Books reviewed on this site have been provided to me, at no charge, by the publisher, or by the author, in exchange for an honest review. I have received no further compensation for these reviews. All reviews are my honest opinions.

April 23, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Memory of You & If I'm Found

I'm giving away TWO books this week! Both are books I recently reviewed and absolutely love them. I happened to get my hands on a paperback copy of each, so I'm passing on the love :)

    

I'm giving away one paperback copy of MEMORY OF YOU and one of IF I'M FOUND. All you have to do is leave me a comment and let me know which one you want. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you.

I'll close comments at noon CST on Friday, April 28th and contact the winners.

Good luck!

April 20, 2017

Life After {Katie Ganshert}

life after katie ganshert
On the day of a late spring storm, in Chicago, Autumn Manning boarded an “L” train. A bomb explodes, killing everyone in the train car except for Autumn—the sole survivor. A year has passed and Autumn suffocates under a blanket of what ifs and the pressing desire to bring the victims back to life, every day, if only for her. She doesn’t want their stories to be forgotten. She wants to undo what cannot be undone. An unexpected ally joins her efforts, also seeking answers and trying to find a way to stumble ahead. 

But one victim’s husband, Paul Elliott, prays to let the dead—and their secrets—rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to hurt his loved ones. 

Caught between loss and hope, these restless souls must release the past to embrace a sovereign God. 

My Thoughts:
I first "discovered" Kate Ganshert when I read her GIFTING SERIES (written under K.H. Ganshert) and immediately became a fan. This is my first contemporary novel from her but her writing style still sucks me in and keeps me captive.

This book is one of those you have to think about a bit after you finish. Amber's character is so complex and has so much depth, you really must process her story after reading it. I felt so sorry for Amber and wanted to just wrap my arms around her and tell her everything will end up okay.

I appreciated the supporting characters in this book and felt their stories were vital in making Amber the person she is. I found myself drawn into their family drama, becoming involved as if I were one of them.

I also appreciate the personal details Ganshert inserts into this story. I follow her on social media and was able to laugh at some of her real-life she included in some scenes. I truly enjoyed this book.

This is a book that can tug at your heart and cause you heartache and happiness. It is worth the read, and the processing that takes place afterward. Put it on your reading list.



Amazon  |  Christian Book  |
*I am an affiliate partner with the stores listed above*

April 17, 2017

Beyond Justice {Cara Putman}

beyond justice cara putman
Hayden McCarthy is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious D.C. law firm . . . if the case she's just been handed doesn't destroy her first.

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It's why she became an attorney and why she's so driven in her career. When she's handed a wrongful death case against the government, she isn't sure if it's the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there. She keeps the case alive through sheer determination and more than a little creativity, but then she's fired by a partner with a vendetta.

Further complicating matters, Hayden keeps finding herself completely distracted by Andrew, her roommate's cousin. But his father is a Congressman and she's currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to see either the case—or her—die. Should she fight alone for the dead young man by launching her own unfinanced firm, or abandon the case in order to save her own life?

My Thoughts:
Just wow!

The characters in this book are simply amazing. Hayden, Andrew, and all their friends and acquaintances have such a story and a background that seems to fit so naturally as you read this book. I felt a connection to each one of them as they interacted throughout the events in this story. There were 'good guys' and 'bad guys' but I seemed to like them all for various reasons. I thought the character development was spot on.

The plot in this book is very complex and draws you in completely. With each turn of events, I found myself amazed at the direction the story was taking. I could not want to see what happened, all the while covering my eyes at the dangers that seemed to be lurking for each of the characters.

This book had an ending I was not expecting at all. It was exciting, heart-racing action that made a perfect ending for all involved. I thought it was a great way to wrap up the case Hayden was working on.

If you enjoy fast-paced suspense with legal drama thrown in, this is the book for you!


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

April 10, 2017

You'll Think of Me {Robin Lee Hatcher}

you'll think of me robin lee hatcher
In a small town in Idaho’s idyllic wine country where the past looms large, can two people realize their individual dreams for the future … together?

Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Myers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it's an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can't pass up, for Alycia's sake if not her own.

Derek Johnson, Chad's best friend since boyhood, isn't keen on the return of Brooklyn Myers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres which would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad's dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl’s mother?

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined.

My Thoughts:
What a read! This book brings together a community of characters so easy to know and fall in love with. I felt every person could find someone in this book they could relate to, making this a book so many can enjoy.

Brooklyn is someone I began to admire as this story progressed. She was left with detrimental circumstances as a teen, but she rose above and made a life for herself and her daughter. She is a hard worker and wants nothing more than happiness for her daughter. When she learns her husband has made arrangements for her daughter to have a home in Thunder Creek, she bravely packs up their life and hits the road. The obstacles she faces, and the former life she must face, makes her someone every mom can pull inspiration from.

The people of Thunder Creek welcome Brooklyn with open arms and I found myself wishing I could visit this sweet little town. Each person brings a different personality to the story, and each person has a unique way of showing God's unending love. I loved how the town rallied around the relationship growing between Brooklyn and Chad. Their attraction grew in such a natural way, and I looked forward to seeing where it would go.

When tragedy strikes twice in one day, we see the town come together to care for both Brooklyn and Chad, and we see them grow closer than ever. I thought this was a perfect way to finally bring these two where they were always meant to be.

This is a great read and a book that needs to be on your reading list. 


Christian Book  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with the above retailers*

April 8, 2017

You Are Invited: Unsinkable Faith

Have negative thought patterns overtaken your life and shaken your faith? Learn how to anchor your heart in God despite what storms roll in in Tracie Miles' new book, Unsinkable Faith. Each chapter explores Tracie's and other women's personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life.

Join Tracie and other readers on April 25th for a fun Facebook Live event and the Anchored in Faith Prize Pack Giveaway (details below)!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 25. The winner will be announced at the Unsinkable Faith Facebook Live event. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and others searching for unsinkable faith, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 25th!

April 6, 2017

Pursued {Lisa Harris}

pursued lisa harris
Nikki Boyd's flight into Nashville was routine--up until the crash landing at the airport. When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing--and no one will admit she was ever there. Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial. When she flees from the crash, is she running from trouble or straight into it? Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects. 

My Thoughts:
Two chapters into this book and I was completely hooked. In the first two chapters, we see Nikki involved in a plane crash, a girl goes missing, and Tyler and Nikki finally reunited after three months apart. There was no way I could put this book down after all of that!

Nikki continues to be a complex character who captures my attention with everything she does. In this book, she is determined to find the missing girl from the plane, and the case turns into a mystery full of twists and turns we are used to whenever Nikki is involved. I felt my heart racing and my thumbs itching to turn the page to see what would happen next.

I was also excited to see Tyler back in Nikki's life. Their relationship seems to be growing, and I hope beyond hope they will end up together when this series is over. Tyler seems to love Nikki so much and encourages her when she receives some disappointing news about her future. I also love the relationship between Nikki and Tyler's son and feel my heart warm each time they are together.

This book does not deal much with the disappearance of Nikki's sister, but there is one scene I feel will lead to excitement in books to come. As usual, this series continues to excite me, and I look forward to the next book.

Although this book can be read as a stand alone, I suggest you read the entire series for the back story and full introduction of the characters.


Amazon  |  Christian Book
*I am an affiliate partner with the stores listed above*

April 3, 2017

The Hideaway {Lauren Denton}

the hideaway lauren denton
When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

My Thoughts:
This is a tough review for me to write because I have very mixed feelings about this book. I'll start with the book itself. This is a debut work from author Lauren Denton.

The characters in this book are very complex and have backgrounds that tell the story here. The book switches time frames as it tells the stories of Mags in the 1960s and Sara in the present day.

The characters themselves were somewhat interesting and had complex backgrounds that made you want to know a little more about them. The book had the potential to be a decent read.

