Friday, January 22, 2021

Tides of Duplicity by Robin Patchen - A Book Review


One of the many things I love about Robin Patchen's books is running into characters from her previous books. This time it was Fitz McCaffrey, a police detective who had to resign under a cloud of suspicion and his former partner, Abe Bachelor. Fitz, now working as a private detective and sometimes nature photographer, has become his sister's guardian after the death of their parents. Now something has placed his sister in danger, and he may have no choice but to rely on the partner who had betrayed him.

Tabby Eaton, had lost the adventure from her life, and had tried to get just a little of it back by taking a two-week vacation to Belize. She could never have imagined the not-so-pleasant adventure that was to follow as a case of mistaken identity placed her squarely in the crosshairs of a drug-dealing mob boss.

Robin Patchen's books have the perfect mix of romance, suspense, and wisdom. In this book Patchen explores the depth of her characters' faith, and asks the question of just how far will they trust the goodness and sovereignty of God. A question all of us would benefit from pondering from time to time.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Tides of Duplicity from the author without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A Barefoot Tide by Grace Greene - A Book Review


I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Grace Greene's novels that I have been privileged to read, but nothing prepared me for A Barefoot Tide. The raw emotions so eloquently painted on the pages of this book bare the two main characters' souls, evoking a depth of empathy from the reader not often encountered. It isn't often a book effects me like this one did, and when one does the sensation is special indeed. This book is one of self-discovery for thirty-something Lilliane Moore, rediscovery for ninety-something Merrick Dahl, and just maybe a catalyst for some self-reflection on the part of the reader. It places the past in perspective, and opens up a world of possibilities for the future.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of A Barefoot Tide from the author without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Beauty Among Ruins by J'Nell Ciesielski - A Book Review


I always love when a book by a new-to-me author feels like discovering a treasure. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of J'Nell Ciesielski's books in the future. This one is set mostly in Laggan,Scotland from April 1915 to April 1916. Lily Durham, whose family were members of New York society, had been sent off to stay with relatives in England until she learned the proper way to conduct herself. Having joined her cousin in traveling to Scotland in order to help wounded soldiers staying at Kinclavoch Castle to convalesce, Lily embraced the freedom she found there in spite of the strict rules imposed on the nurses and aides by Matron Strom. Alec MacGregor, also known as Lord Stratham, may have been the owner of the castle and laird of the estate, but he too needed to find a sense of freedom, a freedom Lily's lightheartedness and caring ways offered. The question remained as to whether Lily could hold onto that freedom, and whether Alec could ever embrace it. While this book does not contain Christian references, there are many parallels to be drawn between its themes and biblical truths. Freedom is often found within boundaries and in service to others.

I am very grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Beauty Among Ruins from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin - A Book Review


While the language of this book is well written, and the author paints vivid and emotional word pictures, I was disappointed in its content. I'd hoped for a book that focused on the children impacted by the Children's Blizzard as well as their families, and yes, that is in there, but the author seems to have looked for opportunities to sexualize the story in a way that spoiled the tale. It is one of the few books that I have abandoned, but that is totally because it was not a good fit for me, and has nothing to do with the writer's skill at her craft.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of this book from Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin Random House, via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Eco Bible Volume 1: An Ecological Commentary on Genesis and Exodus by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Rabbi Leo Dee - A Book Review


The first volume of the Eco Bible Commentary is organized around verses selected from the annual Jewish cycle of Torah readings. Explanations of the Hebrew interpretation from the Midrash and rabbinic writings are connected to spiritual and scientific concerns for and care of our planet and all of its inhabitants. With 708 footnotes, the intensive research is well-documented. The case for urgency is well-laid-out, and the suggested actions at the end of each section reduce the sense of being overwhelmed by the task-at-hand, and make individual efforts seem doable and worthwhile.

In addition to the ecological aspect of this commentary, as a Christian reading Hebrew interpretations of Old Testament text, I received insight into a viewpoint that I had not clearly seen before. As Christian lay people, most of us read the Old Testament through a New Testament lens. This commentary allowed me to view portions of the text, at least to some degree, from a different perspective. I am grateful to have received a copy of the first volume of this commentary from one of the authors without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White - A Book Review


I have read four of Roseanna M White's books set in England during World War I, and loved each one. Dreams of Savannah is set early in the Civil War era; while much different than the author's previous books I had read, it was equally wonderful. Cordelia Owens' and Phineas Dunn's growing faith, and the opening of their eyes and hearts to those previously unseen will warm the hearts of readers as well as inspire them to self-reflect. Cordelia's vivid and active imagination along with her love of words and stories will resonate with book lovers. While I do not know if this is the first book of a series, I certainly hope that it is.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Dreams of Savannah from Bethany House via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Active Defense by Lynette Eason - A Book Review


Five star romantic suspense! This is Lynette Eason's third book in her Danger Never Sleeps series, and it is the best one yet. That is saying quite a lot as all of her books are amazing. Active Defense is full of twists and turns, and is totally unpredictable, my favorite attribute in a suspense or mystery novel. The theme of finding balance between independence and having the willingness to reach out to others as the need arises may resonate with many, but even if not, they will be in for a wild ride and great entertainment.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Active Defense from Revell via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed her are my own.