Sean O'Connor wants only one thing--to spend all his days in the bliss of bachelorhood. When he takes a job working with his little sister's best frieSean O'Connor wants only one thing--to spend all his days in the bliss of bachelorhood. When he takes a job working with his little sister's best friend, Emma Malloy, he does the one thing he never meant to do. . . he falls in love her with her. There's only one problem . . .she's already married. Emma Malloy escaped the hands of her abusive husband eleven years ago when she fled from Dublin to Boston. Still, she intends to keep the vows she made to her estranged husband and God. But nothing prepares her for falling in love with Sean O'Connor. Can she possibly resist her feelings for the only man she's ever truly loved? Is it possible to remain bound to the vows she made so long ago. . . ?
Julie Lessman has done it once again in this second installment to the Winds of Change series. A Heart Revealed is a riveting story filled with tons of romance.
I have say right off that out of all of Julie Lessman's characters, Emma and Sean are my favorite so far!
Julie Lessman's readers have to come to expect more than just a story about two characters in her novels, but rather a family saga that continues to grow with each new book. This novel is no exception. Inside the pages of this story, one will find more conflict between the beloved characters who captured our imaginations in previous novels.
While this novel definitely contains the spiritual depth that can usually be found in Julie Lessman's work, A Heart Revealed really impressed me! I especially appreciated two things in this story.
The first thing I appreciated was how the main female character not only lived a full, single life, but actually lived it in absolute contentment, realizing she had already been made complete in Jesus Christ. As a single woman, I can't tell you how refreshing it is to read about a woman who has that kind of perspective! It's a message that took me a long time to learn in my own life, and I'm so glad to see it impressed upon in a romance novel.
The second thing I appreciated was how the romance in this novel completely differed from most. Rather than focus on starting out with attraction, then moving onto sparks and falling in love, this romance began with a genuine friendship between two people who appreciated and respected each other without looking for anything in return. It represented a logical kind of love that is not normally led by the heart.
I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend it. I will caution however, that anyone who doesn't like to see any kind of sexual references in Christian fiction, should probably stay away from this book. While Julie Lessman has become well-known for showing the God-created beauty of intimacy and passion within the marriage bed--in a manner that is never explicit and always tasteful--,people who have a low tolerance for this sort of thing may feel uncomfortable with this novel.
The only reason I gave A Heart Revealed a 4.9 rating and not a 5 star rating, is because there is one loose end that I would have loved to have seen tied up in this novel rather than carried over to the next one.
Other than that, A Heart Revealed is a great read!
I received a complimentary review of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. ...more
When Vanessa Grant's father lay on his death-bed, Clayton Profitt made a promise to his employer that he would always look after Vanessa. Years later,When Vanessa Grant's father lay on his death-bed, Clayton Profitt made a promise to his employer that he would always look after Vanessa. Years later, that promise is tested when Clayton finds Vanessa crying in the barn. As Clayton sees the bruises on Vanessa's body, he makes the quick to decision to take her out west so she can escape her step-father. As they make their way to the Colorado territory, it becomes evident they'll have to marry in order to keep her completely safe from her step-father, who is no doubt hunting them down to take Vanessa back.
A Texan's Promise is both engaging and heart-wrenching. While it starts off slower than most stories, every moment is worth it.
Shelly Gray's writing style is different and fresh as she brings a mixture of heart-wrenching events and romance in the same story. Her characters are compassionate and enjoyable.
While I had a hard time understanding the heroine's reluctance to marry the heroine, Shelly Gray brings us deeper into the the character and exposes his true reluctance.
Shelly Gray brings event, such as rape and abuse, into this story that might make some people cringe or may be downright uncomfortable for others.
At times the book did seem to border on the verge of "preachy". With that said, Shelly Gray does skillfully engage the preaching through interesting dialogue, and not once does she ever slow down the story. It's through this skill that I didn't find the preaching overly annoying.
I definitely recommend A Texan's Promise and can't wait to the next book in this new series!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Abingdon Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Fannie Rousseau has just lost her mother and is struggling to keep her family's estate in good condition. When she discovers a long held family secretFannie Rousseau has just lost her mother and is struggling to keep her family's estate in good condition. When she discovers a long held family secrets that no one is willing to talk about, she boards a steamboat traveling along the Missouri River in hopes of discovering the truth for herself. Samuel Beck is also on a quest for family. . .but his is to reconcile a mistake he made long ago. Yet left penniless and knowing he needs passage aboard a steamboat traveling along the Missouri, he takes a job as freighter to help pay his wages. There, he meets the beautiful Miss Rousseau. As Fannie and Samuel grow closer, their obvious differences don't stop sparks from forming. But is it possible that they are truly a most unsuitable match?
