Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gone South by Meg Moseley

About the Book:

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

My Review:

Gone South is Meg Moseley's second book and it is as great as the first, When Sparrows Fall, if not even better. Meg Moseley presents many issues found all around us, such as homelessness, stealing, low self esteem and more, and tackles it well. Everything about this book was well developed especially the characters. Each character came to life for me as if they were right in the room with me. The thing I loved most about this book was that fact that it had so many twists and turns that I could never fully predict what would happen. I find it boring to be able to predict the where the story will go early on and to be right.

I loved this book and would recommend to anyone that wants a good book filled with suspense, romance, and drama all tied together with the themes of love, faith and forgiveness.

*I received this book from blogging for books for the purpose of this review.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman

About the Book:

Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband. Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce. Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?

In the charming town of Smithville, Texas, Brooke Holloway is raising two young children on her own, supporting them by running the family hardware store. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. But she’s intrigued when a stranger moves to town and buys the old Hadley mansion. She’s always heard that house holds a secret—maybe even a treasure—and she can’t wait to see inside. When she meets the new owner and they spend time together, she can’t deny the attraction. Could God be giving her another chance at happiness? Or is she betraying her late husband’s memory by even thinking that way?

Owen Saunders bought the Hadley place to spite his cheating ex-wife. She’d always wanted to restore an old house in Smithville. Now he’s going to do it without her. But if anything needs restoration, it is Owen’s heart. Then he meets Brooke and her kids and finds himself tempted by love. Can he bring himself to trust a woman again?

Throw an eccentric uncle into the mix, along with the town’s teenage troublemaker, and even a finicky cat—and one thing becomes clear: God is bringing them all together for a reason.

My Review:

4.5 Stars

Beth Wiseman has done it again! She has written a fantastic novel that draws reader in from the first page with realistic and charming charactres, real emotion and faith weaved throughout it.

I really enjoyed this book, this is Beth Wiseman's second contemporary novel and she does a great job at it. This genre to me is a hard one because the plots can easily be so similar, or almost too hard to believe but she does a great job at keeping it real and unique but also not being so heavy that leaves readers feeling sad and frustrated. The romance part was very sweet and I couldn't help cheer them on and couldn't wait to see how it would all wrap up. I found this to be an easy read and one that is hard to put down, the best kind of books!

I highly recommend this book to fans of Beth Wiseman and to those who enjoy a good contemporary Christian novel. 

* I received this book from booksneeze for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry

About the Book:

Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an “illegal,” call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

My Review:

4 Stars

Borders of the Heart is the third book I have read from Chris Fabry and while I really did enjoy it I am not sure I would call it my favorite. It had a slow start and then had many periods that would drag, but the overall plot was interesting even though predictable. I loved the concept of how one choice can change so much and put you on a path that you didn't even know existed. Chris Fabry is a fantastic storyteller and has the ability to write in different settings and craft unique stories. All of his books tend to have the theme of redemption, but that does not make them all the same at all. I will say this book is not light and fluffy, but it is not so deep and dark that it is depressing. It truly is part thrill ride and part romance which makes for a great combination. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants something different to read, has read Chris Fabry book's before, or anyone looking for a good story.

* I received this book through the Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of this review. Thank You!

Can't Wait WIllow

About the Book:

Choose Right. Shine Bright.

The first book in a new series about helping children learn how to make good choices.

Willow is so excited that the Over-the-Top Circus has finally come to town! The only problem is that when left to make her own decisions, she can't say 'no' to her favorite things. On the way to the show, she is distracted by enticing treats and fun that she just can't turn down. Willow arrives late and is sad to find that not only has she has run out of time, but money, and she won't be able to enjoy the pink cotton candy she's been dreaming of. Willow is given valuable advice and a second chance and is ultimately taught the lesson that sometimes in life you have to say 'no' to good things to end up with something great!

About the series: The Shine Bright Kids series provides children and their families with a relevant framework to teach the importance of making good choices. The principles that will be explored include: using good judgment, taking responsibility, having a positive attitude, and demonstrating perseverance.

My Review:

I loved this children's book, it so cute and the pictures are just darling. It is a a book I would definitely consider buying when looking in a store, it has a catchy cover and doesn't disappoint once opened. This book is a wonderful story that teaches a lesson which is just great. I can't wait to read this book to my little girl when she is older and can enjoy this great story with beautiful illustrations. I know I will want to add the next ones in this series to my little girls bookshelf.

*I received this book from Fly By Promotions for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

All For A Song by Allison Pittman

About the Book:

Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and plans to marry the young pastor who took over her late father’s pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother’s old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more.

Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister’s family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?

About the Author:
Award-winning author Allison Pittman left a seventeen-year teaching career in 2005 to follow the Lord's calling into the world of Christian fiction, and God continues to bless her step of faith. Her novels For Time and Eternity and Forsaking All Others were both finalists for the Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction, and her novel Stealing Home won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Carol Award. She heads up a successful, thriving writers group in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.

