Friday, December 31, 2010

SEASIDE LETTERS by Denise Hunter

If you liked the movie "You've Got Mail", then you will love this story. I was hooked after just reading the first couple of pages. I like it when a story makes me sit up and pay attention or I will miss something, and this book started out that way for me. Sabrina is working at a local cafe on Nantucket Island (a place described in such a way that I would love to go and visit), and doing research for a local author, Renny. She finds herself serving a certain gentleman, Tucker McCabe, at the Cafe every day at the same time. She knows that he is the person she has been getting to know through a chat line on the computer, but she can't let him know who she is because of a situation that happened to her before she met him (which I won't tell you about, because it is better to discover some things by reading the book).

The craziness of it is that Tucker knows she is the lady on-line, and wants her to admit it, but feels if he reveals he knows, she will run from him. So they both play the game of not knowing. In order to get closer to her, Tucker hires her to come to his house read his e-mails and see if she can find clues to help him locate his mystery girl. It gets really hard to keep track of who knows what after awhile, but I loved the plot line and the craziness of it all.

I also enjoyed the author's note at the end, how she weaved in the fact that Sabrina is alot like people who feel they want to hide from God because of a shame over a sin they have committed, and don't feel they can be truly loved. Tucker is like our heavenly Father who loves us and is pursuing us and wants us to come to Him and trust Him fully. But He doesn't force Himself on us, He wants us to want Him.

The ending in the rain was one of the best romantic scenes as I pictured it in my mind and loved the way the author ended the story. It was a fun read, with some sad moments. But it just showed that a moment of weakness can have devastating affects which really do influence alot more people then we might know. Tucker was so patient and understanding which is a great quality and so ready to forgive, another great quality. You will want to give yourself some time to read, because when you pick up this story, you are going to want to read it straight through!

I would also like to thank whoever did the cover on this book. They obviously read the story and did a good job of putting alot of details in the story on the cover!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TEXAS TENDER by Sharon Gillenwater

This book could be easily read as a stand-alone story, although there are two other books (Love Song & Antiques) that were written before this one and would help you know some of the other characters in this book better. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I learned something about the growing of watermelons and the rabid animal epidemic that was in Texas. But what I took from the book more than anything is that we can and should trust the Lord in all our circumstances. We may not always understand why some things happen in this lifetime, but we can know "that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." As the author said, "Our job is to cling to his promise and let him do his work. Easily said, but not easily done."

Shelby Nolan has just found out she has inherited a watermelon farm in West Texas, but she has to share the farm with Deputy Logan Slade. Logan has helped work the farm since Jim took him in as a teenager. He always assumed Jim would leave the farm to him, so he was a little set back to discover that Jim had left half of it to Shelby, the grand-daughter of Jim's long lost love. The instant chemistry between Shelby and Logan will not disappoint those looking for some good romance. The suspicious digging going on around the farm will not disappoint those looking for just a little mystery. And the rabid coyotes will add some danger to the story. I espcially enjoyed the way Shelby interacted with all the characters. She had two older gentlemen as neighbors and it was fun to watch how she handled them in the story. She was one likable woman, but had to face some issues with trust.

This was a quick read for me, 269 pages, but it went by very fast, with a Christian theme to the story.

FOREVERMORE by Cathy Marie Hake

This was a real hoot to read. I just fell in love with Hope Ladley. Jakob Stauffer saw Hope as not tall or short, not skinny or plump, not gorgeous but not ugly; she was just Hope, and "one of the most endearing traits, though, was her spontaneity. No matter what she did, she did it with joy. Her zest for life shone like the brightest star". I had a smile on my face most of the way through this book, especially when Hope would say one of her crazy cliches.
Hope is like a dandelion in the wind, she goes from one farm to the next, wherever she feels God directing her, where she helps out until she feels she needs to move on. In the beginning of the book she finds herself pulling into the Stauffer farm right before harvest. She knows this is where she is suppose to be as Jakob is trying to raise his little girl, take care of his pregnant sister and bring in the harvest. Hope jumps right in and becomes the stable force in the lives of everyone. Jakob is still feeling the loss of his wife, Annie is pregnant and fearful her abusive husband will come for her and little Emmy-Lou is a sweetheart that also has an obstacle to overcome. Hope is the answer they all need and you can't help but love her! But Hope doesn't stay in one place long, so can they convince her that she can stay with them "forevermore".
I don't usually think about re-reading a story after having just finished it, but I could read this one again, just for the pleasure of it. As a sidelight, as also loved the cover. This is one of Cathy Marie Hake's best stories I have read so far!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

