Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Whom Shall I Fear by Anne Clare

Whom shall I fear graphic1943 

All that Sergeant James Milburn wants is to heal. Sent to finish his convalescence in a lonely village in the north of England, the friends he’s lost haunt his dreams. If he can only be declared fit for active service again, perhaps he can rejoin his surviving mates in the fight across Sicily and either protect them or die alongside them. 
All that Evie Worther wants is purpose. War has reduced her family to an elderly matriarch and Charles, her controlling cousin, both determined to keep her safely tucked away in their family home. If she can somehow balance her sense of obligation to family with her desperate need to be of use, perhaps she can discover how she fits into her tumultuous world. 
All that Charles Heatherington wants is his due. Since his brother’s death, he is positioned to be the family’s heir with only one step left to make his future secure. If only he can keep the family matriarch happy, he can finally start living the easy life he is certain he deserves. 
However, when James’s, Evie’s and Charles’s paths collide, a dark secret of the past is forced into the light, and everything that they have hoped and striven for is thrown into doubt. Weaving in historical detail from World War II in Britain, Italy and Egypt, WHOM SHALL I FEAR? follows their individual struggles with guilt and faith, love and family, and forces them to ask if the greatest threat they face is really from the enemy abroad. 

What I Loved: Whom Shall I Fear is a tender romance set in a true-to-history novel. The history is well researched. I loved all the details weaved into the story. Clare shares life on the homefront, as a nurse, and as a soldier. I think the soldier moments were my favorite. She did a marvelous job bringing the reader right to the battlefield without being overwhelming.
The novel is published as clean fiction but I think many Christian fiction readers will feel right at home. The characters lived out their Christian faith in a natural way and even quoted scripture throughout the book.
I have a soft spot for novels that contain letters, so I really enjoyed watching their relationship unfold through the letters they wrote one another.
Anne Clare is a debut author to keep your eyes on in the future!

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Whom Shall I Fear 4.5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy clean/Christian WWII fiction.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to give a favorable review or compensated for reviewing.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

454From Christy Award-winning author Joanne Bischof comes the sequel to her beautiful novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon–whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.
Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s–which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.
Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

My Thoughts: Everything that I loved about the first book was present in the second, making for a delightful sequel. Thor is still one of my favorite heroes. I found it interesting to see the way he and his family handles everyday life with his hearing loss. For me, it was the little details, such as one of the brothers stomping on the floor to get his attention through the vibration, that just made it all the more realistic.
Bischof does a wonderful job walking out redemption and grace through the youngest brother. I’m always a sucker for seeing the bad guy redeemed, so that was definitely a highlight of the story for me.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 4 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy Historical Christian Fiction, fiction set in the Appalachian mountains, a great redemption story, or those looking for a story with a main character with a disability.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through Net Galley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

51JX3uhb9ZL._SY346_Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well. 
     Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

What I Loved: I have adored this entire series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final book. Barnett is well acquainted with National Parks and it shows in her writing. Not only was her setting vividly detailed, but she shares such knowledge about Yellowstone along the way. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a new note in history for me.
There was a light mystery weaved into the story. I’m happy to say that regardless of what I thought I knew, I was surprised in the end.
Barnett marries a steady message of faith with a cast of lovable characters. Nate Webber was my favorite. But there were so many from the CCC who were colorful and unique.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Ever Faithful 4.5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy historical Christian fiction or those who like nature settings.

~ I received a copy from WaterBrook. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

42075068In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.

