All For A Story

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Title: All For A Story
Author: Allison Pittman
Published: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Tyndale House
Pages: 354

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Monica Brisbane loves being a modem girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column takes her to all the local speakeasies in Washington D. C. and she loves dancing the night away scoping put new stories for her column. However, her future takes an uncertain turn when the owner of Capitol Chatter passes away, leaving Monica what will happen to her job and her beloved lifestyle.

Max Moore might hold the position of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, the Bridal Call, but it’s clear that Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max finds out that his great uncle has passed away and left him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and moves to Washington D.C. to hopefully become a real editor-in-chief. He tries to clean up the scandalous paper and infuse it with his own values, but he’s soon bumping heads with the equally determined Monica Brisbane.

With Max’s guidance Monica goes on her most challenging assignment yet, infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Reluctant at first, Monica meets and mi goes with the girls but soon begins to doubt the wisdom of her flirtatious ways and when romance starts to blossom between her and Max, Monica must choose between the lifestyle the club chooses or the lifestyle she lived for so long.

Will Monica ever change her party and flirtatious lifestyle or will she continue down the path of destruction? Will Max trade everything for Monica or will he be able to convince Monica that there is a life without speakeasies and flirting? Will Max be able to turn the Capitol Chatter into a respectable paper or will he lose the fight against immorality? Can Monica change her ways or is she forever a party girl?
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Due to my opinion of Allison Pittman’s last novel, I wasn’t expecting much out of this book. I fully expected to struggle through this one like the last and hate it at the end. I didn’t. I actually enjoyed this one. Though my opinion of the enigmatic Aimee Semple McPherson hasn’t budged an inch, I did enjoy the plot line for this and how radically different it was from the previous book in this series. I think Allison Pittman did a much better job with this book than the last.

This book had a romance! And a fairly good one at that. The character of Monica is uniquely lovable from the get-go and Max’s serious nature didn’t seem like it would mesh with Monica’s but somehow the author managed to craft a romance that was sweet and lovable. Though it wasn’t the best romance I’ve ever read, it was definitely welcomed compared to the completely confusing disaster of a semi-romance in the last book.

Usually I don’t love women crusaders or women evangelist ever in a story, but I loved Alice Reighly and her Anti-Flirt campaign, probably because even though some of her rules are a bit stiff and outrageous, the general idea is one I follow everyday and never thought twice about it. It basically encourages women to not encourage the bad behavior of men by flirting back or making light of it. I think the idea is one every woman should consider to follow.

The story of this one was more engaging and felt less like I was watching a horrible tragedy happen right before my eyes, thankfully in that story the accident never happened but it still left a sour mark for me. In this story, there were moments of disappointment or like it might go down the disastrous path again but it pulled out of those situations and was actually a pretty nice story. I would’ve liked to have seen more of a transformation in Monica but part of me felt like this was a different look at how some people come to Christ.

This author gave me a much better story with this or and made me very glad that I didn’t throw out all hope with the last book. Though I still don’ love the radical type style that this author chooses, I think I’m becoming more accustomed to it and haven’t given up hope yet of finding an amazing book by her. This book was good but I don’t recommend it for just anyone.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot more than the previous book by her but I’ still not sold on her writing just yet. This book is perfect for fans of Allison Pittman or fans of the Roaring Twenties. Keep this book away from your children this one is definitely not recommended for anyone other than 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.*

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The Governess Of Highland Hall

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Title: The Governess Of Highland Hall
Author: Carrie Turansky
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 320

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Julia Foster, a missionary, loves working with her parents to help and care for the young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden of her family’s financial support. Because of that, she accepts a job as a governess at Highland Hall and soon finds that being a governess to her four ill-mannered, privileged charges is a lot harder than expected.

Sir William Ramsey, a widower left to care for his two young children and his cousin Randolph’s two teenaged daughters, he’s consumed with saving Highland Hall from financial ruin and saving it from the astronomical death charges placed upon him to pay. To him, the last thing he needs is a kind-hearted yet determined governess to distract him, but the subtle transformation she does to his household seems too much to let go of.

The harder Julia works at trying to fix his unruly household, the more William starts to notice her and the closer they get, but both know that any relationship between them is forbidden and improper. Too bad that neither can figure each other out let alone stop their feelings from developing. Both are tending to past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, but they’re both determined to save their families and that seems to be the breaking point of their resolve.

