Wednesday, March 31, 2010

AN HONEST LOVE by Kathleen Fuller

This is book 2 in this series and although it is not necessary to read book one first, it is helpful in understanding the characters more. This story is about 4 main characters; Anna, who has just relocated to Middlefield with her mother; Lukas, who does carpentry work and is instantly attracted to Anna, when he stops by her shop to put some of his handmade products in her store; Elizabeth, a sister to Lukas, who has started working for her brother-in-law in his shop and seeks to befriend Aaron, who works there but seems distant to everyone.
I especially liked how Elizabeth and Aaron start off as friends and watching their friendship turn into something more. And I also appreciated the way Anna and Lukas had to work through the lies and hurt and betrayal they find themselves faced with. The importance of forgiveness and the ability to face their problem and talk about it was very much appreciated. A good book number two, and I look forward to the next book in this series.
Thanks to Book Sneeze for making this book available to me for review.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A MAN OF HIS WORD by Kathleen Fuller

Moriah has just married Levi Miller and thinks life could not be better. She lives in her husband's family home, with Levi's father and his twin brother Gabriel in the "dawdi haus" next door. But within a few short months Moriah begins to question Levi's lack of interest in her. Then one day she finds herself abandoned by Levi with just a short note telling her he is leaving the faith and her. What Moriah doesn't know is that the twin brother, Gabe, has always loved her and his heart is broken and angry when he sees what his brother has done to Moriah. But in the Amish faith Moriah must remain a married woman, with no divorce being possible, and a baby on the way.

This story was handled well. The emotions of Gabe for his brother's wife was a difficult subject to deal with but the author handled the situation very well. Gabe was a very noble and considerate person and took care of Moriah the best he could without conveying his true feelings. Moriah had alot to handle in her young life, but she never became bitter, but always held out hope and forgiveness. I look forward to reading book two in this series.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

SIXTEEN BRIDES by Stephanie Grace Whitson

This started out as a book about 16 women who leave behind their homes and move across country because of a promise of a new start in a small town in Nebraska. It takes place shortly after the Civil War and many of the women are widows who have many different and unusual circumstances that have made them decide to take this journey. Don't get discouraged thinking you can't possibly keep track of all these women in the story, because you will soon be narrowing it down to a more managable number.
I usually read books with fewer main characters, but did enjoy the wide variety of ladies in this story and how I grew to like each one of them. I loved Zita's words of wisdom and her spunk even though she was the oldest of them all. I enjoyed watching Caroline and Ruth break out of their "proper" way of doing things and loosen up into ladies who could fall in love with men much different than they ever imagined. And dear Ella, what a trooper! Then there was Saly and Hettie, but you really need to read the book and get to know them all.
A special thanks to Library Thing Early Reviewers for sending me this book to review.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Colorado Weddings by Joyce Livingston

Three stories all set in Colorado. In A Winning Match Shelly Morris in a single Mom trying to raise a 15 year old son, who is angry at the world. Bart Steel has an unorthodox way of helping her son, but Shelly will need to trust him.
In Downhill Stormi McNeil has 2 jobs, working at a ski resort and a cafe, to pay off some bad debt. All is going well until in walks Mark Denton, the man who stole her heart and then sent her packing years ago. He claims he is a new man, but can Stormi take a chance on having her heart broken all over again.
In The Wedding Planner Tula O'Brian meets Clint Murphy at a wedding. She was the wedding planner and he was a guest. From the brief meeting Clint realizes he doesn't want to grow old alone and quickly makes his feelings known to Tula. Since Tula has made bad choices in the husband department, she is not ready for Clint's quick proclamation of love. But Clint can be very persuasive.
I liked all 3 stories, but "Downhill" and "The Wedding Planner" were my favorites. I especially liked The Wedding Planner because it was about two "older" people who had already passed the prime of their life, but still had lots of room left to love again. And I really appreciated how the author used the gospel message in "Downhill". Good job Joyce Livingston!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

HEARTS CROSSING by Marianne Evans

Daveny Montgomery loves her landscape and design work, loves her Woodland Church and her Lord. Collin Edwards is a former member of Woodland Church, but left the church and his God when tragedy struck him and his family years ago. But, when Collin delivers supplies to Daveny's restoration process for the church, there is an instant attraction in Collin for Daveny. Her love of life is hard for Collin to forget.

This was a short story and a quick read, but well worth every minute. I really liked the way Daveny was portrayed and the way Collin felt just being around her. She was so good at believing in him, something Collin really needed. I appreciated the way the author got across the message that even though we turn our backs on God, He never turns His back on us.

