I enjoyed this book which gave me so much to think about and practise. It was a difficult read in the beginning. I had to reread a lot to get things tI enjoyed this book which gave me so much to think about and practise. It was a difficult read in the beginning. I had to reread a lot to get things to sink in. This could be a style issue....more
As always entertaining with characters that might as well walk out of the page and have a cup of coffee with you. Well depending on if you want to havAs always entertaining with characters that might as well walk out of the page and have a cup of coffee with you. Well depending on if you want to have coffee with some. ...more
You might think as a Christian that it would not be hard to want God. You might even think that a book like this really wouldn’t be a need for a ChrisYou might think as a Christian that it would not be hard to want God. You might even think that a book like this really wouldn’t be a need for a Christian, but for me it was a must. I love God. I want to serve God. I love others so much that I want them to know God. I pray to God every day. Wanting him though in a way that is undeniable. That is the rub really. I was so excited about this book. It is small, yet it is so full of truth it took me quite some time to truly digest it. I read this because there was a part of my heart that felt completely unsatisfied about my relationshipt with God. I wanted to want God more than anything else. I felt like I was ripping God off and myself. No matter how hard I tried though, I still felt so far away. Well, far away unless I was in a crisis. In crisis I would often find myself huddled in my shower stall crying out to God. He always met me there. What I longed for was that closeness without the desperation.
Lisa showed me that I should be desperate for the Lord and that knowing God and wanting God will create a revival of our souls and when that happens we will see God move. Things may get crazy and they may get uncomfortable but in that total committment, we can be secure.
Wanting God means not necessarily giving up things, though that can happen, but definitely putting other things down that are taking God’s place. That was probably the biggest thing for me. I realized with much sadness that I had sinned against the Lord by putting so many things ahead of him. This isn’t about guilt. Not once did I feel anything more than conviction of how I can change things, and with excitement, I can say I have.
Anyone who feels something is missing in their relationship with the Lord and who really wants to take some steps to do something about it will find something in this book. It is hopeful, it is challenging, and for me it came just in time. I feel newly inspired in ways that not only I had not been in a long time, but also in ways I desperately needed. ...more
I have read many books by Stephen King, but I have to say this one was one of the most surprising. It had mystery, tension and completely realistic chI have read many books by Stephen King, but I have to say this one was one of the most surprising. It had mystery, tension and completely realistic characters. I was fully transported into this story and could see each person and each place with such clarity, it was stunning. Joyland also captured my emotions. I will often find myself laughing over a line in many of Stephen King's books, but this time I didn't only smile or laugh, I was emotionally invested. I smiled and felt warmth while one of the charcters did something incredible for another. I cried and felt immense pain along with another. It was gripping, it was moving, and it is just one of the many reasons I will never stop reading Stephen King. ...more
I'll be honest, I enjoyed Raspberry Kisses even more than I expected I would. I read romance, but I have a love/hate relationship with it. I dislike sI'll be honest, I enjoyed Raspberry Kisses even more than I expected I would. I read romance, but I have a love/hate relationship with it. I dislike situations that in my own opinion are heavy handed and obvious. These things cause me to roll my eyes and often put books down. I like imperfect characters and people who struggle, especially in a Christian romance, because I am very in touch with reality. Let's face it...we all struggle. I like to see it in the books I read and I want to feel it. With that being said, Raspberry Kisses did not hand anything out on a silver platter.
When Martin and Rhea meet, of course you expect romance to bloom, it is a romance novel after all. Honestly I really expected that the major complication would be based purely on sibling rivalry, because Raven saw this man first and sent Rhea on this singles retreat simply to keep a bit of an eye on him. If that was all there was, it would have worked, but th was so much more going with Martin and Rhea. Rhea is in serious financial distress. She woudn't even be at a single retreat if it weren't for her sister. Rhea needs to focus on keeping her bakery afloat and keeping her bills paid. Romance is definitely not in her thoughts especially as a young widow. Martin is a ministry first kind of guy. He really isn't at a singles retreat looking for love.
Both Martin and Rhea have their own set of struggles which are brought on by their pasts. Martin is still living with past mistakes that have actually shaped him to be a remarkable man and pastor. Yet he still struggles. It is a truth that so many can relate too. We are intimately aware of our own failings and worry about what would others think if they knew. Even with a past that is well behind him, Martin will have to struggle with who he was and who he is.
Rhea's past involves life happening to her. She did nothing to cause her own pain, but she has let her pain and loss cause her to retreat into her bakery and delicious goodies. If her twin hadn't spurred her on to go to a singles retreat, she would still be settled into the bed made for her. Rhea has become solidly guarded. Another interesting thing about Rhea is that she seems to be surrounded by people who need some sort of healing. In fact their needs are more obvious to Rhea than her own.
What I loved -
-I loved that Rhea and Martin are so comfortable going to God in prayer throughout the story. It really showed how simple communication can be with the Lord. So often we think prayers need to be lofty to be heard by the Lord. Martin and Rhea displayed an ongoing conversation with their God.
-There were other characters in the story that intrigued me as well. I wanted to know what would happen with Rhea's sister-in-law and of course her own sister. There were people in the church that interested me as well. The side characters had a fullness to them that causes me to hope they will be involved in a future story.
-I liked that Martin and Rhea developed a friendship.
Raspberry Kisses was a sweet romance with enough tension laced in to keep me turning the pages. The situation was believable and the characters became people that I would want to know and could relate to. Rhea although the heroine was definitely not perfect. There were points in the story where I was shaking my head at her and thinking "Girl, you need to think before you speak." She had a bit of a hairpin trigger at times. I loved that, because frankly so do I. It was nice seeing characters that were on point and not a shining example of perfection while everyone else is a mess.