My Thoughts: There comes a time when you find a story beautifully written, but somehow it just doesn’t work for you. Sadly, this was one of those moments for me. But what didn’t work for me, may still work for you!
In chapter one, I was pulled into the world and relationship between twin brothers, Robert and Roy. It wasn’t hard to ache with both of them for different reasons.
The story bounces back and forth between the present day to the 1940s. I personally LOVE dual timelines. And this was certainly one that I was eager to dig into. Dykes chose to tell this story in the third person, present tense. Present tense is never a big hit for me, but I was pages into this novel before I even realized it! That’s never happened to me before. She definitely earns an award for getting me to “eat my veggies” without me knowing it. 😉
Ansel-by-the-Sea is a charming town, in both the past present. The casts of both worlds are equally endearing. And Dykes has a very lovely poetic style of writing. However, what makes it beautiful also slows it down. Whose Waves These Are is the sort of story that begs the reader to stop, breathe deeply of the salty air, and enjoy every word written on the page.
Unfortunately for me, I’m in a phase of life where slowing down isn’t the luxury it ought to be, so this one was harder for me to get into.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 4 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy dual timelines, WWII fiction, and poetic descriptions.

~ I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

455Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

My Thoughts: There’s really a lot to love and adore in this book. Unfortunately, it took me a while to find it. I hate even saying that. But Katherine Reay is a solid storyteller, and I was well rewarded in the end. Reay’s gift is in telling stories that feature broken people and broken families. The Printed Letter Bookshop has 3 main characters, each with their own struggle … and with their own style of storytelling.
Madeline shares her story in the first person, past tense. While Claire shares hers in the third person, past tense. And Janet in the first person, present tense. I’ll be honest, this was a gutsy move for Reay and one that took some getting used to. But the creator in me can applaud her for thinking outside of the box.
I think what I enjoyed the most was the relationships. While there was a lot of true to life heartache for each of these characters, there was also true to life friendship and joy. This is definitely one that leaves you feeling warm with a satisfying ending.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 4 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Contemporary Fiction.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The White City: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crimes by Grace Hitchcock

452Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair

Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

My Thoughts: This was an interesting read. I did a little research on Holmes before reading the novel, and I really appreciated the various facts she was able to weave in. Because Hitchcock is dealing with a real figure in history during a specific time in history, I was curious to see how she’d tell her story while keeping with the historical timeline. And I think she did an excellent job here. I was impressed. The White City is a story that almost could have played out in real life.
Considering the extreme nature of the crimes, Hitchcock did an excellent job of simply nodding toward reality without shocking her audience at all.
But besides crime and mystery, you’ll find a sweet love story — a love triangle, actually! — and an authentic historic setting.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 4 stars and recommend it to Christian Historical Suspense/Mystery fans.
~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.
Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Not the Billionaire by Krista Noorman

451Will a case of mistaken identity lead to happily ever after or will a well-intentioned charade keep them apart?

All women ever want from Sebastian Schultz is his family’s money, which is why he’s avoided dating like the plague. Then Genevieve Willis walks into the Schultz building, ranting about her meeting with the cold fish head of the company, unaware that’s exactly who she’s speaking to. Immediately drawn to her beauty and sense of humor, Sebastian can’t resist this opportunity to finally get to know a woman without the stigma of the Schultz name. So he introduces himself as Kurtis from the Public Relations department, then implores his playboy younger brother to act as president in his place.

Genevieve can’t believe her luck landing her dream job, though she’s not looking forward to working with Sebastian, whose reputation as being distant and unapproachable precedes him. But she’s pleasantly surprised by the warm, welcoming man behind the desk. Yet as they develop an easy rapport and he turns on the charm, she can’t stop thinking about Kurtis, the sweet PR guy, who captured her attention just by being himself.

As “Kurtis” and Genevieve begin working together on the biggest charity event of the year, will it become impossible for him to conceal his real identity? And will she forgive him when she learns the truth?

This is a clean, sweet billionaire romance.

What I Loved: I loved the concept of this story and enjoyed waiting for the truth to come out and for the shoe to hit the fan. Noorman is a gifted writer. She has a way of making her characters feel like everyday people. And her families! She always brings out an endearing family, and the Shultz family was one of them. I’m looking forward to more from this series. And then there’s the romance. Sigh. Genevieve and Sebastian is another sweet couple with great chemistry.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and recommend you grab a box of chocolates while you read this one! It’s great for clean or Christian contemporary romance fans.

