Monday, April 28, 2014

SILENCED by Dani Pettrey

This is another intense drama that captures your interest and makes it hard to put down once you start.  I stayed up late to finish because I just couldn't put it down.  It is book four in the "Alaskan Courage" series and although you could read it as a stand alone, I do not recommend it because the books preceding it are all just as good and you get to know and love the McKenna family so well by reading the other stories first.

Kayden McKenna is an avid rock climber, but she wasn't expecting to find a dead body on the ledge she has climbed up to.  Now the family, the Sheriff and good friend Jake Westin Cavanagh will need to find out what happened to this climber.  Jake and Kayden have worked together before and although Jake has fallen in love with Kayden, he isn't sure how she feels about him.  Kayden is a very independent lady who has real issues with letting anyone help her or get to close to her.  The chemistry is there, but it will take time for them both to admit their feelings for each other.  In the meantime they are searching for a killer, but will find that that isn't the real danger that threatens them.  A story that is full of faith, love for family, danger, mystery and the realization that  "God doesn't promise the way will be easy, far from it, but He promises to carry us through, to give us the courage and grace we need when we need it.  He most often doesn't change the circumstances, He changes us."  (A favorite quote from this story.)

Sit back and enjoy catching up on all the McKenna siblings in this gripping story.  You will be glad you did. A special thanks goes to Bethany House for giving me this story to read for my honest review.  A big "thumbs up" for the folks who design the covers for this series of stories.  They have all been great!

File Size: 4205 KB
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 29, 2014)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

FINDING HOME by CaSondra Poulsen

This is the follow up story to "Calling Me Home" (which I loved).  Once again this author does an amazing job of writing a story that is full of emotion, drama and love.  I must say that I was taken by surprise at what happened in this story and wasn't sure I liked what was going on, but in time I came to understand and see that what happened God was able to work out for the good of two people who needed each other.  The beginning of the book starts with a very appropriate quote from Helen Keller, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."  This was a very good quote for the plot of this story.

Brian Richards (who you know well from book one) is trying to find his roots by heading to southern Missouri on his motorcycle.  After stopping at a diner, he finds someone has messed with his bike and it no longer runs.  The mechanic who helps him tear it apart and repair it is "Mac" a young lady who runs a repair shop.  Both of these individuals have deep sorrows in their life and they both will help each other in getting past the hurts and finding their way back to God.  It was a touching story and I loved the family members in both of these characters lives, plus the people in the small town set in southern Missouri. You will laugh and you will cry, but you will be glad you took the time to read "Finding Home". I can't say enough good things about this author and the way she has weaved a wonderful tale in these two books.  I highly recommend them both!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Another good story in the "Heart of the West" series.  This is book two and for different reasons, I liked it just as much as book one.  The author does a good job of you getting to know the characters in her story and understanding them and cheering them on through their difficulties.  This takes place in the 1890's in Montana and you get the feeling that you are there.

Juliana Brady finds herself alone, trying to find a way to make a living now that her mother has passed away and her father went looking for gold years ago and never returned.
Josh McBride (who you will have met if you read book one, "No Place for a Lady") is trying to "make it on his own" and has moved to Montana to begin a sheep herd and build himself a ranch.  He will discover rare stones on his property that could possible change his life.

These two people will meet through a sad situation and the Lord will continue to bring them together.  The attraction is there but Juliana must learn that although she needs to make it on her own, there is nothing wrong with having a man there to protect and cherish her.  A very well written love story with a touching ending. There were also a few "I didn't see that coming" moments which I always enjoy.  I look forward to reading book three in this series very soon.

Almost forgot; be sure to read the author's note at the end of the book to discover what inspired her to write this story, and to find out that some of her story is based upon real history, which makes the story all the more interesting to me.

Monday, April 21, 2014


What did I like about this story; "let me count the ways".  I liked the way the story started, the way Haley and Stephen interacted with each other (the hospital scene during her delivery was so good), the funny John Wayne quotes near the end of the book and the John Wayne movies throughout, the way the author portrayed the very real effects that divorce can have upon a family and also the way it showed the importance of reconciling with loved ones before it is too late. I also appreciated the spiritual emphasis that was inter-weaved throughout the story This story had it all and I thoroughly enjoyed myself all the way through.

Haley is trying to get her life back together after her husband was killed in Afghanistan, right before she had a chance to tell him she was expecting a child.  Sam Ames thought his life was on the right track with a good job and the anticipation of proposing to his girlfriend.  But things fall apart for him quickly and then he gets the phone call that his mirror twin brother was killed in Afghanistan.  Now he finds himself looking up Haley to get to know more about his brother's life, as they parted 12 years ago and never kept in touch.  When Haley sees Sam on her doorstep she thinks she is seeing her husband who she thought had died.  Their first meeting was quite comical I thought as Haley knows how to handle a gun and was never told that her late husband had a twin brother.  "As Haley and Stephen struggle to navigate their fragile relationship, they are inexorably drawn to each other."

