Monday, June 27, 2011

Forever After by Deborah Raney

I received this book from Glass Road Public Relations for no charge for my honest review of this book. I was not paid to give a good review.

Book Description

Jenna Morgan mourned the loss of her husband, Zach, in the fire that destroyed the Hanover Falls homeless shelter and claimed the lives of three other firefighters. A year later, her ability to keep up the charade of prosperity she and Zach lived is at an end. Even with financial help from Zach's parents, she can't make the mortgage and credit card payments. But Jenna Morgan refuses to go back to the trailer home life from which she escaped. She's come so far. She just can't go back to that.
Lucas Vermontez has endured physical therapy for a year, but the legs crushed while he fought the homeless shelter fire are nowhere near 100% yet. Will his dream of returning to the fire station ever become reality? And can he conquer these feelings he has for his best buddy's widow?

Forever After is the second book The Hanover Falls Novel series by Deborah Raney. The nice thing about how the books are written, if you have not read the first one there is enough details from book one to not feel lost. I am glad I read the first one since I like to read them in order. Forever After is centered around Jenna, whose husband, Zach, died in a fire of a homeless shelter and Lucas, Zach's partner, who lived but sustained injuries that changed his life. Lucas also was dealing with the death of his father in that fire also. Jenna is trying to make a life for herself and stand on her own two feet. Lucas is trying to get better and find a job that he loves like he did firefighting. Jenna and Lucas reconnect as friends but as they spend more time together Lucas has feelings for her but does not know what to do because he doesn't want to betray his friend. Jenna fights with doubts of God's love and faith, while Lucas has a strong faith in God. Jenna finds out she cannot do it herself without God's help and Lucas proves with God's love you can do anything.

Forever After is a wonderful book. Deborah Raney has put together a wonderful cast of characters that truly find their way into your heart. You feel their joys and heartaches. Much research had been done about fires, firefighters, Arson investigators, training for these jobs. Raney writes with such expertise on these things. It's a beautiful story of finding true love and believing with God, everything is possible. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction. I look forward to reading more novels by Deborah Raney.

Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond

I received this book From Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest review of this book.

Book Description:

When Susannah goes to Dakota territory as a mail-order bride she finds something she never dreamed she would - true love.

With no prospects for marriage and her parents recently deceased, Susannah Underhill agrees to go west to the Dakota territory to marry her minister's homesteading brother, Jesse. But Susannah is painfully shy, doesn't see herself as worthy of love from either a husband or from God, and lives in constant fear that Jesse is going to ship her back to Detroit.

In spite of her petite size and the fact that Susannah doesn't look like she could survive on the prairie, Jesse quickly discovers that his new wife is a greater blessing than he even hoped for. The years she spent as her father's veterinary assistant allow her to save Jesse's ox and twin calves and to help neighboring farmers with their animals.

But Susannah's feelings of unworthiness are deeply rooted, and she can't believe that Jesse's praise-or the tenderness and love he shows-could possibly last. The thawing of her heart seems almost as distant as Spring in the midst of the winter blanketing the Dakota prairie.

Spring for Susannah is the debut novel for Catherine Richmond. A historical fiction, that takes place in Dakota Territory before there were many settlers. Susannah lost her parents and got married by proxy to Jesse Mason, brother of her Pastor at the church she attended. Jesse Mason paid her way to Dakota. Susannah never planned to be married, she had never dated and really never made friends. Susannah didn't want to any of this but did it to survive. Living in a Sod house and farming. Jesse is a kind man, loves God and has great faith in contrast Susannah didn't feel she was worthy of God's love or anyone elses. Despite her being a woman from the city she shows her strength by helping Jesse on the land to make it prosperous. In this story we watch Susannah transform for a shy, proper woman with little to no faith that God wants anything good for her to a strong, independent woman whose faith grows exponentially.
I couldn't put this book down. Catherine Richmond truly transports you to the 1800's in the Dakota Territory after the Civil War. I felt like I was there with our characters. Catherine Richmond throughly researched and knows about the time period and the places she wrote about in this book. It's a beautiful story of love and redemption. I highly recommend this book to anyone but especially those who enjoy historical fiction. I look forward to reading more by Catherine Richmond. Thank you Litfuse for the opportunity to read this wonderful debut novel.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck by Kathleen Y'Barbo

I received this book from Waterbrook's blogging for books program for free for my honest review of this book.

