Sunday, July 29, 2012


Vaden Valmont is a young adventurous lady who sees the good in people and loves life. Ransom Lake is a recluse who lives in the mountains and has little interest in people. But Ransom wasn't counting on running into Vaden. Together they both will experience the passion and joy of each other, but also the heartache they each will bring to one another. They both feel the passion (and trust me there was alot of good passionate scenes), but neither one can verbally commit to each other by admitting their love for one another. But when tragedy strikes one of them, their true feelings for each other will finally come forth.

I enjoyed the story and once again Marcia McClure does a great job of writing a romantic tale and is always good in the romance department, without ever going 'to far' in her passionate scenes (at least in the stories I have read so far). This is a clean romance, with the main character, Ransom, who is handsome, tender and protective and full of passion. What is not to like about a guy like that.

Friday, July 27, 2012

FIRESTORM by Jeanette Windle

Any book that is over 600 pages long and can continually keep me in suspense and wanting to keep turning the pages is a great book in my opinion. Jeanette Windle does another excellent job of writing a story that seems so true to life, with alot of suspense, danger, and intrigue. As one reviewer so adequately stated, 'she tells a credible gripping story'. This is easily a stand alone story, but there is a book one, Crossfire, which tells you how Sara's troubles all began.

Sara has survived escaping the Cortez drug empire which she unknowingly married into (what book one was all about). Special agent, Doug Bradford, is the one who rescued her and would like to continue to take care of her now that she is back safe in Miami. But Sara feels she needs to stand on her own for awhile, so she sort of walks away from a promising relationship. But trouble follows both Sara and Doug and there are people who want them both dead. So once again, they both will need to trust each other. Doug will come up missing and Sara will be the one to come to the rescue this time. There are many dangers to endure, but also many valuable lessons to learn.

I loved the message throughout this book and Doug said it well, "real faith isn't believing that God's going to make everything turn out with a fairy-tale ending. It's believing in God's goodness and love, even if it means going through the valley of death all the way to the bitter end and out the other side." I also liked the Psalm 91 verses they kept going back to (which is too long to print here, but trust me when I say is really has verses to claim and cling to when you have someone you love doing a dangerous job). Then there is the phrase Sara kept claiming, "safety is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God". The story was not "preachy" at all, but it did weave into the lives of these folks the importance of relying upon the promises of God. You will find yourself in the jungles of Paraguay and from Miami to Washington in the USA and as you are flying across the country, you will find yourself flying across the pages of the book so you can see what will happen next. Another great job Jeanette Windle!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Bonnie Blythe is just a great Christian romance writer. I always enjoy myself when reading her books. In this story, which is book 2 in her Oregon in Love Series, Julia Wilcox finds herself recovering from a bad car accident at her brother and sister-in-law's B and B in Oregon (you meet them in book 1-"Restorations"). She is weary and a little dissatisfied with her life and wakes up most days wondering how she can "muster the energy to accomplish anything at all".

Marc Dorin is a teacher at a Portland college, wishing he could support himself "strictly by freelance, leaving the noise and frenetic pace of city life behind". Both Marc and Julia needed to remind themselves that God is in control of their future.

I loved the way this book started, with Marc having a very bad day and things just seemed to get worse and worse for him, including his first encounter with Julia at the Bed and Breakfast. It was kind of funny. The chemistry between Julia and Marc was definately there, they just needed to work on the commitment issues and their communication skills a little. It was a thoroughly enjoyable story, but then Bonnie Blythe's books usually are! If you want to curl up with a good Christian romance, then I suggest you try Lights and Shadows. Although this is book 2, you can easily read it as a stand alone, although I aways recommend you read them in the order they were written (#1-Restorations, #2-Lights and Shadows, #3-Milagro for Miranda).

Usually this is where you thank a publisher or author for sending you this book to read for your honest review. Well I want to thank a great book-reading-buddy, Sherry K. for letting me borrow another one of her books to read. It is great having a friend who loves reading as much as me and who watches out for good stories and shares them with me!
You can check out Bonnie's other books on her website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LOVE IS GRAND by Annalisa Daughety

This is book 3 and the final book in the "A Walk in the Park" series by Annalisa Daughety. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my 'walk in the park' with each new story I read in this series. I liked the fact that they were each at different historical national landmarks and were tied together by three special girlfriends who worked as Park Rangers at each location, and who had to depend on each other and in their faith to help them through difficult times.

