The Thief tells the story of Nissa, a rough-around-the-edges Jewish woman who feels abandoned by God. Her parents have more or less abdicated their re...moreThe Thief tells the story of Nissa, a rough-around-the-edges Jewish woman who feels abandoned by God. Her parents have more or less abdicated their responsibilities, so Nissa is left to support herself and her brother.
Cedron, her brother, is the man who was born blind and was healed by Jesus when he rubbed mud on his eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.
If Longinus finds the thieves that have been harassing the marketplace vendors, he can get transferred to his beloved Gaul. The Roman centurion wants more than anything to leave Jerusalem—at least until he witnesses Jesus heal Cedron.
The lives of the siblings become intertwined with the soldier during the time of Jesus’s ministry, arrest, and crucifixion. Threats, danger, miracles, and of course love all play a part in this exciting tale that never stops moving until the last page, with an ending that I never saw coming.
Landsem sticks close to the Scriptures but adds plenty of new characters and complications to bring the story alive. The characters draw you in. Her research is evident in the details of the city, the clothing and in the descriptions of everyday life. The Thief is an excellent book, which I highly recommend.(less)
I don't usually read suspense novels, for the same reason I don't ride roller coasters: I don't like my heart in my throat. And that's exactly where m...moreI don't usually read suspense novels, for the same reason I don't ride roller coasters: I don't like my heart in my throat. And that's exactly where my heart was from page one of Firethorn. The love story is dribbled out in this "romantic suspense" book; the suspense clearly predominates. The book is a thrill ride from the get-go. The characters are adrenaline junkies in the purest sense, but they are richly drawn with deep backstories. Due to their troubled pasts, both Griffin and Kazi, the protagonists, have trouble with trust and faith. In this area, this is not a traditional "Christian fiction" novel (nor are any of Kendig's novels), where everyone is always happy and polite and spiritually mature. But the characters behave like all of us. They are not perfect. They stumble and make mistakes and struggle with life. For me, that makes the book all the more enjoyable. By the end they have grown, closer to God and closer to each other. I hadn't read any of the previous three Nightshade novels, but I was able to enjoy and keep up with Firethorn all the same. There are at least three subplots that are all tied together by the end of the book, which at first made it a little difficult for me to keep track of, but by the finale made for quite a satisfying resolution. I highly recommend Firethorn. I have already started one of the first three. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. (less)
Serenity to Accept is the third in the Grant Us Grace series. I'd read the first, but not the second. Serenity deals with Christians dating non-Christi...moreSerenity to Accept is the third in the Grant Us Grace series. I'd read the first, but not the second. Serenity deals with Christians dating non-Christians. The Bible tells us not to be "unequally yoked," not to marry an unbeliever, and so to start dating one is a slippery slope. Jason, a believer, starts seeing Karin, who has left God out of her life. His attraction to her is so strong he ignores the warning signs in his head until it almost too late. This book brings up all the complicated questions surrounding this issue. I will say that this is something that someone who is not a Christian will most likely not understand at all in today's atmosphere of tolerance and sexual freedom, but Ms. Maddrey's audience likely is Christians. She does do an excellent job of explaining the reasons behind this view, however, for anyone willing to listen. The characters were well-developed and believable. I very much enjoyed reading this book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for purposes of review. I was not required to post a positive review.(less)
Jillian Kent’s Chameleon is Book Two in her Regency romance series, “The Ravensmoore Chronicles.” In Book One, we met Lord Ravensmoore and Madeleine,...moreJillian Kent’s Chameleon is Book Two in her Regency romance series, “The Ravensmoore Chronicles.” In Book One, we met Lord Ravensmoore and Madeleine, who became his wife. Chameleon introduces us to the lord’s sister, Victoria. It seems there is a plot against members of Parliament, and the first victim is taken on the night of Victoria’s arrival in London to visit her brother. On that night she also meets Lord Witt, who protects her from the gruesome scene and summons her brother. From there, the plot thickens, as they say. The villain, Lord Talon, has trained hawks to kill. A desperate search is on to determine who exactly “Lord Talon” is. All are in danger until he is apprehended. Against his better judgment—and that of Lord Ravensmoore—Lord Witt begins to fall in love with Victoria, which comes in handy when she is put in danger. Their relationship is sweet—and entertaining, as they are in many ways complete opposites. They learn, however, that they complement each other quite nicely. Though Chameleon is part of a series, it can be read without having read the first book. Like the first, this novel deals with human behavior and the workings of the mind. The treatment of those who were mentally ill in this era is a major part of the plot, and again there are visits to the asylum. The prejudices against a lord practicing the “trade” of medicine, as well as the discrimination of women are accurately represented. A fascinating twist at the end—that I did not see coming—brings the book to a nice conclusion. Jillian’s characters are wonderfully drawn. They are neither stereotypes not caricatures, but individuals with flaws and strengths. It was delightful getting to know them as I read this book. I eagerly await the third, the story of Lord Ravensmoore and Victoria’s sister, Mercy. (less)
Dave Kimbrough had it all--then lost it in one fell swoop. His young bride died suddenly, leaving him with a baby boy. Unable to bear the loss, he lea...moreDave Kimbrough had it all--then lost it in one fell swoop. His young bride died suddenly, leaving him with a baby boy. Unable to bear the loss, he leaves his son with Jenny's parents and runs. After years of wallowing in his grief, he eventually decides he can return to see his son, but is falsely accused of murder. Hiding from the law and tracking down the real killer keeps him away even longer. Mountain Journey Home is a story of redemption. Although it does have a romantic element, it is chiefly the story of Dave allowing himself to be forgiven and finally forgiving himself. The interactions with Jenny's family are rich and real, and healing for Dave as they lead him through the process of becoming part of a family again after living alone for so many years. Watching Dave's son Johnny grow to trust and love the father he never knew was delightful and bittersweet, as Dave wrestled with the question of his own worthiness. The themes of redemption and forgiveness are woven through out the story, but are never heavy-handed. Mountain Journey Home is a sweet western historical that should please anyone who loves cowboy stories.(less)
Eliana Van Horn loves taking pictures with her father. The only problem is, in 1875 it isn’t proper—or safe—for a young woman to travel the west. So o...moreEliana Van Horn loves taking pictures with her father. The only problem is, in 1875 it isn’t proper—or safe—for a young woman to travel the west. So on their expedition to photograph the Four Corners area, she dresses as a young man.
