Friday, November 30, 2012

THE BREATH OF DAWN by Kristen Heitzmann

This book is labeled as a "fast-paced and complex love story" and I would have to agree.  It is the third book in the series and as with most books you can read it as a stand alone, BUT I wouldn't recommend it.  I had just finished book two, "The Still of Night", and then began this story and let me just say, I was totally stunned by how the author started this story! 

Morgan Spencer is pouring his life into his little girl, Livie, and trying to just get through another day since his wife Jill was killed in an auto accident.  Quinn Reilly is a young lady who has been living her life and hiding herself away so the man she put in prison can never find her when he gets out.  Through a chance meeting these two people will find themselves on a roller coaster ride of romance and suspense all thrown together.
I just can't seem to find anything wrong with Morgan Spencer.  He is just an all around great guy who knows what he wants and usually gets it.  Their "love" story was a joy to read.  I enjoyed the first half of this story more than the last half.  It was all good, but the whole sordid story centered around Quinn's family and the man who is out to do her harm, along with the "evil" house was a little too creepy for me. 

All in all it was a great series of books that I would highly recommend.  Kristen Heitzmann wrote a great series with "endearing characters" and "exciting plots" and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this whole series.
I want to thank Bethany House (through Net Galley and through LibraryThing) for giving me this book for my honest review.
Paperback: 437 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (November 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0764210424
ISBN-13: 978-0764210426

Monday, November 26, 2012

This story is a very tender hearted look at how a young girl, who is dying of a cruel disease can take  heartache and sorrow and turn it into love and forgiveness for two very special people in her life.   I loved this girl's testimony for her Lord throughout this story and shed tears near the end of this book.  Although you can read this as a stand alone, to really understand all the characters in this story I highly recommend you read "A Rush of Wings" first.
Morgan Spencer in a man who seems to have it all in life; money,  a highly successful career, a family who is always there for him, and a heart that seeks to help others.  But one thing he thinks he can never have is the child his "one true love"  aborted 15 years ago.  His anger over this seems to be his driving force in life.  Jill Runyan is the girl he has always loved, but who he can never forgive for what she did.  The problem is, through circumstances you will have to read about, she never did abort the child but gave it up for adoption.  Now "their" child needs them for a bone marrow transplant in order to live.  This will bring Jill and Morgan back together to save a child's life they have always loved, but never have gotten to know.  It is an emotional struggle for all involved.
I was very taken with the feelings that Jill and Morgan still had for each other after all the years apart.  I also appreciated the tender love they had for their child, even though they had nothing to do with her upbringing.  This was a very moving and tender love story and it was hard to put down and walk away from, because I wanted to know how it would end.  I would highly recommend this series of stories, and I haven't even read the third book yet (but I am going to start book 3 "The Breath of Dawn" as soon as I finish here).  Good job Kristen Heitzmann!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This story dealt with people you learned to love, even though they made mistakes, had problems and fought the truth.  There is a tender romance story in this book, but it is to me, much more than a romantic fiction story , but a story of people searching for the truth, some searching in the wrong places and some searching in the right places, but who still fail to make the right desicions.  But the encouraging part is that even when we fail or turn our backs on God, He is still faithful and will never turn His back on His own.  I truly enjoyed  the message behind this story, and how the author dealt with the age old question of why does God allow bad things to happen to good people.
Noelle St. Claire finds herself fleeing a danger that she can't quite remember all the details.  She finds herself arriving at the Rocky Mountain horse ranch owned by Rick Spencer and his brother Morgan.  Noelle is beautiful, very vulnerable and has secrets she just can't seem to trust anyone with.  The two brothers, who are opposites in many ways, try to bring her out of her shell and help her, but Noelle has alot of fears and can't quite figure out if they are real or imagined.  Both brothers have different ways of trying to help Noelle, but only one will truly win her heart.  In the process though, will he also lose his "first love"?
This was not one of those books that I couldn't put down until I read what would happen next.  It wasn't a fast paced story, but by the end I  realized how well this story was put together and how much I enjoyed growing along with these characters and when they felt their failures, I felt for them in a very real way.   I look forward to reading more about one of the Spencer brothers in "The Still of Night".

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Warren Wiersbe writes an easy to understand book about Satan and the strategy he uses in the world today.  He backs up his thoughts with scripture, which is always a plus.  He starts his book by using key characters in the Bible and showing us how Satan works as a deceiver, a destroyer, a ruler and an accuser in people's lives.  He finishes his book showing us how to live by faith in God, giving us things to look for in our lives and in our churches where Satan can have an influence, and how to fight against him using our spiritual warfare.  I took lots of notes and have reviewed them and have a wealth of practical knowlege that I need to remember and use in my everyday life.  Satan is alive and well and working, but I need not fear because I have the power of my triune God who goes before me, beside me and behind me.  But I do need to be on my guard against "The Strategy of Satan".  A book I highly recommend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This was four delightful romantic stories about 4 Ozark Mountain brothers who don't go looking for love, but find it nonetheless.  I liked all four stories and as the family grew, so did the fun and enjoyment.
Cade the oldest brother is trying hard to run a ranch for troubled boys and keep his mind off Annalisa, who is helping him at the ranch, but for ulterior motives.  She if hoping she can get Cade to help her find her long lost sister, since he also runs an investigating company.
Senator Holt McFadden is the second brother in the family and he is smitten with Megan Watson and her daughter, but Megan has an ugly past and she can't let her past ruin Holt's career.
Clint McFadden is the next brother.  He has left his job as a firefighter and finds himself rescueing Jessa Sykes from her home being engulfed in flames.  Clint now has to face his fear of fire and face the fact he is falling for Jessa.
Jake is the youngest McFaddon brother and he finds himself saving stranded Brandi Delaney from a flood that has swept her car away.  Having known each other for one year in high school, which didn't go well, they are back face to face and have to figure out why there is such a dislike for each other.
I enjoyed reading each story.  They were short and easy to read, but you felt like each story was well developed and finished well.  Each story emphasized the importance of having a right relationship with the Lord and how He can work things out for good.

