Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman



Welcome to the Litfuse blog tour for Shadowed by Grace by Cara C. Putman!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
She found peace in a time of war.

Desperate to save her dying mother, an American woman accepts her newspaper's assignment to travel to Italy where she takes photographs dangerously close to the front lines during World War II. But Rachel's real motive in this journey is to find the father she never knew, an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive at such a desperate time.

In her quest, Rachel becomes involved with what will become the Monuments Men effort to save great monuments and works of art from the Third Reich. Soon enough she will find more than she ever imagined---in war, in love, and in God.

MY THOUGHTS:
I think I've read almost every Christian fiction book that has been set WWII. I really love the intrigue, emotion, and history of that era. However, the story of priceless art that disappeared during Hitler's reign is fairly new to me after reading Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey's book a few years ago, Chasing Mona Lisa (I guess I did see a Hogan's Heroes rerun that involved some stolen art...but, um, although enjoyable, I haven't based much of my WWII history on that sitcom).

Anyway, I was excited to read Shadowed by Grace, which dealt with the 'Monuments Men,' men who were given the task of recovering and protecting Europe's invaluable art.

Yes, there was excitement and intrigue...but, not enough to keep me glued to the pages. I had a hard time liking Rachel from the start – her mom seemed too sick to leave, no matter the good intentions of getting help that seemed absolutely impossible in such a time and place as war-torn Italy! Sure, it's fiction, but still...running off to battlefields in Europe hoping to find a no-name man... Well, it made me question Rachel's sanity.

And the romance wasn't really there for me, either. Yes, long courtships aren't realistic during wartime, but I just didn't feel much of a spark between Rachel and Scott.

And Tyler was just unexpectedly crazy!

Ok, honestly, the story wasn't that bad! If you are enthusiastic for WWII fiction, you'll likely enjoy the tidbits of history and style in Shadowed by Grace. For me, though, it was a 3-star kind of book: a good 'one-time' read, but not one I'd stay up until midnight to finish or keep on my shelf to read again.

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

Thank you to Cara and B&H Publishing 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.**

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love



ABOUT THE BOOK:
The war is over, but her struggle is just beginning.

Charlotte Fraser returns to her late father's once-flourishing rice plantation on the Waccamaw River, determined to continue growing the special kind of rice known as Carolina Gold. But Fairhaven Plantation is in ruins, the bondsmen are free, and money is scarce.

To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly accepts a position as tutor to the young daughters of Nicholas Betancourt, heir to the neighboring Willowood Plantation. Then Nick's quest to prove his ownership of Willowood sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that reveals an old family mystery---and threatens all that she holds dear.

Inspired by the life of a 19th century woman rice planter, Carolina Gold continues Dorothy Love's winning tradition of weaving together mystery, romance, and rich historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman's struggle to restore her ruined world.

To keep up with Dorothy Love, visit www.dorothylovebooks.com, become a fan on Facebook (Dorothy Love Books) or follow her on Twitter (@writerDorothy).

MY THOUGHTS:
I really liked the Southern Lowcountry style of this book. Although not all of Charlotte's circumstances were pleasant, the descriptive writing of the post-war South and plantation restoration was smooth and warm, bringing to my mind scenes from the movie Gone with the Wind.

Charlotte's solo trip to New Orleans, with such little evidence, seemed a little far-fetched for a genteel 19th-century woman, but my imagination liked that she cared so much about others to do what she thought was right. And Josie! My, what a spoiled Southern girl she seemed to be!

I especially love when authors are inspired by the life of a real person and I enjoyed this fictionalized story of Mrs. Pringle, a long ago rice farmer.

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

Thank you to Dorothy and Thomas Nelson 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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