The past and present come together in the most unexpected way. Two women meet in hospital. One old and about to leave this life, the other a young mot...moreThe past and present come together in the most unexpected way. Two women meet in hospital. One old and about to leave this life, the other a young mother who longs to watch her beloved children grow up.
Hannah, the older of the two, has three grown up daughters and three grandchildren. Her daughters believe her to be a cold, hard woman. They visit her out of duty. Stan, Hanna’s husband, finds it difficult to visit the hospital. Hannah retreats from the pain into a dream world where all is peaceful and relaxed.
Kate, the young solo mother, is in for tests to see if she has cancer. Her children’s father has nothing to do with his offspring and Kate is concerned about the future of her children. Her adopted mother is a cold woman who is more concerned with doing things right than showing warmth to her daughter or grandchildren.
The author takes us into the world of each of Hannah’s daughters. Here we discover truth that has been hidden for a long time. We also get a glimpse of the women’s possible futures which could swing more than one way. Her husband Stan eventually comes to visit and things begin to fall into place for Hannah.
Meanwhile, Kate is trying to cope with her mother’s “things must be done right” attitude. Her children are missing her and she longs to be home with them. Her daughter hasn’t spoken since the father left and Kate needs to be there to surround her with love.
Kate and Hannah’s lives come together in a mundane way. Neither is aware of the surprises in store for them. Both women have experienced love but it hasn’t lasted. The past comes into the future bringing with it a glimpse of the distant future, although no time travel is involved.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hannah’s and Kate’s lives show how different homes and parents can create the adults we become. Harshness, cruelty, fright and coldness. All these outside influences mould the adult characters of Through All Eternity into a close knit unit through the meeting of Kate and Hannah. Emotions run high with the daughters. They argue and have totally different lives, but deep down they are very close.
Each page brings a new turn to the story making it a very enjoyable read. I could empathize with several aspects of the characters. They were so true to life, in fact bigger than life. Their actions and reactions expressed the truth of how life does not always run the way we expect it to. Outside influences drive us into behaving in sometimes inappropriate ways, but Ms. Bagshaw shows us there is always a different path to explore.
If as a reader you need something a little bit out of the ordinary then I recommend Through All Eternity. So what is the romantic link between the two? I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out. You won’t regret it. It is truly one of those books you can’t put down.
Upon storm season, Briana takes a new job. But she is misleading her boss -- she's there to investigate him. She looks for clues in his lifestyle, per...moreUpon storm season, Briana takes a new job. But she is misleading her boss -- she's there to investigate him. She looks for clues in his lifestyle, personality, and work ethics. The last thing Brianna expects is to have real feelings for him. And Justin feels things towards her, too. The secrets between them, however, will eventually be revealed. The storms are coming. Hurricanes. But those aren't the only storms Brianna and Justin have to worry about.
Brianna is a quiet woman. She was raised well, and had a good family life. She is willing to go above and beyond in her new job. The reader only gets a slight glimpse into Brianna's past, however. As she works with Justin and they become involved, there wasn't much sharing of Brianna's life. While I liked Brianna's character, it felt as if she wasn't complete.
The suspense factor is weaved into the story. As the book goes on, Ms. Chastain shows the reader glimpses that there may be more to Justin than meets the eye. That's why Brianna is there to work for him. The plot thickens when the two start to harbor romantic feelings for one another. That's when Brianna begins to second guess her reasons for working with Justin. She finds him to be far different than the picture that's been painted in her mind.
The story's pacing is great. Though I do wish that we could have learned more about Brianna and Justin, they were fun to read about. Storm Surge is a sweet romance, with light touches of inspirational and suspense. Ms. Chastain's voice speaks to the heart in this story.
If you enjoy a book that has a little bit of deception, sweet romance, and a bit of suspense, then get swept away in Storm Surge.
Due to an unhappy childhood, Robin lives with Shale’s grandmother. He has always protected her and she thought he loved her as much as she loves him....moreDue to an unhappy childhood, Robin lives with Shale’s grandmother. He has always protected her and she thought he loved her as much as she loves him. Then Shale leaves with Allison, his literary agent. He never returns.
Granny is dying and Robin tries to find Shale. Despite the blizzard-like conditions Robin drives up to his remote location where she finds a bizarre situation.
Shale is bound by his promise to Allison who died in a horrible car crash. For reasons he is unwilling to expose, he has taken on the responsibility for Ivy, Allison’s sister. Occasionally Ted, Allison’s husband, appears at the house and Robin’s arrival coincides with one of these visits. What is the danger Shale hints at? Why does he want Robin to leave immediately despite the nasty weather?
This story is well written and I felt the inner turmoil of its characters. As I read the words I could see the scene unfold before my eyes. Shale, the dark and brooding male. Ivy, the slightly insane woman who has a hidden hold on him. Ted, the affluent businessman immaculately dressed. Robin, the bemused woman who find herself in the midst of all this chaos and madness. Only her faith and her strong love for Shale gives Robin the strength to keep trying.
The questions arising from these characters are not easily answered. As each part of the story unfolds, another question takes its place. This is an intriguing book and I truly felt as if I was peeling the petals from a flower, discovering another layer beneath. I was intrigued as to why Shale couldn’t leave, wanted to shake Robin and tell her to go, the man wasn’t worth it. Robin’s perseverance and faith kept everything together and when she took a wrong turn, things start to go horribly wrong.
Definitely a book to read. Mystery, romance and inspiration all rolled into one intense book. Well done Ms. Russell, I enjoyed reading Snow Blind.
Erin is a hospice nurse and knows her patients have health problems and sometimes memory loss, but she knows what she saw. There’s a valuable broach m...moreErin is a hospice nurse and knows her patients have health problems and sometimes memory loss, but she knows what she saw. There’s a valuable broach missing. And some of her patients are now losing their life savings. What’s going on?
Ms. Wiesner has written a good, solid mystery with engaging characters. Her main female character is in her late twenties and is raising her two sisters since her mother’s death. The main male character is Ty, who lives next door and who Erin has been in love with since high school. There is a religious theme throughout the story, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story.
For flavor, the author throws in two palm readers. They visit all the elderly in town and speak about those who have already passed. Your first “palm reading” is free. Erin doesn’t approve of what they do or how they do it, but Ty assures her it’s not illegal.
