Thursday, May 30, 2013

SEEDS OF SUMMER by Deborah Vogts

This was a story that grows on you the further into the story you go.  I had a hard time getting to know and appreciate Natalie Adams, the key character in this book.  She had her future plans interrupted through the death of her father and just couldn't seem to appreciate all she had in the here and now.

Natalie Adams is a former rodeo queen who thought she had her life figured out and it involved living a life independent of her family's ranch.  Then her father suddenly dies and she finds herself back at the ranch taking care of her two half-siblings and trying to run the ranch.  There is new young pastor in the town, Jared Logan, who gets to know the family through various situations that bring him and the family together.  He tries to help them out, but Natalie has a strong independent nature and really doesn't want or appreciate his help much at first.  Jared has his own struggles in the story as he questions his life as a clergyman and tries to keep his heart from falling for a girl that doesn't seem interested in the things of the Lord.

There was also the hunt for the hidden money at the ranch, and the appearance of someone they all thought had died.  Needless to say, there was always something happening in the story to hold your attention.  People are not perfect and this family did have problems understanding one another and getting along.  Natalie will grow on you, although it took me awhile to like her.  Sometimes our dreams of what we think will make us happy are not really what is best for us and it is a good lesson on being content with wherever God puts you and in whatever situation you find yourself.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

RIVER OF SECRETS by Lynette Eason

This is book two in the "Amazon Adventure Series" and it was almost as good as book one.  It too was full of suspense, love and "inspirational romance".  It could be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend you read book one, "Lethal Deception", first as it gives a lot of background to this story that you don't want to miss.

Amy Graham is an American nurse working in an Amazon hospital and trying to get over the fact that her mother was responsible for killing a whole team of Navy SEALS a few years ago, and who is now serving her time in a prison.  Amy find herself helping a amnesiac patient in the hospital, who she will later discover is Micah McKnight, one of the presumed-dead Navy SEALS.  Amy has a hard time telling Micah who he is, because she doesn't want to have to tell him it was her mother who caused it all.  But someone is out to kill Micah, or is it Amy they are after?

This was full of suspense, danger and romance.  I enjoyed getting to know these two main characters and watching them develop a relationship that was sweet yet also full of secrets and fear.  Both must come to learn how to forgive to be truly free to love.  It may be a short story, but it was a full and complete story.  Well done Lynette Eason!!

Monday, May 27, 2013


I liked the description on the back of the book that says, "No matter how much you know about the Gospel, this compelling book will provide a radical understanding of God's grace and power."  That was so true as I read this short but pack-full-of-truth book.  It deals with the "tragedy of misplaced faith", a great chapter on why grace is so amazing and ends the book with answers to very common questions of people who struggle with being sure of their eternal destiny.  I did a lot of highlighting and going back over certain sections of this book.  I highly recommend this concise and powerful book!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


This book is listed as a "Love Inspired Suspense Riveting Inspirational Romance" and I must say it lived up to each and every adjective! It places you in the middle of the Amazon jungle at the very beginning with a kidnapping, and a suspenseful rescue.  But the suspense doesn't leave you even though you think everyone is finally safe.  It may be a small book but it was a full and complete story and I enjoyed myself very much.

Cassidy McKnight find herself in South America to pick up and child at an orphanage who has lost her parents and needs a home.  She finds herself kidnapped with no rescue in sight.  Gabe Sinclair, a former Navy SEAL guy, is asked to go and rescue her.  When Gabe finds her, rescues both her and the child, and brings them home he thinks his job is done.  But someone is out to do Cassidy harm and Gabe must protect her without falling in love with her and her sweet little orphaned child.

I liked Cassidy's attitude toward it all, "I don't understand God all the time.  If I did, I wouldn't need faith.  So, I'm going to exercise my faith and trust that God had something good come from all of the horror.  I may never know what it is, but I'm trusting He'll let me in on it one day in heaven."  I am looking forward to reading the next story in this series, "River of Secrets".

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck

If you just want to relax, enjoy yourself and read about a modern day fairy-tale, then this book is the one to read.  Doesn't every woman at one time or another wonder what it would be like to marry a prince and live in his kingdom forever?

Crown Prince Nathaniel is taking a "holiday" to America on St. Simon's Island.  He isn't looking for love, because like everything else in his life, the choice of a bride is out of his hands, it is a matter dictated by his royal position.  Susanna Truitt has just been told by her boyfriend of 12 years that he has found the perfect ring, but not the right girl to put it on.  Susanna is devastated, but at the same time realizes they both have changed and they both need to move on.  But she isn't ready for any new relationships right away.  When Susanna gets "rescued" by Prince Nathan she doesn't know he is a prince, just another vacationer on her St. Simon's Island.  They quickly become friends and the more they "hang out" together, the more they realize how much they care for one another.  Then Nathan's dad dies, Nathan must return home to become King.  Susanna has a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that she was hanging out with  a prince-soon-to-be-king!

