Archive for the 'Romance' Category


Daddy Long-Legs Revisited “Dear Mr. Knightley” by Katherine Reay

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

 

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Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Reminding us all that our own true character is not meant to be hidden, Reay’s debut novel follows one young woman’s journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

My Comments:  This book is written in letter form, so as I began reading, I wasn’t sure I could make it through.  I am so glad I did!  I read some reviews before finishing and found that it was based on Daddy Long-Legs and I noticed that on Netflix – let me warn you don’t watch that until AFTER you read this book – it’s a huge spoiler.  Having said that, this is a Christian, modern version with lots of literature references.  It made me cry, so that’s usually a winner 🙂  This is not my usual type of book to read, but I liked it a lot.  It was sweet and because I am a book lover, it was easy to get connected and invested in the characters!

Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

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Tess has taken some ribbing from her fellow officer, Logan, for her quilting hobby. He finds it hard to align the brisk professional officer he patrols with during the day with the one who quilts in her off-time. Besides, he’s been trying to get to know her better and he’d like to be seeing her during those few nights a week she spends with her quilting guild. Then one afternoon Tess and Logan visit her aunt in the nursing home, and the woman acts agitated when Tess covers her with the story quilt. Aunt Susan is attempting to communicate a message to them about Tess’s uncle. There’s a story behind this quilt, they realize, one that may lead them to a serial killer. Will they have a chance to have a future together, or will the killer choose Tess for his next victim before they find him?

 

My Comments:  This is the first non-Amish fiction book I’ve read by Barbara Cameron and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  It was somewhat predicatable, but sometimes I need a book like that.  Cameron’s writing engages me.  A sweet romance develops throughout the story.  The only negative thing I can say is that the story ends somewhat abruptly.  Maybe this will lead to a sequel?  The story is clean and enjoyable.  Christianity presents itself but not in a way that would off-put non-believers.

This book will be published in January 2014.  I received a review copy from NetGalley.  Thanks – this is my honest opinion.

Rebecca’s Christmas Gift

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

rebecca's christmas gift

Housekeeper For The Holidays

During the Christmas season, Rebecca Yoder agrees to help new preacher Caleb Wittner with his mischievous daughter. Amelia’s turned the community of Seven Poplars upside down. Only Rebecca can see the pain hidden beneath the little girl’s antics—and her father’s brusque manner. After losing his wife in a fire, Caleb’s physical scars may be healing, but his emotions have not. Yet Rebecca’s sweet manner soon has him smiling and laughing with his daughter—and his pretty housekeeper. Soon Caleb must decide whether to invite Rebecca into his life—or lose her forever.

Hannah’s Daughters: Seeking love, family and faith in Amish country

My Comments:  I love books by Emma Miller.  I think I have read each book in this series and have enjoyed each one.  This book is great.  The characters ring true and are flawed.  Some if the women are over-bearing as well as some being sweet.  The men are not picture perfect, which I like – real people, real problems.  As with other Amish holiday books, the story is not a holiday feel-good, puts me in the Christmas spirit mood, BUT the simple way the Amish celebrate Christmas is refreshing.  They celebrate in a simple, heart-felt way.  They exchange meaningful gifts, and not an abundance of gifts.  They decorate sparsely, but they do decorate.  If you enjoy Amish and/or clean Christian fiction, you will enjoy this book!

Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for the review e-copy.

Fifteen Minutes – Karen Kingsbury

Sunday, October 27th, 2013
15 minutes
Zack Dylan made a promise to God and his college sweetheart as he left his family’s horse farm in Kentucky to compete on the popular reality television show Fifteen Minutes: If he makes it, the fame won’t change him.Overnight, Zack is the nation’s most popular contestant, a country singer with the looks and voice of a young Elvis. As his star rises, Zack is asked to compromise and quiet his beliefs, and also some­thing more. Something Zack could never have imagined. Just as America is falling in love with Zack, just as he’s on the verge of winning it all, his choices lead him to the brink of personal disaster.At the same time, Reese Weatherly, a thera­peutic horse instructor, is no longer sure about her relationship with Zack, or the wedding they had dreamed about. While Zack advances from one round of the competition to the next, an offer comes to Reese—one that will take her to a home halfway around the world.

Then Chandra Olson—reigning diva pop star and one of the Fifteen Minutes judges—intervenes. Chandra has suffered so much public pain and pri­vate agony since her days as a Fifteen Minutes contestant. Now she wants just one thing: meaning.