There’s also the issue of an old scandal that had no substance, but had destroyed her life anyway. Erin is a complex soul, and you can understand why she feels the way she does about men and empathize with Ty as he tries to get her to open her heart to him.
Past and present are interwoven in this story. I found the story moved a little slowly for me. I prefer more action, less replay of emotion. Still, it is a good story and I enjoyed reading it. I think a faster pace would have made it even more enjoyable. Ms. Wiesner makes her characters real and you won’t have any doubt about how they feel and what motivates them. You’ll find yourself rooting for Erin’s happiness, too.
Celia Yeary is not an author to underestimate. Her writing style beguiles you, her plot content snares you, and her characters enchant you. Mix them a...moreCelia Yeary is not an author to underestimate. Her writing style beguiles you, her plot content snares you, and her characters enchant you. Mix them all together and what do you get?
You get Texas True, the second in Ms. Yeary’s Cameron Sisters series. And for those who have read her first book in the series you will soon discover True is so different from her sister she has you rooting for her from the first. True may have overestimated her maturity, she may have thought she’d found true love, but when faced with disillusionment and betrayal of everything she’s believed in, does True buckle? Indeedy, she does not.
Ms. Yeary presents a feisty young heroine who, when she returns home from finishing school, believes she is ready to enter the ‘real’ world. The way Ms Yeary moves her heroine forward in both character and growth is masterful.
The conflict is provided by secrets kept between the hero, Sam Deleon, and his mother.
Sam Deleon is every woman’s dream hero. At least on the surface he is. And he soon swept the unsuspecting Trudi into his net with the ultimate incentive: marriage. He plays her like the pro he is, and yet you tolerate his deviousness because you know all will come good in the end.
In a way his misdemeanors help focus the reader’s attention on the plot and the exquisite way Ms. Yeary entwines plot, characterisation, goals and settings with such fluency.
For those who’ve never visited the state her scenic descriptions vibrate off the page. Her settings carry the reader to the heart of each scene with such reality, they can feel the heat, hear the music in the ball room, feel True’s excitement, and later her betrayal which is quickly followed by her determination ‘to win her man’ in the typical Western manner. She puts her characters through an emotional wringer that keeps her readers on the edge of the seats.
If you enjoy Western romances, get Texas True. If you enjoy historical romance, then this book is for you. If you enjoy reading about characters that all but jump off the pages, then you will not be disappointed when you buy Celia Yeary’s Texas True.
Jenny Claymore left Abilene, Texas years ago. Life as she knew it ended the day her father brought a stepmother to the house. Now she's returning to a...moreJenny Claymore left Abilene, Texas years ago. Life as she knew it ended the day her father brought a stepmother to the house. Now she's returning to attend her father's funeral and to two men who have influenced her life. As danger threatens, can she decide which one is telling the truth?
Life was lovely for Jenny while her mother was alive. She and her father looked forward to the long awaited baby brother or sister. However, a miscarriage produced a stillbirth, and worse, her mother developed pneumonia and died, leaving Jenny and her father utterly bereft, except for Keller, a motherly housekeeper, and Evan, a childhood friend. When Jenny's father remarries and introduces Lila to the household, everything changes. It's obvious Lila doesn't like Jenny; she has eyes only for her father and her own son, Ben, a handsome lad who brightens Jenny's days.
When Ben goes off to school in St. Louis, Jenny is utterly alone. Then she is packed off to a boarding school as well. While there, she studies to be a teacher, and after she graduates, she remains in the east. Her only happiness is her thoughts of Ben and that she will see him again.
En route to Abilene, she is befriended by a young man who turns out to be her old friend, Evan Marsh. Evan's a doctor now, and he's returning to help in his father's practice. When the train pulls into the station, as expected, no one is there to meet Jenny, so she hitches a ride from Dr. Marsh and his son.
Evil lurks within the wall of Claymore House. The estate is as foreboding as Jenny cold stepmother. Even the housekeeper and maid are unapproachable. Jenny takes refuge in her old room, the only place in the house that seems unchanged. The only bright spot is the arrival of Ben the following day. He appears as the same carefree young man she left when went East. But something isn't right. Still, she trusts Ben, even though Evan reveals things about Ben that seem out of character for the man she's come to love.
After the funeral the will is read. Not surprising to Jenny, her father has left everything to Lila, or so it seems, until Dr. Marsh mentions a later will. Out of the blue, Ben proposes, and Jenny accepts; it's what she's wanted since she was a girl. But soon a series of events occur that could have disastrous consequences for Jenny, and she must decide which man she can trust.
The Claymore Legacy contains a lot of back story, but it seems necessary to provide an understanding of what happens in the present. This novella is well written and interesting, even though Ben and his mother seemed more caricature than character. The conflict felt appropriate for the length of the story. Evan and Jenny were nicely portrayed, although Jenny seemed entirely too trusting. The Christian aspect serves a purpose and is germane to the characters. I found myself engrossed in this sweet but suspenseful romance. originally posted at http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.c...(less)
What do tragedy, loss, faith, and love create? A Firesong.
Dani Paul and her brother, Andy, faced the loss of their parents when they were only very y...moreWhat do tragedy, loss, faith, and love create? A Firesong.
Dani Paul and her brother, Andy, faced the loss of their parents when they were only very young and turn to their musical talents to create the group, Firesong, to get them through.
Along with their cousins, Andy and Dani take Firesong on a musical ministry, finding their futures along the way. Andy marries Katie, Dani’s best friend, and the others figure out who and what is best for each of them. At the same time, Dani continues to deny herself any connection to anyone except for the family that she has always been close to. Kurt Green, a schoolmate from the past, has returned to town to help the group with their musical aspirations and has increasing feelings towards Dani. Will his love be enough to get through the walls that she has built around her for protection? Will she finally place her faith in God’s hands to live as she has always wanted?
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this story. You could feel the warmth and the feelings among them, especially as a family. Following them through their ups and downs created a very good story, moving very smoothly and keeping the pages turning. This was my first book by Michelle Levigne that I have read and I would definitely like to read more.
I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a sweet and contemporary read.
Overcoming hurts of the past with faith and love creates the story, Light of the Heart.
Coming together at Sterling Lakes, Cascade Preston and Dan McQuay must face down their personal fears to finally allow love into their lives.
