Monday, June 24, 2019

Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2)


Title:  Unbreakable (Road to Kingdom #2)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  330
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
 Set in the modern day Mennonite Community of Kingdom, Unbreakable is the second book in Nancy Mehl’s romantic suspense “Road to Kingdom” series.  The first book is titled Inescapable, which has been reviewed by this blogger previously.  Kingdom is located in a remote part of Kansas.
 Hope Kauffman is a 26-year-old, single woman still living with her father, who is a widower.  He owns a quilt store and Hope runs the store.  Once a month, she travels by horse and buggy to the larger town of Washington for supplies for the store.  On her return trip, she is run off the road by a truck.  She calms her horse down, gets out of the ditch, and waves to the driver who has turned his truck around.  The truck moves forward and Hope thinks he is coming to help her, but the truck keeps gaining speed.  He isn’t going to help her, but run her over!  Then, shortly thereafter someone in Kingdom is actually killed when their buggy is run over.  This isn’t the first instance of Christians being targeted for harm.  Other communities have had their churches set on fire.  Who is doing this?  How can the people of Kingdom protect themselves when they believe in not taking up arms for defense?  They live by the tenet that God is their protector and they need nothing else.  At least most of them try to live this way.  Hope has always believed this, but with her recent experience she begins to question if this is really how God wants her to live.
 Hope is engaged to Ebbie Miller.  They have known each other since the first grade, but didn’t discover their love for each other until recently.  At least that is what Hope thinks.  She learns, however, that Ebbie has always loved her.  Can Hope love Ebbie without comparing him to another?  Jonathon Wiese has been watching Hope, but has done nothing more as she is engaged to Ebbie.  However, Hope has realized she has feelings for Jonathon and her engagement to Ebbie is broken.  Is there a future for Hope and Jonathon?  He declares his love for Hope soon after he learns of her broken engagement.  He has lived in the community only a year and has advocated changes that not everyone likes.  He wants some things to change, looking to adapting to the future.  Ebbie disagrees and thinks Kingdom must remain grounded in their original beliefs.  Can Hope truly be happy with Jonathon?  Hope’s father is adamantly opposed to a marriage between Hope and Jonathon.  Will Hope go against her father’s wishes?
 This is a story that will keep you turning pages until the end.  I had to keep reading to find out who was terrorizing Christians and why.  It was neat to see how the various characters reacted to certain situations and to see their faith at work.  I don’t know if there is another book planned in this series, but I sure hope so!

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Jensen Brand (Jensen Brand Series #1)

Title:  The Jensen Brand (Jensen Brand Series #1)
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  304
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating:  5 out of 5 stars
The Jensen family is very close knit and they come to each other’s aid whenever trouble arises.  In this first book of a new series, with the second book, Too Soon to Die, slated to be released August 2019, the family is reunited.  Smoke and Sally Jensen’s two grown twins have been overseas for a while.  Now, they return home to Sugarloaf ranch and right smack into the middle of attempting to capture rustlers stealing cattle.
Now that Denise and Louis are home, Smoke is hoping to hand off to his son Louis the reins to the ranch.  His daughter, who goes by the name Denny, wants to be out in the thick of the ranch work not being homebound doing domesticated work.  Louis has a heart condition and won’t ever be able to ride the range, but he has a sharp mind and desires to pursue a different career than his parents.
What occurs in the story will grab your attention and keep it there as bullets fly, rustlers are hunted, and Denny has this wild idea of dealing with the rustlers when her father Smoke is hurt.  I really enjoyed watching the twins interact, knowing each other so well and anticipating what the other is wanting to do while all Denny wants to do is get the name of the man who is after her father.
What a fun book this was to read!  The action scenes are many!  Sally and Smoke are such a cute couple and still very much in love even though they have been married for years.  The Jensen family sticks together and aids one another whenever a call for help is issued.  Before the second book is published, grab The Jensen Brand and be ready for their continuing story!
Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Reluctant Belle (The Daughtry House Series #2)

Title:  A Reluctant Belle (The Daughtry House Series #2)

Author:  Beth White

Pages:  363 (ARC)

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Joelle Daughtry has a dream of opening a school in her home state of Mississippi to teach the recently freed slaves after the Civil War., or Recent Unpleasantness as Southerners would say.  However, finding the money and the support for such an endeavor is proving to be difficult.  There are still many people who are against slaves being freed.  There are organizations that actively pursue a goal of making life very difficult for the former slaves, sometimes to the point of killing them.  Joelle has been courted for about a year by the pastor of a local Methodist church.  She doesn’t love him but admires his professed beliefs.  She wants a family, but should she marry to obtain that?  Her childhood nemesis, Schuyler Beaumont, has said he will help her fund the school.  She begins to view him differently even though they still antagonize and torment each other.

Schuyler Beaumont is the second son of a wealthy businessman.  After the war, he begins to see slaves in a new light and wants to help them.  He is devastated when his father is murdered by an unknown shooter.  He decides he will hunt down the murderer and serve him justice.  His father was a budding politician and killed at a political rally with freed slaves one of the topics.  He finds some clues that lead him to believe one of the pro-slavery organizations is responsible for the shooting.  He infiltrates the organization to try to capture the killer.  Meanwhile, he is spending time with the Daughtry family and examines his heart one day.  He is shocked to discover that he loves Joelle but what can he do about it?

This is a wonderful romance with plenty of humor when the two lead characters interact.  Oh, I bet their relationship is full of laughs.  Joelle and Schuyler both see God at work in their lives and give him the credit for it.  I loved the setting of the antebellum south and am always interested in Civil War era stories.  Joelle’s ability to see past skin color to the heart of a person was inspiring, especially from one raised in the South during a time of slavery.  She valued people and knew God has put her dream in her heart to serve His purpose.  I hope there is a third book focusing on Aurora, the third Daughtry daughter!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2)

Title:  The Highest of Hopes (Canadian Crossings #2)

Author:  Susan Anne Mason

Pages:  377

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Jonathan Rowe has recently returned home after serving in WWI.  His best friend since childhood, Emmaline Moore, has no idea that he has loved her for years.  He has kept his true feelings hidden as she has shown no romantic inclinations toward him.  He is now faced with a journey overseas to Canada with her as her companion.  There is no way he was willing to have her travel alone across the ocean to meet a family she has never met before.  He secretly hopes that he will be able to woo Emma, declare his intentions toward her and their future, and bring her home to England to begin their lives together.

