Christian Fiction Devourers discussion

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Archived Favorite Discussions > Finish a Book? Share Your Thoughts! 2018

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message 1: by Beth, Head Librarian (new)

Beth | 2219 comments Mod
What are your thoughts on that book you just finished? Amazing? Meh? The best book EVER?

Share your thoughts here!


message 2: by Dawn (last edited Jan 01, 2018 11:52AM) (new)

Dawn Kinzer | 3 comments Dear Viking by Lori Soard Really enjoyed this novel.

Dear Viking by Lori Soard is a story about misperceptions, betrayal, forgiveness—and love and loyalty to family, friends, and faith. Oh, yes—there’s romance too!

This inspiring historical romance transported me back in time with a story of how God can work to bring good from evil.


message 3: by AlegnaB † (last edited Jan 16, 2018 04:29AM) (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 948 comments After seeing The Greatest Showman, which I enjoyed, I wanted to read a book about P.T. Barnum so that I could learn the truth about him as opposed to the Hollywood version. I found P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman P. T. Barnum America's Greatest Showman by Philip B. Kunhardt at the library. That is a fantastic book. It has oodles of photos and other images and a lot of information on Barnum’s life. I highly recommend it. I had no idea of the extent of the impact that Barnum had during his lifetime. Some books written by Barnum, including an autobiography, are available through Project Gutenberg for free and through Amazon.


message 4: by AlegnaB † (new)

AlegnaB † (alegnab) | 948 comments After seeing The Greatest Showman, I wanted to read a book about P.T. Barnum so that I could learn the truth about him as opposed to the Hollywood version. I found P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman P. T. Barnum America's Greatest Showman by Philip B. Kunhardt at the library. That was a fantastic book. It has oodles of photos and other images and a lot of information on Barnum’s life. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning about Barnum. I had no idea of the extent of the impact that Barnum had during his lifetime. Barnum wrote some books, including an autobiography, and they are available through Project Gutenberg for free and through Amazon.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments So Shines the Night (Seven Wonders #5) by Tracy L. Higley -Tracy L. Higley 1-11-18
This was an intriguing romantic suspense novel set in Biblical times during the days of the first century Church. The protagonist ends up playing a vital role in the Christians' fight against the demonic influences of witchcraft and service to Artemis in Ephesus. The writing style was fairly good, and the characters were reasonably well developed, and I will say that it worked well as a stand-alone novel, as I didn't know it was part of a series until now (1-31). My taking 10 days to finish it was due to my restless state of mind rather than any fault of the book.

When the Smoke Clears (Deadly Reunions, #1) by Lynette Eason -Lynette Eason 1-16-18
This is an intense, entertaining, and well written Christian romantic suspense novel with complex, twisting plot lines. It is the first novel of the Deadly Reunions trilogy, and it is also the first book by Lynette Eason that I have read, and I am so glad I read it. I devoured the book in a single day and was pleased that I was able to get the other two books of the trilogy rather quickly from the library because the ultimate mystery isn't solved at the end of the first novel, but enough plot lines do get solved that it doesn't feel like a real cliff hanger. My definite props to a master storyteller.

Hearts Made Whole (Beacons of Hope, #2) by Jody Hedlund -Jody Hedlund 1-20-18
This is the second novel in the Beacons of Hope series, which are so far subtly Christian historical romances set in various lighthouses of Michigan during the 1860s. The main drawback for me was that although I liked the protagonist as a character, she honestly didn't appear to be a good light keeper even though that's what part of the plot was trying to prove because it didn't focus much on her actually doing the job of not only keeping the light lit at night and turning it off and cleaning it in the mornings and of keeping good records but of actually watching the lake during the night. It mentioned a few more elements of what her job was meant to entail than it actually showed her doing. Even though she was dealing with opposition from several directions, I felt that she wasn't shown to be even half as conscientious about her job as the main male from the first novel of the series. But I liked the romance, so I will keep reading the series.

When a Heart Stops (Deadly Reunions, #2) by Lynette Eason -Lynette Eason 1-29-18
This is an intense, entertaining, and well written Christian romantic suspense novel with complex, twisting plot lines. It is the second novel of the Deadly Reunions trilogy, and having loved the first book of the trilogy, I was pleased that I was able to read this next book rather quickly. As was the case with the first novel of the trilogy, the ultimate mystery isn't solved at the end of this novel, but enough of the remaining plot lines are unraveled that it doesn't feel like a real cliff hanger. My definite props to a master storyteller.

When a Secret Kills (Deadly Reunions, #3) by Lynette Eason -Lynette Eason 1-30-18
This is an intense, entertaining, and well written Christian romantic suspense novel with complex, twisting plot lines. It is the concluding novel of the Deadly Reunions trilogy [well, okay there's a tag along 3.5, but as it's only an e-book and not a whole number, I'm not counting it] and having loved the previous two books of the trilogy, I was pleased that I was able to read this last book rather quickly. I loved seeing the rest of the plot lines get unraveled, and I was totally stunned when the big overarching mystery of the whole trilogy was finally revealed; I would have never expected the person who ended up being the ultimate nemesis. My definite props to a master storyteller.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda G. Stevens (amandagstevens) | 26 comments The Saturday Night Supper Club (Supper Club #1) by Carla Laureano I haven't written my review yet (had a few deadlines to wrangle!) but I enjoyed this contemporary fiction with a strong helping of romance. Not my usual genre go-to, but the character arcs are well thought out, and if you enjoy fine dining you will love all the detail Laureano puts into the story. She made me wish I could be more of a foodie, lol.


message 7: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (gr-nancy-a) | 250 comments Finished Kathy Herman’s False Pretenses. Enjoyed this one start to finish and gave it a 5 star review.


message 8: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (chancock93) | 149 comments The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Julia Foster is the woman that every young woman should strive to be like, in this reader's opinion. Ms. Foster was beautiful on the inside, trying to let her light for Christ show- no matter what circumstance she might find herself within. Was she perfect? Of course not, no one but Jesus was; however, she did strive to live everyday to please her Savior the best that she could.

William Ramsey suffered in many different areas due to past circumstances that was beyond his control, but his luck seems to be changing ever since the lovely Julia Foster became the governess to his two children. With the passing of his wife, his older brother, and his cousin once removed; life couldn't be more hectic- but beneath it all, Mr. Ramsey is beginning to see that God has his hand in this too.

"The Governess of Highland Hall" by Carrie Turansky took me by surprised and I thoroughly enjoyed every second that I was able to dive into this other world. Through mission trips in India, to a family struggling for survival- this story has it all with more to spare than most. I highly recommend this novel and I cannot wait to read the rest of this series.


message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Undaunted Hope (Beacons of Hope, #3) by Jody Hedlund -Jody Hedlund 2-15-18
This is the third novel in the Beacons of Hope series, which are so far subtly Christian historical romances set in various lighthouses of Michigan during the 1860s and 1870s. In this novel, the main focus is on Tessa who is the sister of the keeper in the previous novel, and she becomes a teacher in a small town determined to redeem her reputation that she had cast aspersions on through her own deceit and immature decisions regarding her new brother-in-law, but I'm not trying to put spoilers here. Anyway, Tessa has matured a great deal over the past few years, but she still has a vast fear of lighthouses, which she ends coming to face head on throughout the twisting events of the plot. I really enjoyed this novel, which made me glad that I had persevered with the series despite the second one having disappointed me in some ways.

Forever Safe (Beacons of Hope, #4) by Jody Hedlund -Jody Hedlund 2-4-18
So far, this has been my favorite book in the Beacons of Hope series, which are so far subtly Christian historical romances set in various lighthouses. The first three novels were set in Michigan in the late 1860s and the early 1870s. In this fourth novel, the setting briefly moves to New York City and then to a remote lighthouse off of the coast of Massachusetts; it is set in the year 1876. Our new female protagonist, Victoria, was briefly introduced during the previous novel, and is forced to go into hiding with her bodyguard, and their humorous albeit suspenseful romance is full of honor in the face of natural temptations. The book also deals with the importance of facing past griefs and the importance of not shouldering blame for things you didn't cause to happen. I truly enjoyed the story and look forward to the next novel in the series.

Annie's Truth (Touch of Grace, #1) by Beth Shriver -Beth Shriver 2-6-18
This was a sweet, enjoyable Amish romance novel. The writing style wasn't the greatest, but the characters were well developed. I enjoyed this beginning novel to the series, Touch of Grace.

