I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy reading about the time period...pretty much every time I get a book set during this part oMore like 4.5 stars.
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy reading about the time period...pretty much every time I get a book set during this part of American history. Oh, and the Chicago World's Fair is a great setting. Having recently been to Chicago and driven down Michigan Avenue, I found that quite intriguing as well. Of course, throw in an orphanage and people who help them, and you've got me hooked. I love stories were people of means sincerely care for the poor and don't help them out of duty. Lucy was a great character when it came to her compassion. The same went for Will. And I just plain felt sorry for Daniel. If you read the book, you'll see why.
The love part of the story was slow in coming, but it was nice and satisfying when it finally happened. There were a number of other elements in the story that were nice twists and turns to the plot. I was worried for the characters as well. And Charlotte's secret... well, let's just say my heart still hurts for her situation. Maybe she'll find love in another book with a certain servant named Archie? Of course, there is that legal issue and the fact that she is hiding for safety reasons that sort of puts a snafu in that plan. But authors can do amazing things in fiction and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Newport cooks up next. ...more
There is just something about forbidden love that draws me to the story every time, especially when it has to do with Native Americans and the many prThere is just something about forbidden love that draws me to the story every time, especially when it has to do with Native Americans and the many prejudices they suffered over the years. There was little to compromise when it came to love. If you married you either lived with the tribe and were persecuted, or you lived among the whites and were persecuted. At any rate, I find many historical battles quite fascinating as well as the way different cultures saw things such as marriage, family, and God. The part where the massacre took place was terrifying and I felt the horror of it. But I also saw what Meeker did to provoke the situation in the first place.
This book intrigued me because of the plot and conflict and I read it quickly. The beginning was fairly traumatic and I couldn't help loving Jessie as a result. He suffered a lot over the years that it was easy to see why he was distrustful of people. I could also see the draw Shiloh felt toward him. There was something very passionate about Jessie that made me care about him. I also cared for Shiloh and appreciated her heart for people who were in unfortunate circumstances. The characters were well drawn out and the conflict kept me reading. And those ardent, searing kisses... whew! Kathleen Morgan sure knows how to stoke a romantic fire in her novels. This was a very enjoyable read!...more
This novel was compulsively readable and I found myself lost in the story... and sometimes scared silly. So maybe it's not a good idea to read some ofThis novel was compulsively readable and I found myself lost in the story... and sometimes scared silly. So maybe it's not a good idea to read some of these scenes at night. Just sayin'. Anyway, I loved the mystery/suspense themes within the story and the insight into a PK's mind. I also loved how Sam was a bit nuts and how he did so many brave things as a result. At his core, he was a good guy who cared about others. You have to admire a hero like that, even if what he did sometimes seemed pretty DRAGNET (you have to read the book to get that insider joke.)
I read this story in two sittings. I had to know what was going to happen next and if I hadn't needed to sleep I would have read it straight through. It was pretty freaky being in Jennifer's head at times. When she hailed "Sam Hopkins" as her magic friend and when she got spooked, I got spooked, too. There was a scene where she was almost lucid and asked why God allowed her brain to have a mental disease that was quite touching. She really did have a true friend in Sam Hopkins. Everyone needs a "Sam" in their lives.
One of the things that I found most compelling about the story itself was the message that people aren't always what they seem. And to assume someone is a good person just because of the role they have in society and the way they act in public is not a good thing, because we all have our private lives and sometimes people who look "good" on the outside have ugliness inside of them that's hidden. It seemed to me that part of what Jennifer suffered from was exposure to demonic activity.
At any rate, this was an intense read, but I enjoyed it and I'm not one to love scary books. Being inside the mind of a sixteen-year-old boy was kind of fun too. This is making my favorites list simply because I couldn't put it down and I loved the message in the book. Klaven has a new fan in me, though I'm still easily scared. Just sayin'....more
I can't say which story I enjoyed more, because this book was as wonderful as Mistaken Identity, if not better. I loved the redemption theme and seeinI can't say which story I enjoyed more, because this book was as wonderful as Mistaken Identity, if not better. I loved the redemption theme and seeing how someone so lost in worldly ways ultimately found it an empty life, and then seeing the challenges she faced with her boyfriend once she realizes she'd taken the wrong road. How awful it would be to work with battered women and then find yourself in a similar situation. That was well done. I've worked with a number of gorgeous teens and young women who felt trapped with their boyfriends. The author showed this well and also showed how conflicted they feel when the boyfriend is remorseful. Even better, this story illustrated how true Christians can impact others' lives if they are faithful friends without a hidden agenda. A lot of patience was required to deal with Lexi, but you could see her heart changing in this book, and that was something to behold. I found this novel very inspirational and hard to put down. I read this book in two sittings. I didn't want to go to bed and got as far as 96%, but I had to go to sleep or I wouldn't have enjoyed the ending so much. So, for an entertaining, informative, and emotional read, try Shattered Identity. You'll be glad you did, especially if you need insight into the mind of someone who has been pulled into an abusive relationship and how confusing that can be for them. You don't have to be a young adult to enjoy it, though for a time I found myself reminiscing about those days, which is half the fun of reading YA books....more
I rarely buy books, but saw this in a Barnes and Noble while on vacation two days after the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, so I picked itI rarely buy books, but saw this in a Barnes and Noble while on vacation two days after the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, so I picked it up. I read the prologue and was immediately drawn in by the tragic opening and decided I must read the rest of the book. I have a fascination with the Titanic's sinking and that whole tragedy anyway, so I couldn't resist the urge and ended up buying it. I'm so glad I did. I read the book in two days and enjoyed it very much.
