Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This book lived up to its description all the way!  It was very inspirational with a great message intertwined in between a tender romance and probably one of the most suspenseful books I have read in awhile (I should note that suspense is not my favorite genre of books, so I don't read them a lot).  This book scared me silly at times and I found reading at night alone was just not happening during certain moments in this story.  This story also dealt with virtual reality games and how they can become an addiction like anything else.  It was very well written with a unique story line and full of suspense and danger!

Mel Mesini, or "tough as nails" in her virtual reality life, find herself having to go back home when she gets a message that her Dad has been hit by a car and is in the hospital, and someone needs to take care of her Mom, Arlene, who suffers with schizophrenia.  Mel has not been home in many years and has her own up-and-coming restaurant in the city, which is a replica of a highly trafficked online club in her "virtual reality" game.

Jeremy Stiles is a police officer in the town Mel is returning to.  Jeremy and Mel go way back and at one time were the closest of friends.  But something happened that broke them apart and neither one has a clear understanding of that moment in time.  Now Jeremy is out to protect Mel and her family, as someone is out to do them harm.

There were so many complex and different emotions and struggles going on in this story.  You have Mel trying to cope and understand a Mom who doesn't seem to be "all there".  Jeremy who is trying to regain the relationship with Mel and understand and love her unconditionally and then there is the evil lurking around the corner.  Who is out there and what are they after???  Get ready to find the answers to a lot of questions, but I recommend you don't read it on a dark and stormy night all alone.  Just remember the verse at the beginning of this story, "Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles."  Isaiah 40:31.  The author tied this verse into her story very well.  Well done Katy Lee!

Great job on the cover of this book too.  After reading this story you can easily understand the cover and the title.
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing (April 4, 2012)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

KYLIE'S KISS by Delia Latham

This is book two in the Solomon's Gate series and although you could read it as a stand alone story, I highly recommend you begin with "Destiny's Dream" to set the background for this story (plus I personally liked book one a tiny bit better!).

Kylie Matthews finds herself stepping into the Christian dating service building called "Solomon's Gate" in response to a dare.  Kylie has issues growing up in a home where both mother and sister lived their lives as if looks and appearance were all that mattered in life.  Kylie therefore does not think she is pretty or worthy of someone paying her any attention.  So when she literally "bumps into" Rick Dale she isn't prepared for the relationship that will follow.  But can Kylie accept  and love Rick's little surprise (which I don't want to give away).

This was another delightful story by Delia Latham.  She blends humor with romance and tragedy with hope.  I enjoy her take on guardian angels, although I am not sold on our ability to see them at times (although it is nice to be reminded they are out there).  You are joined by people from book one and it is always good to meet "old friends".  I look forward to more stories by this author!  (Note to author: great job in delivering Kylie's wish near the end; a kiss that is worthy to be mentioned!)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DESTINY'S DREAM by Delia Lathem

This story had it all: you want laughter and humor, this story had it, you want romance, well it doesn't get any better than the beautiful wedding vows at the end! if you want suspense and mystery, that is in there too PLUS there is always something happening that I really wasn't expecting.  There was never a dull moment and I absolutely loved it.  After all, who doesn't like thinking about their guardian angels watching over them.

The story starts out with a tender scene where Destiny May, after caring for her Mom for five years, has come to the point where she must say goodbye as her Mom lay dying.  The verse her Mom leaves with her is "For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways".  Little does Destiny know how that promise will be worked out in her life.

Clay Gallagher enters the scene by arriving late for the funeral, but the funny part is, while he is sitting next to Destiny talking about the "old dame" who couldn't get along with anyone, he doesn't realize he is at the wrong funeral.  Needless to say Clay and Destiny get off to an unusual start and it doesn't get much better when he finds out she wants to open up a Christian dating service, called "Solomon's Gate".  Although they have a rough and rocky start to their relationship, it was so much fun to watch it grow into something much more.  The way these two interacted with each other was a joy to see.  There will be many twists and turns throughout the book, and I don't want to give them all away, but I highly recommend this book.  It was just fun to read, plus it  had it's sorrow, danger and mystery all mixed together to make it a well rounded book.  Give yourself some time, because once you begin, you are not going to want to put the book down until you have reached the very end and what a great ending it was!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014


This was a delightful inspirational story filled with humor and romance, but also sorrow and heartache and trying to reach the ones we love with the truth of the gospel.   It does deal with one of the Archer brothers from book one in this series, "Short Straw Bride", and you do get a small glimpse into the other brothers from that story.  But this can easily be read as a stand alone.

The story takes place in Texas in 1885.  Crockett Archer is one of the Archer brothers who has left the family ranch and has become a preacher and finds himself headed to possibly his first church.  But God has a different plan for his life and who would have thought it would be that his train gets held up and the "bandits" are looking for a preacher to take as hostage.

Joanna Robbins is about to turn 21 and there isn't anything her widowed father wouldn't do for her.  Joanna wishes for a preacher and her father sets out to get her one.  But what Joanna really wanted was for someone to come and start up the community church once again and help her reach her father, Silas, for the Lord.  She wasn't expecting her Dad to actually go out and kidnap her a preacher.