UNLOCKED by Karen Kingsbury

Holden Harris is a 18 year old child who is locked in his own world with autism. Despite his unusual behavior at times, he seems content and happy in his own little world; even if he is sometimes picked on by some at school.
Ella Reynolds finds herself running with the "in" people at her school. But she quickly discovers how cruel they can be and begins to devote herself to the school play and helping Holden become a part of the musical "Beauty and the Beast". Ella soon discovers that her and Holden use to be playmates when they were very young, before Holden became autistic. So what happened to Holden and why did her parents suddenly stop being friends with Holden's folks?
There were many facets to this story and as usual Karen Kingsbury makes these people so real you feel that the story is really true. Holden though is not the only person in the story who is "locked" in a world of his own. You have the problems kids face at school with bullying, the problem Holden's dad couldn't face regarding his son and how he dealt with it and many more folks who had to "unlock" their narrow way of thinking and open themselves up to God's possibilities in their life. This was a beautifully written story and my heart was moved having read it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

EVIDENCE of MURDER by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Samantha Reid is cleaning up an old dry cleaning business that she has bought when her and her friends stumble upon an old roll of film. When they get it developed is becomes evidence that opens up a 10 year old multiple homicide case. The problem is someone wants the case kept closed and will do anything to keep answers from being uncovered. Ryan Davidson is the sole survivor when his family was murdered 10 years ago. Although they don't instantly get along, both Ryan and Samantha find themselves working together to uncover the secret and unravel the 10 year old mystery.
I enjoyed the suspense and mystery in this story and the way both characters acted and reacted to each other and to the circumstances they found themselves in. A good love inspired suspense book!

Friday, December 17, 2010

DESERT FIRE by Marcia Lynn McClure

This was a quick and easy to read story, full of fun-romance, with some danger and mystery and a strong family bond. Malaina finds herself parched, sun-baked and staring into the eyes of Jackson McCall. She can't remember who she is and isn't even sure where she is. Jackson McCall is her rescuer who takes her back to his family home where his mother, Maggie, takes her in as the daughter she has always wanted. Jackson has two other brothers, Matthew and Baker and the 3 men make life very fun and interesting around their place. Bits and pieces of Alaina's memory slowly start to come back to her, but in the process Jackson finds himself risking his life to save her numerous times. In the end all 3 men find themselves a girl to cherish.

This was a fun story to read because the 3 brothers never took life too seriously, but handled each circumstance in life as it came and always seemed to have a positive attitude and a real close connection as a family. It doesn't mean they didn't share hardships because they did, but they didn't let the hardships get the best of them. I will enjoy reading more of Marcia Lynn McClure stories!

The FINDING of JASPER HOLT by Grace Livingston Hill

I begin my review of this book with the history of my love for this author, Grace Livingston Hill. I grew up reading her stories which I would get from my Grandmother every time I went to visit her. She had bookshelves of her books and I would always take a few home with me to read. I have since tried to collect all of her books in memory of my Grandmother. So I have a special fondness for these stories.
This story begins with a train wreck where Jean Grayson finds herself being rescued from death by Jasper Holt, a man folks don't have much good to say about. But the few days Jean has with stranger named Jasper proves to her that he really is a decent and good man deep down inside. Jasper knows her family will never aprove of him so he sets out to "prove his worth" to the townsfolk and be worthy of Jean. When a near fatal accident puts Jasper's life on the line, Jean finds herself rushing to his side no matter what people may think.
This is a story of how one good woman can change the heart of a man and show him there is good people in the world and how you live your life does make a difference in the world.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


