What an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I wil...moreWhat an enjoyable read! A beautiful romance, intellectual discussions, a bookstore, poetry. What more can you ask for in a novel? This is a book I will very likely be buying for my personal library, one I will certainly recommend when discussing books, and one I will very likely buy as a gift for friends.
Celia is a delightful heroine, she’s smart as well as pretty, but the focus is on her love for books, flowers and art, not her appearance. She can hold her own when conversation involves Tennyson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Pascal, Dickens, and Josephus just to name a few. Yes, this book has plenty of literary discussions.
I don’t know anything about the author as I type this but it is amply evident that she understands literature, loves roses, understands Christian apologetics and is a talented writer who can weave all of that into a Beauty and the Beast like tale.
All of the characters were important to the story and there were plenty of them. There were a few times I couldn’t quite remember which lady in the town was who but that really didn’t detract from the story and there was always a reminder in the scene or conversation that followed. Often times recently written historical romances only contain a handful of characters but I enjoyed the richness of a full cast.
Some might say parts of the book get “preachy” but it is a very important part of the plot and is line with the other intellectual literary discussions in the story – the only difference being the subject matter. The vocabulary is on a higher grade level than most fiction written today which might slow down or turn some people off as well. I ended up reading this book in two sessions even though I can usually manage a book of this length in one sitting.
The romance is clean and the gentlemanly restraint is heartwarming even as the intense physical desire is acknowledged. The tender affection that the Chestleys show for one another is endearing and sweet.
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good discussion about literature and who loves romance set in 1876 Massachusetts.
A debut novel that I enjoyed but also didn’t quite like something about. Took me a while to figure out what that was too. But I’m still looking forwar...moreA debut novel that I enjoyed but also didn’t quite like something about. Took me a while to figure out what that was too. But I’m still looking forward to the author’s future work since just about everybody improves over time.
I like the storyline of Julia having to overcome her belief that the only reason any man and even God would want her is because of her good looks. Julia’s plucky spirit, determination to work hard and willingness to learn make her a very engaging character. It makes the reader root for her to overcome her past and for Everett to quit being such a quiet fool.
I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would (high expectations are a lousy thing). I wanted to like Everett more than I did. I loved Julia and all the other characters. I even like what the despicable neighbor contributed to the plot. Now mind you, I don’t like the neighbor, but he does add to the story.
But I just didn’t completely love Everett. You know he’s a good guy; funny, hard working, caring. And you also know that he’s had a rough time finding a bride and is a little distrustful (ok, that’s an understatement) of mail order brides. You know he’s good looking and is an excellent nurse. But for all that, I still only ended up liking him and not loving him.
So there you have it. I loved the girl and the cast, enjoyed the story, but only liked the guy. It’s an enjoyable read while still dealing with some heavy issues. A clean romance even though there are a few kisses and more is clearly desired. If you enjoy mail-order bride stories, fiction set on the 1870s Kansas prairie or stories about forgiveness and overcoming mistrust, then you just might like this one.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction. And she writes true historical fiction – it’s based on real events, mentions real pe...moreI’d forgotten how much I enjoy Jody Hedlund’s historical fiction. And she writes true historical fiction – it’s based on real events, mentions real people, and yet is a work of her imagination. Going into it I didn’t remember or didn’t know whose story she was somewhat telling. I’m glad of that – it let me just enjoy the story and not wonder what was based on historical happenings and what was made up. But at the end I got to ponder of the story and reflect on the historical couple.
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were fun and witty. There was suspense, romance, danger, a wise and unconventional grandmother, plenty of wit, and it shows a side to pre-revolutionary war colonial American politics that I haven’t read a whole lot about.
The story takes place mainly in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1763. The war at this point is over a decade away but already people were grumbling against the taxes, many were unhappy with having to feed and quarter British soldiers and smugglers honed their sailing skills.
The mystery was well written and I could feel the icy fear of the girls as they ran through the forest. The author did a great job of balancing out the evil with good.
Oh and the romance was really rather scandalous considering the time period; but quite good and it somehow managed to be proper for the most part. Bit of a contradiction I know, but it’s still true. The author has a knack for writing a great kissing scene without it being too much.
If you like historical, clean romance set in pre-revolutionary war America then you should read Rebellious Heart.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Even though it started out slow this is another enjoyable Regency tale from Ms. Klassen. I was expecting it to be like The Tutor’s Daughter or some of...moreEven though it started out slow this is another enjoyable Regency tale from Ms. Klassen. I was expecting it to be like The Tutor’s Daughter or some of her other books in that it drew heavily from Austen or the Brontes, but it didn’t as far as I could tell.
The first half of the book was rather slow going and it took me several days to get through the book – it’s rather long at 419 pages. But at the end events were moving quicker, village and manor secrets were finally being reveled and explained the unofficial rule against dancing.
I liked Alec and his determination to look after his mom and sister and yet try to use his talent for teaching dancing and fencing. Though I thought he made some poor choices in where he practiced his dance steps and how he interacted with Julia. It didn’t make much sense for him to like her as much as he did.
