I really enjoyed this story. GS Davis has a way of tugging at your heartstrings by bringing the old and new together in a supernatural way. This is aI really enjoyed this story. GS Davis has a way of tugging at your heartstrings by bringing the old and new together in a supernatural way. This is a story about two people who have made mistakes in love but were fortunate enough to have someone from their mutual past proactively trying to bring them together because he has a vision for their future. This story has a Nicholas Sparks feel to it with an inspirational twist. In fact, there were a few times the author had me in tears, but they were tears of joy.
I learned a lot about the occupations of the hero and heroine (photography and building environmentally friendly housing.) The descriptions were actually quite fascinating in regards to the detail that the author includes as part of their daily lives. These characters felt real to me and even the secondary characters were well done. Without giving away any spoilers I can tell you for sure that the author's writing pulls you in and the story will tug at your heart. Highly recommended!...more
This ended up being as fantastic and compulsively readable as the prior book in the series, "The Chalice." If I had more spare time I probably would hThis ended up being as fantastic and compulsively readable as the prior book in the series, "The Chalice." If I had more spare time I probably would have read it straight through. Now I have to go back and read the first book. I enjoy reading this author as much as I enjoy reading Elizabeth Chadwick and Philippa Gregory. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this era tops the list as my preferred century. Nancy Bilyeau has given me my fix and I want more.
The interesting thing about this author is her ability to make me care about the welfare of the characters. Even though there is less romance in this book than I typically find in historical fiction, I couldn't stop reading it. Joanna Stafford is a complex, likeable character. You understand her fear, her dilemmas, and her difficult choices. There are enough bad guys in this book to make you want to nibble on your nails as you read.
Her description of King Henry VIII during his latter years was well done. I could picture him in my mind as an overweight, indulgent and diabetic man living in an age where there was no treatment. So his mood swings made total sense. No one could predict what he would do next. They just hoped he targeted someone else. I could smell the rotting flesh on his leg, not that it was pleasant, but it was realistic. It made me truly feel for Catherine Howard's plight. There were enough interesting characters in this book to make it compelling, but not overwhelming.
I don't want to give away any plot points, but I can tell you that it read like a mystery but with a little suspense tossed in. The executions were descriptive and a bit gross, but the author did not make them disgusting. There were a number of very tense moments that had me on the edge. The ending left room for another book in the series but at the same time the author wrapped things up nicely.
So if you enjoy well-researched novels and want an insider's look at Joanna Stafford's somewhat fictionalized life, you'll enjoy this one. No one related to King Henry VIII was secure or safe. The tables could turn at any moment. That's all I'm saying....more
This is a classic romance (man meets woman, man loses woman, man ultimately wins woman's heart,) but with a strong faith element. If you enjoy inspiraThis is a classic romance (man meets woman, man loses woman, man ultimately wins woman's heart,) but with a strong faith element. If you enjoy inspirational romances that have forgiveness as a key element to the story, this one is for you. It's hard to post much without giving away a spoiler, so I'll summarize the heart of the story. The emphasis is on the heroine's emotional healing and the hero's part in it. There is some deception at first, but of course, being a Christian novel, the secrets must come out.
Deborah has crafted an enthralling story. It's very well-written and I enjoyed the inspiring tale about how love, compassion, and forgiveness are the glue that holds male/female relationships together....more
Rebel Queen was a fascinating and gripping tale about a different culture and a time in history that -- like many Americans -- I knoLoved this story!
Rebel Queen was a fascinating and gripping tale about a different culture and a time in history that -- like many Americans -- I know little about. I haven't read many stories that included Queen Victoria, so that interested me. I have read a few books regarding the East Indian culture and their relationship with England during the early 1900s, all told from the Indian perspective. The contrast between the British culture and Indian culture during that time period is fascinating. I loved how the Indian men were appalled by the exposure of women's breasts, shoulders and necks from English fashion and the English couldn't understand the exposure of the waistline that was part of Indian fashion. Then again, you can't very easily use a corset on a bare waistline. How fortunate for the women of India.
The British Empire's insatiable thirst for more land showed in the narrative, but was skillfully woven and subtle in the approach. The point of view was flawless. All Sita knew about England came from reading English novels and authors like Shakespeare. The author was fair with the details and showed the horrors of what both people groups did to each other. The Indian rebels caused a lot of problems for the kingdom because of their aggression, but they were simply trying to oust the imperialistic people who decided India should be theirs, much like the Native Americans tried to defend their land using similar horrific means. Annexing another country to their empire often require nothing more than their presence. Intimidation by their occupancy and weaponry was effective indeed. I felt kind of bad for the people who didn't want to be there but were forced to occupy the land because they were enlisted and it was their assignment.
I found it sad how the Rani (Queen) and Sita both trusted England to respond positively to their appeal hoping that because they were women and also had a female regent, it would matter. They didn't fully understand the limitations caused by Parliament and the empire's greed. The treachery within the ranks of the Durgavasi was appalling as well. But you have to read the story to figure out what I mean by that. Anyway, I read this book fairly fast considering I don't have much reading time these days. The story was filled with culture and history and the author swept me out of this present day and into the past through her use of scenery, foods, clothing and decor. I love it when I can go to another place in my mind and feel grounded in that fantasy world. This isn't always the case with fiction, so the author did an exceptional job there.
