Posts

Showing posts from May, 2016

Remember Me (The Hawk and the Dove #6)

Image
Title:  Remember Me (The Hawk and the Dove #6) Author:  Penelope Wilcock Pages:  207 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Lion Hudson My rating is 4 stars. In this sixth installment of this wonderful series of life in a medieval monastery, the story focuses on the person of Father William de Bulmer.  In prior books, we have met this man and found him to be an arrogant, antagonistic and haughty man.  Since coming to live at St. Alcuin’s, however, he has really made strides in accepting his new role as not being in charge, more humble circumstances and humbling himself.  He has grown to accept his role as monk, working with the monastery’s financial accounts and he is good at his job.  On the other hand, Abbot John is finding his new position a bit daunting as he has gone from being in charge of the infirmary to being in charge of the entire monastery.  He has only held this position for about three months and has the personalities of over thirty-five people to deal with along with their jobs, emot…

The Hour Before Dawn (The Hawk and the Dove #5)

Image
Title:  The Hour Before Dawn (The Hawk and the Dove #5) Author:  Penelope Wilcock Pages:  208 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Lion Hudson My rating is 5 stars. Readers are once again returned to the 14th century monastery of St. Alcuin’s in Yorkshire, England in this fifth entry of The Hawk and the Dove series.  Most of the characters from the prior four books make return appearances, but the story centers around Abbot John and Father William. Abbot John has just been in his position as head of St. Alcuin’s for about a month when he receives devastating news that his mother has been murdered and his sister gang-raped.  These women lived together and were thought by some to be witches, but they were really healers and midwives.  The abbot is devastated by this news and is numb with shock.  He travels to see his sister with Father William as a companion.  His sister blames what happened on Abbot John for not being home to protect her and their mother.  The abbot struggles with an all-consuming…

Silence in the Dark (Logan Point #4)

Image
Title:  Silence in the Dark (Logan Point #4) Author:  Patricia Bradley Pages:  352 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 3 stars. Danny Maxwell is in Mexico looking for clues to the identity of a man who bought stolen rifles from the former chief financial officer of Maxwell Industries.  What he didn’t expect was to run into his former fiancée, Bailey Adams, having breakfast with his main suspect.  Upon seeing her, he wonders how she knows this guy.  Moments after talking to the couple, gunshots ring out.  His first thought is for Bailey’s safety.  She escapes the gunfire and he soon realizes he is her only hope of escape.  Can he save her and regain her affections as well? Bailey Adams has been in Mexico almost two years teaching at a missionary school.  She sees Danny and immediately remembers her rejection of his proposal.  She knows she is good at running away from conflict as that is why she is now escorting a young student back to America to visit her grandparents.  A loc…

Terminus Author: Catherine Leggitt

Image
Title:  Terminus Author:  Catherine Leggitt Pages:  356 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Mountainview Books My rating is 4 stars. Sometimes I can tell whether a novel is one I want to read or perhaps not at the moment.  Yes, sometimes it is the cover that either draws or repels, especially if the author is new to me.  Other times it’s a feeling I get that the story may be happy or sad, delve into hard topics or any other sense.  With this particular novel, I knew it was going to be hard to read because of the suffering written regarding the child character.  Let’s face it none us of wants to see or hear about a child suffering because it makes us aware of what we cannot do.  However, it can also allow us to experience God and know God as He reveals Himself amidst suffering or tragedy. If you recently lost someone, I would wait to read the book.  The story both drew me in and repelled me as I knew the ending was going to be something other than what I desired.  What the author does however is …

Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2)

Image
Title:  Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) Author:  Sarah Sundin Pages:  400 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5+ stars. We met most of the characters in book one by the same author titled, Through Waters Deep.  Here, the story focuses on Lillian Avery who is pharmacist and Ensign Archer Vandenberg.  Lillian comes from a big family, though with normal sibling laughter and sometimes strife.  Archer is an only child and heir to a vast fortune, but joined the Navy so as not to be forced to follow in his father’s footsteps. Lillian has taught herself to be independent and that includes not leaning on her Lord, after she had suffered losing a part of a leg in a childhood accident.  Lillian refuses to let her heart be loved or be soft because she sees it as weakness plus a former experience taught her how deep one can be hurt when a heart is risked in allowing someone to love them. Archer too is a wounded man though he is seeking to allow the Lord to change him and to over…

The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor #2)

