March 19, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove 
"The Promise of Palm Grove"
Shelley Shepard Gray

Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

This was an enjoyable and easy to read book.  I like it when I'm able to read a book that isn't complicated and hard to understand or to keep up with.  The places in the book were places that actually exist and that is something I've always enjoyed.  

I can't wait to read the next book and find out what else is going to happen.

Read more about the book here.


March 18, 2015

How to Catch a Prince 
"How To Catch A Prince"
Rachel Hauck

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.
But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.
Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?
Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?

"How To Catch A Prince" was not what I was expecting.  I was really expecting it to remind me of The Duke William and Duchess Kate of Cambridge, but it didn't.  This book kept me guessing till the end.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of innuendo's in the book that I did not like at all.  I don't see the purpose in putting those things in a Christian fiction book.  One in particular made me really upset.  Corina's boss was digging and speculating about Corina's big secret that she had and one of her assumptions was uncalled for.  Yes, the press prints dirt, but I don't expect that same dirt to be in a Christian fiction book.

There were some unexpected characters in this book that "watched over" Corina.  They're her guardian angels.  Corina was apprehensive about them at first, but learns to trust them and they truly helped her get things back in order.  I enjoyed their part in Corina's story.

Throughout the book there were lessons that the main characters learned and that readers could learn as well.  The main one was about loving well.  Not just romantically, but in all areas.  Corina and Stephen's story didn't come together until they both learned to love well.  Love - selflessly.   Loving God and trusting in His will. 

Other than the innuendos, I enjoyed this book.  It was better written than "Princess Ever After".

Read more about the book here


March 9, 2015

"Anna's Crossing"
Suzanne Woods Fisher

April 15th, 1737, Rotterdam Germany, Anna sets foot on the ship The Charming Nancy.  Even though she doesn't want to leave her family and community of Amish believers, she is going out of duty because she alone can speak English.  She had heard horror stories of ocean voyages, but is still going to America for freedom to worship.

On board ship they face many hardships and discomforts, even death.  But they are trusting in God to see them through.  They even gave half of their water to a slave ship they encountered on the high seas.  

The ship's carpenter, Bairn, resents the "Peculiar People", as the deck hands call the Amish.  But Anna's faith and trust in God begins to chip away at his hard exterior.  

Anna cannot understand what is happening to her heart.  How can she be falling for someone outside of her Amish faith? she knows that this is forbidden.

Join Anna on this journey of life and death and see how God works things out when we trust Him.

I had a difficult time getting drawn into this book and becoming interested.  Once the story was underway and the ship out to sea, I found it easier to follow.  There were a few surprises, twists and turns along the way.  There were also a few crude happenings that I didn't think were necessary to the furtherance of the story line.  I was able to understand the discomforts and hardships without these images in my mind.  It did stop and make me think about what the pilgrims, puritans and immigrants endured to have freedom in America.  

The author did research and many of the instances that happened in the book were indeed fact.  There was a ship names The Charming Nancy.  Immigrants were taken advantage of and swindled because of their language barrier.  They trusted the wrong people who only wanted their money.  

If you read this book, read the notes from the author at the end of the book. 

Read more about the book here.


March 6, 2015

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe 
"Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe"
Max Lucado

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.
Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even curiouser string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.
When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way. 

Ever since I first heard about "Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe" I've been very intrigued by it.  First of all, coffee always gets my attention.  Secondly, the whole plot about an angel working at a coffee shop more than piqued my interest.  Needless to say, I was very excited to be able to get to review this book.  

Max Lucado's ability to get your imagination working is amazing.  While this is a fiction book the spiritual aspect of this book is not.  Reading this book reminded me of the spiritual war that is going on around us, yet we may not exactly be aware of it.  The way that he wrote about guardian angels and spiritual warfare was so neat.  Who would ever think to write about Gabriel and Micheal the Archangel and make them characters in a book?  

This book made me thankful that God doesn't leave us to fight our battles alone.  We always have His help, even if we don't realize it.  The devil is constantly trying to get us to fall, but God is also constantly helping us not to, if we let Him.

Read more about the book here.  


March 5, 2015

Betting on Hope 
"Betting On Hope"
Debra Clopton

Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it’s beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie’s bosses know this is the opportunity she’s been looking for to launch her career—and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.
Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he’d like, but he knows it’s the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru’s fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do—for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

This was my first time reading a book by Debra Clopton and it won't be my last.  "Betting On Hope" had my attention from the beginning.  The characters were so real, likeable and easy to relate to.  Usually a book that has so many different characters gets confusing and hard to keep the characters straight, but Debra Clopton knows how to pull them all together into an easy read. 

While I liked the message the book had on hope, faith and courage, I couldn't help but think that things would have gone a lot of easier for everyone if they would have prayed more.  Yes, they acknowledged God, but acknowledging Him and praying to Him are two different things.

I enjoyed every page of this book.  Most of the time I can guess what's going to happen, but this book kept me guessing. "Betting On Hope" pulls on all of your emotions and will have you right in the middle of this small town in Texas wondering what's going to happen next.  I can't wait for the next book!  

Read more about the book here.


February 27, 2015

Twisted Innocence 
"Twisted Innocence"
Terri Blackstock

Holly Cramer’s past choices have finally caught up to her, but she never expected them to endanger her baby.
Though Holly’s stumbled through most of her adult life as a party girl, she longs to live a more stable life for her daughter. Then police show up to question her about the whereabouts of Creed Kershaw, Lily’s father. She has kept his identity a secret from friends and family—she never even told him about the pregnancy. Now he’s a person of interest in a drug-related murder case.
Determined to keep him out of their lives and turn him over to police, Holly uses her private investigating skills to search for him. But her bravado backfires when he turns the tables and takes her and the baby hostage. As desperate hours tick by, Holly realizes his connection to Leonard Miller—the man who has gunned down several members of her family. Creed claims he’s innocent and that Miller is after him too. His gentleness with Lily moves her, but she can’t trust a man who has held her at gunpoint . . . even if he reminds her so much of herself.
Dangers old and new threaten Holly and her baby, and lives are demanded as sacrifices for love. Through a complex web of mistakes and regret, redemption is the one hope Holly has left to hold on to.

Terri Blackstock's books are always full of suspense, twists n turns, romance and the unexpected.  "Twisted Innocence" was no different.  This book is a can't-put-down-page-turner, that will keep you up late at night reading it to find out what happens.  

This series focus's on three sisters and the disasters that have come their way.  But they stick together and remain united as a family.  They are there for each other and support each other through the ups n downs, blessings and mistakes of life.  This is how a family should be and reminded me of my sisters and me.   Although our personalities are not like the characters in the book, in the end we're still sisters and we're still family.  

I liked how Holly tried so hard to get her life back together and didn't give in to the temptation of her old life. (Something I didn't like was how much it talked about her feeding her baby.  Of course the baby needed to be fed, there's no reason to go on and on about it.)
She loved her baby too much.  She realized that God loves her even with her mistakes.  Which is always a great reminder.  God always loves us, no matter what!  

Read more about the book here.