~I received a copy from the author and even helped to beta read this novel. All thoughts are my own. I wasn’t compensated or required to review this novel. I just wanted to pass along something I thought you’d enjoy. 🙂 

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Met Her Match by Susan L. Tuttle

450Get ready for ten weeks of romance in the Bahamas with a new series brought to you by some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres…

Ten delightful—and standalone—novellas linked by one matchmaking week. You’ll want to devour each one!

MET HER MATCH:
Two old friends. One unexpected reunion.

Parasailing captain Pemberley Truitt has almost grasped a sense of home after two years in the Bahamas. While she misses her family, she’s never felt like she fits in; especially when it comes to TruLove, their family’s matchmaking business. When her brother calls and begs her help with the now struggling company, she’s happy to oblige and obtain the chance to find her place with them. But then she discovers she’ll have to work with Tobias Bradshaw. The last time she saw him, he broke her heart.

Tobias Bradshaw is ready for his love life to be as successful as his winning record in the courtroom. Which is why he agrees to his friend’s two-fold plea: professionally research Joy Island’s matchmaking service and personally be matched himself. No objections there. Until Pemberley Truitt crosses his path again, and she looks about as happy to see him as someone chosen for jury duty. It’s fine. He’s faced hostile witnesses before. Except he soon realizes he wants more than a temporary working relationship. He’s taken on difficult opposition in court before, but this time he’ll need more than a persuasive argument if he hopes to win Pem’s heart.

What I Loved: Met Her Match is a great vacation read. And it’s even better if you’re stuck indoors during the winter because the setting feels authentic as if you’re there with the characters. I love this sort of second-chance story where the characters don’t exactly get along. I always find the friction to be a load of fun. This one surprised me when the spiritual message really came into focus toward the end. Tuttles wraps up this romantic tale with a solid message on letting go of past hurts and putting God first in your life.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and recommend it to those looking for a clean/Christian romance novella or a fun vacation read.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one. 

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There’s a mega giveaway in progress. To learn more about it and enter right here. 

RESORT TO ROMANCE SERIES:

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

BUY ALL TEN BOOKS IN THE SERIES: Available through Amazon or visit the author’s websites!

A Meddled Match by Jill Kemerer
A Messed-Up Match by Jessica R. Patch
Met Her Match by Susan L. Tuttle
Moonlight Match by Kristina Knight
Unexpected Match by Constance Phillips
Match Me If You Can by Krista Phillips
Mismatched Melody by Jodie Bailey
A Match for Mr. Write by Jennifer Shirk
Rematched by Julie Jarnagin
Match You Like Crazy by Johnnie Alexander

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

47The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-
fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war. 

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel’s life convince her he’s in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She’s risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

What I Loved:  Green is one of those historical authors that I always look forward to reading and never regret picking up. Between Two Shores was a stunning novel. Green’s understanding of the history, setting, and the various cultures help the story to leap off the pages. She’s a very gifted historical author and I highly recommend her work if you haven’t picked up one of her novels yet.
I’m gonna be honest, this was not a fluffy story. Far from it, actually. But it’s the sort of story that causes the reader and the character to grow. Now, when I say this wasn’t fluffy, I don’t mean that it was graphic or outside the Christian bounds. I only mean that there was a plot twist that I found as painful as the character did. Readers don’t need to proceed with caution, but they should expect a heavy, yet beautiful, story when they pick this one up.

Rating and Recommendations: I recommend this one to Christian Historical fiction fans, those looking for a deep, challenging story, and for those wanting to delve into the British, Native American, or French conflicts in the 1700s. I’m giving it 5 stars.

~I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Book Reviews

Looking for Reviewers!

Looking for Reviewers! Dance With Me is almost ready. It’s time to collect interested bloggers for the blog tour. If you love Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, or a clean story set in 1959, fill out the form to join the tour!

*If you’re not a blogger but are interested in reviewing the novel, please sign up here

 

Dance 2 F
Full Description:
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.