So why do I have mixed feelings? Because this book is published by Thomas Nelson, the publisher of many of my must-read authors. Thomas Nelson has always been known to me to publish amazing Christian stories. This is not one of those. Other than a couple of brief paragraphs in which some of the characters attended a church service, there is not God in this book. There are affairs, drunkenness, and an openly gay character. I kept thinking these characters would find God, and the story would come full circle, but it never happened.

So yes, I am mixed. The author does a great job and I am sure she will be successful . I'm just not sure Thomas Nelson is the correct publisher for this type of book. If you are looking for Christian fiction, stay away from this one.


Christian Book  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with the above retailers*

March 27, 2017

The Memory of You {Catherine West}

the memory of you catherine west
Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My Thoughts:
This is only my second book by Catherine West, but she is quickly becoming one of those authors I can count on to always deliver a good read. I loved her first book I read (The Things We Knew), and this one was equally wonderful.

Natalie has been suffering from her past her entire life. Feeling responsible for the death of her sister, Natalie has always done exactly what her parents tell her to do and has lived her life trying to hide the struggles going on in her head each day.  When her parents send her away to her grandpa's vineyard, I felt pretty sure it was going to end very badly for Natalie.

As soon as Natalie arrives, she runs into Tanner, the boy she crushed hard on as a young girl. Tanner is initially very rude and condescending to Natalie, but we eventually see a side of Tanner it is easy to fall in love with. Tanner is also struggling with trauma in his family, and he finds it difficult to fully trust Natalie to not pull his job out from under him.

As Natalie and Tanner both begin to share with each other the struggles they are going through they grow closer, and Natalie begins to once again find herself with a crush on Tanner. But so many obstacles, and so many people stand in their way.

This book is beautifully written. It has heartache and healing, fleeing and returning home, hurting and falling in love. I found myself invested in these characters and their stories and hoped beyond hope for a happy ending for them all. This is one book you must read this year.


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

March 20, 2017

If I'm Found {Terri Blackstock}

if i'm found terri blackstock
Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist that he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.

As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and just may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail.

My Thoughts:
If this series does not end up on the big screen, I am going to be so disappointed!

This book picks up right where IF I RUN left off and the suspense continues to build with each chapter in this series. After Dylan lets Casey escape, she heads half way across the country and re-groups her identity and her story. She then heads to Houston. It is Houston where Casey comes so close to getting captured - and her death.

As Dylan tries to find a way to protect Casey while still capturing her, he also digs further into the corruption happening in the Shreveport police department. As he struggles between protecting Casey and fulfilling his obligation to bring her in, Dylan finds himself in almost as much danger as Casey herself.

Casey once again finds herself risking everything to help a family in need, while also doing her own investigative work on her case. She comes dangerously close to being caught but somehow ends up right back in the company of Dylan. But does Dylan turn her in or let her go??

This is one of those books that I simply could not put down. I picked it up after putting the kids to bed one night and read every single page. I had to know if Casey would be captured. Would Dylan expose the Shreveport police? What would happen to the family in danger?

If you are going to read this book, you need to read IF I RUN first. Without reading the first book, you will be completely lost in this one. This one also ends on another cliffhanger, so I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book three!


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

March 16, 2017

Her Secret {Shelley Shepard Gray}

her secret shelley shepard gray
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

My Thoughts:
I have immediately fallen in love with this new series from my favorite Amish author. As soon as we began meeting the members of the Hilty family, I knew I was hooked.

Hannah and her family have moved to Hart County to run from the stalker terrorizing Hannah's life. Or have they? Hannah feels completely responsible for her family's misery, and my heart went out to her. She is terrified to go outside and finds herself trapped in her house with a family who acts like they don't like her at all.

Hannah finally finds a friend in Isaac Troyer, and this story really took off for me. I loved watching Hannah and Isaac become friends and the way he included her in all the activities of Hart County. As Hannah's secret begins to be revealed to her new friends, her family's secrets soon become known to Hannas as well. Hannah realizes things may not have been exactly as she believes and her entire world changes.