In this final story Ainsley Davis, whose husband unexpectedly died 2 years ago, is left raising her baby, Faith, alone and is trying to get over her unexplainable fears. She has finally decided to leave her parent's home and return to her job as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon. Now she just needs to face her fears, and she has two nice men who want to help her; fellow ranger Dustin Cooper, who has known Ainsley for years and whose friendship is special, and police officer-on-leave-of-absence, Jake McGuire, who wants to protect her from all her fears. Both men are likeable, but only one will win Ainsley and her daughter Faith's heart. Can someone who has loved and lost really love again? Ainsley will find that even the second time around, "love is grand"!

I found myself always feeling refreshed after reading each of these stories. The author always does a good job setting up a nice romantic ending that makes you smile and your heart go "pitter-patter". I also enjoyed reading this story because of the places at the Grand Canyon that I have been to and could understand the awesomeness that the people in the story experienced when they would stand at different places along the rim of the canyon and on the trails. It really is a breathtaking place to visit. This is a series I hope someday to "walk" back through again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

LOVE IS MONUMENTAL by Annalisa Daughety

The author, Annalisa Daughety, really knows how to right a relaxing and enjoyable romance series, which I think would make a great "chic flic" movie. In book two (which you can read as a stand alone, but I recommend you read book one first), park ranger Vickie Harris is working in Washington D.C.. She loves her job working at the different monuments, but her personal life is pretty much non-existent. She makes a promise to her girlfriends (other park rangers you will get to know by reading book one), that she will ask the next eligible man she meets out on a date. Enter Professor Thatcher Torrey who needs an assistant to help him on a research project about Lincoln. He listens to Vickie give her presentation at the Lincoln Memorial and asks her if she would like to go out for a meal with him. Vickie is thinking it is a date, he is thinking it is for business only and therein is their first misunderstanding. Vickie can't read Thatcher's intentions and he can't seem to make his real feelings known. Then throw in a surprise for both of them and things get even more interesting. But once again this author brings about a great romantic ending that just makes you go "AHHHhhhhh" at the end!

I thoroughly enjoyed myself in this story. It is just a "feel good" type story showing how opposites do attract to each other and can find that love is monumental for each of them. This series also shows the special bond these girlfriends have with each other and I liked the way the author keeps you up to date with what is going on with each of the other two friends (that you will read more about in book 1, "Love is a Battlefied" and book 3, "Love is Grand"). Sit back, relax, and enjoy a great romantic story with a great romantic ending. Way to go Thatcher!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

COMING HOME by Karen Kingsbury

This is a very hard story for me to critique. It is the final chapter on the Baxter family series. They were all great stories, but I am not sure I would have ended it the way Karen Kingsbury did. Was it well written - YES. Would I have put a tragedy in story like she did - NO. There is a heartwrenching tragedy in this story and although the family brings it all together in a way that glorifies their great God, I still wish it hadn't ended the way it did. I sometimes cry during emotional stories, but this one had me crying so hard I had to stop and get my act together before I continued to read. This is not the way I wanted the last book to end, but it is the way Karen Kingsbury chose to end it and she did a fantastic job of showing how ones faith and trust in the Lord will see them through even the most difficult times in their lifes. I hope and pray I never have to endure what this family went through, but I also hope and pray that my life would hope and trust in the Lord as theirs did when bad things happen.

As Ashley in this story reminded me, "Good and bad times were a part of life. As her dad always said: 'This too shall pass.' And through the years that had been true. Nothing stayed the same, except this: God's faithfulness, and the love they had for each other." And as God's Word also reminds me, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23). I will walk away from this series with a great appreciation for the Baxter family and an even greater appreciation for my Lord.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SOMEONE TO BELONG TO by Melody Carlson

This is the last book in the Whispering Pines series and it is kind of sad to leave this town behind and move on. The people in this series were warm and inviting, and although everyone has issues they need to deal with, people could look past most of them and become a type of town everyone would want to live in. In this last book Maggie and Jed have found true love and are planning their springtime wedding. But Jed's former flame has come back into town and Maggie must trust Jed and his love for her and come to accept Amber and get to know her for who she is today.

