Fleeing persecution in 18th-century France, Jewish Rachel Levin and Huguenot Pierre Dupre take refuge in a church. They're safe, unti...moreBook description:
Fleeing persecution in 18th-century France, Jewish Rachel Levin and Huguenot Pierre Dupre take refuge in a church. They're safe, until the man who killed Rachel's family arrives. Captain Vallae wants her as his mistress---or dead! Rachel and Pierre's "marriage" and subsequent escape leave Vallae furious! Can they reach Scotland before the captain takes revenge?
Sanctuary is a riveting historical with a twist of suspense and a tender romance born from tragedy. I love stories where someone is out to get two young people who long for love but dare not experience it due to tragic circumstances. I had no idea when I started this book that it would give me everything I love. The cover is a bit "dark" so it didn't pull me toward the story. The publication date did and my need to review it in advance. This is a great example of not being able to tell a book by it's cover. The picture is calm. The story is anything but calm. It's action, adventure, intrigue, peril, love, loss, and intense faith. See what I mean?
This story had me turning the pages as I experienced their fear as they fled from the French Captain bent on destroying them. Their slowly developing feelings brought about by hardship and the need to learn to trust each other swept me away. The story was beautiful. The almost-kisses made me a bit frantic, but I love that. This is a satisfying read about the persecution experienced by the Huguenots and the Jewish people in the mid 1700s. It will hold your attention, I promise.
Sanctuary was published by Tsaba House and released today! So hurry and get a copy while you can!(less)
This was one busy story. Not a dull moment at all. In fact, I think Lex is the unluckiest and clumsiest chick lit character I've ever met, poor thing....moreThis was one busy story. Not a dull moment at all. In fact, I think Lex is the unluckiest and clumsiest chick lit character I've ever met, poor thing. I wanted to scream, "no, no, no" right along with her when she kept getting hurt. Like she belonged to the bad luck (rather than joy luck) club. She had a lot of spunk and determination, though, or as someone else described her...pluck! At times her thoughts seemed younger than her stated 30 years--like when she referred to guys as boys. And I think I've learned more about volleyball reading this book than I ever learned watching the sport during the Olympics.
Sushi for One? was a romp through the eyes of a character who had a lot of reasons to be angry, and that came out often in her thoughts. As with most people who love God but are feeling hurt, she closed her heart off to prayer and fellowship to protect herself. As a result, she missed sensing God's safe touch on her life, though He never left her side.
The hero in this story was truly lovable. I think the fact that the author used third person POV and slipped the reader into the mind of this man helped a lot. He seemed absent often when Lex needed him, but considering he hadn't allowed himself to get close to Lex, this made sense. She needed space and he gave it to her. What a great guy! The author's tag line fits this story to a "T".
Sushi for One? is the kind of chick lit story that demonstrates...sometimes romance needs a kick of wasabi. And the powerful, touching ending should bring tears to your eyes. It did mine. I can't wait for the next installment!(less)
Glastonbury Tor contains a lot of actual historical events and people. During the High Middle Ages and the reign of King Henry t...moreMore like 3.5 stars...
Glastonbury Tor contains a lot of actual historical events and people. During the High Middle Ages and the reign of King Henry the VIII, corruption was rampant. Poor Colin leaves one abusive home and enters another when he seeks refuge in the Glastonbury Abby, though some of monks were kind toward him. He matured quite a bit during the year within which this novel occurs. Colin faced unspeakable evil, experienced situation straight from legends in Britain and of the ancient druids, and came in contact with relics alleged to have ties to Christ. Some of the events that occur in this book are obviously fictional as Christ does not inhabit a cup...the Holy Grail, despite legend. And Colin had visions that no one else could see. Nevertheless I found the story quite entertaining despite the lack of romance in the book. It's more of a coming of age novel about a teen boy who must overcome obstacles and confront evil as he learns about true faith.(less)
This story is incredible and deep, yet entertaining at the same time. In fact, I don't believe I've ever read a Christian fiction novel before that di...moreThis story is incredible and deep, yet entertaining at the same time. In fact, I don't believe I've ever read a Christian fiction novel before that did such a fabulous job capturing the emotion a divorced woman feels and the self-condemnation that goes along with the whole situation. Billerbeck brings out some important truths through dialogue and relationships that is emotionally moving. I wish there were more books likes this in CBA. It's so real!