Can Julia be the governess that William is looking for or will she be fired before as has a true chance? Will Julia and William be able to conquer society and all its woes or will class break them apart? Can William potentially give up Highland Hall for Julia or will he lose her to save his home? Will Julia go back to India or will she find that she has a bigger purpose in England?
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I had high hopes for this book because I’ve really enjoyed governess and estate master love stories before, but unfortunately this one didn’t resonate with me like the others that I’ve read. This book was enjoyable, but it read more like a novella, which for a novel of 320 pages it seems a bit too un-descriptive to really hit the mark. Though this book was a nice read, it left me disappointed with the romance.

The romance in this book reads like a movie on fast forward. I got the general sense of a connection but none of the true emotional moments that brings a couple together. It was like they were skipped altogether. I didn’t get kisses or more than two or three moments where the couple were even alone together let alone connecting emotionally. This romance frustrated me so much. I felt like a third party that just got glimpses of a promising love story.

The characters in this story varied drastically but I never really found a character with a happy medium. The characters either had to be completely good or completely bad. I guess the only character that kind of falls into the category of happy medium is Penelope, the sister that just follows along with what her sister does but even she makes a choice as to which side she chooses. For me Julia felt too perfect and William seemed too confused himself which left me having no clue what I truly thought of him. Some of the characters felt too nice while others felt too mean for no reason, but my favorite characters are Sarah, Clark, Andrew, and Millie. I think the author needs to work on her character development and on the character’s personality traits just a little more.

The storyline was nice, though I think it focused more in the household and the running of it than to the actual romance, but I did like the story and even though the author needs to learn how to transition from novellas to novels a little bit more, she did a fairly good job and she created an enjoyable, albeit a little bit slow, novel. Though this wasn’t my cup of tea, I’m sure someone will love this book, but be forewarned if you love a lot of romance because you will be disappointed.

This author didn’t really impress me with this one but I feel like she has some great potential and greatly look forward to seeing what else she can put out and how much she can improve. She hasn’t totally lost me yet, but next time I probably won’t have as high of hopes as I did this time. Though this book isn’t for me, it’s perfect for people who love romances that are simple and not mushy.

Overall, not my cup of tea. This book is good for people who are either just starting out on romances or like their romances simple and to the point. This book shouldn’t be left for little kids but maybe teens and definitely adults will enjoy this one. I give this book a two and a half out of five.

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

When The Clouds Roll By

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Title: When The Clouds Roll By
Series: Till We Meet Again
Author: Myra Johnson
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352

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Annemarie Kendall, a potter, is ecstatic when the armistice is signed ending World War I. Her fiancée Lt. Gilbert Ballard can finally come home to Hot Springs, Arkansas and marry her. If only his letters made it seem like he wanted to. So, Annemarie isn’t surprised, but still hurt, when Gilbert ends their engagement. Now Annemarie has to try and become who God wants her to be and try and save Gilbert while managing to save her heart from his friend.

Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary has befriended Gilbert to try and uplift his spirits. When, Gilbert breaks it off with Annemarie, Sam tries to convince him he’s making a mistake but he can’t deny that he feels an attraction for her too. But tormented by his decisions and his mistakes and the memories of war, he doesn’t feel worthy for love by Annemarie or God, let alone grace and he needs Annemarie to show him that he does deserve it.

Caught in the middle and confused, Annemarie must make a choice which man she will give her heart to. She also tries to save two men from themselves and it seems like she’s drowning. With Sam and Gilbert’s relationship destroyed over her and her heart broken by Gilbert, all three of them must try and put the war behind them and cling to the only One who can make things okay, God.

Who will Annemarie choose? Will Gilbert change his mind about Annemarie or will he never regret his decision to give her up? Will Sam fall in love with Annemarie despite his attempt to not or will his attempt be successful? Will Sam be able to leave his demons behind and trust in God or will he be tormented do the rest of his life? Will Gilbert be able to be a peace with his circumstances or will he become bitter and spiral downhill?
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Before this one, I had never read a book by Myra Johnson before and, after reason this book, I’m not sure why. I do know, though, that I loved this book and was surprised at the amount of drama and how emotionally charged it was. I’ve never read a love triangle this dramatic before, shockingly. Myra Johnson definitely captured how I imagine a love triangle would play out.

The romance in this book is kind of fast. Though I enjoyed it, there seemed to be something missing, maybe it’s the doubt both of them feel about their feelings or maybe it’s because of the slight lack of deep emotional connections. However, I do think that despite that it was a nice romance and had some very romantic moments that made me go, “aahh”. This romance wasn’t awful or even bad it just wasn’t the best I’ve ever read.

This story is very emotionally driven. It’s full of tears, anger, love, pain, and forgiveness. It really got your emotions involved whether it be pity, empathy, love, joy. I really had strong feelings towards a few characters in this story and because of that I would love to see Mary and Gilbert again in the next book and hopefully see a resolution to their issues and maybe a romance between them? This story was definitely a heart tugged and engaged me front he beginning.