Emmaline Moore’s grandfather has died.  He was her only remaining family, or so she thought.  She finds some letters in a desk drawer that reveal she isn’t an orphan as she had always been told.  Her father is still alive and living in Canada.  She has always dreamed of having the love of a parent and sets out to gain just that.  She sells her grandfather’s watch business and sets out with her best friend, Jonathan, to join the father she always wanted.  She has no doubt that he will be overjoyed to see her and embrace her with love.  She arrives and discovers dreams aren’t reality, but she is determined to earn her father’s love.  She decides to stay in Canada to do just that, but at what cost?

Susan Anne Mason has a wonderful talent by writing in such a way as to draw the emotions of the reader to her well-crafted characters.  I was feeling the angst, grief, fear as well as love, friendship, and genuine affection of the characters as they faced trials in their relationships.  I also enjoyed the personal acknowledgment at the end of the story, detailing how some of the book was part of the author’s own history.  I can hardly wait for the next book from this author’s pen!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

How the Light Gets In

Title:  How the Light Gets In

Author:  Jolina Petersheim

Pages:  400

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating:  5+ out of 5 stars

I have read this author’s other novels:  The Midwife, The Outcast, The Alliance, and The Divide.  I enjoyed each story she shared with readers, but this one for me is really the best of her work thus far.  The brilliance in the story is revealed at the end which is surprising and heart-grabbing to say the least!  Here is a book I would recommend to married couples which will be understood after it has been read cover to cover.

The book is raw emotion, heart-engaging and gripping to the max!  Best of all it brings out the hope that lies dormant in the heart if not stirred occasionally by stories like this book.  Jolina also shares her own life and heart at the end of the book to show us that all of us struggle and can battle by praying for our spouses to come out the other side changed and filled with hope.

As I read the book, at times, I was wondering why the author went the way she did with the characters’ actions or words, but the brilliance in the tale is quite bright when readers are done.  I enjoyed the tough issues Jolina’s characters had to face, then cry out to God and wait for Him to act on their behalf.  I didn’t want to stop reading the book because my heart wanted to know the answers to the questions asked, or the next pregnant pause that made me catch my breath as I awaited the revelation.

Jolina’s other novels are very enjoyable and I highly recommend them.  How the Light Gets In though really sets this work apart from her others, and readers will be talking about it long after they are through.  Get ready for a heart-pulling ride as you turn pages and then the hope that floods your soul when you understand at the end all that occurred earlier in the story.  What an awesome book I am sharing with a friend and hoping you will too after you read it!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1)


Title:  Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  336
Year:  2018
Publisher:  Bethany Publishers
My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.
What a fantastic, gripping and mysterious tale that comes from the pen of Nancy Mehl!  Before I continue let me share with you that book two of the series titled, Firestorm, comes out August 2019 and I can hardly wait!
Kaely Quinn is a behavioral analyst for the FBI.  The way she does this will really grab your attention!  What is even more gripping is the character’s history and how her fellow FBI agents treat her.  Kaely lives only for justice to be served, but someone is stalking her.  The whole time I was reading the book I kept wondering who was after her and what part of her memory wouldn’t let her remember whatever it is that the stalker thinks she knows.
When Kaely is assigned to work with another FBI agent, she about has a fit but must decide to either deal with the new assignment or resign.  The man assigned to her doesn’t want her for a partner either but again has no choice.  The case they are working together is proving extremely dangerous and the subject is always one step ahead of the agents.
I was captured by the story from the first page until the very end!  It’s suspense, thrills and danger with mystery in the background.  I kept trying to figure it out, but the author does an excellent job of throwing in some curves that made me rethink my conclusions a couple of times.  So, if you like mystery with a possible long shot at romance, here is your next book to enjoy!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Fatal Frost (Defenders of Justice #1)


Title:  Fatal Frost (Defenders of Justice #1)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  304
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
In her newest series, Defenders of Justice, readers are introduced to a U. S. Marshal character named Mercy Brennan.  Mercy’s coworkers give her a nickname that implies how well guarded Mercy keeps her heart and life.  As readers progress through the book, it is revealed why Mercy protects herself from what she believes will end up hurting or breaking her heart.  Mercy has few friends from within the service and from other agencies, but with danger rapidly closing in on her life Mercy may have to face her past head on!
In a tale of danger, suspense and unending battles, the flavor of a great suspenseful tale is revealed.  The author does more than simply write a good book; she draws her audience into the adventure of the story and keeps them engaged as the plot unfolds.  At times, when I least expected, Nancy Mehl would bring a sudden change into the tale that would ramp up my heartbeat!
Nancy Mehl has written many books in her career and I have enjoyed reading her novels.  Now, in her Defenders series, I was even more engrossed in the plot, the lives of her characters and the suspense that didn’t let up till the very end.  Personally, I cannot wait until the next story of the series comes out so I can see where Mercy is as well as some of the supporting cast.  Keep up the great storytelling Nancy!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary #2)


Title:  Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary #2)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  329
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Fantastic!  I enjoyed the first book in this series, Gathering Shadows, so much that I could hardly wait for the second book and hope that it was as good.  I surely wasn’t disappointed!  This book is set in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri.  This is a former conservative Mennonite town that is tucked away from the outside world and the members of this community like it that way.  There are still several conservative Mennonite families, but now there are also contemporary or more modern families as well.  This story focuses on Sarah Miller, the town’s school teacher.
Sarah Miller must face some very unpleasant news right at the beginning of the story.  Her sister Hannah has been found murdered, leaving her 10-year-old daughter an orphan.  Sarah immediately claims her sister’s daughter, her niece Cicely, as her own.  Upon hearing some of the details of her sister’s death from the detective in charge of the case, Sarah isn’t sure that Hannah’s death was the result of a burglary gone wrong.  Sarah thinks Hannah was murdered.  She enlists the help of the deputy Paul Gleason.  Paul finds Sarah attractive, but he won’t act on his feelings until this case is settled.  As Sarah comes to depend on Paul more and more, she wonders if they could have a future together.  First, she must find her sister’s killer.  However, Sarah is unprepared for the backlash that she unwittingly releases with her digging into the past.  More people are killed, but Sarah refuses to give up.
There is tension galore in this suspense-filled story.  I couldn’t put the book down!  I could readily identify with Sarah’s insecurities about herself, and I loved the moment of realization she understands how God created her to be the way she is.  She discovers she has been putting her insecurities ahead of her faith in God.  Just a great moment in the story!  Paul also is a worthy man who puts Sarah and her welfare before his own.  I can’t wait for the next one!  Great job Nancy!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice #2)

Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice #2)

Title:  Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice #2)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  308
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This is another great suspense thriller from Nancy Mehl!  I have read most of her books and have found them all to be well-written and exciting with plenty of tension that builds to an exciting climax.  The setting in this story is in a small town in Arkansas in the present day.  Kate is in the Witness Protection Program and living under an assumed identity.  She was the only witness to her sister’s murder six years ago.  It is soon found out that her sister was the victim of a serial killer.  Tony DeLuca is the Federal Marshal who protected her during the trial all those years ago.  Kate developed a crush on Tony, but he kept his distance, thinking she was too young.  Now, new evidence has been discovered that might clear the man Kate sent to jail.  Tony is sent to bring Kate back for another trial.
In this story, Kate has walled herself off from God and everyone else as she has buried her grief and pain over her sister’s murder.  She has put it in a box and won’t open it; it is too painful.  Tony DeLuca has arrived in town to escort her to testify yet again.  Kate doesn’t want to see her sister’s killer again.  It brings back the fear, pain and grief; it hurts too much.  Tony gently advises her to deal with her grief so that God can heal her.  She wants that relationship with God re-established, but can she open that box and let go and let God?  Tony rents a cabin at a local fishing resort, but is attacked and left for dead.  He survives, but he is now on full alert and in protection mode for Kate.  Before Kate can decide whether to deal with her emotions or not or even leave to testify, she is kidnapped by an unseen man.  As soon as Tony discovers Kate is missing, he is on the move to rescue her, but will he find her in time?
  This is a page turner to be sure!  I kept glued to the pages in anticipation to see how Kate and Tony were going to get out of many adverse situations.  The danger mounted and some of the pieces of the puzzle began to fall in place, but how would the story end?  How would the loose threads be tied together?  You’ll just have to get a copy for yourself to find out!  It was an exciting page-turner from beginning to end.  Don’t miss this one!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Blown Away (Curl Up & Dye Mystery #2)


Title:  Blown Away (Curl Up & Dye Mystery #2)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  256
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Hilde Higgins and her boyfriend Adam are due to attend the funeral of one of Adam’s friends from their ministry Clowns for Christ who was accidentally electrocuted while working on a house.  The members of the troupe are attending in full dress as clowns.  Adam asks Hilde to stop by the gravesite before the service to make sure the deceased member’s clown hat is atop the gravestone.  What Hilde discovers is not a hat at the head of the grave, but another dead body in the hole for the grave!  As information is gathered about the crime, Adam becomes the prime suspect.
Hilde and her next-door neighbor, Gabe, are determined to clear Adam’s name.  Along the way, Hilde must come to terms with her feelings of abandonment by her father as it is causing her some doubts about Adam.  Hilde also has her best friend wanting to attend church with Hilde for the first time and perhaps opening the door to allow Christ in her life.  Gabe also has a mysterious man looking for him and Hilde just knows Gabe is hiding under a secret identity and will be forced to leave to avoid discovery.  Gabe won’t talk about his past, which leaves Hilde wondering about his future.  Plus, with the information she and Gabe have gathered, she begins to wonder if the first clown death was truly an accident and who could be responsible for the deaths of two clowns.
I really like the hometown feel of these mysteries.  When disaster strikes, the small town of Eden bands together to help one another.  I also like the witty dialogue between Hilde and Adam, as well as Gabe’s godly advice.  That is so needed and special for Hilde, whose own father left her life at a young age to run off with a young woman.  Hilde lives her faith, which is evident to her best friend Paula who has not had the best of Christian examples in her judgmental parents who claim to be Christians.  Hilde knows Paula needs Jesus and Hilde patiently waits for Paula to come to Him.  The mystery is interesting and will keep readers’ attention.  Grab a copy of a good, solid, Christian mystery and enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2019


Title:  Unforeseeable (Road to Kingdom #3)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  329
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
With Unforeseeable, readers have the next book in the Road to Kingdom series set in a small Mennonite community in present day Kansas.  Almost all the characters from the prior two novels in the series make appearances in this third novel.  The focus of this story is on Callie Hoffman and Levi Housler.
Levi is now the pastor of Kingdom.  Some of the older members in the church think he is too young to pastor their flock and begin campaigning against him.  Levi is a dedicated pastor and wants only to do God’s will.  He is confused by the conflict as the members stirring up trouble voted for him to become pastor!  Is he truly where God wants him to be?  One thing he knows for sure and that is he loves Callie.  He will support her decisions no matter the cost to himself.  Then, the cold cruel world intrudes on Kingdom.  The new sheriff stops by to tell them of a serial murder in the area and to warn them of the danger.  A dead body is found clutching one of Levi’s books.  Those who want Levi out of leadership seize this event to stir up even more trouble.  Is anyone safe in Kingdom?  Who is the unseen killer?
Callie Hoffman is working at the one restaurant in town that is owned by her best friend, Lizzie Housler, who is married to Levi’s brother, Noah.  Callie has sold her home after her father’s death four months ago and is living in an apartment above the restaurant.  An incident involving an innocent child being treated cruelly brings to the surface a raging anger Callie didn’t know she possessed.  She begins to question her relationship with her father after talking to Lizzie.  Has Callie really been living in a dream world and blocked out her father’s emotional abuse?  Slowly Callie realizes she did love her father, but perhaps the relationship isn’t quite how she remembers it.  She is sure about her love for Levi, but does he really love her?  Did he just propose to her because their leader must be married?  Callie begins to question who she is and doesn’t like the answer she finds.  She is fearful of the serial murderer lurking close to the safe haven that was Kingdom.  Is it possible to keep Kingdom from the outside world?
I thought this was the best book in the series.  Callie’s discovery of what she had done to cope with her father and the resultant changes in order to follow what God wants and not what man wants was admirable.  The theme of not letting tradition and “religion” become god instead of following the path God wants is an important lesson for us all.  Every person’s relationship with God will manifest itself in different ways, and as long as we are obedient to Him that is what is important.  There was suspense, romance and lively dialogue between characters that made the story easy to read and very enjoyable.  I recommend reading the other two books in this series first before this one as it will introduce all the characters and provide good background information as the stories move forward.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The Brides of the Big Valley

Title:  The Brides of the Big Valley

Author:  Wanda Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter & Richelle Brunstetter

Pages:  448

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Shiloh Press

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

There are three unique stories inside this single book titled, Deanna’s Determination, Rose Mary’s Resolve and Leilas Longing each by one of the authors noted above.  I found each story tugged on the heart as the tales drew me into what was occurring with the various characters and their situations.  Another aspect of the stories is that they reflected human beings as they are with good and bad qualities.  The stories in no way make the Amish appear more than human beings.