This book started out with the humorous kidnapping, but it was full of so much more.  I loved how Joanna related to her father and her love for him and the wanting of him to get saved.  Their conversation in the church about why God would allow someone in his earlier life to beat a child to death was very touching and very well said.  This author is a joy to read and is becoming a favorite of mine.  She mixes humor with romance, but also deals with difficult questions and heartaches too. I came away fully satisfied, but wanting more and I look forward to reading many more of her stories.

As just a side note or observation:  I thought the cover was cute, but it didn't really portray the real plot of this story.

Pages: 347
Year: 2013
Publisher: Bethany House

Saturday, February 15, 2014

THE HONOR GIRL by Grace Livingston Hill

Another classic story by one of my favorite authors, Grace Livingston Hill. One of the reasons I like her writings so much is expressed in the back of this story:
 "It wasn't long before Grace was a well-known author, but she wanted to go beyond just entertaining her readers.  She soon included the message of God's salvation through Jesus Christ in each of her books.  For Grace, the most important thing she did was not write books but share the message of salvation, a message she felt God wanted her to share through the abilities he had given her.
In all, Grace Livingston Hill wrote more than one hundred books, all of which have sold thousands of copies and have touched the lives of readers around the world with their message of "enduring love" and the true way to lasting happiness:  a relationship with God through his Son, Jesus Christ."

In this story you will find a young girl, Elsie Hathaway who grew up with her Aunt and Uncle when her Mom passed away and left her two brother and father alone.  Elsie will eventually see that her family desperately needs her and the home needs a woman's touch.  But life is not easy going from a home of wealth to a home full of challenges and a family that has fallen on hard times.  Can Elsie meet the challenges ahead of her?  That is what you will find out when you read this story.  I loved how her being in the home and just making small changes at first made a big difference to her two brothers and how much love and care they had towards their sister.  It was a very precious story of the importance of family and the love they should have for one another.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


A good friend of mine encouraged me to read this story and told me how good it was (thank you good friend!).  I don't give out many 5 star reviews, but this one hit all the marks for me.  It was full of wonderful characters I came to know and appreciate, from the slow romantic feeling in Brooke and Owen's life,  to the heartache and sorrow and new found love in Patsy's life, to the troubled youth, Hunter, who just needed someone to care about him as a person and see the good in him.  I was overwhelmed at all the different story lines and how the author brought them all together under one roof in "the House that Love Built".

Brooke is a widow trying to deal with the grief of her husband being gone,  raise two kids, run a hardware store and keep up with her divorced Mom, Patsy, who seems to have found someone special in her life.  Brooke meets Owen, who has bought a house in town to fix up and live in to "spite" his wife who left him for his business partner.  Both Brooke and Owen have a lot of "baggage" they bring to this "friendship" and it was refreshing watching them deal with pain and loss and grow their strictly friendship into something much more.

Then there is the way Owen takes in and helps out the town trouble maker, Hunter, and the sad life he has.  Add to that the traveling Uncle who shows up in the midst of the house makeover, the ex-wife who shows up with a surprise and the searching of a secret room in the old house and you will find that this story is filled to the brim with interest, love, and laughter.

The biggest lesson learned throughout this book was the ability to forgive and let go of past hurts and mistakes.  There were so many people who needed forgiveness granted and given and you see just how devastating it is when one harbors resentment and bitterness in their heart and doesn't choose to forgive.  This isn't an easy thing to do and you need the help of the Lord in your life to get you through.  This is also a story of love and family, a mixed blend of people who will become a loving family.  I must say I was surprised by a few twists and turns in this story and I won't give anything away, but will say the author did a fantastic job and I highly recommend this story to anyone.  It is my first book by this author, but it definitely will not be my last.  So go ahead and curl up on the couch and get ready to find lots of love in the house that love built.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 2, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1595548890
ISBN-13: 978-1595548894

Monday, February 10, 2014


A story that is just what the title itself says, "Love Arranged". Nicole returns home from college knowing in her absence her Mom is declining from having leukemia. What she doesn't know is that her father doesn't have long to live either and so he has "arranged" for Justin to take over his business and marry his daughter so he can die knowing she will be well cared for.  They both enter this marriage arrangement, caring for each other as good friends, but not exactly "in love" with one another.  They marry on the condition that if it doesn't work out after a year Nicole can leave if things just don't work out.  Can they make their marriage work?  That is what this story will be all about.

I really enjoyed myself as I read this story.  I liked the way Justin tried so hard to be the perfect husband and how well he read Nicole's actions and attitudes.  He was truly a perfect match for Nicole and she for him.  Justin had a strong faith and relationship with his Lord and Nicole was learning how to restore her relationship with God after ignoring Him while in college.  Together they go through some pretty tough struggles but seemed to be there for each other.  Then they started to stop sharing of themselves so much for fear of being hurt and that is when I wanted to shake them both and tell them to speak up and share what you feel.  At times near the end of this story  I became quite frustrated with them both.  But this arranged love affair will have an ending that made me sigh with contentment.  A great romantic story that left me wanting to keep reading more about Justin and Nicole.

