On Distant Shores

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Title: On Distant Shores
Series: Wings Of The Nightingale
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell
Published: August 1, 2013
Pages: 432

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Lieutenant Georgianna Taylor has everything she could’ve dreamed of. She has a boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. Her life is turned upside down when she meets an enlisted man who shows her that she’s more than the baby that doesn’t make decisions for herself. She now must make decisions for herself even the hard ones. Even if it means she must do the opposite of what everyone wants for her.

Sergeant John Hutchinson resents the lack of respect he gets as a noncommissioned serviceman and how his career, pharmacology, is portrayed in the military. The war also keeps him from his fiancé and all he wants is to go home and marry her. Until he meets Georgie. Georgie does everything his fiancé doesn’t, she encourages him and trusts him. He tries to fight the attraction, but the more he spends with her and away from his fiancé the more attraction he feels for her.

The more time they spend together the more their forbidden attraction grows. And while they share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Everything seems to be changing around them and life is pulling them apart. But with God and love maybe, just maybe, love with survive loss and a war.

Can Georgie learn to make her own decisions or will she continue to let people make decisions for her? Can Hutch find contentment in any area The Lord places him or will he let stubbornness and bitterness control and consume him? Can love weather the storm of life and war or will their love fall apart under the pressure? Will following the Lord’s plan bring them together or farther apart?
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Sarah Sundin is by far my favorite author of WWII novels. Her ability to create visuals with a few words and get me engrossed in a story from the start is breathtaking. Every time I pick up one her novels I know I’m in for a roller coaster ride and a vibrant glimpse into history. This novel captured me just like the others that I’ve read by her and I absolutely can’t wait for more.

The storyline in this book is incredible. It’s intriguing, engaging, and absolutely beautiful. Not only did I feel like I was the character and was celebrating their victories and mourning their failures, but the descriptive writing left me with such detail I feel like I could see the dirt, sweat, and frustration on the faces of each character. It was a completely new experience and I loved it. I can’t wait to experience that again.

The romance in this novel is just what I’ve come to expect from this author. I was given the perfect romance. It had the perfect amount of romance and emotional bonding, that I’ve come to expect and love from Sarah Sundin. The struggles they both went through made them stronger and made their love even more sweet and I loved it so much.

The part I liked most about the story was the message or lesson on there. It was all about trusting in God to lead you where He wants you whether you’re like Georgie and you are afraid to make a mistake or whether you’re like Hutch and charge ahead without asking what God wants. It was a message I need to hear over and over again because I tend to be like Hutch so to read this book really helped with that.

The World War II time frame is one of my favorite time to read about and so I grab as many of them as I can, but the person who does them the best, by far, is Sarah Sundin. Her research is impeccable and her knowledge of time period and the care and morale of the soldiers is astounding and I eat up her books like a chocolate cupcake, very quickly. I absolutely can’t wait for the third book in this series and to see who falls in love next, though I have an idea.

Overall, I loved this book. I literally don’t have any complaints about it and thought it was absolutely perfect as is. This book is perfect for people like me who love WWII romances and love Sarah Sundin. However, it’s probably best to keep this book out of the hands of your children, teens and younger, and only in yours. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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Carolina Reckoning

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Title: Carolina Reckoning
Author: Lisa Carter
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: August 6, 2013
Pages: 336

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When Alison Monaghan discovered evidence of her husband’s infidelity in his coat pocket, she was furious. She had intended to confront him when he came home that night but he never made it home. Soon, Frank’s body is discovered with a bullet wound to the head and Alison is suspect number one. Alison wants to know why her husband was on the lonely back-country road when he was murdered and she wants to prove her innocence, even if it means stepping on the killer’s toes to do it.

Detective Mike Barefoot, a Cherokee native from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, immediately suspects Alison as the killer. She has motive and opportunity, but for some reason he’s drawn to her in an unusual way that has nothing to do with the crime. He usually keeps his emotional walls high and never gets involved with murder suspects, so his attraction to Alison is odd and uncharacteristic for him. His goal is to find the killer and hopefully stop them from killing again.

As Alison and Mike struggle to find the truth about her husband, Alison can’t help but feel something for the younger detective. This is something she hasn’t felt for a long time and might just lead to more, if she lets it. Their attraction grows but so does the danger of their situation. Mike is trying to keep Alison safe but she refuses to let Mike do all the work, putting a target on her back and making it nearly impossible for Mike to keep her safe.

