Shauna V. Brown’s latest story “Because of Love” is a heartwarming story about love over the holidays. Everybody wants to believe in Christmas miracleShauna V. Brown’s latest story “Because of Love” is a heartwarming story about love over the holidays. Everybody wants to believe in Christmas miracles. Brown’s novel is a story of just that—a Christmas miracle.
Phoebe Brown wants nothing more than to have happy children and a happy husband. When children start making fun of her daughters for their big, ugly man boots, she determines to do something. However, her husband had to walk the plains barefoot. His feet are permanently scarred and he pledge that his children would always have sturdy boots to protect their feet.
Searching for a solution to make everybody happy, she starts working on the side so she’ll have money to pay for nice new shoes for her four daughters and begins praying that her husband’s heart will be softened. The result is an unexpected Christmas miracle for all. This inspiring novel will warm the soul of readers this Christmas season. Brown’s short novella of 96 pages is a must-read this Christmas season. It is clean read suitable for the youngest of children to the oldest of adults. The language is clean and there are no questionable actions or moments in this tale. ...more
Disclaimers: I received an e-arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I absol My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Disclaimers: I received an e-arc from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I absolutely adored this novel. I love reading Christian fiction, but I am always hesitant when it comes to reading about people from the Bible that have a story already well-told. But for some reason, I didn't hesitate for a second to read this one.
In recent years, the story of Ruth has become one of my favorites. I was so excited to delve into Tessa's interpretation of the tale. I was not disappointed. She brought the story of Ruth alive in new and inventive ways. I seriously love this book. I'm going to have to buy it so I can reread it. That comment right there I think adequately expresses how I adore it.
The characters, the plot, the writing--all of it is absolutely stunning. Do yourself a favor and don't miss out on this great addictive read.
So why 5 stars? I am dying to reread it and even though I read it a few days ago, I'm still thinking about this novel. That is rare for me...hence the 5 stars.
In Summary: A brilliant read that kept me enthralled long after I turned the last page.
Warnings/Side-notes: None safe for readers of all ages.
The Wrap-up: One of my favorite reads of the year. I can't wait to read more from this author. Absolutely adored this novel.
Disclaimers: I received an ebook of this novel for work to write a review for the newspaper Deseret News.
My Synopsis: Belle is not the selfless girl eDisclaimers: I received an ebook of this novel for work to write a review for the newspaper Deseret News.
My Synopsis: Belle is not the selfless girl everybody loves. She is a manipulator who wants only one thing — to marry into wealth — and no price is too high to pay in achieving her goal. But when the price is her father’s freedom, her family deems it unacceptable, and she finds herself in servitude to the Beast.
Belle is furious with her family but even more furious when the Beast accuses her of being a selfish brat incapable of doing anything right. Determined to prove him wrong, Belle decides to become the best servant ever.
In the process, Belle quickly discovers that maybe she isn’t the person she always thought she was. Belle realizes that the Beast is less beastly than he seems and that his past still governs the present.
When Belle realizes the Beast fits the exact description of the man she always wanted to marry, she finds herself wondering if her dream of marrying for money still applies and if the Beast really is her prince in disguise.
With heartbreaking decisions to make, Belle faces lying to herself or destroying the Beast again, and time is running out. With mysteries still unsolved, Belle is about to change all of their futures forever. (I pulled these paragraphs from my official review for Deseret News)
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This retelling was not the typical retelling. Everything was twisted and inverted and that was definitely a plus. There have been so many retellings of Beauty and the Beast that it was nice to get one that was different.
I did enjoy the book and I think fans of Beauty and the Beast will eat this one up; however, it just lacked that extra something to draw me in. I loved the writing, the characters, but there was just something missing to make this a 5 star book.
I thought the retelling was imaginative.
So why 3 stars? Like I already said, there was just something missing. I read it, but there were moments where the story lagged. However, having said that I would definitely still recommend this. It's a quick read and fans of Beauty and the Beast will love this.
In Summary: An imaginative, inventive retelling of the old classic story that presents a completely new look on the story. For fans of retellings.
Warnings/Side-notes: No concerns. I would recommend this book to readers of any age.
The Wrap-up: All in all a really good book. It just lacked that extra something to make it stand out more. This was her debut novel and I'll be anxious to see what else this author writes.
Relevant Information: I received the third book in this series for review and loved it so much that I went back and read tMy Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Relevant Information: I received the third book in this series for review and loved it so much that I went back and read the rest in the series. The first three books come from the Daughters of Boston series and then they are followed up with the Winds of Change series.
Overview of Novel: Emma Malloy fled Dublin for Boston ten years ago with her best friend Charity. She left behind an abusive husband, Rory. He left her face permanently scarred, but she's much more scarred on the inside.
Emma is happy with her life. She has a good job, she has good friends who treat her like family, and she has God. She's determined she'll remain faithful to her vows even if her husband won't. And she has remained faithful for ten years.
Sean O'Connor has always been known as the clam one, the one who doesn't have a temper. But he's let his temper get the best of him twice in his life and both times the consequence was disastrous. Sean rarely looses it, but when he does, he does so in dramatic fashion.