I found this book very entertaining and a great start to this new series. I am looking forward to the remainder of this series and encourage you to pick it up as well if you enjoy Amish Fiction.


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Amazon*

March 13, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison {Carolyn Miller}

the elusive miss ellison carolyn miller
Hampton Hall's new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter--all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend's daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother--his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia's world.

Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother's, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn't supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison's fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible--he begins to care. But Lavinia's aloof manner, society's opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along. 

Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she's ever known? 

My Thoughts:
I must be honest, I could not get into this book. The premise of the story seems very enticing and I wanted to like it so much. 

I had a difficult time feeling anything but frustration with these characters through most of this book and could not get past my frustration with them to enjoy the story they were a part of. The writing was difficult for me to follow and just could not capture my attention.

Again, I wanted so badly to love this book. It sounds amazing, but I simply could not find enough interest in the story to get any enjoyment out of it.


Christian Book  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with the retailers listed above*

The Elusive Miss Ellison Carolyn Miller

March 6, 2017

Zip It: The Keep It Shut 40-Day Challenge {Karen Ehman}

zip it karen ehman
Zip It empowers readers to put into action the advice and commands of Scripture concerning the tongue. The New York Times bestselling book Keep It Shut covered many topics, including anger, truth-telling, people-pleasing, our digital tongues online, and gossip. Because there are more than 3,500 verses in the Bible that relate to our words and our silence, Keep It Shut only scratched the surface of these issues. Karen Ehman now takes a deeper look and offers practical how-to’s that will inspire you to use your words to build, to bless, to encourage, and to praise. 

Each of the forty interactive entries includes a Scripture verse focus for the day, a story or teaching point, and reflection questions with space for readers to write their answers and thoughts. Each entry ends with both a challenge that will help you carry out the directive in the verse and a prayer prompt. Rather than a traditional devotional, the entries in Zip It build upon each other, equipping you with new habits in how to, or not to, use words.

My Thoughts:
Let's be honest - there is not a single person out there who can say they don't occasionally have trouble keeping their mouth shut sometimes. I'll be the first to admit the things that come out of my mouth sometimes come before my brain works them over. And they are not always the most Christian thing I could say.

The Zip It challenge takes a good look at how our words can affect our lives and the lives of those around us. It points out how our words can make someone's day, or completely tear them down. Our words can show others the love of Jesus or can ruin our testimony to his love and kindness. Our words are so powerful.

I enjoyed this book and think it would be a great resource to use for a women's group study. It would be fun to go through these exercises with friends and other women in the church group or a circle of friends. Although I read this book pretty quickly to do my review, I am looking forward to taking the time to spread it out over 40 days and really process each of the passages and the daily thoughts.

I recommend this book for women of all ages and think it would be a great resource for churches as well. 


Amazon  |  Christian Book  |  Barnes & Noble
*I am an affiliate partner with the stores listed above*

February 20, 2017

Home at Last {Deborah Raney}

home at last deborah raney
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite--well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

My Thoughts:
The Whitman family is back in this final book in the Chicory Inn series. We finally get Link's love story, and it is not lacking in conflict, suspense, and true love.

Link is the Whitman child who hasn't quite gotten it together yet. He's living in a run down apartment, driving an unreliable truck, and working a dead-end job. His family teases him about his lack of a love life, but he seems fairly content to continue life as it is. Although he wants a better life for himself, we never really see him doing anything about it.

Until he meets Shayla. Shayla also feels very stuck in life. She's living with her dad above the family's bakery, taking full responsibility of a niece who's parents clearly had other priorities. Her family has seen the reality of how black people are treated by some people in the world, and as a result, her father has become jaded and bitter. Shayla just wants to be happy in life but knows she will never go any further than she is right now.

As Link and Shayla begin to spend time together, the story turns very much to the struggles of the inter-racial couple in today's world. Seeing these couples has become so common in our society we often overlook the simple things they must overcome to make their relationships work.