Can Alison and Mike discover who killed her husband or will the murderer silence them both before it’s too late? Can Mike keep Alison safe or will she put herself in too much danger? Will Alison open her heart to love again or will she forever hold onto the scars of her previous marriage? Can Mike break down his walls and love not only Alison but God too or will he lose them both because of his pain?
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When I saw this book and read the cover, I was in love. It seemed like the perfect suspense novel and one that I would really enjoy. However, it was a bit disappointing for me. When I picked up this book I expected an amazing romance and suspense but what I got wasn’t at all what I expected. Despite the disappointment, I tried to enjoy this book and I did when the suspenseful rolled around but unfortunately they weren’t very frequent.

The whole story has an amazingly slow pace, especially for a suspense. I could’ve easily walked away from this book, except I wanted to find out which of the dozen women was the killer, because I believed along with the heroine that the killer was a woman. Other than that detail, I probably would’ve walked away from this book and never come back. It took me too long to finish it anyway.

The suspense not only was slow but was shockingly not suspenseful. There’s maybe three attempts to scare her off the case and for a 300 something page book that is a sorry excuse for a suspense and the death knell to any suspense. The killer is actually pretty difficult to pick because of the wide array of women in this book. However, if you pay attention to details and go with your gut you might just get it right, though I can guarantee you will be surprised at some details that come to light, which was the saving grace for this suspense.

The romance was a bit lackluster as well. Mike is the most unromantic unchivalrous man ever and Alison is having a hard time deciding between two men, one Mike and the other very similar to her dead husband. Not to mention that both the heroine and hero both find Christ but neither have a big conversion which, in my opinion, really makes the book realistic because people who fight God their entire lives don’t usually just start talking to him and that’s it. I don’t know, this romance wasn’t what I dream of and isn’t really what I look forward to. I didn’t feel the love pour through the pages.

This author didn’t wow me with this one. I have no idea how many books this author has written but I’m hesitant to pick them up if there are any. However, something tells me this is a debut and if so, I might read her next books later on after she’s grown a bit. I hope this author can find a balance in the delicate dance between suspense, romance, and growth. I don’t really recommend this book.

Overall, I didn’t love this book. Disappointment might’ve clouded my opinion but for me the only thing that saved this book was the plot twist at the end of the book. People who like slower suspense and suspense about murdering women might like this one. This book is best kept to the adults. I give this book a two and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

King

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Title: King
Series: Books Of The Infinite
Author: R. J. Larson
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: July 1, 2013
Pages: 352

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Akabe Garric has been chosen, against his will, to be king of Siphra. He’s a warrior at heart and never dreamed if or wanted such a swift unexpected rise to power. Despite his misgivings about his new role, he’s determined to prove his worth to the people of Munra and honor his Creator by undertaking a monumental task: rebuilding the Infinite’s Holy House in Siphra. If only the task only was all he had to worry about.

When Akabe soon discovers that the land he needs is held by the ThaenFalls, known Atea-worshipers who will only give him the land if he marries into their line. He has no idea what to do, all he knows is that his choice, Caitria, is pretty and seems like she’s had a rough life like him. Though Akabe seeks the Infinite’s direction, he gets nothing but silence. Frustrated, Akabe makes an impulsive decision which sweeps his nation into a lethal storm that threatens his plans for the temple.

With Akabe’s impulsive marriage to a controversial bride, Ela and Kien are forced to face what they feel for each other and when her father gives her to Kien, she must face her fears of her lifespan and those she’ll now leave behind. They also must face assassination attempts and another vision that will forever alter their lives as well as make them question how much time they have left. They must team up for righteousness and to survive but their enemies are persistent and they might finally succeed in killing the world famous prophet.

Can Ela give up her fears for her death and her fears of who she will leave behind or will she forever refuse to love because of the unknown? Can Akabe turn his new wife to the Infinite or will he have a wife who hates his Creator forever? Can Kien, Akabe, Caitria, and Ela survive the assassins or will the assassins succeed in their task? Will Akabe and Caitria fall in love despite their differences or will they forever be unhappy in their situation? Can Akabe finish the Infinite’s Holy House or will he lose his life because of it and before it’s finished?
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I love this author and her first fantasy series. This series is absolutely incredible and this latest installment skyrockets it up to my “top five best series ever” list and it’s not coming off any time soon. I’m a bit sad it has to come to an end yet excited to find out what other fantastic fantasy novels she will throw my way. R. J. Larson has become one my all time favorite authors and I fully intend to attempt to he my hands on anything else she writes.