The tales take place in Big Valley, Pennsylvania, which I learned is also known as Kishacoquillas Valley.  There are three different types of communities know as the Black-Toppers, White Toppers and Yellow-Toppers.  Each is explained in the beginning of the book before reading the stories that are placed within these communities.  All this was new information to me and there is more history explained that I believe history lovers will be fascinated by.

The stories have a couple of characters that show up in the other tales in the stories that also drew me into the various plots.  One story reflects how people can treat others with disabilities with respect or not.  Another story shows how a young woman must relearn how to interact with others as well as not being bound by unforgiveness.  The final story shows the tension of choices that young people go through in Amish communities, though I think Amish as well as all people have that tension of choices they each must face some time in life.

I could wax on about the various characters I liked, the way plots progressed and so forth; however, I don’t want to diminish other readers enjoyment of reading for themselves.  The stories tug at the heart that is for certain and it is good to be able to sit and enjoy a story that reflects the faith, hope and love that can grow within the human heart.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Title:  Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  249
Year:  2010
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.
I have read all of Nancy Mehl’s more recent books and was happy to discover she had written this mystery series earlier in her career.  The story is set in Wichita, Kansas in the present.  Hilde Higgins is a young, single woman with a very interesting and some might say strange job.  She is a hairdresser for the deceased.  She styles the hair of dead people before their funeral services.  Her mother is not happy with her career choice, especially since she quit college to pursue this job.
Hilde is called to one of the local funeral homes for a job, but accidentally goes into the wrong room to discover the body of Mabel Winnemaker, awaiting delivery to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.  Hilde is supposed to dress the hair of another woman.  Hilde quickly leaves the room and finds the correct body and proceeds to do her job.  A few days later she is called back to the funeral home to dress the hair of Mabel.  The only problem is the Hilde has a photographic memory and the body she has been told is Mabel is not the same Mabel she saw a few days ago.  She notifies the funeral home owner, but he thinks she has made a mistake.  Then, Hilde is accused of stealing an expensive ring from Mabel’s body and Hilde fears her reputation and career will be ruined.  She sets out to find out where the real Mabel is and to notify Mabel’s family of the situation.
An old friend contacts Hilde to renew their acquaintance and Hilde can sure use his help to find out what happened to Mabel.  Hilde also makes friends with a crusty old gentleman, Gabe, across the street from the boarding house where she lives.  They interaction between Hilde and Gabe were just so funny!  Those conversations were one of my favorite parts of the book and I hope Gabe appears in the other books of the series.  I also liked how Hilde’s faith in God was evident in how she lived her life.  Her best friend was not a believer, but Hilde prayed for her and tried to show her the love of God in how she lives her life.  Hilde’s renewed friendship with Adam also revealed his faith, which I thought was so important for the beginning of a relationship.  I am looking forward to book two in the series, Blown Away.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019



Title:  Inescapable
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  322
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 3 out of 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 .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
 Lizzie Engel is being watched.  Who is the man with the red hat?  Why is he watching her?  Who sent him?  What does he want with her?  Lizzie has begun to receive threatening notes and is very fearful for herself as well as her 6-year-old daughter, Charity.  Lizzie then learns she has been accused of stealing money from her employer.  She is innocent, but has no proof.  Someone has set her up to look guilty.  She fears the authorities will take away her daughter.  She has little money and only one friend.  Where can she go to find safety?  Her only choice is to return home to Kingdom, Kansas.
 Lizzie grew up in a remote, strict, Mennonite town.  Her father was a very harsh disciplinarian and showed her no love.  Her best friend, Noah, vowed to protect her always when they were kids.  Her mother believed in being obedient to her husband and never stood up for herself or her daughter.  Lizzie searched for love as a teenager with her boyfriend, Clay.  She was pressured to show her “love” and got pregnant the first time.  Clay’s parents offered money to pay for an abortion, but Lizzie refused.  Clay and his family left the community, and Lizzie never heard from Clay again.  Lizzie had the baby, but was made to feel so outcast, especially by her own father, that she left the community and God behind.
 Lizzie returns to Kingdom, but her father refuses to let her or her daughter stay at the house.  Her mother is very glad they have come home, but won’t go against her husband’s wishes yet.  Lizzie finds a place to live and a job with the café owner, who is nothing but kind, generous, and loving to her and Charity.  Lizzie begins to see other people from her past and begins to remember that not everything or everyone was bad when she was growing up.  She remembers friends from the past and is reunited with some of them.  She sees Noah for the first time in five years and realizes after they talk that her feelings for him run deeper than friendship.  Does he feel the same?  Would he consider marrying “damaged goods” as Lizzie calls herself?  As she reconnects with the community, she rediscovers God, trusting in Him to lead.
 While in Kingdom, the man with the red hat is spotted.  How could he have found her?  Kingdom isn’t on a map and very few people know how to get there.  She also begins receiving the notes again.  Now, what should she do?  Should she run again?  Where else can she go?
 The themes of forgiveness, mercy, and love run throughout the story via the relationships of the main character with her mother, her best friend, some of her old friends, and her father.  The book has interesting details of how Mennonites live their daily lives.  You’ll have to get a copy to see how everything works out!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Soul of an American President (The Untold Story of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Faith)

Title:  The Soul of an American President (The Untold Story of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Faith)

Author:  Alan Sears, Craig Osten with Ryan Cole

Pages:  240        

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Baker Books

My rating:  5out of 5 stars.

One of the main impacting thoughts I had while reading the book is the fact that every marriage comes to a crossroad where either it will grow stronger from that point or not.  The other thought I had was how the Eisenhowers’ lives were not about riches but of service that developed over the course of their lives along with their faith.

It was interesting to note the different paths both of the Eisenhowers walked in their faith and how that changed from one of privacy to one of public.  They didn’t proclaim their beliefs from the mountaintop; they first lived it out and lived it well they did.  While the book focuses on Ike, one cannot help but be touched his wife’s story too.

