Thursday, July 30, 2015

Where Treasure Hides by Johnnie Alexander



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Artist Alison Schuyler spends her time working in her family’s renowned art gallery, determined to avoid the curse that has followed the Schuyler clan from the Netherlands to America and back again. She’s certain that true love will only lead to tragedy—that is, until a chance meeting at Waterloo station brings Ian Devlin into her life. Drawn to the bold and compassionate British Army captain, Alison begins to question her fear of love as World War II breaks out, separating the two and drawing each into their own battles. While Ian fights for freedom on the battlefield, Alison works with the Dutch Underground to find a safe haven for Jewish children and priceless pieces of art alike. But safety is a luxury war does not allow. As time, war, and human will struggle to keep them apart, will Alison and Ian have the faith to fight for their love, or is it their fate to be separated forever?

MY THOUGHTS:
It has been a long time since a book has kept me reading late into the night. Where Treasure Hides can account for some of my tiredness today! ;-) I couldn't put it down.

The story had just what I enjoy in a WWII novel – intrigue and fear. Accounts of hiding and escapes. Hearts torn between love and loyalty. Even though the main character is an artist, and the story revolves around much of the stolen/hidden art during Hitler's regime, I didn't feel it was as 'artsy' as some of the past novels that have talked about the Monuments Men. I liked that. The art of WWII is a fascinating subject, but I can get easily bored if the artsy side gets too detailed.

Instead, the story focused more on the characters and their experiences and feelings. It was good. Really good.

The story is very long (almost 400 pages!), and yet it could have been even longer! The author skips whole years with some chapters. I guess the book could have dragged then, but I enjoyed the characters enough that I wondered what went on during the passed over time.

But, oh, the epilogue!! Oh! I can't tell you, of course, without giving it away, but...oh!! I thought and hoped for what was revealed in the epilogue...but not as it truly was in the epilogue! Confused?! Haa! You'll have to read it for yourself! It was a sadly satisfying ending.

I will definitely watch for more from Johnnie Alexander!

Thank you to Johnnie and the Tyndale Blog Network 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, July 6, 2015

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She's done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop on Blinkett Street. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille has no choice but to accept help from the mysterious stranger who came to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content working as a village apothecary. But when his brother's death made him heir just as his father's foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may or may not be the answer to his questions.

Curious circumstance throws them together, and an intricate dance of need and suspicion leads the couple from the seedy backwaters of London to the elite neighborhoods of the wealthy to the lush, green Surrey countryside—all in the pursuit of a blood-red gem that collectors will sacrifice anything to possess.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, each will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

MY THOUGHTS:
The Curiosity Keeper had all the right elements for a story that kept me turning the pages. Perhaps it is because movies during this genre are so popular, but Mrs. Ladd's descriptions of a cluttered shop, dank and dirty back alleys of London, and verdant gardens of the British countryside made me feel as if I were right in the places she pictured.

I fully enjoy the polite and proper, yet dark and mysterious side of a Regency era tale. And, The Curiosity Keeper had all of that, showing that no matter your station, greed will corrupt all around you.

I loved the twist of Camille's mother. *spoiler alert: I guessed her role early on...but was still surprised at the depth of her involvement.*

Overall, great story!

Thank you to Sarah and Thomas Nelson 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.**
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