A Most Unsuitable Match has a great many elements in it that make for a good story. The beginning starts off very slow, almost bogged down with more narration than immediate scenes, but once the story picks it up it holds the reader engaged and highly entertained.
While I enjoyed Stephanie Grace Whitson's previous novel far more than this one, I still truly enjoyed A Most Unsuitable Match.
As always, Stephanie Grace Whitson fills her stories with such wonderful historical detail and accuracy. I enjoyed learning about the steamboats along the Missouri River, and even learning more about the early territory of Montana.
The message in this book is one of the best I think I've read in a long a time. While we've seen a great many stories on bookstore shelves that deal with broken prostitutes in search of redemption from their previous life as society's outcasts, Stephanie Grace Whitson brings something unique to this story by approaching it from the perspective of those broken women's families.
While the ending seemed a little rushed, and the epilogue didn't quite make sense in the beginning, overall, it's still a good story.
Fans of historical fiction will definitely love A Most Unsuitable Match.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Priscilla White longs to rescue the heathen residing in unknown parts of the world from the fires of hell, should they never hear of Jesus Christ. PriPriscilla White longs to rescue the heathen residing in unknown parts of the world from the fires of hell, should they never hear of Jesus Christ. Priscilla is preparing to leave for India to just that . . . until she receives devastating news--the mission board will no longer send unmarried candidates into the mission field. The painful reality that she can never bear a child has left her determined to never wed, but now she must re-consider her choice. Eli Ernest has spent years convincing the mission board to fund a ministry that will share the Gospel to the Native American Indians. The mission board has finally decided to help fund his mission in Oregon Country, but there is only one condition . . . he must find a wife. Priscilla and Eli realize they have few options. Knowing they may never have another chance, they decide to marry, with the agreement that it will be in name only. As they make they make their way to to the other side of the continent, unexpected events will test them . . . and force new longings in their heart. Can they possibly keep their vow to have a marriage in name only?
The Doctor's Lady is an excellent story that will hold you captive until the very last page. This story is filled with characters who are not only true to the time period, but so realistic they come right off the page.
Jody Hedlund proves her skills as a writer as she creates a flawless story that is not only historically accurate, but wonderfully executed with vivid writing and characterization. The romance that blossoms between the two characters is not only the most natural I've ever seen in a romance novel, but also the most endearing one I've encountered.
While the romantic elements in this story are very strong, Jody Hedlund also doesn't shy away from letting readers experience the darker side of life that nineteenth century missionaries dealt with as they traveled west.
I truly enjoyed this story! As one who has delved into studying both the Oregon Trail and nineteenth century missionary life, I give this book one the highest marks of accuracy.
I highly recommend The Doctor's Lady. Fans of Deeanne Gist will be especially pleased with this story, as will those who enjoy stories that deal with travels out west.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ...more
Pirate of My Heart is a riveting tale filled with charm, adventure, comedy, and romance!
After the death of Lady Kendra Townsend's father, she is leftPirate of My Heart is a riveting tale filled with charm, adventure, comedy, and romance!
After the death of Lady Kendra Townsend's father, she is left in the care of her ruthless uncle. He gives her the choice to marry the man he chooses for her or leave England to live with relatives she has never met, in the land called America. Believing God has a plan, she boards a cargo ship to start a new life. On the voyage, she meets American sea captain Dorian Colburn. Dorian felt an attraction to the Englishwoman the second she stepped on the ship . . . but he's not about to let some heiress slow him down from his sea adventures. He's been wounded by women before and he enjoys his single life. When Kendra is threatened, will he change his mind and take a risk on her?
Pirate of My Heart is a charming story that sparks with romantic tension. Jamie Carie creates delightful characters full of wit and humor. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the hero and heroine spar with each other. Even when they aren't arguing, their humor and quick wit around one another is just as amusing. There are moments in this story that are priceless!
The writing in this novel is absolutely stunning and brilliant. Jamie Carie pens clever descriptions of characters and their moods.
The historical approach in this novel is also very accurate from the early English point of view. It is in this historical accuracy that we find the title of the novel. While the cover, title, and back-cover description may lead one to believe this story is about pirates, the truth is that pirates make a brief appearance in this story. While at first I felt as though the misleading information should have decreased my rating, I truly found the reason behind the title too clever and endearing to do so.
