Sunday 22 June 2014

Book Review: A Place in His Heart

Cover Art

From the Back: She could cross an ocean, but could she ever win his heart?

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother. 

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister? 

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?

My Reflections:
One of my favorite subjects to read about right now is the rich and colorful heritage of our settlers. I mean how brave and exciting it would be to come to a new place and start fresh. This is probably on my heart as I feel like to a lesser degree I have come to a 'new land' and "settled" in a wild and untamed place. OK well.. maybe not, but it sure felt like it when I first moved from the city to the lush forest meadow, I now call home. Let me tell you the things we read about are so much more imaginative than actually experiencing them. Take fetching water from the river for example, picturesque right? Not so much. Those jugs of water get heavy and by the time you get to your destination, most of the water has ended up on you or the ground! 

Enough of that lets get to what I loved about this book.

This is the DeMarino's debut novel, and let me tell you what a talented writer she is. I really enjoyed getting into the characters lives and the way she painted the scenery of all the places you travel in this novel, from England, to boarding a ship to America, it was all so intriguing. 
This story opens with Mary Langton having just been stood up at the alter and the family trying to repair the damage from this fallout. Mary heartbroken, and desperate not to marry the man her father has set out for her, rather suddenly falls for the baker, Barnabas Horton. Mary must decide if she can love a man whose heart is devoted to another. 

Barnabas Horton grieving for his beloved Ann, must move on for his children's sake. When he sees Mary he decides that she would make a suitable helpmate and mother for his young sons. He realizes that he will never love another woman, like he did Ann..but he is not able to manage alone.

Mary's father has reservations of such a union, least of which the differences of their religion. The Langtons are devout Anglicans and Barnabas is a Puritan, and in the mid 1600's this is dangerous a situation to say the least! To seek a safer environment Barnabas considers moving his small family to the New World, where they are free to worship without condemnation. 

I quite enjoyed watching the transformation of these characters grow and seek God in order to make right a situation filled with broken hearts and newly sprouting dreams. This book will tug at your heart and keep you interested with beautifully written scenery and rich historical facts.. This book is based on the Authors own ancestors who were some of the first settlers on Long Island. I found myself unable to put this one down, I can't wait for the second installment to the Southhold Chronicles. 
Bravo DeMarino, you are sure to make a mark among the best Christian fiction authors!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

About the Author:
  1. Rebecca DeMarino
    © Something Blue Photography

    Rebecca DeMarino

    Rebecca DeMarino is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Southold Long Island Historical Society. She was a 2011 Genesis Award semi-finalist. Rebecca is retired from a major airline and lives in the Pacific...
    Continue reading about Rebecca DeMarino

Thursday 19 June 2014

Book Review: A Moment in Time

Cover Art

 From the Back:

Alice Chesterfield is a woman pursued. Having survived an attack that left her scarred and her father dead, she is never free from the fear and memories of the man who is responsible.

Texas seems to be an answer to Alice's prayers, and when she has the opportunity to relocate to a ranch near Dallas, Robert Barnett captures her attention. Unlike any man Alice has ever known, Robert doesn't worry about the obstacles that stand in their way--and he hardly seems to notice the scar she bears.

But there are storm clouds gathering; devastating information about her family comes to light, threatening Alice's peaceful sanctuary. Disillusioned, Alice must learn to place her trust in God as she seeks a measure of peace for her future...and for her heart.
My Reflections: 

This is Tracy Peterson's book #2 in the Lone Star Brides saga. I would highly recommend you read the first book in this series (A Sensible Arrangement) to get the most out of your literary enjoyment. I don't feel this book is a good fit for a stand alone, the story is too interwoven with book number ones facts and characters.

Peterson writes a sweet tale of forgiveness and redemption, and the utter beauty of life when we let go and let God pick up the pieces of our brokenness.

Alice fighting scars, both physical and mental from her past must learn to trust once more. She has survived an attack that left her father dead. The threat is still very real and the assassin is determined to get what he thinks Alice has.

Marty Wythe, Alice's friend and former employer is forced to return to Texas because of the economic collapse. Alice thinks this may be the fresh start she has been praying for and agrees to venture along with Marty.  Upon arriving she meets Robert, Marty's nephew.... it is sparks from the start. Unfortunately there is a hitch, isn't there always?

Robert must convince Alice she is worthy of his love, scars and all. They will have to put their trust in God to get them through, because it looks like trouble is on the horizon. Alice thought she could leave her past behind, but it seems to have followed her to the Barnett Ranch, all the way to Texas.

