Sunday, July 26, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor By Melanie Dobson

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.


My Thoughts:


Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor is Melanie Dobson's latest book and it is just WOW! When I read the book description I was taken in by it and knew I had to read it. As a Mom of 3, I have 2 children who are special needs on the Autism Spectrum and so as I read this book I really identified with much of what her parents went through except at that time there was no name or treatment for it, it was said to be because of bad parenting especially by the mother. This story takes place in two times, the present where Heather Toulson is home in England cleaning out her family home after her father dies and then in 1950's and 60's from Libby's birth until the the past catches up to the present. Melanie Dobson does a fantastic job transitioning between the different times and the different characters, the flow is amazing, flawless actually. Melanie Dobson writes with obvious expertise and experience with the Autism Spectrum and all of the good and bad that comes with it.  She writes from her heart about Libby and Libby's special gifts, the gifts she passed on to her family. Oh just a beautiful story. From the start, this story grabbed me from the first page all the way to the end, also keeping me guessing until the end. Melanie Dobson really gives an accurate view of a child with special needs and all the things that come with it, the hard and the beautiful. The gifts these children have, a way of thinking that others cannot understand. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, the impression left on my heart. I found myself laughing in some parts and sobbing in others. Definitely an emotional book! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction! You will not be disappointed! Melanie Dobson is on my top 10 list of authors I MUST read! I give this book 5+ Stars!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer's List By Anita Higman

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love... didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.  
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?
With lovable characters and surprising twists, Summer's List is a simple delight.


My Thoughts:  


Summer's List by Anita Higman is a wonderful, wonderful book. I have had the pleasure of reading a few books by Anita Higman and I have always enjoyed them, but Summer's List is on a whole other level!  Summer Snow has not had an easy time in life. When her parents were hurt in an accident, Summer was there caring for them through the end and also running her grandma's book store, a children's book store that Summer spent most of her life. Summer Snow spent most of her childhood having to be an adult and care for the needs of others. Granny Snow has found out she is dying and with what time she has left she decided that Summer needs to have adventures so she makes a list of fun things that Summer never got a chance to do that Granny felt were essential, Summer's List. Granny Snow wanted to be able to be a part of this list with Summer.  The first thing, Find Martin Langtree, Summer's childhood best friend whom she loved. Martin lost his mom and was adopted and had to move away and they never saw each other again. Granny Snow knew how important Martin was and still is to Summer and figured Martin would be the perfect one to do this list with Summer.  Granny Snow gives Summer her list and an address and she is off to do number 1 on the list, find Martin and ask him to do the list with her.

I LOVED this book. It caught my attention right from the start and definitely kept me all the way to the end. Anita Higman writes with authority about Texas, bookstores, gardening, and loss of a grandparent. I was very close with my Grandpa, like Summer with her Grandma, so this story really spoke to me. I also had a friend like Martin that I have known since we were babies and we have lost touch and I miss him! This is a book that will stay with me for quite some time! The characters in this book are fantastic and I enjoyed being able to watch them all be transformed by God's word.  I found myself laughing in places and crying in others! Definitely was an emotional read.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you won't be disappointed! I cannot wait to read more from Anita Higman! I give this book 5 STARS.

Two Roads Home: Chicory Inn Book 2 By Deborah Raney

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?


My Thoughts:


Two Roads Home is the second book in Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn Series and I really enjoyed it! I had the honor of reading and reviewing, Home to Chicory Lane, the first book in this series and was excited to have another opportunity to read and review this one! I am a big fan of Deborah Raney's writing so I am always on the lookout for her latest books.  In Book Two the focus is on Corinne and Jesse Pennington, the Whitman's oldest daughter and her husband. Jesse and Corinne live a comfortable life with their three girls but Jesse is feeling incomplete, he is not doing what he wants to do, and that is go back to school to become a teacher. Corinne is also feeling this incomplete feeling and feels Jesse's, but neither one has spoken to the other about these feelings.  They find themselves in the middle of a life storm when a co worker makes advances toward Jesse during a business trip. When Jesse rebukes the advances, he finds himself  being accused of harassment by this co worker. As this storm is brewing Jesse and Corinne are feeling led to find other dreams.

I really enjoyed Two Roads Home. I found myself being able to relate to this couple in many ways. Jesse and Corinne are the "old married couple" who everyone assumes has everything in life together, settled but they aren't. Both of them are restless and looking for something else for their family.  Deborah Raney writes with authority about Cape Girardeau, Mo, being a Stay at home Mom, running an inn inside a family home, marriage, and following God's leading.  I found myself unable to put this book down once I started it, from start to finish this book took many twists and turns and was definitely not what I expected, which I love!! I really enjoy the cast of characters in the Whitman Family especially Grant and Audrey Whitman. They are such pillars for their family and puts their faith in God's plan. They are devoted to their family and their inn. I love the interactions between them. As I stated, in this book the focus is The Pennington Family but fear not, the characters from book one are also back.  I loved reading Jesse and Corinne's story while being able to keep up with the rest of the Whitman Family.  I highly recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I am excited to read the next book in the series, Another Way Home! I give this book 5 STARS

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal: Journey of The Heart Book 4 By Colleen Coble

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered a terrible truth. A woman she's never met reveals that she and Emmie shared the same husband and that the bigamist had never divorced his first wife. The home and farm are not Emmie's property after all.

Suddenly displaced and powerless, Emmie realizes she can't stay in Wabash, Indiana, any longer. She makes for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning await her. But when she arrives, she discovers she's carrying a child, conceived before her husband's death. Was the new start she'd hoped for only a mirage?

At Fort Laramie, a soldier named Isaac Liddle begins to court Emmie, prompting her to wonder whether she could ever really be his--and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.




My Thoughts: 

A Heart's Betrayal is the fourth novella in The Journey of the Heart series by Colleen Coble. I love reading Colleen Coble's books, but not a fan of novellas until I started reading this novella series! In this latest installment we read about Emmie Croftner, the sister of Ben Croftner (the villain of this series), and she is in trouble.  Emmie's husband is killed in an accident and when Emmie goes to his home to claim the home and the other things she inherited, she finds out that He already had a wife, so Emmie has no claim to any of the properties. Emmie knows she can't stay in Indiana so she decides to head to Fort Laramie, Wyoming where her friend Sarah is, hoping to find a fresh start, but after she gets there she finds out she is pregnant with her "husbands" child.  I loved reading about Emmie and her continued story. It was nice to see more characters in this book. Rand and Sarah are still part of this book but Emmie's story takes the front seat!  This book still keeps you guessing until the end and leaves you at a cliff hanger. I really did enjoy this installment and look forward to reading the rest! I enjoy the historical aspects of this book and the whole series! Colleen Coble is definitely an expert on this time in history and the US during this time. This book definitely kept me engaged from start to finish, leaving me anxious for the next installment. I look forward to the rest of the novellas in this series! I give this book 4 STARS.