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 (www.beverlylewis.com), 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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Book Review: True To You

From the Back:

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?
My Reflections:
Becky Wade pens a touching light-hearted romance, with so much more than meets the eye. It starts with the beautiful cover and just gets better from there. Get ready for a beautiful story of love and faith and self-worth.

I loved Nora's character, serious, bookwormish and traditional. She is the typical middle sister in her family, the one everyone passes over. Nora has never felt like she actually had the attributes her sisters had.  Now an adult she has created her own identity, comfortable and stable. Her idea of unwinding is watching old movies, drinking hot tea and loosing herself in a good book.

Hiding behind frumpy clothes and an outdated hairstyle has managed to band-aid the pain of her past breakup, but when a handsome Navy SEAL comes to her for help her predictable routine lifestyle gets turned upside down!

John Lawson, however, is taken, and he is certainly a man on a mission. Ex-Navy SEAL decorated with the Medal of Honor, John now runs a security training business. However, this man has layers, tough guy on the outside, hurting on the inside. When his life is toppled upside down with an inherited medical condition he must search for answers. I love the journey this character takes, it is a beautiful thing watching the development of faith with past and present issues.

If you want more to this story there is a free (as of publication of this post) novella prequel called "Then Came You" This book will give you the full story of the Bradford family, however, I was just fine reading this as a standalone.

If you are looking for a heartfelt, funny yet emotional read this book boasts all of these elements in one beautifully written book!
I would highly recommend you add this one to your summer reading list!

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

Becky Wade

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY...
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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Book Review: The Chapel Car Bride

From the Back:

After a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, Hope Irvine is ready for a new adventure. When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she's thrilled at the chance to accompany him. While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn't be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father. But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn't always offer steady work. When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him--and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope's desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtatious young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealousy. But when he begins to suspect the manager's motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?

My Reflections:


Judith Miller is one of my favorite authors, and usually, I am racing through her books to devour the entirety. Her newest novel "The Chapel Car Bride" was however not one of those stories.

The character Hope and the plight of their little family intrigued me, but I found my interest lagging and the story line just a little lackluster.

The story opens in the spring of 1913. Hope Irvine and her father the Reverend Layton a chapel car missionary are on their way to Finch, West Virginia. The journey holds unexpected turns and Hope is relieved to finally make it to Finch, where she can finally settle in.

Hope is first acquainted with Luke Hughes on the trip to Finch where he rescues her from a group of rough and tumble men. When she arrives in Finch she is surprised to make his acquaintance once again. A sweet relationship blossoms between the two. However, trouble seems to be brewing under the surface of this little sleepy town, and it's going to take more than a preacher's daughter solve the town's predicament.

I enjoyed learning about the chapel car ministry. I was not aware this was even a historical event and enjoyed looking into it in more detail after finishing the book.

This is a clean fictional historical/ romance, and though I was not swept away by the story don't let my review sway your decision. I do look forward to reading more by Judith Miller in the future.

                                       About the Author


Judith Miller

Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her family make their home in Kansas. Learn more at www.judithmccoymiller.com.
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