Grace Given (Touch of Grace #2) by Beth Shriver -Beth Shriver 2-7-18
This was a sweet, enjoyable Amish romance novel. The writing style wasn't the greatest, but the characters were well developed. I enjoyed this second novel to the series, Touch of Grace.

Healing Grace (Touch of Grace #3) by Beth Shriver -Beth Shriver 2-9-18
This was a sweet, enjoyable Amish romance novel. The writing style wasn't the greatest, but the characters were well developed. Honestly, this was the best written and most interesting book of the series. I truly enjoyed this concluding novel to the series, Touch of Grace.

A Wish on Gardenia Street (An Amish Brides of Pinecraft) by Shelley Shepard Gray -Shelley Shepard Gray 2-11-18
This was a novella that I grabbed off the shelf at random with no idea where it fell in the series it was tied to, but aside from the fact that there was some back story I wish I'd read first, it was a fun introduction to the series and the author's writing style. Considering how hard it is to truly bring out character development and have a decent plot in the short space that a novella allows, I felt that this was a fairly good example of one. There was both seriousness and humor revealed in its few pages, and I enjoyed reading it, but the end annoyed me because it introduced a possible new story for Mattie's character on the last two pages. Anyway, I know now that I want to read the rest of the series.

Redeeming Grace Ruth's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #3) by Jill Eileen Smith -Jill Eileen Smith 2-15-18
This is the 3rd of Jill Eileen Smith's Biblical fiction series, Daughters of the Promised Land. And as I've come to expect from her, the novel was well written, and the characters lived on the pages. Obviously, these stories of Biblical women are greatly expanded from what little appears in Scripture in order to provide the necessary length and breadth to fill a good novel, and this novel added a few particularly thoughtful themes to the story of Ruth, and it is now my favorite adaptation to her story and quite deservedly so.


message 10: by Carolyn (last edited Feb 16, 2018 05:57AM) (new)

Carolyn V | 221 comments The first of my books of 'Quakers' Ann Gabhart The Outsider (Shaker, #1) by Ann H. Gabhart I learned a lot of their life style; very strict as it is. I really liked the character of sister Gabrielle, such a warm hearted loving soul. Then there was cold hearted sister Helen, quite the contrast. some very sorrowful circumstances in this book. I love that the author showed a main character that followed Gods' will


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1) by Kerstin Gier -Kerstin Gier 2-16-18
I am so glad I decided to read this book. It was such a well written and interesting novel that started a trilogy I ended up loving. In this action and intrigue packed time trilogy, there are 12 time travelers descended from the first time traveler, half of which along the male line and half of which along the female line spanning several centuries, however, so not every generation in the family lines had a time traveler. Anyway, the two main time travelers we are concerned with in the trilogy are the final two who end up having to fight an enemy together while unraveling the mystery surrounding the circle of 12 to know what truly is meant to happen when it closes until the end of the trilogy.

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser -Mechthild Glaser 2-17-18
This was such an entertaining action-filled fantasy novel with well drawn characters and a rather unique premise. I truly enjoyed it and am almost sad this story began and concluded in this one book. If any book's premise deserved a sequel even with an entirely different plot and characters, this book's premise does.

Edited Out (Mysterious Detective #2) by E.J. Copperman -E.J. Copperman 2-18-18
This, the second novel in a series with one of the most unique premises I've seen, was a great mystery with well developed main characters. This novel was both funny and thrilling at the same time. I loved this novel and look forward to reading more of the series.

How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway -Margaret Dilloway 2-19-18
So, this was one of those books I forgot was actually on my to-read list when I pulled it off the shelf at the library, but, that irony aside, I am glad I read it. This novel was about various family relationships and about the revelation of family history and secrets as well as the forgiveness and reconciliation required between siblings because of those secrets. I especially enjoyed the story lines talking about Shoku's post World War II's young adulthood and how her marriage came about.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers -Francine Rivers 2-21-18
This is a well written historical romance novel based on the Biblical story of Hosea and Gomer. The characters are well portrayed, and the spiritual journey of Angel/Sarah during her marriage is amazing. The strong themes of love and forgiveness throughout the novel capture my emotions every time I read this book.

Change of Heart (Keepsake Pocket Quilt, #1) by Molly Jebber -Molly Jebber 2-22-18
There was one saving grace about this book, which was that I found the love story between Becca and Matt to be quite sweet if a bit of a whirlwind. Most of the characters were flat and without much substance. Even the two main characters can be summed up pretty simply: Matt is a handsome, morally upright doctor who doesn't care to be a social climber like his mother; and Becca is a sweet, unassuming, beautiful girl who was raised Amish and who is unbelievably stubborn with an independent attitude unsuited for the 1880s. Even with all those things set aside, the writing itself is atrocious. The stilted, awkward phrasing was almost painful to read: "Matt sat at the window of Lizzie's. He was alone. I am hungry. We should join him." (I might not be exact in the wording, but you get the idea; it was bad.) I will not be continuing the series, and I will probably not read the book again.

The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Hero #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray -Shelley Shepard Gray 2-25-18
This was a well written historical novel with elements of intrigue and action as well as romance. The characters were well drawn, and I enjoyed getting to know the three main men and the woman they had come to Galveston, Texas to rescue because of a pact of brotherhood that they and her late husband had made while imprisoned together towards the end of the Civil War. I look forward to reading more of the series.

The Carousel Painter by Judith McCoy Miller -Judith Miller
This was a sweet historical Christian romance with well drawn characters. I enjoyed seeing Carrie's spiritual growth as well as her continued determination in the face of opposition to a woman working in the carousel factory. In addition to other problems, she also had to deal with a rogue who almost succeeds in framing her for theft, but thankfully, by the end of the book, Carrie's complete happy ending is in her near future. I really loved this book and am glad I grabbed it randomly at the library.

Sapphire Blue (Precious Stone Trilogy, #2) by Kerstin Gier -Kerstin Gier 2-28-18
Like the first novel of the trilogy, Ruby Red, this novel was also well written and truly interesting, a brilliant addition to a trilogy I ended up loving. In this action and intrigue packed time trilogy, there are 12 time travelers descended from the first time traveler, half of which along the male line and half of which along the female line spanning several centuries, however, so not every generation in the family lines had a time traveler. Anyway, the two main time travelers we are concerned with in the trilogy are the final two who end up having to fight an enemy together while unraveling the mystery surrounding the circle of 12 to know what truly is meant to happen when it closes until the end of the trilogy.

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier -Kerstin Gier 2-28-18
Like the first two novels of the trilogy, Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue, this novel was also well written and truly interesting, a brilliant conclusion to a trilogy I ended up loving. In this action and intrigue packed time trilogy, there are 12 time travelers descended from the first time traveler, half of which along the male line and half of which along the female line spanning several centuries, however, so not every generation in the family lines had a time traveler. Anyway, the two main time travelers we are concerned with in the trilogy are the final two who end up having to fight an enemy together while unraveling the mystery surrounding the circle of 12 to know what truly is meant to happen when it closes until the end of the trilogy.


message 12: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (creativecountry0407gmailcom) | 264 comments I just finished listening to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See . It was really good. I'm relieved that it had so little bad language throughout. My review is up. There were also some innuendos.


message 13: by Bonny (new)

Bonny (bonnybonnybeth) | 366 comments I just finished reading a wonderful book I had asked for for Christmas:
Romance of a Little Village Girl by Cleofas M. Jaramillo Romance of a Little Village Girl
This was written by a distant relative of mine, and it was so neat to get a firsthand account of our family in the past! Here is my review:

A wonderful memoir of life in New Mexico around the turn of the century, written by a first cousin of my great-great-great-grandmother who grew up in the same village as my grandmother: Arroyo Hondo in Taos County. Besides highlighting the Spanish lifestyle and traditions, the author shares details of her grandparents' lives (my ancestors) from first-hand accounts. What a treasure!

Although the narrative is told from the perspective of a wealthy upper class woman and occasionally reveals patronizing and racist attitudes towards native residents, it also reveals a woman who loves the land and the community, who rises to the challenge when faced with personal tragedy, who is willing to admit her faults, who works hard to preserve her heritage's fading history, and who never ceases to keep busy on productive endeavors. Towards these efforts, she also published a translation of Spanish fairy tales, a New Mexican cook book, and another book about life in the past before writing this memoir, as well as founding La Sociedad Folklorica to preserve New Mexico's heritage.

