Anything But Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book

It’s not easy being the bishop’s daughter, especially for Lydie Stoltzfus. She’s not like other Amish girls, as much as she wishes she were. The only thing she does well is disappoint others. Leaving her family and church seems unbearable, but staying might be worse. 

Knowing Lydie is “between” jobs, the local doctor asks her to fill in at the front desk for a few months. To Lydie, this is a boon. It gives her time to figure out how she’s going to say goodbye to her neighbor, Nathan Yoder–the main reason she needs to leave Stoney Ridge. Nathan claims he’s in love with her, but she knows she’s not good enough for him. If in doubt, Nathan’s father reminds her frequently. 

As Dok spends time with Lydie, she recognizes symptoms of a disorder rare among the Amish. She offers treatment for Lydie. But will it be enough to make her stay? Or has help come too late?

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 40 books, including The Sweet LifeThe Moonlight School, and A Season on the Wind, as well as the Three Sisters Island, Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, The Deacon’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

My Thoughts

Once again, we return to the picturesque Stoney Ridge with some familiar characters from past novels; however, this particular book does stand well on its own.  I really enjoyed reading about Lydie, who feels like an outcast.  Her emotions were well written and it made it easy for me to feel connected with her in the story.  I also love the research that this author pours into her work.  It is clear that she puts much effort into the details and the stories are richer and better for it.  The topic of ADHD was interesting to read about from an Amish perspective and I thought the author handled it very respectfully.  The romance was endearing and sweet, but was also deep and realistic.  Amish fiction is not a genre I typically gravitate towards, but I always pick up a book by this author because she writes so well!  I recommend this wonderful read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

About the Book

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

About the Author

Stephenia H. McGee is the award-winning author of many stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she’s not reading or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she’s a writer, dreamer, husband spoiler, and busy mom of two rambunctious boys. Learn more at http://www.stepheniamcgee.com.

My Thoughts

The gorgeous cover piqued my interest in this novel and the back cover blub about horses confirmed my desire to read it.  This is my first book by this author and I enjoyed the intriguing plot and twists and turns.  I thought the action was a little slow to start, but once it picked up, I had a harder time putting the novel down.  I thought the romance was well written and believable, and I enjoyed reading the perspectives of the two main characters, even though Nora’s naïveté annoyed me at times.  The research the author did about horses is clear as the details are interwoven well into the plot.  I thought the story wrapped up well.  I did overall enjoy this novel and look forward to reading more by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Caesar’s Lord by Bryan Litfin

About the Book

After more than a decade of tumult, Roman warrior Rex and his aristocratic wife, Flavia, are thankful to the God they serve for the peaceful life they are living in the city of Alexandria. But with the Empire in flux, it cannot last. When Rex is called away to serve Constantine in his fight against Licinius, Flavia’s loneliness and longing for a baby lead her down the road of temptation. Perhaps one of Egypt’s gods will grant her conception?

As battles rage both within and without, Rex and Flavia will have to rely on God’s forgiveness and protection if they are to survive the trials to come. Their adventures sweep them into the great events of the ancient church, including the forging of the Nicene Creed, terrible murders within the imperial family, the quest for the true cross of Christ in Jerusalem, and the end of pagan Rome as a new Christian empire dawns.

About the Author

Bryan Litfin is the author of The Conqueror and Every Knee Shall Bow, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Wisdom from the AncientsEarly Christian Martyr StoriesAfter Acts, and Getting to Know the Church Fathers. A former professor of theology at the Moody Bible Institute, Litfin earned his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia and his ThM in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Bryan is professor of theology in the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University. He and his wife have two adult children and live in Lynchburg, Virginia. Learn more at http://www.bryanlitfin.com.

My Thoughts

Once again packed with detailed history that speaks volumes of the author’s ability to research well, this novel provides a rich setting for a complex and intriguing plot.  I read the first book in this series and was disappointed with the detailed descriptions of the pagan lifestyles, but I tentatively picked up this third novel (I skipped the second one) because the back description spoke of a conversion to Christianity for the characters.  I liked that this novel had a thread of hope with this Christian element coming through stronger than earlier in the series.  There are still a lot of descriptions of pagan cultures and persecution that make this book better suited for mature audiences.  The plot has enough interesting twists and turns to keep my attention and the story is well written.  I think this book is good for the right audiences, but its content may not be suitable for all readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Word of Honor by Hallee Bridgeman

About the Book

FBI Special Agent Lynda Culter is investigating an ecoterrorist organization in the Alaskan wilderness when her partner is taken captive and murdered before her very eyes. The only person who can identify the key players, Lynda gets assigned to take part in a joint operation in Istanbul to take the organization down.

As a woman in a Muslim country, she’ll find it much easier to move around undetected with a fake husband. Unfortunately for her, the man assigned to play the role is none other than US Army weapons specialist Bill Sanders–the man who crushed her heart into a million pieces back in college.

