christian fiction

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

cover105660-mediumThe Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston is the fourth book in the Amish Heirloom series. This is the final book in the series. One of Mattie’s, main character, finds and opens the hope chest and finds an items that takes the readers back into time.  The Beloved Hope Chest story has heartbreak, grief, and unconditional love.

Mattie was expecting a little boy and was in love with her husband, but then suddenly and unexpectedly her husband dies. The authors shows the raw emotion of Mattie when she received the tragic news. Mattie’s husband died a hero, and while that is great, it doesn’t provide comfort for Mattie.

Leroy, a childhood friend of Mattie, is a good, honest and caring person. Leroy has always loved Mattie. Mattie has only ever viewed Leroy as a friend. Leroy does not like to see Mattie and pain and decides that he would marry her and help care for the baby she is carrying. Leroy was unselfish, always putting Mattie first, and constantly showing Mattie that he will not give up.

This story is about forgiveness, trusting God, letting go of the past and moving on. The author shows how grieving can affect a person but that people are resilient and there are always people there to help care for you.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, NetGalley, romance, Zondervan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury

cover105549-mediumLove Story by Karen Kingsburg is the book that ties up unanswered questions from the previous books in her series about the Baxter’s. In this book the reader learns the full story of John and Elizabeth Baxter. The reader learns how the couple met and fell in love. The reader learns how the Baxter’s first child was born out of wedlock and that Elizabeth was sent away as a result. The reader learns that Elizabeth was forced to put the baby up for adoption.

I personally have not read the other stories in this series about the Baxter family and as a result I spent most o the book confused. I would recommend reading the other books to know what has happened so you as the reader will not be utterly confused.

Thank you to NetGalley and Howard Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, family, fiction, Howard books, Karen Kingsbury, Literary Fiction, NetGalley, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True to You by Becky Wade

cover105949-mediumTrue to You by Becky Wade is a Christian romance that has several parts that are funny, and emotional. This is a wonderful book. The characters are well developed and relatable. The dynamics of the sister’s is well-thoughtout.

There are two main characters. The first; is Nora, is a cautious and studious young woman. The second; John, is a modern-day Navy SEAL who comes into Nora’s life and turns it upside down.

Nora had a really bad relationship in the past that caused her to build a wall to protect herself from being hurt that she did in her last relationship. The obstacles she puts in her way consist of unfashionable clothing, old hairstyles, and work. Eventually John and Nora meet and the wall that she has built slowly begins to break down.

John has an ego but deep down he was hurting and there was an uncertainty of his future that bothered him.  Recently, John was diagnosed with a genetic condition that will affect him for the rest of his life. John was not attracted to Nora at first but the most time he spent with her the more he saw a wonderful young lady. Through his friendship with Nora, John learns some important lessons in trusting God with his past as well as his future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Becky Wade, Bethany House Publishers, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, family, fiction, Literary Fiction, navy seal, NetGalley, Review, romance, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Desert Moon by Susan Page Davis

cover104637-mediumDesert Moon by Susan Page Davis is a wonderful historical fiction. The story takes place in Arizona. There is a sweet romance throughout the story with a little bit of danger and mystery added. The story begins fast with a stage coach robbery and then blames of the crime are made and with evidence.

The main character, Julia Newman, is a young lady that makes the difficult decisions. Julia receives double bad news in a short amount of time. First she learns of her mother’s death, then she learns that her brother is accused of robbing a stagecoach and the person who informed her is the man that Julie has always love, Deputy Adam Scott.

Julie left home to go to school to become a teacher because she could not stand to be near the man she loved, Deputy Adam Scott.  On her way home, Julie learns that the stagecoach she is riding in has been robbed. Deputy accused Julie’s brother of the crime, which frustrates her. Julie tries to convince Deputy Adam Scott of her brother’s innocence but then finds out that her brother has gone mission.  During this exchange, Julie discovers that her feelings for Deputy Adam Scott has not gone away as she hoped would happen when she went away to school.

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Heart Belonds in the Superstition: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis

30838280My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandry by Susan Page Davis is the second book in the My Heart Belongs series. Carmela’s Quandry is a Christian Western with a touch of romance. It is set in 1866 in the Arizona Territory. The story has lots of detail which allows for the reader to feel that they are there in the middle of the story. A wonderful story that allows the reader to see the inner beauty in people.

Carmela lost her parents on the trail to California at a young age and since that point her uncle has been exploiting her for years. At first Carmela was cared for by friends until her uncle could arrive. Her parents owed money that Carmela’s uncle was now responsible for paying. Since the uncle didn’t have the money he guilted and punished Carmela by forcing her to tell a fake story that the uncle invented. The story is that she has been a victim of an Indian attack, later the uncle forces her to tour the country telling the story he invented. He even drew tattoos on her face because that mimicked what tribes often did to captives. Carmela is now twenty and is almost of age to be able to break away from her Uncle and stop speaking to crowds of people and telling them something that are lies.

