Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won't wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?

MY THOUGHTS:
Of the three books, I think I most enjoyed Rowena's story in book two; however, I enjoyed getting to know Ella better and seeing the change in Cayton, especially when motivated by Ella's upbeat personality.

I thought the ending for the Fire Eyes was very clever, with no one the wiser but those closest to the jewels. And though Kira wasn't really my favorite character, I was happy that she decided to go back to her homeland and abandon her not-so-great circumstances.

I mostly enjoyed the series and would pick up something by Roseanna again.

Thank you to Roseanna and Bethany House through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, September 5, 2016

God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson



ABOUT THE BOOK:
A timeless classic can change the future.

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the head-mistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up dreams and returns to Grandma Esther, who raised Charlie as her own.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Esther immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. When Charlie disapproves of having to work with Dustin Kennedy, the seventh-grade English teacher, Grandma Esther encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what the book could teach Charlie about the needs of the children in their own community.

MY THOUGHTS:
This short Christmas novel was ok...but, not really my thing. Every so often a book blurb catches my eye, despite its contemporary setting (which I really don't care for), and I decide to read it anyway.

Well...God Bless Us Every One was pretty much as I expected...and everything I hoped it wasn't. Somehow, today's lingo and themes just aren't as charming to me as a historical setting. It's hard for me to feel warm and cozy with the mention of iPhones, pumpkin lattes, and (very) present-day artists belting out redone Christmas classics on the radio.

May not be my thing...but it might be yours!

I also thought the relationship between Charlie and Dustin moved too quickly. I mean, I know Charlie had been attracted to Dustin in high school, but on one page they were being reacquainted and by seemingly the next page, they were dating and smooching. Ok?! I just never felt the build-up of any romantic feelings (I know it was a short book, but still...).

So, if you enjoy reading short, Christmas themed stories during the holiday season, you'll probably like this one. I however, prefer jingle-bell-decked horses, pulling red sleighs full of warm, muffler-clad people.

Thank you to Eva and Abingdon Press through NetGalley for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage.

She yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God's existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way. . . .

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After a failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette both endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter's faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

MY THOUGHTS:
I love that Jane Austen style, so I wanted to read Starving Hearts. Upon receiving the book, I noticed it was quite long (289 pages!)...with very small print.

The story read very movie-like, and though that is usually something I like, as it makes the reader feel like they are truly experiencing the story, I found Starving Hearts to be a bit wordy and tedious to work through. I had a hard time connecting with Annette, though I found quite interesting the people's perception during that time period of a health issue such as hers.

Mr. Slike, who is all things nasty, and the slavery side (bordered on the 'too descriptive') also made for very uncomfortable reading.

But, unfortunately, what disappointed me most, was the occurrence of profanity. About 2/3 of the way through the book (page 183), Peter's father swears. In less than 20 pages later (page 202), Mr. Adsley again uses inappropriate language.

This is something I just cannot tolerate. I find it very offensive and totally wrong in a 'Christian'-labeled story. I cannot recommend it.

That's what I thought! Click HERE to see what other reviewers are saying!

Thank you to Janine and Heritage Beacon through Litfuse for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Like a River from its Course by Kelli Stuart



ABOUT THE BOOK:
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer's plans for domination
are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism.

Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

MY THOUGHTS:
I found this book difficult to read. The four separate characters weren't woven together as much as I was expecting and the spiritual thread was almost non-existent.

(Near the end of the book, Ivan and his wife encounter and embrace a very Catholic-feeling kind of religion - a priest, stained glass windows, and icons of Mary and Jesus).

Luda's story was also very hard to read. I understand that such horrific things happened, but some of the language used by her father just made me uncomfortable.

It just felt like a book of sorrows. Oh, yes, I understand that so much of WWII was sorrowful...but, I do like reading about the hope and joy that some found despite the awfulness going on around them. Or at least some hope and joy that some may have found post-war.

That's what I thought! Click HERE to see what other reviewers are saying!

Thank you to Kelli and Kregel through Litfuse for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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