Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A LIGHT IN THE WINDOW by Julie Lessman

Julie Lessman has done it again.  She has written another 5 star book!  I am a big fan of this author.  This book tells the story of Marcy and Patrick O'Connor, who are the parents of the children in the great  "Daughters of Boston" series.  It was full of romance, but also of heartache and staying true to what you know is right and good, even if your emotions want to lead you down the wrong path.  A story of two different families and how one young lady needed to see the value of the family she grew up in and the faults of the one she longed to be a part of.

Marcy and her family have come back to Boston after having moved away.  Marcy, while away, has seen first hand how a handsome "rogue" can break hearts and she wants nothing do with them.  Except maybe for her best friend Julie's brother Sam, who she has secretly loved from afar while she was growing up.  But Sam's "partner in crime", Patrick, is a man she wants nothing to do with or trust.  When Sam and Patrick make a wager to win Marcy's heart the games begin.  The problem is, one young man truly does love Marcy with all his heart, while the other isn't quite as "in love" with her as he seems.  Can a person really change his ways and become a godly young man for the love of a good woman?  Just read the book and you will see the answer for yourself.

This story was great.  It took you to Boston, made you feel a part of the families in this story and a part of the Parish and the times in which they were written.  For me it was a hard story to put down until I finished it.  So snuggle up, save yourself some quality "couch" time and enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

THE PARKERSTOWN DELEGATE and other stories by Grace Livingston Hill

This book had 3 short stories in it, about 50 pages each.  The first story was about a young boy who is bedridden and how a young lady helps him start a "Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor" in his home and makes him feel a part of something that has meaning to his dreary invalid life.  The second story was quite different from any I have read.  It was "A Chautauqua Idyl" and it was how nature (the trees, wind, rivers, birds, fish, flowers, etc.) all came together and sought to start a "conference" like they had seen humans do at Chautauqua.  It really was quite nice to read the conversations the wind would have with the birds, or the trees had with the river.  They tried to figure out what a lot of words meant that the humans used and it was enjoyable to read.  The third story was "A Little Servant" and it was a precious story of how a little girl comes to make the gardener, who feels as if he has no purpose in life, come to see his importance in the life of this little girl.  She makes him feel important and helps him find a purpose and reason for living.  Although it has a somewhat sad ending, it was a precious story between a little girl who made a big different in the life of one man.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This is book 3 in the "Finders, Inc." series and all 3 stories have been really good.  Lois Richer takes you to many interesting places where you get to see the world without leaving your home.  You also get try to solve the mystery in each story.  If you like traveling, mystery and romance, then you will definitely enjoy this series.

In this story Callie Merton, one of Finders, Inc. employees, is on an assignment in Alaska.  What she wasn't expecting, was to run into her husband, Max Chambers.  Callie hasn't seen Max for quite sometime and has requested a divorce from him.  But Max isn't about to give up on their marriage yet, so when Callie asks for his help he jumps at the chance to spend some time with her and try to figure out what secrets Callie is keeping from him and the reason she wants a divorce.  In this story you will travel by boat and over land in the snow.  You will also have to figure who is following Callie and Max and why they are in such danger.

There is alot Callie has kept back from her husband during their marriage and it will take alot of patience for Max to uncover the truth.  When he does he will need an extra measure of grace to forgive, forget and love unconditionally.  I really appreciated Max's words to Callie when talking about his past and how he got to where he was in his Christian walk in life.  "Either God is who He says He is and He knows exactly what He's doing here, or the Bible and everything else you've believed in for all these years is a lie.  You'd better decide which and make up your mind to stick with that decision no matter what happens."  "Faith isn't something you can put down and pick up again when you need it.  Faith in God means believing in His love despite all the the evidence to the contrary.  The one thing I hang on to now is the fact that God loves me.  Nothing else much matters."  Good advice for us all.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SILENT ENEMY by Lois Richer

This is book two in the Finders, Inc. series and was full of mystery, intrigue, danger, travel and romance.  There were so many "bad guys" in this story that I had a hard time keeping track of all of them and the ending tied everything together very well.  You could read this as a stand alone in this series, but I would recommend you read them in order, so you can better understand all about the company, "Finders, Inc.", and the people who work there.

In this story Samantha Henderson has an assignment to track down a stolen statute, which will take her to the Peruvian jungle.  She finds herself needing some help and so Daniel McCullough, who helps run the business, gets out from behind his desk job and gets back out on the field to help Samantha.  These two don't seem to get along very well, but working together forces them to try to get along.  Then they end up on a cruise ship disguised as a married couple, and things start to get interesting in the romance department.  But there are alot of people who seem to want something from them and they aren't sure what it is these people think they have.  The mystery will finally be revealed at the end.  Until then, sit back and enjoy the scenery as you travel to many interesting sights, and enjoy trying to figure out who is after what and why.  A good story if you like a little intrigue and alot of mystery.

