Saturday, 24 June 2017

Book Review: The Captain's Daughter

From the back cover

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don't catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided--until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

My Reflections:

The Captain's Daughter was a sweet historical fiction, laced with danger and hardships. I quite enjoyed the pace of the novel and was never left feeling bored.

I found the main character, Rosalyn Bernay to be endearing yet a tad naive considering the hardships she had faced in her life. She seemed to make the same mistakes with men over and over again. However, It all works out in the end and I suppose this progression is good for character development. Having been raised in an orphanage Rosalyn is no stranger to overcoming tough situations, she continues to bravely move forward in her life despite her many struggles.

Nate Morgan is still reeling from a past relationship, yet he is a steadfast and honorable character. I loved the stability he brought to the story. He was definitely the character you could count on to pull Rosalyn through her hardships. Nate's family was another win. They were ultra supportive and I loved their cohesive matchmaking schemes. Will Nate be able to overcome his hurt and guilt from the past in order to fully embrace his future?

This book was filled with interesting historical facts and people from the 1879's. I learned so much about the early days of theater and enjoyed delving into a subject I had not previously explored. This novel was quite a nice change of pace, a splendid summer read!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Jennifer Delamere

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award...
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Friday, 23 June 2017

Book Review: With You Always

From the Cover:

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?
One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?
My Reflection:
If I did one-word reviews, this would be my word: PERFECT!
Since a one word review just can't do this book justice, I shall commence. 
Jody Hedlund's newest book series "Orphan Train" has to be the best book I have read this year! I was so taken with the drama and plot that I simply could not put this one down! The characters were endearing and oh so perfect for the era. The setting was also so interesting, I know even the setting! If you have to pick just one book for this summer, I highly recommend it be this one!
Elise Neumann has the world upon her shoulders. Tasked to care for her younger siblings and two other orphan children she must do everything in her power to protect and care for the ones she loves. She does not want to find her wee family on the streets again. For a spell, the small family takes refuge with the Seventh Street Mission, where the kindhearted Miss Pendleton takes them all in and provides them with seamstress jobs, shelter, and warm food. The Seventh Street Mission was opened to provide prostitutes with more options to better their lives. Though Elise has not yet had to degrade herself in this way, she finds it hard to fit in with the other factory women as they feel her judgment keenly.
When the economic crisis hits and seamstress jobs dry up, Elise has no other option than join the trains heading West. Armed with a good reference of character Elise joins the New York Children's Aid Society and boards a train heading to newly built towns.
Thornton Quincy's only desire is to be found acceptable and pleasing to his father. His twin brother Bradford is everything Thornton is not. This is his last chance to prove to his father that he can be just as good if not better than his brother and perhaps win his approval just this once. 
However, the "challenge" is more than he imagined, to build a thriving town, marry someone he truly loves and do all this in six months! Will Thornton actually be able to win his father's approval before it's too late? Will his heart be able to fall in love with his high class intended, or will a poor German immigrant turn his world upside down and make his look deep inside himself for the answers?
I loved everything about this book and cannot wait until Hedlund's next installment is released! I am so intrigued with the subject matter of this new series and even enjoyed reading the author's note at the back describing the era of the Orphan trains. Oh please hurry Jody Hedlund, as I don't think I can wait for your next novel! What are you doing still reading this go order your copy today!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love UnexpectedCaptured by LoveUnending DevotionThe Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a...
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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Book Review: A Stranger at Fellsworth

From the Back

Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?
In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancĂ© has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

My Reflections:

This is the third book In the Treasures of Surrey series. Although I have not read each one, this book was easy to follow and had just enough detail that I never felt lost or uninformed in the plot.
I love Sarh E Ladd, her writing style is oh, so enjoyable, with equal parts romance and mystery. Also, the storyline never comes off gushy, or over the top, it leaves just enough to the imagination. Balance this with the exact amount of mystery, and you have a well-proportioned novel that keeps you flipping the pages well into the night. I also enjoyed Ladd's characters they are self-sufficient, strong and not overly generalized.

Annabell was a genuinely sweet character, she was courageous and adaptable even though she was accustomed to living a pampered life.
After fleeing from a deplorable situation under the provision of her uncaring brother, Annabell must learn to adapt to a whole new lifestyle. With the help of Owen Locke, she escapes to her uncle's school at Fellsworth. Finally feeling like she has found a home and family she must gain her bearings and adapt to her new role as a teacher, and work for the first time in her life.

Owen Lock wants to live a quiet, peaceful life raising his daughter and perhaps purchase a piece of land of his own. When poachers threaten to ruin everything he has worked for and a certain maiden in distress snags his attention, his whole life is set on a path of twists and turns, can he catch who is responsible, keeping Annabell safe in the process?

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good Regency-era tale!

Book has been provided courtesy of Book Look Bloggers.

Book Review: Wings Of the Wind

From the Back:

Can vengeance give way to forgiveness when one woman's destiny becomes entangled with the very enemies she sought to destroy?
Motherless and raised alongside her brothers, Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting. When her father and brothers are killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, has spent his share of time on the battlefield and is shocked to find an unconscious woman among the casualties. Compelled to bring her to a healer back at the Hebrew camp, he's unprepared for the consequences of what he intended as an act of compassion.

