other for strength and guidance as they made tough life choices and worked to overcome large obstacles.  I enjoyed how much focus Denise Hunter puts on families and the strength they can be in our lives.

There is no swearing, and while you learn that Jade gets pregnant from a date rape, I would still say this is a clean novel.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gathering Shadows By: Nancy Mehl

Back of the Book

Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. 

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

My Thoughts

Wow!  Gathering Shadows has such a great plot I immediately recommended it to my sister, I could not wait for her to finish so we could talk about it.  The entire book has so many wonderfully rounded characters and is set in such a unique town, it kept you on the edge of your seat to the very end.   Nancy Mehl put together the perfect combination in the novel, that I am looking forward to her next book.

This was a clean suspense novel, I would recommend this to family and friends. Just don't plan on setting it down until you're done.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Along Came Jones By: Linda Windsor

Back of the Book

Framed for embezzlement and on the run from cops and crooks, Deanna Manetti is run off the road by a wild mustang and rescued by a rugged outfitter named Jones. If being stranded in a Montana ‘ghost town turned ranch’ with a guy who hangs dead animal heads on his wall can be considered rescue to the diehard Fifth Avenue ad exec. At least if she doesn’t know where she is, no one else does either.

Instinct tells ex-U.S. Marshall Shep Jones that this comely Duchess of Disaster to hearth and barn is on the run and that the sparks kindling between them are going to blow up in his face. He ought to turn her in before her past catches up with her, but Shep never shied from putting his life on the line before. The only difference this time is that his heart could go down with it.

My Thoughts

Yep, that is pretty much the book.  I was looking for a bit of a thriller, and judging by the back of the book you would assume that was what you would get, but that's not the case.  I really think the fact that I just read another book where the girl was ran off the road by an animal and rescued, made me think "been there, read that".  The book is a little long, but only spanned a few weeks.  I had to read the last chapter a few times because it had so much detail, and overwhelmed with new characters that I could not keep up with what was going on.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Until I Found You By: Victoria Bylin

Back of the Book

Finding each other was only the beginning . . . 

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

My Thoughts

I had a hard time getting into this story, it never seemed to have a steady pace.  Some chapters seemed to speed by, while others had so much detail that I found myself skipping paragraphs to get through it.  The story revolves around the condor that Kate swerved to miss in the road, and while I got the symbolism of it in the story, it just never seemed to work for me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Silenced By: Dani Pettrey

Back of the Book

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna's route leads her face to face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake's past now revealed, he's ready to use his talent for investigation again--but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine.

My Thoughts

  I have really been enjoying the Alaskan Courage series and Silence did not disappoint.  I did go back and read Stranded before this came out so that I could remember what had been going on.  This book puts you right back into the McKenna family, and I enjoyed how you not only read about Jake and Kayden, but also the continuation of the romances from the past books.  It was true to Pettrey fashion with a few twists and a wonderful romance weaved through the story.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

undetected By: Dee Henderson

Back of the Book

When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: "I'm in the navy."

But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping its crew trained and focused during 90-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and carries it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating in the Pacific Rim, the navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, pretty, and very smart. She's a civilian, but she understands life in the navy. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. But a breakup she didn't see coming has her focusing all her attention on what she does best--ocean science research. She's on the cusp of a breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop's perspective and help. Because what she's told the navy she's figured out is only the beginning. If she's right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter...

My Thoughts

  This was another stellar novel by Dee Henderson.  This book contained depth, not only between Mark Bishop and Gina Gray, but also with other characters in the book.  Undetected had great insight into the importance of submarines in the military.  Plus thought provoking ideas on the burdens carried by those who develop military technology. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Raptor 6 By: Ronie Kendig

On the Back

Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military s secure computers and networks isn't an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the US military, Dean is forced to crack the lock box around his heart a move that might come at the highest cost.

My Thoughts

 I was excited for another suspenseful novel by Ronie Kendig, and this book definitely had the suspenseful, military missions, and twists and turns as a Kendig novel. This novel seemed as well researched as her other books, although it was darker and more graphic than her past novels. And for that reason I felt no need to finish reading it.  If the rest of the series is as graphic, I will have to pass.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Here to Stay By: Melissa Tagg

Back of the Book

After playing nomad for five years, Blake Hunziker has finally had enough of adventure. Not sure what reception he'll get from everyone back in Whisper Shore, he's stunned at not only a warm welcome from his hometown but also a job offer. The job is his if he can successfully pull off the annual Christmas Festival. If only he knew the first thing about coordinating events...