I found an instance when I disagreed with one of the heroine's decisions. That being said, this story is not about me or anyone else. It's about this character. Though the author gives us good enough motivation to justify the decision, from a biblical perspective, it's not one I'd feel comfortable with if a real-life friend made that same choice. I do, however, believe the varying feelings on this decision would make an excellent discussion in book clubs!
This is the first book I've ever read by Jamie Carie. After reading Pirate of My Heart, not only do I look forward to her next title, but I'm ready to go out and purchase all her other books. I loved every moment of this novel and highly recommend Pirate of My Heart.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from B & H Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Susannah leaves her home in Detroit to head to the Dakota territory as a mail-order bride for her minister's brother, Jesse Mason. Upon her arrival, DSusannah leaves her home in Detroit to head to the Dakota territory as a mail-order bride for her minister's brother, Jesse Mason. Upon her arrival, Dakota is nothing like she expects. Even worse, marriage demands far more than she expected. Shy and wounded, she believes Jesse could never lover her.
Jesse is patient with Susannah, waiting until she learns to love him. They grow to love each other. Then a locust plague wipes out their crop. With few options left, Jesse leaves to find work in the growing towns. Somehow he ends up in Fort Lincoln, and things continue to get worse. Will Susannah and Jesse ever be able to rekindle their new found love?
I initially found myself excited about this book. My excitement, however, soon diminished as I began to read the book. I'm not sure if it's the author's voice or the writing itself, but I found this book a very hard read. It became entirely too confusing at times. The proportion in this novel proved to be an issue. Some scenes were so fast-paced, jumping from one location to the next--or from one action to the next--that it became near impossible to discern what was taking place or even form a solid idea of the story itself. Some events needed to be slow-placed to build important tension, yet they were glossed over some much so that one had to wonder what just took place.
The dialogue lent much confusion as well. At times it became difficult to know who was speaking as character reactions and actions had been placed with the wrong dialogue.
The conflict itself seemed too devised and unnatural, almost forced. Arguments often sprung out of nowhere, the heroine's past hurt didn't seem to justify her current state of mind, and it seemed like the stakes were never high enough to make me understand the true conflict.
I wish I could have enjoyed this story, but overall, I found it very difficult to do so.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through Bookneeze, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the material. ...more
Ex-prizefighter Levi Grant has turned over a new life. Upon his release from prison, he finds himself eager to earn an honest living in blacksmithing.Ex-prizefighter Levi Grant has turned over a new life. Upon his release from prison, he finds himself eager to earn an honest living in blacksmithing. The town of Spencer could use a blacksmith, and he could use a place where no one will learn too quickly about his past transgressions. The town librarian, Eden Spencer, has resigned herself to a contented life of singleness. She doesn't give second thought to the idea of marriage . . . until the new blacksmith starts paying regular visits to her library. As her heart blossoms toward him, her pre-conceived notions of the blacksmith begin to wither. Once the genteel librarian discovers Levi's previous crimes, however, he finds himself thrust into his toughest fight yet. . .winning Eden's heart.
When I pick up a Karen Witemeyer novel I've come to expect an entertaining story entwined with various lessons that will deepen my understanding of Scripture and God. While not unusual for Christian fiction to contain a spiritual message, it is a rare author who can use several verses of Scripture and write individual mini-lessons while using each to contribute to the overall message conveyed in the novel. Even rarer yet is the author who manages to pull such off and somehow still leave her readers feeling as if they haven't been bashed over the head with preaching. And Karen Witemeyer seems to do all of it with ease as she pens a delightful story.
As always, Karen Witemeyer introduces readers to compelling and dynamic characters. Having read all her novels, I've come to admire her work. While I enjoyed Eden Spencer as a heroine, I found her to be the least likable of Mrs. Witemeyer's female protagonists. It seemed she lacked any validation for her moral dilemma. Realizing, of course, that this novel takes place during an era where the heroine's reaction is quite normal and even deemed as righteous, it's important for the reader to understand Mrs. Witemeyer remains true to the time period she writes about. Modern day readers, such as myself, may find themselves irked by this unfortunate attitude that once existed in ages past, but it is nevertheless a dilemma a young woman may have found herself in .
The writing in this story is both vivid and clever. While Mrs. Witemeyer proves to be a skilled word-smith, the consistent over-use of the"simile" throughout the story became rather taxing and at times seemed like purple prose. One will stumble upon a well written phrase, but by the time you reach it, the over-use of the device makes the cleverly written simile seem a bit clichéd.
