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June 10 2013 2 10 /06 /June /2013 22:16

 

 

"Pursued" by Jud Wilhite

This book explores and studies the book of Hosea in the Bible, and how it parallels to our everyday life.  It is an amazing testimony of God's love and grace, and just how much of each there is for all of us.  "Pursued" explores just how much God loves us and how we have been redeemed.  This book is written by Jud Wilhite and published by Faith Words.  (I was not familiar with this publisher or author, but they have been wonderful to work with.) Discover for yourself why "Pursued" gets rave reviews and five star ratings on Amazon by signing up for "The Challenge", which sends you fourteen amazing days of samples from the book, at pursuedbook.com.   

Thank you so much to Sarah Reck and Faith Words for providing this book for me to read and review!

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June 10 2013 2 10 /06 /June /2013 22:06

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"Undeniably Yours" by Becky Wade

 

I had high expectations for this book because I had absolutely loved Becky Wade's first book, "My Stubborn Heart". This book met and exceeded my expectations, but in a different way than I was expecting.

 

This book is set in modern-day Texas, where Meg Cole has recently inherited her father's multi-million dollar oil business. She doesn't know how or look forward to running this, and in her first couple of weeks she fires several people. However, there is one man who refuses to be fired.

 

Bo Porter runs a Thoroughbred farm, and refuses to close it when his boss, Meg Cole, insists he shut it down. He is a cowboy through and through and decides to do whatever he can to change Meg's mind.

 

In addition to this crisis, a woman hurt by Meg's ex-husband comes into Meg's life, and Meg reconsiders everything she is using her father's money for, to find her true purpose in life.

 

Once Meg and Bo finally have some understanding between them, and even a little attraction, will an evil force from Meg's past tear them and their trust of each other apart?

 

Thank you so much to Bethany House for letting me read and review this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it because the plot was so intense and unpredictable!

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June 10 2013 2 10 /06 /June /2013 22:01

 

 

"Love at Any Cost" by Julie Lessman

 

     Cassie McClare has just had her heart broken by a low-down snake named Mark who was after her money.  She's a Texas oil heiress whose Daddy's wells have run dry.  Cassie visits her cousins in San Francisco to heal her heart and try to get a fresh start away from, as she puts it, "pretty-boy fortune-hunters".  She looks forward to reuniting with her lawyer uncle, her widowed aunt, and spunky cousins.  But no sooner has she stepped off the train that she is knocked off her feet by yet another pretty boy.

 

     Jamie McKenna has grown up poor in the slums of the city, trying to take care of his mother and crippled sister.  He has aspirations to rise above his poverty and marry well, secure a safe house and healing surgery for his sister, and take care of his mother.  To get there, though, he is working multiple jobs and training to become a lawyer under Logan McClare.

 

     When Jamie and Cassie meet up, sparks fly.  Determined to never again let a pretty-boy womanizer steal her heart, Cassie resists Jamie's charms.  Jamie, however, is determined to win her affection when he hears she's an oil heiress.  When the tables turn and Jamie finds out Cassie is poorer than he, will their growing attraction be enough to hold them together? What does God have in store for them?

 

I really enjoyed this book because of all the drama.  The plot and characters were both well formed and realistic.  All the characters had their own quirky personalities, and really added to the story and plot.  This book was well written, and, as far as I could tell, historically accurate.

 

Available April 15, 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 

Thank you so much to Julie Lessman, as well as Revell Publishers, for letting me read and review this book.

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June 10 2013 2 10 /06 /June /2013 21:50

 

 

 

"A Bride for all Seasons" is a collaboration of four authors' stories of four different brides, one in each season.  These are all mail-order brides, an idea which I personally find amusing.  This is published by Thomas Nelson, and written by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy, and Robin Lee Hatcher.  I began reading this book because I have read several of Mary Connealy's works, and enjoyed them immensely for their humor and western setting.  "A Bride for all Seasons" did not let me down; all four short stories were excellently written, even if the romance in them was quick and unrealistic.  This made for a nice summer's day read, if you like the general concept/storyline of mail-order brides.  Each story is not very long, and would be great for a car trip or something where you only have an hour or so to read.  I began this book, as I stated earlier, because I have enjoyed Mary Connealy’s books, but the other authors were just as good, and opened my horizons to some new authors.  These short-and-sweet westerns will warm your heart.

Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for providing this book for me to read and review.

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May 8 2013 4 08 /05 /May /2013 13:16

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"Once Upon a Prince" by Rachel Hauck

 

     Susanna Truitt is a normal Georgia girl, working for her parent's barbeque restaurant and working as a landscape artist.  She's been in a twelve year relationship, since high school, with a marine named Adam.  She is convinced that when he comes back on break he will propose...after all, that's been the plan for twelve years.  However, God had different ideas.  Adam did indeed come back to Georgia, but instead of proposing on their walk along the beach, he told her he had found someone else.  Told her that she was more in love with their plan than with him.  He even told her he went ring shopping and found the perfect ring, but realized she was not the perfect girl for him.  Susanna is heartbroken, but to top it all off...she knows that he was right.  She had not been looking for God's will in all this.