The author closes the book with a fitting tribute: "I find that the many blessings which have been showered upon me during my long life outweigh all the ills and troubles, and that I have much for which to be thankful - for the interesting work which has filled my varied life, drowning all care; for the sincere friends which I have retained throughout my life...; for the happiness of my early life sheltered from all care by good parents; for good brothers and sister; for a loving husband and a dear daughter who cheered and encouraged me in my saddest moments; and, above all, for the gift of faith when later in life things changed for me. For all of this and much more, let my most grateful thanksgiving ascend to the throne of the Almighty God who orders all things well."


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Alkazraji | 74 comments Some thoughts about 'The Case For Christ'...
'As someone who came to faith and then to journalism, the opposite way round from Lee Strobel, his story has always intrigued me. It is the true story of how an award-winning investigative journalist, the one-time legal editor of The Chicago Tribune…'

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...


message 15: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly -Elizabeth Kelly 3-8-18
This was a truly intriguing coming-of-age novel that was partly thriller and partly mystery as we gradually learn the history and secrets of Riddle's family and how her family is tied to Michael's in several convoluted ways. The characters were fully developed during the course of the story, and the novel was written well. The reason, however, that I gave this book 3 stars rather than 4 is because of how many swear words littered the pages, many of which were truly profane, and while I usually ignore such things in a book from the general market like this one is, it just bothered me in this book because I felt that much of the swearing was used to hide a lack of effort in the vocabulary on the part of the author and not because it always truly fit the scene and dialogue in the story. Otherwise, I really did enjoy the novel.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate -Lisa Wingate 3-14-18
This novel was well written and truly interesting although quite heart wrenching throughout the course of the story, and what makes it worse is that although the specific plot is fictional, the heart of the story is based on a real life historical scandal and the cruelty of a real, "classist" woman who traumatized hundreds of children and their parents. As the granddaughter of a "stolen" child learns about the secret history of her family, she finds out not only that her family tree is bigger than she thought but that she doesn't want to follow her father's legacy as a politician after all, and in addition, she finds a new love. Despite the dual plot lines, I felt that all of the main characters were fully fleshed out in both time lines, and although it made me want to cry by the time I had finished the book, I did think it was a great book.

City of Masks (Stravaganza, #1) by Mary Hoffman -Mary Hoffman 3-30-18
"Lucien is seriously ill but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to 16th century Italy." As this first line of the book's description provided by Goodreads shows us, this book certainly exists under the umbrella term "speculative fiction" [For a definition, please read the article here: http://annieneugebauer.com/2014/03/24...], combining elements of fantasy and sci-fi to create a fairly interesting story. While it took me a while to really get into the story, I ended up getting interested in the story's premise and plot, and the reason that this book is 3 stars rather than 4 is because the characters weren't as fully fleshed out as I would have liked, which is one of the reasons why it took me so long to finish reading the book; however, I did discover today that this book is the first in a series, so perhaps the characters have more life to them further on in the series.

The Purpose Driven Life What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren -Rick Warren 3-29-18
My church read this as a devotional accompaniment to our sermon series going from February 18 to the last week of March this year. This was the second time I have read the book.

Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer -Kim Vogel Sawyer 3-31-18
This was a sweet and humorous historical Christian romance novel full of multiple matches. The plot is a mail order bride scenario with a few twists. It is well written for its genre, and the characters were well drawn. In addition, I loved how much Abigail matured throughout the book becoming a quite lovable character fully deserving of the true match she found with Mack. I really had a blast reading this book, and I truly needed the humor in it after having read Before We Were Yours earlier in the month.


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen -Sarah Addison Allen 4-1-18
So far, I have loved every book that I have read by Sarah Addison Allen, and this book is no exception. The novel was well written and interesting with fully drawn characters; it was about family, friendship, and love with a mystery thrown into the mix making up the whole of this book belonging to the genre called "magical realism." I truly enjoyed reading this book, and it has earned its place on my favorites list.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen -Sarah Addison Allen 4-5-18
This novel by Sarah Addison Allen, belonging to the genre called magical realism, was brilliant as usual; it was well written, and the characters breathed on the page. The plot was mainly a coming-of-age story for Josey, our main character, despite the fact that she was already in her 20s; as she discovers the secrets that her parents kept from her, it changes the course of her life in amazing ways, as she comes into her own as a person. I loved this book, and it has earned its place on my favorites list.

Petticoat Detective (Undercover Ladies, #1) by Margaret Brownley -Margaret Brownley 4-7-18
I think the best adjective to describe this Christian mystery is "cute." The story focused on Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne posing as a "lady of the night" while investigating a case had many hilarious scenes as well as some truly thought-provoking dialogue. Obviously, there was a lot of innuendo being as the story is set mainly in a bordello, but I felt that the author handled everything as tastefully as possible while being truthful to her setting. Anyway, the novel was well written for its genre, and the character development was good, and I liked how Jennifer found love while wrestling with some mistaken prejudices as well as the fact that her profession as a detective who works undercover not only outs her into dangerous situations but requires that she lie all the time to almost everyone she meets while on a case. I really enjoyed how she grew as a character, and I thought it was a cute, fun read over all.

In the Bleak Midwinter (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #1) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer-Fleming 4-10-18
I really enjoyed this starting novel in what I think will be a truly interesting mystery series. It was written well, and the characters were fully portrayed. From the time that the new priest in town, Reverend Clare, finds an abandoned baby outside her church, and starts working with Russ, the sheriff as the case escalates from finding the parents to finding a murder, the novel tells an intense, fast-paced story with crazy twists and turns, and I was stunned when we finally learned who the murderer was and how he had justified his actions. I will definitely be reading more of this series.

The Favored Queen by Carolly Erickson -Carolly Erickson 4-18-18
This was a well written historical novel focusing on the adult years of Jane Seymour when she was a maid of honor first to Catherine of Aragon and then to Anne Boleyn and then finally becomes the 3rd wife of Henry VIII, ultimately dying from complications following childbirth when she produced the son that Henry had desired so badly. It was an interesting but slow read although I did enjoy the book overall.


message 17: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn V | 221 comments your reviews, Rachel, have been so helpful; great accomplishments with the mystery challenges


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Alkazraji | 74 comments If I may re-share a classic…
‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...’ begins Charles Dickens’ thrilling novel set in England and France during the turbulent years of the French Revolution…

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 19: by Jenny Lynn (new)

Jenny Lynn Keller | 3 comments The Angels of Morgan Hill (Women of Faith Fiction) by Donna VanLiere
If you want to laugh and cry while reading the same page, I highly recommend this one I just finished. Almost went through a box of Kleenex, but the ending is soooooo good. You may know Donna VanLiere from her Christmas-themed books. The story is about the impact believers can have on the lives of others. Hope you add it to your reading list.


message 20: by Maria Clara (new)

Maria Clara (mclara) These two gems release today and they're worth the read!

Falling for You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #2) by Becky Wade
I haven't read the first book in the series YET so I hadn't met grown-up Willow Bradford until I picked up this book. I have read the novella and do recommend starting from there, though the novels don't necessarily need to be read in order.Let me tell you that Becky Wade writes with purpose in every layer added, going deep into the heart of her characters, bringing fullness to the story. A box of tissues might be recommended. There's tangible openness throughout the pages of this book, immersing you into each tear of the character portrayed, each triumph, each bit of hopelessness felt, and the moment of finding everlasting and steadfast peace. There's tension, laughter, compassion written throughout this story about how we shouldn't take each day for granted, how we should never think twice before offering forgiveness and about letting our expectations fall and breathe. Beautifully well done.

Storm Front (Montana Rescue #5) by Susan May Warren
What I compleeetly adore about this series is that it's very character driven. Susan May Warren takes her time digging into each character's personality, story, fear, and dreams. And I like that we get to follow side stories in addition to the main one. The romance is usually a bit cheesy for my taste, but her stories have such depth that I never have problem to dive in.


message 21: by Karen (new)

Karen | 10 comments I just finished Together Forever and I liked it so much more than the first one in the series. The first book in her Orphan Train series was more about immigrant relocation, and this one was really about the orphan trains. I liked the main characters, but the orphan stories really touched my heart.


message 22: by Bonny (new)

Bonny (bonnybonnybeth) | 366 comments I just finished There's No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern (secular, some language), and I actually found it (besides interesting and enjoyable) thought-provoking and challenging. I realized that like the main character I sometimes am too "obsessed" with "finding" people (in my case, historical people of the past or genealogy research of ancestors) instead of focusing on the people around me living in the present. Very interesting book!


message 23: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay -Daphne Kolotay 4-23-18
This was an interesting novel with both a contemporary and a historical setting woven together into a plot, which focuses on an interesting history about two famous ballerinas in Soviet Russia, their friendship, their spouses, and, ultimately, how a particular set of jewelry and the birth of a child leads to a decades long misunderstanding that is finally unraveled by the end of the book. It was well written, and the characters were well drawn.