Monday, February 18, 2013

SECRETS of the ROSE by Lois Richer

If you want to read a great mystery story that leaves you guessing throughout the book as to "who did it", then this is definitely one to pick up and enjoy!  The notes on the author at the beginning say "her passion is to create tales of personal struggle that lead to triumph over life's rocky road.  For Lois, a happy ending is essential."  Well, she certainly fulfilled her passion in this book.  Can't wait to begin book two in this series, "Silent Enemy".

Shelby Kinkaid lost her husband 10 months ago in a mysterious accident at their workplace, "Finders, Inc.".  Now she is trying to put her life back together and raise her little girl, Aimee.  But the intrigue starts with the beginning pages, when someone comes into her home and  kidnaps her little girl.  Now "Finders, Inc" must try to find out who and why she was taken.  But Shelby is having a hard time knowing who she can trust.  There are 3 men who want to help her, two from the work place and one a neighbor, but they all are suspects in Shelby's eyes, for very good reasons.  Shelby will have to learn to trust.  Not just in people, but in her God.  This book showed how God can and will work everything out for His good.  One of my favorite thoughts from this book is, "Trust is learning that God does what is best, that whatever happens He will work it out to benefit us.  Maybe not in the way that we think, but to our benefit.  Trust is staying strong in the knowledge that He loves us enough to let us hurt sometimes.  Trust is saying, 'I don't know what You have planned, God, but whatever it is, whatever happens, I'll still trust that You know best.' "  I found myself taking this to heart as there are tough times going on in my life right now.

For those "romantics" out there, never fear, there is a very good romance story weaved into this mystery!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

HEARTS KEY by Marianne Evans

This was one of those stories that was hard to put down until I finished it!  The beginning chapter just grabs you and you keep reading to see what will happen in the  life of Amy Maxwell and her precious and adorable daughter, Pyper.  This is book four in the Woodland Series and you can read it as a stand alone, but I highly recommend you read them all, as Amy is a character you get to know in one of the other books.

Amy used to be the life of the party, until she picked the wrong man and the wrong reason to marry.  Now she has escaped an abusive marriage with nothing to her name, except for her daughter Pyper.  She ends up back in her home town, trying to get her life together.  Tyler Brock is a up and coming Christian singer who comes back home for a benefit concert.  Amy and Brock grew up together in their youth group at church and Tyler has always loved her from afar.  Has God given them both a second chance?

What a story filled with characters who seem true to life.  What sadness when we make wrong decisions in life, but what forgiveness we can find from the Father.  Pyper was a little girl who had bad things happen, and she had to learn to trust men again.  But she also had the ability to see the blessings in her life instead of all the darkness.  This was an endearing story of love, trust and waiting on God.  What is not to like about Tyler.  He was one in a million!  A great romantic read that leaves you refreshed and feeling good!

Paperback: 254 pages
Publisher: White Rose Publishing (November 4, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1611160901
ISBN-13: 978-1611160901

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

HEARTS COMMUNION by Marianne Evans

This was an adorable, yet meaningful romance.  It dealt with a very emotional subject of a woman who is not able to bear children and did a great job of making you understand what that woman has to deal with and adjust to as she is around those who are having children.

Monica Kittelski runs a day care center in town and does a great job with the children.  JB Edwards (Jeremy) finds himself instantly attracted to her when he goes to pick up his sick nephew from the day care center.  This instant attraction is felt by both parties and it was fun watching it turn into a deeper relationship, where each was looking out for the interest of the other first.  Jeremy was such an all-around great guy, who had to struggle himself with the idea of not having any of his own children as well.  The loving advice given to Monica by several people was also well done.

This was just an all-around enjoyable story to read.  The cover on this book I think sets the mood of this story; a loving couple who could have fun with each other, but who also had to deal with some very tough decisions in their life.  I also thought the whole adoption dilemma for Monica was a real issue and liked the honesty of her thoughts on why she was hesitant to adopt.  Well done Marianne Evans!

This is book #3 in the Woodland series and can easily be read as a stand alone, although characters from the first two books are a part of this story.  Looking forward to the next book in this series, Hearts Key.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: White Rose Publishing (August 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1611160863
ISBN-13: 978-1611160864

Monday, February 11, 2013

HEARTS SURRENDER by Marianne Evans

This is book two in the Woodland Series.  It can easily be read as a stand alone book, but there are characters from book one, "Hearts Crossing" that are a part of this story.  I personally enjoyed book one better than book 2.  I am a big fan of the author, Marianne Evans, and usually rank her books much higher than this one, but for a couple of reasons, this book just didn't "grab me" like the others.

This was a sweet romance story and showed how two people who cared for one another had to understand that their relationship could work, despite the differences in their backgrounds.  It just takes the heart surrendering to God's hand working in their life.  Pastor Ken Lucerne has lost his wife to cancer several years ago and Kiara Jordan has captured his eye and is beginning to capture his heart.  Kiara has the looks and the "engaging personality", but yearns for someone who will see past her outward traits and appreciate who she is as a person who is deepening her relationship with her Lord.  Ken would like Kiara to see him as not just a Pastor, but a person who has faults and failures just like her.  When Ken and Kiara set off on a week long mission trip they will grow closer together in their love and understanding of one another, but will that be enough for them to commit to a life together forever as man and wife?  As it says on the back of the book, "Can they trust God's hand enough to surrender their hearts to one another . . . forever?"