 

     Because she lives on a small island, everyone knew about her relationship disaster by the time the weekend was over.  Susanna was humiliated, but apparently God was not done renovating her life.  Her aunt that she is renting her house from calls and tells Susanna that she needs her to move out.  On top of that, Susanna quits her landscaping job.  And, she runs into a man named Nate Kenneth.

 

     Nate is on a holiday from being soon-to-be-king in Brighton, and spending some time in Georgia.  He stumbles across a 'damsel in distress' with a flat tire on the side of the road, and stops to help her.  Over the period of several more days, Nate gets to know this damsel, Susanna, better, and aches to spend more time with her, to the point of scrubbing toilets in her mother's barbeque restaurant.  He hires Susanna to redesign his father's garden.  Her company is refreshing to him, because his father has leukemia and when he dies, Nate will be expected to take the throne next.

 

     When Susanna learns that Nate is a prince, and hears of the pressure for him to marry another, as well as the law against marrying foreigners, will her heart ever heal? Or does God have something bigger in store for them both?

 

     I really enjoyed this modern-day fairytale.  While it might not have been realistic, the drama, angst, and whole plot really kept me wanting more.  This is the first book I have read by this author and am looking forward to reading many more.

 

     Thank you so much to Zondervan publishers and Booksneeze for letting me read and review this book.

 

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April 15 2013 2 15 /04 /April /2013 19:58

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*Note: At the time of this post, "Joni and Ken" is only $4.74 on Kindle*

 

"Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story" by Joni Eareckson Tada

 

   

This book is not only a love story of Joni and Ken Tada; it is a love story of God and us.  Through Joni's tragic diving accident that left her paralyzed when she was only a teenager, she became unable to do most things we take for granted.  However, God has not left her.  Not only does He provide many helpers for Joni to help her get through the daily tasks of life, but then goes a step further to provide her a helpmate in Ken.  Their marriage is filled with many challenges that most marriages never have to face.  For example, Ken must dress Joni daily; he blows her nose when she is sick.  There were times when the flesh certainly wanted to give up, but in God's perfect timing, He not only provides a Divine message of encouragement, but the strength to live the message out.  This book was not only inspirational for marriages, it is inspirational for life.  It reminds us that when you stay the course and submit to God for your strength, He enables you to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you ever thought you could do. 

Thank you so much to Booksneeze for letting me read and review this book.

 

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April 15 2013 2 15 /04 /April /2013 18:49

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"The Chance" by Karen Kingsbury

 

     Ellie hasn't had an easy life.  Her parents split because of an affair her mother had when Ellie was fifteen.  Ellie and her Dad moved from the family's home in Savannah to California, leaving everything behind, including Ellie's best friend, Nolan.  Ellie grows up and has a child with a soldier, who goes off to war and is killed before he marries her.  Ellie's dad is mad at her choices, and they grow apart.  Ellie's mom has never forgotten Ellie and writes her letters every week, sending them to her husband's parent's house, because she doesn't know where Ellie lives.  Ellie begins to think everyone has abandoned her.

     Nolan, Ellie's best friend, loves basketball, and grows up to be a famous player.  He still misses and remembers Ellie and wonders what happened to her, because she never contacted him after she moved.  Will he ever see her again?

    In line with God's character He knows the desires of our heart and is for us.  He is there and comes to our rescue when we call to Him.  He delights in restoration.  Karen Kingsbury does a beautiful job of showing us God's "big picture".

     Thank you so much to Net Galley for letting me read and review this book.

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April 2 2013 3 02 /04 /April /2013 01:47

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"It Happened at the Fair" almost seems like an unworthy title to portray the story behind this cover! This book was so lively, so full of action and twists and turns.

Della Wentworth is an advocate for deaf children, teaching them at a school in the Chicago World's Fair of 1893.  She teaches her students to lip-read, instead of sign language, because she doesn't want her students to feel so 'different' from everyone else.

Cullen McNamara is a farmer allergic to cotton.  Ever since his mother died in a fire, he has been determined to invent something to put out fires.  He came up with an automatic sprinkler system, which his dad insists he show at the World's Fair.  Cullen is against the idea, knowing his family doesn't have enough money for it, but his dad insists.  Cullen tells his almost-lifelong friend, Wanda, whom everyone thinks he will get married to, about going to the World's Fair.  She doesn't see the same reasoning and potential that Cullen's dad sees in him and begs him not to go, to set a wedding date for them, anything.