Cascade, a stained glass artist, has been duped into going back to the town that she blames for her mother's current medical condition. She grew up there seeing abuse and neglect first-hand, so now she must learn to trust and move forward, instead of dwelling in the past. She must find it in her heart to go on past the anger and the pain to give back to the community and let the love of God and a good man break down the walls that she has built all around her. Follow Cascade and Dan as they draw on each other's strengths and weaknesses to discover that love is all that matters in the end.
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. The author made this couple do and say things that I have seen myself say or do. Being able to relate that personally gives the book more ooomph, so to speak. And that makes it an even more enjoyable read. Also, with this being the first of a series, I look forward to seeing what happens next at Sterling Lakes.
This story is sweet and light and I would recommend it to anyone who just looking for something nice and easy to read to pass a quiet and relaxing afternoon.
Second chances at love can fourish and grow in life just like Daffodils.
Margaret Ellington has faced the tragic loss of her husband and is finally tr...moreSecond chances at love can fourish and grow in life just like Daffodils.
Margaret Ellington has faced the tragic loss of her husband and is finally trying to move on. She has picked herself up, gotten a new teaching position, and bought a new home. Lukas North, the man who walked out on her ten years ago, is back and wants to see if there could possibly be another place in her heart for him again. Will a long distance relationship work for them? Can she trust in God's and Lukas's love to make things right? Come follow their new season in life that is filled with the sweetness of blossoms and enriched with God's love.
I truly enjoyed this sweet short story. It moves quickly and I really enjoy second chance stories. Everyone deserves a second chance and since the main characters in this story are teachers, they need it even more so in my eyes. Can you tell I have a soft spot for them? Margaret's interaction with her students was very well written by the author and it added just another bit of sweetness to the story.
I would highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a quick and very sweet story with a nice happy ending.
Every year when Chelsea visited her husband’s grave on the anniversary of his death, she sees a man standing in the distance like he was grieving, too. Who was he and how did he know her husband?
Ms. Hiers takes a basic plot and breathes life into it by providing links to the present from the past and throwing in conflict, sexual tension and danger in good quantities. The story is believable, the two main characters are honest and honorable, and a boy’s life is at stake as well as Chelsea’s. The conversations flow well, her characters act like real people do, and the action is intense throughout the entire story.
Chelsea finds a boy in her barn who just happens to be the son of the man who killed her husband. He’s hiding from his father’s men who want to kill him before he can testify at a trial. Then the US Marshals show up. Chelsea’s husband had been a marshal and died because of it. She wants nothing to do with them anymore.
Chelsea is conflicted about wanting to protect the boy and wanting to get rid of the marshals. Trey is assigned to protect her and his partner takes the boy to a safe house. Chelsea and Trey both have issues from the past and don’t want to be involved, but the attraction is certainly there. The banter between two stubborn people who think they know best is entertaining.
This is a Christian themed story and there are Biblical references thrown in at moments of crisis or when the characters are trying to make big decisions. There were situations in this story where I think praying absolutely made sense, and wasn't intrusive.
I enjoyed this read. I just kept turning pages to see what was going to happen next. You’re not sure how things will end up until you get to the end of the story, and that makes it fun to read.
Almost Home is an understated yet powerful story about love, faith and forgiveness. It is also a wonderful romance as Kellie and her husband Davis rediscover the love they once shared.
Kellie Masterson’s return from Denver to Jackson, Texas is full of surprises which mainly center on her husband Davis Jackson. First on the list? Davis is still in town. Second on the list? He never signed the divorce papers. But the biggest surprise of all turns out to be Davis. He is not the same man she left behind, and before long, she realizes the love she felt for him is stronger than ever.
Davis Jackson hit rock bottom soon after Kellie left him and their small Texas town. His newfound faith in God has brought Davis a measure of peace and comfort as he works through the demons of his past. He views Kellie’s return as the opportunity to clear up past misunderstanding and clear the way to their reconciliation.
Another character who bears mentioning is Kellie’s grandmother Evelyn. Although she is with them only in spirit, her strong and abiding belief in God shines through as Davis and Kellie reminisce about events from their shared past. Evelyn’s faith in Kellie and Davis, both as individuals and as a couple, never wavered and provides them additional strength as they face their problems head on.
With Almost Home, Mary Eason delivers many beautiful and subtle messages that are easily forgotten in busy day to day life. Davis and Kellie are truly delightful characters whose personal growth and maturity provide a strong foundation as they rebuild their marriage. While their romance is often bittersweet, it is also incredibly moving and often tugs at the heartstrings. If you are looking for a sweet inspirational romance, you should not miss this poignant story.
Lilly Holland’s passion is flowers-not people. All she’s ever dreamed of was a peaceful life surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. The exact opposite of what life is like at the touristy Holland Lodge in the small town of Paradox. So, why does she feel like God is nudging her to go? He, if anyone, should know better than ask this of her.
Ric Walker, Holland Lodge’s grounds keeper, is Lilly’s only link to sanity. His steady presence and strong faith encourages her through this trying situation. However, that sanity is threatened as she realizes her feelings for him are changing into something more, something deeper.
Will Lilly learn that Paradox is more than a town’s name, but rather a divine place where God can reveal His power, bring healing, and love, just when she thinks all hope is gone?
Lilly just got blindsided with something she’s not sure she can handle. In comes Ric, a man who works for her parents. They renew a friendship as he helps her deal with a family crisis. Then growing feelings for Ric tug at her heart, and he feels the same way, but with all that’s going on, how can they be anything but friends?
Lilly puts aside her own business, a horticulture shop, to travel and run her family’s ski lodge. She’s not up for it. However, she heads to Paradox, a tourist town, to do her duty. When her employee at the flower shop has to leave town suddenly, what can Lilly do?
On top of all this, she feels distant from her family. Trouble just keeps piling on, and the tension grows in this delightful story. What does Lilly do? She prays, asking for help. It turns out that as a teenager, Lilly was lost; then she found God, giving her an internal strength to guide her through the hard times. She’s an admirable character who takes the high road whenever faced with challenges. Ric is her match. He’s a great guy, well suited to her, but will she drop the walls around her heart and let him in? Her values and faith interfere with her efforts to remain distant from him. She needs to let go of the past, and Ric could help her, if she’ll allow him to. Will Lilly’s parents accept her as she tries to mend the rift between them?
