Women’s Fiction

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

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

The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick

cover107453-mediumThe Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick is a story about child prodigies who were created in the womb for greatness, promised success, prodded by their mother. They were perfectly planned and then everything changed when one of the Promise girls decided to be not so perfect on live TV. Fast forward, twenty years later the story picks up to tell us what the Promise sisters are up to and how they are getting along. One is married, one is a single parent and the third is a mermaid. All have issues to deal with from their childhood. None of them are doing what their mother pushed them toward. The catalyst of a major life threatening accident and the need for money encourages the sisters to do a documentary that will tell the world what happened to “The Promise Girls” once they became adults.

As revelations were made about what happened after the debacle on live TV and how it impacted each of the girls, I wished that their lives could have been different. Passion and promise are not the only things that create professional superstar status. There has to be drive and will and belief in oneself that the sisters seemed to lose at points in their lives. Each sister thrived in her own way and by the end of the book all three sisters eventually were be able to enjoy their talents and gifts and realize the promise their lives held in store for the future.

I received this ARC from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Advanced readers copy, ARC, book review, books, women, Women's Fiction | 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

Abby’s Journey by Steena Holms

cover95941-mediumAbby’s Journey by Steena Holms is the sequel to the  Saving Abbey. It tells the story of Abby’s childhood living with her father Josh. Her mother Claire died shortly after Abby was born but Abby has a real connection with her mother because Claire had written letters to both Josh and Abby to help guide them through her childhood. She had also left her beautiful illustrations in the books she wrote for children with her husband Josh, videos, journals and postcards, all that brought her mother nearer and nearer to Abby.

Abby was born with bronchopulmonary dysplasia a condition which could easily see a simple every-day cold become life threatening pneumonia. Josh had sat at her bedside in hospital time after time, praying that she had the strength. When she was twenty years of age she begged her father to let her move to a flat-share, but he was reluctant to let her move out. Nobody knew Abby as well as he did or would look after her health needs as he did. Reluctantly Josh agreed to let Abby go on a trip to Europe with Millie, her maternal grandmother, retracing her mother’s footsteps and taking her travel journal with her. She not only looked like her mother, but also her thirst for travel adventures was equal to Claire’s. This is the story of Abbey’s first ever holiday without her father, but guided by her mother. Like her mother she documents her travels, sending out postcards, texts and filling her blog with interesting facts and experiences. She was at last living the life she had always hoped she would.

This is a heart-warming story about parental love, family love and friendship. In the various locations that Abby visits she meets people who knew her mother and had kept mementos of her visit. She uses her mother’s journals to connect to the places she visits and she has the time of her life. She also discovers a family secret that her mother had anticipated and another letter for both Josh and Abby helped her to accommodate and assimilate this information with her mother’s wise words.

I loved the gorgeous descriptions Steena Holmes created of the beautiful places Millie and Abby visited. I only wished I was there to share her experiences.

I received this ARC book from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Adventure, book review, books, culture, fiction, first reads, historical fiction, Lake Union Publishing, NetGalley, Review, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sisters One, Two and Three by Nancy Star

29806089Sisters One, Two and Three by Nancy Star is a story told from Ginger’s perspective. The plot moves between the 1970s and today. Ginger is the oldest of four siblings, and in the 1970s a tragic event redefined her family.

The three sisters, all very different, come together after the death of their mother.  Ginger is the the eldest who is the overanxious hypochondriac. Mimi is the laissez-faire soccer Mom extraordinaire. Lastly, Callie is the youngest and the wanderer whom, as of late, has been on one of her famous disappearing acts. The three finally converge at their Martha’s Vineyard home and, finally, are forced to confront the tragedy from their childhood that has plagued them all for years.

The characters in this novel are well thought out and unique, as well as realistic and flawed. This novel has great style, flow and is very easy to read. I was overjoyed when the format on my E-reader copy was clear, and I could easily engage.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Lake Union Publishing for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

Categories: book review, books, family, fiction, friendships, Lake Union Publishing, Nancy Star, NetGalley, Review, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Birds in the Air by Frances O’Roark Dowell

cover96917-mediumBirds in the Air by Frances O’Roark Dowell is a wonderful story. I loved the book from the first page to the last page. The book involves a woman whose family moves to a small town in the mountains. Her husband and daughter settle in quickly with job and school, but Emma needs something to do. Finding an old quilt in an attic trunk is the catalyst for searching out the local quilt shop. She is not a quilter to start with, but that quickly changes. Through a series of events, she ends up learning to quilt as well as becoming the publicist for the local guild’s quilt show. Some of the members do not agree that an outside should have such an important role. Conflict with another guild member creates a disaster for the quilt show, and help comes from an unlikely source. The story is interesting and told in an easy to read style, and I found it difficult to put down. I also like that Emma is happily married, as many of these series begin with a divorce so the woman can find her own way. I like that a married woman can also find her own way while having a family and a committed relationship.

There are several reasons I loved this book.

First, the characters. The characters are realistic and true to life. Second, I could related to the life styles characterized by several of the characters. Third, I like  how Frances uses quilting terms through out the book. Fourth, I like that the author brought the conflict of “quilt divas” to the story which brings to like the quilting industry that not everyone is kind at all times. The author brings past quilting history and highlights how functions in a community both in the past and in current times. I love how the author makes community building such a central theme in the story. Lastly, fifth, the authors deals with quilting controversy within the story and it makes the story appear that much more realistic.

I received this book from Milton Falls Media, Inc. via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: arts and crafts, Birds in the Air, book review, books, Crafts & Hobbies, family, fiction, Frances O'Roark Dowell, Literary Fiction, literature, Milton Falls Media, NetGalley, Relationships, Review, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter

28956754The Christmas Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a wonderful Christmas Novella to get the reader in the holiday/Christmas mood.This book is the perfect example of how a lie can have devastating consequences many years later. Beautiful story of how a God hears and answers our prayers. Don’t miss this one, as you will not be disappointed.

The Christmas Secret is set in 1880 and the town sounds simply enchanting in its simplicity. The little cabin they plan to live in for sentimental reasons intrigues others but many of them don’t understand their decision. They know they could live in a more modern cabin. They plan to marry there as well even though her best friend, Helen, doesn’t think it is a wise choice. Unfortunately for the happy couple, Elizabeth discovers her aunt’s secret diary as she is cleaning the cabin and when she reads it, she finds a horrible, horrible truth that means she can never marry David. In her shock and grief, she hastily writes a letter to David to cancel their marriage and flees without even talking with him first. He is confused and upset and all he wants is to find her and bring her home for their wedding. He may never find her though and when he does, the secret may indeed end their chance of a lifetime of married bliss together. But David isn’t giving up on this beautiful, wonderful young woman and God isn’t giving up on either of them. If only Elizabeth would trust God to shape their future.

This is the perfect time of year to spend time reading The Christmas Secret as we approach the Christmas holiday. Of course, any time of year is the right time to read books in my opinion, but I love to read Christmas books at this time of year. Wanda has tackled this historical fiction piece with as much style and grace as she does with her Amish works. The story has a shocking element that leads to a mystery for David as he searches to bring his bride-to-be home. I love a good shocking bit of a mystery when I read and I think that other readers will enjoy it too.

I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Barbour Publishing, Bible, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, family, friendships, historical fiction, history, inspiration, love, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Women's Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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