I believe the book’s timing is one of providence as today we wrestle with similar issues, facing evil head on, and the wisdom of how marriages can last with faith at the core.  While Ike certainly made mistakes, had a temper and other human qualities, Ike allowed himself to question, be molded and of use to God as a leader who lived his faith long before he spoke about his faith.

I think the book reminds us of the devastating affects evil can have on individuals such as the concentration camps, and the death viewed by both Ike and Patton.  I was taken aback to read that the scene these men viewed made Patton vomit, which shows us that no one cannot be troubled by the results of evil when allowed to grow.

I think the book too is a reminder of those who have gone before us, what they endured, fought for, learned from and passed on to the next generation.  While it is true Ike has been gone for decades, the writings he left behind are instructive in many ways, as well as challenging and encouraging.  Ike was a man who loved his family and America, but above all he loved God.

Thanks to the authors and family members of those who were closest to Ike who shared their treasures of legacy, so we can glimpse the man and his soul.  May we bear the torch passed to us as well as they did when it was passed on to them!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice #3)

Title:  Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice #3)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  320
Year:  2018
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The Defenders of Justice series begins with Fatal Frost followed by Dark Deception before ending with Blind Betrayal.  In Blind Betrayal, we meet up with U. S. Marshals Casey Sloane and her partner who are tasked with getting a witness safely to Washington D.C. to provide evidence against a dangerous man who runs a drug cartel.  Before Casey and her partner can even start their journey, a bomb goes off in the main marshal’s office.  Now, without a way to contact her boss or know the status of the friends she has there who are also her co-workers, she must discipline herself to focus on her mission.
However, danger increases as miscommunication happens.  People are found dead that weren’t near the bomb site and the boss is in surgery fighting for his life.  Without secure phones, Casey isn’t sure who to trust and her partner feels they are on their own when a FBI agent and former friend of Casey’s shows up to help.
Like the other books in the series this one is a riveting and suspense-filled tale with characters who are almost lifelike as the author has crafted them with such personalities and life choices that haunt them.  Casey is a good U.S. Marshal and a tough lady, but here she also comes face-to-face with her past and must decide whether to face it or pretend she is fine.  Their witness puts them at great risk when she does something that allows others to track or find them without the marshals’ knowledge.
There is also a budding romance, and one character who truly seemed like an anomaly to me as I couldn’t tell if he was a protagonist or antagonist.  A couple of the action scenes really put my heart in my throat as I felt like I was there as a witness.  I loved how Nancy showed in the book the impact of people videotaping, posting, texting and how that can help or hinder what is happening with law enforcement and people in action.
I wonder if Nancy will write another installment in this series or if she is starting a new one, either way her books are such a delight to read and time flies quickly!
Enjoy her Defenders of Justice series!  I did!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Running Target (Coldwater Bay Intrigue Series #4)

Title:  Running Target (Coldwater Bay Intrigue Series #4)

Author:  Elizabeth Goddard

Pages:  224

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Love Inspired

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Elizabeth Goddard has written a very exciting and engaging tale that has surprising twists and turns.  When Bree and her partner approach a boat in trouble what looks like a simple assist actually turns into a deadly encounter.  The next thing Bree knows she is in the water and fighting for her life while trying to draw the attention of dangerous men away from her partner.

Now, she must rely on her skills as a deputy and her knowledge of the wooded area close to where she grew up.  Bree’s thoughts are on her Dad and nephew Stevie who she is guardian for since the loss of her brother.  The biggest surprise Bree gets is running into an old flame with whom she has a past that is littered with broken promises and him leaving.  She wants to know more than Quinn is willing to reveal.

What ensues in the book is action, danger, mystery, intrigue and romance.  The ending was classic, and I look forward to the next exciting adventure that comes from the pen of Elizabeth Goddard!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Friday, May 31, 2019

The King’s Mercy (A Novel)

Title:  The King’s Mercy (A Novel)

Author:  Lori Benton

Pages:  400

Year:  2019

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Lori Bentons work is historical, captivating, a page turner set in the 1700s.  She takes readers back to when there were colonies and, in the tale, why a young man named Alex MacKinnon is an indentured man on a plantation.  Alex is far from his native Scotland and now he is going to be a smithy in a strange land, with no family ties and his faith in ruins.

One of my favorite characters was an itinerant preacher, Reverend Pauling, who spoke softly, lovingly and with conviction.  Reverend Pauling suffered physically, but he didnt let that stop him.  In fact, he saw it as something permissible by God.  The man had a heart for people.  It didnt matter how others did or didnt respond to his words or the Scripture readings; he pressed forward.

Phineas Reeves really is a character who tries to hide his true evil self and actions from others, putting on airs but there are those who see through him.  Alex has Joanna, mistress of the plantation, and the reverend on one hand showing him love and encouragement, but Reeves is a thorn in Alexs side constantly.

Joanna, being the plantation mistress, carries many responsibilities including caring for her sister who has limited mental abilities.  Joanna sees people as people regardless of faith, race, station, or any other social way of distinguishing people.  She too is one of my favorite characters who stood her ground, allowed God to grow her faith and yet was tender of heart.

There are other characters who fill in the story with richness and grace, and yes, wickedness too.  Throughout the book I was enthralled by the constant challenges people had living at that time, and how precarious life was every day.  I appreciated the climax at the end of the book that brought various consequences to some and set some others on a new path.

If you enjoy reading historical fiction, dont pass up Loris book!  It is rich, filled with examples of what living by faith looks like, how evil is there to try and bring others down, and so much more!  It was an exciting tale that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope other readers do as well!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Phoenix Rising: Day of Judgment