Image
Title:  The Reluctant Duchess (Ladies of the Manor #2) Author:  Roseanna M. White Pages:  400 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Bethany House My rating is 4 stars. The Duke of Nottingham or Brice to his friends has always gotten by on his charm.  He does have a strong relationship with the Lord and seeks His counsel often.  However, now God has asked him to marry a stranger to protect her.  Brice wants to ignore God, but God is persistently telling him to marry her.  Brice goes through with the marriage to this Scottish woman, Rowena Kinnaird and finds a woman terrified of most everything.  His friends and relatives question his hasty marriage, but he tells them what God wanted him to do.  In addition to a new marriage to basically a stranger, Brice is still in possession of the Fire Eyes diamonds.  These diamonds and their story take place in book one in the series, The Lost Heiress.  Brice is sure Lady Pratt and her brother are still after the jewels and will do anything to get them, but the…

The Beautiful Pretender

Image
Title:  The Beautiful Pretender Author:  Melanie Dickerson Pages: 314 Year: 2016 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 stars. Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also, follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988 Avelina is a servant to Lady Dorothea, daughter of the Earl of Plimwald, but when her lady runs away with one of her father’s knights, the Earl calls upon Avelina to pretend to be his daughter and go represent him at Thornbeck Castle.  Avelina agrees if the Earl will provide monthly provisions for her family and a dowry for her.  The purpose of her trip to Thornbeck is to be considered by Reinhart, the Margrave of Thornbeck, along with nine other ladies, for marriage.  Avelina must not only pretend to be Dorothea but also not marry the Margrave since it would be improper for a noble and servant to wed.  But the …

The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1)

Image
Title:  The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1) Author:  Tosca Lee Pages:  336 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Howard Books My rating is 4 stars. I read many books a year and for the first time in over the last 4 years I have been reviewing books of all kinds, this is the first review I wasn’t sure how to write.  The Progeny caused a lot of internal confusion for me as I read a book that included material I don’t agree should be in a Christian novel.  While the author never goes beyond a certain line when telling readers what the characters are doing, I got tired of it being repeated throughout the book.  What was the novel supposed to speak to the audience?  Was the book sci-fi, fantasy, or some other genre? Emily Porter wakes up and can’t remember her name, but that’s okay as she eventually realizes that was the point of the procedure.  She has left herself a note to live a happy life and don’t search for answers as to why she chose to forget.  Her real name is Audra Ellison. …

Someone Like You Author: Victoria Bylin

Image
Title:  Someone Like You               Author:  Victoria Bylin Pages:  352 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5+ stars. How does a person describe a novel that tugs at the heart and soul of a reader with such depth of emotion?  It’s very refreshing to see Christian authors write stories that have their characters work through some tough issues as well as ordinary life experiences.  One of the best qualities of the story is how it reflects the redemption possible for anyone who has done anything they are ashamed of in life.  Another quality is how it shows love of such an infinite God who can do what we most definitely can’t foresee happening or even imagine it becoming a reality. Here are two people, Zeke and Julia, who were once a couple in college and now years later meet again accidentally.  You’ll read about Julia who is a single mom, a young Christian, and an entrepreneur.  Zeke who Julia believes is still the strong and unshakeable Christian is now someone who looks …

Double Header Author: Clarice G. James

Image
Title:  Double Header Author:  Clarice G. James Pages:  312 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Mountainview Books My rating is 5+ stars. The more I read the more I begin to appreciate the ability authors have to share a good story with their audience.  One characteristic that can easily be observed in real life happening in families with more than one child is how various attitudes as well as behaviors are exhibited.  Sometimes when the offspring exhibit one or the other parental traits most can laugh and say that it was just like Dad or just like Mom.  For instance, our firstborn tends to be like me in that he has learned to overcome personal obstacles and instead allows them to strengthen him.  Our second born son shows he is like his Dad in that he is more of a homebody and loves movies. In the book, those types of things and more characterize the two siblings both now grown and married.  After their father died a couple of years later, their mother remarried.  As their life was going along,…

Through the Shadows (The Golden Gate Chronicles #3)

Image
Title:  Through the Shadows (The Golden Gate Chronicles #3) Author:  Karen Barnett Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Abingdon Press My rating is 5 stars.



