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Sunday, July 31, 2016

What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

What Matters Most - Kellie Gilbert   
     I eagerly awaited this book’s arrival in the mail as I had so enjoyed Where Rivers Part, a previous book in Gilbert’s Texas Gold series. While I did enjoy this book, had I not known it was by the same author I would never have suspected it. Where Rivers Part  would appear to have been written by a more seasoned, mature author. Both books dealt with strong themes, What Matters Most’s being the need for integrity in all walks of life, but especially in positions of leadership, very apropos for our current election cycle.
     What Matters Most has two protagonists that are poster children for integrity, even when they are thrown into situations which pose significant challenges to that integrity. The antagonists are everything the American public has grown to despise in our political arena. The greater message here is hope, hope that when things are tough that doing the right thing will lead to a positive outcome, hope that a new generation is rising that will embody moral character, hope for our states and our country. Hope that is found in God.
     One of the most basic comprehension strategies we teach students is to bring their background knowledge to the task of comprehending, one type of knowledge is the knowledge of how particular genres of stories work. Readers who are familiar with this type of story are waiting for the other shoe to drop well into this story, because we all know that it will. Once it does, the author wastes no time in moving to clean up the subsequent fall out. The final piece to that solution comes from a very unlikely source.

     I recommend What Matters Most to romantic fiction readers, and to those who, during this presidential election season, need a message of hope. Thank you to Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for making What Matters Most available to me in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no monetary compensation for my review.   

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Honor Redeemed by Christine Johnson - A Book Review

Honor Redeemed     

     Reading this book during a major heat wave with heat indices in the triple digits, I was really able to imagine the heat and humidity of Key West, the swarms of pesky insects, and the tropical fevers that plagued residents during the mid-1800s. The discomfort was complicated by the fashions of the day; imagine soldiers in the tropics being required to wear wool! The reader can’t help but be grateful for modern day air conditioning, advances in medicine, and cooler fabrics and fashions. Even if one were reading Honor Redeemed mid-winter, the author’s integration of the setting into the storyline and the clarity with which she describes its significance would create a powerful mental image.
     Honor Redeemed is book two in the Keys of Promise series. It was a delight to visit with Elizabeth O’Malley again as she befriends Prosperity Jones who has arrived in Key West with no money and one change of clothes, in search of her fiancĂ© after the death of her mother left her alone and destitute. Circumstances, however, are not what she anticipated. Lieutenant David Latham is now married, and his wife is expecting a child. Only the Christian goodwill of people like the O’Malley’s and a kindly, older doctor will keep Prosperity off of the streets. Things are not as they seem within the Latham household, and David is in need of some Christian goodwill himself. Themes of honor, forgiveness, unconditional love, faith, and the value of all humans regardless of race and social standing are intricately woven together in this emotionally charged novel.

     I recommend Honor Redeemed to Christian historical fiction and Christian romance fans. I recommend it to those who enjoy reading books where good prevails over adversity, and hearts are changed through Christian love.  Thank you to Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for making Honor Redeemed available to me in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no monetary compensation for my review.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Missing by Lisa Harris - A Book Review

   Heart of Africa       Welcome to my blog!

Join Special Agent Nikki Boyd of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Missing Persons Special Task Force as her investigation of Lucy Hudson’s disappearance follows a trail of dead bodies and finds some of those dearest to Nikki in mortal danger. You will encounter danger at every turn, as Nikki, her TBI colleagues, and her friend Tyler search for the truth that will lead to Lucy. Surprises abound on this journey; the unexpected becomes the norm.

     While working tirelessly to find Lucy, a kindergarten teacher running from those who would harm her, before it is too late, Nikki wrestles with the emotions that drive her into the past as she recalls the events surrounding her sister’s having gone missing. While this book works well as a stand-alone read, the story of Nikki’s search for her sister’s abductor is threaded throughout the series, of which Missing is book two. Nikki also deals with her changing emotions towards her deceased best friend’s husband. Helping him through his grief has turned into so much more, but can she let him know? Can he ever see her as something more than a friend?

     Lisa Harris’ writing style is fast paced, contains smoothly flowing dialogue, and has tight, clear descriptions of the scenes in which the characters find themselves. She lets the readers in on her characters’ inner turmoil without getting lost there. I am looking forward to reuniting with Nikki in the spring of 2017 in book three, Pursued. I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing Missing for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.