A well written love story, but I had big issues with Pastor Ken and his getting a beer and hanging out with his friend.  This is not something I could wrap my head around as being something a pastor would or should do.  This probably kept me from enjoying myself  as much as I could have as a reader of this story.  But, I am anxious to read the next two stories in this series!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


                      As it s says on the back of the book, "home is where the heart is" and there are two people who come to find their heart and home in Dawson, Oklahoma in this story.  Although this story is in a series, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything by reading this book first.  In fact, it makes me want to read the others in this series as the Cooper family are folks you just want to get to know.

Reese Cooper is a soldier home from Afghanistan and trying to begin his life all over again after a serious injury in the war.  Cheyenne Jones is a waitress from Las Vegas who appears at the Cooper ranch to see Reese and make sure he is okay.  What the family doesn't know is that Reese married Cheyenne before being shipped overseas to "help her out".  It is a long story and I won't spoil it for anyone, but the chemistry between these two people was very good, they were both what the other needed to get through some very tough times in their lives.  Difficult times may come, but if you have someone who is there for you no matter the circumstances, you can get through anything.  Reese and Cheyenne are living proof of this.

THE BEGINNING by Karen Kingsbury

I read the Karen Kingsbury story, The Bridge, last year and loved it.  So I was excited to get the short story, The Beginning, because it is a prequel to The Bridge.  It was so good to remember Donna and Charlie Barton, the owners of the bookstore called The Bridge.  It  was good  to go back and read how each of them came to find one another, fall in love and start their dream of a bookstore.  This is a very short story, but full of warm memories and precious moments in their life.  Charlie made Donna laugh, I liked that about him; and they both loved to read, so starting a bookstore seemed the right thing to do.  They will suffer a great loss in their marriage, but they were hoping that through the bookstore they could be a part of changing and helping others and that then their pain would start to grow dim.  God would begin to heal them and then use them.  As Charlie prayed that  "the Lord might bring people who needed something to get them from the pain of yesterday to the possibility of tomorrow.  People who needed God and the two of them."  You will also meet Edna from the book The Bridge and see how the scrapbook got started that will tell and show people down through the years how much of a difference The Barton's made in the lifes of so many.  This was so good, it makes me want to get out "The Bridge" and read it all over again!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

SAFE IN HIS ARMS by Colleen Coble

I would label this story a romantic, suspenseful book full of adventure.  Colleen Coble knows how to capture your interest and hold it until the very end.  This is book two in the "Under Texas Stars" series and can easily be read as a stand alone book, but they do have characters from book one in this story.

I really liked the author's note at the beginning and how she could relate to the main character in this story.  I agree with her that women are "indoctrinated from infancy about beauty.  We feel we must be Superwoman and have it all:beauty, brains , and a good work ethic, great with children, a good cook."  And the list doesn't stop there. As the author pointed out, sometimes "it's particularly hard for women to accept the unconditional love God offers".

Margaret is a young lady who is living in Larson, Texas in 1879, and who thinks she is too tall and "more at home with her hands gripping horse reins than a teacup".  But the great thing about Margaret is she knows God sees her as special.  Daniel Cutler, the new foreman at the ranch will also come to see her as special and lovely, but it will take some real trust on Margaret's part to believe Daniel, as he isn't the person he claims to be.

This story just had one thing after another happening in it.  You never knew what danger or adventure would happen next.  I also wasn't real sure about who was behind the murders in this story until the very end.  Margaret was a very determined woman and Daniel will have his hands full trying to handle her, but I think he is up to the task.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publisher by way of NetGalley for giving me this book for an honest review.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

ABBIE ANN by Sharlene MacLaren

This was book 3 in the "Daughters of Jacob Kane" series and it was another great book in the series.  The Kane family are people I have come to love and enjoy reading about.  Each of the daughters are unique in their own special way, and each have a real heart for people.  This story takes place in 1907 in Sandy Shores, Michigan (a town I have wished I could go back in time and visit).  The youngest daughter, Abbie Ann is full of life and hard to try and manage.  She works at her father's "Whatnot" store, teaches Sunday School and leads the local Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  The day a wagon comes busting through the front window of their store though begins to change the life of Abbie Ann.  Noah Carson used to be a successful ship builder, until his wife left him for his partner and took the business with them.  Noah was left with the most precious thing though, his 6 year old son, Toby.  They find themselves living in Sandy Shores and trying to start over.

Watching and reading about the way times were changing back in 1907 was interesting.  Watching love blossom between Abbie and Noah was fun.  Then throw in some bad guys who want to do Abbie harm, and an unexpected visit from several characters and you have yourself a story that is well worth your time.  There was always something going on and I always like the unexpected to happen.  I also liked the slow way the relationship between Abbie and Noah took place.  This was just an all around good story and the whole series is one I can easily see myself reading again sometime.  The author has easily become one of my favorites!