Monthly Archives: February 2018

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Phoebe_s Light book cover

Phoebe Starbuck is finally moving beyond carrying out her father’s whims and his desires and doing something for herself. She sets sail on an adventure out of Nantucket with two gifts from her father, one of which is a journal of Great Grandmother Mary. But soon Phoebe’s adventure is not all that she dreamed it would be. Feeling alone and disillusioned, she finds comfort in Mary’s journal. But Phoebe discovers more than simply wisdom in the journal, and the secrets she uncovers could alter the lives around her in a drastic way.

I have enjoyed previous books by this author and was looking forward to this one. This novel is full of well-written descriptions that allow me to visualize the scenery and setting well. Even though the timeline might be centuries earlier, the struggles of the characters are relevant to today. It was also interesting to read about Phoebe’s great grandmother Mary’s own story. I personally did not feel much chemistry between the key romantic characters. However, it was an interesting read and I recommend it to those who enjoy historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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A Passionate Hope by Jull Eileen Smith

A Passionate Hope book cover

Hannah and Elkanah are devoted to God and His tabernacle at Shiloh. They are therefore both distressed over the corruption they see of the priests and long for restoration. Hannah is also desperate for a child. But prayers for her nation and her womb go unanswered and Elkanah takes another wife to carry on his family name. Feeling alone and abandoned, Hannah relies more heavily on communication with God to endure the trials she faces.

Powerful emotion and fascinating Biblical history collide in this tale about Samuel’s mother. I enjoyed the fictional account of possible trials and feelings that Hannah may have felt and found myself drawn into her struggle. The storytelling is captivating and the book beautiful in its heart wrenching retelling of one mother’s struggle for acceptance and love. Hannah may only be briefly mentioned in the Bible, but her role in Israel’s history is important and I appreciate this author’s ability to bring her alive. I have enjoyed all the stories in this series and look forward to more by this author! Recommended to lovers of Biblical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin

The Sea Before Us book cover

Wyatt Paxton joins the Navy to escape from his mistakes in Texas and arrives in London in time to prepare for D Day in 1944. He is hoping that his work will help to assuage his guilt from past actions and help repay his family for what he has done. He is tasked with working “Wrens,” females in the Navy service who are responsible for putting together pieces of France to assist with the invasion. Dorothy Fairfax, one of the Wrens, particularly intrigues Wyatt as she uses her steadfast determination to do her part for her family and her country. Wyatt and Dorothy soon find themselves spending more and more time together as they work together to turn the war in the favor of the Allied forces.

I am always impressed with the historical research and military knowledge of Sarah Sundin’s novels and this book is chalked full of both! I enjoyed the setting of the novel and the events and details leading up to a pivotal event in World War II. I liked seeing Wyatt’s growth and transformation throughout the story. There was a surprising part in the story that I did not see coming! I also enjoyed the pieces of different characters coming together to create a central theme of forgiveness. The romance was tastefully done. I look forward to the other books in the series and recommend this first installment to lovers of historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Hearts Entwined by Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears

Hearts Entwined Novella book cover

The Love Knot—Claire is expecting a much different package when her sister insists on sending her a gift by rail. She is even more surprised by the man who delivers the package. Claire has to sort through new challenges and her life is suddenly changed forever.

The Tangled Ties That Bind—Maggie is determined to move past rejection when Conner left her in her small town. She is thrilled with an opportunity to become a doctor and help others. Conner returns home just as her career is taking off and Maggie is suddenly faced with a decision between her job and her first love.

Bound and Determined—Bradley Willis is forced to endure a trip across the desert on the oddest form of transportation, all because he was attempting to fight off a gang of outlaws. He is not expecting to have to also manage the headstrong Ambrosia, who is equally determined to stop the herd from making it to Texas.

Tied and True—Marianne is in love with Calvin. The only problem is that he refuses to marry her because of her wealth. Stubborn and tenacious, Marianne turns away from all that is familiar and takes a job at a mill to prove to Calvin that she will do anything for their love.

 

What a charming set of four novellas! I love the strong, independent nature of all the women. If you have read other novels by these authors, you will also note that many of these characters are familiar. It was fun to see them all get their own happy endings. There were moments that made me laugh of loud (who ever heard of crossing camels across the United States) and moments that touched my heart (welcoming a young baby into their home). There is enough variety that appeals to all sorts of different audiences but also a central theme that allows the novellas to easily flow from one to the next. I hope these authors collaborate again! I definitely recommend this delightful book.

 

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers/Regina Jennings in exchange for an honest review.

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A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

A Refuge Assured book cover

Vivienne Rivard is a lacemaker in revolutionary France, a craft that threatens her very life. She escapes to Philadelphia only to have the danger follow her to the French Quarter in America. Still feeling unsettled, Vivienne tries to blend into a new culture as unrest among Americans begins to rumble. Liam Delaney was proud to have served his new country in the American Revolution, but when citizens start taking sides for the new whiskey tax, he finds himself caught between his country and his family. He forms an unlikely friendship with Vivienne, both of them drawn together as they seek a peaceful home and refuge.

From stunning emotional depth to exquisite depicted scenes, this book has it all! I fell in love with the characters from the first page. They have such incredible struggles that caused me to immediately connect with them and feel their emotions throughout the story. Vivienne is strong and tenacious and Liam is compassionate and hardworking—a great set of characters and the perfect heroine and hero. The history was very well researched and interesting to read, the historical details clearly communicating the difficulties facing a new America. There were a few twists and turns that create a complex plot. I very much enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more by this author! Highly recommended!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Why I Hate Green Beans by Lincee Ray

Why I Hate Green Beans book cover

Lincee Ray details a hilarious memoir about the realistic trials woman face every day. She demonstrates that embracing our imperfections allows us to see how God can use us in the way that he made us. So if you’ve every felt alone in your struggles, her hilarious self-reflection may be enough to give you a laugh on your bad days.

This book is hilarious and relatable! It was an easy read and flowed seamlessly from the first page to the last. I found myself wishing I had a friend like the author and was able to connect with her scenarios and descriptions very easily. She made me laugh, she made me think, and she made me tear up! I especially loved her ability to bring faith into the struggles that women face every single day. I certainly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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