The theme of self-forgiveness is touched upon as Lilly thinks of mistakes she made in the past, and this affects her actions and relationships in the present. Old-fashioned values and the lesson to lean on others in hard times add depth to this short story. Sometimes, leaving things up to God can lead to interesting surprises. For those who enjoy sweet romance and inspirational stories, this one would be a lovely one to read.
Despite Sam Mackenzie's deep-rooted belief that marriage can turn two loving people into monsters, his all-encompassing love for Emma Jordan spurs him to propose before leaving the country bound for Valselo, the Adriatic village where millions believe the Mother of God speaks to three visionaries.
Despite Emma's love for Sam, she is unable to envision a life in a remote town on a distant continent. Emma refuses his proposal and spends the next three years making a life without Sam. When she's left at the altar, a loving conspiracy between her parents and parish priest-Sam's uncle-brings Emma to Valselo and an inevitable reunion with Sam. God seems to be orchestrating a second chance, but both believe they have had good reasons to turn away from God's guidance. Will they listen to Our Lady's messages which call humanity to open their hearts to God's mercy and love? Or will they lose each other a second and final time?
Being Left at the Altar can sometimes be a blessing in disguise!
Sam Mackenzie wanted Emma Jordan to become his wife, but the distance he wants her to travel is just unthinkable in her mind. Fast forward three years, it's her wedding day but the groom isn't Sam and he doesn't even have the decency to show. Why has God let this happen? Should Emma have faith that everything happens for a reason and move on? Follow her story as she re-unites with the man she has always truly loved and she lets her faith in him and God finally show her how to open her heart to a life filled with love and joy.
This story was a very quick and sweet read to fill an afternoon. The characters are very personable and the descriptions of the flowers and churches involved are very vivid. You can almost smell the roses in the garden scenes and I think the one with an overabundance of white roses would be a gorgeous sight to see.
I would highly recommend this short story to anyone who is looking for a sweet and inspirational romance written by a clearly talented author to enjoy.
Bad things happening to good people just doesn't seem right. How much faith does it take to overcome unjust adversity and come out stronger and a better person?
Mature, with successful careers, and so-very-much in love, Lauren Holloway and Tucker Kane are soon to be wed and the plans are drawn for their dream home to be started as soon as they marry, but the world seems to cave in on them. Bad things begin to happen and just keep getting worse until Tucker disappears without saying goodbye in an effort to keep Lauren and his toddler daughter Kristy safe.
Devastated because Tucker didn’t trust her enough to tell her his plan, Lauren calls off the wedding as her life comes unraveled. Badgered and watched by the despicable Detective Sherman, discriminated against by the powers-that-be in the school where she is principal, She finds herself questioning her own self-worth and her values. Even though she feels cast adrift, she continues to be a part of Kristy’s life and also stays friends with Evelyn and Martin, Kristy’s maternal grandmother and grandfather. The hatred Evelyn has for Tucker and Martin’s secretive connection with Tucker have her in a quandary until Kristy is abducted then Lauren meets all adversaries head on with determination.
Dark threads woven into the story are secondary characters like Juliana, Kristy’s godmother and her politically ambitious D. A. husband; Jordan Raines, Juliana’s ambitious journalist nephew; as well as the Armstrongs who are associated with Lauren’s school trauma. All of them are major players in Tucker and Lauren’s heartbreaking situation. Even Margot, Tucker’s dead ex-wife, continues to wreck havoc on Tucker’s life. Conversely, bright, shining threads are characters like Eric Grantham and Sheriff Benton Fox (WOW!).
Karen Young weaves a plot that slowly unfolds with some surprising revelations. She builds in emotions that cause the characters to question their faith and their values. How she finally resolves the troubling issues they wrestle with makes compelling reading and also causes the reader to think about his or her own strengths and weakness both spiritual and emotional. Ms. Young’s descriptions of the Texas Hill Country make the setting seem real and her subtle foreshadowing of major events entices the reader to keep turning pages.
Tucker and Lauren’s love story is full of “unfair” doings of mean-spirited people who send both Tucker and Lauren to the depths of misery before they can unravel deceits and come to realize their love and faith withstood a fiery test and came through refined, strong, and true. Their happy-ever-after had a high price, but shines with so much promise for the future. Good reading!
Starfire Ranch is a different place than the one Austin McGill remembers. Dragged from his home and his drunken father at the age of fourteen, his visits since were few and far between. Now his father is dead but if Austin wants to inherit he has to obey a clause in the will which requires him to live on the ranch for three months. After this he can do what he likes with the it and what he wants is to sell the place to finance his foundering city business.
Sam lives in the guest house on the property. The John McGill she knew is not the same one as Austin remembers. Over the years she helped John develop the property into a summer riding camp for the disabled. During this process she started adoption proceedings for her autistic foster daughter Jenny. Austin’s plans for the ranch could destroy her home, her happiness and lose her the one person she loves - Jenny.
A man from the city - a girl from the country. Could these two agree on the present, let alone the future? Austin seemed a little unbelievable. Would a man who has to “maintain the property to the present standards” sit back and watch a woman struggle to keep it going? If she fails so does he, as he will lose the ranch to a nature reserve.
Sam, on the other hand, reminded me of many women who survive on their own. Strong, unwilling to ask for help, capable of many tasks and a loving mother to her daughter. I don’t know much about autism, but Jenny sneaked into my heart. A lovely child who obviously adores her new mama.
Starfire is a beautiful sweet romance which I enjoyed reading. Short but complete and well written, it flows smoothly from beginning to end. Children, animals and love all blend together to make a very pleasant book(less)
The days of log cabins have passed by the wayside, but this collection of short stories will take you back to the 1800’s, and into tough times, loss and love, and more. Let’s step into the past…
Each of the authors in this anthology is a recognized author who writes Christian themed stories. These stories have biblical references but they don’t overwhelm the story. Each story is set in a different location with each family having their own challenges to survive in an undeveloped land in a cabin they built for themselves.
The authors offer you characters who have to be strong to survive. They lose spouses in child birth, due to illness, or death by accident. Women can’t be alone in that day and age, and their choices are not always what they might want for their hearts. These stories have sadness in them, but each ends on a positive note with hope for the future.