Freeman McKay is a lawman who is transporting a dangerous prisoner by stage. He is riding along with a prisoner he is transporting when the stagecoach they are on is robbed. The bad guys leave Carmela and Freeland handcuffed together in the desert and ride off with their loot. Freeman is unconscious from the attack. Several hours go by and Carmela is brought water by a mysterious Indian warrior. That water saved their lives. Freeman and Carmela have to make their way to Prescott so that she can settle and be safe. Carmela and Freeman develop a relationship of trust. Carmela tells Freeman of the secret that she has been forced by her uncle to lie to crowds of people for money.

I liked that Carmela was able to find true happiness. The story is captivating. It’s a story of faith and the healing virtue of friendship and love.

I received an ARC from NetGalley via Barbour Publishing, Inc. in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, historical fiction, history, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter

cover112930-mediumThe Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the second book in the series The Amish cooking class. In the first book Heidi and Lyle open their home up at the Troyer Amish Farm for cooking classes that Heidi teaches. In this second book Heidi teaches were second cooking class. I read the Brunstetter’s first book in The Amish cooking class series and this book did not disappoint.

Just like the first book, Heidi’s students in The Blessing are facing a variety of needs. Aa young teenage who is struggling with life after her mother, an alcoholic, abandon her family. A mailman who wants to learn to cook. A wife who’s husband is a policeman and gives her this gift to learn to cook. A caterer who wants to learn new recipes for her business and a hunter who wants to learn to cook for his buddies. The story bring in some of the characters from the first book in the series, which is an added bonus to see how the first set of doing are doing.

Heidi seems to be a compassionate and thoughtful young woman, with a good sense of humor who genuinely loves sharing her love of cooking and of God with her students. It is heartwarming to see how Heidi is able to reach her students hearts when they are suffering, particularly teenage Nicole, who is struggling with forgiving her mother for leaving the family.

At the classes Heidi teaches her student to cook good Amish food and always sends them home with a Bible verse on the back of the recipe card. The story shows how each person needs something in there lives and Heidi is able to help them.

The story has feelings of hope, love, friendship, forgiveness and trust in God. Heidi shares a scripture with each of her recipe cards. This touching story left me wanting for more. I hope there will be more additions to her Cooking Class series. The stories are uplifting and enjoyable to read.

I received an ARC from Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Amish, Amish Cooking Class, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, cooking, Inspirational, NetGalley, Review, romance, series, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter, women, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin

cover103803-mediumUpon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a beautiful, emotional Amish book. At 20 years old Bess is newly married and pregnant, life couldn’t get better. Then, as she’s making stew for her husband one evening she get’s the news of his death. After her son is born he looks just like her late husband and coupled with her exhaustion and her babies colic she has a very hard time dealing with it. Her hormones are out of whack because she has postpartum depression and doesn’t realize it. She feels like a total failure with things. Her mother-in law has dementia and thinks Bess’s baby is her son who passed away and tries to care for him which just adds to Bess’s stress. Bess takes a job at a Bed and Breakfast Inn close by and the son of the owner falls for her. he is an Englisher. She now has two men that have fallen for her, Dusty the Englisher and Aidan, who was her husbands best friend since childhood. Aidan has been in love with her since childhood but she married his best friend. He still carries the strong feelings for her.

Aidan, Caleb and Bess’ best friend since childhood, does his best to repress his guilt over Caleb’s passing. Try as he might, he blames himself for sending him into town that tragic day. He promises on Caleb’s dying breath to watch over Bess and their unborn child. He tries to make that a reality but his long standing feelings for Bess start to get in the way.
Bess tries to find her way working in a B and B in town. When the rumor mill runs wild with stories of her and the English owner’s son, she has to begin to face reality instead of living in her own world of grief. She soon learns to rely on a group of widows in her community. The guidance and love that they giver her along with Aiden’s unyielding support soon give Bess hope that there might be a future for her and young Joshua after all.

Kelly really has a way with bringing her characters to life. The reader is quickly drawn in as the characters are so easy to identify with and root for in their quest for happiness. I really enjoyed the many strong female voices in the book. The group of supporting widows that reached out to young Bess was easy to connect with and understand their loss and struggle with their own stories. Even though at first I was not a Mattie fan, my heart began to ache for her and the fact that Soloman left his wife’s dementia untreated for so long. The author did an excellent job delicately working Mattie’s tale into the story, although I hoped that in the epilogue she would have found treatment and possibly have recovered.

Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page.