Product Description
Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck is the first book of Kathleen Y'Barbo's I have read. We meet Charlotte in London to be introduced to society there. Charlotte is not interested in the things other women of this time are. Charlotte wants to attend college and be in business while all other women are looking for a husband. Charlotte longs to be back in Colorado with her father. While in London Charlotte meets Alex Hambly whose family competes with Charlotte's in business all over the world. Alex's family is losing its money and he needs to find a way to take care of his mother and brother. Also save the family name. From the moment Charlotte fell into Alex's arms sparks have flown between them. Charlotte heads back to Colorado and Alex Hambly heads there to work a business deal. When the deal goes south for Alex, Charlotte's father has the answer, Charlotte and Alex marry. Alex's family will be saved and Charlotte's family gets what they want that she is married and part of society. Little do the families know, Charlotte and Alex have already planned to a fake marriage and a very quick annulment.

As a fan of historical fiction I grabbed up this book quickly. Unfortunately this book didn't grab me like I had hoped. I found out after reading it that there are 2 other books ahead of this one, which I have not read and think it would have made a difference to read them. That being said, this book is a good book. It is very well researched and written. The characters leap off the pages and are very real. The storyline was different from most historical fiction where the story is about arranged marriages. Kathleen Y'Barbo is a great author and I look forward to reading more from her.

Friday, June 10, 2011

An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers free for my honest opinion of this book. My review is my own opinion of this book.

Product Description
Lucy Scarpelli, an Italian dressmaker from New York, befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's making her summer wardrobe. It's an unlikely friendship, but one that Rowena encourages by inviting Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating clothes that hide her physical injury, Rowena encourages Lucy to dream of a better future. One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what man will accept her family responsibilities? Rowena also deals with love as she faces a worrisome arranged marriage to a wealthy heir. And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, takes up with a man of dubious character. All three women struggle as their lives, and those of each unlikely suitor, become intertwined in a web of secrets and sacrifice. Will any of them find true happiness?

An Unlikely Suitor By Nancy Moser is a beautiful story of how love knows no boundaries. This story shows how love and friendship cross all boundaries in society. This story takes place in 1895, a time where society dictates everything from where you live to who you marry. It's a wonderful story of crossing those lines for love regardless of the consequences. The characters in this story are well researched and very deep characters. We see how their faith in God keeps them going. The descriptions of the clothing they wear, the places they live, and the jobs they hold are very rich and again very well researched. Nancy Moser includes in the book at the end what are facts in her story and also information and pictures on the clothing of this period. This book is a wonderful story of family loyalty, friendship, faith in God, and love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I look forward to reading more books by Nancy Moser.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann

I received this book from WaterBrook Press's blogging for books program for free. In exchange I give my honest review of the book

Product Description
In a clash of light and darkness, can courage prevail?

Rescuing a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, Trevor MacDaniel, a high-country outfitter , sets in motion events he can’t foresee. His act of bravery entwines his life with gifted sculptor Natalie Reeve—and attracts a grim admirer.

Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.

When a troubled soul views Trevor as archangel and adversary, Redford’s peaceful mountain community is threatened. Together with Police Chief Jonah Westfall, Trevor presses his limits to combat the menace who targets the most helpless and innocent.

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann was a good book. I found myself I little confused at first because in between chapters there are musings which until the end, do not know from who. Each of these musings have lines from Paradise Lost. The book had many characters and such depth that it was hard to put down. Kristen Heitzmann's characters showed strong faith, stong friendships, and a community that looked out for each other. Kristen Heitzmann writes with such knowledge and expertise of different medical conditions that much research must have went into this book. Her description of the town and the area was also well researched. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery, suspense, and good old Good Vs Evil.

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar By KD Homberg

I received this audiobook for no charge from the author and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review of this audiobook...