Julia could be a Lydia Bennet in the way she went after what she wanted and didn’t care about societies rules. It took a while for me to like her but she did a lot of growing up over the course of the book and that was well written.
There was a fair amount of kissing, nothing more though; quite a bit of deceiving parents, but also chivalrous behavior (I especially liked the parts with Walter and Tess), the desire to right the wrongs of the past and a sense of fun about the young people that the story revolves around.
his was the second book by Mary Connealy that I have read. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the other book, so I didn’t know how I’d like this boo...morehis was the second book by Mary Connealy that I have read. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the other book, so I didn’t know how I’d like this book/series. No need to worry. It’s fun series that made me laugh aloud several times. Of the three books, I liked Montana Rose and Husband Tree best. But Flower Bride was a nice wrap to the series.
The romance is clean and sweet, characters struggle with real life problems and biblical principles are brought into the story in a non preachy way. The drama with Wade keeps you turning the pages and it's quite fun to learn so many life lessons along side Cassie.
First off I need to confess that I read this book back in March and I still haven’t written the review. I know, I’m sure you’re thinking what a terrib...moreFirst off I need to confess that I read this book back in March and I still haven’t written the review. I know, I’m sure you’re thinking what a terrible prompt reviewer I am. But I guess I just didn’t love this book as much as I was hoping or expecting too and thus just put it off. I did manage to give it 3 stars on Goodreads though.
Which makes it really hard to go back and write the review now. [Takes a break to go skim most of book.] Ok, I’ve read with a tad of skimming 33% and I’ve got to admit I’m hooked again. So now I'd give it 3.5 stars. I remember how some things turn out but can’t remember the details. Guess I’ll be up late tonight reading the rest of it after I post this. :-)
The story draws you in and it’s easy to picture Margaret’s ire with Daniel. The characters are well rounded and biblical truths are gently woven in.
The author is known for suspenseful fiction and this is no exception. There are several mysteries that are waiting to be figured out and most of them swirl around Daniel. It’s nice having his point of view as well. Though that just adds to the mystery.
If you suspenseful, historical, Christian romance then this book and most of the author’s other books are worth checking out.
When I first saw the cover of A Noble Groom and read the description I wanted to read this book. But the cover is a bit misleading. Carl von Reichert...moreWhen I first saw the cover of A Noble Groom and read the description I wanted to read this book. But the cover is a bit misleading. Carl von Reichert is the one pictured and he never looks remotely close to being that spiffy in America. He arrives with travel worn clothes and lice. I still liked it though.
I enjoyed this story but was expecting a slightly different slant considering the cover. Karl is a good book hero: he works hard, is kind and considerate, perseveres, willing to learn – even “menial” tasks (at least tasks one would expect a nobleman to view as menial). But it was easy to believe his work ethic and non-snobbishness since he was rescued from certain death and given a new chance at life.
There were a few plot twists I wasn’t expecting and I still haven’t decided if I like one of them. But I did really like getting a glimpse of the life of German immigrants in Michigan and the difficulties they faced. The author’s historical note at the end was very informative.
One aspect that I really enjoy in a story is knowing that it will probably end happily. Which is why marriage of convenience stories are fun to read –...moreOne aspect that I really enjoy in a story is knowing that it will probably end happily. Which is why marriage of convenience stories are fun to read – you know it’s all going to work out in the end. In real life, that’s another issue completely.
Be Still My Soul is not technically a marriage of convenience story since it was not at all convenient for Lonnie and Gideon to marry. Rather marriage was forced upon them by her father.
I really enjoyed this story. It was very easy to get drawn in by Lonnie’s plight and ache with her as she struggles to understand God’s plan for her life. A plan that is nothing like she imagined for herself. But God is always in control and while we might not understand what he’s doing, He has a purpose and a plan for ultimate good.
In a way the book is more about Gideon’s journey than Lonnie’s. She’s the solid one who already trusts God although she often cries out to Him. Gideon, however, is a different story. He has a lot of growing up to do and some hard lessons to learn along the way.
It’s interesting to read about a setting and time where men (and boys) are honorable enough to own up to their indiscretions and not abandon their responsibilities. We hear a lot about divorce and infidelity and single parenthood these days and it makes you wonder how, why and when things changed.
But back to the book, it’s a fun story, it’s engaging, and the reader gets a glimpse of life in the Appalachian hills (moonshine and all).(less)
After reading several novels where the main and only point is the romance, it is refreshing to read a novel where there is more to the story. The thre...moreAfter reading several novels where the main and only point is the romance, it is refreshing to read a novel where there is more to the story. The three children are important characters and a lot of the story revolves about them grieving their father and getting used to their new life with Jennings.
The reader also meets Jennings’ sister, Lydia, husband Palmer and their children. It is through this family that Jennings meets Marianne Walker. And it is also Lydia and Palmer to whom Jennings turns when he starts wondering about the Bible and Christ.
One thing I really like about this book and the series is how the author seamlessly includes portions of sermons and Bible verses. It’s not “preachy” and the sermons serve a purpose in the story.
Another aspect I really like is how the romance is handled; it’s sweet, it’s simple, it’s chaste.