Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE DOCTOR'S LADY by Jody Hedlund

This was just a good all around story that kept me enjoying the book all the way through. The back of the book describes this story very well, “Priscilla White KNEW God wanted her to be a missionary; NOT A WIFE. Then, the missionary board declared the ONLY WAY she can serve is to be MARRIED. Now, married IN NAME ONLY, her epic journey west will test her spirit. .. and the new LONGINGS of her heart.” What the description doesn’t tell you is the heartwarming way Priscilla and her husband-in-name-only, Dr. Eli Ernest grow to care for each other as they travel across the country to work with the Nez Perce Indians out West. The description of the their travels and the hardships they endure makes you realize how difficult it must have been for the first woman to make that journey (and this story is written based upon a true life story of the first woman to make this journey, as the author mentions at the back of the book).Mabel became a true friend in this story and she reminded Priscilla that God will give us the strength we need. When we are weak, then He is strong.
Priscilla does come to realize that though she thought she was the perfect missionary, she had come to understand that her piety, commitment, youth and education didn’t matter in the harsh wilderness she found herself in. The harshness of the trip let her see the true her; her selfishness, her self-pity and her pride.
I just fell in love with Priscilla and her determination and unrelenting spirit despite her setbacks in life, which were many. She had to give up her dream of having children, her dream of going to India, and her dream of marrying for love were just a few. But she endures and seeks to encourage others. Dr. Eli Ernest is also a man you will learn to appreciate, though at first he comes across as rather abrupt and uncaring, but he starts to see Priscilla for the special woman she really is. The way these two people come to care for each other at times just made me tingle all over, waiting for them to acknowledge their true feelings to themselves and then to each other. This is an author I have read before and enjoyed her work, but this story I think will be up there as one of her very best. It is a story of hardships and hope, of love and desire and a story that will make you glad you picked it up and read it. A big thumbs up for this author and her story.
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (September 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0764208330
ISBN-13: 978-0764208331

Monday, November 21, 2011


This was just like watching a funny and romantic "chick flick". It had alot to say about those who sleepwalk, who knew this affected so many people. I had a good time reading this story. Of all the things Suze should be remembered for (her work with animal rescue, her master's degree, or her volunteer mission work for her church) she is most known for her chronic sleep walking by her family and friends. And some of her excursions while sleeping tend to be very funny. During a business trip she meets sleep disorder specialist David Grant - while she in on one of her sleepwalking excursions. He tries to get her to seek help, but she has "tried it all before". Her "terror twin" nephews, her rescued needy animals and her trying to keep it all together make for a great fun, and romantic experience. It is a quick read and makes me smile just thinking about the story after I have finished it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This was a very well written story, but not my favorite kind of book, hence the lower rating. It is a story written through the eyes of Reuben Land, an 11 year old boy born with asthmatic problems. He has a younger sister Swede, who loves everything western, a Dad who is known by his son to accomplish miracles at times, and an older brother, Davy who has killed 2 people and who ends up running from the law. It is a story of love, loyalty, strong family ties, faith, miracles and a hope that their family will all get back together again. The writing style was very well done and I did like the story and the way it was told. It was just not my usual genre of book.

Monday, November 14, 2011

RACE AGAINST TIME by Kimberley and Kayly R. Woodhouse

This Mother/Daughter writing duo does another great job of writing an action-packed, fast paced story. I like the way these two write, and especially like how each main character in the book is given there own unique perspective on the story with the date and time always given. It seems to keep the story really moving along and helps you to understand each character better.

This story is based around the teenager Zoya and her Mom Anesia, who is a breeder of champoin racing dogs. Their best friends Jenna, Andie and now Cole (who you would have met if you read their first book "No Safe Haven") are also very much a part of this story. Zoya witnesses a murder while she is out racing her dogs in North Pole, Alaska and finds herself now thrown into danger now that someone is out to silence her. She finds herself doubting a God who could let so many bad things happen to her. Sean Connelly is a new employee at the kennel and quickly discovers he is out to protect Zoya and her Mom because they are very special to him. When Zoya takes off to protect her Mom from danger, Anesia and Sean both race against time to find her. A story of anger and forgiveness with some tough questions and insights on "does God really care".