This third and final book in The Golden Gate Chronicles series is a winner!  The setting is San Francisco approximately two years after the great earthquake about 1909.  Charles McKinley is a new graduate from law school and has been given a job in his uncle’s law firm.  He, however, soon discovers his uncle’s law firm focuses on whatever and whoever can make his uncle money with the thought of defending those less fortunate definitely looked down on.  Charles secretly longs to help those seeking justice regardless of their social status of which Elizabeth King and her family are among, but his uncle makes it clear his job is to increase the wealth and social position of the firm. Elizabeth King thought her life would be on stage performing piano concerts.  She has taken lessons for years and has a God-given talent.  However, due …

Bearing Witness (Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship)

Image
Title:  Bearing Witness (Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship) Author:  Charles E. Moore & Timothy Keiderling Pages:  242 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Plough Publishing My rating is 4 stars. Let’s start with understanding a basic definition of the word martyr, which is “a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.”  The next step I took was reading the Introduction written by John D. Roth and Elizabeth Miller.  I highly recommend readers do read the Introduction as it gives a framework for the stories included in the publication. As I read, I noticed that authors included many who died for their faith from various religious institutions or faiths.  The authors started with those who are known martyrs in the Bible and continued to the present day.  The book is a result of a project titled, Bearing Witness Stories and more information can be found at www.martyrstories.org The goal of the project “invites Anabaptist communities worldwide to share…

Traces of Guilt (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case)

Image
Title:  Traces of Guilt (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case) Author:  Dee Henderson Pages:  400 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5+ stars. In Carin, Illinois there lurks in the past secrets that cost people their lives that no one ever found about till now.  In comes Evie Blackwell who is tasked with solving two cold cases:  one of a child abducted and never found the other, the other the disappearance of a family of three.  What is about to be uncovered will surprise the local town folk, but none more than the Thane family.  Their father was the sheriff and now the older brother holds that position.  The middle son is a recently returned soldier and the youngest son owns some local businesses. I looked forward to reading Dee’s newest novel since I spotted it coming soon some time back on a bookstore site.  The novel for me was well worth the wait as it was filled with suspense along with hope-filled romance.  Each of the three brothers is a bachelor, and the family is a tight f…

Murder Comes by Mail (A Hidden Springs Mystery #2)

Image
Title:  Murder Comes by Mail (A Hidden Springs Mystery #2) Author:  A.H. Gabhart Pages:  352 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 stars. Michael Keane is a deputy sheriff in the small town of Hidden Springs.  He likes the small town life and was happy to return home after a few years serving on a big city police force.  Not much happens in Hidden Springs and that is why the love of his life, Alexandria Sheridan, has moved on to bigger things like being a power attorney for a law firm in Washington, D.C.  She can’t understand why Michael doesn’t push himself to climb the ladder of success.  While Michael longs for a life with Alexandria or Alex, he is afraid to pursue a relationship with her because he can’t see either of them giving up their current lifestyles. However, Michael’s life is changed the day he drives the church bus onto a bridge and sees a man about to jump to his death.  Michael is driving his aunt’s Sunday School class to see a play in a nearby town.  Michael …

Unintended Target (The Unintended Series #1)

Image
Title: Unintended Target (The Unintended Series #1) Author:  D. L. Woods Pages:  270 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Create Space My rating is 5+ stars. If you’re like me and really like reading a story with suspense, high tension and more, here is a brand new author with a brand new series!  I must say this novel of suspense was a story on steroids as it never lets up with more twists and turns than I can remember.  I found this treasure as I was surfing Amazon looking for books to read, new authors or something that was outside the normal box in writing style.  D. L. Woods does a phenomenal job of grabbing the reader’s attention and interest right from the start all the way to the epilogue!  There is a sequel to come out this year titled Unintended Witness that will continue with the main characters we meet in book one.  Normally one would have to drink caffeine to stay alert, but this book does it for you! A young woman loses her twin brother in a car accident and what he has done will ca…

Every Bride Has Her Day (Brides with Style #3)

Image
Title:  Every Bride Has Her Day (Brides with Style #3) Author:  Janice Thompson Pages:  352 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 stars. Janice Thompson’s Brides with Styles novels will definitely touch your heart with romance, faith and laughter.  Some of the ladies in the small town named Fairfield with their antics will definitely make you laugh!  Janice Thompson knows how to write a tale that is balanced with romance, a sprinkle of heart-touching moments topped with older ladies who are just a hoot! I have enjoyed a couple of Janice’s wedding series and have never been left with anything other than a feeling of joy.  The characters are lifelike to be sure and like small towns everyone is aware of what is happening in their neighbor’s life.  When the wedding draws closer for Katie Sue to Brady James, the bride’s nerves are stretched far when the small town of Fairfield is in the middle of a split! Thankfully all things work out and Katie’s wedding is a dream and special as…

Hunting Hope (Dig through the Darkness to Find the Light)