My Review:

5 Stars

Loved this book! This has been easily a favorite book of mine and one I will be re reading in the future, it has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf. As soon as I heard Allison Pittman had a new book coming out I could not wait to read it. I have read many of her books and loved them all. I really enjoy reading books set in the roaring '20's since that decade is such a mark of change and the struggles faced back then were very hard and really start to mark a more modern era. Life really started to change from the simpler olden days.

All for a Song is tells a powerful story of Miss Dorothy Lynn Dunbar and really is a story of growing up and finding God's plan. She struggles with the more modern things of the city with her simple country childhood and is torn for much of the story of where she fits and what life she is suppose to lead. I found it interesting how Allison Pittman weaved in the real life charismatic female evangelist  Aimee Semple McPherson and loved the the blend of fiction and non-fiction.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves historical s set in the '20's. I will warn though that this book really is not a romance story at all but much more of a coming-of-age story filled with so much that will leave you turning the pages long after the lights go out. Great job Allison Pittman on a fantastic novel.

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

For more information check out:

1. The Authors website: www.allisonpittman.com


2. Questions and Answers with the author: http://mediacenter.tyndale.com/downloads/press_kits/ASAuthorQA.pdf

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon

About the book:

Two very different sisters . . . an unexpected homecoming . . . one unforgettable summer

Karen and Val are family-yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had other reasons for moving away-as well as a secret to keep-and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with past mistakes as they care for their ailing mother. When two handsome men enter the picture, the summer takes on a surprising new dimension. As their lives intersect, can each of them learn how to forgive, let go, and move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, award-winning author Irene Hannon pens an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex relationships, the search for forgiveness, and the life-changing process of finding love.

My Review:

I am not sure what I feel about this book. When I got it in the mail I was excited to dig in as it is one of my favorite genres, contemporary, but as I read through I never really felt engaged in the book. The story was good, the characters had depth and the plot felt real but in the end it didn't leave me thinking or sad to leave the characters behind. With that said I have never read Irene Hannon and she is most known for her suspense books. I do know that I plan to try her other books one day as I have heard only good things about them. 

In the end this was not my favorite but I am confident there will be some that love it and something worth checking out. 

* I received this book from Revell for the purpose of this review. Thank you!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

All in Good Time by Maureen Lang

About the Book:

Dessa Caldwell has a dream: to open Pierson House, a refuge for former prostitutes in Denver’s roughest neighborhood. But after exhausting all charitable donations, Dessa still needs a loan, and nearly every bank in town has turned her down. Her last hope hinges on the owner of Hawkins National Bank.

Henry Hawkins has a secret: though he owns the most successful bank in town, his initial capital came from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now he’s the most eligible bachelor in Denver, but to protect his criminal past, he’s built a fortress around his heart. Not even the boldest matchmaking mother can tempt him . . . until the day Dessa Caldwell ventures into his bank requesting a loan.

Though he’s certain her proposal is a bad investment, Henry is drawn to Dessa’s passion. But that same passion drives her to make rash decisions about Pierson House . . . and about whom she can trust. One man might hold the key to the future of her mission—but he also threatens to bring Henry’s darkest secrets to light. As the walls around their hearts begin to crumble, Henry and Dessa must choose between their plans and God’s, between safety and love.

My Review:

5 Stars

What a fantastic story! Maureen Lang does a great job at weaving the lives of Henry Hawkins and Dessa Caldwell together, both impulsive, stubborn and in need to learn the same lessons. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and dived right in as soon as it came in the mail. It didn't take me long to read at all!  I just loved Dessa and her determination to help woman and young woman out and get them out of bad situations. She didn't just want to give them a hand out but a hand up and teach them skills and show them that God loves them. This is not an easy thing for a woman to do back then and in many ways is still a hard thing.

This is part of the Guilded Legacy series but can be completed read on its own, there really is no connection to the first book. The characters and setting and completely different. II personally think this book is a lot better than Birds in the Butterfly Garden, the first book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Maureen Lang's other books and historical romance in general. You can't go wrong with this book and the cover is beautiful!

*I received this book from Tyndale for the purpose of this review.

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book:

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

My Review: 

5 Stars

Fans of Cathy Gohlke's Promise Me This will find they will love this book just as much even though its very different. It still has Cathy's excellent story telling, historical accuracy and a page turning book you can't put down. What is doesn't have is the romance story but it has a powerful story that will stay with long after you turn the last page.

I loved Olivia's character and her determination to do good and on honor her father's promise. She is a person that many of can learn from. Of course, I also loved Maureen's character but her story was more heart breaking at times. She was frustrating at times with her stubbornness, which made sense at times but not always.

This is a great book for anyone who likes a good historical story. Though I will say it is not a light beach read by any means, but I think that is why the book is so great and powerful!

* I received this book from Tyndale through Radiant Lit. Thank you!