The authors do a good job of showing the complex relationships between men and women. There are misunderstandings, fearing to accept or declare love, trying to deal with the children in the family, and then living in a one or two bedroom log cabin is enough to get on anyone nerves. There are different nationalities, odd family units, dangers from animals and Indians, and more. The authors are very factual about living back in the 1800’s. It wasn’t easy, but a well-built cabin and someone to love makes it a lot better.
This book would make a nice Christmas gift. It’s a book that would be fun to read each Christmas season, just pack it away with your Christmas ornaments. The stories are short enough they would work for reading aloud, too. I really enjoyed reading it. Why not give it a try yourself?
Faithful Danger starts off with private investigator Rhee Ryland crashing a wedding where he pretends to be the collage friend of the groom. His task is to find the widow of a financial genius who stole clients' money and then committed suicide rather then face up to his crimes.
Caffey Matthews had dangerous people after her and so she ran away, changed her name and hair color, and started a new life in ranch country. At her best friend’s wedding, Caffey is confronted by old feelings about her own nine-year long marriage as well as the tragedy that lead to her running away and finding the peace she needed to survive from her faith in God.
Faithful Danger was the first inspirational book I’ve ever picked up. Being an avid reader of romantic suspense and spicier romance, this was a very nice change of pace. I loved that there was no sexuality in the book. The romance was expressed in an innocent yet more real way. It shows that love is very different from lust. I admire that about this book and because of that factor I can guarantee you that this was not the last inspirational book I’ll ever read. I truly enjoyed the genre.
Caffey's character was very well written. She was sweet and innocent but had dark secrets that made the reader feel for her. I liked her flaws and found them to be very realistic. The way she had abandoned her faith in her first marriage and got it back after her husband killed himself made me relate to her, since many people turn to religion only in their time of need. In her new life, Caffey always puts her faith in God first and it made her appear strong and courageous.
Rhee was a smart, strong and sweet hero. I loved how his love for Caffey grew from him liking her as a person instead of basing it on physical lust alone. His inner battles between right and wrong him sympathetic. My only problem with Rhee was that he accepted God a little too quickly. He had given up on faith and religion, but it seemed like as soon as Caffey said "believe", he did. It felt as though he did it for her instead of for himself and for his own reasons. It's the only place I felt could have used a little improvement.
The story itself was a great inspirational romance with suspense elements. Although I chose this book because it was a romantic suspense, that aspect wasn't the focus of the story. It didn’t get truly suspenseful until the end and even then I saw the twist coming a mile away. I did enjoy the car scene though. I won't spoil it for you by telling you what happened but I can say that Ms. Hanson really covered all the bases. Many authors leave so many plot holes and I was pleased not to have found any. At times it seemed like Ms. Hanson actually threw herself into that kind of situation just to see if she could get out of it, or at least did extensive research on it.
All in all, I truly enjoyed this book and will have to keep my eyes open for future books by this author. Although it was my first inspirational, it was far from the last. If you enjoy good, sweet, inspirational romance stories, I recommend this book. I think you will love it.
Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, is the second book in the Emma Rae Creation series, but stands alone well if you haven’t read the first book of the series. This is not a fast paced read...in fact at times it is a bit slow.
Don’t take me wrong, I enjoyed this book, because I was in the mood to be carried along with the light-hearted read.
Initially, there are a few too many occasions when I was catapulted out of the story while I tried to work out word choices and sentence constructions. On the other hand there is some wonderful phrasing, such as: ‘…wearing a fine Italian suit, polka-dotted with rain-drops.’
Ms Bricker plants her heroine, Sherilyn, in a new job back in her home town and skilfully threads in a back-story mystery which you know is going to come back and bite her heroine. It’s the way she achieves this that delights and surprises.
The author gives her hero, Andrew Drummond IV, and Sherilyn plenty of insecurities they both have to work through, sometimes alone and at others as a team, learning to strengthen their relationship. It is the way Ms. Bicker balances the inner and outer conflicts of her main characters and brings in a huge cast of secondary characters to help move the story forward.
After reading Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, I will happily go looking for the first book in the series and keep my eye out for the next one.
This is an inspirational – with bite. Mistaken Identity deals with faith and friendship. Add in a new boy in town and the faith and friendships becomes sorely tested. In this first effort of genre switch from adult to teen Inspirational the author maintains her fluent writing style, depth of characterisation, and on the edge-of-your-seat action. By writing in the first person, Ms Byrd allows her readers to get right into her heroine Eden’s head and there you find all the angst and insecurities of the average teen. That said, Eden is no wimp.
When she discovers Lexi, her ‘best’ friend, is nothing of the kind, Eden has choices to make. Does she remain in character or does she make a push beyond her comfort zone and go for what she wants? In Lexi Ms Byrd dramatically highlights the dilemma Christian teens face in today’s ‘because I want it, I can have it’ culture. The tension between Eden and Lexi takes off into the stratosphere when Channing, the new boy, arrives in town.
From a writer as visual as Ms Byrd, it is hard not to imagine yourself there beside Eden, Lexi and Channing. She creates realistic characters and then places them in situations most people can relate to in some form or other, and bingo, the empathy is there between reader and the characters and kept me engaged to the end.
Despite being unfamiliar as I am with the American school culture and atmosphere, I had no problem engaging with her cast.
I’d be surprised if Ms Byrd’s transition to the YA genre does not create a whole new raft of reader/fans for her books. A very good read.
How to survive and thrive after horrific childhood abuse is a quest that drives both Taylor and Trevor Forrestier. They suffered physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally at the hands of a brutal father.
Even though she still has nightmares, Taylor, with the help of the compassionate, spiritual pastor Dan Hebert, is finding her way to a place where she can cope with the past. She knows deep down that she will never get to a true peace until her twin brother Trevor finds his way to get past the horrors that they suffered together. He carries a burden of guilt for not being able to protect Taylor from their cruel, out-of-control drunken father. He has a rage inside him even though the father is dead, and he still questions why God would let such things happen to children.
