Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Clouds Roll Away by Sibelia Giorello

Raleigh Harmon has returned to Richmond, Virginia after finishing her assignment with the FBI's Seattle office. She is a forensic geologist, who finds herself investigating a cross burning at a celebrity's mansion. She is not well liked by her boss and doesn't have alot of friends, but does have a Mom to look after and a man, DeMott, who would welcome her back in his life. The further Raleigh looks into this case, the cloudier it becomes, and the boss lady has given her a deadline to come up with a breakthrough.

I must admit that when I first started reading this book I did not think I would like it. But the author did a good job of drawing me into Raleigh's thoughts and the way she thinks and feels. It was very good at describing the world of the undercover detectives and of the "gangs" and criminals they deal with. It was filled with suspense, intrigue and double-crossing and done in such a way that it is all very believable.
Although this isn't a story line that I would normally pick up and read, I found that stepping outside my normal reading habits opened up a whole different type of story, and I am glad I read it.
Thanks goes to Thomas Nelson Publishers for giving me this book to review.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

FORGIVEN by Shelley Shephard Gray

This is the 3rd book in the Sisters of the Heart series. This story follows up on Winnie Lundy (who you will read about in books 1 and 2). The book starts with a fire that destroys the Lundy's barn. Winnie is hurt in the fire and finds herself in the hospital. An Englisher, Samuel Miller, keeps her company while she recuperates. Sam was Amish but because of his desire to learn, left the Amish community and became a professor in the English world. As Sam and WInnie get to know one another there is a great struggle in both their hearts. Could Winnie ever leave her Amish world and could Sam ever come back to the Amish community and leave the English? One of them makes the ultimate sacrifice.

I appreciated this series and how all the characters from each book were tied into the story. I liked how this author portrayed the Amish and how they interacted with the Englishers. In this story it was good to read of the struggles that run through Winnie and Sam's mind as they decide what they would be giving up and what they would be gaining if they made the decision to leave what they have known for years and step into a new way of living. Well done Shelley Shepard Gray! Although all 3 books in the series were good, my personal favorite was book 1.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wanted by Shelley Shepard Gray

This story picks up right where book #1 left off. It ties in all the characters very well! This book is about Katie Brenneman, who has "feelings" for widower Jonathan Lundy, but he doesn't seem to notice. When Jonathan's sister must travel to Indiana, Jonathan asks if Katie could come and stay with his 2 little girls and care for them while his sister is away. As all this is happening, Katie gets contacted from a friend from her past during her "rumspringa" days. She needs to deal with her past and also find a way to keep Jonathan and his girls in her future.
I liked the way this book kept the whole story line going from book #1 ("Hidden). Although you got to know Katie in book #1, you didn't really understand her heart and her background. I liked the way she works her magic with the two little girls and the way Jonathan starts to notice her. It was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it, but read book one first!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Bride for Donnigan by Janette Oke

This is the story of how Donnigan gets a bride, Kathleen O'Malley. Kathleen has had it hard growing up after her father died and left her a stepmother to raise her that treated her more like a servant. So when the chance came for her to board a ship and travel to America to marry and start a new life she took it. Donnigan Harrison anxiously awaits Kathleen's arrival. He can't believe he actually "ordered" himself a bride sight unseen. Yet the loneliness on the western frontier made him take the plunge. When they finally meet, get married and move out to his farm, Donnigan is discouraged when Kathleen doesn't seem to want to want to talk or take an interest in the farm. Kathleen though has been taught by her stepmom to keep her thoughts to herself and never express your emotions. They both learn though what the other one needs and you begin to watch their marraige flourish.
This story gave a good understanding of why someone would travel across the sea to marry an unknown and why a man would send for a woman like that. Donnigan was a good man and Kathleen had a little spunk to her. You might think the book is all about "A bride for Donnigan" but it is much more than that. I wasn't sure I was liking how fast the story moved along in Donnigan and Kathleen's life, but I really liked the whole theme of how Donnigan wanted his life to make a difference in his family's life. His searching for answers about God and if He exists was a great ending to this story. I haven't read a Janette Oke book for a long time, but reading this one reminded me just how much I appreciate her as an author. This was definately a story worth reading and then keeping.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This was an enjoyable story and a quick read. Rebecca O'Brian discovers at the death of her Uncle Hess, that she must marry George Pickett. She finds herself fleeing the marriage and agreeing to travel West and marrying a complete stranger, Joshua Holt. Joshua doesn't know his brother found him a wife, so is shocked to receive a telegram telling him his wife is on the way. When Rebecca and Joshua end up on his Colorado ranch they begin to love each other. There are many things that happen along the way, but their faith gets them through it all.
I enjoyed reading the story and liked both Rebecca and Joshua as characters in this book. I also liked the way the author kept their faith and trust in God as a part of the story. If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable story to read, this one will do.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