I loved how the author told the story from Sita's perspective. That made the novel even more powerful because you got to see the Hindu influence as well as the Muslim influence of the culture during that time period. Women were not valued and seen as a liability due to the enormous dowry that was required for a marriage. The fact that young ladies were married off around ten was pretty disturbing too. At least the husbands traditionally waited for the young girl to turn into a young woman before consummating the marriage. Anyway, I found this book to be compelling and well told. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a story that effectively takes you to another time and place in your mind. ...more
This book ended up being more enjoyable and interesting than I initially expected. When I first considered reading it I thought.More like 4.5 stars...
This book ended up being more enjoyable and interesting than I initially expected. When I first considered reading it I thought... "Hmmm...non-fiction. Well this will take me awhile." I ended up reading the entire book in a few weeks, which never happens with non-fiction books. But the subject interested me, so I tried it out. I am glad I did because it gave me some insight and made me more aware of non-verbal cues that I may be giving people when I am listening to them. I learned a lot of this body language info in counseling classes back in the 80s, but it was a nice refresher. It would be a great resource for people who have difficulty reading non-verbal cues, like someone with Asperger's Disorder.
The way the book is described it gives the impression that it's more of a how to book in order to get what you want from people, but it's really more of a, "Why won't this person talk to me?" Or, "Why do I have trouble making and/or keeping friends?" type of book. Yes, there are some parts that go into interviewing techniques, but anyone who has done an investigation or conducted hiring interviews might find these portions helpful as well. There are also many techniques shown that you can use to talk with someone about a controversial subject and still get heard.
I loved how the authors included pictures to explain some things like body language and what to look for. There are suggestions on what do do when dealing with anger and how to assess where to go in a heated conversation. There are even some sections that talk about verbal communication and non-verbal communication between couples, and about how to get your spouse to talk to you about a difficult subject so it's a win-win situation. There are references and resources at the end of the book so you can delve further into this subject matter if you want to. Overall, I found it to be a very helpful book....more
John Herrick is a fantastic writer that knows how to draw you into a character's heart and mind. I always feel a connection to his characters. Given tJohn Herrick is a fantastic writer that knows how to draw you into a character's heart and mind. I always feel a connection to his characters. Given the description, I got the gist of the content. But the beauty in writing a story about internal conflict is that you can dig down deep and make the story go any way you want it to. And that's where the artistry begins.
The content gets a bit heavy at times, which means you almost have to digest it slowly to grasp the heart of the book. But I love novels that make me examine the hard things in life. There are no pat answers, and Hunter asks himself just about every question a man would consider in his situation. It's tough to wrap your mind around the concept if you haven't given it much though. I found the story to be well-thought-out and spiritually sound.
On the surface, the term "gay Christian" seems like an oxymoron. But it's really a story about dark, internal secrets and hiding our true selves from the world. It's a sin like any other sin. The heart of the story is about the struggle. About pretending to be something we're not and how it not only hurts ourselves, but others we love, when we bury things deep inside and let no one in.
What spoke to my heart the most in this story was the deep, emotional conflict Hunter had within himself. The author didn't emphasize Hunter and Gabe's sexual attraction, but focused more on their feeling drawn emotionally to something not really understood, but felt nevertheless. Feelings aren't sinful. God understands that we struggle, which is where grace comes in.
The truth is Jesus came to save us from our sins - both outward and inward. That doesn't necessarily make our struggles go away. Like with the Apostle Paul, who wrestled for the rest of his life with a "thorn in the flesh." God did not take it from him even when he begged for relief. Sometimes our struggles are a part of who we are. We don't know how they started or how they will end. It's all part of the journey we call life. The lesson is to lean on God through it all. Great story and highly recommended....more
If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too.If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This historical novel was set in 1888 in Denver, Colorado, so the setting was one of my favorites, too. There is something about mail-order bride stories that I really enjoy reading. It probably has to do with a newly married couple -- essentially strangers before the wedding -- discovering their love for each other.
This is the best mail-order bride story I've ever read. Ironically, the second best one was also in this series. I think Ms. Brendan has a gift when it comes to writing about romantic love between newly married couples. Add to that the tender heart the heroine has for animals and rescuing them from abuse and you have an intriguing book.
The hero was a sweetheart. Yeah, he had a pretty rigid personality at first, but as his love grew for his new bride, his strict boundaries became blurred and he learned to be spontaneous and not take life so seriously that it's predictable and boring. I loved experiencing the softening of his heart as he fell in love with her. The heroine's desire to please her husband while remaining true to herself is a good lesson for young women to learn. This novel illustrates that beautifully.
I can't say enough good things about this book. It's heartwarming and sensual at the same time, as newly married love should be. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year, if not at the top of my list!...more