Each book in this series was slightly different. The first focused on Ela and mostly revolved on prophesy, while the second revolved around battles and stubbornness. This one, revolved around love, survival, and trusting God and I must say that I think this one just might be my favorite of the three. This book hit close to home because I find myself doing things similar to King Akabe and so I loved this one and seeing every lovable character’s ending.

There’s actually quite a bit of romance in this novel. Akabe marries an Atean yet despite their differences they fall in love, even though Akabe doesn’t stop praying for her. Kien and Ela’s relationship opens to a new chapter and forces Ela to face some deep-seated fears she has about loving anyone. Even Matron Prill falls in love with someone as well as Pet/Scythe and that brought joy to my heart. The thing I loved most about all the romance in this book was the fact that Caitria was one of the most lovable characters, despite her rebellious ways,
and I couldn’t help but love her despite some poor choice and wrinkles in the road.

The one thing I wish was a bit different was the lack of an intense “death-scene” for our prophet, Ela. In the other two books, Ela has nearly died and the intensity of those scenes and the feelings they evoke was greatly missed and gave the book a less urgent feeling that I feel would’ve worked nicely. Also, a small pet peeve, I really wanted to know how long Ela lived for but I guess that that is something the author didn’t want us to know.

This author truly captivated me and made me a huge fan. I’m eagerly anticipating the next book she authors and hope that I’m fortunate enough to get my hands on it. I don’t think I’ve this fully engrossed in a book in a long time, nor have I wanted something to be real as much as I’ve wanted my own destroyer. This author mastered this series and has a definite gift of storytelling. This author and series come highly recommended.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book despite the lack of intensity and finality with Ela. I think this this book is perfect for people who like a fantasy that feels real. I think this series is great for adults, teens, and tweens and will help develop their love of Christ. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Slow Moon Rising

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Title: Slow Moon Rising
Series: Cedar Key
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Publisher: Revell
Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 384

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Cedar Key has long been a place of rest, healing and release for the Claybourne family. But it’s also the birthplace of a dark secret that’s tearing their family apart from within. Everyone in this family had unique struggles and secrets that they keep and each have a journey they must go through to conquer their secrets and be released from the darkness haunting their lives, but the journey to that point is long, hard, and filled with many tear along the way.

Join the strong Claybourne women – Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami as they face heartbreak, misunderstandings, and pain to bring reconciliation with each other and renewed love into their lives. Cedar Key had long been a place to turn to in times of confusion, loss, and hurt. They go their to get their spirits renewed and their hearts restored. Cedar Key is part of their journey and not all of it is easy.

As these women start down their journey, none could have anticipated how hard it would be or how much yet would lean on their family to help them through their times of trial. No one could’ve anticipated how hat those trials would’ve been or how much healing would happen along the way, but one thing thy do know is that a family isn’t made up of the secrets but how you survive them.

Can Anise win over her new family or will she be forever shunned? Can Kimberly overcome her husband’s choices or will she forever be scarred by her husband’s choices? Will Jayme-Leigh recover from a life altering disease and decision or will she be resentful about it forever? Will Heather’s journey help her heal from a problem or will she end up similar to her mother? Will Ami be able to forgive her dad and herself or will the guilt engulf her until she dies?
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The one thing I love about Eva Marie Everson is that she is a master at creating characters that captivate and capture your heart. These characters were no different than the last book in this beautifully heartbreaking series. She manages to create such realistically broken characters and create a story that’s heart wrenching yet hopeful and full of healing too in every story she crafts and I love the complexity and uniqueness of every story she weaves.

Each character had their own set of struggles to overcome and I could relate to every character in some way. Even when I couldn’t relate I still felt for every character in the story. Each struggle was something that became real for me. I felt the weight of the secrets they carried and felt their frustration and sorrow. I have no idea how the author manages to do it but it amazes me every time I read one of her lovingly painful books.

