August 14, 2015

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"Through Waters Deep"
Sarah Sundin

It's 1941, America teeters on the brink of war.

Mary Stirling is a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard.  She runs into an old childhood friend, Ensign Jim Avery.  Jim is aboard a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood.

Sabotage is discovered on Jim's ship, so he and Mary work together to undercover the culprit.

What Jim doesn't know is that Mary has always had a crush on him.  But he only had eyes for a sparkling blond named Quintessa, Mary's best friend.

But as they work together, Jim begins to forget Quintessa and sees Mary as someone he could love forever.

Just as things seem to be heading in the right direction for Jim and Mary, Quintessa shows up after being dumped by her boyfriend.  So she comes to Boston in pursuit of Jim.

Meanwhile, the sabotage is escalating, putting both Jim and Mary in danger.

Sarah Sundin is a wonderful historical novelist.  She does such thorough research.   She portrays her stories so real to life that you feel as if you are there! 

This novel gave insight to how tense American feelings were prior World War II.  I admit that it did take me a while to get into it, but once I did, I really enjoyed it.  Reading about all of the technical ship stuff was kind of difficult because I'm not familiar with ships.

Mary was a true heroine in this book!  God gave her the strength to overcome her fears.  Once she overcame them, she was used of God more and became the person God intended her to be. 

I love how Jim and Mary encouraged each other in the Lord.  The way they openly talked about God to each other was refreshing.  They trusted God throughout the whole book, with big things and small things,   not just when it was convenient. Since they already trusted God with the small things, it was a lot easier for them to trust God with the big things.  That is how we should be as well. 

I love WWII historical novels and Sarah is one of the best authors for writing them! 

Read more about the book here.


August 11, 2015

Crazy Little Thing Called Love 
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
Beth K. Vogt

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancĂ©. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after? 

This was my first time reading a book by Beth K. Vogt and it won't be my last.  "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" takes a place in Florida during hurricane season.  I wasn't just reading this book, I was there with them, experiencing all that they were.  At least, that's how I felt.  This book just drew me in and I was unable to put it down.  

Some may think that this kind of book would be predictable, but not this one.  This one almost leaves you hanging.  Actually, in some parts I felt like it did.  What happens with Logan and his father?  The Stormmeisters?  Maybe it will pick up in the next book.

As far as characters go, Ted was a real drag and was in the story too long for me.  Mindy was a glowing ray of sunshine!  Everyone needs a friend like Mindy!  Logan was probably my favorite character.  He finally figured out that he wanted and he fought for it until he got it.  I also liked Logan's little sister.  She always supported him no matter what.  Vanessa did get on my nerves a little.  I believe her pride got in the way and wouldn't let her accept what God was doing to bring her and the man she was supposed to be with together.

Beth K. Vogt reminds us that while sometimes things seem coincidental, they're not.  It's God arranging things as they should be.  We must learn to accept that instead of shrugging it off as "coincidence". 
I also thought it was neat that in the book she referred to Vanessa reading Patricia Bradley's Port Aster Series.  :)

I am intrigued by this new series and can't wait to read the next book!  I'm hoping it's about Logan's little sister.

Read more about the book here.


August 8, 2015

"A Heart's Promise"
Colleen Coble

A rival threatens Emmie's budding romance with Isaac.
At Fort Laramie, soldier Isaac Liddle determines he will court and win Emmie Croftner's hand. Though courting seems improbable for a woman in her condition, Emmie begins to care deeply for Issac and chafes as Jessica Dubois sets her bonnet for him.
When Jessica learns of Emmie's secret pregnancy, she blackmails her. With the Sioux Wars raging outside the safety of Fort Laramie, Emmie knows she cannot lose Isaac. But will he reject her-and her child-if he learns the truth? 

I have really enjoyed reading these books, but would enjoy them more if they were just compiled into one or two.  But going from one book to another and having to wait in between makes me lose track of what's been going on.  

The Journey of the Heart series are very interesting books that keep your attention.  Can't wait to find out what happens in the last one! 


August 1, 2015

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"The Innocent"
Ann H. Gabhart

Carlyn Kearney has been waiting two long and lonely years for her husband, not knowing if he was dead or alive.  The war between the states has ended, but she hasn't heard a word.

Penniless, with a mortgage on her home, she is forced to leave and seek refuge at the Shaker Village of Harmony Hill.  But the Shakers have peculiar ways and ideas, one is they don't like dogs and Carlyn isn't allowed to keep her protector and companion.  

Carlyn receives a letter while at the Shaker Village that confirms her worst fear.  Her husband is dead.

While She is at the Shaker Village, mysterious deaths begin to occur and Carlyn is blamed.  She doesn't know who the murderer could be.  It could even be someone inside the village.  But Carlyn ends up trusting the wrong person and puts herself into danger.  Will help come in time?  

While reading this book about the Shaker religion, I found myself wondering how people can come up with all these weird thoughts and ideas, which are so contradictory to the Bible.  

Ann Gabhart has done extensive research and it shows.  

It was a good read when right prevailed.  

Read more about the book here.


July 29, 2015

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"Gone Without A Trace"
Patricia Bradley

The past is repeating itself--and time is running out
It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator's missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she's finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she'll have to find a way to work with Alex--before it's too late.

"Gone Without A Trace" is a must read for those who enjoy Christian romantic-suspense.  You will not be disappointed!  This book is filled with unexpected twists and turns that keep the pages turning.  I must say I liked this book a lot better than I liked book two.  (I didn't get to read book one.)  The characters weren't as thick-headed as in book two, well, maybe Robyn's husband was a little.  They were also very likeable and not as predictable as you would think they would be.  

Also, the characters remind us that we should always trust God and except the unexpected that He allows to come our way.  Family is important and when a family is rooted in God they will always be there for you and the be the family they should be.  Also, we shouldn't give on people, especially our family!  We may not know the whole story and our assumptions can lead to disaster. 

Just when you think you have it all figured out, you find out that you don't.  I thought for sure that I had the villain pegged, but I was wrong.  Patricia Bradley keeps you guessing until the end!

Read more about the book here.


July 25, 2015

"The Wonder of You" 
Susan May Warren

Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects though, is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg her for forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name, but Amelia finally gives him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?

Susan May Warren has done it again!  She just knows how to write amazing contemporary, Christian fiction romance.  This one just might the best yet, but then again, I think that about all of her books!  :)

This is book five in the Christiansen sibling series and I'm sad that there's only one book left.  :(  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series.  The way she creates characters that seem to be real is amazing.  I actually feel like these people are my friends and I'm going through their ups and downs with them!  

In this book, Susan May Warren intertwined more spiritual aspects in this book than she did in the previous books.  This is a good thing.  Sometimes I got so frustrated with Amelia because she wasn't getting it, but isn't that how we are?  We ask God for guidance to do His will, yet we're so focused on our own desires that we can't see that He is already showing it to us.  

Amelia did end up with the guy I was hoping she would.  The other one got on my nerves.  

I do wish that Eden would have been in this book.  It's like she disappeared.  All of the other family members were back except her.  I feel they should have at least mentioned where she was and what she was doing.  

The ending was absolutely perfect!  For a minute there I thought she was going to leave us hanging.  I'm proud of Amelia for spreading her wings, not so she can do her own thing, but so she can do God's will. 

Filled with suspense, humor, love of family and God, Christian values, romance and every day struggles, this book has it all!