There were so many things to like about this story. The author did a great job with setting and making me feel like I was there on the ship. Amelia was compassionate and a very likable heroine. The brothers were both endearing in their own ways. I felt pity for the father and his pain from not knowing the well-being of his youngest son. I loved how the author had written a parallel story similar to the prodigal son from the New Testament. Some of the dialog was even the same. That part of this book was particularly moving and brought tears to my eyes. Which one of us hasn't felt worthy of someone's love and forgiveness at some point in our pasts? The emotion of the characters as they dealt with repentance and forgiveness was very touching as was the way Amelia ministered to Quinton's spiritual needs.
The thing that intrigued me most about this story was not knowing which brother was going to come out as the survivor in the end. Not only that, but I was anxious about who was going to live and who was going to die other than the well-known passengers like John Jacob Astor. The description of the passengers' trauma following the sinking was well done. I can't imagine the survivor's guilt many of them must have felt. Each brother had special traits that the heroine loved, but she had to choose who would hold her heart in the end. At times I even fluctuated on who I thought that should be. This was a heartwarming story with a very satisfying ending. The romantic elements tugged on my heart strings as well. Highly recommended....more
Wow, this was deep and at the same time it made me laugh out loud numerous times! I read this story in two days. While the premise sounds a bit crazyWow, this was deep and at the same time it made me laugh out loud numerous times! I read this story in two days. While the premise sounds a bit crazy (which I admit is what drew me to wanting to read the novel) it worked very well in this situation. Every emotion Allison went through seemed very real to me. I also felt bad for the men in her life. So many women have a bad feeling that tells them they shouldn't get married after agreeing to it, but they'll follow through anyway so they won't let down family, friends, or embarrass/hurt anyone. That's a terrible reason to get married.
I loved how the author took elements from Allie's childhood to provide a motive that made sense regarding her insecurity. It showed how easily things can be misinterpreted when we are children and how as adults, sometimes we need to revisit those painful issues but look at them from an adult's perspective rather than a child's. That was a healthy theme in this book. I also loved how the author showed that sometimes young women replace their close relationship with God and turn their focus on the love and admiration from a man, and then they wonder why they don't feel close to God anymore.
Anyway, I loved how this story ended. The resolution was fantastic and sigh-worthy. But I loved how the message for both of them was they needed to get tight with God first, then let Him direct their steps. That's a great message and it was sprinkled throughout the novel, but was never heavy handed. I can see this novel helping some very misguided women make a better choice, and maybe even lead them to faith in God.
While there weren't many kisses in this book, the ones that did occur left me a bit breathless. The romantic tension throughout the novel was perfect, IMHO, and had the right balance between longing and denial. I couldn't help feeling proud of the growth that occurred in Seth's life by the story's end. Oh, and every woman needs a Daniel in their lives. If you don't believe me, read the book. I'd love to be stuck in a snow cave with a guy like him if I were single. He was so tender and sweet. Sigh. Anyway, this story is making my favorite fiction list because I absolutely adored it. This author has made a new fan today. :) ...more
I'm not much of an Amish fiction fan, though I have enjoyed a few over the years. But I love love love historical fiction. So when the opportunity toI'm not much of an Amish fiction fan, though I have enjoyed a few over the years. But I love love love historical fiction. So when the opportunity to read a combination of both came, I thought, why not give it a try? Well, I ended up loving it. The story was so heartfelt, and rather than making it sound like religion was the answer (the Plain life) it focused on Love being the answer. All in all, it was a warm, heart-felt novel. I had a warm glow in my chest at the end. We give up a lot of things for love, but the truth is without love, many of the things we used to care about mean nothing anyway. I loved that message in this story. It was loaded with adorable humor and distinct characters. The grandmother was a hoot, and honestly, there wasn't a character I didn't like...well, other than the bad guys. I'd highly recommend this book for people who want a feel-good read, but one that has a bit of spiritual depth to it as well. ...more
Prize of My Heart was deeper and most touching than I expected. I have always been a softy when it comes to stories about orphans and people finding fPrize of My Heart was deeper and most touching than I expected. I have always been a softy when it comes to stories about orphans and people finding families where they feel like they truly belong. This story was emotionally engaging on so many levels. The romance was sweet, but tender and not at all fluffy. The heroine was a strong woman who loved deeply. She won me over and I could see how she softened Brogan's heart. I also felt crushed when he felt crushed. At the same time, I totally saw what she was trying to help him see, and thankfully, he listened and took it to heart. He was still hurt but saw beyond his pain. I loved that. I can't stand it when people declare to love people deeply, but then in their hurt they hurt the person they love more than they show that they love them. This story didn't do that, so it moved my heart. The ending was wonderful, too. The author's writing was beautiful and touching. This story shed light on forgiveness and what it truly means to let go of the past. It also shows how God wants to free us from hurt and resentment so we can enjoy His will and His plan for our lives. What an encouraging story! Loved it! It's making my favorites list for 2012....more
What a treat this story was! At first I wasn't sure I would like this story because it sounded like it could be a bit of a downer, but wow, was I surpWhat a treat this story was! At first I wasn't sure I would like this story because it sounded like it could be a bit of a downer, but wow, was I surprised at how much I loved it in the end. I wanted to read this novel every chance I could. I thought about the story even when I wasn't able to sit down, relax, and enjoy it. That's a good book...one that preoccupies my thoughts.