The author, Beth K. Vogt, hit a home run with this story.  It brought a smile to my face at times, outright laughter at others, but sadness and tears too.  It is so important to forgive and be reconciled to those we love as we never know what will happen tomorrow.  And divorce really does have lasting effects upon the children.  Great job Beth Vogt!  Keep up the good work!

I was given this complimentary copy by Howard Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Howard Books (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476737584
ISBN-13: 978-1476737584

Friday, April 18, 2014

NO PLACE FOR A LADY by Maggie Brendan

The following description of this story was taken from the back cover with a few deleted lines.  I felt it gave a very good description of this book: "Crystal Clark arrives in Colorado's Yampa Valley in 1892. Crystal is relieved to be leaving the troubles of her Georgia life behind to visit her aunt Kate's cattle ranch. Despite being raised as a proper Southern belle, Crystal is determined to hold her own in this wild land--even if a certain handsome foreman doubts her abilities.

Just when she thinks she's getting a handle on the constant male attention from the cowhands and the catty barbs from some of the local young women, tragedy strikes the ranch. Crystal will have to tap all of her resolve to save the ranch. Can she rise to the challenge?

Book one in the Heart of the West series, No Place for a Lady is full of adventure, romance, and the indomitable human spirit. Readers will fall in love with the Colorado setting and the spunky Southern belle who wants to claim it as her own."

I appreciated Crystal's determination.  I had a hard time liking the foreman, Luke, at first as he seemed a little harsh, but he does grow on you after awhile.  Life wasn't easy in the rugged Colorado terrain, and the author did a good job of making you understand the harsh conditions, as well as the beauty of that part of the West. An enjoyable story that left me wondering about some of the other characters, which I am hoping will show up in the next two books.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CALLING ME HOME by CaSondra Poulsen

A story that took me where I hadn't anticipated and lasted longer than I had thought it would (which was a VERY GOOD THING), but it ended way to abruptly.  I thought I had the story all figured out as I was reading it, and thinking to myself that this, this and this will happen and then it will end.  But I was wrong.  The author did a great job of extending this story beyond just a quick read.  It was full of great characters that I grew fond of and of mystery, danger, sorrow and love.  The next story, "Finding Home" will hopefully pick up where this story ended.

Samantha had dreams of becoming a chef.  So when her parents went to South Africa to fulfill their dreams of being missionaries and her twin brother, Brian, went off to join the military, Samantha moves to California to go to school to learn to be a chef.  Background done.  Enter Tom and his buddy Andi coming to the beach to go surfing in California one early morning and discovering a woman's body laying on the beach, with torn clothing, head injuries and unconscious.  Tom realizes he knows this girl as she goes to culinary school with his sister Taya.  Thus begins the journey of taking care of this girl (who is Samantha) while they try to help her regain her memory, track down a family they can't find, and discover a tender love and affection for each other and keep her safe until they find who did this to her and why.  It was not only a story about Samantha and Tom, but I also enjoyed the growing feelings between Sam's brother Brian and Tom's sister Taya.  Tom and Brian don't hit it off so well, but it was fun to watch them battle it out on who can and will protect Samantha.

This story had it all and gets a high review from me.  It had a thread weaved throughout of a people who had a strong faith in the Lord and how that faith kept them going when life seemed to be falling apart around them.  Be prepared to bask in the warm sunshine on the beach and then gather your winter parka for some snowy weather in Nebraska.  Whatever the weather your heart will be warmed as you read this delightful story.  Great job CaSondra Poulsen.

File Size: 708 KB
Print Length: 259 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1463535325
Publisher: Ballad Publishing (September 17, 2011)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

IN THE WAY by Grace Livingston Hill

Wealthy Ruth Benedict moves from New York City to a small village farmhouse to be reunited with her two newly discovered brothers, after being raised by her Aunt and Uncle all her life.  David and Joseph are not sure they want her there, but Ruth will bring with her wealth, knowledge, love and faith and the three of them will slowly form a strong bond.

I have grown up reading Grace Livingston Hill books.  She has always been an author I have enjoyed reading and her stories always have a strong theme of faith and a belief that God can and will change lives.  This story was a good story, but for me not one of her best stories.  It will not keep me though from continuing to enjoy her work.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

JOURNEY'S EDGE by Dora Hiers

WOW! This story is a keeper!  I would definitely read it again and was excited to find that there are two more stories in this "series"!  I look forward to reading them.  I believe this would be book two in the series ("Marshals of Journey Creek").  It had suspense, danger, and a very tender romance story that will leave you feeling good to have spent the time getting to know these people.  This is my first book by this author, but it will definitely not be my last!  Great job Dora Hiers!