I received an ARC from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Amish, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

cover103804-mediumYou’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher is a beautiful story of survival and God’s love for each of us. The characters in this book are the example of grace and acceptance, and demonstrate how far love and kindness can go in this world. This is a lovely story of faith and forgiveness. It is lovely to see the spiritual growth of the hero and heroine cheered on by the sweet innocence of a child and of a grandmother.

Brooklyn Myers is a single mother, not by choice. Life hasn’t been fair to her at all. Everyone who should have loved and supported her have left her or let her down. Now, she is going back home again not by choice; but, putting her daughter first she is returning to Thunder Creek to the home left to her by her deceased ex-husband.

Derek Johnson, local Sheriff’s Deputy of Thunder Creek has received a letter from his best friend’s estate. His friend has died and failed to leave him the land he had promised to sell him; instead, he has left it to his ex-wife and daughter. In addition, he has requested, Derek act as a surrogate father to the child. Derek, doesn’t have good memories of Brooklyn and blames her for his best friend’s life choices as well as resents that his dreams of expanding his farm, which happents to be next door to her new home, are in the dust.

While the characters, particularly Brooklyn, have faced difficulty in their pasts, these issues are only briefly touched upon in the story. The story remains a light tale of romance, family, and community. As a result this is a very peaceful book to read, but I really would have liked to delve a little deeper on some of the big issues that were present. I also expected more conflict between Brooklyn and Derek, but aside from a few calm disagreements, they get along well. They are a well-matched pair and I liked their open communication and peaceful relationship, despite the conflict they might have had in the past. There is also no discussion between Brooklyn and Derek about her family life or her history with her first husband. Once Brooklyn and Alycia move to Thunder Creek, everything falls into place for them. There is a bit of suspense towards the end of the book as characters face dangerous situations, bringing a bit of action to this story of romance and family.

Written in third person, the chapters alternate perspective between Brooklyn, Derek, and Derek’s grandmother Ruth. I enjoyed the small, country-town setting and the collection of supportive and caring characters. Hopefully, Thunder Creek will be a setting we readers can return to in future books by Robin Lee Hatcher.

I received an ARC from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, Children's Fiction, christian fiction, Christian Romance, fiction, marriage, NetGalley, Review, romance, Thomas Nelson | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

cover104765-mediumTreasured Grace by Tracie Peterson is a historical novel set during the 1800’s. The author has done her research well and really showed the hearts of the native Americans who were feeling anger and frustration of being forced off of their land by white people who gave no thought to ask first about how they could live together and instead just swooped in and took. This all comes to a head of course in a most horrifying account of an attack on the mission in which our main character resides with her two sisters Hope and Mercy.

Treasured Grace is well-written and has good characters. My attention was captured and held throughout the book. I found it to have a good pace which made it easy to read. There is extreme violence in the book which is historically accurate, but I found it upsetting. Prayer and faith are prevalent themes throughout the book. It emphasizes how important it is to have faith that God is there for you in the bad times and the good. I give Treasured Grace 4 out of 5 stars. It is a lovely yet heartbreaking story. It does have a sweet ending once you get past the serious parts (which are sad, heartbreaking and slightly depressing). There is the requisite romance, but I did enjoy the character of Alex. Tracie Peterson did a great job with her research. Her writing brought history to life. I have read the majority of Ms. Peterson’s novels (I still have a couple in my TBR pile), and I will continue to read her stories in the future.

I received an ARC copy of this book by Bethany House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annie’s Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker

cover105119-mediumAnnie’s Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker is the second book in the Hope Chest of Dreams series. Annie Mast and Levi Miller were childhood best friends. Then one day Levi was gone. Levi’s father, John, had broken the rules of the Ordnung and was shunned. John quickly packed up his family and moved away. Ten years later, Annie is at the wedding of Katie and Jeremiah when she notices an Englischer in the crowd. Upon closer inspection, she notices that it is Levi. They agree to meet at their special place at Pebble Creek. When they meet, it is like they have never been apart. Over the next few days, the two meet whenever Annie can get away. Levi wants to spend the rest of his life with Annie, but, there is a big obstacle in the way of their happiness. Levi does not feel he can return to Arthur, Illinois and live. He feels he will always be known as the son of the shunned man. Levi knows that Annie would not be happy in the Englisch world and asks if she would be willing to compromise. Annie’s heart, though, is in the Amish world where she grew up. Annie believes that God can work miracles and, if she is meant to be with Levi, God will find a way.

Annie’s Recipe is nicely written and is easy to read. The book reminds me of a sappy romance novel with Christian faith and theology tossed in. Annie’s journal entries remind me of those written by a lovesick teenager. Annie’s sponge cakes are mentioned frequently throughout the book.

I received an advanced reader’s copy from Kensington Books and Zebra via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, Kensington Books, NetGalley, Women's Fiction, Zebra | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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