Blue Willow by Doris Gates -Doris Gates 4-29-18
During the Great Depression, a migrant family and their daughter, the protagonist, finally finds a place where they can stay as long as they want to instead of having their destiny controlled by others.

The Melody of the Soul (Music of Hope #1) by Liz Tolsma -Liz Tolsma 4-29-18
This was a beautiful historical Christian romance set mainly in Nazi Germany. It tells the story of how one Christian Jewish woman and her grandmother survive and escape the Nazis with help coming from various and unexpected sources. The novel was well written, and the main characters grew and changed throughout the unexpected twists and turns of the plot. I truly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of the series as they become available.

I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos -Marisa de los Santos 5-1-18
This was a well written romance novel with well developed characters. In the pages, we are told not one but two love stories as our contemporary protagonist searches to learn why a lady she talked to for only a few moments the day before her wedding-that-wasn't left her a house when she passed away a short time later. As the sweet and compelling "mystery" gradually unfolds, we learn the real roots of our protagonist's biological father and the reasons why he was "adopted" in addition to why she inherited the sweet old lady's house.

The Apple Orchard (Bella Vista Chronicles, #1) by Susan Wiggs -Susan Wiggs 5-3-18
This was a well written novel about the importance of family and how treasures are worth more than their market price. The character development in the novel was excellent, and I am looking forward to reading more of this series.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler -Anne Tyler 5-6-18
This was certainly one of the oddest books I've read this year and because I was annoyed when the novel concluded without explaining several questions I had, I can't give this book more than 3 stars. Other than my annoyance with the dangling ends though, I have to say the novel was well written and the characters were intriguing even if a few were more of a mystery than a true character regardless of how often they appeared on the page. Anyway, this novel told the story of a pretty dysfunctional family who would never have described themselves that way and told it well.

Dire Threads (Threadville Mystery, #1) by Janet Bolin -Janet Bolin 5-8-18
This well written novel was a great beginning to a fun cozy mystery series. The characters are well drawn, and they get into the most hilarious and occasionally dangerous circumstances while "not sleuthing" and are often being confronted and embarrassed by the local sheriff or detectives with the state police at almost every turn.

Threaded for Trouble (Threadville Mystery, #2) by Janet Bolin -Janet Bolin 5-10-18
This well written novel was the second in a fun cozy mystery series. The characters are well drawn, and they get into the most hilarious and occasionally dangerous circumstances while "not sleuthing" and are often being confronted and embarrassed by the local sheriff or detectives with the state police at almost every turn.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen -Jane Austen 5-22-18
I absolutely love Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Austen is such a good writer.

A Fountain Filled with Blood (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #2) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-23-18
This was the second book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. This plot like that of the first novel of the series was interesting and surprising. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial. This one dealt with hate crime against homosexuals.

Out of the Deep I Cry (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne, #3) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-24-18
This was the third book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. This plot was truly intriguing because Clare and Russ end up solving a cold case involving the parents of one of Clare's parishioners. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial, and while in most of the novels, the issue is current; in the case, it deals with the problems Prohibition and Liquor Running caused in the past.

To Darkness and to Death (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #4) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-26-18
This was the fourth book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. This particular plot started with a missing person, moved on to a murder, and ended with a bomb all the while revealing a crazy family secret and presenting the opposing views of conservationists versus those who make a living off of logging. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial.

All Mortal Flesh (The Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #5) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-27-18
This was the fifth book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. This particular book was dark most of the way through, and to avoid spoilers, I will simply say that there is not only a brutal murder in this book but also several fatal car accidents. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial, and in this particular book, it dealt at least partially with the issue of identity theft via the internet.

I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-27-18
This was the sixth book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. In this particular book, Clare and Russ are estranged and are both emotionally wounded, but they still end up thrown together during a murder investigation, but by the end of the book, they come to a better understanding just in time for Clare's National Guard unit receives notice that they are being deployed to Iraq. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial, and in this one, we deal with illegal immigration.

Letters to a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6.5) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-27-18
I'm so glad this was a free Kindle book because there was barely any substance to it. There were a few letters sent from one of the characters in Millers Kill to one of the characters deployed in Iraq (maybe 2 full pages), and the rest of the pages were taken up by a preview of the first chapter of the next book.

One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-28-18
This was the seventh book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. In this book, we spend a lot of time with Clare in her veterans therapy group as she and her friends face the demons that followed them home, and when one of them is found dead in her swimming pool, she pulls the rest of the group into investigating it with her. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial. In this one, we deal with not only the mental health issues and occasional suicide of veterans of war but with white collar crime wherein the head of a large corporation is found to have embezzled millions of dollars from his company.

Through the Evil Days (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #8) by Julia Spencer-Fleming -Julia Spencer Fleming 5-29-18
This was the eighth (and possibly last since it came out in 2013) book in a well written and often heart pumping mystery series. In this book, Clare and Russ are finally married and are dealing with the fact that Clare is pregnant and already was when they married, and so, this leads to a lot of stress for Clare in her position as a priest. Aside from that, we go on a big adventure starting with a raging fire and a kidnapping, continuing on to both murder and a hostage situation, and ending with a huge shoot-out and rescue. I really enjoyed it and am glad I randomly started the series. Each book deals at least partly with a big issue in our culture, many of them controversial, and in this one, we deal with a large ring of drug traffickers and some dirty federal agents.
If this novel is in fact the last one to be published in the series, I can accept that because the main characters are in a reasonably positive place, but I will still wonder what happened with several threads of the plot. (view spoiler)


message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments A Daughter's Inheritance (The Broadmoor Legacy, #1) by Tracie Peterson -Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller 6-2-18
This novel is the first book of a historical Christian romance trilogy. It is well written with good character development. I enjoyed the three cousins'--Fanny, Sophie, and Amanda-- close relationship with each other and seeing how each of them grow in faith and find love throughout the three books. This one focuses primarily on Fanny.

Thread and Buried (Threadville Mystery, #3) by Janet Bolin -Janet Bolin 6-4-18
This well written novel was the third in a fun cozy mystery series. The characters are well drawn, and they get into the most hilarious and occasionally dangerous circumstances while "not sleuthing" and are often being confronted and embarrassed by the local sheriff or detectives with the state police at almost every turn.

Night of the Living Thread (Threadville Mystery #4) by Janet Bolin -Janet Bolin 6-5-18
This well written novel was the third in a fun cozy mystery series. The characters are well drawn, and they get into the most hilarious and occasionally dangerous circumstances while "not sleuthing" and are often being confronted and embarrassed by the local sheriff or detectives with the state police at almost every turn.

Seven Threadly Sins by Janet Bolin -Janet Bolin 6-6-18
This well written novel was the fifth (and possibly last based on the publication year of this one--ack! I want more!) in a fun cozy mystery series. The characters are well drawn, and they get into the most hilarious and occasionally dangerous circumstances while "not sleuthing" and are often being confronted and embarrassed by the local sheriff or detectives with the state police at almost every turn.

An Unexpected Love (The Broadmoor Legacy, #2) by Tracie Peterson -Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller 6-8-18
This novel is the second book of a historical Christian romance trilogy. It is well written with good character development. I enjoyed the three cousins'--Fanny, Sophie, and Amanda-- close relationship with each other and seeing how each of them grow in faith and find love throughout the three books. This one focuses primarily on Sophie.

To Love and Cherish (Bridal Veil Island, # 2) by Tracie Peterson -Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller 6-10-18
This is a well-written and entertaining historical romance. The characters are well-drawn, and I liked many of them.