Cullen makes it to the World's Fair, but because of a partial loss of hearing in one of his ears, plus the intense noise surrounding his booth, he realizes that he needs help.  He can't hear his clients, causing most of them to walk on to his neighboring booth, which sells a manual sprinkler system.  Cullen isn't selling any sprinklers, and he knows his family needs the money, so out of desperation and a recommendation of a friend, he goes to take lip-reading classes from a teacher at the fairgrounds.  Even with the lessons though, things are hard for Cullen.  Mainly so because he can't concentrate; he's keeps getting distracted staring at his teacher, Della's, lips.

I thought this book was excellent; the chemistry from the characters, the heat of the plot, and the historical aspect of the setting kept me hooked for the entire ride!

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Howard books for letting me read and review this book. 

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April 2 2013 3 02 /04 /April /2013 01:12

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WOW. What more can I say but "WOW"? This book was so well written, historically accurate as far as I could tell, perfectly romantic, and had lots of suspense! This is, for sure, going to my "Top Ten" book list for 2012/beginning of 2013!  

"Swept Away" is published by Baker Publishing Group and written (very well!) by Mary Connealy. I have never read anything by this author before, but I love stories set in the "wild west", so I thought that I would give this one a try. Once I started it, I could not put it down! The suspense keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat. The romance keeps you hoping for a "happily ever after". The only bad part was, I finished it! I could have stayed in Texas all week :).

So here's the low-down: male character, Luke Stone; female character, Ruthy. Of course, there are more characters, but these are the main two.

Luke lived on a ranch in Texas as a kid and left to fight in the Civil War. His father's deed left Luke the ranch. However, while Luke is gone, a man named Flint Greer had Luke's dad killed and stole the ranch. When Luke comes back he finds this out, and starts working with his friends that he made at Andersonville prison camp during the war to stop Greer. Luke is on his way back from gathering paperwork, as far as I could tell, when he comes across Ruthy.

Ruthy's parent got the flu when it swept through the school and town, and died. Ruthy was taken in by another family, who abused her and made her basically their slave, and hit/slapped her when she stalled or upset them. They had a son named Virgil whom they wanted Ruthy to marry, yet Ruthy wanted nothing to do with him. She began sleeping with a knife because of his "attraction" to her. On a wagon train with this family going west, Ruthy tries to lead the team across a river with the others when it flash floods and wipes everyone out. Miraculously, she survives but is unconscious in the river.

That's where Luke comes across Ruthy. Unfortunately, he cannot turn around and take her to the nearest town because Greer framed him for a robbery and Luke is on the run. Yet, he cannot leave her there either-how rude would that be! So, he picks her up and takes her with him.

Ruthy and Luke must fight to regain Luke's land. What will become of them? Will they survive to nurture their growing relationship?

Thank you so much to Baker Publishing group and Net Galley for letting me read and review this book; it was excellent and well-written. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

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March 18 2013 2 18 /03 /March /2013 23:19

Grave Consequences: A Novel (Grand Tour Series)

 

   

 

 

"Grave Consequences" by Lisa T. Bergren

 

Oh, I don't even know where to begin in reviewing this book.  One thing for sure, if you have not read the prequel to this book, "Glamorous Illusions", then you must read it first.  This trilogy, the third book in which is entitled "Glittering Promises", is rather complex in its plot, characters, and ever-changing setting.  Please see my review on "Glamorous Illusions" to help: http://mybookthoughts.over-blog.com/article-glamorous-illusions-102790920.html

 

Now, I will continue as if you have already read and are familiar with the plot and characters of the first book, because going back over all of it is a review within itself (see link above).

 

Cora Diehl Kensington and her siblings decide to continue on their Grand Tour of Europe, even with known kidnappers trailing them.  They move on from Pierre's house and onto his sister's, which if I remember correctly was in Italy. (There are so many places to remember that they went to!)  In her time away from Pierre and threats in Italy, Cora's feelings for Will grow.

 

Will and his uncle continue leading the Grand Tour for the Kensingtons and Morgans.  With every twist and turn, Will finds himself growing closer to Cora, yet he knows that he must remain her guide and nothing more....because her father would ruin both of them.

 

When the kidnappers and a supposed friend turn on them, what will Cora do? Who will she lean on to stand, when Pierre comes back in the picture? What will her father think of her courters?

 

I believe I can truly say I've never read a more heart-and-gut-wrenching series.  When I was about 90 percent of the way through the book, I stopped reading it for about two weeks out of sheer terror of the ending! However, I can say the ending isn't nearly as, shall we say, cruel, as the first book. Whew.  Still, be prepared for a ride! You may want to clear your schedule because this will keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Thank you so much to Net Galley and David C. Cook publishers for letting me read and review this book.  The setting, plot, and characters are so realistic they remain with me long after I finish reading! 

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