Title:  Phoenix Rising: Day of Judgment
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  352
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
 When I began reading the fictional series Phoenix Rising (2011), I knew I had come upon a very patriotic series.  Then, Firebase Freedom (2012) was released.  I couldn’t wait to read the third installment by the author.  Every time in reading these stories the patriotic theme was so stirring I couldn’t wait to share them with others or at least tell them to grab themselves a copy.  When people chose to open their eyes, we can see how our nation is in such disarray and people are discouraged.  Phoenix Rising, Firebase Freedom and Day of Judgment will get your heart racing, blood pumping and encourage hearts everywhere that Americans love their country!
 The novel series begins with the election of a man who became a naturalized citizen promising change, and once in office begins to totally eradicate the very foundation of the nation.  As time passes by, surviving day-to-day becomes harder so a small band of people come together to pool their resources.  Once that starts, the action begins to build as citizens are executed, laws are abandoned, Jews and Christians are summarily disposed of and allegiance is no longer to America.  All life as Americans had once known it becomes nonexistent even down to the money issued or accepted.
 Veterans begin to assemble along with citizens and those who were in the former armed services begin to combine their knowledge, resources, and skills to remove the man in the White House who has declared himself forever President.  But as former members of other operations begin to share information, the truth of what has been behind the advancement of the regime is revealed.  Not only are there Americans wanting to take their nation back, other allied nations begin to contact the growing band of people to help take down the growing evil.
 I started the novel this morning and by this evening I had read the whole book!  There is suspense, action, mystery, all wound together with a patriotic ribbon that binds Americans hearts today.  Characters in the novel come from all walks of life and learn to begin to use their God-given talents to remove those who are against freedom.  The scenes that take place all over America and various nations will take your breath away just waiting to read to the end to see how the conflict is resolved.
 As I looked at a calendar a few weeks back and realized the Fourth of July was right around the corner, I thought what better way to ignite the flame of patriotism in hearts than to have the review of all three novels uploaded.  I know there are other authors who write similar stories, but for me the Johnstone writers have hit a home run with this series.  Read the novels, share the passion for them and more so the hope that we as Americans will and do stand united behind the Constitution of the United States of America.
 I want to personally acknowledge my heartfelt thanks to the Johnstones for writing wonderful novels, and to all those serving in the armed forces.  Thanks also the veterans who have made the celebration of the 4th of July possible every year!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Firebase Freedom (Phoenix Rising Book #2)


Title:  Firebase Freedom (Phoenix Rising Book #2)
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  340
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Kensington
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The third installment to this series will be released later this year, and I cannot wait.  There is an uncanny way the theme in this work of fiction almost mirrors society today.  However, remember when you read this, that this is fiction.  Sometimes authors can get their story ideas from reality, experience or research.  I know many authors who are avid readers themselves on a variety of topics as well as readers of fiction.  Regardless of one’s political allegiance most people have in their heart the desire to see America become a great nation.
In this second installment, the story started in Phoenix Rising begins to expand the scope of events initially brought about when America is deemed a free nation no more.  A president who has radical views begins to slowly strip away all forms of government, suicide bombers take millions of lives and women lose all sense of being a human being.  Jake, being a former soldier, has gathered together in a fort people who are specialists in various fields of expertise.  Since this small group refuses to submit to the new regime and convert to Islam, they cannot buy basic needs.  In fact, their lives are in peril.  Not only this small group, but any who are found to not have a special ID card and following the ways of Ohmshidi’s form of dictatorship.  Is this man acting alone or under the orders of an Imam?
Children are taken away to new schools and separated by gender to be properly taught or indoctrinated according to Islam.  All forms of sports are banned.  Women must wear a certain covering otherwise they are considered guilty.  What are they guilty of and what is the penalty?  Jake’s friend Bob drafts a new Declaration of Independence and is elected the first President.  Many are coming together under the battle cry of “take back America.”
The novel has many characters that show the true heart of Americans who selflessly begin to act in ways contrary to the dictator’s orders.  There is violence, injustice, and swift executions being carried out immediately.  There is no due process of law and no presumption of innocence.  When I read the first novel in this series, it was so filled with suspense I had to remind myself to breathe.  Now, in this novel, there is a growing undercurrent of unrest and nonacceptance of being ruled and subjugated.  Small groups of people are beginning to come together to challenge authority at the cost of their lives.
What will happen now?  Resistance is mounting and the people who believed they have conquered America have won.  I loved the heart of this novel…that America is in the heart of her residents.  People remember what freedom cost so many times before.  In this novel, they are being called to choose to make the sacrifice again.  The tale is filled with suspense and it is a thriller to the max!  If swearing, violence or sexual innuendos offend you, know beforehand that is in these books.  It is told as part of the story, and there are no explicit sexual scenes at all.  If you like stories that touch the heart of the patriot in you don’t miss this series.  The Johnstones have shared a masterful tale that will keep you in suspense until the final book in the series is released.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Phoenix Rising


Title:  Phoenix Rising
Author:  William W. Johnstone w/ J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  352
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. 
 If you are to read this new series which starts with this novel, be prepared to have a heightened sense of suspense!  The sequel, Phoenix Rising:  Firebase Freedom, having been released in December 2012, and the final segment of this series set to be published in 2013 will be reviewed also.  Being familiar with the westerns written by these authors, I was intrigued when I ran across this novel recently.  Now having read it, I cannot believe how awesome it is.  Please be aware there is some foul language in the book because the main characters and scenes have to do with military personnel in precarious situations.  I in no way excuse or condone the use of the language in the books.
What I found when reading the story was how in some ways it mirrors what has and is happening in America today.  Parts of the story have an end time feeling to them when the government elects its first foreign-born President of the United States.  The president then begins to totally dismantle the structure of the government, military, finance and justice systems.  He then sets up more than just a dictatorship.  In fact what he does were it anything but fiction would be frightening.   It would be a hard story to read if there weren’t threads of hope and freedom woven within the tale.
One of the threads is the beginning of survival groups who learn to pool their resources together.  The hardest part for these cells is learning to discern who is for America and who is for her utter destruction.   Another thread that is introduced is the coming together of various generations from different wars, who need each other not just to survive but begin to formulate taking America back from the hands of those who are slowly destroying her piece by piece.  These different groups of people from all walks of life begin to utilize each other’s strengths in order to lay a foundation to fight against evil.
As I read this novel I had to continually remind myself this was a work of fiction, but also be open minded that as an American I need to always be diligent in safeguarding the blessings and freedoms we currently enjoy.  Phoenix Rising is full of action, suspense, and is a real page-turner that kept me reading until the end.  Before reading this one I already had purchased the sequel, knowing that patriotism is one theme I enjoy reading about.  Grab a copy of this novel and the sequel, and then strap yourself in for one wild and suspense-filled ride!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1)

Title:  Living Lies (Harbored Secrets #1)

Author:  Natalie Walters

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Wow!  The title and cover give viewers looking for a good story just a glimpse into the meaning behind what is seen.  The tale is a real heart-grabber and I cannot wait for the second book titled, Deadly Deceit, slated to be published November of 2019!