This book had alot of suspense and a very tender romantic side to it. I loved the Alasken setting and also got a kick out of how they named each litter of dogs they owned. It was a book you will find yourself wanting to read from beginning to end without stopping. It is another big hit and although you could read it as a stand alone, I highly recommend you read their first book before this one, because it will make Race Against Time all that more interesting and easy to understand.
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Books; Original edition (November 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1433671174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433671173
  • Thursday, November 10, 2011

    LADY OF MILKWEED MANOR by Julie Klassen

    This was a story that brought a wide span of different emotions from me. The story line for me had a slow start, but the more I read, the more the story grew on me and I found near the end of the book I didn't want to put the book down until I saw how it would end (and I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but trust me it is worth reading to the very last page!). I really wasn't sure what was going to happen to Charlotte Lamb, the main character in this story. She went through a great deal yet it didn't change the person she was. I also had to stop and search the end of the book to see if the author would validate some of the things folks did during the time period this was written, because some of it was hard to comprehend.

    Charlotte Lamb was raised as a proper vicar's daughter, but when she makes a mistake one night with a man, she finds herself shunned by her family and forced to go into hiding in London's "Milkweed Manor", a place for unwed mothers. There she finds a doctor she once knew when she was young and he too has secrets he is hiding. Both of them are determined to protect the ones they love even if it means a huge sacrifice on their part. You will come to appreciate Charlotte and her strong yet gentle character. I found myself really not sure how the author was going to end this story and at one brief point felt my eyes tearing up, thinking how the ending was going to turn out. This was a good "drama" filled with details of what some women in Regency England endured at that time. A real eye-opener and it does have a very good romantic twist to it. I enjoyed reading this story and give high praise to the good job Julie Klassen did.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    RENEGADE HEARTS by Anne Patrick

    This was just a feel good romantic read with plenty of characters in it you get to know and appreciate, even though some are a little difficult at times. Jenny has lost her husband in a tragic accident 2 years ago and her son Zach has become her "very reason for existence. When she had wanted to shut out the world and wallow in her own self-pity, Zach was the reason she had forced herself out of bed each morning." She is now running their 1200 acre cattle ranch, the Hazy Holloway. It is their home, their future and she will do whatever it takes to make it work. She has Buddy her right hand man on the ranch and Tommy but she needs more help. So Buddy encourages her to hire his son, Gil, who is back from the war and needs to come home and make himself useful. So let the romance begin. Jenny can be pretty "hard-nosed" when it comes to being in charge and she has no interest in falling in love. Gil is a handy man to have around and hits it off big time with Zach, but he must tread very slowly with Jenny. Then there Jenny's Dad who comes to live with them and also the break-in at the ranch, and it just makes the dynamics of the story all that much more interesting. This was a book that was just a pleasure to read and for me, very relaxing. Ann Patrick is an author that you know you are going to enjoy every time you pick up one of her books.
    I was not a big fan of the cover of this story. It is a little picky I guess but Jenny would fight to the end before she would be caught in a dress, and I just didn't think the characters on the front fit my view of these two people. Oh well, you can't please everyone all the time now can you?
    Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (September 13, 2011)
    ISBN: 978-161252-081-0

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    A RELUCTANT QUEEN by Joan Wolf

    This is an endearing love story of a young girl who unwillingly becomes a queen. It is written as a work of fiction, even though the story line is from the true story of Queen Esther in the book of Esther in the Bible. The author states at the end of the book, "Where the Bible story and the novel come together is in the underlying premise. God has a plan for the world, and He works His plan through the actions of humans. The big question is, will we allow God to work through us?"

    This was a very well written story, but I had a hard time distancing myself from the true story in the Bible. I kept thinking to myself that this or that didn't happen that way, or that the author left this out of the story, or I don't think it happened like that. It was not the author's problem, it was mine. She didn't try to stick to all the facts, she just wrote a love story and used the book of Esther as her seed from which the story grew. As long as you can read it as a purely fictional love story then you will enjoy this book a great deal.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    BEYOND BASEBALL by Carie Lawson

    I knew when I started reading this book it would be good, because I have read the first three in this series by Carie Lawson and they were all a "home run". This one did not disappoint me. Jude McCord is a baseball player with an injury he is recovering from and finds himself taking on the job as a police officer while his shoulder heals. He first meets up with Isabelle Winters when he pulls her over for speeding. He later finds out she is his long time friend and partner's grand-daughter, who he doesn't think very highly of. Which is okay because she doesn't think very highly of him at first. But they end up working together on Jude's dream of building a baseball camp to help teach kids the basics, and learning that both of them were wrong in their initial opinion of each other.

    I wish there could be more men out there like Jude McCord. He was a man with a personality that drew people to him, a person with respect and love for his elders, who didn't think more highly of himself that he ought to think, who had personal convictions and stood by them even when it would have been easy to give in to the moment. I just thought he was a "knight in shining armor" in this story. The way Isabelle grew to understand and know him was fun and endearing and I just enjoyed myself all the way through the book. This is just a great series and I say "well done!" to Carie Lawson. You can read this book by itself, but I must encourage you to read the whole series because you will fall in love with the rest of the McCord family.