Monday, March 15, 2010

BEGUILED by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

Rylee Monroe is a dogwalker for the wealthy people in Charleston. Logan Woods in a reporter/want-to-be-book writer who is following the break-ins in the Charleston neighborhood. The one similarity to these break-ins seems to be that Rylee Monroe is a dog walker for each of the houses being robbed. When Logan decides to help Rylee out by finding out who the real villian is he learns alot more about Rylee than he bargained for. Rylee has a hard time letting herself trust Logan and relying upon him, since her father supposedly left her and her mother when she was very young.

This was a good mystery story with some romance thrown in to make it even better. I always enjoy a book that keeps me guessing up until the very end, and this book accomplished that. I really enjoyed the character of Rylee and her love of animals. When she ends up in a jail cell for a night I was appreciative of the prayer and realization she came to in her life. I liked the chemistry between Rylee and Logan too. A book well worth reading! Thank you Bethany House for sending me this book to review.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Women's Ministry in the Local Church by J. Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt

This was a great book to read if you are interested in creating or sustaining a women's ministry in your church. Very biblically written with great insights and helpful ideas. I was very much in agreement with the authors of this book and thank them for their insights into God's Word and the help and resources that are available to me.

NEVER SAY NEVER by Lisa Wingate

Kai Miller has never put down any roots. She becomes trapped trying to escape a hurricane headed her way. While heading out on the highway away from the hurricane she meets up with 3 ladies from Daily, Texas; Donetta, Imagene and Lucy. These three older ladies were on their way to a cruise ship when they realize they are headed into the hurricane. Kai and the ladies team up to get away from the weather and wind up with a bus load of church folks trapped also. After the hurricane passes over them everyone heads to Daily, Texas until roads are cleared and homes are restored. There in Daily you find Kemp, who instantly takes a liking to Kai. But can Kai finds roots in Daily and can Kemp give up his dream of baseball.

I enjoyed this story. I especially enjoyed the 3 ladies and their interaction and humor. I could picture each one in my mind as I was reading. The town of Daily seemed like a town that would have been great to grow up in. I really liked the way Kai and Kemp hit it off right away and the way they "fell" for each other. This was not an action packed adventure (although living through the hurricane at the beginning was pretty good), or a mystery to solve or even a great love story, but it was a down home feel type book with characters you learned to love. And I liked the way the author finished the book!

A special thanks to Bethany House for giving me the book to read and review.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Journey to Redemption by Anne Patrick

This was an excellent fast-moving suspense filled police-detective story. Morgan Reynolds and John Russo are partners on the police force. Morgan has lost her husband in a brutal murder and is left with her 7 year old son. The man, Tate, found guilty of this murder has escaped prison and is out to make Morgan pay for sending him to prison for a crime he did not commit. Chase has just arrived at the police force as the new Lieutenant and is sticking with Morgan and Russo to learn his way around. When bodies start washing up on shore and kidnapping takes place, the quiet town of Arcadia becomes the place where secrets, and alot of them, must be found out and revealed.

This was one of those stories where you can't put it down because every page has stuff happening and is a very fast paced story. You are trying to solve the case right along with the characters in the story and don't have it completely figured out until the very end. Chase is a great guy to have on ones team and him and Morgan seemed to just mesh together right away and know how to work well together. I liked the way their relationship came together. Well worth reading.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen

First off, I loved the cover of this book and could picture Lilly Haswell looking like the lady on the cover. Lilly Haswell finds herself growing up working for her father in his apothecary shop and always looking for her mother to come back home to them. Her mother's disappearance has always had the villagers whispering. Lilly longs for travel and adventure, so when her relatives offer her a chance to come to London with them and enter into society and suitors Lilly decides to go. She later has to return to her village to help her father who has become sick and let the apothecary shop get run down. That is the main theme of the story, but there is also the men in the book; Francis, the young boy who learns the apothecary business with the help of Lilly and her Dad, who grows up into quite the handsome gentleman, Dr. Adam Graves, who Lilly meets in London, and Roderick Marlow the wealthy recluse of the town Lilly grew up in. All 3 men play an important part in the life of Lilly and all 3 have a chance to win her heart.
What I especially liked about the book was the character Lilly first and foremost, but I got to know so many more people in this story. The author did a great job of letting you experice life in Bedsley Priors. I also appreciated reading a story and not knowing how it will end until I am practically through with the book. There were aspects of each gentleman in this story that I liked and could have seen Lilly end up with, but as the book neared the end, it was obvious who the true gentleman was that would be deserving of Lilly. You will have to read the book I find out who the lucky man is!