With a cargo bay’s worth of hurt and baggage between them, these two consummate professionals must play their parts perfectly if they hope to stop those responsible for bombing oil pipelines, killing innocent civilians, and threatening to destabilize the oil markets. But love long buried has a way of resurfacing at the most inopportune times–and protecting Lynda has become Bill’s primary focus.

About the Author

Hallee Bridgeman is the USA Today bestselling author of several action-packed romantic suspense books and series. An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee and her husband finally settled in central Kentucky, where they have raised their three children. When she’s not writing, Hallee pursues her passion for cooking, coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. An accomplished speaker and active member of several writing organizations, Hallee can be found online at http://www.halleebridgeman.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

Having been introduced to Bill in the first book, it was wonderful to be able to read more about him and his protective, loving nature as it comes to life in this book.  Intelligent and tenacious Lynda is a great heroine and I love their second chance at love romance.  Once again, the novel is well written with a dramatic twist that was unexpected, although I do think the action had a few moments of lull compared to the fast-pace of the first one.  I did still greatly enjoy the suspense and liked trying to guess the villain.  I liked the moments of faith, forgiveness, and reconciliation woven among the action and I found the setting to be fascinating.  Overall, I liked this second installment and can hardly wait for the next book!  Recommended to lovers of romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Honor Bound by Hallee Bridgeman

About the Book

It may seem odd to seek peace by moving to a war-torn African country, but for medical missionary Dr. Cynthia Myers, it provided a way to escape a shallow life of unearned wealth, a philandering fiancé, and a father now square in the public eye as vice president of the United States. At least here she knows her work and life have meaning. But all that is thrown into chaos when she fails to save the life of a local warlord’s mortally wounded son.

As part of the Army Special Forces “A-Team” on a mission to capture and subdue the warlord, Captain Rick Norton is compelled to use deadly force to save Cynthia’s life. Enraged at the violence she witnessed and riddled with guilt that men died because of her, Cynthia tries to hold on to her anger–but an unwanted attraction is taking hold.

With two members of his team badly injured and rebels in hot pursuit, Rick will have to draw upon all his strength and cunning to get her out alive . . . because he’s beginning to think they just might overcome their differences and be able to make a life together.

About the Author

Hallee Bridgeman is the USA Today bestselling author of several action-packed romantic suspense books and series. An Army brat turned Floridian, Hallee and her husband finally settled in central Kentucky, where they have raised their three children. When she’s not writing, Hallee pursues her passion for cooking, coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. An accomplished speaker and active member of several writing organizations, Hallee can be found online at http://www.halleebridgeman.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

This is my first novel by this author and it will certainly not be my last!  Action, suspense, and romance are all packed tightly into this exciting novel. I had a hard time putting it down due to wanting to find out more about the twists and turns that the novel frequently takes from beginning to end.  I was also impressed that there was such deep character development even with all the action in the novel.  The romance grows realistically, which I liked as well.  The writing is very well done and I found it easy to read this novel quickly.  I cannot wait for the second book!  Recommended to those who enjoy romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Quilt for Christmas by Melody Carlson

About the Book

Christmas should be celebrated with family. But for Vera Swanson, that’s not an option this year. Widowed and recently relocated, she is lonely in her condo-for-one–until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door needing help. With her mother seriously ill and her father out of town, Fiona enlists Vera’s help, and when she finds out her new neighbor is a quilter, she has a special request–a Christmas quilt for Mama.

Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request. Between free-spirited artist Tasha, chatty empty nester Beverly, retired therapist Eleanor, and herself, Vera has hopes that Christmas for the Albright family will be merry, after all–and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice, and her novel All Summer Long was made into a Hallmark movie. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at http://www.melodycarlson.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

I look forward to these fun Christmas novellas by Melody Carlson every year because they always put me in the Christmas spirit!  Charming and cozy, this novella is the perfect read by a fireplace with your favorite hot beverage.  Vera is such a dear soul and I really liked reading about her generous spirit.  I also loved dear little Fiona.  I was encouraged by many of the spiritual truths in this novella as the characters themselves grow in their faith.  Friendships and community abound as the ladies come together for Fiona and you cannot help but smile at the wonderful ending to the story.  I really liked reading this novella, so full of heart, and am already eagerly anticipating the next one!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Beneath the Bending Skies by Jane Kirkpatrick

About the Book

Mollie Sheehan has spent much of her life striving to be a dutiful daughter and honor her father’s wishes, even when doing so has led to one heartbreak after another. After all, what options does she truly have in 1860s Montana? But providing for her stepfamily during her father’s long absences doesn’t keep her from wishing for more. 

