romance

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

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

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

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

That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson

28695904That burning summer is a really interesting story of a romance that develops between a British girl and a Polish pilot who she finds honest her home after he is forced out of his plane by parachute. I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop and seeing the world through their eyes particularly in the way he worried about being treated by others.

It is set in rural England during the Second World War. We are introduced to Peggy, a sixteen year old, who one day, during her daily chores, stumbles across someone who she does not expect to meet – a young Polish pilot named Henryk. Neither are sure whether or not to trust each other, but they do begin to bond until Ernest, Peggy’s younger brother, finds Henryk and becomes suspicious. Not only are there obvious difficulties with knowing who to trust or not during a war, we also sometimes have to wonder whether one family member can trust the family member as there are is also an interesting subplot regarding Peggy and Ernest’s father. I believe that the main focus of the story is intended to be the gradual building relationship between Peggy and Henryk, but there felt like there was a lot more to think about or to consider if you weren’t actually interested in ‘romance’.

I enjoyed the historical information about WWII that Syson included in the story and the experiences of the characters. Rather than feeling like the book merely took place during WWII, it felt like the characters were actually experiencing and living through the events.

I received this ARC from Skyhorse Publishing and Sky Pony Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, book review, books, historical fiction, history, romance, Sky Pony Press, Skyhorse Publishing, WWII, YA, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

cover103165-mediumThe Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren is a tender story about a girl who lost her best friend. About a friendship that no matter what will never end, and how grieving someone you lost is different for everybody involved.

The Last Thing You Said is a beautiful look at the enduring power of first love and how two teens must reach through the murky waters of grief to reconnect. The whole story is peppered with beautiful quotes and my favorite will stay with me for a long time: “It’s a good day to have a good day.” I loved how Biren portrayed love as a brave act—because it is such a brave act—and how she explored the courage it takes to trust in romantic love after losing a beloved friend. This is a brave debut, a brave look at the raw, messy, confusing bits of young love.

At thw beginning of the book the reader learns pieces of information about Trixie’s death; such as, the way things were before her death, and why things are the way they are now between Ben and Lucy. There are little stories interspersed throughout the book gives this book depth and substance to the backstory.

This book has a lot of drama. Simon the renter who moves in next door to Lucy for the summer and with whom Lucy sparks a summer romance. Ben struggles with guilt, grief, and disgust with himself about his choices and mistakes. Ben’s family and the way they are handling their grief. Lucy and her family’s struggle to understand Lucy’s grief and stay financially afloat. There is so much wonderful, glorious, messy love in this book- sibling, familial, romantic, and friendship love. And the characters are flawed and make mistakes, many that had me cringing and crying out, ‘no, don’t do that, don’t make it worse.’ But the characters and the story are all the richer for mess that offsets the beauty in this moving book.

I received this book from ABRAMS Kids and Amulet Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Abrams Kids, Amulet Books, book review, books, family, fiction, literature, love, NetGalley, Review, romance, Teens, YA | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece

cover97776-mediumWildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece is a Christian novel set in the 1800’s. Thomas and Sadie Brown’s farm, Red Cedars, is nestled in the Allegheny Mountain’s in what has become West Virginia. It escaped detection by both Yankee and Rebel troops during the Civil War. Their twin daughters, Mountain Laurel and Ivy Ann, are very different from each other. Laurel is very quiet and reserved while Ivy is outgoing and flirty. They have recently turned twenty. A week later they are blessed to have the new doctor, Adam Birchfield, arrive.

The story is about two twin sisters Laurel and Ivy Ann who lives with their parents in West Virginian. They meet a handsome doctor, Adam Birchfield who seems to like both of the sisters. There is a rift between the sisters which makes one choose to do something unexpected. Adam leaves West Virginian to joins his older brother Nat in Wyoming who is a preacher. Laurel decides leave and go to Wyoming too.

The Birchfield’s have always made their home in Massachusetts until oldest son, Nathaniel, refuses to fight in the war he doesn’t believe in and leaves home. When he finishes school, Adam also leaves his family home in order to practice medicine where he is desperately needed and to try to find his brother.

The lives of these two families become entwined in some very unexpected ways over the years. I really enjoyed this book and the characters though at times I wanted to yell at them when they made silly decisions. There is always some competition going on between Laurel and Ivy, some expected and some seem silly for adult women. The girls are both strong and adventurous when need be. When their lives take unexpected turns they focus on prayer to see them through. Adam finds Nathaniel is now a preacher in the vast Wyoming where the need for a doctor is great. Adam prayerfully considers whether God is calling him to join his brother.

There are many unexpected turns which kept me very engaged and reading to learn what would happen next. The main characters are all Christians but only share their faith through actions. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good, Christian based romance novel with some mysteries included.

I received an advance copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

Categories: Adventure, Barbour Books, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, family, fiction, historical fiction, history, NetGalley, Relationships, Review, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

cover103991-mediumComing Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally is a fantastic book in the Hundred Oaks series. This is the 5th book I’ve read in the series. I love getting lost in the sporty world that Miranda Kenneally has created. I love that each book features a different girl with a different sport.

In Coming Up for Air the main character is Maggie. Maggie is a devoted swimmer. Swimming is her entire life, she is passionate about it. Maggie hopes that one day she’ll get into the Olympics. Swimming is not something that is forced rather it is something she loves.

Coming Up for Air is light, funny and cute. Maggie has four great friends, who all have sports that they love more than life itself. Levi is her best friend, and he swims with her. They are great characters, and have a great romance. They are best friends first. They don’t let anything come in the way of their friendship; however, when Maggie feels she needs experience in certain areas before she heads off to college, Levi is the one person she feels most comfortable asking for help.

Maggie wanting experience before going to college causes their relationship to go through a period of being a awkward and emotional. Eventually they both begin to see the other in a new way, and to start feeling emotions. The new direction of the friendship does not feel forced; but, rather natural. The strong bond between Maggie and Levi and their friendship was more important than anything else, and that was the one thing they wanted to save.

This book was such a worthy edition to the Hundred Oaks series. I also loved that Jordan Woods got a bigger speaking role as Maggie’s school coach.

Categories: book review, books, first reads, friendships, Miranda Kenneally, NetGalley, Relationships, Review, romance, Sourcebooks, Sports, swimming, Teens, YA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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