The main character is Lane Kent.  She has secrets along with heart break.  One little boy named Noah brings her delight every day.  He is her son and together they do life since Lane lost her husband two years prior.  Lane lives in an apartment upstairs above a café she runs in a small town.  Readers will enjoy seeing how Lane and others care for the vets in that town each Friday night with a home cooked meal.  Lane though struggles with guilt, depression and more and wonders each day if life is worth living.

Charlie has returned from service as a Marine and now he is a deputy in the same town as Lane.  Their meeting is fortuitous.  As the story develops, audiences will find themselves trying to figure out the mystery imbedded in the pages as well as having their heart touched by the personal battle of depression Lane faces each new day.  The supporting characters are examples to Lane of love, acceptance and not allowing herself to be defined or hemmed in by depression.

I thought the author did a masterful job of blending elements of mental health, veterans’ issues, mystery, romance, faith and more in the book.  I don’t normally read books that deal so compassionately with those who suffer from depression or PTSD, so this was refreshing.  The mystery was well developed and brought some unforeseen twists to the novel; it kept me turning the pages!

Don’t think this book is a downer because it deals with real issues because it isn’t.  The book brings hope and light to some areas of life that aren’t easy but not necessarily confining either.  Readers will enjoy the tale, character and plot of this book.  I can’t wait for the second book to come out!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice #3)

Title:  Blind Betrayal (Defenders of Justice #3)

Author:  Nancy Mehl

Pages:  317

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Casey Sloane has been in St. Louis as a federal marshal for two years.  Her new assignment is to escort a reporter to Washington, D.C. to testify to information she received from an environmentalist who has gone missing.  Someone from D.C. has been sent to accompany her and her partner on the transfer.  Unfortunately, it is someone she hoped to never see again, E.J. Queen.  They used to work together in D.C., but she hasn’t seen him for two years.  She left D.C. on bad terms with him.  But before they can talk about the past or leave town with their witness, the local federal marshals office is bombed with many casualties.  Casey’s boss tells her to leave town immediately and check in later.

E.J. Queen is sent to St. Louis to help in the transportation of a reporter to the D.C. office.  He used to work with Casey before she left suddenly for St. Louis.  He had romantic feelings for her but kept them to himself as she was dating his best friend.  Her sudden departure without explanation rankled.  Now, he must work with her, and they both would rather not be near each other.  Their attempts to keep their witness safe will have to crank up to their top performance ever as she is under attack.  They will have to use all of their skills and work together if they intend to get her to D.C. alive.

This third and final book in this series is filled with plenty of action and suspense.  The pages quickly turned as I delved into the story, waiting anxiously to see what happened next.  The tension between E.J. and Casey was palpable and believable.  The chase scenes were edge-of-your-seat action and there even was a bit of romance.  Nancy’s stories always have a faith element, and I like that she thanks God for giving her the talent to write at the end of the book.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Golden Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower #8)

Title:  The Golden Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower #8)

Author:  Kimberly Woodhouse

Pages:  256

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Perhaps unlike other readers, I enjoy a historical novel more if I read the facts shared in the back of the book in the section titled, “Note from the Author”.  In this installment, Kimberley learned many new and exciting facts about San Francisco some of which she includes in the book.  The main characters in view are Olivia Brighton, Joseph Sawyer, and Daniel.

Daniel owns a restaurant and he is looking forward to reuniting with his sister Olivia whom he has not seen in years.  Now, Olivia is a grown woman who has experienced much within her young life, and its impact causes her to decide she will forever live alone.  Joseph came to the area along with hundreds of others to find gold.  Now, he has a manager to run the mine for him while he pursues other avenues.

The beauty in the story was not the budding romance for Olivia but how the three main characters bonded, prayed together and did Bible study as well.  The study wasn’t just for them; it was open to any who desired to join.  The novel is a glowing example of loving people where they are, letting God touch their hearts and transform them, and enduring heartache while allowing God to bring healing.

I have read the entire series and most of them I have thoroughly enjoyed, and this one is one of my favorites!  Coming soon are two new novels to the series:  The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse (July 2019) and The Rebel Bride (December 2019).  Here is a great way to follow a family legacy throughout history and see how the legacy of faith speaks to the next generation.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Alamo Bride (Daughters of Mayflower #7)


Title:  The Alamo Bride (Daughters of Mayflower #7)
Author:  Kathleen Y’Barbo
Pages:  256
Year:  2019
Publisher:  Barbour Books
My rating:  4 out of 5 stars
The series, for those who don’t know, is written by various authors, starting with Kimberley Woodlouse’s novel titled The Mayflower Bide.  Following that there are the five novels: The Pirate Bride, The Captured Bride, The Patriot Bride, The Cumberland Bride, The Liberty Bride, and coming in April 2019 is The Golden Bride.  Each novel is unique and filled with adventure, mystery, and romance along with faith of the characters. 
Every one of the previously listed stories I have read and enjoyed for different reasons.  The Alamo Bride took me a few chapters to become engaged but was still worth reading.  Here, the lead female character is known mainly by her shortened named Ellis.  Her personality is one of stubbornness, strength, knowledge of herbs and healing along with courage.
The story is not set when the battle of the Alamo is taking place.  Readers will be lured into the story by a man from New Orleans who is on a presidential mission.  However, harm comes to him and not only is his life in danger but so is concluding the mission.  Ellis and her family don’t know if they can trust this man, as he is having memory issues and they aren’t sure which side he stands with, Santa Anna or those loyal to Texas.
The book was for hard to get into but once I did, it was good.  I thought the story would take place at the Alamo and during the fighting.  There are individual skirmishes, but the tale focuses on Ellis and the man who has a mission.  It is worth reading and enjoying, and I look forward to the last book in the series to see how this is all going to conclude!

