Category Archives: Book Reviews

On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Camden Grayson is ready to “move on” and do something different.  But before her life can speed in a new direction, her father buys an island off the coast of Maine, and plans to involve his estranged daughters in its renovation.  Camden is initially skeptical of her dad’s idea, but she soon finds herself entranced by the island’s slower pace.  She also meets the gruff island schoolteacher.  Camden soon discovers that moving on may not be as difficult as she initially thought.

I typically enjoy this author’s Amish stories and was excited to try her new contemporary romance. Like her other novels, she crafts characters that are easy to connect with and relationships that are complex and realistic.  I liked the way the romance slowly built and was not rushed.  The book has themes of forgiveness and second chances that are relatable.  The story is sweet and quirky and fun to read.  I enjoyed this novel and look forward to more in the series!

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

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The Heart of a King by Jill Eileen Smith

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King Solomon possessed much wealth and power—and also many wives.  Four of his wives, Naamah the desert princess, Abishag the shepherdess, Siti the daughter of a pharaoh, and Nicaula the queen of Sheba, all love the king in different ways.  In ancient Israel, dreams and desires battle with the practicalities of being one of several loves of the king.   And each faces either the return of their affection or the ultimate betrayal.

Based on fiction and true Biblical facts, this story gives a personal look at what may have happened with the lives and relationships of the many wives of King Solomon.  Although I did not read the individual Loves of King Solomon stories, I was able to follow this storyline without much difficulty. The book came alive with its colorful descriptions and vivid details.  King Solomon’s struggles were a reminder that even the most rich and wise person still needs the grace of God.  I enjoyed this story and recommend it to those who like Biblical fiction.

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

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The Refuge by Ann H. Gabhart

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Darcie and Walter Goodwin join the Shaker community initially to avoid the cholera epidemic, but when Walter is suddenly killed, Darcie has nowhere else to go.  She harbors a secret, though, a pregnancy conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village.  Worried about their judgment, Darcie forms an unlikely friendship with widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter.

This story gives an interesting perspective of the very strict Shaker community.  I learned a lot about their culture and their history. The characters immediately grabbed my attention and drew me in.  I really liked Darcie and felt the emotions that she was feeling in the story.  The details of daily life make it easy to picture the backdrop to the story.  The theme of trusting God is well incorporated into the storyline.  I enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who enjoy unique historical fiction.

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

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Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker

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Rachelle Matthews must find and recover five ancient seals in two worlds before powerful, evil enemies destroy her.  Peace is the result of her success, but death and darkness is the result of her failure. In the first book, she found the first three seals.  But now she is captured and awaiting her fate in the dungeon, and all hope of recovering the remaining seals feels lost.

Nail biting, thrill seeking, suspenseful fiction at its best!  The first book left me hanging, wanting to know more, and I could not wait to get my hands on the second book.  I definitely recommend reading these books in order.  The action only gets more intense as Rachelle continues to try to defeat evil. I appreciate how complex the author makes these stories and find myself reading his books late into the night. They truly transport you to a new dimension and make you question everything about reality.  I highly recommend this book and this series!

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

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The 49th Mystic by Ted Dekker

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Rachelle Matthews must find and recover five ancient seals in two worlds before powerful, evil enemies destroy her.  Peace is the result of her success, but death and darkness is the result of her failure.

Once again, Ted Dekker delivers a fast-paced, high-action, creative plot that is easy to read.  I love how he can take what seems to be abstract concepts and craft a story that makes sense and comes together seamlessly. It is like living in two separate worlds or two separate dimensions—sleeping or dreaming.  His fiction stretches the edges of reality and imagination.  I greatly enjoyed the start to this new series and look forward to the next installment, as this one leaves you hanging, wanting to know the ending of the story.  I highly recommend this book.

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

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Sweet on You by Becky Wade

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Zander and Britt have been friends as long as they can remember—but when Zander returns from a trip abroad, he finds himself seeing Britt in a new light.  Afraid that his romantic feelings may upset their friendship, he tries to keep his feelings to himself.  But as he and Britt team up to solve a family mystery, he finds it harder and harder to keep himself from falling in love with her.

No one writes romance like Becky Wade—she has the steam-worthy kisses, the heart throbbing heros, and the sweet and aching love.  I was so glad that Britt and Zander finally got their own story!  I love old-friends-turn-into-romance plots and really enjoyed reading about their journey.  Although their romance takes center stage, the mystery in the novel makes the storyline even more intriguing.  There are a few surprising twists and turns, both to the love story and the mystery. It was nice to read a conclusion to the Bradford sisters, although I was a little sad to see the series end.  I highly recommend this book and this series!

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

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Celebrate Lit Tour – The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

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About the Book

The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Author: Sarah E. Ladd

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: April 16, 2019

In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.

Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.

Cornwall, England, 1811

Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later, her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.

Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of his brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.

Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:

  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s.
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2016/may/19/everyday-life-in-cornwall-captured-in-the-19th-century-in-pictures

Sources:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/cornish_nation_01.shtml

https://www.maritimeheritage.org/ports/Cornwall.html

http://www.cornwallgoodseafoodguide.org.uk/cornish-fishing/history-of-the-cornish-fishing-industry.php

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, April 11

LifeofLiterature, April 11

Moments, April 11

Genesis 5020, April 11

Maureen’s Musings, April 12

The Power of Words, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

To Everything A Season, April 12

KarenSueHadley, April 13

EmpowerMoms, April 13

For the Love of Literature, April 13

Inklings and notions, April 13

The Avid Reader, April 14

Blogging With Carol, April 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 14

Rachel’s Back Talk, April 15

Wishful Endings, April 15

Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 16

All-of-a-kind Mom, April 16

Daysong Reflections, April 16

The Becca Files, April 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 17

Blossoms and Blessings, April 17

Remembrancy, April 17

Worthy2Read, April 18

By The Book, April 18

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

Just the Write Escape, April 19

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 19

Babbling Becky’s Book Impressions, April 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 20

For HIm and My Family, April 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 21

Inspiration Clothesline, April 21

Pause for Tales, April 21

Through the Fire Blogs, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 22

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, April 22

Inspired by fiction, April 23

A Reader’s Brain, April 23

Hallie Reads, April 23

Henry Happens, April 24

Connect in Fiction, April 24

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, April 24

janicesbookreviews, April 24

My Thoughts

Historical details woven among delicate romance allow this regency historical novel to shine! I immediately felt connected to Cordelia and as more of her loss and struggles were exposed, I could not help but feel the emotions that she was feeling.  There is a bit of mystery as not all the details of her past are revealed right away.  The spiritual themes seemed to be effortlessly woven in so that it does not feel preachy.  My only critique is that I felt like sometimes that story slowed to a crawl, although at other times it did move a little more quickly.  The descriptions of the English seaside made it easy to picture the coast and feel the salted sea spray!  I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel and recommend it!

Giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe Hall!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

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