In order to survive, Alanah must unite with her enemy. But will a terrible revelation drive her toward an even greater danger?
My Reflections:
I was overjoyed to receive the third and final edition in Connilyn Cossette's, "Out From Egypt" Series. It was a pleasure to be reacquainted with some of the characters from her previous books (Counted with the Stars, book one, Shadow of the Storm, book two). Shira, Kiya and Moriyah to name are some of my favorite characters in these past books. This book centers on a Canaanite woman named Alanah. Alanah is a woman determined to exact revenge, but the very people she is pursuing show her grace beyond anything she could ever imagine. 
Tobiah rescues Alanah off the battlefield out of protection and honor, not as a war spoil. The ramifications of his choice will be felt by many. (Deuteronomy 21: 10-14) 
 It is abundantly clear that Cossette does her research with these novels, she truly brings to life the essence of theses old testament stories with depth and imagination. 
I am overjoyed to have learned that Connilyn is already well on her way into another biblical series. I can't tell you how happy this makes me because these books really bring to life the actual biblical account. Her books spur me on to get out the Bible and devour the whole story in its entirety to back up the fictional account.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Connilyn Cossette

When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books. There is nothing she likes better...
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Friday, 9 June 2017

Book Review: The Ebb Tide

From the Back:

Oh, to see the ocean, Sallie thought. And to spend the summer as a nanny. She shook her head in amazement. This seemed too good to be true, but she really must talk it over with Dat and Mamm, especially since she'd be gone so long. And after I promised Mamm I'd take baptism classes this summer . . .
The Ebb Tide

Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?
My Reflections:
Beverly Lewis is the queen of Amish fiction. I never tire of her writing style and how she brings to light the realities of the Amish way of life.
This novel was a real treat to read. I live near the ocean, so it was a pleasure to read a story with this kind of beautiful backdrop.

Lewis's newest book was not all beauty and sandy beaches, it held heartache, life changing decisions and coming into one's own. I was intensely immersed in the emotions this book held and was not sure it would all turn out the way I expected it to, but in the end, Lewis was able to gently unfurl the story and place the key elements perfectly.

Our main character Sally Riehl is part dreamer part wanderlust, she adamantly declares that she will join the church, but will she be able to bend her knee after testing the restraints and bounds, or will this experience be the catalyst for leaving her faith behind....

Being 19 and given the green light to take up a job as a nanny in Cape May, New Jersey is more than exciting, and Sally is reveling in all these new experiences. I adored how Lewis developed this character, her sweet nature her exuberance. She had real fears and struggles, and watching her follow God's call in her life was refreshing and uplifting. 

I loved that this was not typical Amish fiction. Finding ourselves and our own faith walk is a natural part of maturing, it was a joy to watch Sally find her way. Beverly Lewis did a marvelous job with another clean and uplifting read, I always know I can hand these books to my teen girl without fear of any impropriety. So if you are in the mood for another fantastic Beverly Lewis novel, this is it!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis (, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New...
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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Book Review: To The Farthest Shores

From The Back:

The unpredictability of her upbringing prepared army nurse Jenny Bennett to face any challenge at the Presidio Army base, but the sudden reappearance in her life of the dashing naval officer who broke her heart six years ago is enough to rattle even her.

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is one of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring government mission overseas--an assignment that destroyed his reputation and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor-bound never to reveal where he was during those years, he can't tell Jenny the truth, or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?
My Reflections:
Ah my heart, what a fantastic story! Engaging plot, packed with lovable characters that are so real to life you forget this is fiction. I can always count on Elizabeth Camden to wow me! She does not write mere fluff, her stories extol life's journeys with a God who is bigger than our sin and strife. Yes, I certainly recommend this one friends.

This is a love story about two people who had a deep and powerful love, then sin crept in, and left a path of destruction in its wake. God has a way of taking that destruction and turning it into beauty. 

Camden displays human messiness extraordinarily.
We all are scrambling to get it right, none of us has our ducks perfectly lined up, and I admire an author who has the courage to write authentically, yet respectfully. 
This book also has some fascinating historical detail woven in, along with tidbits of untucked threads, leading me to believe that there will be a sequel to this book.

If you are searching for a book that is not mere fluff and romantic wanderings, Camden's "To the Farthest Shores" may just be the one!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is the author of nine historical novels and has been honored with the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the Carol Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on...
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Book Review: A Love So True

From the Back:

"Jagears' first book in the Teaville Moral Society series has well-written characters, in addition to being an engaging and heartfelt read."--RT Book Reviews on A Heart Most Certain
Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.

Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?
My Reflections:

Melissa Jagears once again transports us back to Teaville, having read "A Heart Most Certain" not too long ago I was happy to continue on in this series. 
This book delves into very important historical and moral issues, that still are relevant today. Jagears masterfully pulls her readers into the plight of the less fortunate and the ugly realities that come with prostitution and the ensnaring of souls. This book definitely held my attention from page one to page 356.

Evelyn Wisely is wise beyond her years, astonishingly independent and compassionate to a fault. Evelyn's heart yearns to help the women who are enslaved in the red light district, yet she holds people at an arm's length and can come across a little headstrong. 

David Kingsman has a job to do and he wants to get it done. Having been tasked with turning a profit on a local glass factory his father purchased, David has his work cut out for him. In the process, he meets Evelyn and is intrigued with her heart to help those less fortunate. 

Love So True is written with depth and sincerity, this book was a pleasure to read. I loved how Jagears pulled her readers in, her books help to open us up to the realities of life, in a gentle yet strikingly powerful way. This book will encourage you to look at others in a whole new light. How one person can make the difference for another. Simply beautiful, thank you, Melissa Jagears!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc

Melissa Jagears

Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series and Love by the Letter, a free prequel ebook novella. You can...
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