HIDDEN by Shelley Shepard Gray

This was an enjoyable story. Anna finds herself fleeing her abusive but influential boyfriend Rob. She can't turn to her parents because they don't believe Rob is as bad as Anna makes him out to be. So Anna flees to where no one would look for her - her Amish friend, Katie, who helps her family run the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast. Anna is welcomed by the whole family, except for Katie's oldest brother Henry, who doesn't take kindly to her intruding upon them and possibly putting them in danger. Anna adopts the Plain clothing and lifestyle around her as she "hides out" and begins to feel she has truly found a true home. Can Henry trust his heart to her, or will she grow tired of the Amish way and leave? And will Anna's chance for true happiness be taken away when the man she is running from catches up with her.
Although there weren't alot of surprises to this story, I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed the Brenneman family and how the took in and helped out someone who was not Amish. You usually read how an Amish person leaves to become "worldly", but in this story someone sees how much they enjoy the slower pace and the fewer "things" they truly need to be content and happy and want to join the Amish community.
I am looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

Monday, February 15, 2010

An Eye for An Eye

Another great book in this series! I love it when a book keeps my heart pounding and holding my breath until I turn the page to see what happens. Someimes I can't read the words fast enough to see what will happen. This book had alot of intrigue, suspense, and romance.
Mark Sanders is on the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, but because of a fatal shooting he has been given a field assignment in St. Louis. As he is out jogging he "runs into" Emily Lawson, a "summer love", that he hasn't seen for 20 years. Emily has lost her husband, a firefighter, in the line of duty. She isn't sure she wants to become interested in another man with a "dangerous" job.
As they are talking in the park a bullet whizzes past them and Mark immediately steps into action to protect Emily, who does get hit. In the first chapter of this book the action immediately begins. The shooting at the park is a really intense scene. It had me hooked from there.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lonestar Homecoming

This was another great story in this series! Gracie Lister is running away from her wedding with her 5 year old daughter, Hope, in the very first chapter of the book. She ends up in West Texas with no money, no food and no place to go. Enter Lieutenant Michael Wayne, a seasoned soldier who in a single father and needs help with caring for his two children. Michael is so good for Gracie and to Gracie and you can see the chemistry between them right off. Gracie is also good for Michael as he thinks raising kids is similar to giving orders in the military. There are people though who are out to get rid of both Michael and Gracie so they must work together.
This story was filled with romance, intrigue, and suspense. I couldn't wait to turn the page and see what would happen next. I didn't put all the pieces together in the story till closer to the end, which for me keeps me more interested. I also thought the cover did a good job of picturing how Gracie really looked. Well worth reading!!

One Woman Against the Reich

This is a true story about the Ziefle family and how they survived in Germany as Germans, in a war they were not in agreement with. Maria and George Ziefle lived in Germany during World War II and experienced the air attacks, hunger, and seeing their sons go off to fight for Hitler or be condemmed to die. They trusted in the Lord to see them through and He did. They were shunned and watched by their neighbors and it opened my eyes to realize that there were good Christian people in Germany who also feared for their lives and prayed for the war to end. It is amazing to see how God watched over them and all that their family went through.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday Morning Faith

This is a story of a lady librarian that has taken care of her folks all her life and worked at the library. When a gentleman comes to her rescue one day they begin a friendship. The problem is, he is a doctor who desires to use his skills in the New Guinea jungle and Johanna doesn't feel "called" to go. But she does decide to go over with Sam and see what it is like.
I liked the humor and not so funny take on Johnanna's experience in New Guinea. We were kindred spirits as she describes the whole journey, from the airplane ride to the hut she lives in. She made me laugh and also made me see, like her, that it is easy to say you would give it all up to serve Jesus, but when you actually do, the whole attitude problems set in. I understood this woman completely and is was a joy to read this book. Sam was a loveable and understanding man and I appreciated him and the way he understood and handled Johanna's moods. An all around enjoyable and thought provoking story.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jenna's Cowboy

Jenna's cowboy is Nate Langley, who has just returned home after serving his country through two tours of duty in the armed forces. He returns home a hero, but has alot of healing to do in his mind to put the horrors of the war behind him. Nate returns to the ranch he helped out on while growing up, the Callahan Ranch. Jenna Callahan Colby is someone he has always loved from afar, but when he gets back from the war he finds her also back home on the Callahan ranch with a son.
This book had alot of good romance in it. It also helped me to see just how difficult it can be for those men who come home from fighting for our country and how much they have to deal with in order to return to the "normal life". It was good to read how God and his word helped Nate through his struggles. Nate is a great guy and any girl would be glad to have him on her side. Jenna also has had a rocky time in her life and it is good to see how her family loves her and wants to protect her from any more hurt. I enjoyed getting to know each one of the family members and look forward to reading more about them in the upcoming books in this series.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keeper of the Light

This is a book you won't want to put down once you start! It has mystery, romance, joy, sorrow, and all the other emotions in between. You will not be disappointed when you read this story, but you will be kept in suspense wondering what will happen next.
It is a story of Colin McRae who has found his calling in keeping the Highland Lighthouse in Cape Cod. He arrives with his ailing sister, Lydia, and seeks someone to help her while he attends to his duties. The only person available is Kaytra, labeled the town "dummy" because she does not speak. Lydia and Kaytra begin to share with one another their deep hurts and help each other to "heal". Colin can't except Kaytra's silence and withdrawal from him. The tension between these two people can be felt all throughout this story. Without giving any more of the story away, let me just say that each of the characters in this book have very strong personalities and at times you just want to shake them and tell them to trust in the other person share their love for each other out loud!. The unpredictable plot keeps you reading until the very last page, which ended with tears in my eyes.