Friday, February 7, 2014

DEVOTED MISSION by Regina Tittel

"Regina Tittel wrote Devoted Mission to not only uplift and encourage each individual while also entertaining them with a great story, but to bring awareness to the spiritual needs of the Kurdish people both stateside and abroad.  And to convey the spiritual side of this world and the power of prayer we have through our Lord, Jesus Christ."  This book is listed as "inspirational suspense romance" and I highly agree with all three descriptions!  I have yet to be disappointed by this author's writings.  It is the 5th book in the Ozark Durham Series, but can easily be read as a stand alone story without reading the other books in this series (although I think the other books in this series are just as good, if not even better).

Emily Durham is a devoted missionary on furlough and takes a summer job as nanny to two adopted children.  She thinks it is the perfect job, but she wasn't planning on the tension and danger she is about to discover in the "family" she has taken on.  Dillon Brewington is the brother/uncle of this family and is trying to discover who is out to harm his brother Robert.  He finds himself having to team up with the nanny, Emily, to help him and finds himself distracted by her and falling in love with her.  But Emily is headed for the mission field, or is she?

I enjoyed how this book started out, with the gunshot victim and catches your attention instantly. I loved the romantic attraction Emily and Dillon had for each other and also fell in love with the two adopted children.  I had a hard time understanding the parents of these two children and their lack of interest and attention they gave to their children.  I also, at times, had a hard time with the way the author seemed to jump ahead all of a sudden to a different day or time without any warning.  (I don't like to give negative comments, because I really did love the story.)  The parents seemed to be so completely not there that I couldn't figure out how they could have ever come to adopt two sweet children from other countries.  But the love and care they received from Dillon and Emily was precious.  I also loved the ending!    And I always appreciate the way the author inspires you in your Christian walk with the Lord.  God does answer prayer and can give you the desire of your heart, or change your heart and give you the desire you wanted all along and didn't even realize it.  Read the book and you will understand what I mean.

Monday, February 3, 2014

BOUND BY GUILT by C.J. Darlington

This was a great sequel to this author's debut story, "Thicker Than Blood"!  I loved how the author continues to use the "antiquarian" book world in her story line and picks up where her first book left off, although the main characters are all new to this story.  I also love whoever does her book covers.  Although this story doesn't have a lot of "happy moments", it is very well done and shows the real world of some foster care children and the heartache and longing they have for a real loving family.

Roxi Gold is a teenager who has been moved around in foster care until a relative finally takes her in.  But her new "family" travels the country stealing rare books from bookstores and Roxi tries her best to fit in and do what she can to help them so that maybe she will be accepted, loved and cared for.  But something goes tragically wrong and Roxi finds herself taking off and fleeing her family.  Where she ends up and what she finally finds is very heartwarming.  Don't want to spoil anything, but this was a great story of forgiveness and unconditional love.

This was a story with a lot of intense moments.  It was hard to put down and walk away from.  The author did a great job of bringing this story to a great ending.  The Biblical aspect of love and the ability to provide forgiveness even under the worst of tragedies was very well done and precious to read about.   I appreciate the author's thoughts at the end of the book, how she came up with the unusual story line and how her characters become real to her as she writes.  Great job!  I look forward to the next book in this series.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

THICKER THAN BLOOD by C. J. Darlington

Things I liked about this book: 1. I loved the look and even the feel of the cover of this book. 2. I loved the story line of the book and how books themselves and the love of them were captured by some of the characters in this story. 3) The author did a great job of telling this story and making you understand and feel what these characters were going through in their life.

Christy and May are two sisters who lost their Dad and Mom when they were teenagers.  Christy ended up leaving her younger sister May on the doorstep of her Aunt after the funeral and taking off never to come back, until 15 years later.  May has grown up and is helping run a ranch that is about to be foreclosed on.  She has also yearned to know where her sister is and what she is doing with her life.  Christy made some bad decisions in her growing up years and hasn't exactly turned out the way she had hoped.  She holds a job she loves working at the "Book Barn" and working with books all day long.  But that job is about to end and her life is spiraling out of control.  Her last hope is looking up her long lost sister, May.

This was a very well written drama of a story.  My only negative comment is that it was a somber story, full of heartache and sorrow.  It was a clear picture of how the Lord changed one sister and how His presence in her life helped her to face the hardships and still have a peace.  That had a deep impact on her sister. which is a good lesson for us all to live our life in such a way that others can see the difference the Lord can make in ones life.  There was also the element of forgiveness to be dealt with and a love that looks beyond being wronged.  This was a story of God's love and long-suffering, a story of hope, but also a story that brings out the sorrow and grief of a person's life.  I look forward to reading more from this author.  There are three books that I know of in this series, this is book one, and "Bound by Guilt" is book two, which I am reading now.