Category Archives: Book Reviews

Freedom’s Price by Christine Johnson

Freedom_s Price book cover

After her father’s death, Catherine Haynes risks everything to travel from England to America in order to seek her mother’s family in Louisiana. But first the ship is delayed and then Catherine arrives to her family’s plantation only to find the plantation in disarray and the family scattered. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a wrecker she met in Key West, to help her discover the truth about the strange events surrounding her mother’s beloved home. As they dig deeper, they find that danger lurks at every corner.

I was initially drawn into the plot of this novel and was excited to see where the events would lead. It was good to connect with old characters as well. However, as the story unfolded, the circumstances became very dark. I appreciate that the author is willing to shed light on the painful events of slavery in America’s past, but I found the villain in this novel to be even more sinister than I think the story required. I especially was frustrated that Catherine was initially painted as intelligent and courageous but she walked right into the trap, which did not really fit with her character. Combined with choppy writing, I must say I liked the first two books in this series much more than this third installment. The story is improved by a good ending, but I would have much more appreciated a slightly different turn of events. Nonetheless, I do recommend this series.

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

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Naomi’s Hope by Jan Drexler

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Naomi Schrock has never considered herself beautiful or deserving of a husband or family. But when she and her family rescue orphaned Davey from a burned out building, she finally feels a loving connection as mother. She is content raising Davey among the 1846 Amish community in Indiana, and yet something is missing—a father for Davey and husband with which to share life. Cap Stoltzfus is new to the community but he is immediately drawn to Naomi’s quiet strength. Yet he is not certain he has recovered from losing his lovely wife and young son. But when someone attempts to take Davey from Naomi, a loving fatherly instinct rises in him and he finds himself desiring to protect the young family from danger.

I am not usually a lover of Amish fiction, but I have immensely enjoyed this series by Jan Drexler. She weaves such deep characters full of broken pasts and regrettable mistakes among the interesting backdrop of simple Amish life. It was wonderful to read about previous characters while also getting to know Noami better. The plot has some twists and turns that are not altogether predictable and the romance is clean and sweet. The beginning is a little slow although it picks up by the end of the book. I greatly enjoyed this third installment and wish I did not have to say goodbye to these lovely characters. A highly recommended novel and a wonderful ending to this series!

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

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True to You by Becky Wade

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Nora Bradford is dedicated to her work as a genealogist and historian, hoping that her career can help her forget her heartbreak three years ago. She is thrilled when a former Navy SEAL and attractive man John Lawson enlists her help to research his ancestry. But John is focused on the present whereas Nora likes to dwell on the past. As Nora and John work through their differences towards a common goal, Nora finds herself drawn to John. However, their lives may be too complicated for them to enjoy a future together.

This novel is a good introduction to the Bradford sisters. Nora is quirky and unique but adorably passionate about her job; I did not love her at first but learning more about her throughout the story, I came to enjoy her character. John is a hero but he’s not without struggles, the most pressing of which involves his health, which is why he’s determined to find his birth parents. There is a complexity to the characters that serves as a good backdrop for their romance, which has surprising twists and turns. I am excited to read more about the other sisters, especially Willow, and look forward to the next books. A good start to a new series!

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

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Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes book cover

Miss Permilia Griswold grew up travelling with her father on his business trips, so when her stepmother wishes her to simply attend balls and snag a worthy suitor, Permilia’s odd upbringing forces hers to be banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom. Nevertheless, Permilia uses her anonymity in society to write gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill,” filled with tidbits she hears from mingling on the fringes of parties. During one of her evenings, Permilia is shocked to hear a threat against none other than the irritatingly handsome Mr. Asher Rutherford. When she attempts to warn Asher, however, he does not believe her, and she must set out to prove her suspicions correct before it is too late.

One of my favorite aspects of Jen Turano’s writing is her ability to craft such hilarious escapades with tenacious, independent, interesting characters, and this novel delivers yet again! I particularly liked Permilia as she is practical and down to earth, content with her wallflower position in society but also determined to make the best of her situation. The witty banter between characters provides the perfect contrast to the bits of mystery and suspense sprinkled in the story. Add humorous romantic tension and more serious spiritual developments and you have another fantastic book by this well-loved author. I highly recommend this novel and cannot wait for book two in the series!

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

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When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

When Tides Turn book cover

Quintessa Beaumont decides to help out with the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) to do her part for World War II. As she is working to prove herself, she is forced to work with Dan Avery, who is more concerned with his goal to make admiral than helping her. But when Quintessa discovers a possible spy link in the Navy, she tries to enlist Dan’s help, hoping he can set aside his career advancement to assist her in a dangerous mission.

I have enjoyed the first two novels in this series and was excited to read more about Tess. She is determined to prove she is more than a pretty face and I admired her gumption and tenacity in this book. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and appreciated the depth the author invested into their personalities. The passion of the characters combined with the interesting detailed history makes for a fascinating read. I also liked the suspense and mystery interspersed in the story. Combined with hidden romance and true spiritual struggles, this novel is a great read. Recommended to all lovers of historical fiction!

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

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The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

The Illusionist_s Apprentice book cover

Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is eccentric with her preference for gentleman’s dress, her secluded lifestyle in a large mansion, and her popularity as an illusionist, trained by none other than Harry Houdini himself. She prefers to keep to herself, so when FBI agent Elliot Matthews starts to poke around her private life, she becomes quite annoyed. But as strange events began to occur and danger lurks behind the curtain, Wren and Elliot must form an unlikely team to combat the greater enemy.

Secrets and illusions abound in this interesting tale. I found the topic of vaudeville in the Roaring 20’s to be fascinating. I liked Wren instantly and only grew to love her as her secrets from her past were slowly revealed throughout the novel. Elliot too is a dashing hero and his ability to keep up with Wren’s writ is enjoyable. I liked how the author did not give away all the secrets of the characters’ pasts immediately but disclosed snippets as were necessary to the storyline. The book has great suspense and the villain is not readily apparent. Of course, any novel is made even better by such a gorgeous cover. I highly recommend this book!

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Sandpiper Cove book cover

Lexie Graham is a single mom with a full time demanding career as police chief, leaving her no time for romance. Adam Stone has a past and it involves the law, so when Lexie catches his eye, he knows it will be a rocky relationship. When Lexie has to enlist Adam’s help to assist a young man, they are forced to spend time together, causing sparks to fly and a different future than either of them anticipated.

I greatly enjoyed the first two installments in this series and was equally delighted by the third novel! I liked the contrasting characters and their interesting, complex pasts that played such a crucial role in their current relationships. The charm of this seaside town does not disappoint and I was pleased to once again read about secondary characters from Hope Harbor. The story unfolds well, a true testament to the author’s skilled writing. Mix together romance and faith, add interesting characters and stories, and you have yet another wonderful Irene Hannon read, recommended to all lovers of contemporary fiction!

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

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