Although Link's story was not my favorite in this series, it was a good read with a lot of insight into a world I really don't know a lot about. If you have been a fan of this series, you will want to add this book to your reading list so you can find some closure with the Whitman family.


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

February 13, 2017

Snow Country {Kristin Neva}

snow country kristin neva
Shame desperately depends on secrecy for its survival in this multi-generational story of love and loss. 

JILTED THREE WEEKS BEFORE HER WEDDING, Beth Dawson escapes sunny California for the snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where a young State Trooper challenges her to let go of her rules for Christian courtship. Her domineering mother chides her to stay single and wants her to talk her ailing grandmother into moving to Los Angeles. 

COPPER ISLAND averages over 200 inches of snow annually. The fictional towns of Douglass and Quincy mirror the actual towns of Houghton and Hancock, and although the names of businesses and persons are imaginary, the history, landmarks, and spirit of the region described in the novel are real. 

My Thoughts:
Kristin Neva is a new-to-me author who I "met" on Instagram through another book blogger. I believe this is her first work of published fiction, and a good story to kick off this new series.

We meet Beth as she is being dumped by her fiance just a few weeks before their planned wedding. She quickly hops in the car and drives across the country to visit her grandmother in Michigan. Although she has visited her grandparents in the past, this is the first time Beth has really spent any extended time in the area.

We realize pretty quickly Beth is one who plays by the rules others set for her. Although she is an adult, she seems pretty tied to the opinions of her mother and has always followed the guidelines her mother has placed on her life. Because of this Beth had a hard time making logical decisions on her own when she first arrives in Michigan. This trait annoyed me about Beth, but I liked her more as she learned to think for herself.

My first impression of Danny was that he was a cocky law enforcement officer. I felt he was pushy and too willing to pursue Beth even after she told him she was not interested. However, as the story moves along I being to like Danny for his unwillingness to give up on his pursuit of Beth. I thought he was a little dorky, but appreciated the way he cared for Beth and her grandmother.

Although I enjoyed this story and these characters, I felt this book moved a little fast. I would have appreciated a little more insight into the thoughts and feelings of the characters as they worked through different obstacles in their lives. I felt the dialog was a little choppy at times, but overall I thought it was a great book for a new author. 



Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

February 6, 2017

In the Shadow of Denali {Tracie Peterson | Kimberley Woodhouse}

in the shadow of denali tracie peterson kimberley woodhouse
Cassidy Ivanoff and her father John, a wilderness guide, work at a prestigious new hotel outside Mt. McKinley. John's new apprentice, Allan Brennan, finds a friend in Cassidy, but the real reason he's here--to learn the truth about his father's death--is far more dangerous than he knows.

My Thoughts:
I wanted to love this book. Based on the description is sounded like it was going to be a suspenseful read with surprises in each chapter. Unfortunately, that was not at all what this was.

I enjoyed the characters in this book but did not feel any real connection to them. John and his daughter, Cassidy, are hard workers with an outstanding faith in God. They work in the hotel within the new national state park and live their lives as any other person does.

Allan was an interesting character with great potential, but he fell flat for me once he arrived in Alaska. His turmoil, his walk towards faith, and his journey to forgiveness felt very forced and predictable.

We know from the beginning how Allan's father died, so trying to turn that storyline into something of suspense just did not work. It was hard to be surprised by any of the revelations from the characters or their events.

Although this story lacked the suspense and surprise I was hoping for, it was still a decent read. It moved at a steady pace, and the characters were okay.


Christian Book  |  Family Christian  |  Amazon
*I am an affiliate partner with Christian Book and Family Christian*

February 4, 2017

Series Saturday: The Firstborn Series {Karen Kingsbury}

Note: This year I am reading some "older" series from some of my favorite authors. Rather than do reviews of these individual books, I will be reviewing the series as a whole. You can look for these Series Saturday posts through the year.

firstborn series karen kingsbury

I'm continuing my way through the Baxter Family series, so naturally, my next books are the Firstborn Series. This series also contains five books, Fame, Forgiven, Found, Family, and Forever.