Yiska Wilcox, the half-Navajo man hired to guide them, is drawn to the beautiful photographer’s assistant—and to her faith. But he’s charged by her father to “keep her secret, keep her safe, and keep his distance.” The latter becomes more difficult the closer he becomes to her.
Native American protagonists are not common in Christian romances. Yiska is not a proper Amish novel hero. But he is a gentleman, and he is delightful. Eliana is not the typical docile female, either. Both of these unique characters make for a more exciting and unexpected read, with plot twists and obstacles and secondary characters adding spice to the mix.
Carla has researched the time period well—the prejudices against both women and Indians, the political climate, even the landscape. She has woven historical people among her fictional ones, her setting being an actual 1875 US government-commissioned survey led by Chandler Robbins to mark the intersection of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter is an unusual find: a romance that goes a little deeper. There’s more than just the relationship between the leads to explore. And that makes it more than worth your while. (less)
Sam, Jonathan and Zack are a trio of tortured souls. The Other Side of Darkness is the tale of how God works in their lives, together and separately,...moreSam, Jonathan and Zack are a trio of tortured souls. The Other Side of Darkness is the tale of how God works in their lives, together and separately, to heal each of them. The legal thriller element was exciting and well done. Although the scenes from the antagonist’s point of view were few, he provided major tension right up to the end. The romance part definitely didn’t follow formula. Sam is quite a confused woman, and the ending was not what I expected, but was still very satisfying. The secondary characters were an amusing and quirky lot without becoming cliché or detracting from the main plot. The message of forgiveness is clear without hitting anyone over the head and without sermons. The town of Haven was beautifully described. The Other Side of Darkness is an enjoyable read. Anyone who enjoys romantic legal thrillers or romantic suspense would enjoy this book. (less)
Mississippi Nights is a tale of a southern family torn apart by tragedy. One brother has allowed that tragedy to define him, nearly destroy him, and n...moreMississippi Nights is a tale of a southern family torn apart by tragedy. One brother has allowed that tragedy to define him, nearly destroy him, and now it's up to the other to decide if he wants to help bring him back from the brink. The characters in Mississippi Nights are well-drawn, each with his quirks, strengths and flaws--there are no stereotypes here. The secondary cast adds depth and richness. The beautiful Mississippi scenery is lovingly described, with each sense brought to life. It's obvious the author loves her home state. The work lives of the brothers--one a firefighter, the other a police officer, are written with astonishing accuracy, likely due to the author's reported experience as a volunteer firefighter/EMR, and add suspense and tension. But the strained--to say the least--relationship between the siblings is always center stage. It will be a long journey toward healing, and they won't be able to do it on their own, but with God's help, they can do it. If they don't give up.(less)
Another wonderful story by Laura Hilton. Laura's characters are always spunky, never flat. It makes me wish they showed up more in the other books. Ev...moreAnother wonderful story by Laura Hilton. Laura's characters are always spunky, never flat. It makes me wish they showed up more in the other books. Even Chinnok, the dog, had her own personality and contributed to the plot. Kristi works with herbs to help mothers deliver babies at home. ALthough she is a "healer, she needs healing as much as Shane and this theme is gently woven throughout the book without being heavy-handed. I look forward to her next book!(less)
I throughly enjoyed this book. Lots of fast-paced action, great characters. Genie doesn't trust men, since her high-school sweetheart broke her heart,...moreI throughly enjoyed this book. Lots of fast-paced action, great characters. Genie doesn't trust men, since her high-school sweetheart broke her heart, but Victoria manages to pull it off without making it cliché. Rafael is a bad-boy stud without being obnoxious. Their interracial romance just is--no hit-you-over-the-head with it. The crime story was interesting and complex. I really liked her style and look forward to the next in the series.(less)
I really liked this book. Ross and Julia were interesting and unpredictable. It is a romance, so it may be a given that they end up together, but the...moreI really liked this book. Ross and Julia were interesting and unpredictable. It is a romance, so it may be a given that they end up together, but the journey was enjoyable and took a number of detours along the way. The cult aspect was handled well and Julia's difficulties with it were believable. I look forward to reading more about the Elect.(less)
Awakened Love is another stellar book by Laura Hilton. Ms. Hilton's books are not your run-of-the-mill Amish romances. There are always twists, mysteri...moreAwakened Love is another stellar book by Laura Hilton. Ms. Hilton's books are not your run-of-the-mill Amish romances. There are always twists, mysteries and more obstacles than one would ever want. Awakened Love deals with shy Katie and feisty Abram, who has run from his own community and is hiding a secret. Katie learns that she is adopted, and now has to deal with a sister she never knew. As an adoptive mom, I thought Laura handled the adoption issue beautifully. Finding out as an adult can be earth-shattering, and Ms. Hilton navigated these turbulent waters with great skill. She explored the definition and meaning of family in deep and intricate ways, with a satisfying conclusion. I enjoyed this last book of the series, and look forward to her next trilogy of Amish novels. (less)