If there's one thing Autumn Kingsley knows, it's Whisper Shore. For years, she's been stuck running her family's inn when all she wants is to see the world. Now she has a visit scheduled from a potential investor who could take over the inn, as well as a dream job offer in Paris. But with just two weeks to whip the inn into shape, her chance at escape is a long shot.

The Hunzikers and the Kingsleys may not get along, but Blake knows Autumn's the only one who can help him. She agrees to a trade--she'll help with the Festival and he'll help with inn repairs. But what was meant to be a simple deal quickly becomes much more than that when the guy who's done running away joins forces with the girl who can't wait to leave

My Thoughts

Here to stay is another entertaining and clean novel by Melissa Tagg. This is the second book in the series and I would highly recommend reading the first book, Made to Last, before diving into this book, or you will be lost in some of the conversations and people. Here to Stay dealt with some large issues and gave great perspective on what home is. This book had wonderful dialog and scenes that made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed how well the story progressed and it never seemed to stall in one place to long. Here to Stay was an entertaining weekend read.

*I was given this Book free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meant to Be Mine By: Becky Wade

Back of the Book

Ty Porter has always been irresistible to Celia Park. All through high school--irresistible. When their paths cross again after college--still irresistible. This time, though, Ty seems to feel exactly the same way about Celia. Their whirlwind romance deposits them at a street-corner Las Vegas wedding chapel. 

The next morning they wake to a marriage certificate and a dose of cold reality. Celia's ready to be Ty's wife, but Ty's not ready to be her husband. He's a professional bull rider, he lives on the road, and he's long planned to settle down with the hometown girl he's known since childhood. 

Five and a half years pass. Celia's buried her dreams so that she can afford to raise her daughter. Ty's achieved all of his goals. Or thought he had, until he looks again into the eyes of the woman he couldn't forget and into the face of the child he never knew he had.

How much will Ty sacrifice to win back Celia's trust and prove to her that their spontaneous marriage can still become the love of a lifetime?

My Thoughts

Now I must admit up front, I have been a fan of Becky Wade's novels for the last few years.  That being said, this book will grab a hold of you in the first chapter and it was only for the sake of my family that I put it down.  Meant to Be Mine was a wonderfully thought out story, I really enjoyed the back and forth banter between Ty and Celia that went throughout the book.  It was a very entertaining read and I found myself holding my breath to see if they could work things out.   This is the second book in the Porter Family novels, and while I would recommend reading Undeniably yours, you don't need to have read it enjoy this book or fall in love with the Porter family.

This is a clean novel with no swearing (that I can remember) and while it does have kissing that is as far as it goes. This is a book you can recommend to family and not have to feel embarrassed by any of the content.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chances Are By: Traci Hunter Abramson

Back of the Book

Maya Gupta is a survivor. After escaping an impending arranged marriage in India as a teenager, she has thrived in America. But now she faces her greatest challenge yet—cancer has invaded her life, and unless she finds a way to participate in a clinical trial in Washington, DC, this may be one battle she loses. When Maya’s best friend Kari offers Maya the lifeline of a place to stay—her brother’s currently vacant DC apartment—the young woman eagerly accepts and goes to meet her fate . . . Ben Evans’s plans have changed, and he’s heading home for some much-needed rest and relaxation during his off-season in the major leagues. Upon arriving at his DC apartment, however, Ben is shocked to find Maya—his sister’s friend, who he hardly knows—in residence. He soon finds himself trapped between protecting his above-reproach reputation and searching for a way to help a woman he is coming to admire. When Maya’s fight to survive her disease becomes more complicated than ever, she and Ben scheme an extreme solution to her predicament that tests to what lengths they’re willing to go together to save Maya’s life.

My Thoughts

  This was one of the most touching books I have ever read.  I have enjoyed several of Traci Abramson's novels, but was a little reluctant to read the book, due to the fact that the main character has cancer.  But I am so glad I decided to read it.  Traci does such a wonderful job with such a touchy subject and make you fall in love with Maya, cheer for her ups and morn for her downs.  I will admit I did shed a few tears while reading this book but hope that that won't hold you back from reading this wonderful novel.

This is an extremely clean, touching book.