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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Lieutenant's Bargain by Regina Jennings - A Book Review

The Lieutenant's Bargain (The Fort Reno Series Book #2) by [Jennings, Regina]   Regina Jennings

Hattie Walker had quite an independent streak for a woman living in 1885. Not willing to marry just because it was expected, preferring to hone her artistic skills, Hattie had come to an agreement with her parents. They would allow her to go to Denver and try to find success as an artist, but if she failed, she had to return home and settle down. Neither she or her parents had been aware of the dangers that she would encounter on her trip west.

Lieutenant Jack Hennessey had gone to school with Hattie. After having joined the cavalry, he had written to her a few times with no response. Now he was serving in an area known as the nations, studying and assisting with the Arapaho and Cheyenne. There was no way he could have foreseen Hattie's arrival or the impact it would have on his ability to do his job.

In her notes at the end of the book, the author explains some of her research and why certain events in the story were included. She says that she hopes the reader finds them plausible, but if not then she hopes they found them entertaining. While I was reading I found the book quite entertaining with truly likable characters, while not exactly plausible, but after reading the notes about her research, I found the plot to be much more plausible than I had at first. Either way, this book has entertainment value, and I would recommend it as a fun read.

I thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Lieutenant's Bargain in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl - A Book Review

Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book #1)  Nancy Mehl

This is the most intense book that I have read in a very long time. Finally in chapter twenty-four I flipped to the back and set my mind at ease so that I could enjoy the rest of the book. Mehl included so many feasible suspects, some the reader would truly not want to be the guilty one. If you have something important to accomplish, you may want to wait to begin reading this book because you are likely to be consumed with it.

Kaely Quinn's father was convicted as a serial killer when she was a child. Kaely,now grown up, is an FBI agent who specializes in profiling. Now there is a serial killer targeting people associated with her, even if indirectly. His end game is to cause Kaely's suicide. While she is allowed to remain on the case, Kaely has difficulty trusting those around her; that and her unorthodox profiling methods complicate matters.

I am grateful to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of Mind Games in exchange for my honest opinion. I highly recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers and suspense. I was not under any obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Searching for You by Jody Hedlund - A Book Review

Searching for You (Orphan Train Book #3)Jody Hedlund

Searching for You is the third book in Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series. It is the story of the youngest Neumann sister, Sophie, for whom the older sisters had been searching since she ran away taking with her two young orphaned siblings for whom she had been caring. Sophie, Olivia, and Nicholas had been living on the streets, in juvenile asylums, and in tenements. She had done things she was not proud of in order to keep her charges fed and clothed, but now it seemed like she was out of options. They, and their friend Anna, joined the Orphan Train, fully expecting to slip away once they reached Chicago, but life, and maybe God, had other plans.

Searching for You is a very well-written story of broken lives made new. Sophia and her longtime family friend, Reinhold, learn that it is only in surrendering to God that the pieces can be put back together in a way that forms something new and beautiful. It is a story of both mercy and grace, God's giving us what we don't deserve and not treating us as we do deserve.

I highly recommend the Orphan Train series, and suggest reading the books in sequential order for the best reading experience. I am grateful to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of Searching for You in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen - A Book Review

The Bride of Ivy Green (Tales from Ivy Hill Book #3)  Julie Klassen

The Bride of Ivy Green is the third book in Julie Klassen's Tales from Ivy Hill series. The small village of Ivy Hill is filled with characters that will become dear to your heart. Most are selfless and each has their own very distinct skill set and interests, and even the most cantankerous ones have their lovable side. While having multiple story lines, this book focuses on Mercy Grove, a schoolteacher who has lost her school. Thirty-one-year-old Mercy had almost given up hope of marrying for love, but would she settle for a marriage of convenience? After so many years without a suitor, how would she now manage two? These questions will keep the reader turning pages along with the many questions about Ivy Hill's newest resident, Madame Victorine, the new dress-maker. She doesn't appear to be at all what she presents herself to be.
Julie Klassen places her readers right into the 1820s, feeling the jolting rides across the fields and the wet walks through the village. She helps them feel like they are a member of the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, and causes them to root for love to win in many different circumstances. I highly recommend The Bride of Ivy Green.

I thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall - A Book Review

The Liberty Bride: Daughters of the Mayflower - book 6MaryLu Tyndall

Emeline Baratt has a reserve of strength of character beyond anything she thought that she possessed. Her friend, Hannah Keate, saw what was dormant within Emeline, and had the unique ability to bring it to life. The character traits that Emeline's father seemed to most dislike, the ones she tried hardest to squelch, were the ones that were most needed when she, Hannah and the crew of her father's ship were taken captive by the British man-of-war Marauder.

Owen Masters had received a commission into the British Royal Navy eight years ago. For those eight years he had served well with no one realizing that he was an American spy. Eight years living under the rules of the Royal Navy was a very long time to wait for a valuable piece of intelligence, one important enough to deliver to the Americans and to earn the ship of his own promised by his uncle. Now his time had come, but things were complicated by the presence of Emeline Baratt.

MaryLu Tyndall addresses the importance of having an accurate view of God. Both Emeline and Owen believe there is a God, but have difficulty forming a relationship with Him because they view Him as a strict father just waiting to punish anyone who breaks one of His long list of rules. God hasn't given up on them, and lovingly teaches them of His care and mercy.

I do recommend The Liberty Bride to fans of historical fiction and to those who seek to find the loving, forgiving side of God's personality while keeping His holiness in clear view. I thank NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Love Restored by Kelly J. Goshorn

A Love Restored by [Goshorn, Kelly J.]     Kelly J. Goshorn

This historical novel will touch the hearts of many today as more than ever people struggle with issues of self-worth and the power of hurtful words. In her dedication and acknowledgments, the author explains the personal nature of this story, and I applaud her willingness to share it with others whom she does not even know, but who will received encouragement from her responding to God's call on her life.

Ruth Ann Sutton is a woman of many fine qualities. She is pretty, thoughtful, courageous, funny, and smart to name just a few. Unfortunately, all too often she, along with others, fails to look past her generous figure to appreciate all of those positive attributes. Benjamin Coulter is new to town, working for the railroad. He is smitten by Ruth Ann the moment he meets her, but has self-worth issues deeply rooted in his childhood. Will he be able to overlook the comments of his peers and that wounded little boy inside his head in order to pursue a relationship with Ruth Ann? Will she be able to trust her heart to him?

A Love Restored is a very well written story that deals not only with the theme of understanding the influences that impact self-esteem or self-worth, but also the worth of all people as children of God. The author also deals with the importance of standing up for what one believes. This is truly a story for today though set in the 1870's, and I highly recommend it.

I thank Kelly J. Goshorn and the Pelican Book Group for providing me with a copy of A Love Restored in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dancing With the Sun by Kay Bratt - A Book Review

Dancing with the Sun by [Bratt, Kay]    Kay Bratt

This is such an emotion filled book that I felt like I had to slowly emerge from it as I finished the epilogue. To close the covers and quickly reenter real life would have been jarring and unsettling. Sadie's story plumbs the depths of emotion from intense love to the deepest grief, from self- recrimination to self-sacrifice to self-preservation, from the dark of night to dawn to dancing with the sun. Kay Bratt skillfully knits together several weighty themes in Dancing With the Sun: dealing with the death of a child, creating a family bond with an adopted child, forgiving oneself, holding a family together while navigating life-altering events, letting go of the past without losing the special memories, and holding on to gratitude when being thankful seems almost impossible.

It is difficult for a review to do this book justice. A synopsis of the story seems so shallow when the reviewer knows the depth that is awaiting future readers of this book, and truly the same could be said of every book that I have read by Kay Bratt. If you are looking for a lighthearted, feel-good read, this book is not for you. If you are looking for a meaty book that gives you much to think about, welcome to Dancing With the Sun.

I thank NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to write a positive review and received no monetary compensation.