The setting is perfect too. What a better place for healing and peace than a place like Cedar Key. It sounds like an idyllic small town and the perfect place to go if you need some time and space to think or even to just be. I can imagine what the town might look like and how many people have found healing there. I don’t know if this place exists but it’s my wish to find a place that I can escape to just like Cedar Key.

The storyline is a mixture of problems ranging in severity and duration but each is special and a common problem. Though there was possibly too many characters I never felt too confused as to who was who (except for the husbands, those were hard to keep track of), but I did find that the amount of characters made some of their journeys shorter than I would’ve liked. It’s also written in first person, but in this book’s case it fit so perfectly that I actually enjoyed it.

This author captured me with her amazing characters with the second book in this series and I had to come back for more. This story is no different and made the characters real for me. I love this author’s gift for characters and that’s why I will be reading more from her in the future ad hopefully enjoy them as much as this one.

Overall, this is a great book about struggles and family. There was a but too many characters which cut all their stories a bit short but I still enjoyed it and recommend it. I recommend this to people who like books that are more about family secrets and the drama that comes with them. Keep this book away from your kids, teen and children alike, and leave this one strictly for the adults. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Her Restless Heart Women’s Bible Study

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Title: Her Restless Heart Women’s Bible Study
Author: Barbara Cameron
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Pages: 208
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So because this is a bible study I’m not going to do a long description. It’s a bible study using the book Her Restless Heart as the backdrop to delve into the Geary’s longing for love and acceptance. It uses fiction to allow you to see yourself in new ways.
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So when I requested this book I though it was the fiction book not the accompanying bible study. So when I received it I was a bit disappointed but that was until I started to read it. However, once I dug into this study I was actually really glad that I didn’t know before I received it. This helped me a lot to identify some of my issues and how I can give them to God.

The fact that this study uses fiction as a backdrop makes this one unique and, in my opinion, effective. The fiction made it easier for me to identify and address some issues I might have. I think this idea is genius and others should consider doing this too. I think it makes the study a but more fun and interesting.

Though I think this study is targeted for middle-aged women I think older or younger women can enjoy this study. I know it helped me identify things that I do that aren’t exactly the best and helped me identify what my personality is like. It also helped me realize some things about God that I already knew but sometimes have a hard time fully believing or some things that I feel I need to do before I go to God. I know this study helped me a lot.

I think of all the study to do this one was perfect for me because of all the things I think about and hope for the most is to be loved and accepted. It’s a hope for the future and a knowledge of now. It’s what I think I want and need most of all. So for me this was the best study for me because it helped me see that I deserve to be loved and accepted but I need to rest in the knowledge that God loves and made me who I am.

I’ve never read anything by this author but if the snippets of parts of the book say anything about her writing skill, she’s amazing. I got hooked on her story and I only read parts of chapters! She also is amazing at hitting straight to the point and showing you how to fix it. I loved this bible study and actually want to read more from her, fiction or nonfiction. This study comes highly recommended.

Overall, I loved this bible study and I recommend it to anyone of an age that can understand and appreciate this bible study. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Sunflower Summer

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Title: Sunflower Summer
Series: Postcards From Misty Harbor Inn
Author: Evangeline Kelley
Publisher: Guideposts
Published: April 1, 2013
Pages: 272

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Misty Harbor Inn has officially opened and the Marris sisters face some tough decisions. Gracie Gold, the middle Marris sister, must decide if she wants to stay in Nantucket year-round or stay here only in the summer time. She struggles with being needed and having something to do, but it seems like she’s needed more than she knows. Especially in being a listening ear to boarders.

Caroline Marris also has to make some tough choices. After denying a proposal from her longtime friend, she is devastated to find he won’t be able to visit her this summer. Thinking he’s avoiding her because of her refusal to his marriage proposal, Caroline begins to question her decision and her opinion of her readiness. But she feels it might be too late to remedy what she possibly did to her friendship.

Sam Carter is blooming in the Misty Harbor Inn. She is baking and she even discovers a secret passageway in the back of a guest room closet. It contains items belonging to the mysterious previous owner, who disappeared suddenly and without a trace. Keeping herself busy by cooking, baking, and a new mystery on her hands Sam is content, happy even, to be a hotel owner.