Image
\\


Title:  Hunting Hope (Dig through the Darkness to Find the Light) Author:  Nika Maples Pages:  240 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Worthy My rating is 4 stars. In Hebrews, we are reminded in chapter twelve that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Perhaps those witnesses are from the present as well as the past.  We can reflect to the world around us the glory of God in ways we cannot even fathom.  The life experience of Nika really is beyond words though she does a great job sharing very transparently what she experienced in her life. People will read of a testament to what God can do as well as what goes on inside of a person when there is no way to express it to others outwardly.  When Nika couldn’t talk or motion to other people her desires, she learned that one can always seek and talk with God.  Plus, as her title suggests when we are very low and no human power can touch the area of our hearts that is for God alone, we seek hope.  We don’t seek hope as a feeling, but hop…

Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2)

Image
Title:  Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) Author:  Sarah Sundin Pages:  400 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 stars. Lillian Avery has finally got the job of her dreams…a pharmacist in Boston.  She has gone to college and trained for this job.  She is a hard worker and wants to do her best.  Her employer is less than enthusiastic that he has hired a female let along a “cripple” as he calls her.  Lillian determines to earn her place and refuses to give up.  She notices some irregularities in the supply of a certain drug.  Why does the pharmacy need so much of this particular drug?  This is a mystery Lillian is determined to solve.  She also has gained the attention of her brother’s best friend much to her annoyance.  She thinks Arch Vandenberg can’t really be interested in her.  He must just feel sorry for her, right?  Can she trust Arch after her former boyfriend hurt her so badly? Arch Vandenberg is an Ensign in the Navy who has been assigned Boston as his port. …

The Earl’s Betrothal Author: Karen Tuft

Image
Title:  The Earl’s Betrothal Author:  Karen Tuft Pages:  264 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc. My rating is 4 stars. Anthony Harvgreaves has returned from the dead or so his family thinks.  He was a captain, serving in the Peninsular War in 1812.  He was wounded, taken by his best friend to a private home for treatment and no body was found so he was presumed dead.  His family was notified, bringing further devastation to them as Anthony’s older brother had been killed a few short months prior in a riding accident.  Anthony arrives home to the astonishment of his household, but with great relief and joy.  He is hailed as a hero, but his emotional trauma from war continues to haunt him.  He only finds some peace when he is with Amelia Clarke his mother’s companion.  However, now that he is the heir and an earl he must marry quickly from someone of his same station and fill his nursery to appease his ailing father. Amelia Clarke is resigned to be a spinster, but enj…

The League & the Lantern

Image
Title:  The League & the Lantern Author:  Brian Wells Pages:  282 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Republic Ink My rating is 5 stars. The League and the Lantern is a really fun book to read for the middle school crowd.  It’s about a young boy named Jake Herndon who is ready for seventh grade, but things aren’t working out for him.  After an embarrassing disaster with sixth grade, he hopes this new school he is going to will provide him with new opportunities and a fresh start.  When he arrives at the Museum of Science and Industry for the school sleep-over, Jake makes two new friends, TJ and Lucy.  During a game of finding clues, the museum comes under attack and the trio immediately find themselves thrust into danger.  The children are forced to run and hide from the mysterious attackers and soon discover that they are after the gloves that belonged to Abraham Lincoln himself!  The children take the gloves with them and are unsure of whom they can trust as they find danger waiting for the…

The Quieting (The Bishop’s Family #2)

Image
Title:  The Quieting (The Bishop’s Family #2) Author:  Suzanne Woods Fisher Pages:  352 Year: 2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 stars. Book #1 of the series is titled The Imposter written by the same author.  In book two the characters are continued as well as the story line introduced in The Imposter.  For example the current bishop who switched the pieces of paper for the next bishop to be chosen did so to make sure he was “chosen”. Freeman Glick continues to throw accusations against the minister David and others without repenting of what he did which puts the congregation on a path of possibly choosing to use church discipline. David who is the minister and owns a store is a widower raising his younger children by himself along with help from the oldest child still living at home.  His daughter Katrina is still living with an older woman caring for her and recently became her heir of her land when she passes on.  Jesse is now handling the repair of buggies by himself and liv…

None Like Him (10 Ways God is Different Us & Why That’s a Good Thing)

Image
Title:  None Like Him (10 Ways God is Different Us & Why That’s a Good Thing) Author:  Jen Wilkin Pages:  176 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Crossway My rating is 5 stars. As I read the book it quickly became apparent that the author was going to be transparent in what she learned as she encourages us to learn.  Jen Wilkin shares ten characteristics about God, one per chapter, with space for response after reading each chapter.  First, she gives more Scripture references to read and reflect upon.  The verses are for us to meditate on, in other words think about them over and over again.  Second, there are questions that help facilitate reflection.  As people who seek after God we want to reflect upon what He has taught us in the chapter and through His Word.  Third, there is a suggestion for prayer.  I find that when using books such as these it is best to write in a notebook so that there is no limit to writing what is on my heart because of space.  Plus, if I use a notebook, I can pic…

