Sunday, April 16, 2017

TREASURED GRACE By Tracie Peterson

http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

If you enjoy historical novels, then this one fits the bill. Tracie Peterson does her homework and many of the facts of the Whitman massacre are accurate in her story. Grace and her sisters have come west to meet up with their uncle in Oregon Territory. Grace had to marry in order for them to be accepted on the Wagon Train but her husband has died and as we are introduced to the characters we find that it was a loveless marriage.

At the Whitman Mission, Grace meets Trapper, Alex Armistead. Alex lives among and trades with the Indians. He and Grace have some disagreements about the Indians early on but quickly become allies trying to help when they are stricken with measles.

Grace and Dr. Whitman but heads about her healing gift and his being a trained doctor. It is obvious however, that Dr. Whitman and his wife care for the Indians but they struggle to gain their trust. Tensions end up ultimately in loss of life and compromising of many of the women including Grace's sister Hope.

Emotions come to a head between Alex and Grace but he, unintentionally, humiliates her because he has some secrets of his own. Grace and her sisters head on to Oregon City where they find they aren't through with the consequences resulting from the attack.

I found this book an interesting read and worth spending time with but I can't give it my highest recommendation because I was frustrated with the lack of growth and maturity in the romantic relationship between Grace and Alex. At least I think there could have been more depth given the characters. The lack of trust and communication made for too much angst, in my opinion. However, it still had a good plot and one can see where the foundation is laid for further books in this series.

I received this book for an honest review from Netgalley.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

JUST A KISS By Denise Hunter

http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/

Riley Callahan has always loved Paige but she was in love with his brother. Then things changed and he was going to confess his love to her; but life got in the way because he ran away to a tour of service in Afghanistan. There an IED changes his life forever making him an amputee and killing his best friend.

Back in the states everyone thinks they know what's best for him and he finds himself roommates with Paige and they finally must confront their feelings for each other.

Denise Hunter writes great books on angst and love and quandaries to be solved. She covers many difficult subjects and in this book she deals with PTSD. Just about all her books are keepers and this one is no exception. I received this book from Netgalley for my honest review.

LOVE, LIES, AND FIREFLIES By Jan Elder

http://janelderauthor.com/?

This is a lovely story and the reason for the title is explained by the heroine and is part of the climax at the end. At first you are devastated, along with Didi, when her fiancee admits to his unfaithfulness but it quickly graduates to confusion as he acts like it is no big deal and that they are still an item although Didi has made it clear they are through.

Then, in a random part of a daily routine, Didi and Jake casually meet at the Vet's office and then again at a youth event. Jake, having decided it is time to move on after the tragic death of his fiancee, decides to ask Didi out. 

Didi and Jake's relationship begins to blossom, while at the same time her ex-fiancee decides to stalk her. Jake still has feelings of guilt and unresolved issues relating to the death of his fiancee which complicates matters. 

There are many surprise twists and turns and just when it seems Jake and Didi might get their happily ever after, it seems God might have other plans or does he?

Ms. Elder has done a fine job with this novel and covers a very difficult subject, domestic violence well. She also deals with spiritual struggles as Jake deals with giving great insight. This is definitely for your keeper shelf. I received a copy from the author for an honest review.

NO OTHER WILL DO By Karen Witemeyer

http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/

No Other Will Do has an interesting premise in that the setting is a women's colony for women who have left abusive or intolerable situations and generally are distrustful of men. The town is founded, lived in, and run by women. Emma Chandler and her aunts have founded the colony as their mission but now they are in trouble because someone is trying to do them harm.

Emma sends for her long time friend and first mission cause, Malachi Shaw. It soon becomes evident that Emma and Malachi are more than friends although neither seem to recognize that fact. Malachi has been working a dangerous job, dynamiting for the railroad and has only a few days to help Emma before his job becomes in jeopardy; but Malachi has a dilemma because it's either lose his job or Emma who has his heart.