In addition to the above, this is one of the most romantic novels I've ever read and definitely Billerbeck's best novel in the genre. I love Women's Fiction and this story reads like Women's fiction with a touch of romance. Only this story will leave you breathless because the tension is so well done. The character arc is also one of the best I've read to date with the spiritual portion being subtle, yet powerful at the same time. Nothing is watered down, but it's all in there. And the ending is dynamite. I loved it!(less)
Hollywood actor Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart are married and living in Bloomington, Ind., where Dayne has found a solution to his o...moreFrom the Publisher:
Hollywood actor Dayne Matthews and Katy Hart are married and living in Bloomington, Ind., where Dayne has found a solution to his on-camera love scenes-he wants Katy to star in his next film. Katy wins the part and is cast opposite her super-star husband. The story of a small town girl's dream come true is too much for the press to resist, and in an effort to appease them, the couple agrees to a 12. It seems like the perfect compromise but by the time they finish filming the movie, they feel cracks around the edges of their marriage. Now they face an uncertain future, and possibly the end of everything that truly matters to them.
The Baxter family learns that Ashley and Kari are both pregnant, but an ultrasound reveals that something is wrong with one of the babies. As the summer progresses, the sisters pray for a miracle while trying to face the unthinkable. It's in this trying season that they must all learn the lesson God has been trying to teach them-He is still in control, and He will be with them regardless of the outcome.
The Flanigans continue to draw closer to their only daughter, yet Bailey struggles to find her way amidst the turmoil of adolescence. She has always made good decisions, but she wants to experience more of life. Her friendship with Cody Coleman-the young border staying with the Flanigans-continues to blossom in this summer after his graduation. But when Cody decides to enlist in the Army, he'll have to say goodbye to the family he's come to love and the girl he'll never forget.
Karen has done it again! She's hooked me on her series. Now I've finished Summer and am awaiting the next installment in early 2008 and I'm going to be thinking about this story all the time until I find out what happens next. There are just enough loose ends to make you crave the next book and enough issues resolved that you don't want to throw the book at the wall. This story was a sad one but also very touching and healing. The author did a great job drawing me in to the story and I felt the emotion. She is truly an expert at making your heart connect with her characters. I want to be a Baxter. They have an awesome, yet realistic family with real-life problems. One of the underlying themes of this book is the importance of communication. The author shows the fallout when people close off their hearts to each other and she also shows the beauty of allowing God's will and not fighting it. This was one of the most emotionally touching stories Kingsbury has written. Highly recommended.
Summer was published by Tyndale and released August 21, 2007.(less)
I totally loved the first book in this series, The Begotten. It was fabulous. The second book in this series, The Betrayed was just as good. I recomme...moreI totally loved the first book in this series, The Begotten. It was fabulous. The second book in this series, The Betrayed was just as good. I recommend reading the series in order. There was a point in the middle of The Betrayed when I put this book down due to other commitments, but when I picked it up again I was pulled right back into that world.
The brutality the "gifted" experienced was as powerful as the miraculous events. I couldn't believe how many times they were captured after trying to get free. And being pursued like that had to make them crazy. I found the parallel between the "dark" lord and Satan quite interesting. He would get furious when Daria quoted scripture during times of suffering, yet that was the one thing that sustained her. For me, another profound conclusion from this story was how God will sometimes allow others to suffer alongside us to provide encouragement.