The very first pages start right out with suspense as McKinley has just finished an audit job out of town and thinks she is now being followed.  She meets up with her past "love of her life" which she hasn't heard from in 10 years at her hotel (which was a humorous sort of meeting).  Renner was a police officer but is now a U.S. Marshal and he very quickly realizes that someone is indeed "stalking" McKinley and up to no good.  So he will set out to protect her and find out a secret that McKinley has never shared with him that will rock his world.  Renner will also show McKinley that since he became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ he is a changed man, someone she can believe in and trust.  I won't spoil it for you with anymore particulars, but will say that the tender love between these two people had me not wanting to put the book down until I was done.  Renner is quite the guy and who couldn't fall for him all over again!  I am hoping the other books in the series will be just as good!  Happy reading!

Publisher: White Rose Publishing (March 30, 2012)
ISBN: 978-1-61116-157-1
Page Count: 246

Monday, April 7, 2014

DUSTY BRITCHES by Marcia Lynn McClure

Another good romance story by Marcia Lynn McClure.  If I ever want a good romantic read, I know I can count on Marcia Lynn McClure to deliver.  The best part of the story is that you not only get one romance adventure, but in this story there are three lovely romance stories going on.

Angelina Maddox and her sister Becca have grown up without their mother who passed away when they were younger and have had no motherly influence in their lives.  But their father has raised them well and it is a happy family.  But Angelina, called Dusty by most folks, (and when you find out how she got her nickname it will bring a smile to your face), has become a bitter person when it comes to men and life in general.  Her first love, Ryder left the ranch when she was 14 and he was 20.  She has never forgotten him and harbors bitterness in his leaving.  Then when she opens her heart to another she finds him cheating on her.  So when Ryder comes back into her life 5 years later he has to show a lot of patience with Dusty to win her over.  He left for good reasons, which you will understand as you read this story.  Dusty just needs to let go of her bitterness and learn to trust the one she loves.  Then there is also her sister, who has also loved some one from afar and their father, who needs to open his heart to true love once again.

There is some danger and suspense, but mostly a lot of love and romance, so saddle up and be prepared for some really good reading enjoyment.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A SECRET TO DIE FOR by Cynthia Hickey

This was a suspense filled story with a lot of action and romance mingled in.  It kept me interested all the way through and did not take me long to read.  A story of learning to trust after being hurt by someone you loved.  A story of finding ones way back to a God you thought had forgotten all about you and discovering He was there all the time and working it out for your good.

Darcie finds herself in her hometown which she left and never wanted to come back to (and I can't say I blame her after finding out all she endured growing up).  She is hunting for something her deceased husband told her to look for before he died.  The problem is, someone else wants what she is looking for and will kill to get it.  She takes a job as a nanny to two children whose father, York Wardell, is an author and can't write and take care of his children so needs a nanny.  His wife has died and left Tony with some scars of his own to deal with.  These two will have to learn to trust each other as the danger gets closer to home.  I enjoyed the way these two main characters interacted with each other.  Darcie has a lot of spunk and York was not your typical author type personality.  They also have a housekeeper that was a dear lady who didn't back down from much either.  They were all a joy to get to know.

A good story but there were a few mistakes in the editing of this story which kind of bugged me.    And although I liked the ending, I do wish the author would have taken a little longer to bring this story to a close.  I was hoping to keep reading for a while longer, but it just ended rather quickly.  All in all, it is a good story and well worth your time to read and try and find this "secret you could die for".

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

JAMAICAN SUNSET by Linda Chaikin

This is the third and I believe final book in The Buccaneers Series and I thought the author finished well.  My favorite in the series was book 2, "The Pirate and His Lady".  I strongly recommend you read these stories in the order they were written because it would be hard to fully understand what was going on by simply picking of this story and starting to read it.

Baret Buckington and Emerald Harwick are finally publicly betrothed to one another.  Emerald looks forward to her life on the Jamaica island while Baret continues on his quest to find his father and the hidden treasure which was long-ago stolen from the Spanish ship, "Prince Philip".  But problems quickly arise and Emerald will find herself once again abducted and Baret once again coming to her rescue.  There is never a lack of adventure in these stories and there is also the bad pirates and the good buccaneers and mystery and romance thrown in also.  It keeps your interest, especially if you like high seas adventure.  So I recommend you set sail for the Jamaican islands and find yourself taken back in time to when you never know what or who will overtake you as you sail the open seas.

The author always does a good job of sharing a part of history as you read and also of writing in to her stories a spiritual emphasis.  "Can the God in whom she (Emerald) trusts in indeed cause all things to work together for good?"  Yes He can and yes He will!