Can Caroline decide whether she wants to be married or not? Will Gracie decide whether to live on the island permanently or will she decide to stay part-time only? Will the Marris sisters be able to solve the mystery of the widow who lived here before or will it remain a local mystery forever? Will their in be a success or will they fail?
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This book’s cover and plot was what first attracted me to this book, but the content bored me a little. It took about a quarter of the book to really pick up and that pick up didn’t really last that long. I liked the aspects of running the inn and parts of the mystery of the missing widow, but those didn’t really hold my attention for long. I think it might be because it’s hard for me to relate to the characters.

The characters were a bit older than me and for me it’s difficult to relate to a character that’s a lot older than me. Some of their attitudes were fun and young and easy to imagine in real life, but I just wasn’t able to connect with them. Maybe it was the lack of real character development or maybe it was me. I don’t quite know why I wasn’t able to connect with them, because I have fallen in love with older characters.

The storyline was a but jumbled to me. I think the book had too many side stories and not enough of a main story. It seemed a bit ambitious to start a storyline for each sister in one book, add on top of that the visitors’ story-lines and the mystery, it just seemed like too much for me. I don’t quite know what the main storyline was in this novel but it wasn’t big enough for me to detect it.

The one thing I did really enjoy about this book was the mystery about the missing widow. Even that kind of disappointed me. It started out with a lot of potential but ended on a flat note. Most of the leads end in dead ends and leaves everyone disappointed. I would’ve loved to have found out what happened to the lady but I think it’s being stretched to the third book. Oh well.

This author is actually a pen name for a group of four authors who collaborate together. I didn’t care much for their collaboration but I don’t think I was their target audience. A shame because I really wanted this on to be amazing. Though I don’t really recommend this one, I’m sure there is someone who is more the target audience that will recommend it. It just wasn’t for me.

Overall, this book wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure there are some people more the target audience who loved it. I think this is perfect for older people who want a book that isn’t a romance. I don’t recommend this for anyone else other than middle-aged or older people. I give this book a two and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. all opinions expressed are my own.*

Love At Any Cost

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Title: Love At Any Cost
Series: The Heart Of San Francisco
Author: Julie Lessman
Publisher: Revell
Published: April 15, 2013
Pages: 416

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Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without fortune who just got jilted by a fortune hunter. Because of that she just as soon hogtie a man than look at him and she hopes to stay as far away from men as possible while she spends the summer with her cousins in San Francisco. She hopes her wealthy family will be able to keep her kind off her broken heart and distract her from any men. Little does she know that one man will do anything to turn her head.

Jamie McKenna has spent his life in the slums of San Francisco and he wants to bring his mom out of poverty and pay for a much needed surgery for his sister. But to do that he has to marry well. Jamie will do anything to do better for his family even give up love, but when he meets the captivating Cassidy he starts to believe that maybe he can get love and money.

Cassidy refuses to give her heart up to another handsome man, but when she loses her heart she must make the choice to take the leap or lose what could possibly be the love of her life. When Jamie finds out that Cassidy is broke he must make a choice between love or money. As they fall harder they have to combat fears and pasts and past mistakes to try and find that love that neither thought was possible.

Can Cassidy trust Jamie or will she get hurt again? Will Jamie pick Cassidy or money? Is he willing to give up love for a life filled with shallow relationships and money? Will Cassidy get her heart broken again or will she find the love she always wanted but could never find? Is love enough to conquer money and stubbornness? Can Cassidy show Jamie that God’s love covers all and will give him what he needs with less effort on his part?
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This is Julie Lessman’s seventh novel and the seventh novel of hers that I’ve read. After saying goodbye to the O’Connors, I knew that her next was going to be a change, but thankfully she made the transition easier by making each character lovable and by making me excited for who will be next to fall in love. This author has another hit on her hands and she has grown into her niche even more than her previous. Though I miss the O’Connors, I think I’ll love this new Irish family as much as the ever lovable O’Connors.

The romance in this novel is, I think, the perfect mixture of passion and purity. Her style has mellowed out a bit from her first trilogy, in a good way, you no longer blush while reading these books but you still get an understated heat that makes girls dream. I loved the story of Cassidy and Jamie. I liked how Cassie fell in love with the man she wanted to avoid and I loved the decision Jamie made for love. This one made me dream of a dark haired Irish man with stubbornness and passion abundantly.