Being rich, highly intelligent, well-educated and successful business partners does not erase the horrors of their past. Their need to protect each other and to be assured of each other’s well-being is paramount in their lives. They are each a half of a whole and finding a way to become separate individuals is a painful process, especially for Trevor. The gifted Taylor has detailed visions of how things looked in the past and Trevor has the talent to create to perfection what she has seen. Consequently, their architectural business flourishes in Louisiana where they can bring old, historic homes and landscapes back to their original grandeur.
Alex Broussard, a rich financial analyst; Pam, the super office manager and friend for Taylor and Trevor; Steve, the Forrestiers’ foreman; and even the insecure, disruptive Colleen along with Pastor Dan Heberty are all involved in Trevor and Taylor’s struggle to find their way to a redemptive love that can give them peace and allow them to move on to live fulfilling lives.
The Visionary has a touch of sermonizing at times as it gently but firmly nudges the reader along with Taylor and Trevor as they find their way to God who heals all wounds and grants strength to those who seek Him. This story gives the reader a heartwarming, fun, and captivating journey with the characters as they find romantic love that bubble with happiness. It also shows the reader how the characters struggle with “real-life’ issues like loyalty, forgiveness, grief, pain, anger, frustration, etc. as they strive to “Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding”—a big order in real life just like it is in the story.
The Visionary is a thought-provoking novel that touches the spirit that abides beneath the sophistication and bravado veneer that is used for protective armor against “the slings and arrows” of a secular world that so often scoffs at the spiritual. Pamela Thibodeaux gives the reader interesting and unusual reading that affirms and reveals the power of LOVE on many levels.
Reggie is certainly the most interesting lawyer I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. She had my sympathy from the very start of the book. First, she bungles an important contract, and then she’s in a wreck in holiday traffic. Fortunately the man in the other car is Dylan Monroe. Dylan insists on driving her home. Once there, they find that Reggie’s apartment has been ransacked. As if that weren’t enough, when Dylan and Reggie come back to clean the apartment on the day after Thanksgiving, someone starts shooting at her. Dylan insists he can protect her, but Reggie has trust issues. Will she take a leap of faith and trust a man she’s hardly knows?
Ms. Duncan really knows how to pace a good suspense. From the moment Reggie is in a wreck, her life becomes a series of life threatening incidents that kept me turning pages. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to Reggie and Dylan next. Even though the book was fast paced, Ms. Duncan worked in some slower moments that highlighted Dylan and Reggie’s softer sides and allowed me to get to know them better. I particularly liked the scene when Dylan gave Reggie a tour of his hometown. I couldn’t help but smile as Dylan described each of the buildings and the people who lived in them. I’m sure anyone who’s ever lived in a small town will crack a smile when they come to that passage.
I also loved the way that Dylan witnessed to Reggie. Reggie grew up in foster care and doesn’t trust or depend on anyone but herself, and she certainly doesn’t have any faith in God. However, Dylan, his family, and friends slowly begin to change her mind. Dylan shared his faith with Reggie simply by living a life following Christ’s example.
I thought that Dylan and Reggie made a good couple despite coming from completely different worlds. Reggie loves the city and wants nothing more than to be a successful attorney. Her trust issues make it hard for anyone to get close to her. Dylan’s heart resides in the country on his farm. He’s an open and trusting soul willing to lend a hand to help a stranger. Despite the huge differences in their lives, Dylan and Reggie find themselves falling in love. I liked that their love for each other didn’t magically fix all their issues. They really had to work for their happy ending, but there is no doubt in my mind that they will have a very happy life together.
Pursued is a fast paced story filled with characters that defy expectations. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good romantic suspense mixed with an inspirational message.
In Renegade Hearts, author Anne Patrick takes a bunch of strong and delightful characters and presents a charming, gentle story of family love, family differences, of loss and the courage to go forward. And as is her way, Ms Patrick chucks in some suspense and weaves it through the book, not revealing the outcome until the end of the story.
Widowed for two years, Jenny Holloway has a farm to run, a young son to raise, a reputation to build on and the arrival of her stockman’s son, Gil, to contend with. So she’s strong, yes, but not perfect. She discovers plenty of insecurities she has to deal with. She’s not prepared to forgive her step-father for the harsh things he said at her husband’s funeral, and she often stumbles when trying to explain her actions to her son. And when it comes to her growing feelings for Gil, she’s left high and dry trying to come to terms with them let alone explain them to herself, or anyone else. Her passionate love of horses means she sets up a rescue operation with her friend and in doing so goes head-to-head with an influential but disliked local.
Injured in the line of duty, Gil is not pleased to find himself heading back home to the place he couldn’t wait to leave, until he meets Jenny Holloway and accepts a job on her farm.
But did he accept the job because he needed it, or because he’d fallen in love with the woman on first sight?
So many inner conflicts are going on within every character, both major and secondary. And Ms Patrick has a full cast of them. Zach, Jenny’s son is a charmer and worked his way into this reader’s heart almost instantly. The interaction between Zach and Gil as they get to know each other is masterful and heart-warming.
And brilliant wordsmith that she is, Anne Patrick writes a tight and fluent tale where every word matters. There are emotional highs and lows and laughter and tears. There is crime, greed and betrayals.
Whether writing on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery and suspense, or gentle family life with suspense entwined, Anne Patrick is an author worthy of your Keeper shelf.
Stephanie’s simple life just got a whole lot more complicated.
Just when Stephanie thought her life was back on track, everything goes wrong. Her relationship with Jacob was going well until tax season hit and he didn’t have any extra time to spend with her. Then Stephanie met Brittny. At first the two friends hit it off, but Jacob and Brittny have a past and a mutual dislike of each other. To make matters worse, it appears that Stephanie has a stalker who knows her deepest fear. With Jacob and Brittny pointing their fingers at each other, Stephanie must decide who to trust before it’s too late.
One of the things I enjoyed most about In Sheep’s Clothing was the romantic connection between Stephanie and Jacob. They have great chemistry and a desire to foster a relationship founded in a mutual faith in Christ. It was a pleasure watching them get to know each other. Both Stephanie and Jacob have decided to save sex for marriage, which is certainly a tough standard to maintain when they are so much in love. I liked the fact that Ms. Sutton didn’t shy away from describing the passion and heat of their relationship or their struggle to remain virgins.