I loved how romantic it was on so many levels. Though each character had their own grief to deal with, it wasn't only about their pain. It was about how God uses the unexpected things in our lives to bless us. He took someone like Campbell, who felt alone in the world, and gave her a new family through new friendships and people who also tied her to her mother's history. I loved how the book ended. I totally adored Luke. I didn't want his heart broken any more than his momma did. Man, I adored that man. He was a great hero and I could see how even the hardest of hearts could melt under the warmth in his eyes.
The author did a fantastic job at making me care. She made each character seem like a friend, or at least someone I could easily know. Their happiness and their healing became a primary concern for me as the book veered toward a conclusion. Everything about this book was awesome. It even had a bit of mystery to it when it came to figuring out who her father really was. Great story! It's making my top fiction list for 2012. ...more
This story was pretty deep on a number of levels and I read it pretty much straight through. The author did a great job with a modern day Job story anThis story was pretty deep on a number of levels and I read it pretty much straight through. The author did a great job with a modern day Job story and I think it's the best one I've read so far because it was so believably written. It had a few places where the points of view switched suddenly, and the time period jumped back and forth, causing me to pause and try to figure out whose head I was in and where I was, otherwise I'd have given it five stars.
On an artistic level, this author really wrote a compelling and honest story. I loved how the author wasn't afraid to "go there" on a number of occasions and deal with temptation and pain honestly, like it would really happen in real life. I loved how the children in the story were worse off than dead... wait, that came out wrong. I loved how the author crafted this way of suffering for Seth because it was very effective. I thought that having them all alive but in various tormenting situations would be much harder on someone than a quick, unexpected deaths would be. Great job there.
I felt pretty bad for Seth because he really was quite pitiful when he was at his lowest point. The author did a great job helping me to empathize with him and understand his anger. At the same time, his friends were all over him, but I found it ironic that a lot of the things they said are very much like comments people make nowadays when they don't understand a situation. I loved how Seth's suffering actually made everyone stronger in the end. Was it horrible? Definitely. I would not want to be in Seth shoes. Ever. But I could see how God turned things around for him in the end and I found my eyes filling with tears when I saw how God used Job's pain and suffering (and desperation) to help a couple of sweet people to live. That was really cool.
All in all, I loved this book. I couldn't put it down and kept reading pretty much to the end (finished it in less than two days.) People who enjoy realistic fiction will love this book. At first I thought the POV view was omniscient, but then I saw that it was just all over the place. Most of the time, however, it was solidly in one point of view, so I could forgive the slips. The content of the book and the heart of the story outshone the glitches, making it worth taking the time to read. I adore novels that make me think and ponder my life and my faith. This story accomplishes that. Plus, it touched my heart. That's the most important thing to me....more
There were some things I truly adored about this historical fiction title, and some things that frustrated me to no end. But even though some things tThere were some things I truly adored about this historical fiction title, and some things that frustrated me to no end. But even though some things that happened in the story that drove me crazy, those things didn't take away from the story's overall appeal. I loved how the book paralleled the story of Ruth in the Bible and how the author did a pretty amazing job at making it fit in 1878 in Texas where instead of Ruth being a Moabitess, the heroine Rosa was a Mexican. I thought it worked well for the story. The author did a great job with the setting as well. I felt completely grounded in the time period throughout the story.