A Surrendered Heart (The Broadmoor Legacy, #3) by Tracie Peterson -Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller 6-11-18
This novel is the third and final book of a historical Christian romance trilogy. It is well written with good character development. I enjoyed the three cousins'--Fanny, Sophie, and Amanda-- close relationship with each other and seeing how each of them grow in faith and find love throughout the three books. This one focuses primarily on Amanda.


message 25: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn V | 221 comments Rachel -I have read the book The Apple Orchard (Bella Vista Chronicles, #1) by Susan Wiggs also; and didn't look to see a second book in the series. Are you aware if the second book is a continuing of the storyline from book one or a different 'stand alone' book in series?


message 26: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Carolyn, I have no idea. I didn't look at the second one, but I would hope it would continue the story, as there were still a few things that were unexplained.


message 27: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn V | 221 comments thanks Rachel; I may have to review these books


message 28: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Scarlet Pimpernel (The Best Mysteries of All Time) by Emmuska Orczy -Baroness Orczy 6-13-18
This is a well written and truly intriguing mystery novel. First published in 1905, it is set during the French Revolution where a daring band of Englishmen, under the direction of a leader known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, make it their business to rescue French aristocrats from the guillotine. In this adventurous, suspenseful novel, we follow Lady Marguerite Blakeney as she seeks to ensure the safety of her beloved brother in return for helping a French agent to discover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, which turns out to be an even more dastardly decision than she had expected. This has been one of my favorite novels since I first read it as a teenager and well deservedly so.

They Called Her Mrs. Doc (Women of the West, #5) by Janette Oke -Janette Oke 6-14-18
This is one of Janette Oke's Christian historical romance novel. As usual, the novel is well written with great character development, and as is often also the case with her novels or series, the novel doesn't just conclude with a wedding but instead travels with the protagonist, Cassandra, through her years of marriage and motherhood as well. I enjoyed Cassandra's learning to rely on God as she struggles to adjust herself to living in the "uncivilized" west (Alberta, Canada) in the early years of her marriage, and by the end of the novel when we see her as an older woman, a grandmother and great grandmother, she hates the idea of leaving her home and her village.


message 29: by Paula (new)

Paula Shreckhise | 194 comments I have loved The Scarlet Pimpernel since I was very young. There are a couple of great adaptations out there! Leslie Howard and Merle Oberon and a newer one with Richard E. Grant and even Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews!
This goes well with A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens!


message 30: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Measure of a Heart (Women of the West, #6) by Janette Oke -Janette Oke 6-15-18
This is one of Janette Oke's Christian historical romance novel. As usual, the novel is well written with great character development, and as is often also the case with her novels or series, the novel doesn't just conclude with a wedding but instead travels with the protagonist, Anna, through her years of marriage and motherhood as well. I enjoyed Anna's journey throughout her early years of marriage not only to a closer faith in God but to a better understanding of her value to God, understanding that while she might be a flawed servant of God, He wants to use her, and even more than that, she realizes that it is not up to her to save others but only to present the Gospel. It is not her fault that someone she tried to reach ultimately rejected God and died; there is no better method she could have used to present the Gospel because the choice was theirs, not hers, and in addition, she is not the Savior, only a messenger. The only thing I have always disliked about this novel is how abruptly it ends. I want more of Anna and Austin, their family and their ministry.

A Worthy Pursuit (A Worthy Pursuit, #1) by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer 6-17-18
This was a well written and entertaining, action-packed historical romantic suspense novel. The two main characters had to learn to trust and respect each other within a fairly short time frame, but I didn't feel like their romance was too contrived and thereby unlikely. They might have been physically attracted to each other at first glance, but it took a few days longer along with some intense circumstances for them to truly open up to each other as people on a soul-to-soul level, and despite the brevity of their acquaintance and romance, it felt realistic, and I empathized with them as they dealt with the danger of the enemies who wanted to take Lily.

Full Steam Ahead (Full Steam Ahead, #1) by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer 6-18-18
This was a well written and entertaining historical romance novel with a fair thread of action woven throughout the plot also. The characters lived on the page, and I enjoyed seeing how our two protagonists went from butting heads to not wanting to live without each other as they grew to respect and understand each other. I both laughed with them or wanted to knock some sense into them as the story progressed, and I also enjoyed how much better Nicole understood her father at the end. I truly loved this novel.

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer 6-18-18
This was a well written historical Christian romance novel. I found the character development to be good and the story to be sweet although I thought Jericho took far too long to get it through his head that beauty and fashion weren't unchristian in and of themselves. So, four stars rather than five mainly because I wanted to wring the male protagonist's neck for most of the book. Petty? Perhaps, but there it is, he drove me nuts. But anyway, the other reason I rated this novel lower than her others was because I thought the homicidal sociopathic jilted suitor part of the plot was a bit over the top. How did no one notice that the storekeeper's son was creepy as all get out before he blamed Hannah for helping Jericho's sister feel beautiful and have the confidence to attract the man she was interested in and attacked her? No one but Jericho thought he was weird, really? However, even with those issues, I did enjoy the novel a lot, so 4 stars it is.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot -Meg Cabot 6-19-18
This was a decent YA novel; most of the characters are rather typical for the genre; i.e., flat, but the writing was pretty good in general. The plot being based on Arthurian legend definitely saved this novel from being dull. Anyway, it was a simple, quick read, and I did like the protagonist, Ellie is pretty salty. So, it's a solid 3 star read for me.

The Case of the Missing Books (Mobile Library Mystery #1) by Ian Sansom -Ian Sansom 6-20-18
I had a hard time rating this book. It is a mystery novel that I read for a challenge because I needed a mystery without a murder. It fulfilled that goal because this mystery is all about an entire library of 25,000 books is missing, and while the concept is amusing, the solution ends up being remarkably stupid. Even though I didn't like our protagonist, librarian and unwilling sleuth, all that much I felt for him at the end for having been so naive as to not have figured it out. And even though I checked to see if the next volume of the series was available at the library, I would have only read it to see if Israel would have grown as a character due to his experiences.

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear -Jacqueline Winspear 6-22-18
I wasn't entirely sure if I would enjoy this novel when I decided to read it, but I'm so glad I did because I really enjoyed this mystery novel. It is set in post World War England, but the mystery our sleuth is asked to resolve is unexpectedly quite deeply connected to events of the war. Intertwined throughout the novel, we also learn the background of our protagonist, her background and how she became trained as a private investigator. I really enjoyed this novel and will continue reading the series.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (Cat Who..., #1) by Lilian Jackson Braun -Lilian Jackson Braun 6-24-18
So, I have always shied away from these mysteries assuming that they would be stupid. Well, having had to find a mystery where an animal plays an important role, I went ahead and decided to read it, and man, have I deprived myself because of my mistaken assumption. Although the cat in the book is surely slightly exaggerated, since I'm sure that even Siamese cats can't read, forwards or backwards, him bringing Qwilleran to first find a body and later reveals another clue because of wanting his cat toy back are both actually legitimate things a cat would possibly do. Anyway, the book was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the rest of the series.

Short-Straw Bride (Archer Brothers, #1) by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer 6-24-18
This was a fun, action-filled Christian historical romance novel. The main point of the plot was both unique and sweet. I loved seeing both Travis and Meredith grow as people and truly fall in love after their rushed shotgun wedding.

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, #2) by Jacqueline Winspear -Jacqueline Winspear 6-26-18
I really enjoyed this mystery novel. It is set in post World War England, but the mystery our sleuth is asked to resolve is unexpectedly quite deeply connected to events of the war. Why have several of a missing heiress's friends been murdered, and did our missing woman merely want to get away from an overbearing father or did she truly feel she was in danger from another quarter? Read the book and find out along with Maisie. I really enjoyed this novel and will continue reading the series.

Simply from Scratch by Alicia Bessette -Alicia Bessette 6-26-18
The genre this novel is tagged as the most on Goodreads is Women's Fiction-Chick Lit. This surprised me a little because I tend to connect the term "chick lit" with light hearted and amusing novels either about friendship or romance and not so much with a more serious novel like this that deals with deep emotions. I won't say that nothing in this novel is amusing, but that description definitely isn't my first thought when thinking of the novel as a whole. It's about grief, depression, forgiveness, friendship, a new attraction, and parenting. It also deals with the fact that past assumptions from childhood about people aren't always accurate when interacting with them as an adult. Perhaps "Women's fiction" although vague is a better label than "chick lit" for this book and others like it and perhaps even for those more lighthearted, amusing, often sassy novels I more readily think of as "chick lit" because the truth found in fiction isn't always serious and more "literary" novels are not inherently better than "silly" ones.

Matched (Matched, #1) by Ally Condie -Ally Condie 6-27-18
So, I have had this Dystopian novel on my to-read list for a long time and have finally gotten around to reading it. It was well written and entertaining with interesting characters. I also liked the twists and turns in the plot. In some ways, it reminded me of The Giver, but not so much so that it felt like a reprise. In any case, I really liked it and plan to finish the trilogy.