What a charmingly delightful story. I was first impressed by the cover of the book and then I was fascinated by the storyline. Cora Crowder is getting ready for Christmas. As she searches for a gift she finds herself not far from her workplace at a most unusual bookshop, Warner, Werner and Wisbotterdad's Book Store. She unexpectedly runs into a co-worker there, Simon Derrick, who she has worked with for many years, but really never known. They both discover tickets for a one-of-a-kind Christmas Ball after having been to the bookstore.
You see the Sage Street bookshop has some matchmaking booksellers working there, as well as other folks working in other stores along Sage Street who have decided Simon and Cora need a little help in the romance department. This Christmas Simon and Cora will discover that their opposite personalities can be a perfect match.
I loved the whole fairy tale setting of Sage Street. I also enjoyed Simon's sister, Sandy, and her child-like ways, but with alot more insight than folks would give her credit for having. And then there is the Booterbaw sisters and their Costume Shoppe. I think my favorite section of the book is when they explained to Cora how she really was a princess and why; she was a child of the King!
I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me this book for review. I am very glad I had the chance to read it and highly recommend the reading of it.
If you would like to watch a video trailer of this book go to:

Monday, December 13, 2010

A MAN'S HEART by Lori Copeland

This book had several firsts for me in reading it. It was the first story I have read where the main characters were both potato growers in Washington. It was also the first where the lady backs out of her wedding not once but twice to the same man and all over her desire to study more on potatoes!
Jules has broke off her wedding to Cruz in the beginning of the book for the second time now and Cruz is not going to wait around for Jules this time, while she goes back to school for 4 years. Fast foward 4 years and you have Jules back in town, her Dad has died, her long lost sister is back in town and her best friend Sophie (Cruz's sister) has just found out she has cancer. Jules is now ready to commit to marriage but Cruz wants nothing to do with her. Whats a woman to do!
Although I enjoyed reading this book, I had a hard time with Jules whole thought process, where her love of studying and trying to raise the perfect potato would take precedence over committing to the love of her life, Cruz. And I really had a hard time with the way she treated her sister, Crystal (who I enjoyed alot). Some of Crystal's "mishaps" made me laugh out loud, as well as Cruz and his brother Adan trying to "potty train" their little niece.
I would work on the cover of the book as the lady on the front does not match the Jules described in the story. A special thanks to Zondervan and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for sending me this book for review. To check out the Zondervan link to this book go to

Saturday, December 11, 2010


This was another great story by Ashley Dawn. I am really liking the Reiley family and hope more stories are coming about the rest of the siblings.
Kerry Reiley is exhausted, just coming back from her brother's wedding to her apartment and job, but her life is turned upside down when she arrives home, and is kidnapped by a man out for revenge on one of her brothers. Luke Reeding is a man Rick Reiley can trust to get his sister back so he is called upon to find Kerry. Kerry has alot of spunk so it was interesting how much she "helped" Luke on her escape. Luke finds himself guarding Kerry until the madman is found and put away. There is definately an attraction going on between the two, but Kerry knows that giving her heart to an unbeliever would be wrong, even if it feels so right.
From the very first page I was hooked on this story. You just get to know the characters so well and the bond between the Reiley family is so refreshing. I can't wait to read another story about the Reileys! This series is on my list of favorites!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The TRIUMPH of JOHN and BETTY STAM by Mrs. Howard Taylor

What a testimony this book is of two people who made a difference for their Lord! This story is all about their life. It takes you through both John and Betty's growing up years, through college, their courtship, marriage, ministry, and their death, all for the cause of Christ. He was definately first in all they did. I was brought to tears at the end of the book, knowing all they endured for their Lord, but knowing the reward that awaited them in glory makes me smile knowing God greeted them with "well done thou good and faithful servant". I would encourage all to read this story!