Can Chandra’s private losses help Zack find his way, or will his fifteen minutes of fame cause him to lose the life he once loved? Fifteen Minutesis a story of character, compromise, and the cost of having it all. A story that raises the question: Who are the real winners?

My Comments:  I have been reading Karen Kingsbury since she began writing and I keep thinking I’ve “outgrown” her books.  I think they are great for young adult women as well as young girls.  However, having said that I don’t seem to stop wanting to read them.  They are sappy and sentimental, yet I can’t stay away.  I guess I really like them deep down, even though I don’t consider myself sentimental and I’m definitely not in the “young” age category any more.
This book is no exception.  I think since Karen’s daughter Kelsey married a Christian “star” she is delving into that category in her writing.  This story is based on an “American Idol” type program – singing contest – instant fame.  The characters are in danger of giving up that which is most important which is their faith and anonymity.  The cost of fame is high. This book gives us a real taste of that as well as priorities in life – what is important anyway?  This is a great book for star-struck young people – a reality check.
Karen’s books always have a great, common-sense message.  By moving to Nashville, Karen has opened up a new genre of writing.  I love it!  I always wondered about the Christian rock stars, how they can keep their humility.  This book gives a peak behind that curtain.  I consider it a very interesting and entertaining read!
I received a free review copy from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review.  I have been as honest as I could.  Thank you Howard for publishing great inspirational books!

Promise to Return by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

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When World War II breaks out, Miriam Coblentz’s peaceful Amish world is turned upside down…It’s 1943, and Miriam Coblentz and Henry Mast are nearing their wed­ding day when the unthinkable happens—Henry is drafted. However, since he is a part of the pacifist Amish tradition, Henry is sent to a conscientious objector Civilian Public Service camp. When he leaves for the work camp, his gaping absence turns Miriam’s life upside down. Little does she know it’s only the beginning… When Henry returns home, he brings news that shakes Miriam and their Amish community to the core. Henry believes God has called him to enlist in the army and fight for his country, leaving her to make an impor­tant decision: whether to choose loyalty to the peaceful life she’s always known or her love for Henry. Two worlds collide in this unforgettable debut novel, providing a fasci­nating and rare look into Amish culture during World War II. While Henry is battling enemies across the ocean, Miriam struggles between her devotion to Henry and her love of the Amish way of life. One question is at the bottom of it all: will she follow the rules of her religion or the leading of her heart?
My Comments:  I have read so many Amish books now, and I still love them!  This one, however was quite different.  It was set during World War 2 in Delaware.  I have never read about the Amish in Delaware before, neither did I know that there was a Civilian Public Service camp for conscientious objectors.  I got quite hooked into this book.  It helps the interest factor that Ms. Younts grew up among the Amish and even spoke the Pennsylvania Dutch language.  Some of this fiction story was based on true people and events although changed around a bit.  I hope to read more by this exciting new author!  If you love Amish fiction and want to try something different – here’s a great book to read!
I received this book free from Howard Books in exchange for my honest review which I have given.

 

Twice Loved by Wanda Brunstetter

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Twice Loved

Bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter brings you a touching story of a single mother widowed after World War II. Bev Winters’s new job is an answer to prayer and just in time for Christmas—until her boss’s kindness awakens an old longing. Will her pride allow love after loss? Also enjoy a collection of 1940s recipes and handcrafts along with stories and trivia about Christmas 1946.

My Comments:  This is the first non-Amish book I’ve read by Wanda Brunstetter and I loved it.  It’s a short, sweet, holiday, romantic read.  There are several yummy sounding recipes at the end of the story which adds to this book’s appeal.  For some reason this book reminds me of a Grace Livingston Hill story, and I love those!  The setting of post-World War II adds to the charm of the book.  I recommend this book as a fun, feel-good read!

Thank you NetGalley and Ms. Brunstetter!

HOLIDAY PREVIEW – An Amish Family Christmas by Murray Pura

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Amish Family Christmas

After tragedy strikes the family of young Naomi Bachman, her sister-in-law Rebecca Bachman does all she can to help. But things get complicated when Micah–Rebecca’s brother and Naomi’s husband–returns from a combat tour in Afghanistan. He is under the Meidung–the shunning–because of his enlistment, and none of the Amish are permitted to speak to him or eat with him, even his wife Naomi. How then can this young couple, still in love, ever find happiness? How can the healing process even begin when Micah refuses to repent of what he has done?  