When romance blooms between her and Peter Ronan, Mollie finally allows herself to hope for a brighter future–until her father voices his disapproval of the match and moves her to California to ensure the breakup. Still, time and providence are at work, even when circumstances are at their bleakest. Mollie may soon find that someone far greater than her father is in control of the course of her life–and that even the command to “honor thy father” has its limits.

About the Author

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of 40 books, including The Healing of Natalie CurtisSomething Worth DoingOne More River to CrossEverything She Didn’t SayAll Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California. Learn more at http://www.jkbooks.com.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

I am always drawn to books by Jane Kirkpatrick because they are based on true stories.  She pens novels with such fantastic historical research and depth that brings these stories to life.  The pace of this novel is a little slow, but that really allowed me to get to know the characters, history, and setting well, and I liked the detail the author provided.  I was also impressed with the great spiritual growth and truths in this novel and found my own faith strengthened simply by reading and reflecting.  The journey that Mollie embarks on with her romance instead develops her faith in a real and raw way.  The cover to this novel is gorgeous and is but a small reflection of the wonderful words that lie beneath.  I highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Deception by Patricia Bradley

About the Author

Patricia Bradley is the author of StandoffObsession, and Crosshairs, as well as the Memphis Cold Case novels and Logan Point series. Bradley won an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award in Romantic Suspense, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and a Touched by Love Award; she was a Carol Award finalist; and three of her books were included in anthologies that debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at http://www.ptbradley.com.

About the Book

Investigative Service Branch ranger Madison Thorn is content to be working in the fraud and cyber crimes division after an FBI agent fooled her several years ago.  However, soon she is sent to investigate a violent crime in Natchez, Mississippi, teaming her with her former childhood enemy, Clayton Bradshaw.  Clayton is worried for Madison’s safety after her grandfather is shot and a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked.  Despite their past differences, Madison and Clayton need to work together to find answers before it is too late.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

This series has been fantastic, and this final novel is a perfect ending!  You do not have to read the stories in order, as this novel stands well on its own, but as someone who devoured the first three books in the series, it was great to return to Natchez, Mississippi.  I really like Madison and Clayton individually and I really loved them together.  Their relationship is not forced but develops naturally and realistically.  The suspense is fantastic!  The action starts immediately, continues without lagging in the middle, and finishes strong.  I had a hard time putting the book down!  I also thought the author did a great job of incorporating spiritual truths among the pages.  I greatly enjoyed the story and highly recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

About the Author

Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. The author of Never Miss, Melissa lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Corey. Find more information on her books at http://www.MelissaKoslin.com.

About the Book

Liliana Vela has managed to escape from the human traffickers, but her path takes her directly to Meric Toledan, who proposes something outrageous to save her.  Meric has his own secrets, yet he promises to provide a safe haven for Liliana.  Despite Meric offering Liliana protection, the traffickers are not finished hunting for Liliana, and they will go to any length to ensure that they win.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

This is a fascinating romantic trope for a suspense novel, and the marriage of convenience storyline works perfectly for the plot.  The secrets and suspense drew me in in the first chapter, when I promised myself I would only read a little bit before bed… yeah right!  This novel keeps you up too late, so be warned!  I like how strong and resilient Liliana is and I also enjoyed reading about how she perseveres despite everything stacked against her.  The author has a unique voice to her writing, and I enjoyed reading this mystery-packed story.  I was impressed with the author’s deep dive into human trafficking and thought she handled it respectfully.  I enjoyed reading this novel and am looking forward to more by this author! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Thanks for stopping by!

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

About the Author

Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 50 novels, including Present DangerDeadly Target, and the Uncommon Justice series. Her books have sold over 1 million copies. She is a Carol Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at http://www.elizabethgoddard.com.

About the Book

Mackenzie Hanson has to head to Montana to help her family after she receives a cryptic message about her father’s tech company being targeted for a cyber attack.  Not long after her arrival home, she encounters a deadly surprise, forcing her to dig deeper into her father’s company.  Alex Knight, an old friend, agrees to help Mackenzie try to put the pieces of the mystery together.  But even as they get closer to the truth, the danger closes in, forcing them to work against the clock to beat the enemy before it is too late.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Baker Book House

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Christian Book

My Thoughts

Suspense and mystery abound in this story from beginning to end!  I really liked the characters in this novel, especially Mackenzie, who is flawed but realistic and demonstrates strength despite difficult circumstances.  I love how the author takes time to create characters with depth while still creating a plot that is full of action.  The romance is believable and well integrated into the fast paced story.  I had a really hard time putting the novel down as the suspense kept my attention easily.  The setting is well written into the story and makes it easy to visualize the scenes.  I liked the spiritual themes interwoven into the plot.  I have really enjoyed this series and thought this novel was a great addition!  Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Favorite Quotes

Thanks for stopping by!