I really enjoyed Alice's character, she is uplifting, encouraging and faith driven. She reminds us that anything is possible when we give all our hurts, fears and dreams to God, because in his perfect timing beauty can come out of the ashes.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the Author:

Tracie PetersonTracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in...
Continue reading about Tracie Peterson

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Book Review: Full Steam Ahead

Cover Art


From the Back:

When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

My Reflections: 

Full Steam Ahead is not Short Straw Bride, one of my favorites from this author. 
What this book does have is Witemeyer's trademark of weaving history, romance, humor and comical characters together to produce a story with non stop drama and no nonsense romance, that will surly keep you entertained and guessing all at the same time.

I was not overly interested in the history of steam ships and boilers, but having read just about every Karen Witemeyer book out there I knew if I stuck with the story I would not regret it. I was not mistaken.

Nicole seeks to please her father, she is not the boy he so desired but she is definitely brave enough and clever enough to outwit any man who dares to get in the way of her mission; to find a husband and heir to pass the shipping business onto. This heroin is not like any you have read about before. She is smart with numbers and science able to fend off the bad guys and does all this with flair and a spunky determination, not often seen in the time period of the 1800's.

Darius is also a determined, quirky character, although he is batting an entirely different set of challenges; to rid the world of dangerous, and often deadly boilers on steam ships. He uses unconventional means to experiment with his outlandish inventions, which causes a few sparks to fly. Can Nicole soften his heart, can Darius learn to forgive himself and find his faith once more? And what to do about the precious heirloom, and her promise to her ill father?

Full Steam Ahead is a delightful read, with a satisfying conclusion. If you can get past the logistics of steam ship boilers, and dagger throwing Southerners, I am certain you will enjoy Witemeyer's newest edition. 

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the author:

Karen Witemeyer is a confirmed bookaholic who believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.
After growing up in California, Karen moved to Texas to attend Abilene Christian University where she earned bachelor and master's degrees in Psychology. It was also there that she met and married her own Texas hero. He roped her in good, for she has lived in Texas ever since. In fact, she fell so in love with this rugged land of sweeping sunsets and enduring pioneer spirit, that she incorporates it into the pages of her novels, setting her stories in the small towns of a state that burgeoned into greatness in the mid- to late1800s.
Karen is living her dream by writing Christian historical romance novels for Bethany House. Her books have consistently hit bestseller lists and have garnered awards such as the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion, and the Christian Manifesto's Lime Award for Excellence in Fiction. In addition, she is a multiple RITA and National Reader's Choice finalist. Karen is also a sought-after speaker for national writing conferences and regional workshops.

Friday 13 June 2014

Book Review: Stuck Together

Cover Art

When a lawman who values order gets stuck with a feisty crusader who likes to stir things up, there's going to be trouble in Texas! 

Now that she's settled in town, Tina Cahill is determined to get Broken Wheel's saloon closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname "Invincible Vince" because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had show up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is showing signs of dementia. And his surprise sister quickly falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince suddenly has a lot of people depending on him, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them.

With nearly every other man in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with strong-willed Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her crazy causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

My Reflections:
Stuck Together is the third and final installment of the Trouble in Texas trilogy, and every bit as good as the others. I have read all of these books in order and I feel to get the most out of the intricately woven storyline you would want to read the entire series in order. 

In Stuck Together, we get to dig deep into the story of Vince Yates and Tina Cahill, tow of the characters who were secondary characters in the last book of this series. 
Vince is the town "lawyer" although there is not much of a need for his profession, in this one horse town. He is independently wealthy and determined to be wildly different from his selfish and over bearing father. But when his father is suddenly thrust back into his quiet life, along with a half-sister he didn't even know existed, life gets suddenly quite confusing. His feelings for Tina Cahill become increasingly hard to ignore, as they work side by side to care for his mother who has dementia and cannot be left alone.

Tina struggling with the residual effects of growing up with an overbearing aunt and no parents must come to the realization that God has good plans for her life. She must learn to trust and not depend on her own strength. Can she let go enough to trust Vince with her heart? I love Tina's character, she is so spunky and full of purpose, as misguided as it is!

I loved getting to know these characters in greater detail, and following up with my favorites from previous books. I am so disappointed that this series has wrapped up, when you have such a good cast of characters you just don't want to give them up, it is like saying good-bye to good friends, as corny as that sounds!

I would recommend this series to anyone who loves Mary Connealy, and a well rounded story filled with adventure, and humour.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

About the Author:
Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy

Mary Connealy is an award-winning, bestselling author known for her fun and lively historical romances. An author, teacher, and journalist, Mary lives on an eastern Nebraska ranch with her cowboy husband and has four daughters and two grandchildren. Learn more...
Continue reading about Mary Connealy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...