I loved the message about God's perfect timing and tuning into his voice. And the strategies that the evil Lord, Sorcerer Abramo, used to try to break them were so similar to the devil's. First he tries luring you in with your own lusts and weaknesses. If that doesn't break you he goes after your flesh (like with sickness) and if you still refuse to curse God in the midst of that pain he tries the ultimate tactic of hurting those you love. What a wicked enemy we have!
Bergren did such a fabulous job of making me see how the enemy works through this parallel story. It makes me want to memorize more scriptures that I can use when I need encouragement and when I need to fight off the enemy's attacks. As far as the edgy factor goes? I'd rate this with 8 out of ten stars for edgy content. If you want to experience an adventure that will both thrill you and at the same time cut you to the very marrow of your bones, you will love this book.
Think The Bourne Identity meets Blink by Ted Dekker and you'll get the same kind of riveting suspense. But in Finding Marie the pursuers are not the U...moreThink The Bourne Identity meets Blink by Ted Dekker and you'll get the same kind of riveting suspense. But in Finding Marie the pursuers are not the USA, nor Arabs from the Middle East, but communists from China. This tale of international intrigue had me on the edge of my seat. Marie's pursuers never gave her a rest. She had to outrun them and in the process had many close calls.
At one point more criminals join the chase and she has people coming at her from all sides. The violence picks up and Marie is terrified, but crafty as she is, she manages to evade them. I enjoyed this story and love the author's pacing and writing style. There is even an engaging romantic subplot among secondary characters that keeps the story moving along.
Much like in Frasier Island, the previous novel by the same author, Finding Marie is non-stop action. If you love heart pounding suspense, you'll want to read this book. (less)
After witnessing the suicide of a church sister, Minister Francine Amen is disgusted with herself for turning against the young woman a...moreAbout the Book:
After witnessing the suicide of a church sister, Minister Francine Amen is disgusted with herself for turning against the young woman and refusing to accept her claim of sexual abuse by their pastor. Now, after a short stay in a psychiatric hospital, Francine is trying to pull her life and her ministry back together. But first she must face all of the people she has hurt so deeply--including her younger sister, Dawn. But can Dawn trust her? Francine used to date Dawn's husband, Sly--who now seems just a little too interested in Francine's recovery. As far as Dawn is concerned, Sly would be better off spending his time making amends to her for his own sins.
The Amen Sisters has a killer beginning and moves along at a pretty fast pace for a while. There is plenty of drama to move the story forward and the tension is realistic and well done. The story slowed a bit in the middle when it got heavy on the church scenes and talking a lot about forgiveness and issues from the past. Then the action picked up again.
I prefer to be in the middle of the action and experience conflict and agony along with the characters. There was potential for emotional suffering at first, but the slower parts were hard for me to get through. That's just the way I see things.
I enjoyed the conflict between Dawn, Sly, Freddy, and Walter. However, I'm a pretty forgiving person so Dawn's ongoing anger started bugging me. I was glad when she and Sly began seeking the Lord more in their relationship, which is the best way to heal from that type of rift. The point the author made about stepping out in faith to rebuild trust and choosing to love was excellently done.
Overall I enjoyed this novel. I liked how the author tied some scenes back to Genesis House, which was from an earlier book the author wrote. But it would've been better with a little less talk and more action in the middle to keep the story from sagging. Regardless, The Amen Sisters ranks high in edgy content, so I'd recommend it to people who enjoy reading about real life issues.
The Amen Sisters was published by Warner Books/Walkworthy Press and released in 2005. (less)
To Love Anew is an amazing journey you won't want to miss. There are some pretty edgy scenes in this book, which of course worked well for me. However...moreTo Love Anew is an amazing journey you won't want to miss. There are some pretty edgy scenes in this book, which of course worked well for me. However, someone else may find a few things a bit hard to read because they were SO realistically done. I felt like I was Hannah suffering through the majority of the book. The stench, the pain, the heartache were all vividly portrayed. I doubt I would have survived what Hannah went through and may have given up hope long before. But Hannah was a survivor despite her low opinion of herself and the guilt that nearly consumed her.
