July 25, 2015

"The Wonder of You" 
Susan May Warren

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects though, is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg her for forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name, but Amelia finally gives him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

Susan May Warren has done it again!  She just knows how to write amazing contemporary, Christian fiction romance.  This one just might the best yet, but then again, I think that about all of her books!  :)

This is book five in the Christiansen sibling series and I'm sad that there's only one book left.  :(  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.  The way she creates characters that seem to be real is amazing.  I actually feel like these people are my friends and I'm going through their ups and downs with them!  

In this book, Susan May Warren intertwined more spiritual aspects in this book than she did in the previous books.  This is a good thing.  Sometimes I got so frustrated with Amelia because she wasn't getting it, but isn't that how we are?  We ask God for guidance to do His will, yet we're so focused on our own desires that we can't see that He is already showing it to us.  

Amelia did end up with the guy I was hoping she would.  The other one got on my nerves.  

I do wish that Eden would have been in this book.  It's like she disappeared.  All of the other family members were back except her.  I feel they should have at least mentioned where she was and what she was doing.  

The ending was absolutely perfect!  For a minute there I thought she was going to leave us hanging.  I'm proud of Amelia for spreading her wings, not so she can do her own thing, but so she can do God's will. 

Filled with suspense, humor, love of family and God, Christian values, romance and every day struggles, this book has it all!  


July 24, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor 
"Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor"
Melanie Dobson

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

"Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor" is filled with unexpected twists and turns and loaded with secrets just waiting to come out in the open.  

This book starts off taking place in the 1950's then comes back to present day.  I believe I liked reading the 1950's part of the story more than the present day.  It was kinda' weird too, reading about the characters in the here and now and at the same time reading about their childhood.  

My favorite character in this story was Walter.  He was so loving, forgiving and patient.  We could all learn from his example:  to forgive people who hurt us and still love them.  He wasn't hurt just once, but at least three times, all from the people he loved the most.  

I do wish, however, that the women in this book would have learned from their family members mistakes.  But they didn't.  Finally, the fourth generation seemed to do things right.  

I was expecting more of the book to be about the sixty year old murder mystery.  Although, I will say that the murderer was someone I never even thought of.  Reading the unexpected is more enjoyable than having things figured out ahead of time, so job well done on that one!

Read more about the book here.


July 15, 2015

Summer’s List 
"Summer's List"
Anita Higman

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.
Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

I've always enjoyed Anita Higman's writing and this book wasn't any different.  She always creates realistic, yet unique characters that you can somehow always relate to.  While this book is fiction, most of it is still very realistic in the things that we may deal with on a daily basis.  But how we deal with them is the important part. 

There were some areas that were a bit strange to me and made me ask "why?"  (Martin's family)  I wish they wouldn't have been so dramatically mean and strange.  

"Summer's List" reminds us that even though life doesn't happen as we think it should, doesn't mean that God has forgotten or abandoned us.  He is still in control and He always works things out.  

Read more about the book here.  


July 3, 2015

Two Roads Home 
"Two Roads Home"
Deborah Raney

Book #2, in the Chicory Lane Series, focuses on Corinne & Jesse.

Jesse Pennington has a friendly, outgoing, personality that has helped him to advance in a career, that supports his family's very comfortable lifestyle.  But his outgoing personality is about to get him into hot water.  

He is forced to take out-of-town business trips with a very pretty co-worker.  She takes his out-going personality as a personal interest and challenge.  When he turns down her advances, she cries harassment and is about to file charges.  This puts a strain on Corinne& Jesse's marriage.  It even puts their three daughters in danger.

Jesse has always had a secret dream.  If he pursues this dream, it will mean the loss of their larger income & family home.  But he will be away from his disgruntled co-worker.

Even though this is book two, you don't feel lost by not reading the first book.  It speaks honestly about some conflicts that can happen in a marriage, also between adult siblings, and parents and adult children.  
I want to read book one and I can't wait for book three!

Read more about the book here.


July 2, 2015

"A Heart's Betrayal"
Colleen Coble

Emmie Croftner was only married for three months when she loses her husband in an accident.  She wonders if matters can get any worse.  

Even though she is a widow, she still has their nice home.  Until one day she answers the door to find her husband's first wife and children.  A wife to whom he was still married.  Now, she no longer has a husband or a home because the home legally belongs to the first wife.

Emmie is displaced, powerless and ashamed, so she travels to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning.  But when she arrives there, she discovers she is expecting and her new start slips through her fingers.  

She meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart.  But Emmie's afraid of what Isaac will say when he discovers her secret.  

All of Colleen Coble's books are very well written and grab your attention.  But just when you get into the book, it ends.  This really leaves you hanging and anxious to read the next book. 

Read more about the book here.  

Cover Art 
"Now & Forever"
Mary Connealy

 Saddle up for romance and adventure with the Wilde sisters!

Shannon Wilde is the middle sister--and the one who loves animals. She's established her own homestead and is raising sheep for their wool. Things are going fine...until Shannon gets swept over a cliff by Matthew Tucker!

Tucker seizes every opportunity to get away from civilization, but one particular walk in the woods ends with him sprinting away from an angry grizzly and plunging into a raging river, accidentally taking Shannon Wilde with him. Their adventure in the wilderness results in the solitary mountain man finding himself hitched to a young woman with a passel of relatives, a homestead, and a flock of sheep to care for.

As Tucker and Shannon learn to live with each other, strange things begin to happen on Shannon's land. Someone clearly wants to drive her off, but whoever it is apparently didn't count on Tucker. Trying to scare Matthew Tucker just makes him mad--and trying to hurt the woman he's falling in love with sets off something even he never expected. 

Hold on to your horses, because this book is filled with non-stop adventure!  I didn't want to put it down!  From the first page to the last, there was never a dull moment.  I LOVE this book!  Mary Connealy just knows how to write books that are full of adventure!  

While this is book two, there is enough information to get you pretty much caught up with everything.  So you won't be completely lost.  Although I do recommend reading book one (Tried and True), just because it is so good!   

Mary Connealy's books always excite me.  I never have to worry about them being filled with slang, filth or anything inappropriate.  She always rights good, clean, fun, romantic, suspenseful, adventurous, Christ-honoring books!   

This book is for you if you enjoy reading books with a western setting, adventures, romance and humor.  

Read more about the book here.