There were many difficulties to overcome in this book and the author handled each one of them very well. There is the trust and confrontation of a parent with a child, the difficult issue of cancer, and the need to forgive when someone threatens your life. I found myself shedding a few tears in this story, but in the end the author brought this book to a conclusion that was very satisfying and enjoyable. Not everyone or everything had closure to it, but you know these folks will continue to deal with problems as they arise and move forward, to make Pine Mountain, Oregon a town anyone would love to live in. It was a series I enjoyed and maybe someday I will revisit the town again. As the back of the book states, "Curl up with Someone to Belong To and discover the wonderful hand of the Father who guides each life into fullness and blessing."

Monday, July 9, 2012


This is book 3 in the Whispering Pines series and so far it is my favorite! These are uplifting stories, quick to read and makes you wish you could visit Pine Mountain, Oregon. In this book Maggie Carpenter and Jed Whitewater's romantic feelings for each other finally come to a conclusion, and you have to read the story to find out what the conclusion is. The town is once again fighting to stay alive and hoping for snow so the ski resorts will open. There is tension in town over a condominium development that some believe is not all it claims to be.

I am impressed by the how the author makes you feel right at home in this town and with these people. In my mind I can walk the streets, see the mountains and feel the crisp air. It is a nice place to go and get away for awhile and I am looking forward to reading the last book in the series next and seeing how the author closes out these stories. This is a series you really need to read in the order they were written. Each book takes place in a different season in Pine Mountain. Book 1 was in the summer, book 2 in the fall, book 3 in the winter and the final book in the spring!

Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (July 1, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0736900632
ISBN-13: 978-0736900638
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches

Thursday, July 5, 2012


This is book 2 in the Whispering Pines series. I highly recommend you read these stories in the order they were written. The characters from book one pick right up in this story set around the town of Pine Mountain, Oregon. This story centers around Maggie Carpenter and her son, Spencer, and around the young lady Spencer finds in the woods out back of their home. She is a runaway teenage girl, Leah, who is searching for her biological father, who she believes is living in Pine Mountain. Maggie and Spencer take her in and she easily becomes a part of their family. The story isn't just about them though, there are so many other characters in the town that this book is about. It is about a boy growing up and a Mom learning how to handle him and his friends. About learning to know a person and not judging someone by their outward appearance. About friendship and possibly a spark of romance.

I am finding this series of books quick and enjoyable stories of a town with imperfect people who all have issues they need to deal with, but where love and forgiveness can go a long way in making relationships stay strong. I am looking forward to finishing this series by reading the last two books in this series. Pine Mountain is a nice place to visit and I recommend this series to anyone who wants to get away and enjoy this delightful town.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A PLACE TO COME HOME TO by Melody Carlson

This was a relaxing and enjoyable story. A story of a town, Pine Mountain, Oregon, and the people there who attempt to save their town. Maggie Carpenter is a news reporter from LA who decides to move to Pine Mountain with her son and take a "dream job in a dream location". She soon discovers a dying town with real potential and tries to help the townfolks bring business back to their town. It isn't easy and obstacles get in the way, but good does prevail.

This was a heartwarming story about a town I would love to visit, vacation or retire in. There was a hint of romance in the story, with the promise of more as you continue to read the books in this series. I just enjoyed myself as I read about this town and look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. It is a curl up on the couch and just relax and enjoy story.

Monday, July 2, 2012

LEVI'S WILL by W. Dale Cramer

For me, this was an in-depth look of a prodigal son returning to the Old Order Amish and the real difficulties that he must face. It was almost like a diary of Will Mullet, who ran away from his Amish way of life and become an Englisher. The way this was written seemed so real and so sad in many different levels. A boy leaves home, becomes a man and strives to make sense of his life. It was not a happily ever after story, but filled with sorrow and pain, but I loved the way forgiveness was shown by Will and how that freed him from the guilt of his past. I thought the book was summed up with Will's realization that, "No man could keep the Law; his only hope lay in the grace of God. The wrong Will had done and all the roots that had grown from it, all the lies had told and all the harm that had come to those he loved because of it, all of it was covered by the grace of God." This was my first book by this author and I thought he wrote a story that seemed so real that it shouldn't be in the fiction section.