The storyline of this one is top-notch. It’s not really unique yet it is somehow. I liked how the story progressed, though I do feel like some important issues were passed over a little too quickly, overall I loved this storyline and how she hated him then fell in love with him. The twists have gotten better, story development has gotten better, her passionate stories has gotten better. Everything has gotten better. In fact, for years A Passion Most Pure has been my favorite, but this one may have dethroned that one. GASP. This author should be extremely proud of this one.

The characters are really well developed. Each one has their own personality and I can’t wait to see each one paired up with someone who matches them perfectly. Who will be next? I hope it’s Allison or Blake. They seem like their story will be the most dramatic. This might sound crazy but I actually hope to see Lydia again. I feel sorry for her, she grasps for love so hard that she hurts people around her. Call me crazy but, dare I say it, Bram would be a great match for her. That’s just me.

I have been behind Julie since her first book was published. She captured me with the O’Connor family and now she, I, and any other fan of her novels is going through a new faze or chapter, if you will and I’m extremely excited to continue on with her. She still holds the position as my favorite romance author and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. This author and any of her novels come highly recommended.

Overall, another fantastic hit from a fantastic author. This book is perfect for romance lovers of all shapes and sizes. I’d probably keep this away from kids and maybe teens but adults, have at it. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

The Dance

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Title: The Dance
Series: The Restoration Series
Authors: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
Publisher: Revell
Published: April 1, 2013
Pages: 352

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Marilyn Anderson is tired of playing the role of perfect wife. After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn’s marriage has gotten as cold as the arctic and all appearances are just that. She has everything she could ever want – a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, the financial freedom to be a stay at home mom, and an enviable collection of stuff. But the one thing she desires she doesn’t have, love. She’s tired of trying to connect with a man that doesn’t want to, so she moves out to collect herself and see what happens.

Jim Anderson is a successful businessman that gives his wife everything she needs, except love and attention. With him so busy with his real state business, he doesn’t even realize anything’s wrong let alone listen to his wife when she drops many hints for him to help her fix their marriage. When Marilyn leaves, Jim is shocked and furious. He has to sort through the past to fin what went wrong and to get his wife to talk to him.

As Marilyn rediscovers herself amidst a new job, a new roommate, and dance lessons, she begins to see what she almost gave up. Meanwhile, Jim is being illuminated as to what went wrong in his marriage and how he can fix it. Jim is doing the unthinkable to save his marriage but Marilyn still doesn’t want to talk to him and definitely doesn’t want to see him. He has to find a way to show her he’s changed.

Will Marilyn go back to Jim or will she like her newfound freedom too much to go back? Will Jim be able to change enough to get his wife back or will his stubbornness ruin his marriage? Will Jim win back his wife and do something he never did or will he decide that his wife isn’t worth what he took away? Will Marilyn’s bitterness of her rocky marriage destroy any chance of repair?
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I’ve read fiction by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley before and loved Dan Walsh’s books and Gary Smalley’s co-author-ship with Karen Kingsbury and those memories were what drove me to review this book. I may have erred in that decision. This book is fantastic and one of the best that I’ve read like this, but like the others I feel like this book is beyond my reach. I’m not married nor even in a relationship right now, so this book, though probably great for the future, isn’t written for me and isn’t on my list of favorites.

The overall storyline is fantastic and with two veteran writers behind it, it can’t help but be perfectly executed. The story progressed very well and I loved how the story ended. I loved how Jim changed and what he did to win Marilyn back. Though I don’t wish bad times on my future marriage, this is what I want my future husband to do if it ever got that bad. Gary Smalley and Dan Walsh crafted the perfect marriage fiction book with this one.

The subject of this book is something every marriage needs and possibly will go through. The potential end. Though I’m not married and probably won’t be for another five to ten years, I learned a lot and I learned about core fears. I also learned that a core fear of mine is the fear of failure. I don’t want to fail at anything and the idea makes me extremely scared. I think that this book married, engaged, or single can help you and show you what makes a good relationship.

Though this book wasn’t really for me, I can appreciate the subject and the story. The smoothness and progressiveness of the story alone makes this a fantastic book, but add on some teaching for anyone who is or will be married and you get a fantastic book. These authors work really well together and I look forward to reading more from them as a team and singularly.