Still, God has a way of working on the hearts of His people–especially at Christmastime.   At just the right time, events conspire to birth a miracle that may set things right for Naomi and Micah–and for the Amish community itself.
Here is warm and tender story of faithfulness, love, and reconciliation at the most wonderful time of the year.

My Comments:  I enjoyed this book and although it’s a holiday book and would definitely give the warm and fuzzy Christmas joys, it reads well at all times of the year.  Naomi and Rebecca have some adjusting to do.  Naomi lost most of her in a tragic accident.  Only her brother Luke is alive and he is in a coma.  Naomi’s also has some issues with her husband as he returns from Afghanistan.  The situation looks almost impossible.  But yet all things are possible with God – even in the Amish community!  I enjoyed this book becuase it shows how God can change hearts.  I highly recommend it!

Thank you NetGalley!

Danger in Amish Country by Marta Perry, Diane Burke, and Kit Wilkinson

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

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LOVE AND DANGER COLLIDE IN THREE NEW AMISH NOVELLAS

Fall from Grace by Marta Perry

When one of her students witnesses a crime, Sara Esch gets too close to the truth, and widower Caleb King must risk it all for the woman who’s taught him to love again.

Dangerous Homecoming by Diane Burke

Katie Lapp needs her childhood friend Joshua Miller more than ever when someone threatens her late husband’s farm. Can Joshua protect her…even if it endangers his heart?

Return to Willow Trace by Kit Wilkinson

A series of accidents has startled their Plain community…and leads Lydia Stoltz to Joseph Yoder, the man who once broke her heart. At every turn, it seems their shared past holds the key to their future.

My Comments:  I was in the mood for a quick, suspenseful read, and this book filled that mood need.  It is difficult to think of trouble in Amish land, but these scenarios could seemingly happen.  I definitely have to be in the mood for short stories, but occasionally that happens.  I liked each of the three stories.  They were different enough in characters and plot to hold my interest.  Each story was less than 100 pages which means I could read each story in one sitting, and I did.

Though My Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

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Gideon O’Riley has two wives—but he doesn’t know it.

Settling into a simple life in the majestic Blue Ridge mountains, Lonnie and Gideon O’Riley have finally found happiness after the rocky start to their marriage. The roguish bluegrass musician has fallen in love with his gentle wife and the God she serves, and Lonnie rests secure in his tenderness for her and their young son. A heartless ruse interupts their peace, bringing them back to Rocky Knob—and forces them to face the claims of Cassie Allan, a woman who says she is Gideon’s rightful wife.

As Gideon wades into the depths of his past choices, Lonnie is stunned by the revelations. She has no choice but to navigate this new path, knowing that surviving the devastating blow will take every ounce of strength  she has.

While Gideon’s guilt  and his bitterness towards Cassie threatens to burn up his fledgling faith, Lonnie wrestles to find the courage to trust the God who brought them together in the first place. Will their hard-earned love be able to conquer all?

Lonnie only wanted her husband’s love. Now that he belongs to another, can she surrender Gideon to a God with a bigger plan?

My Comments:  This was another difficult book to get into.  I had to go back and restart it because it did not capture my interest immediately.  However, it got better as it went along.  I preferred the first book, Be Still My Soul.  This book just seemed unreal to me.  It was hard to buy into the characters actions completely.  That may be because it is historical fiction, but I’m not sure.  I will read the third book in this series to see how everything plays out.  We are left on somewhat of a cliffhanger at the end and I will need closure to completely judge this series.
I received this book free from the publisher for the purpose of honest review.

Dee Hendersen is back with “Jennifer”

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

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Book Description:

It’s a summer of change for Jennifer O’Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She’s sorting out how to introduce him to her family–she’s the youngest of seven–and thinking about marriage. She’s falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn’t expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family.
My Comments:  It has been a lot of years since I read about the O’Malleys, and this book whet my appetite again!  This book is a short prequel to the O’Malley series.  We meet Jennifer and get some of her back story.  Honestly, I need to read the series again and this book made me want to do just that!  Dee Henderson is a great writer and her books appeal to a wide age group.  The only complaint I have about this book is that it is too short!
Thank you NetGalley for my free review copy!  I loved it!