Crossed (Matched, #2) by Ally Condie -Ally Condie 6-29-18
This is the second book in the Matched trilogy, and I really enjoyed it. It was well written and entertaining with interesting characters. I also liked the twists and turns in the plot. Even though I don't prefer reading e-books, I was thankful that the library had the novel available in a form that I could read. I was able to check it out immediately and download it to our Kindle, which was the first time I have done so and honestly a rather fun and convenient feature, but I will always prefer printed books never mind why. I'm not sure when I will be able to access the last one in the series though, which is a minor nuisance because I have so many more questions about what's going to happen after this second book of the trilogy.


message 31: by Chantel (last edited Jul 01, 2018 02:13AM) (new)

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments June Reads


Buying Love (Maple Run #1) by Toni Shiloh by Toni Shiloh
This this was a really cute and heartfelt story about a convenient engagement. I really liked the characters and the quaint little town. Plus, you can't go wrong with a handsome male lead who's a chef and makes recipes with mapley-goodness!
Full Review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer by Sarah Strohmeyer
I always have a soft spot for the modern-day fairytale retellings ,but The Cinderella Pact was by far one of my favorites. This story was not only hilarious but very thoughtful and inspiring. This would definitely make cute movie!
Full Review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Three Wishes (River of Time California, #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Lisa T Bergren is the queen of time-slip romance! Three Wishes is an exciting ride full of love and adventure with a beautiful thread of faith! I love how the author writes strong young women her stories! It just makes make my heart happy! #girlpower ;-)
Full Review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart by James L. Rubart
This was book really reminds me why it's good to be a part of a book club! I don't think I would have ever picked this for myself, but it actually became one of the best books I've read this year! I just absolutely loved it! This story was moving and insightful. This was just an excellent drama, I had a hard time putting it down!
Full Review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Imperfect Chemistry (Imperfect, #1) by Mary Frame -Mary Frame 7-1-18
I randomly found this freebie on my Kindle looking for something new and fun to read. This lighthearted and well written "Chic Flic" fit the bill perfectly. I related a lot to the protagonist and found the other characters to be well portrayed even when they were unlikable. The plot was cute and funny, but the story also brought up some really thought-provoking points during Lucy's journey to understanding emotions and relationships better. It's not a clean romance novel, but it isn't highly graphic either. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and wish I could read the others in the series without having to pay for them.

Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5) by Becky Wade -Becky Wade 7-1-18
This was a sweet contemporary Christian romance novel. I enjoyed the characters and their development. I did find the writing style to be occasionally jarring, especially the phone conversations that read like a direct transcription of the exchanges. I will likely read the rest of the series sometime now that I am in love with this little family.

Waking Up Married (Waking Up, #1) by Mira Lyn Kelly -Mira Lyn Kelly 7-2-18
This was an amusing and sweet romance novel with several surprisingly well developed characters. It is a Harlequin romance though, so there's a lot of sex involved, but at least they were married the whole time.


message 33: by Bonny (new)

Bonny (bonnybonnybeth) | 366 comments Chantel wrote: "June Reads

Three Wishes (River of Time California, #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Lisa T Bergren is the queen of time-slip romance! Three Wishes is an exciting ride full of love and adventure with a beautiful thread of faith! I love how the author writes strong young women her stories! It just makes make my heart happy! #girlpower ;-)
Full Review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show......."


Chantel, this looks really interesting! I'm putting this series and the earlier series both on my TBR list!


message 34: by Chantel (new)

Chantel (channylee07) | 357 comments Bonny wrote: "Chantel wrote: "June Reads

Three Wishes (River of Time California, #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Lisa T Bergren is the queen of time-slip romance! Three Wishes is an exciting ride..."


Yay!!! Bonny!!! The River In Time series is all time favorite of mine! I hope you like it too!


message 35: by Paul (new)

Paul Alkazraji | 74 comments ‘The Harbinger’ is a book strong on message conveyed entirely through the dialogue of its three principal characters...
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 36: by Bonny (new)

Bonny (bonnybonnybeth) | 366 comments Started The Breath of Dawn (A Rush of Wings, #3) by Kristen Heitzmann last night... and finished it as the rooster starting crowing this morning. Considering that the exact same thing happened with The Still of Night (Spencer Family #2) by Kristen Heitzmann last week, I'd say this was an all around gripping series! I actually didn't realize it was a series when I started The Still of Night, so now I have to go back and read the first book of the series:
A Rush of Wings (A Rush of Wings, #1) by Kristen Heitzmann


message 37: by Amanda (new)

Amanda G. Stevens (amandagstevens) | 26 comments Bonny wrote: "Started The Breath of Dawn (A Rush of Wings, #3) by Kristen Heitzmann last night... and finished it as the rooster starting crowing this morning."

Ahhh, I love Morgan Spencer. <3 I guess he's my favorite Kristen Hetizmann character, although I have several.


message 38: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern (Cat Who... #2) by Lilian Jackson Braun -Lilian Jackson Braun 7-3-18
Like the first book in the "Cat who..." series, this book was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. In this second novel, the author has developed an intriguing and unique plot again, which is a trend that I hope continues throughout the rest of the series. I don't find Qwilleran to be the most likable protagonist, but I can't deny that he is an entertaining one. I have enjoyed getting to know him a little better in this novel. In any case, I enjoyed this novel and plan to read the rest of the series.

The Cat Who Turned On and Off (Cat Who..., #3) by Lilian Jackson Braun -Lilian Jackson Braun 7-4-18
Like the first two books in the "Cat who..." series, this book was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. In this third novel, the author has developed an intriguing and unique plot yet again, which is a trend that I hope continues throughout the rest of the series. I don't find Qwilleran to be the most likable protagonist, but I can't deny that he is an entertaining one. I have enjoyed getting to know him even better in this novel. In any case, I enjoyed this novel and plan to read the rest of the series.

Technically, I read this book of the series in an omnibus with the first two The Cat Who... Could Read Backwards; Ate Danish Modern; Turned On and Off by Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who... Could Read Backwards; Ate Danish Modern; Turned On and Off, but since I only read the 3rd novel contained in it, I decided to just use a separate edition for my review, since it would throw off my page average at the end of the year. Yes, I'm a nerd and like looking at that information at the end of every year.

The Cat Who... Omnibus 02 (Books 4-6) The Cat Who Saw Red / The Cat Who Played Brahms / The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun -Lilian Jackson Braun 7-7-18
As I actually did read all three of the books in this omnibus right in a row as published, I will review them collectively because that's how I read them. Like the first three books in the "Cat who..." series, these next three books were well written. As usual, I found the characters to be well drawn and interesting; plus, I am starting to like Qwilleran more and more as I get further in the series, but he won't ever be one of my favorite protagonists. In any case, I enjoyed reading this omnibus containing books four, five, and six of the "Cat who.." series.

Pardonable Lies (Maisie Dobbs, #3) by Jacqueline Winspear -Jacqueline Winspear 7-8-18
I really enjoyed this mystery novel. It is set in post World War England, but the mystery our sleuth is asked to resolve is unexpectedly quite deeply connected to events of the war. Is the son of Cecil Lawton really dead as has been presumed? Where did Maisie's friend Priscilla's brother die during the war? Why does one of the mediums Maisie visit during her investigation raise internal alarms for Maisie? Read the book and find out along with Maisie. I really enjoyed this novel and will continue reading the series.


message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments An Amish Gift by Cynthia Keller -Cynthia Keller 7-9-18
This was a well written novel with interesting characters. I enjoyed seeing the two families, one Englisch and one Amish, become friends and learn from each other in different ways. The main characters find freedom in various ways throughout their year of transitioning to living in the country as opposed to the city.

Accidentally Amish (Valley of Choice #1) by Olivia Newport -Olivia Newport 7-10-18
I first read this novel back in 2014 and for whatever reason, I never got around to reading the rest of the trilogy until this year. Me being me, I had to reread this first book of the "Valley of Choice" trilogy before moving on to the other two books, and I'm glad I did because there is so much detail provided by the author for both timelines that are explored in this novel that I had totally forgotten. I would have been totally lost had I simply started up the trilogy again with the send novel. Anyhow, as I said four years ago, this was a fun and rather unique Amish novel, and I really enjoyed the characters and the story.

In Plain View (Valley of Choice #2) by Olivia Newport -Olivia Newport 7-11-18
Just like the first novel in the "Valley of Choice" trilogy, this was a fun and rather unique Amish novel, and I really enjoyed the characters and the story. I liked the amount of detail the author provides for both of the timelines that she covers in the novel.