Friday, November 9, 2012

If you want a quick, cozy romance, then I suggest you curl up on the couch and read this book (especially if there is snow falling outside).  It is a warm and cozy romance that takes place mainly at Jenny Collin's house when some folks at Dry Creek get rodeo champion Zach Lucas to deliver Jenny's mail to her and gets stuck in a snowstorm while he is there.  Okay, so you know how this is all going to end, but you will enjoy watching it happen.  There are two little kids in this story and they steal Zach's heart, as does their Mom.  Zach isn't use to a home and being in one place long, or spending Christmas with a family so it is fun to watch how special this time is with the Collins family for Zach, as they are all snowbound together.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This story finally dealt with two people in Dry Creek who I have been waiting to read how their lives would interact again.  They are spoken of in many of the other stories in this series and I knew eventually the author would have to put a conclusion to Duane and Linda's relationship.

Duane and Linda originally started up the one and only cafe in Dry Creek, but then Duane left town to pursue his music career.  Duane eventaully proposed marriage to Linda but Linda had a little sister to care for and Duane's new lifestyle was not how Linda wanted to live.  So years go by and now Duane is back in Dry Creek, trying to rest and heal his voice.  So starts the slow process of healing hearts and bringing these two back together.  This was a tender love story of two hearts that never stopped caring for one another.

Monday, November 5, 2012

An excellent story with unexpected twists and turns, especially near the end!  It was a story of what happens when a good marraige gets "ugly" and of how having the Lord to lean on can change the course of things.  This story was about real people to me and real struggles they were going through.

Tony and Linda had what they thought was the perfect marriage.  They loved each other, they had two adorable little ones and were making it in the work-a-day world.  But what Linda wasn't counting on was the interference of her mother-in-law in their life and the way Tony let his mother "rule the roost".  When their marraige is stretched to the limit, an unexpected tragedy occurs and God is able to work it out for their good and His glory.  This was a book that touched my heart and will stay with me for quite awhile.  It is a tender love story between husband and wife, but also between God and his children.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Another enjoyable story in the Dry Creek Series.  Les Wilkerson is the Deputy Sheriff who has to figure out an unusual theft in their small town.  The problem is, the suspicion lies with a new family who just moved in, Marla Gossett and her two kids.  Marla moved her family to Dry Creek hoping to give them a "safe haven" from the city and from her oldest, Sammy, getting involved in the gangs.  Les would like to get to know Marla in a more personal way, but he has to guard his heart in case this family is mixed up in drugs, gangs and stealing.  The whole town comes together once again and you find yourself loving the folks in Dry Creek, Montana.

This was an easy and quick read.  It had a good lesson on not prejudging people and loving folks where they are and excepting them for who they are.  Could be read as a stand alone, but you miss out on getting to know the town folks by not reading the books in the order they were written.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I am enjoying this Dry Creek Series and this is another fun to read story in this series. Doris June Hargrove and Curt Nelson tried to elope 25 years ago and crashed their truck into the only stop sign in Dry Creek on their way out of town. This led to to their parents keeping them apart. Now, after 25 years, Mrs. Hargrove and and Curt's Dad, Charley, want to try and fix their children's lives once again by getting them back together again. But since neither Doris June or Curt have really talked in 25 years, it is an uphill battle, but fun to watch and read about.

Mrs. Hargrove and Charley are folks you really get to know as you read this series. So if this is a book you are reading as a stand alone, you will miss out alot on getting to know these two folks. It was a story of forgiveness and letting go, of admitting mistakes and loving others through those mistakes.

As a side note, I also liked the whole tourist attraction idea presented in this book for small towns who need help with attracting tourists. It was called the "Stop at One-Stop-Sign Towns in Southern Montana" and each town listed reasons or history or stories that would attract people to stop in and see their small town. It was a cute idea.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The author writes in her letter at the end of the book, "My goal has been to write timeless stories of lasting values, I want to preserve our culture and history and the beauty of our landscape, but most of all I like to reflect the southerner's love of God, country, family and fellowman."  This is my first book by this author and I must say she hit her goal.  You got alot of attention to detail and descriptions of the culture and history of the South; sometimes maybe a little too much for my personal interest.  I did enjoy the story, but didn't fall in love with the story.

The story takes place in Eufula, Alabama, a small town where the steamboats come through to deliver people and merchandise to the town.  It is a time when parents and society determines who you can and cannot marry.

 Lily would be considered a "southern belle".  She finds herself instantly attracted to a steamboat captain, Harrison Wingate, but her parents have determined she will marry some else, someone she does not love.  So the conflict begins.  I felt I learned alot about the deep South, but didn't learn as much about the characters in this story.  There were times when I was very captivated by the story and other times I was just reading to get to the next "good part".  There are 5 stories in this series and I would probably read the others if and when they come across my path.  I would certainly like to see what happens to Emma, a good friend of Lily in this story.