Karen Witemeyer always has great stories. This one is no exception. I received this copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

Monday, March 20, 2017

RESCUE ME By Susan May Warren

http://www.susanmaywarren.com/

Rescue Me opens up in the middle of a rescue and you quickly become involved with the hero, Sam Brooks, and the emotional and physical stress he struggles with every day fighting to save lives and sometimes to save his own.

Enter, Willow, the sister of his girlfriend, and in the darkened room, Sam begins to share his emotional upheaval with her, mistaking her for her sister, Sierra. Willow, kisses Sam sympathetically, who kisses her back before he realizes his mistake. But the damage is done. Is he really meant to be with Sierra? Willow ask him to keep the kiss a secret because she wants whats best for her sister and for Sam; but she has loved Sam forever.

Then, Sam and Willow are thrown together chaperoning youth on a day hike into the mountains that ends up in tragedy and with several injured, especially, Sam. They must hike out and survive long enough for someone to find them.

Sam and Willow both have their issues and poor family relationships that they struggle with. Each has a servant's heart always trying to fix and rescue others but now, they must learn to wait on God and allow others to rescue them.

Susan May Warren has another winner here and in this series. Rescue Me is a wonderful story with many twists and turns to the plot and wonderful inspirational lessons to go along with the romance. I highly recommend it. I received this book from Netgalley for my honest review.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A NOTE YET UNSUNG By Tamera Alexander


What a beautiful setting and lovely ambiance underscored by ageless music becomes "A Note Yet Unsung" by Tamera Alexander. It is not until the climax that you understand and actually see the words that give the book it's name; but every word underscores it.

You are captured from the beginning by Rebekah Carrington's dire circumstances but impressed with her resiliency and perseverance, holding your breath that the Maestro Nathaniel Whitcomb will give her the position in his orchestra that she so obviously deserves.

But, Tate, turns her down because women aren't strong enough or capable enough to play the music that the audience expects to hear. Rebekah, desperately needs a job in order to live on her own and not return to the home where she is no longer safe. Over the course of the book, you gets bits and pieces of her past until the sordid events are revealed.

However, Tate has his own secrets and those become the bigger surprises. In order not to destroy the read for you with spoilers, I would only like to say that Ms. Alexander does a superb job of contrasting the elite society of Nashville with the homespun culture of Appalachia even to the voice tones sharing the strengths and weaknesses of both.

Finally, the descriptions of the music especially in the climax are awe inspiring. Music speaks to the soul. It can be soothing, uplifting, poignant, inspiring and worshipful. You can feel and almost hear the music in this masterpiece which makes you grieve the more with Tate at his potential loss of hearing. 

I found myself laughing and crying and when I thought I couldn't be surprised or moved any more, Ms Alexander bent her tale another twist. It is a grand story and the beautiful cover adds justice to a must have for your keeper shelf.

I received this novel both through Netgalley and Bethany House for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A HEART MOST CERTAIN By Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most Certain

What makes this a great story is how you get to see the character of the personalities grow along with love that endures.

Nicholas Lowe one of the richest men in the area runs a lumber yard and lives in a beautiful but cold mansion. A mansion built from his guilt and loveless marriage which died when his faithless wife died.

Lydia King, a member of the Ladies Moral Society from the local church, set with a task to get a donation from the miserly Mr. Lowe, approaches him and doesn't succeed, but she perseveres.because she thinks her cause is worthy and she is motivated rightly; but Mr. Lowe remains stuborn until her perseverance softens him into granted her three wishes which he will fulfill but in his own way.

Complicating matters, Lydia King is being courted by Sebastian Little a highly rspected town citizen with a likely engagement at the end.

Nicholas and Lydia find themselves embroiled in a charitable cause that society frowns upon. Nicholas bent on teaching Lydia lessons in life learns some of his own while Lydia finds trusting God for her future is far better than relying on her own abilities.

I recommend this tender tale for those who like inspiration. I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.