I loved how the author took people that Hannah would not normally associate with, but given her circumstances, she is then forced to look at her own heart and prejudices. The unspeakable evils done to the prisoners amazed me in that anyone survived at all. The story reminded me of the movie Amistad, but the prisoners on the ship were white. The forced labor for the prisoners and lack of freedom was just like slavery.
John was the ultimate hero and just about made me swoon whenever he spoke to Hannah. He had plenty of reasons to be bitter, but still managed to keep his honor despite his harsh living situation. His devotion to Hannah was also commendable. I loved the tension between the two of them. Their connection felt realistic and deep. And the emotional tension between them is what excellent romance writing is all about. I loved their relationship and rooted for them to the end--as John never gave up hope.
The best part of this book (besides the delectable romance) was probably the spiritual portion. Hannah had every reason to believe God had abandoned her. She responded like any human would in a similar situation. Of course God never left her, but the journey she took toward that realization was awesome. I loved this story!(less)
Now this is my kind of historical fiction book! The romance in Beloved Castaway totally rocked! And the kisses were to die for--very well written. The...moreNow this is my kind of historical fiction book! The romance in Beloved Castaway totally rocked! And the kisses were to die for--very well written. There is nothing more exciting than a forbidden love story, and this book has it all. Even some edgy stuff. The heroine's mother was quadroon and from New Orleans and thus she was born a slave. The hero was the captain of the ship she sailed on. The way the hero treated her initially (not knowing about her heritage) made me cringe, but then things turned around. This story truly inspired me like Christian fiction should.
I won't give away the storyline, but this was also a deeply spiritual book. It shows the power of living the way Christ commands us to, and the effect this way of right-living has on non-believers. And the ending has the absolute coolest twist I've ever read. But don't read the last chapter first, or you will ruin the book. You don't want to miss this treat, so don't cheat yourself out of a great experience.
My last thought... The cover is pretty but also kind of dark, so it isn't one I would normally pick up in a store to read. But the story within it's pages will brighten your day, so take a chance on this one. Trust me, if you love romantic tension and some awesome Christian fiction with sizzle, this novel will definitely float your boat.(less)
The following section contains one of the most beautiful concepts I've read in a Christian novel.
(It seemed like a strange thing to say, but...moreMy review:
The following section contains one of the most beautiful concepts I've read in a Christian novel.
(It seemed like a strange thing to say, but with every repetition she drove a tiny seed of hope further into my heart. I almost didn't want it there--hope is not a promise, merely a wish, a yearning for something that may never materialize--but it sank down deep where I could not extract it and began, even in that moment, to put down fragile roots.
It was the hope that scared me most of all, and only when I had felt it tremble inside me did I begin to cry.)
The above spoke to my heart. It's what we all need when the world seems to be caving in on us. We need hope. We need someone to gift us with it so we will see things from a different perspective. We don't need judgment or condemnation. This fallen world dishes out plenty of that, and what the world doesn't dump on us we heap on ourselves. After the Leaves Fall is about hope.
There were so many beautiful and profound discoveries that Julia made about herself in the story, which is more like a coming-of-age journey, that I don't know where to begin. I don't want to spoil any of the precious treasures the reader will discover along with Julia. My heart broke for her and yet it also understood her. There is a little piece of Julia in all of us. Children need affirmation from a mother, and without it they spend their lives second-guessing themselves. This came out in so many of her internal thoughts and her impulsive decisions. Often as she contemplated her life I found myself doing the same.
After the Leaves Fall is so impressively introspective with it's gorgeous prose that words are inadequate to describe it. And on some deep level, every wounded child wants to do what their parent did, but do it right this time. No one wants to duplicate mistakes, but the deep need to be loved often drives our behavior. It's truly amazing how that works, but it's how God created us...to need love. Anyway, this is one of the most emotional and wonderful books I've ever read and it has impacted my heart deeply. I can't recommend it highly enough. If all authors were as gifted as this debut author, I would never get anything done.(less)
Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, t...moreABOUT THE BOOK:
Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.
