Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

www.biblegateway.com


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pursued Book Review

The Nikki Boyd Files
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Nikki Boyd's flight into Nashville was routine - until the CRASH LANDING at the airport.
     When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing - and no one will admit she was ever there.  When she learns that Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial, Nikki wonders if her disappearance from the crash site means she's running from trouble - or straight into it.  Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.
     Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris has planted danger around every turn in this can't-put-it-down thrill ride that will leave you stunned.

REVIEW:  As the summary says, this story will have your head spinning with everything that happens.  Nikki goes from one jaw-dropping event to another so quickly it's hard to catch your breath.  Considering this whole story happens in just 48 hours, it's a lot to take in and process.  It's a good story.  I enjoyed everything I read, but so much happens to Nikki, it's really hard to take in.  After a while, I started to wonder just what else could she go through and just how much more she could take, especially since she was running on very little sleep and very little to eat.  Good thing this is just fiction and not real life so someone would be needing a lot of therapy.
     This is the third book in this series.  It can stand alone but it so much better if you read the other ones.  The ending was good.  I'm pretty sure this is the end of the series.  If it is, too bad.  I would really like to see how Nikki and Tyler's relationship plays out.  It would also be neat to see if she gets more information about her lost sister, and maybe even find her.
     If you are interested in reading a book that will hold your attention and take you on a wild ride, you need to pick this one up.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

This book was provided by Revell for review without any compensation.

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 and 2015 from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta.  The author of nearly thirty books, including Vendetta, Missing, and the SOUTHERN CRIMES series, Harris and her family have spent more then thirteen years living as missionaries in southern Africa.  Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Still Life Book Review

Chesapeake Valor Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Someone is out there.  Watching her.  Waiting.
     Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime-scene photographer.  She expected to be laughed at, but crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright - and changed her life.  But six months ago, when he feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.
     Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejeced her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit for which her friend modeled.  But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead - and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot.  Worse, her friend can't be found, and so Avery immediately calls Parker for help.
     As Avery, Parker, and their friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

REVIEW:  This book had a lot going on, which was sometimes distracting and hard to follow.  Not having read the first book, I wondered if parts of Parker and Avery's relationship was covered in it because it felt like I was coming in from behind.  Then, their friends all had something going on - finding very slim evidence of a friend that disappeared many years ago, an upcoming marriage, a potential relationship between a couple of characters - which just added to my befuddlement at times.  Also, there were two different matters going on in regards to Avery's friend that disappeared that made it difficult at times to figure out who did what within the timeline and keep everything straight.  
     That said, the story was very engaging but darker than anything else I've read by this author.  The villain was very creepy and disturbing.  His actions were even creepier.  I like how Avery was determined to do everything possible to find Skyler, even if it meant going places and seeing people from her dysfunctional past that she had left behind years earlier.  I like how Parker saw Avery for who she was now, not her actions in the past.  Though he struggled with memories of his deceased girlfriend, he is determined not to let it affect the present and his attraction to Avery.  
     This was a good book.  As I mentioned, the story was darker and more menacing than other novels by this author but I am looking forward to reading the others as they come out, and, one day, the first one.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without any compensation.

Dani Pettrey is the acclaimed author of the ALASKAN COURAGE romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged.  Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others.  She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two super adorable grandsons.  You can find her online at www.danipettrey.com

When Tides Turn Book Review

Waves of Freedom Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart.
     Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face.  Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy's newly established WAVES program for women.  Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.
     Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to admiral.  The last things he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess.  Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals.  Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.
    But love, like war, is unpredictable.  When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore.  Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

REVIEW:  The author had her main characters face many different trials, where various facets of their character and personality were cut, smoothed, and polished.  Tess, trying to show others, as well as herself, that she was something more than just a pretty face.  She was intelligent, quick thinking and could make even working late fun. I like how she reached out to others and helped others realize their hidden potential.  When faced with difficult tasks, she faced them head-on, even risking her life to safe a friend.  
     Dan was determined to follow the same path his mentor had taken.  When difficult circumstances arose, I like how he realized he needed to make changes and head in a different direction or he was going to fail.  When faced with impossible circumstances, I like how, at first, Dan reacted like we all do, with anger and frustration.  But, then he realized that he needed to respond in a godly manner, events worked themselves out and justice was served.
     This was a great conclusion to a wonderful series.  Since this is the third book, it is very helpful to read the others to understand different references made and the relationships all the characters to each other.  I always look forward to this author's books and this book, and series, just added to it.

This book was provided by Revell for review without any compensation.

Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm, as well as the WINGS OF THE NIGHTINGALE and the WINGS OF GLORY series.  A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist.  During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy, and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force.  Sarah lives in California.  Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Home at Last Book Review

A Chicory Inn Novel
Book Five

SUMMARY:  When the world just sees mistakes, God sees beautiful opportunities for love and grace.

     Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to.  Now he's stuck in a dead-end job, and as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing.  The pressure from his sister's efforts to play matchmaker is heavy as he helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
      All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds.  Her mother's white family rejected her African American father without even knowing him.  Her father's family also disapproved, but they eventually embraced Shayla as their own.  After her mother's death and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter; her niece, Portia, an orphan; and Shayla responsible for them all.
     Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup.  Soon he is falling hard for the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne.  Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love?  Is there hope of changing the ugly perspective of the world around them into something better for them all?