These two work awesome together. Dan Walsh is an amazing storyteller and Gary Smalley is one of the best marriage counselors out there. As a team they created the best fiction book about marriage I’ve ever read and recently I’ve read quite a few. Like I said, though this book wasn’t for me, it was still a fantastic story and that alone makes this a great book. I fully intend to read the rest of this series.

Overall, a great story just for pure enjoyment by also a great book to help with a marriage. Though the subject and audience is a little bit older than me, I loved the story and the hope it gives me. I highly recommend this book to readers who like their story to have substance. This book really isn’t best for anyone than adults, but maybe this book could be used to show teens to not give up just because it gets tough. I give this book a four out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are her own.*

Love In A Broken Vessel

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Title: Love In A Broken Vessel
Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Revell
Published: March 1, 2013
Pages: 448

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Hosea has been given a difficult command from God, marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of His love for Israel. He goes to Israel to proclaim the Lord’s message to them, he meets his childhood friend, who is now a prostitute. He’s determined to follow God’s command even if it means that he has to marry a woman that will only bring him heartache.

Gomer was sold at twelve to advance her father’s political position and has spent next years bitter and unwilling to trust anyone. After an almost deadly incident with the commander of Israel’s army, Gomer is broken and useless as a prostitute. When Hosea’s proposal becomes her only means of escape, she does what she does best, she survives.

As the tension thickens between Israel and its enemies so does the marriage of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea wants to follow the Lord but what He’s asking seems impossible. Gomer struggles with trust and wanting to escape and in her desire to escape a husband who’s never there and a God that seems too cruel, she does the unthinkable, goes back to prostitution.

Will Hosea be able to keep the Lord’s commas or will he fail his hardest task? Will Gomer ever be able to trust and love or are whores really beyond redemption? Can Hosea show Goner that God isn’t a God of punishment but of love or will he lose her to a piece of clay? Will Gomer realize that love isn’t found in the arms of many men but the God who created her?
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I’ve read this author’s previous book and loved it bittersweet ending and all. So, I was extremely excited to get to review this one as well, but I never expected to get the kind of book that I got. Her previous was emotional and you felt for Arielah as she struggled with sharing her husband. This one is slightly different. In this one you feel for Hosea as he struggles with loving someone who doesn’t want to be loved and keeps throwing that love in his face. This book was so much more emotional than the last and I loved it so much.

The romance in this book is more of a progression of Gomer learning that love exists and isn’t what she thinks. It isn’t a pretty romance and definitely isn’t one that makes girls swoon, but it is one that has purpose and shows clearly the unconditional of God. I know this author struggled with making it seem realistic and let me tell you, she succeeded. This book broke my heart and lifted it too. I don’t think I’ll ever forget about Gomer ever again.

The storyline of this book is a mixture of Scripture, history and plain imagination. It’s a concept that is hard to swallow yet believable somehow. I found myself thinking the entire book “I wonder if that happened like that or is she even close.” Not in a bad way though. I want it to have happened like that but I don’t know. What I do know though, is that this book is amazing and so much better than her previous and that or was fantastic. This author should be greatly proud of this one.

The characters of this book are lovely. I loved the side characters and their insight and love of someone with a less than sparkling past. I found myself wanting Yuval to exist and I wanted her to be in my life with her wit and wisdom. I felt great compassion for Hosea because I know no man would have been able to overcome an adulterous wife without the Lord’s help. For the majority of the book I didn’t like Gomer at all but a little after halfway through the book my viewpoint changed to one of pity and about three chapters from the end changed to complete happiness and wonder. Gomer, despite her flaws and awful antics throughout the book, is the one who grows the most in this book and is, believe it or not, my favorite character, after Yuval.

This author captured my heart with Arielah and Solomon story (not to mention gave me my new favorite female name) and she recaptured me with Hosea and Gomer’s tale. I love
how her romances aren’t the usual and are filled with drama and spiritual growth. I have found my new favorite biblical fiction writer and it looks like she’s going to stay there for a long time. This book and author come with the highest recommendation.

Overall, an incredible book that is filled with drama and wonder and grace. It’s not an easy or light read but one worth reading and I can guarantee that you can find some of yourself in Gomer. This book is perfect for biblical fiction lovers or for those who want a romance of a different nature. I think this one is best kept for the adults. I give this book a five out of five.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*