So when Sean lets his temper get the best of him and hurts Emma's feelings, he is devastated. Then due to the depression, he loses his job. Emma offers him a job and since he feels like Emma needs the help, he agrees to work with them. But working with Emma every single day makes him realize he has feelings for Emma that go way past the bounds of friendship, but Emma is married. Neither of them can forget that.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I loved this book. Emma and Faith's stories were my favorite books in the series. I loved the faith that both of these individuals had. Emma had a lot in her past that she needed to overcome. She had to overcome an abusive husband and then the trials that come with trying to stay faithful to her vows.
Sean also had a lot to overcome. He's been labeled as the good brother and for the most part he is. But he messed up once and now he's living his life in regret. Love is so not in the cards for him.
I loved watching Sean and Emma interact. These two characters were incredible to watch develop throughout the novel.
Julie Lessman's writing was incredible like usual. I've loved watching these characters develop throughout both of the series. Lessman managed to keep track of 14 very different characters and keep track of them throughout the series. I loved that she kept developing all of her characters, not just the ones starring in the current novel.
This series was complex and beautifully written. I definitely recommend it.
So why 5 stars? Because I loved the characters. I knew Sean and Emma were going to get together in the end, but I just didn't see how it was going to end up happening. This book was full of intrigue and such depth that it had me reeling.
In Summary: A wonderfully written, and beautifully complex book that I absolutely loved.
The Wrap-up: This series is incredible. I loved becoming acquainted with this author's works. One of my good friends said and "another Lessman fan has been born" and she was right. ...more
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Charity O'Connor is determined to win Mitch's heart. There's just a few problems. One, MiMy Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Charity O'Connor is determined to win Mitch's heart. There's just a few problems. One, Mitch hates her and blames her for ruining his relationship with Faith, the only woman he's ever really loved. And now, Charity has set her sights on him, he's furious. Charity is a shallow girl used to getting her way. She has no depth and no religion in her life. And for Mitch, a pretty face just isn't enough.
Charity knows it won't be easy to win him over, but Charity always gets what she wants. She has a plan that's going to make Mitch love her. But when you make a deal with the devil, you get burned. Will Charity be able to win Mitch over or will she end up lonely?
I was surprised by how much I loved this book. After getting to know Mitch and Charity so well in the first novel, I couldn't wait to watch these two characters square off.
Julie did a great job of developing these characters even more. Why was Charity so hostile to Faith? Why was Mitch so anti-God at first? Both of those questions and several more are answered in this novel.
The writing was as beautiful as ever, the characters just as compelling, the plot just as gripping, and the story every bit as wonderful as the first one. The only exception was that with Faith and Collin, I felt a little bit more connected to their stories and I was just ever so slightly more engaged with that one than this one.
So why 4 stars? For the reasons I already listed above. While I still really loved this one, I just didn't form the same connections as I did with Faith and Collin. I thought the first one was slightly better so that one got a 5, while this one brought in 4. I still really loved this one though.
In Summary: A beautiful, compelling, masterfully written book that sucked me in from page one. I adored this book. Definitely recommend this one.
Side-notes: Julie's books are passionate. She's talking about people who are very much in love, but she never crosses the line. I actually loved how passionate her books were because they were clean and talked about these matters in an appropriate way. Her book isn't edgy and her message about dealing with this passion is very appropriate and clean.
The Wrap-up: Julie is an incredible writer and has quickly become one of my all-time favorites. I definitely recommend her to all of you.
Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
Callie DeBoyer is unsettled as she arrives at Bridal Veil Island with the Bridgeport fBefore I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
Callie DeBoyer is unsettled as she arrives at Bridal Veil Island with the Bridgeport family. She's just received a letter from her parents, missionaries in coastal Africa, stating they are in dire need of more personnel. Should Callie give up her governess job and join her parents in their important work? Is God calling her to the mission field, or does she just want to escape the emotional scars of being jilted by her former beau?
When she enrolls young Thomas Bridgeport in golf lessons, Callie meets Wesley Townsend, who urges Callie to take lessons, as well. During their time at the golf course, Callie comes to care for Wesley--until she discovers hidden secrets about his past.
Then expensive jewels go missing from various homes on the island, and suspicion is aimed in Callie's direction. As the investigation continues, Callie wonders if she should escape it all by going to Africa. After the secrets he kept about his past, will Wesley ever be a man she can honor and trust for the rest of her life?
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimers: I received this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley. Thanks for this opportunity.
Overview of Novel: Callie is so over guys. She is a governess and she loves her job. The family she works with treats her more like family than a servant and so she is treated very well. But Callie isn't sure what the future will hold for her. Her kids are about to outgrow a governess. She could continue working at the school or she could join her family as missionaries in Africa. All she knows is love is not in the picture. Then she meets Wesley.
Wesley is the son of a wealthy family who is vacationing on Bridal Veil Island. The only problem is that he has a string of failures following him and a father and a mother who want nothing more than to marry him off to a wealthy bride and then have him settle down in the family business. But Wesley wants more.
