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The Heart’s Journey Home July 13, 2010

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 11:12 pm
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Summary: Three years after Kate Sterling’s heart was shattered by the unexpected death of her husband, she packs up what is left of her life and moves back to Harvest Bay, Ohio, with her young daughter. She soon discovers that her sleepy hometown has changed–and that she has been given a second chance at love. But is God leading her to a love linked to the past … or to one who will walk with her into thee future?

Author Bio: Jen Stephens grew up in a small Ohio town, where she developed a passion for writing at an early age. She currently lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area with her husband and two young daughters, and teaches third grade at a Christian school.

My Review: What a dreamy book. How can you get any better than romance with a twist of complications? Of course, romance is always filled with complications, but this one has more than its share. Every one of the characters made me feel like I was right in their living room with their family experiencing their family bond. I loved the sprinkling of faith and scripture throughout that wrapped up the thoughts being portrayed. I felt genuine emotions throughout right along with the characters, and even cried at some points. This was such a moving story, and I would definitely recommend it to all my friends.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

Finding Jeena by Miralee Ferrell July 8, 2010

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 3:55 am
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Summary: Jeena Gregory thought she’d made it. She has everything a woman could ask for and a budding career promises more. But when rumors around town cast her boss in a shady light, Jeena starts to question her employer’s integrity. Was she wrong to trust this man and this job?

When the boss disappears, salaries go upaid, and Jeena overhears several hush-hush phone calls, she realizes her carefully crafted world is crumbling. Shaken to the core at the threat of losign everything, Jeena is suddenly confronted with her prejudices–and with a God she had long forgotten.

Author Bio: Miralee Ferrell is the acclaimed author of The Other Daughteer; Love Finds You in Last Chance, California; and Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon. She lives in Washington with Allen, her husband of more than 37 years, and has two grown children. She serves on staff at her local church and is actively involved in ministry to women. Read more at www.MiraleeFerrell.com.

My Review: I absolutely loved this novel, though I am begrudgingly writing this review, not for lack of good storyline but for fear of what I may reveal of my own not so pretty character. This novel came too close to home on so many levels and reached into my heart to make me take a look at myself that I didn’t really want to see or even believe was there. Jeena is a lot like me and we have a similar story. Jeena grew up not having much and therefore strived to achieve the best for herself. In doing so, she tried to forget what and who she was before and put herself higher than she was. What was most important to her was herself. When Jeena found herself in a situation she could never have imagined, she found out about her own true character and did not like what she saw. As I said before, this is what “Finding Jeena” has done for me. I see a lot of the attitudes that Jeena had reflected in myself. I think when you see certain things in another person you may not always see them in yourself until they are pointed out to you. This novel has become one of my favorites because I do believe that it has impacted my life. I hope to make some changes in my life with the help of God guiding me to be a better person and look at people the way he sees them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone because I believe it can speak to just about any person who reads it. The storyline was heartfelt and engaging. It drew me into the story and gave me a dose of reality that was much needed. Funny how God works sometimes isn’t it?

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

A few more reviews to finish July 2, 2010

SOMEWHERE TO BELONG BY JUDITH MILLER

Summary: Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages settled by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she’s always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in Amana. but when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered. Is this truly where she belongs?

Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, so when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, her rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?

Author Bio: Judith Miller is an award-winning author whosse avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, many of which have appeared on the CBA bestseller lists. Judy and her husband make their home in Topeka, Kansas.

My Review: I have a great love for historical fiction and for Judith Miller books, so of course I had to read this one. This is the first book in the Daughters of Amana series. Once again Judith Miller did a fantastic job with drawing me into the storyline. Combine two totally different personalities and a series of events, secrets, and family; and you will get a story that will captivate your attention. I look forward to the next installment in the Daughters of Amana series.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

HEARTS AWAKENING BY DELIA PARR

Summary: Life has left few choices for Elvira Kilmer. Her hopes for marriage and a family of her own have long since passed her by, and her arrival on Dillon’s Island, nestled in the Susquehanna river, is not of her choosing, either. She needs work. And Jackson Smith needs a housekeeper.