Taken for English (Valley of Choice #3) by Olivia Newport -Olivia Newport 7-12-18
Just like the first two novels in the "Valley of Choice" trilogy, this was a fun and rather unique Amish novel, and I really enjoyed the characters and the story. I liked the amount of detail the author provides for both of the timelines that she covers in the novel. However, in this one novel, I felt that the historical timeline was a bit of a stretch, meaning that since the author still needed to conclude her contemporary story line, she felt compelled to add a third historical section dealing with more of the"Byler/Beiler" family tree because she had done so in the first two novels. While the strategy worked well in the first two novels and the two timelines were truly connected to each other, in this novel, it just didn't gel together too well. It felt like two separate books this time, so even though both stories were good, I have dropped this novel down to three stars from the four I gave the others.

Stealing the Preacher (Archer Brothers, #2) by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer 7-12-18
This was a fun and entertaining Christian historical romance novel with a well written plot and a fair amount of action. I liked the characters, and I loved learning more about the second Archer brother, Crockett, and seeing the unique way he met his match.

A Match Made in Texas (Archer Brothers, #2.5) by Karen Witemeyer -Karen Witemeyer et al 7-13-18
This was a fun collection of four connected novellas; for the sake of convenience, I'll just repost the book description and add my impressions of each:

"In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can't keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she's also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?

A Cowboy Unmatched (-Karen Witemeyer)
Neill isn't sure who hired him to repair Clara's roof--he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?"--This novella is the last of the Archer brothers series, and even though I wished the story had been a full length novel instead, I really loved the story of how the youngest (and fourth) Archer brother finds a ready made family while trying to earn money to start his own homestead/ranch. (Incidentally, only 3 of the Archer brothers got their own full stories; the two oldest brothers both found their brides in the first novel of the series, Short-Straw Bride, but I felt that poor Jim got shorted by being a secondary character in his brothers' stories, first in Travis' story and then in Neill's; just his name was mentioned in Crockett's story.)

"An Unforeseen Match (-Regina Jennings)
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace's doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though--and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on."--This was a sweet Christian historical romance novella with well drawn characters. I liked the story, but I did wish it was longer.

"No Match for Love (-Carol Cox)
Andrew can't fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?"--Okay, this is the second story I have read by Carol Cox, and while I did like it better than the full length novel I had read by her, it was the novella that I liked the least in the collection. It wasn't that it was poorly written per se, it just didn't feel as worthy of my time as the other novellas. I didn't like Lucy either, which I'm sure affected my perception of the story as a whole.

"Meeting Her Match (-Mary Connealy)
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker's son how much she cares for him?"--Now, this was a fun and sweet conclusion to this collection of novellas. I loved the characters, and I thought the way Hannah and Matt were manipulated into getting married was hysterical. The only drawback was that it ended far earlier than I wish it had.

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin -Lynn Austin 7-15-18
This was one of the funniest books I have read this year. Set during the Great Depression, the plot had action, suspense, and surprising twists throughout its length. The novel was well written, and the characters were well drawn. I especially loved Alice and how she grew as a person through her experiences in Kentucky.

The Heart's Frontier (The Amish of Apple Grove, #1) by Lori Copeland -Lori Copeland 7-16-18
This was certainly a unique historical Christian romance novel. Set in 1880's Texas, the book features an Amish family and a group of cowboys on a cattle drive who end up traveling and working together for days due to various encounters with a group of bandits/rustlers. While I liked the story and its unexpected conclusion, the whole scenario felt unlikely, and the characters were a little flat. I am unlikely to read more of the series.

Crowning Design by Leila Meacham -Leila Meacham 7-16=18
This was a well written romance novel with a thread of mystery/intrigue in it. The characters were both interesting and fully portrayed. I enjoyed reading this novel a lot although I was disappointed that full justice wasn't unleashed against the villain in the story.

Unlocked A Love Story by Karen Kingsbury -Karen Kingsbury 7-17-18
So far, I have truly enjoyed every one of Karen Kingsbury's novels that I have read, and that is true of this novel as well. It is well written and has wonderful characters, and the plot was sweet. However, I have a few complaints about the novel because of how she portrays autism in it. First, it is unlikely that all of the stims an autistic person does can be so easily explained, but this is exactly what happens in the novel with Holden's (he also only has two stims, which is somewhat unlikely as well). Second, if an autistic person does begin speaking verbally at a later point in life and had been nonverbal to that point, it is unlikely that they would have been fully verbal prior to the age of 3 and then become completely nonverbal until age 18. Third, I disliked how much Holden's being autistic was seen as a problem in need of a miracle; he was portrayed so well as intelligent, pleasant, and patient the whole book, and he was quite good at using his communication cards, but because the lack of verbal communication bothered his parents and his friend Ella, they wanted him to be "unlocked." They wanted him to change for their benefit and enjoyment, which I consider an unfair perspective to have. However, even with my reservations about how the author approached autism, I did enjoy the novel a great deal and found it well worth reading, and I especially liked that she based Holden's miracle unlocking through music on a real autistic person who did go from being nonverbal as a child to being a success in theater musicals as an adult.

Walker's Wedding (The Western Sky Series, #3) by Lori Copeland -Lori Copeland 7-18-18
I didn't realize this was the third book in a series when I picked it up at the library, and so, it must be a series where the order of the books doesn't truly matter because I had no inkling that I wasn't reading a stand-alone novel until I looked it up on Goodreads. Anyway, the book was well written, and the characters were interesting and fully portrayed. It was a fun Christian historical romance novel to read even if I did want to knock those spouses' heads together several times before the end of it.

True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #1) by Becky Wade -Becky Wade 7-19-18
This was a delightful contemporary Christian romance novel. Having read and loved the prequel to this book, Then Came You, I was looking forward to reading this one a lot. The only downside to this novel and its sequel Falling for You for me is that Garner and Kathleen aren't present at all being out of the country the whole time serving as missionaries, a good thing for them of course, but I loved them and wanted to see more of them even as secondary characters. So, rant aside, I really loved this novel; it was well written, the plot was entertaining, and the characters were brilliantly drawn. I truly related to Nora as a fellow introverted bookworm even if her period drama of choice was one I'd never heard of, and I loved seeing her journey towards a more healthy confidence in herself and towards a deeper faith in God. Then, of course, the icing on the cake was how she found true love with a good man.

Falling for You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #2) by Becky Wade -Becky Wade 7-20-18
This was a delightful contemporary Christian romance novel. Having read and loved both Then Came You (series prequel #0.5) and True to You (series #1), I was looking forward to reading this novel as well. I really loved it; it was well written, the plot was entertaining, and the characters were brilliantly drawn. I enjoyed the unique plot that brought Willow and her ex-boyfriend back into each other's lives on a consistent basis in order to help Corbin's niece solve a family mystery, which ends up the corrupt character of a local politician. While I liked Nora from True to You better as a character, I also became quite fond of Willow during the course of this novel, enjoying her journey towards forgiving herself and trusting in God's love, as her love for Corbin is rekindled in a healthier dating relationship.


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar -Tessa Afshar 7-21-18
This was a truly insightful work of Biblical fiction. The novel was well written, and I thought the character development of both Rahab and Salmone were excellent. Even though the story had to be told in a serious manner for the most part due to its content, I was still entertained and interested throughout the whole novel, and, in fact, at one point I had to stop reading briefly due to being unable to see through the honest-to-goodness tears rolling down my face. I have never had that strong of a reaction while reading before; as I'm not a crier, the most that would happen in the past if I became emotional due to something I've read is that my eyes would tear up--that is, feel damp at the corners but not spill over--and that my throat would have a corresponding lump, but this time, to my amazement, I was literally crying for a few minutes due to this book. I will definitely be reading more novels by this author.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie -Agatha Christie 7-22-18
So, the only other Agatha Christie novel I read before now was Murder on the Orient Express. I have no excuse. It's just a fact. Anyway, now that I have read the first novel featuring Hercule Poirot and liked it, I shall read more of them. As I had expected, this mystery novel was well written and entertaining with interesting characters. I would have liked to know Hastings' first name though; the lack of it got on my nerves a little bit.


message 41: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn V | 221 comments Rachel, thanks for all the reviews; great accomplishment. I've wanted to read Olivia Newport and want to try Regina Jennings


message 42: by Dawn (last edited Jul 25, 2018 11:02AM) (new)

Dawn Kinzer | 3 comments Finding Love on Bainbridge Island, Washington (Washington Island Romance, #2) by Annette M. Irby Finding Love on Bainbridge Island, Washington
Jenna-Shea Brown is a therapist who needs therapy for PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event. Now there’s a great twist I can share! The author did an impressive job of incorporating therapy techniques that helped give integrity to the story. It was also interesting—being someone who is familiar with the five love languages—to see them not only included, but also named as such.

