Sunday, July 7, 2019

Summer By The Tides by Denise Hunter


From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a heartfelt story of family secrets, forgiveness, and unexpected romance.

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe's love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram's maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven--nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy's heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they've become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.


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My Review
If Hallmark doesn't turn this book into a made-for-TV movie I'll be severely disappointed. Hunter goes beyond her typical romance plot and incorporates a splash of women's fiction and a drop of family saga (yes, puns intended....). However, since this is a standalone novel, every side plot is nicely tied together by the end. The romance between Conner and Maddy is strong and satisfying (and a little angst-y at times, which keeps the pages turning). The setting made me wish I was there. I'm a big fan of Ms. Hunter's, and I can't wait to see what she brings her readers next!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Powerful Prayers for Your Son: Praying for Every Part of His Life



Parents know that their children need their prayers. But sometimes, they aren't sure where to start. For moms and dads who long to lift their kids up in prayer, Powerful Prayers for Your Daughter and Powerful Prayers for Your Son offer hope, encouragement, and practical help.

Rob and Joanna Teigen assure parents that just because they don't always understand their son or daughter, that doesn't mean that God doesn't. Collecting specific prayers parents can use, along with stories from other parents about how God has answered their prayers, Rob and Joanna give readers a strong foundation to build a lifelong habit of praying for their kids. They also explain what boys and girls need to learn as they grow up, including character, courage, modesty, self-control, forgiveness, and more, so parents can pray for every part of their kids' lives.
 


Publisher: Revell, 2014
Genre: non-fiction, parenting, prayer
Authors: Rob & Joanna Reuben



My Review
I requested this book because I have three sons, two of which are teenagers. As we're diving into new territory with first jobs, driver's licences, college scouting, and dating, I've upped the intensity of my prayers. Will they make the right choices when Mom and Dad aren't around? Will they stand up for what's right when the pressure is on? Are they taking their relationship with God seriously? I know I'm not alone with these thoughts feelings. So I was delighted when I got the opportunity to read and review this book. 

With 77 short prayers, the authors guide readers to the various topics specifically geared to young men. Using their own son's life as an example, they share their expertise, fears, and lessons learned. The book also contains stories from other moms and their testimonies of faith. 

This is a book I'll keep on my shelf and come back to offen, I'm sure. I give this book four stars. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes



In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.


Publisher: Bethany House, 2019
Genre: historical fiction, time slip novel


My Review
First of all, this cover is stunning. The color tones and title were the first to catch my attention. Then, I read the blurb and discovered it was set in Maine, and I was all in. With a unique premise and the time-hopping plot, I was excited to get my hands on this book. 

And it did not disappoint. 

This author’s prose is poetic and graceful and unlike any voice I’ve ever read. She wrote a perfect balance of setting details (so I felt I was really in Maine), character authenticities, and plot pacing. At times I wondered how the two stories would connect and then they did, and it was magical. 

I enjoyed finding little nuggets of similarity between her Maine story and my Cadence of Acadia series, also set in Maine. Like the fact they’re set in a small town in basically the same area, near Machias. The town meetings, the broken heroine who returns to Maine for healing without realizing that’s what she’s really there for, etc. It’s clear we both have a love and passion for the area, and it feels as though I’ve found a kindred spirit in the writing world. 

I have definitely found a new favorite author in Amanda Dykes and will be suggesting this book to others for months to come. I look forward to reading what she brings readers next. 

*I recommend this book to anyone looking for deep, soul-stirring read. For those who don’t like heavy romance, this story is light in those regards. For those who enjoy heavy romance, there’s enough love stories of substance throughout the book to make it completely satisfying

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Sweet On You by Becky Wade

Sweet on You 
by Becky Wade

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Sweet on You
(Bradford Sisters #3)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?


Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
  • Tote bag highlighting Britt’s chocolate shop, Sweet Art
  • Paperback copy of Sweet on You
  • $100 Visa gift card
  • 1 pound box of See’s chocolate truffles
  • Set of chocolate scented soap
  • Box of colored pencils
  • “Tattoo” coloring book
Enter on Becky's website HERE

Grab Our Button!