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Liberty Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower Series #6)


Title:  The Liberty Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower Series #6)
Author:  Marylu Tyndall
Pages:  256
Year:  2018
Publisher:  Barbour Books
My rating:  5 stars our of 5
All the books in the series are written by different authors who do a fantastic job of telling a tale set in a certain time period.  In the front of the book, a reader is reminded of the generations of a certain family that began with the Mayflower landing, and the name of the how the family has grown through the years regardless of the trials.
This book is set in 1814 on a boat off the coast of Virginia.  Emeline Barrett has been caring for many people including her mother until her passing.  Her father sends her to England to learn how to become a lady with an eccentric aunt.  Aboard her father’s boat of privateers, she is contemplating her future that is less than what her heart desires.  On top of this, she has a fledging and misguided faith and view of God when she meets Hannah whose husband works on the ship.
The tension climbs when the boat is attacked by the HMS Marauder and Emeline meets Lt. Owen Masters.  I don’t want to disclose anymore for fear I would ruin your enjoyment of discovery of what happens in the book for yourself.  All I can say is this story is engaging, tense at times, filled with characters of faith and those who aren’t, and romance that a reader is never sure whether it will become anything or not.
The Liberty Bride was thoroughly a fun read, filled with daring adventures and dangers.  I cannot wait until the next installment is released in 2019 titled. The Alamo Bride.  The whole series of books are worth reading again and again, along with gifting them and sharing with family and friends.  Have fun with history through fiction!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Cumberland Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower Bride #5)


Title:  The Cumberland Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower Bride #5)

Author:  Shannon McNear

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

What fun and exciting stories this series offers with another blockbuster added that is set in the late 1700s!  Families are gathered to travel on the Wilderness Road into a new area to settle down, one with room to grow.  Kate Gruener is a very interesting female character.  One of her favorite activities is to journal.  Kate loves writing out the stories she has heard her father share but because it isn’t looked on favorably by her parents she hides the papers.

When they decide to travel the Wilderness Road, Kate’s father hires a guide named Thomas Bledsoe.  Kate has been raised to be able to do the tasks the women of that era were expected to learn.  On this dangerous journey, Kate is about to experience so much that what she journaled before is about to grow exponentially!  Thomas tries to ignore Kate and put space between them.  Then, when Kate’s life and that of a younger sibling hang in the balance, he moves swiftly to save them.

Thomas’s past has negatively impacted his faith.  Kate’s faith is strong even when she has questions or doesn’t understand life.  Readers will enjoy the scenes described in the book, just imagining them takes one’s breath away.  Plus, the strong theme of faith and how it can sustain one through very hard trials if one opens their heart to Him.

It was a pleasure beyond words to read this story.  It was exciting with a touch of adventure, mystery, and unknown dangers lurking in the shadows on the trail.  Then, add some romance, and out comes a great tale to curl up and enjoy!  Look for this book and then sit down and escape into the past with this wonderful novel!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Patriot Bride


Title:  The Patriot Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower #4)

Author:  Kimberley Woodhouse

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The Daughters of the Mayflower series starts with The Mayflower Bride, The Pirate Bride and The Captured Bride before the story continues with this book.  While each book could be read as a stand- alone, reading the series makes it more enjoyable to see the various family members adventures in different eras.

Here the Revolutionary War hasn’t started, but the rumors of war are definitely in the wind and people know it!  Kimberley Woodhouse did a wonderful job putting together a very believable and lifelike tale!  When readers start the book, the author has a letter for readers and in Note From the Author, we get to learn about her research.

Faith is the main female character throughout the book and she is full of fight and fire!  Faith suffers through some hard times, but that is what shapes this woman’s heart and patriotism.  There are no lengths Faith won’t go to aid others, and I loved how the women got together to read and memorize the Scriptures prior to war breaking out.

There are real historical characters in the book with a little change here or there in reference to the time, if I remember right.  Reading about our forefathers and how they might have lived or spoke makes them so real to me.  One scene made me giggle, and I can’t wait for you to enjoy picturing it in your head!  It’s great!

The tale is also a sobering reminder of the cost many paid in many ways so that their descendants would have a much better and free life in a new country.  Here is an example of historical fiction at its best, so read one or read them all.  There are two more coming out soon!  Perhaps this would make a great gift for a reader you know be they family, friend or acquaintance!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Captured Bride


Title:  The Captured Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #3)

Author:  Michelle Griep

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The first two books in the series are written by other authors with book #1, The Mayflower Bride written by Kimberley Woodhouse followed by The Pirate Bride written by Kathleen Y’Barbo.  Each book is a stand-alone story, though they follow a particular family line.  Each is uniquely written in a way to capture the heart and imagination of the readers.  In this third book of the series from Michelle Griep, I found myself a bit more involved in the story whether it was because of the romance, danger, intense moments or the faith of some unusual characters I can’t say for sure.  I only know that I truly was lost in the story as it was also filled with a couple different mysterious scenes that I wasn’t sure how they were going to be played out in the book.

Many times, I felt as if I was there viewing the action, danger, conversations and more.  It captured my mind, heart and emotions, especially the main female character named Mercy Lytton.  She was a very unusual woman who had gifts and abilities that aided her as a scout.  Yet, as she was becoming more aware of being a woman, the emotional turmoil intensified.

Elias Dubois is one of the male characters Mercy is sent on a mission with, and she cannot figure out who the real man is or if he even allows the real reason why he is sent on this mission to be fully known to anyone.  So, Mercy intensely watches him while they are traveling with a couple of others.  Her feelings are confusing her as they begin to reveal to her the hidden part of her own heart.  Both Elias and Mercy have a past they dare not speak of or show, but as the danger intensifies so does the need to know the real person they are facing multiple dangers with along with being sure they stay alive.

At the end of the story, readers will get to read very interesting Historical Notes.  I cannot wait for the next book to be released!  These are fascinating, historical stories that are both entertaining to read and engaging tales.  If you haven’t read any of the book, please catch up before the fourth book is released titled, The Patriot Bride, by Kimberley Woodhouse in August of 2018.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Pirate Bride


Title:  The Pirate Bride (The Daughters of the Mayflower #2)

Author:  Kathleen Y’Barbo

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

What a fun story to read!  I sat and read it in one night and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  There is mystery and danger, intrigue and drama; yet, there are some parts of the story that are just comical.  Maribel is a young girl who wants to be a privateer.  As she reads about these men in books, the sense of adventure just speaks to her heart.  Maribel is a character who bucks what is expected of her or even the mold others want to place her in.

Maribel experiences many different and dangerous moments she didn’t sign up for, but she is determined nonetheless.  She is raised in a convent and becomes a teacher, but there is still a part of her that longs to escape into a book without being bothered.  What I laughed about was the place she chooses to read her books and how others react to her choice!

Towards the end of the story the author throws a twist in the plot that really made my heart race and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough!  Here is one book I know I will read again and enjoy at some time in the future.  Until then, I plan on telling others about the series as well as encouraging people to get the book for their own personal libraries!  So, ahoy mateys, grab a copy and come aboard for an adventure you won’t regret it!