Liam Barrett has history with Jenna, and now after years of not seeing each other, they’re thrown together again when Liam is hired to renovate her family’s beach cabin. Still attracted to each to each other, both carry scars they’re trying to heal. For instance, Liam hasn’t seen his father in thirty years, and now suddenly, he’s asking to return to Liam’s life. How does Liam deal with his abandonment issues? That’s for readers to discover.

While this story about forgiveness and second chances delves into serious topics, the author gives us a refreshing character with Liam’s Great Aunt Matilda. She wants Liam to make peace with his father and also romance the girl of his dreams, Jenna Shea. Matilda, a retired actress who still practices the accents of various characters, is a caring individual who shares wisdom and humor. She provides a lovely balance to Liam’s and Jenna’s inner struggles.


message 43: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2662 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar-Tessa Afshar 7-21-18
This was a truly insightful work of Biblical fiction. The novel was well written, and I thought the character development of both Rahab an..."


Hercule Poirot's friend is Capt. Arthur M. Hastings. I just finished this same book. Have read several others and love Hercule Poirot.


message 44: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 411 comments The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay -Kim Fay 7-25-18
The pace of this archaeological mystery novel was just to slow for my preference, but it was well written with great descriptions of the geography, climate, people groups, and political feelings of southeast Asia during the 1920's. In addition, the characters were decently drawn, and the plot's conclusion was satisfying.


Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1) by Linda Castillo -Linda Castillo 7-26-18
This was a fast-paced murder mystery that was entertaining and thrilling. It was written well and had several interesting characters. I think it was a good start to what will likely be a good series. However, because of how graphic the descriptions of the corpses are, it isn't to everyone's comfort level.

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) by Tamera Alexander -Tamera Alexander 7-27-18
In this novella, Tamera Alexander has written a delightful start to her new series set in Carnton, another Southern mansion. Novellas like this with fully developed main characters and a satisfying plot are few, but I am not surprised that this is one of them because every book I have read by this author has been an example of masterful storytelling. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it becomes available.

Shadow on the Crown (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy #1) by Patricia Bracewell -Patricia Bracewell 7-29-18
This was a well written novel based on the life of Emma of Normandy who becomes queen of England when she marries King Aethelred II covering the years of 1000-1005 when she is a young bride; the author chose to set her age to marry as 14, and so, she is 19 at the book's end. While the story does end at an acceptable point, it is obvious that it is just the beginning of a trilogy. Since it is set in the Middle Ages, there are some elements of paganism and darkness that I'm not a fan of that appear periodically throughout the book; for example, one of the characters is plagued by visions of his brother's ghost. Also, because it was an extremely patriarchal society at the time, there is a constant thread of misogynism throughout the novel, and there is even an account of spousal rape. However, all personal discomfort and disgust at particular points of the story aside, I thought it was an excellent novel; it was apparent that the author had done a large amount of research and that she had done a good job of interpreting history as well as inventing possibilities for her characters where there were gaps or confusion in her timeline.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Diary of Molly MacKenzie Flaherty (Dear America) by Ellen Emerson White -Ellen Emerson White 7-30-18
This fictional diary provides an easy-to-follow view into what 1968 looked like for Boston teenager Molly Flaherty. She is an intriguing and fun character, and overall, I found the book to be an interesting and thought-provoking window into the confusion and animosity to be found in the late 1960's as we read about her hopes and fears for the safety of her brother in Vietnam as well as her firefighter father during the escalating race riots; about her experiences volunteering in the veterans hospital; about her interests in the Beautiful People (Hippies), the protesters and rioters, and the presidential race; and about her questions regarding communism and the Vietnam War.


message 45: by Bonny (new)

Bonny (bonnybonnybeth) | 366 comments Amanda wrote: "...Ahhh, I love Morgan Spencer. <3 I guess he's my favorite Kristen Hetizmann character, although I have several...."

Yeah, he was definitely quite the tall, dark, and handsome hero! It was really neat to see him grow in his relationships from one book to the next too. The only other series by Kristen Heitzmann I've read is The Rose Legacy (Diamond of the Rockies, #1) by Kristen Heitzmann series, and now I'm intrigued to read more by her!


message 46: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (truthfulreviewer) | 31 comments I just finished reading a Christian historical fiction book, and it was so well written, and had many deep spiritual messages. I thought the book was just for kids, but after reading it, no, it has much more for Christians. Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 47: by Rachel (last edited Aug 11, 2018 02:23PM) (new)

Rachel | 411 comments Love & Death in Burgundy by Susan C. Shea -Susan C. Shea 8-1-18
This was a fun cozy mystery set in the French countryside where prejudices against Germans still abound despite it being a good generation away from the events of World War II. Both the writing style and the character development were good. I also liked the exploration of how small towns tend to view outsiders in a negative, slightly suspicious manner no matter how long they've lived there; having grown up in a truly small town, I know how true this is to life. Anyway, it was a good although not a great read.

A Passionate Hope Hannah's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #4) by Jill Eileen Smith -Jill Eileen Smith 8-3-18
This was another well written Biblical fiction novel by Jill Eileen Smith. The character development was good, and I found her viewpoints on what Hannah's story and accompanying emotions and struggles might have looked like to be interesting and heart-tugging. I very much enjoyed reading this 4th volume of Smith's Daughters of the Promised Land series.

The Blessed (Shaker, #4) by Ann H. Gabhart -Ann H. Gabhart 8-5-18
Having enjoyed the first three of Ann H. Gabhart's Shaker series and knowing that they read well enough as standalone novels, I jumped back into the series where I'd left off when one of my Goodreads groups, Christian Fiction Devourers, named Gabhart as the featured author for this August. As I expected, this novel was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. The historical setting among this short lived cult was also intriguing as well because I believe that if a novel also makes you think of what you believe and why as well as entertains, it is a bonus to a well written story.

The Gifted (Shaker, #5) by Ann H. Gabhart -Ann H. Gabhart 8-7-18
This is the fifth volume of Ann H. Gabhart's Shaker series, and I liked it just as much as I like the first four books. As I expected, this novel was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. The historical setting among this short lived cult was also intriguing as well because I believe that if a novel also makes you think of what you believe and why as well as entertains, it is a bonus to a well written story.

Christmas at Harmony Hill (Shaker, #5.5) by Ann H. Gabhart -Ann H. Gabhart 8-9-18
This is a novella (#5.5) accompanying Ann H. Gabhart's Shaker series, and I liked it just as much as I like the first five books. As I expected, this novella was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. The historical setting among this short lived cult was also intriguing as well because I believe that if a novel or novella also makes you think of what you believe and why as well as entertains, it is a bonus to a well written story. In all honesty, this sweet and satisfying novella has been my favorite edition to the series so far.

The Innocent (Shaker, #6) by Ann H. Gabhart -Ann H. Gabhart 8-10-18
This is the sixth novel of Ann H. Gabhart's Shaker series, and I liked it just as much as I like the first five (and a half :)) books. As I expected, this novel was well written, and the characters were well drawn and interesting. I especially enjoyed Carlyn's spirited and headstrong debates with Sister Edna in this story. The historical setting among this short lived cult was also intriguing as well because I believe that if a novel also makes you think of what you believe and why as well as entertains, it is a bonus to a well written story.

Note: I actually read the large print edition of this novel, which I don't feel like adding to the database just now.


message 48: by Caitlyn (new)

Caitlyn Santi | 86 comments I just finished Finally Accepted (Freedom Lake #3) by Toni Shiloh the third and final book in Toni Shiloh's Freedom Lake series! I have adored all of Toni's books and highly recommend them! This one is probably my favorite of the Freedom Lake series! Here is a link to my full review if anyone wants to check it out: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 49: by Caitlyn (new)

Caitlyn Santi | 86 comments I just finished A Worthy Rebel (An Uncertain Choice, #5) by Jody Hedlund it was another great medieval YA novel from Jody Hedlund! Here is the link to my full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 50: by Cheryl, Challenges Mastermind (new)

Cheryl Olson (girlsmama) | 707 comments Mod
I just finished a A Worthy Rebel (An Uncertain Choice, #5) by Jody Hedlund - I simply love Jody Hedlund, whether it's her adult historical fiction or her YA fun medieval series- the last one in this series, I always know its going to be a great read. And for those with teen girls- the discussion questions in the back are really great and ask some pointed spiritual questions. Greatly enjoyed it!


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