Time and distance does not change the way these two feel for each other, even though they both know Nathan cannot marry a "commoner".  So when Susanna shows up for his coronation the media is not happy with this "friendship" and neither is his family.  Can true love survive all this?  Well let me just say that all fairy-tales have happy-ever-after endings, so you won't be disappointed with this ending.

The lesson behind the story was all about surrendering one's will and plans for the future to God even if it requires giving up a dream.  In the end He will work all things out for the good.  As a side note, if you liked the movie "The Prince and Me" with Julia Stiles, then I am pretty sure you are going to like this story.  There are many similarities.

This complimentary copy was provided by Zondervan through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (May 7, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0310315476
ISBN-13: 978-0310315476

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A DREAM TO CALL MY OWN by Tracie Peterson

This is the third and final story in the "Brides of Gallatin County" series and is has been very enjoyable to get to know the Gallatin sisters and the folks in their town and community.  It takes place in Montana in the late 1880's and shows what life was like back then and the evil that existed as well as the determination folks had to "make it through" the tough times.

In this story the youngest of the Gallatin girls, Lacy,  finds herself not able to let go of finding the person who killed her father.  Lacy should have been born the boy in the family because she likes to wear trousers, ride horses, shoots like a man and show herself tough on the outside.  But she has a tender heart on the inside and the capability to love and love well.  Dave Shepard is the deputy sheriff in town and Lacy and him seem to "butt heads" a lot.  Dave gets upset with Lacy, but it is only because he loves her and doesn't want her hurt.  Lacy doesn't like to be told what she can and cannot do, so they are always at odds with one another.  When a snowstorm finds them housebound together, Dave finally gives Lacy what she needs - a good kiss - and Lacy suddenly realizes she has feeling for this man.  But is it love or just a strong physical attraction.  This is something Lacy will need to decide for herself.  Meanwhile, there our men in the town who are out to do damage to the sheriff and the Gallatin girls if things don't go their way.  So there is also a good suspense factor to the story.  All in all, it is a story about people and their struggles both inwardly and outwardly in a time where evil prevailed and sometimes situations ended up with guns been drawn and people being hurt.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A LOVE TO LAST FOREVER by Tracie Peterson

Beth Gallatin has always dreamed of having a husband, children and living in her town for the rest of her life.  Because she moved from place to place growing up she wanted to claim the rugged Montana town of Gallatin home.  She is an avid lover of reading dime story romance novels and so she thinks she knows what love should look like and how the hero should act.  Nick Lassiter, who has loved Beth since she moved to town, does not exactly fit the picture Beth has painted in her mind.  Then when Nick starts to win her heart and unexpected arrival from Nick's past threatens the love that is growing between the two of them.  Is their love strong enough to "last forever".

This was book two in this series and I enjoyed getting to know Beth even better in this story.  You could read this as a stand alone, but you will miss out on  a lot by not starting with book one, "A Promise to Believe In".  The three sisters in this series may seem to have their lives put together and are handling things as they come, but each sister is dealing with issues from their past and must come to grip with false notions that are affecting the way they view themselves and others.  There is a lot going on in the whole family as you read this story, but it mainly focuses in on Beth, the middle sister. It gives a enlightening insight to the tough and rugged times of growing a town in Montana in the late 1800s.  I am  looking forward to the next story in this series.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A PROMISE TO BELIEVE IN by Tracie Peterson

This is book one in the "Brides of Gallatin County" series and we are off to a great beginning.  Tracie Peterson has always been an author I have enjoyed reading.  Her characters are people you can relate to, who struggle through hardships and sorrows, but endure through it and come out stronger.  The cover on these stories are also what drew me in - well done!

The three Gallatin sisters find their father accidentally shot and killed in a remote Montana town.  They own and run the roadhouse at the crossroads of two stage lines.  The oldest girl, Gwen, thinks she is "cursed" because death seems to follow her wherever she goes.  Her husband died on her wedding day several years ago.  Now her late husband's brother, Hank Bishop appears on the scene in search of his brother and the "stock certificates" he stole when he left home.  Gwen finds out her husband lied to her about who he was, so she feels she can't trust Hank now either when his feelings are declared.

The three sisters in the story have very different personalities and I enjoyed each of them equally.  They have a strong bond as sisters and some of their antics were hilarious when Hank first comes to town.  Each of these girls have things in their past that they are dealing with; having a mother who died and a father who moved them around a lot.  It was interesting to see how each one was affected by the life they grew up with.  The neighbor lady who helps them through their struggles had a lot of wisdom and good advice and I appreciated how she helped them and how she kept them focused from a biblical standpoint.  This was just an all-around good story with a lot going on, which kept the story moving.  I look forward to reading the next two stories in this series.