Monday, June 16, 2014

CAPTURED BY LOVE by Jody Hedlund
An interesting historical read, Captured by Love, covers much of the history of Mackinac Island, Michigan during  the War of 1812. You follow the characters through their struggles to survive and through their tangle of relationships. Angelique is obviously in love with Pierre but promised to his brother Jean. However, she depends on her abusive stepfather for protection, a roof over her head, and substenance. She strives to help her friend, Miriam, mother of Pierre and Jean,  who has become blind and has no one to tend her farm with both sons away. Pierre returns and now finds himself caught in the middle as a double agent.

The story would be a tough read but Ms. Hedlund's descriptions of living conditions, clothing, the Indians, and strategy's of war add to the plot involving the romance of Angelique and Pierre. Angelique's love for Pierre is complicated by her desire to be an honorable woman. Pierre endures many hardships and comes to realize that he wants to be a better man and do what is right even if it means losing the woman he loves. Jean's return forces them all to face the truth and make tough choices.

Ms. Hedlund has written a story in which her hard work is revealed in the details and is a very realistic but satisfying read.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A MOMENT IN TIME by Tracie Peterson
A moment in Time is another quality read from Ms. Tracie Peterson. She introduces us to another generation of Barnett’s, Reid’s, and Atherton’s from her Land of the Lone Star Series. This is actually the second book in The Lone Star Bride Series. There are two story lines to keep your interest. The main plot centers on Alice Chesterfield, a young woman with a physical scar on her face, and emotional scars within. She has lost both parents and a younger brother and serves as an assistant to Marty Wythe. Alice follows Marty to Texas, in order to escape a stalker among other reasons. She meets Robert Barnett, a young rancher, who never seems to notice her scar and treats her with the utmost respect. But Robert is engaged, according to everyone, since a child to Jessica Atherton.

A Secondary plot revolves around Marty Wythe, younger sister to Hannah Barnett whom we met in the Lone Star Series. Marty is married to Jake, whom she met through mail order process. They are separated for a time while Jake seeks work in Texas and Marty remains behind not completely trusting his decisions.

I will not break down the complex plots here but suffice it to say the many twists and turns have one gasping, sniffling and laughing. There are many nuggets of humor, pathos, and spiritual truths. You won't want to miss this one and you catch a glimpse of the hero and heroine from the final book to come in the Lone Star Bride series. A Moment in Time serves up many moments of enjoyment.

I received this book from Bethany House for an honest review.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

FULL STEAM AHEAD by Karen Witemeyer

Full Steam Ahead

If you like action and drama along with your romance, then FULL STEAM AHEAD!  Karen Witemeyer has another quality read under her belt. I have most all her novels on my keeper shelf and this one doesn't disappoint.
From the opening salvo where we meet Darius Thornton until the very satisfying epilogue, Full Steam Ahead draws us in and keeps us swimming page after page.

 The energetic opening introduces us to the hero Darius Thornton dealing with the tragedy and grief of a steamboat boiler explosion. Next, we meet the heroine , Nicole Renard in the midst of a traumatic attack of her parents requiring her courageous intervention.

Darius obsession to find a solution to steamboat boiler explosions and his ultimate goal to save countless lives and Nicole's mission to protect her loved ones and incur her father's favor provide the gist of Ms. Witemeyer's plot. Darius is an eccentric young man, not your usual hero. He remains focused on his goal to the detriment of his general appearance and health until Nicole, his new secretary has to come to his aid during one of his experiments gone awry.

 Nicole remains just as adamant in her pursuit of concealing the Lafitte Dagger which she sees as her Father's legacy  and obtaining a husband and heir for her father's shipping empire. She risks her life again and again mostly for failure of realizing that her true value rests with her heavenly father.

 I highly encourage you to read the author's notes at the end as they lend much to the historical perspective and reveal how much of the story revolved around the history of steamboats and the pursuit of public safety in America.
This one is joining the other Karen Witemeyer novels on my Keeper shelf!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

Gathering Shadows told in first person heralds the tale of Wynter Evans aka Emily Erwin, a newspaper reporter, in search of her brother abducted as a child. She travels to the Mennonite Town of Sanctuary looking for a young man accidentally captured in a picture who resembles her long lost brother. Accompanying her is Zac, her photographer. In Sanctuary she meets, Ruebin King, the Mayor of Sanctuary, but a farmer by trade. Rueben becomes her love interest--another thing that bothered me because they discuss their mutual attraction way to soon for the thesis of this story, in my opinion. But Reuben is an integral character for connecting other characters and moving the storyline along.

If you like stories told in first person, you may be delighted with this one; but I didn't enjoy it and found the first half to be rather slow. However, after getting into the story, the good points are that the mystery and the solution are quite entertaining. Ms. Mehl does a fine job of going back over her clues and showing how they entertwined and then reveals how they fit her puzzle.
In the end, I found myself enjoying the read and would recommend it for those who like suspense and mystery reads; but it would not be one for my keeper shelf.

I received this free from Netgalley for review.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

SILENCED by Dani Pettrey

Silenced by Dani Pettrey
What I like best about Ms. Pettrey’s novels is the way she builds her suspenseful themes around family and includes descriptive passages of the Alaskan landscape that are familiar as your own hometown visages. You feel at home as much as her characters, the McKennas.

In, Silenced we reach the climax of the mystery that has been building since the first book in the series, Submerged.  Kayden and Jake are thrown together to solve the murder of a local climber and having reached the solution to that mystery a bigger and more serious one evolves.  Jake, the catalyst for a demented murderer, finds himself racing against time to save the woman he loves. Having lost his wife and child to this, mad individual, he doesn’t want to lose another.

 There is plenty of romance with two weddings, resolution of stories from earlier books in the series. Two more siblings seem bent for their own marital end; and the foundation is laid for younger brother Reef and long- time nemesis, Kirra to have their storyline.

Dani Pettrey’s books are full of action, history, romance, strong family relationships, and a nugget of spiritual truth thrown in. She has a gift of writing romantic edginess with the boy or girl next door feel. I enjoy how she helps you to know what both the hero and heroine are feeling and thinking. Her scenes are rife with sexual tension but her characters handle it truthfully and honorably. I have this series on my keeper shelf because they are such fun to read.  Though each could stand alone, I recommend reading them in order for the information you gain on the siblings and their personalities and relationships.