MY REVIEW


I've been anticipating Sweet on You for a long time now. It's book three in Becky's Bradford Sisters Romance series. The first two books were wonderful, but the teaser with Britt and Zander in book one (True to You) was so great, it had me waiting patiently--okay, I'll be honest, impatiently--for Sweet on You

The cover is sensational with the Washington state skyline in the background. The first chapter, Britt and Zander's reunion, hooked me. But it was the second chapter that had me spellbound and knowing it would be nearly impossible to put the book down, no matter how loudly my everyday responsibilities called my name. 

I'll start with Britt. She's casual, trendy, witty, adventurous, and comfortable in her own skin. Exactly the kind of friend to have in real life. However, beneath her fun layers lies insecurity. That insecurity is keeping her from the one thing she needs most. 

Now to Zander. He's handsome, strong, reserved, one-hundred-percent loyal and devoted, and everything he does has a purpose. His rough childhood is still evident in places yet buffed smooth by the love and care he found later in life. He's intelligent and moody and--let's face it--NO ONE writes a sexy and moody hero like Becky Wade. 

I enjoyed the element of mystery in this book. There were some choices the characters made that I wish they hadn't, but that goes to show the characters were written realistically, with both attributes and flaws. 

As always, I love the way Becky Wade strings words together to make such powerful yet simplistic sentences, her great supporting characters, and a swoony ending. 

I'm really looking forward to Becky's next series. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz





Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning—together.


Publisher: Revell, 2019
Genre: Historical Romance



My Review
Ms. Frantz’s books are always a delight to read. She creates a perfect balance between romance and an intriguing plot line with a perfect amount of history thrown in. I always learn something about history I didn’t know when I read her books. A Bound Heart is a must-read for fans of Poldark, as some elements at the start of the story are similar. I enjoyed Lark’s profession and her beekeeping, and learning how many of the insects and plants we have in America today came from other countries. I also enjoyed how not every element of the plot was tied up with a pretty bow, as it was written realistic to the time period. I look forward to this author’s next book.

Monday, January 7, 2019

We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels





When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request--that she look up a relative she didn't know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos--seems like it isn't worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt's 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.



My Review
This book intrigued me from the lovely front cover to the back cover description. The story is set in Michigan during three time periods, two of which are turbulent times in America. The main character, an investigative journalist, is offered an opportunity to return items to distant family member that could hold the key to her next breaking story. Thus, the time-hopping chapters. The author did a wonderful job pacing each era. This story challenges readers to see history through the eyes of both abolitionist and slave, through various scenarios during the Civil Rights movement, and to question their own personal beliefs and prejudices. This book is a deep, complex read, but a good one. I will definitely be reading more from Ms. Bartels.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

On Magnolia Lane by Denise Hunter

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes the final book in Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series.





Pastor Jack McReady has secretly carried a torch for Daisy for two long years. She’s a member of his congregation, after all, and she’ll never see him as more than a trusted counselor. Jack’s best friend Noah has taken every opportunity to encourage his lovesick friend, but when Noah catches wind that Daisy has joined an online dating site, he takes matters into his own hands and orchestrates a meet-cute of the most unconventional kind.

Owner of the local flower shop, Daisy Pendleton is content with her small-town life, but she’d sure like someone to share it with. After several disastrous first dates, she’s about to give up—and then she finds a seemingly wonderful man online. Daisy gets to know TJ through a series of messages but finds herself spending more time with Pastor Jack outside of the church at the same time. What she doesn’t know is that her online prospect and Jack are one and the same. 

Just as Daisy’s love life starts to look promising, a mysterious woman appears in town. Daisy is faced with a revelation about her family that turns her world upside down, and she looks to both TJ and Jack for help.

Jack must find a way to reveal himself as her online suitor without breaking her heart and losing her trust. As Daisy faces Jack’s betrayal, she’ll have to learn to extend grace to herself, her family, and the man she’s grown to love.


Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2018
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 320 pages


MY REVIEW
On Magnolia Lane is the sweet ending to a great series. Fans of Denise Hunter (like me!) have been awaiting Daisy’s and Jack’s story for many months now, and Ms. Hunter did not disappoint. These characters are virtuous and endearing, yet realistically flawed. Their love story is steadily paced, intricately weaved throughout a gripping plot, which plays against a unforgettable setting. 

What I loved most about this book was how the author portrays our fleshly mistakes, the grace that’s able to forgive them, and how, no matter where we’re at in God’s will, we’re simply beautiful messes. 

I give this book five stars.