I give Raspberry Kisses four stars and will definitely look forward to other books in the series.
I was given this ebook by the author to facilitate my review. I was not required to or requested to give a positive review. The views are all my own....more
Ivy has moved into a small town with the goal of finally finding that place to belong. I was touched by this, because of being a person who lived a biIvy has moved into a small town with the goal of finally finding that place to belong. I was touched by this, because of being a person who lived a bit of a gypsy sort of traveling life, I could relate to wanting to belong in one special place. I didn't grasp Ivy's background until it unfolded in the story, but as it was revealed, it was definitely a story that sprang empathy in my heart. She was completely vulnerable and yet tried so hard to be strong at moments.
One doesn't expect a quick little auction date to become so complicated, but Ivy quickly is pulled into Darek's orbit as she sees the thoughtfulness behind the wall of protection that this man has built up. Of course Darek doesn't just blossom into this flower of goodness by merely being around Ivy. There are plenty of downs before the ups come into play. One of the most redeeming qualities that Darek has in the beginning is his fierce love for his five-year-old son Tiger. There is a lot of loss in Darek's life and his own darkness that he has to contend with.
The book doesn't just sit you in the middle of Ivy and Darek's story, and that is one of the things I love. More relationships are involved in this story, and I'll be honest, I immediately was rooting for the secondary though pretty much parallel romance. In fact, there were definitely times that I was more invested in it than Darek and Ivy. That is how good this book is! There is a lot going on, but it all runs seemlessly and each moment touches the other.
Not only is the reader placed into this beautiful small Minnesota Town called Deep Haven, but you really feel invested in the town and in the people. I am a very visual reader, but not every book has invited me in and held me in so easily. I didn't want to put the book down, but I also didn't want to finish the story too soon. It was an interesting way to read.
My favorite parts:
-I have a love/hate relationship with romance. I love a good love story, but I don't have the same opinion on what that means as some of my friends do. I need to see challenge. I have lived long enough on this planet to know that love rarely comes easily. Just as a rose is beautiful it is also thorny and can wound you deeply if you grasp it without care. Romance and love are the same way to me. If a love story just falls into perfect place, I roll my eyes, slip the book back down onto the table and never pick it up again. I don't care for dreamy green-eyed beauties who of course have no idea how stunning they are even though everyone bumps into walls when they pass by. You know the type that the authors write all their strengths as if they were weaknesses like we have been taught to do in job interviews. I hope what I am saying makes sense here. One of the things that kept me reading is the reality found in this work of fiction.
-There is a Christian message of forgiveness and God's love that are so richly shared in such an honest and open fashion that you cannot remotely calle it heavy handed or an add in. So often I have read a Christian fiction book where it seems that the message has been shoved into a convenient spot. This story has sprinklings of a message of faith and also rich pools that invite you into the love of the Lord. I wholly appreciated the way the author approached this and I admired the way she handled it.
-The characters in Take a Chance on Me were well done and very realistic. You had your favorites and you had the ones that you also liked. I found myself completely drawn to the secondary characters because I could so fully relate to them. I imagine that there isn't a person who could not relate to someone in this book. Even the community of Deep Haven is rich and full of people you hope to get to know better.
-The romance was done in a perfect progression. Things moved at a warm pace and a believeable pace. I loved that! So often a romance seems rushed just in order to get to wherever the author wants you to go. This can lead you to things that pull you out of the story because they are so unbelievable. Nothing but the need to get to bed caused me to pull out of the story.
-The plot had just enough tension and moments to really keep the story flowing. Nothing was outlandish or unbelievable. It all flowed well and again there were no moments of saying to myself "there is no way this could happen." If things were brought up, they counted and made sense.
All in all, I absolutely loved Take a Chance on Me. I felt like I made new friends. I felt invested in these stories and I was very pleased with the ending yet I yearned for more. I enjoyed Take a Chance on Me so much, I immediately put more of Susan May Warren's books on my wish list. I'll be honest, I would have spent a pretty penny right now if it weren't for the fact that I already have a pretty extensive pile of books waiting to be read...one happening to be Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren. I just might be pushing that one to the top!
I have never really settled on a rating system but kind of flow with Amazon. So here it goes. I would rate Take a Chance on Me five stars. Five because not only did I absolutely love it, but I would no doubt recommend it to many friends not only as an entertaining read, but also as a book that really is crafted so well that I think other writers should read it just for the wonderful example.
-I won this book from Kav at Best Reads and I am so grateful that I did. ...more
First of all, though I stretched it out into a few weeks because of busyness, I actually read "The Remaining" in two sittings. It is engaging from theFirst of all, though I stretched it out into a few weeks because of busyness, I actually read "The Remaining" in two sittings. It is engaging from the beginning with characters who are what you would expect from a film: great looking, fun loving, and seemingly having everything in the world to look forward to. They may be a little over-the-top perfect, but hey, it is a movie novelization, and EVERYONE is over the top in movies.
The story focuses on the viewpoints of several characters. Through these characters we get a different perspective on faith, the event itself, and their own relationships. A few times I caught myself jumping back a paragraph or a page to figure out whose eyes I was currently looking through. Even when I backtracked, I still was lost in the book itself. Nothing pulled me away from the story.
This is not your typical end-times story. "The Remaining" covers the rapture and all things related into a day's time. It is spooky, gory and the stuff of your worst nightmare. A dream wedding dissolves into utter pandemonium. There is very little down time in the story. It is almost all high pressure and intensity.
All in all, I enjoyed "The Remaining" and if there was a sequel, I would read it. It was entertaining, fast paced and full of surprises....more