Regardless of how one feels about the heroine or the similes used in the story, it's impossible to dispute the fact that this novel is definitely a great read. ...more
Neither Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin like the idea of marrying each other. Circumstances have left each of them no choice. If Marianne doesn't marrNeither Marianne Denton and Noah Brenin like the idea of marrying each other. Circumstances have left each of them no choice. If Marianne doesn't marry Noah, her mother will fail to receive the proper medical treatment necessary to save her life. Noah doesn't like the idea of wedding himself the arrogant Miss Denton. He hopes he can bring in a fortune selling his cargo to England before the war starts, releasing from their arranged engagement.
Furious when Noah walks out of their engagement party, Marianne follows him to his ship. When she ends up stuck on board the ship with no way to return to Baltimore, she must endure Noah's loathsome presence.
When Noah and Marianne cross tides with a British naval ship and are impressed into the navy, they must both suffer unthinkable cruelty. In this midst of it all, will they surrender their hearts to each other and the destiny that God has for them?
I absolutely loved this book. I normally don't read pirate stories (which this wasn't), but I loved every moment of it. Filled with fascinating characters and amazing romantic tension, MaryLu Tyndall captures her readers. The plot is excellent and unique. How many historical novels take place around the war of 1812.
The spiritual element not only spoke to me, but deeply touched in me.
I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to the next one. ...more
A Tailor-Made Bride, is entertaining and charming. Filled with engaging characters, witty dialogue, and a unique storyline, this novel will captivateA Tailor-Made Bride, is entertaining and charming. Filled with engaging characters, witty dialogue, and a unique storyline, this novel will captivate you from page one.
Hannah Richards, a skilled dressmaker for wealthy clients, opens her own shop in the town of Coventry, Texas. Once she arrives in Coventry, she encounters the unfriendly Jericho "J.T." Tucker, whose arrogant and condeming attitude toward her and her profession ignites sparks between them. Jericho Tucker doesn't want the dressmaker in his town. She's the incarnation of everything he stands against. His firm belief that her shop will feed the vanity of the townswomen and keep them from building inward beauty, doesn't seem to stop his attraction to her. Will they be able to resolve their differences, or will their pride keep them from each other?
Karen Witemeyer weaves together an amazing story. She does a masterful job of creating conflict and building tension from verses of scripture that lend themselves perfectly to enrichen the reader's insight into God's Word. She offers a unique perspective and an astonshing spiritual element that sets her novel apart. Her style is neither condemning nor preachy. A Tailor-Made Bride is a stunning novel that will leave you waiting for her next release. ...more
Whenever I read any of Tamera Alexander's novels, I always know that I can expect an amazing story. Her newest novel, Within My Heart, exceeded thoseWhenever I read any of Tamera Alexander's novels, I always know that I can expect an amazing story. Her newest novel, Within My Heart, exceeded those expectations in so many ways.
Rachel Boyd, a young widow, has tried to avoid the town physician for the last two years. Her father had been a physician, and she's seen the arrogance of his kind. Dr. Rand Brookston has spent the last two years trying to get the people of Timber Ridge to trust him--especially Rachel Boyd. When an unexpected event thrusts them together, will he be able to penetrate through her barriers?
Within My Heart is not like any of Mrs. Alexander's previous novels, as its pace is a little slower. Yet, every word in this story is worth it. What makes this novel stand above any of her others, is the deep, complex emotions that run through the story. In fact, this novel has thought-provoking issues that will tug at your heart long after you've placed this book back on the shelf.
Mrs. Alexander does a masterful job in wrapping up the conflict presented throughout the entire Timber Ridge Reflections series. She has created conflict, not just with major characters throughout the series, but minor ones, as well. By the time you reach the last page, no question is left unanswered.
This book is a must-read. Its deep content offers spiritual insights to answers every person has sought after, at one point or another, in their own life. As human beings who have been touched by the Fall, we mourn. But the story Mrs. Alexander pens is one of hope, that helps us focus on what lies beyond, not just in this life, but in the next.
This story is one you will not want to skip. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel your heart pounding against your chest, and you will hope, in this unforgettable story....more
Once agian Tamera Alexander creates another great read. I fell in love with these characters immediatly. She engages us in a storyline that grabs ourOnce agian Tamera Alexander creates another great read. I fell in love with these characters immediatly. She engages us in a storyline that grabs our attention and tugs at the emtions until the very last page. Alexander does a wonderful job as she beautifully illustrates that while we have to suffer the consequneces of certain decisions we make in the heat of the moment, grace and mercy are available for every person. ...more