The scenes where some amazing chemistry simmered between Weston and Rosa were hot enough to melt chocolate, but for me, they cooled too quickly, like cool water on a fire. I don't mind that type of angst a few times here and there, but it got to the point where I wanted to say, "Enough already!" At the same time, the fact that I cared enough to get frustrated with them says a lot about the author's ability to keep a reader engaged. This story contained the classic 'poor communication' that usually makes for ongoing conflict in romance novels. It worked for this story for the most part, but there were a few times I wanted to yell at Rosa and say, "Come on, chica, he loves you. Don't you see that?" At the same time, her reservations made sense given her past.
The thing that intrigued me most about Rosa's character was her sincerely felt obligation to earn her keep and be useful. She couldn't see herself as being loved for anything but her ability to help others. Surely no one would love her for herself. How often we act that way with God. He loves us with a love that can't be earned or changed regardless of what we do, yet sometimes we find ourselves striving to "earn our keep" as Christians.
It looked pretty ridiculous when Rosa was acting that way, so I thought about how silly our striving must appear to God. Sometimes God will do like Weston did and say, "fine, you want to try and earn your favor? Go ahead and see if you can do it." Then He leaves us to our own devices until we are miserable and want our relationship with Him restored to where it was before... when we trusted God and allowed Him to love us the way He wanted to. Of course, we can't make God love us any more regardless of what we do. That was well illustrated in this story. At least that was what I got out of those scenes.
All in all, this was a good read. I would definitely read another novel by Ms. Jennings, especially if it's a historical romance. She's gifted when it comes to writing internal dialog and engaging the reader's emotions. On the one hand I felt like I was being tortured emotionally along with the characters, but that was one of the things that made this book special. I loved the fact that I cared about what happened to them. I would definitely recommend this story to lovers of historical fiction and romance....more
Well, this book was a long one, but beautifully written to the point that it captured my heart and I spent two solid days reading it until I finished.Well, this book was a long one, but beautifully written to the point that it captured my heart and I spent two solid days reading it until I finished. It had everything I love to read in a book. Deep truths about faith and God's love, intense emotion and intrigue, and people shown as flawed, but redeemable because they are loved by a Holy God who only wants to claim their hearts and devotion. That was well portrayed in this book. It made me think more deeply about God's ways not being our ways, and how He uses willing vessels to accomplish His perfect will, even though it often hurts.
Real love is not without pain. There were many beautiful illustrations of this fact in Love's Sacred Song. I loved how Arielah exemplified Christ's love in many ways. I was riveted by her devotion to Solomon despite everything, but at the same time saw it as real and painful and not painted to be perfect and easy as is often the case. And in some crazy way, this story helped me to see that while having a ton of wives was never God's will, that He blessed Solomon despite it, and at the same time it was Solomon's downfall. I loved how Arielah's love was shown as being so pure and intense that it often broke Solomon's heart, because he felt so unworthy of her. Just like Christ's love overwhelms us to the point of repentance.
This was a deep and profoundly beautiful story that gave me a greater appreciation for the Old Testament because it helped shine a light on God's plan and setting the stage for the Messiah. I loved this book and was emotionally moved by it on many occasions. It's making my favorite fiction list for 2012. Well done!...more
This was a captivating novel and to my delight, very well-written. Even though I typically don't like supernatural stories all that much, I thought itThis was a captivating novel and to my delight, very well-written. Even though I typically don't like supernatural stories all that much, I thought it would be fun to read a story that is young adult in tone and yet has a different perspective than is often seen in popular culture. Instead of making witchcraft and the occult look enticing and fun, this story shows how serious dabbling with the dark side can be. It also shows the only way out is though Jesus. I loved that.
When it comes to demonic activity, I usually try not to think about it because I know it's real. The way this story played out you can see the oppression in Kenzie's life. Many of the harmful things she'd done to herself were a direct result of her responding to taunts by the enemy of her soul. This was very well portrayed. The conflict was also well done and the romance was amazing. Isaac was a fabulous hero and I could see why Kenzie felt so drawn to him. I also saw how the enemy was trying to keep them apart because Isaac knew the way to freedom from spiritual oppression and the devil's goal is to prowl around and prey on unsuspecting souls. He takes human hurts and capitalizes on it.
Dabbling in the occult is never a good thing. I remember when I was young that a lot of teens did the same thing as Kenzie and her neighbor. I also remember how dark and frightening some of those things could be when the very thing that was attempted happened. Thankfully, I moved away from those things after awhile, but like Kenzie, there was still a time that followed those events where I became a bit self-destructive. I know it was the enemy of our souls trying to destroy me, but God is greater than all of the darkness in the spiritual realm. Prowl does a fantastic job of showing you this.
Again, this was a compelling story and very well-written, plus it had some yummy romantic scenes that are very YA in nature. Isaac was such a tenderhearted hero that I adored him. I'd highly recommend this book as an alternative to popular witch-themed novels and such....more