Stephanie is a sweet heroine. She tends to see the best in everyone she meets, and I admire that. However, as the story progressed, I found myself being very frustrated with her naivety. From the moment that Brittny appeared in Stephanie’s life, it was clear that she wasn’t a good person to get involved with. Stephanie not only became Brittny’s friend, but started a business with her without a contract or legal details of any kind. Then when Brittny started planting seeds of doubt concerning Jacob, Stephanie actually believed her. I found this maddening. Even though Stephanie and Jacob are still in the beginning stages of their relationship, he’d never given her any reason to doubt him. I found it a little hard to believe that such a smart woman couldn’t see the facts right in front of her face.
Jacob is definitely the right man for Stephanie. He’s a man of principles who knows what he wants out of life. He did tend to be a bit rigid at times, but as the story progressed I thought Stephanie balanced that side of his personality out nicely. It was clear early on that Jacob cared deeply for Stephanie and had an overwhelming desire to protect her when he discovered she had made friends with Brittny. However, I admired the fact that Jacob let Stephanie make a decision about Brittny on her own. He simply answered her questions when she asked them and was there for her when she needed him. He is a hero every sense of the word.
Over all, I thought In Sheep’s Clothing was a good read. I truly enjoyed the romance between Stephanie and Jacob. Anyone looking for a sweet Christian romance with a dash of suspense should give In Sheep’s Clothing a try.
Don't do what I did, and start this fast paced page turner at 10 PM. Not unless you're more of a night owl than I am, and are prepared to stay up until after midnight reading.
This is a well written, fast moving romance about a very damaged heroine who has, understandably, decided God has not been listening to her. The author does an excellent job of portraying both the heroine's initial belief that God doesn't answer her prayers, and therefore is a fraud, and her realization that he will listen, if only she will come out of her shell, stop keeping silent about the horrors of her past, and reach out.
I was particularly moved by Jay's response to realizing that he took her parents' pious mouthings at face value, and that he failed to be there for Ashley in the way she needed him to be. The reaction of the church elders when he confronts them with their blindness is believable. I wanted to shake the elders and give Jay a hug. But the author raises an interesting problem here: how ready should we be to question someone else's professions of faith? Do we embrace them with open arms, even if we have doubts, hoping that they will see the light, or do we hold them at arms length, questioning their faith?
I did find the author's slipping a couple of passages of sermonizing in the guise of Jay's journal entries ot be rather heavy handed, and Ashley's behavior towards her therapist at the beginning of the novel reminded me of the actions of a spoiled child rather than arousing the sympathy it was doubtless meant to. Still, I found Ashley largely sympathetic, and the characters and the situations portrayed in the book are ones that I continue to turn over in my mind.
If you enjoy inspirational romance about serious spiritual dilemmas, you're sure to enjoy this fine book.
If you enjoy good quality reading, with a great ending and wonderful characters this is a story for you. Aurora and Nathan are great characters that will pull you in and keep you page turning until you can’t wait to pick the next book in this series.
Aurora never had it easy in life. With a father that never showed her he loved her and a wild streak and mile wild she never expected to find that she lost her heart to the boy next door, who was in love with God as much as her. One night a kiss is shared and there is no going back. She gave her heart away and never got it back. When her love was taken away she ran, as far and as fast as she could from the truth, for eleven years she harbored uncertainty and doubt about Nathan.
Nathan has loved Aurora all his life it seemed, but after a shared passionate kiss his all-consuming love for her scared him. He feared that if he stayed with her that he would lose everything and that he love of God would be tested because of her. So he married another, but he dreamed of Auroraand love her from afar for eleven years until his wife died. Meeting Aurora again brought back his love and he realized that he had given her his heart when they first met and that they were meant to be together.
But after a life lived apart for so long, secrets and doubts threaten the tender love they share, and only time will tell if they can weather the storm to find that they were made to be together.
Falling Star was something that hit me unexpectedly. This book was nothing that I was anticipating when I started reading, but the story drew me in and I couldn’t stop until I knew how it ended. The characters were so well written that it was hard to not imagine this story being something that happened in real life that I was just watching as it unfolded. Karen Wiesner is definitely on my keeper list.
In this story Ms. Grace deftly addresses the issue of age differences between hero and heroine. Pastor Warren is a widower, and Wendy Miller was one of his most faithful camp counsellors eight years ago, and is now a youth pastor at another local church.
With skilful use of dialogue the author reveals her hero and heroine’s backgrounds and their impact on present events. Mix in close communities, the gentle rivalries between the two churches and the sometimes intense disapproval of some committee members of both churches when the two pastors combine to present their annual festivities due to budget cuts on one hand and lack of space on the other and you get all the ingredients of a charming story, crammed with many different tensions and conflicts. Conflicts both internal and external. Ms. Grace pairs a bubbly heroine with a serious and introspective hero several years her senior, throws several nay-sayers in their path and then takes the reader on a fluently written journey of how they resolve each and every problem.
The author’s ability to transport this reader into her settings is artlessly achieved. The writing is fluent and carries the powerful flavour of small communities and all the concealed and sometimes open agendas within. The faith of both her hero and heroine is the backbone of the story and at times is sorely tested.
This short story is an ideal read for anyone looking for a gentle story that can carry the reader into another world for a few moments.
How can two characters, both of whom are Christian and both believers in God's grace become embroiled in a spiritual conflict? Well, there's believing and believing. The author exploits hero Bobby's “Yes, but...” belief in himself and God as the basis of this fine novel.
As with the author's previous novel, Moving On, the spiritual trials of both Bobby and Meagan are finely drawn and entirely believable. When Bobby returns home to his father's funeral, I could see that his mother would succeed in sucking him back into his dysfunctional family of origin. And yet, there I was, turning the pages as fast as my ebook reader could go (and I could read). And when Meagan draws away from Bobby, fearful for the safety of her young son in the light of Bobby's revelations about his past, I sympathized with her, in spite of my desire to see Bobby settled and happy.
Setting is another strong point in this novel. The contrast between the town of Lubbock and the description of Bobby's desolate, semi-abandonned home town is telling, to the point where I questioned whether anyone could be happy in such a place.
The romance is sweet, and the characters do a bit more than kiss, but it's all very tastefully done and very believable as well, both the desire of Meagan to go a bit farther than kissing, and Bobby's desire to hold the line.
