Category Archives: Book Reviews

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

A Song Unheard book cover

Willa Forsythe exchanged a family that abandoned her for a hodge-podge family that is all bonded together by their skills of thievery. When she is offered a big payday to perform a single job for a mysterious man during the height of World War I, she accepts without hesitation, knowing the cash will help her family. And the job does not seem difficult, as she will be required to spend time with a famous violinist. Lukas De Wilde fled war-torn Belgium and is raising money through his violin playing to earn his way back to save his mother and sister. Intrigued by the talented and mysterious Willa, he sets aside his worry for his family to focus on music. But soon Willa must make the choice to betray Lukas to save her own family, perhaps sacrificing her growing friendship in the process.

I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn into the story from page one and was intrigued during the entire plot. The author has such a creative writing style that pulled me in and allowed me to visualize the scenes with ease. I really liked the playful flirtation of the characters. I love strong women and this story has lots of talented, independent women who are revealed to be heroines during the novel. The history was thoroughly researched, the characters were complex, the spiritual content was deep, and the romance was charming. I think these books are best read in order so you can get background for all the characters, but that should be no hardship as the first book is also great! I highly recommend this novel and this series.

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

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Coldwater by Samuel Parker

Cold Water book cover

Michael is finally out of jail but is facing a hometown that hates him. There are men who tried to kill him before and will not hesitate to do so now. Even more than the physical men that are chasing him, however, is the powerful inner force that is trying to destroy him as well. Michael must race against time and dimension in order to emerge victorious and changed.

This novel definitely packs action after action into its pages. It starts with chilling suspense and the adrenaline keeps pulsating with each scene. The haunting narrative leaves a chilling effect. The topic and plot were not to my taste, but that does not detract from the skill of this author. I also found the content a bit dark for Christian fiction. I am not certain I would read this book again and I think it takes a unique audience to appreciate it. Nonetheless, if this is your kind of genre, I think you would enjoy this book!

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

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Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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Pete McLean loves and looks up his father, a wealthy landowner in 1960s Alabama, as does the rest of the small town, most of its citizens blessed in some way by the McLeans. So when his father dies in a tragic farming accident, Pete is not the only one grieving. He leans on his good friend Isaac, a man whose life is as different from his as black is from white. But when Isaac goes missing, Pete is left to find out what happened to his friend. He meets Dovey, a girl from a secluded part of town known only by rumors, during his search and they form a fast friendship. Pete’s journey changes the small town in miraculous ways and creates new relationships between black and white and rich and poor.

I admire Ms. Luesse’s approach to this turbulent time period as the clash of races and class heightened in the Deep South. I think Pete was my favorite character. He did not let discrimination or bullying dictate his life and his willingness to be kind to people who are different than himself. This story may have taken place in the 1960s, but its message and meaning are applicable today. The author has a truly unique talent for writing and her style is perfect for the setting. Reading the story is easy and comfortable because the story flows so well but it also manages to relay a powerful and rich message. I greatly enjoyed the history woven among the interesting plot and thought the romance was sweet. I recommend this story to lovers of historical fiction and look forward to more stories from this debut author!

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

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The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

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Lady Elisabeth Lawson has lived in a sheltered world her whole life, enjoying the opulence provided to her from her father’s connections as British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony. She is duty bound to marry Miles Roth, a man of little character. However, the tensions leading up to the Revolutionary War are mounting, and Elisabeth suddenly finds her comfortable world turned upside down. She forms an unlikely friendship with her fiancé’s cousin, Noble Rynallt, whom she soon discovers is one of the radical revolutionaries. As the war looms ahead, Elisabeth must make a choice between her family’s English roots and her heart’s stirring for freedom.

Laura Frantz does such a wonderful job of crafting emotionally stirring novels, and this one is no exception. I was immediately drawn to Elisabeth’s character and loved watching her growth throughout the novel. I like reading about determined, independent woman and Elisabeth remains strong despite multiple trials. The romance is rich and endearing and the history is a perfect blend of interesting and engaging elements woven throughout the story without bogging the plot down. The story flows naturally with its delicate style and is effortless to read. This truly is a wonderful novel and I cannot recommend it enough!

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

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Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

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Isabelle St. John loves her loud and large law-enforcement family and appreciates their support when her partner dies during a harrowing mission. Determined to find out exactly what happened, Isabelle enlists the help of Ryan, her partner’s brother, to get to the bottom of what initially appears to be mob activity. But when she discovers that the treachery runs deeper than mob violence, she realizes that those she loves may be in danger. She and Ryan must race against the clock before the evil that lurks around every corner takes over their lives.

I am excited about a new series from Lynette Eason! She writes fast-paced, thrill-worthy novels that are page-turners from beginning to end. I liked the surprise twists where you thought you had the villain figured out but then you realize you were wrong. It was great to read about authentic police investigations where the characters were careful to do everything by the book so the real villains could be prosecuted accordingly. The romance is sprinkled through the story in a subtle way and the supportive families are endearing. I look forward to more installments in this series!

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

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Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

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Louisa “Lola” Bell has earned her living singing in a dance hall. But when she receives word that her only brother is in trouble at Fort Reno and she loses her job all in one day, she decides to make a big trip west to Indian Territory. She arrives to learn she’s mistakenly thought to be the new governess to the commanding officer’s daughters. Realizing that she needs a job and can use this opportunity to get close to the commanding officer and sway him to her side to help her brother, Louisa goes along with the plan, hoping she can fake her way through the job long enough to survive. What she doesn’t count on is the commanding officer’s widow status and his surprisingly attractive qualities. Louisa soon finds herself torn between her heart and her head, hoping she can pick a solution that will save her family and her future.

Regina Jennings has yet again written a spunky, quirky heroine opposite a dashing, albeit sometimes clumsy, hero. There are laugh out loud moments and more serious romance sprinkled among historical events and plot twists. I did not love Louisa as much as I think I was meant to, but I did enjoy Daniel greatly. It was fun to read their interactions and Daniel’s hilarious attempt to figure out Louisa’s plans. I enjoyed this story and look forward to more books in this series!

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

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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage book cover

Miss Rachel Ashford has survived the stigma of her father’s failures, the loss of her family, and the humiliation of being driven from her home by distant relatives. She is determined not to rely on the gracious generosity of her hostess Mercy Grove but instead to earn her livelihood. Encouraged by her friends to open a circulating library, Rachel is tentatively excited to share her father’s extensive library collection with the community. As strange events begin to occur, she enlists the help of an old friend to help her unravel old mysteries. Along the way, Rachel’s heart may become more entwined than she had intended.

I enjoyed the first novel in this new series by Julie Klassen and was excited about the continuing story. The writing style is reminiscent of a novel by Jane Austen with its tender and rich sentences and well-written style. I had a little trouble getting into the book initially as it was slow to start, but true to her other novels, the story soon had multiple layers of mystery that drew me in and kept me interested. It was also wonderful to catch up with characters from the first novel. I would read the series in order, but it should be no hardship to read the first book, as it is just as good. I recommend this series and cannot wait for book number three!

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

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