Jackson, on the other hand, has never met anyone quite so…plain. But he quickly comes to realize that Ellie’s presence may solve his own problems–both the rearing of his young boys and the scandal that surrounds his first marriage.

When Jackson offers her something quite out of the ordinary, will Ellie look beyond mere necessity and risk opening her heart?

Author Bio: Delia Parr, pen name for Mary Lechleidner, is the author of 10 historical novels and the winner of several awards, including the Laurel Wreath Award for Historical Romance and the Aspen Gold Award for Best Inspirational Book. She is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. The mother of three grown children, she lives in Collingswood, New Jersey. Visit www.deliaparr.com for more information.

My Review: This was a great story. It was definitely something I would never have thought of, but that’s what makes a great story. I don’t think I have ever read a book where the character was described as plain. I found that rather interesting. I love the strong character that Ellie posesses. She has been through so much that does not seem to be fair to any person, and yet she retains her faith in God. I have read other books by Delia Parr and liked them just as much as this one. I would recommend books by Delia Parr to anyone.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

 

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand July 1, 2010

Filed under: Book Review — pattyleblanc @ 1:06 am
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Summary: Rylee Monroe, a dogwalker in Charleston’s wealthiest neighborhood, never feared the streets at night. But now a thief is terrorizing the area and worse, someone seems to be targeting her.

Reporter Logan Woods is following the break-ins with the hope of publishing his coverage as a true-crime book. The more he digs, the more he realizes this beguiling dogwalker seems to be at the center of everything.

As danger draws ever closer, Logan must choose: Chase the girl, the story, or plunge into the shadows after the villain who threatens everything?

Author Bio: Deanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand are former critique group partners who decided to blend her bestselling romance skills with his acclaimed suspense writing for this unique romantic suspense novel. Deanne is best known for her bestselling historical romances, including A Bride in the Bargain, while Mark’s solo debut is the crime novel Back on Murder.

My Review: I was pleasantly surprised by the twisting together of genres by this duo. I have read many of Deanne’s books and absolutely loved them, so I thought I would give this a try and see what I thought. I think I am beginning to fall into a love of mingling suspense with romance. I liked this book so much that I do believe I will have to try Mark’s book. I would recommend Beguiled to all my friends. It is definitely worth reading.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.

 

Love Finds You in Bridal Veil Oregon by Miralee Ferrell

Summary: Against the backdrop of the breathtaking Bridal Veil Falls in a historic Oregon logging community, a schoolteacher finds herself torn between a past love and the man who could be her future. Sixteen-year-old Margaret Garvey had promised her heart to Nathaniel Cooper the night he disappeared from town. Four years later, just as she’s giving love a second chance with Andrew, a handsome logger, nathaniel suddenly returns to town with a devastating secret. While grappling with the betrayal of those she trusted most, Margaret risks her reputation and position by harboring two troubled runaways who might be involved in the murder of a local man. And as disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.

Author Bio: Miralee Ferrell is the author of three novels. She lives in Washington with Allen, her husband of more than 37 years, and has two grown children. She serves on staff at her local church and is actively involved in ministry to women. Read more at www.MiraleeFerrell.com.

My Review: I found this to be a very fast-paced book that I just couldn’t put down. There were elements of suspense that kept me on pins and needles wanting to know what would happen next. Historicals are one of my favorites and I have come to enjoy the Love Finds You books as well. There was also the romance aspect thrown in, which continues to be one of my favorites. The characters were very real and believable. My favorite character was Sammie, the orphan who Margaret brought into her home to care for. Sammie was full of spunk and had such strong character in the face of the events that transpired in her life and still continued to trust in the Lord for strength to get her through any situation. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It was a very relaxing read that I think anyone would find pleasurable.

I received a copy of this book to read and review from the author. My review is not biased by the fact that I was given this book. I HONESTLY read and review any book whether bought or given to me. If I did not like the book I would definitely not give a rave review or recommend it.