I found the plot of this novel particularly satisfying, arising as it did from the hero and heroine's characters and spiritual state, and the HEA ending, while a no-brainer for any reader of romance, particularly sweet. I rooted for the both of them from the first page right up to the last. If you enjoy inspirational romance, you're sure to enjoy this book.
Life has put a few obstacles in Rachel’s path. Little does she know what further catastrophes will alter the course of her life.
Rachel returns home to her parents' ranch several years after her brother’s death. Worried that medical tests in the future might prove she is seriously ill, she keeps her problems to herself. She is determined to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas without the shadow of sickness overshadowing the festivities.
Kyle works for Rachel’s parents. His annoyance with the woman he thinks cares only for herself soon turns to love as they spend more and more time with each other. Rachel’s medical appointment is brought forward and she returns to Aspen for a few days. Kyle follows her. On their way back to the ranch disaster strikes and life for Rachel will never be the same again.
I enjoyed reading this book. Rachel is a strong woman who is determined to deal with her own problems. Kyle is a loner who is drawn to Rachel. The characters come across as real people who can’t help falling in love. As the book went from scene to scene, some poignant, others catastrophic in content, I was with them all the way. When they declared their love, when they supported each other through thick and thin - I was right in the scene.
The only problem I had was the story seemed rushed. I would have loved for it to have gone deeper into their relationship and have shown the petals of their love slowly unfolding. I believe Ms Stevens to be an excellent teller of tales, but I got the feeling of being pushed towards the finale as quickly as possible. So much happened and the book is only 109 pages long!
Having said this I would love to read more of Ms Stevens' work. She seems to be able to get inside her character’s head and show us what they’re feeling as well as what they’re doing. Keep up the good work, your books are delightful to read.
One of the reasons I enjoy reading inspirational fiction is the depth and interest that the spiritual conflict adds to the romantic elements. The spiritual conflict in this book is especially well drawn, and in a nice reversal of roles in this fine romance. It's heroine Audrey Rhodes who has lost her faith in God, and her high school crush, Brent Thomason, who has found his.
The author convincingly portrays the realities of Audrey's loss of faith, and of Brent's finding his. She manages this without becoming heavy handed or preachy. The added element of the abusive relationship with sort-of ex boyfriend Bobby lends another layer of gritty reality. I really believed both Audrey's need to draw the line with Bobby and in his ability to walk back into her life despite her good intentions. Bobby's qualities, both good and bad, shine through, and I shared Audrey's ambivalence about whether to tell him to get lost or to take him back one more time.
One of my pet peeves in romances is the “I want to shake them hard” syndrome, where the conflict between the characters would disappear if only they talked to each other – and the reason that they don't isn't one that I believe. I'm happy to say that at no point in reading this book did I want to shake either Audrey, Brent, or Bobby. Their conflict was true and real.
The action takes place in a small town in Texas, and the setting – the hot, dry weather – are an important element in the story. The story moves towards resolution at the same time that the weather cools, moving from summer into fall.
This book isn't beach reading; the conflict is too raw for that. And at times I found the pace a bit slow. As the book wound down, I wondered where the author was going to find the additional conflict necessary to finish the book. But she does, and in an especially satisfying way, she shows the true nature of forgiveness, and she doesn't shy away from showing how hard it is, and why many of us might be tempted to hold onto our anger.
Return to Me will grip you and not let you go until the final page. If you enjoy inspirational romance, this book belongs on your To Be Read list.
Erica and Lorne’s lives come crashing together the morning Erica discovered Ada’s house on fire. Lorne had my admiration from the moment he entered the scene. Without a thought for his own safety, he was willing to run into a burning house to save a woman he didn’t even know. While Lorne was too late to save Ada’s life, his selfless act firmly established him as a hero in my mind. After the initial shock of the tragedy is over, Lorne and Erica find themselves drawn to each other. However, they both had some personal issues to work through before they reached their happy ending.
Erica was a very easy character to like. She deeply cares for her friends and family and will go to great lengths to protect them. She’s also very smart and motivated. She struck me as one of those people who always needs to be doing something. I have a feeling that whatever Erica puts her mind to, she’ll have no trouble accomplishing. Erica is also very resilient. While Ada’s death shook Erica to her core, she came to realize that life goes on and focused her energy into helping find Ada’s murderer.
Despite all Erica’s strengths, she’s in the midst of a crisis of faith. She’d been questioning the validity of her belief in God for a while, but Ada’s death has made her take a hard look at her faith. I loved that Erica’s search for God didn’t come in any hard and fast answers. Instead she found solace in prayer and in her family and friends who formed a tight knit community of believers who were there to listen and support her when she needed them.
Lorne was a true hero from the moment he entered Erica’s life. Not only did I admire his act of bravery, but he was also very caring and tender toward Erica. Like Erica, Lorne has issues with his faith. His life had been marked by tragedy from an early age and the war was just the most recent horror he’d had to endure. Lorne had left God behind him a long time ago, but as the story progressed, Lorne began to realize that God never left him. As with Erica, there were no easy answers to Lorne’s questions. I really liked the fact that Erica’s family and friends are Christians who gently lead by example. Their lives aren’t perfect, but they all have a strong faith and are willing to open their hearts and homes to Lorne.
In the search for Ada’s murder, Erica and Lorne came across plenty of unsavory characters. They each had a main suspect who would certainly have fit the bill. I never thought either of their suspects were the true culprit. I was constantly searching through the secondary characters in an effort to solve the mystery before the story was over. However, I was truly surprised when the murderer was revealed. I won’t spoil the ending, but I must say that I felt like the revelation came out of the blue. My only complaint with this is, when the story ended, I didn’t feel as if I truly understood the killer’s motivation for taking Ada’s life.
One of the things I most enjoyed about the story was the romance between Erica and Lorne. They were attracted to each other almost immediately, but were unwilling to act on it. Erica had just lost her best friend and couldn’t begin to entertain thoughts of romance. Lorne felt he wasn’t worthy of Erica’s affections. However, as the story progressed, the connection between them slowly began to grow. I liked that they never rushed into anything. They went on some lovely dates and really got to know each other. It was a delight to see them excited and full of butterflies at the thought of dancing together, or simply seeing each other again.
I enjoyed reading Burning Hearts. It is an inspirational story full of love and hope. Anyone who loves a good mystery paired with a sweet romance should certainly pick up a copy of Burning Hearts.