The characters in this story had son real issues to work through during the course of this book. Particularly Sam and Gilbert. Some characters seemed a bit stuff and cardboard-like and had to figure out but the usually weren’t very important to the story and didn’t hurt the story too much. Annemarie’s struggles seemed realistic to me. I mean if I started falling for a guys weeks after I got dumped I question my feelings too. I think the struggles the characters went through were realistic and heart-rending.

Myra Johnson definitely made me a fan. Though this book wasn’t perfect, it was enjoyable and I did enjoy this read. In fact I devoured it and didn’t want to put it down. I don’t know how many books this author has but I intend to see if I can get my hands on any of them. I think this author has a great flair for drama and great storytelling abilities. This book comes highly recommended by me.

Overall, I loved this book though it did have some hitches. I enjoyed how realistic and gritty it was and watching each character coming to the realization that God loves them just as they are. This book is perfect for fans of love triangles, dramas, or WWI novels. This is best left to the adults. I give this book a four out of five.

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

Love’s Awakening

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Title: Love’s Reckoning
Series: The Ballantyne Legacy
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 416

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Ellie Ballantyne leaves finishing school in the spring of 1822 and returns to her family home in Pittsburgh. When she arrives home, she finds that her parents are away and her siblings don’t seem like they want her around. Determined to stay as find her place in the world, Ellie opens a day school for young ladies. She has no idea what her school will lead to or how it will effect her future.

Jack Turlock isn’t glad about the sea of his sister going to a day school, in fact he’s out right opposed to it, especially with the school being run by none other than Ellie Ballantyne. With slaveholder a and whiskey magnates as a calling card, Jack knows that Ellie could never be involved with someone like him. His father is a sworn enemy of Silas Ballantyne and is envious of his power and suspicious of his abolitionist leanings. If only Jack could stop thinking about something that will never be.

When Ellie gets the opportunity to teach Jack’s little sister she takes it, not knowing how involved with the Turlocks she will become or how attached to Jack she will get. When life seems to try and rip them apart Ellie must make a critical decision to either pick her family or cross enemy lines and side with the enemy, Jack. Jack must also realize that the way that works is God’s way and must find a way to break the chains of his father’s past.

Can Ellie find her place in life or will she be lost and alone forever? Will Jack be able to realize that he isn’t his father or will he carry his guilt to his grave? Can Ellie fall in love with Jack and still keep her family or will she have to choose one or the other? Can Jack find God or will it be over before he has the chance? What will Ellie’s parent’s think when they find out about Ellie’s love for Jack?
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After reading Love’s Reckoning I knew that I would have to read the next in this series and that it would be even better than the first. I was right. This book tugged on heart strings and actually made me cry! I can’t believe the emotions that were packed into this book and the tender yet passionate romance that wrapped around it. I was captivated yet again by the craftsmanship of Laura Frantz and I absolutely can’t wait for Fall 2014 to read the next book in the series.

The romance in this novel was one of the best I’ve read. It combined an emotional connection and some passionate moments and just made the romance seem realistic, heart-tugging, and beautiful. The romance in this book was similar to the first in the sense of theme. They both were about forbidden love, which for some reason captivates and moves us all. I can’t believe how well this romance was put together.

The storyline was impeccable. I got caught up in the story and was disappointed when it was over. It was full of intrigue and suspense, not to mention the awesome romance. It also gave a glimpse into the lives of those that smuggle slaves out of danger. I learned a lot and felt emotions that I very rarely feel from a book and I loved it so much. I absolutely have to read more from Laura Frantz!

The thing I liked most about this book was Ellie. Her character is rich and has always been, has gone to finishing school, and has every extravagance known to man yet she’s a very down to earth character and I loved her. She never came across as spoiled and I never once felt like she felt better than anyone. Because of that her character was very much a lovable character to me and I felt that she had amazing character development and was a strong character despite her appearance.

Laura Frantz captured me again! I’m shocked at how well she put together tis book and got my emotions involved. Any book deserves a great rating if it can make me cry. That’s a fear not many have accomplished. Laura’s impeccable storytelling skills and understanding of human emotion made me never want to put tis book down. This book, series, and author come very highly recommended.

Overall, I loved this book! I don’t even have any complaints about it. I wouldn’t change a thing. Tis book is perfect for someone who wants a historical fiction romance about forbidden love. This book is best left to adults. My rating of this book is five out of five.

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

What Once Was Lost

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Title: What Once Was Lost
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352

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Christina Willems life is about serving. She Lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals on a small Kansas farm. Her charges count on her leadership and have come to see Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out and makes their home unlivable, Christina must scramble to find shelter for all her charges, scattering her “family”.