We learned in the first series that Elizabeth and John had a baby, a son before they were married and were forced to give it up for adoption. Although they rarely discussed the boy, and never once mentioned the child to their five children they raised, Elizabeth and John thought of the boy often. They had once tried to find him but met dead ends. We also know that Elizabeth's dying wish was to find and meet, her firstborn son. Right before Elizabeth passes away, she gets to meet her son, and learns he is none other than the most famous movie star in the country, Dayne Matthews.

Where The Redemption series focused on the Baxter children and their very real-life issues with marriage and life, The Firstborn series focuses on Dayne and his life as one of the most famous people alive. Dayne obviously knows the Baxters are his biological family, but his desire to protect them from the paparazzi keeps him from coming forward as their son. However, John Baxter decides to fulfill his wife's last wishes and hires his own investigator to find his firstborn son.

Soon John learns Dayne's identity and must tell the other five children of their missing brother. Although he keeps Dayne's identity a secret, the children now know all about the secret their parents shared all throughout their marriage. The children all have various reactions and must process this information in their own way.

Another key character in this series is Katy Hart. Katy is the children's theater director in Bloomington, and best friend to Ashley Baxter. Through a series of only-God-can-do-this events, she and Dayne have met, and Dayne has fallen head-over-hills in love. But the obstacles of his status, Hollywood, the tabloids, and distance make it difficult for their relationship to go anywhere.

As this series progresses through the five books, we see God work in relationships in ways only he can. We see love, heartache, tragedy, and hurt. But most of all, we see God at work in the lives of is children. This series seemed to start fairly slow for me. I though the first two books spent more time building characters than necessary, but when the story really started moving it was impossible to put these books down.

By the final book, I was up all night just waiting to see if everyone was going to get the happy ending I hoped for them. When the final book was over, I could look back and say I really enjoyed the series as a whole. I cannot wait to dive into the next series!


February 2, 2017

Moving Target {Lynette Eason}

moving target lynette eason
When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don't show up for Quinn's surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it's not long before she realizes she's in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don't win this game, they die.

My Thoughts:
This series just continues to get better and better! The Elite Guardians are back, but this time it is their own that needs all the protection she can get.

Maddy and Quinn have found themselves the target of a serial killer and their lives quickly land in the kind of danger usually reserved for the movies. He has kidnapped them and put them on an island with little to no chance of survival. We know Maddy and Quinn are pretty quick thinkers and skilled at survival, but the scenario they land in - even I was not sure they would ever make it out alive.

As the entire Elite Guardian team steps in to provide rescue and assistance in catching the killer, we get to see all of their skills and personalities come together. I love watching them all bounce ideas off each other and work to get things accomplished.

This book is full of face-paced suspense that will keep you reading until the very end. But it also full of love and God's grace and forgiveness. Both Maddy and Quinn have family baggage they have been dealing with, and we get to see each of them work through that in their own way while still working to capture a killer. We also get to see the relationship between the two of them grow in such a sweet way.

Just when I thought this book was over and everything was figured out, Maddy lands in trouble again. Watching the team work through this last piece of information was exciting and heart-pounding.

I loved this book, maybe my favorite in the series so far. Such a great series and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves a good action story.



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January 30, 2017

Still Life {Dani Pettrey}

still life dani pettrey
Work hits too close to home for crime scene photographer Avery Tate when her best friend disappears. The only lead is a chilling photo of her--apparently dead. As Avery, her boss Parker, and his friends dig into the case, she's forced to confront her feelings for Parker when they come face-to-face with a dangerous criminal.

My Thoughts:
Truth - I didn't finish this book. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Cold Shot, and was looking forward to this one so much. Unfortunately, I never found anything in this book to hold my attention. I felt the character development was very poor, and Avery just about drove me nuts. Her constant internal struggle with the way her life used to be vs her current situation. I just wanted her to tell her partner what was going on so they could move on to more important things. I felt the missing person case was too predictable for these characters, and I just felt uninterested in the entire thing.