“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”
“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”
Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?
Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...
Plain and simple, this story blew me away. The suspense had me anxious through the majority of the story. If I bit my nails they would've been chewed to the quick. Carla's tragedy and heartache kept me turning the pages. So many lies, so much pain, and such an awesome tale that I will be thinking for months about the ramifications of the plot that kept my head spinning. This was an incredible tale of intrigue and deception, lust and greed, power and evil personified.
Crimson Eve was an awesome story crafted with the best suspense I've ever read. Brandilyn has created a masterpiece with this novel and her insight into the heart and wickedness of man is impressive. I'm truly amazed at how much I learned from the hard lessons that Carla endured. And in regards to in-your-face edgy content, this story packs a powerful punch. I can't recommend this story highly enough. It's downright fabulous!
Crimson Eve was published by Zondervan and released in October 2007.(less)
When I started reading the story, the characterization of Tess intrigued me. She was living with a man and not married to him. I thought, "Wonder how...moreWhen I started reading the story, the characterization of Tess intrigued me. She was living with a man and not married to him. I thought, "Wonder how the author pulled that off..." in regards to taboo subjects for Christian fiction. My conclusion? The author did a wonderful job. The heroine was away from the hero, though still in communication with him, throughout the story as she traveled to find herself and remedy her regret. I was thoroughly impressed with how the author dealt with numerous issues. Abandonment, guilt, self-blame, shame, step-families, unspoken accusation, supportive friendship and unconditional love that led the heroine to a saving knowledge of Jesus and faith in God. The Christians in the story ministered to Tess in a way she could understand. They tuned into her need, spoke when the timing was right, confronted situations as appropriate, and loved her without expectations. I was also impressed with the realism in the story. Pain doesn't heal in an instant. People don't always accept our offer of forgiveness. Time doesn't always heal all wounds. Absolutely beautifully written. This is a novel that has made my life richer. I highly recommend The Remedy for Regret.(less)
When her ultra—ministry—minded brother, Joshua, confesses to murder, lawyer Rachael Flynn begs him to let her represent him, certai...moreFrom the Publisher:
When her ultra—ministry—minded brother, Joshua, confesses to murder, lawyer Rachael Flynn begs him to let her represent him, certain that he is innocent. But Joshua refuses her offer of counsel.As Rachael works on the case, she begins to suspect that Josh knows who the real killer is, but she is unable to get him to cooperate with his defense. Why won't he talk to her? What is Josh hiding?
The answer is revealed in a stunning conclusion that will have readers eager for the second book in this gripping new series.
Widows & Orphans is another page turner crafted by Susan Meissner. I have always enjoyed her women's fiction, but after reading her Rachel Flynn Mystery, book 1, I can see the author has a real knack for mystery plots. I had a very hard time putting this book down. Just when I thought I knew where the story might be going, the heroine would discover something else. And she was a fabulous character, too. A new mom, breastfeeding, and the works. What a sympathetic heroine!
Rachel loved her brother Josh, believed in him, and was willing to fight for him and for the truth even when he'd given up on himself. Rachel's brother was one of the most creative characters I've seen in a long time in regards to his internal motivation. The in-depth examination of Josh's heart (that the author delved into) gave me the happy shivers. The spiritual thread was also profound and so well done I'm still thinking about it and probably will be for days.
The entire book was written from the heroine's perspective, but the author did such a wonderful job with the characterization, dialog and description, that I didn't notice because I felt like I knew the other players as if I'd been in their points of view. Fig was a total dork genius, but lovable and funny. I loved how he referred to Rachel's baby as the dictator or the princess and stuff like that. Trace, Rachel's husband, was an awesome character, too, and a great husband. I just loved the whole crew of secondary characters and I'm thrilled that there are several more books coming out in this series. I can't wait to get to Sticks and Stones next! If I didn't have so many deadlines I'd read it now!(less)