When he meets Callie, he is drawn to her. She thinks that he is a gardener or a employee there. She doesn't know he's wealthy or the failures of his past. He wants something more than friendship. But will the secrets of both of their pasts keep them apart.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Judith McCoy Miller and Traci Peterson are two authors that I have read several books by. I have enjoyed every single one.
This one took awhile to capture my interest, but once it did I found the characters to be very intriguing. I loved watching them grow. Both of these characters wanted to do the right things in their lives. And yet, they both had so many fears to overcome. I loved watching them interact as friends.
They didn't really interact as more than friends which was nice in many ways. It wasn't insta-love which I'm thankful for, because I like it when relationships develop. However, I would have maybe liked a little bit more romance between them.
The focus was on the characters and their growth and I really appreciated that. The writing was excellent. Peterson and Miller have a way with words and always weave stories that suck me in. Fans of christian fiction and historical fiction, will love this book. The elements of faith are never over-powering and the details of the time period are incredible.
So why 3.5 stars? It wasn't my favorite by these authors. I've read several books by these two authors and this wasn't my favorite by them. I did, however, still really enjoy the novel. It distinguished itself above other 3 star rating books in the fact that it seemed more memorable and had more depth than most 3 star books, but it lacked that extra something to kick it up to a 4.
In Summary: Miller and Peterson have teamed up for another intriguing story about two characters trying to have the faith to dream for a future and forgive themselves or forget their pasts. Peterson and Miller always write powerful, poignant novels and this one was no different.
The Wrap-up: I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am so glad I got to read it. Peterson and Miller are a great writing team. Their characters are always so real and the plot was intriguing. Definitely recommend this one to those who like either the historical fiction or christian fiction genre.
Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opiniMy Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimers: I received a temporary e-galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I didn't know what to expect from this novel when I saw it on Netgalley. I love Christian fiction and so I decided to give it a shot. I hadn't read the previous two in the series so I really was going into this series blind.
I absolutely adored this book. In fact, I was stunned by how much I loved it. I knew it would be good because I knew Lessman was an incredible author, but I didn't think it would be this good.
I loved every single one of the characters in this book. I could spend a whole post talking about every single one of them; however, since the main characters were Annie and Steve, I'll focus on them for awhile.
I loved Annie. She wanted so badly to fit in and she wanted to find herself after her parents' death. She falls in with a questionable crowd and is warned to find better friends. I loved watching Annie grow as her faith increased and as she started making better choices. Annie was definitely not a flat character and I loved that.
And then there was Steven. Steven was not perfect. I loved that, so often the male characters are perfect and it makes the story seem flat. I loved watching Steven as he struggled to make the right choices and to be a better person.
And of course, I loved the interactions between Annie and Steven. That was definitely an interesting portion of the novel. I also loved how you gained insight into other character's minds throughout the novel.
Usually I can guess the plot line of novels, and while I guessed the general plot, I was thrown for a few loops. Lessman tucked in a few twists that I absolutely didn't see coming.
Lessman's writing was inspiring, entertaining, and uplifting. Lessman is a master at crafting words. I flew through this novel and loved every single minute of it.
Fans of Christian fiction will love this novel. Readers who have not read the previous two books can read this novel without feeling lost, but there are a lot of characters that might be a little hard to keep track of at first.
I definitely recommend reading this series in order and I know I will be going back and reading the first two. I am definitely going to be tracking them down ASAP.
In Summary: Lessman has created a beautiful writing style and creates realistic characters that readers will love. One of my favorite Christian fiction novels of the year.
Warnings/Side-notes: This is a very clean novel. It does talk about sex but in a very vague and appropriate manner.
The Wrap-up: I absolutely adored this novel and definitely recommend it. Lessman is a brilliant writer. I definitely recommend checking out her novels.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Wow! This book was also incredible. This novel literally starts off where the first novMy Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Wow! This book was also incredible. This novel literally starts off where the first novel ended and I was blown away with how fast the novel progressed.
Gideon seriously made me want to scream in this novel on several occasions and then on several other occasions I was swooning over him. I'll definitely be curious to see how his character develops in the second book.
I loved Gwen in this novel as well. Watching her, Lesley, and Gideon's brother interact was definitely most intriguing. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Most sequels feel like a bridge novel. This one didn't fit that bill. It was incredible and made me so anxious to read the third one. Too bad it doesn't come out in English for awhile.
All of Gier's characters are so fascinating and I loved reading all about them and watching them all grow.
Oh how the ending of this book killed me. I can't wait to see what happens next. Gier's series is addicting and incredibly written.
I feel like the synopsis provides an adequate summary of this novel so I won't fill in any more details. However, I love how this novel deals with time travel and with romance.
I think I've figured out the basic plot of this book, but honestly I have no idea how this noel is going to turn out. So often I can peg the plot of a novel within the first chapters. That's not the case with this series. I honestly have no idea what's going to happen, but I can't wait to find out.
In Summary: You must read this book. It is incredible. Gier's writing is brilliantly conveyed. The way she has built this story is masterful and the characters and the plot will draw you in. ...more