The End of Law

Image
Title:  The End of Law Author:  Therese Down Pages:  320 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Lion Publications My rating is 4 stars. Hitler was a lost person in more ways than one along with the many men who followed his orders without question or conviction.  The author points though to the youth who at the cost of their own lives spoke truth to their countrymen, reminding them of who the German people really were and  should rise up to be again. Many novels and nonfiction books remind us, teach us and make us aware of what happened when evil went unchecked in a nation.  The author really writes a heart-gripping tale of how life changed for one German family when the husband, father and man chose to seek accolades from a mad man in power.  In the book, you will also read of the way it affected the character to do Hitler’s selective killing.  There is some detail in the book, but mainly it is a tale of the people who decided to stand up and then kneel down before God, making others aware of the …

The Preacher’s Lady

Image
Title:  The Preacher’s Lady Author:  Lori Copeland Pages:  224 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers My rating is 4 stars. Bo Garrett and Elly Sullivan are in love and don’t care who knows it.  They are young teenagers and can’t wait to start their married lives together when Bo turns seventeen.  When Bo turns seventeen, however, he tells Elly he feels restless and wants to see a little of the country before settling down and farming cranberries.  Elly understands and lets Bo go after he assures her that he will be back in about a month.  Seven years later Bo arrives home, but only because his father’s health is failing and he needs Bo’s help harvesting the cranberry crop. Elly tells herself she has moved on and accepts a proposal from another, but can’t make herself set a wedding date.  She is angry and hurt with how Bo has treated her and wants nothing to do with him.  Bo has returned a changed man, dedicating his life to serving God.  What has happened over the last sev…

The Inheritance (Secrets of the Shetlands #1)

Image
Title:  The Inheritance (Secrets of the Shetlands #1) Author:  Michael Phillips Pages:  432 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5+ stars. Many undertake to share stories with people through writing novels with various points of view, themes, and different genres.  Few books are able to touch the soul of a reader deeply; perhaps a few will still be remembered for a long time.  Books take the audience to all sorts of places, on adventures and beg the reader to release the mind’s ability to “imagine”. In a way that I haven’t come across in many books, both fiction and nonfiction, Michael Phillips shares a very heart-gripping tale.  At first I wrestled with some of the language spoken by characters on Shetland Island, even though the author wrote it with more of an English dialect.  I am not gifted in languages, even English, so it is a blessing to have a friend who edits my reviews!  Part of the story takes place on the island or the mainland; other parts take place in America. …

Deception (Mountain Cove) Author: Elizabeth Goddard

Image
Title:  Deception (Mountain Cove) Author:  Elizabeth Goddard Pages:  224 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense My rating is 5 stars. One of the best things I love about these novels is that they capture the attention of the reader from page one and keep it till the end!  Another is that these books are entertaining, adventurous, filled with suspense and not overly focused on romance.  I like romance, but with it in the background and a great tale wrapped around it. Deception is a gripping novel that begins with a woman being pushed to the rampaging falls below.  The main female character is a widow who is in her mid-40s, which I like, plus how she faces her trials which seems to run concurrent.  Now it appears the author leads us to know pretty quickly who the person was who attempts to murder Jewel Caraway.  However, don’t be fooled too easily as you will enjoy reading and discovering there is more to the mystery than meets the eye! If you’re the type of reader who loves sus…

The Magnolia Duchess (Gulf Coast Chronicles #3)

Image
Title:  The Magnolia Duchess (Gulf Coast Chronicles #3) Author:  Beth White Pages:  352 Year:  2016 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 4 stars. Charlie Kincaid and Fiona Lanier are reunited in a most unusual manner.  Charlie washed up on the shore near Mobile with his memory gone.  Fiona immediately recognizes Charlie, but he doesn’t remember her at first.  Fiona had a crush on Charlie when they first met years ago at his grandfather’s estate in Britain.  She soon realizes that Charlie holds a position in the British Navy, but is he a spy sent to Mobile to gain information about America’s armed forces?  Fiona is impulsive, loyal, beautiful and driving Charlie crazy!  He loses his heart to her almost immediately, even as his memory returns and his mission comes back into focus.  Fiona thinks Charlie has always had a little piece of her heart since meeting him and now he has all of her heart, but how can there be a future for them when they are on opposing sides of a war?  Along with Fion…