REVIEW:  This is the fifth and final book of the Chicory Inn series.  Since I had not read any of the others, I was worried I would get lost.  The author does a fantastic job keeping the focus on the two principal players, Shayla and Link, with the characters of the other books taking minor roles.
     With that said, this book was very enjoyable.  It makes you think about how you view others who may be different from you outwardly, whether socioeconomic, job status, housing, or marital status, but who are just like you on the inside, where it counts.  Once you get past their outer facade, you begin to see people made in God's image.  Shayla struggles with how people see her.  She has a difficult time understanding why Link would be interested in dating her.  Link only sees her beautiful soul, not the color of her skin.  He has a hard time understanding the extent of the problems Shayla experiences as a woman of mixed race.  I like how the author shows the reader both character's viewpoints and experiences and helps him or her understand it a little better.
     The story line moves at a good pace and keeps the reader engaged.  My favorite part isn't the ending but happens at almost the end.  Can't tell you what it is; you'll just have to read it for yourself. 

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Abingdon Press
for review without any compensation.

Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists.  She and her husband, Ken recently traded small-town life in Kansas - the setting of many of Deb's novels - for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita.  Visit Deb on the web at DeborahRaney.com.

The Elusive Miss Ellison Book Review

Regency Brides
A Legacy of Grace
Book One

SUMMARY:  The arrival of the new Earl of Hawkesbury has the entire village aflutter - everyone except Lavinia Ellison, that is.  In fact, in Livvie's eyes, he is just as arrogant and thoughtless as his brother - who stole the most important person in her world.
    Nicholas is weighed down by guilt, by ancestral obligations, and by the legacy of war.  He hadn't anticipated that a perfunctory visit home would engage either his mind or heart.  Then the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride.  But between society's opposition, his brother's reckless past, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles for the two of them to ever truly get along.
     Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past their painful histories and presumptions to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

REVIEW:  This book was rather enjoyable.  The dialogue between Nicolas and Lavinia was fun and engaging.  Grace is woven throughout this story.  Lavinia experiences it as she learns the truth about her mother's family and shows it time and time again to Nicholas and her mother's relatives, along with the villagers, especially those in need.  Nicholas learns how to accept grace shown to him and, in turn, learns how to show it to others in the community and in his circle of friends.  The latter half of the book is probably my favorite, and something every girl dreams of.  I only wished I could see a drawing of some of the "items" Lavinia inherited.
     If you like fairy tale endings and your wildest dreams coming true, this book is for you.  It was an easy read.  I can't wait to read the other books due in this series.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Kregel Publications
for review without any compensation.

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.  A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Home to Paradise Book Review

The Coming Home Series
Book Three


SUMMARY:  When dream collide, will true love be enough?
     Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men and has always thought she and John, the third Stoltzfus brother, would marry, make a home together, and have children.  But John has other ideas.  He's enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world a little too much and isn't interested in returning to the Amish community - especially to marry.
     In this highly anticipated final book of the Coming Home series, Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold.  John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered.  Who will win this battle of wills?  Will love prevail?
 
REVIEW:  How can two people so intent on staying in their own separate world break down the walls to, hopefully, find common ground?   John is determined to never go back to the Amish life style, even though it is harder than he thought and not as much fun.  Rose Anna is determined to never leave the Amish community and to do what she can to bring John back.  
    I like how Rose Anna realizes she is being manipulative and decided to let John come back on his own, if he ever does, even if it is without her help.  She does what she can to show him Christ's love but is there for him if and when he needs it.  Rose Anna's work with the abused women's shelter is very admirable.  She uses something she is good at (making quilts) to help those at the shelter gain confidence in themselves and their own abilities.  
     John is having a difficult time making ends meet so he works three jobs or more just to stay afloat.  I like how he finally finds a job he loves when he let's God work in his life.  Neil helps John repair a very difficult relationship, and in the end, helps John find where he truly belongs.
     My favorite part is how everything works out in the end.  God can bring happiness through sorry.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Abingdon Press 
for review without any compensation.
 
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish.  She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award.  Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from RWA's Faith, Hope and Love chapter.   Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Amish Weddings Book Review

Neighbors of Lancaster County Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Will Love Be Enough to Fix What Tragedy Threatens?
     Gregarious Rose Lehman, who's always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop's son, Reuben Byler - until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County.  In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring.  Trevor shares Rose's sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.
     When her sister Lila is injured in a devastating accident, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she's ever experienced in her life.  Only Reuben seems to notice, but he never voices his concerns.  Part of her relishes the freedom she's found with Trevor, but the other part wishes Reuben would finally express his love and "fight" for her.  Have her choices ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn't seen yet?

REVIEW:  The stories of Rose and Reuben and Lila and Zane were easy to follow but took turns I didn't expect.  The story of Rose was different than any other I've read before.  She makes some bad decisions and goes through a lot but she learns who she is.  I like how the author handled the events Rose goes through and how they are resolved.  Lila and Zane are engaged but events keep happening to postpone their wedding.  Zane, an Amish convert, struggles to follow the rules and regulations, especially after Lila's accident.  Lila is determined to do things on her own without help but, struggles with letting Zane help her with events after the accidents.  I like how Zane is determined to keep helping Lila in any way possible, even if it means pursuing paths that are usually "Englisch." 
     Not having read the other two books in the series, the only difficult part was keeping everyone and their backstories straight.  A "cast of characters" would have been fantastic to keep everyone straight.  Some family members make quick appearances while others are intertwined with Rose and Lila.  
     This was a good book but, at times it seemed like something was missing.  It may have been my not reading the other books to get the full back story.  

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without any compensation.

Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller The Amish Midwife, a 2012 Christy Award winner; CBA bestseller Courting Cate, first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and Beyond the Blue, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006.  She holds an MFA in creative writing and lives in Portland, Oregon.  She and her husband are the parents of four children.  Learn more about Leslie at www.lesliegould.com.