Levi Jonnson is a mill owner and a notorious recluse. So when he is approached about taking in Tommy Kilgore, a young blind boy, he doesn’t want to, but reluctantly agrees with the stipulation that she find somewhere else for him to stay. However, Levi is surprised at the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. He’s also surprised at his new reluctance to go back to being a hermit.

With with repairs stopped by obstacle after obstacle, Christina wonders if she can finish the mission that she dedicated her life to. And when an old adversary shows up, Christina needs help, so she turns to Levi, hoping that he will help her. Levi is trying to stay aloof but Christina and Tommy are making it very difficult to keep his lifestyle and maybe that’s just what he needs.

Can Christina repair the poor house before she loses all of her charges or will they lose hope and leave before it’s finished? Can Levi hold onto his reclusive lifestyle or will he give it up for a blind boy and a selfless woman? Will Levi help Christina when she needs it or will he leave her hanging in the wind? What will happen because of one tragedy and a blind boy with no home? Will love blossom?
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Kim Vogel Sawyer has been a favorite of mine for years. I actually started reading her books and haven’t had the opportunity to read a novel by her in quite some time. Because of that, I jumped at the chance to read this one and I must say that this novel reminded me why I love her writing so much. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to review this one and got to get reacquainted with one of my all time favorite authors.

This story was by far my favorite by this author. I got dragged in so completely that I devoured this book and was sad to put it down. The thing I loved most about the story was the gritty and realistic feeling throughout it. I never once felt that something was unrealistic or implausible. The author’s descriptions and amazing character development kept this story at a good pace and made my mind’s eye go crazy with color and feelings. I loved this storyline so much!

The characters were awesome. I felt that they were well developed and likable, a hard quality to find as of late. I also felt that their fears and feelings made a ton of sense and I could see myself being the same way in their situation. I also liked the wide range of characters that were there. There was the snooty one, the sullen one, the chipper ones, and the spiritual ones and it pieced together book and made it well rounded.

The only real complaint I have is about the romance. Their wasn’t much of it as there wasn’t much contact between Levi and Christina and what little contact they had wasn’t intimate in any sense. However, what little romance I saw was awesome and typical of this author. Surprisingly though, even with the lack of romance I still love this book and completely fell for the character. Enough to even ask for a sequel to this one. (Please?!)

This author captured my heart with Waiting For Summer’s Return and recaptured it with this one. I can’t wait to see what else she has for me and I can’t believe I’ve gone as long as I have without a dose of her books. It can’t happen again. I absolutely recommend this book and author and I definitely think this book belongs up on the “favorites” shelf and is definitely worth rereading.

Overall, I felt it could use more romance but despite that I loved this book and highly recommend it. This book is perfect who like historical fiction and like it a bit different. I think this book is good for teens and adults. 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.*

The Invention Of Sarah Cummings

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Title: The Invention Of Sarah Cummings
Series: Avenue Of Dreams
Author: Olivia Newport
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 15, 2013
Pages: 304

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Sarah Cummings has one goal in life – to break free from her job as a maid and be part of Chicago’s high society. She’s desperate to stop serving dinner to members of the wealthy Banning family and to start being served. In her free time, meager though it is, she alters cast-off gowns to create the perfect wardrobe for her future life. So when opportunity knocks Serena Cuthbert is born.

Simon Tewell is director of St. Andrea’s Orphanage and knows Sarah from her past as an orphan who loved there. Simon wants to get Sarah involved in working inside the walls of he former home, but Sarah’s reluctance to do so baffles him. He finds her interesting and and wants to possibly pursue something with her, but she doesn’t seem interested, making him think it might be best to just leave her alone. But for some reason, he can’t.

As Sarah juggles being a maid and Serena and her full social calendar, she can’t seem to get Simon out of her head, even though he’s everything she wants to avoid in her life. With two men pursuing her, Sarah must decide which life she wants and what is worth more to her. Her lies and duplicity can only be juggled for so long before everything crashes around her, but will she be standing on top or crushed underneath her lies when that happens.

Can Sarah have the life she always dreamed of or is the cost of it too much for her? Can Simon show Sarah that life doesn’t mean fancy things or will he lose to shiny and sparkly things? Will Sarah realize that her drive to be rich and famous might be the ruin of her or will she crumble in the wind? What will Sarah decide to do with her life? Who will she choose and what life will she have?
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The sorry of Sarah Cummings was one I was greatly looking forward to. After seeing her in Charlotte Farrow’s story and seeing her attitude towards service, I desired to see her change into a character I could love or at least understand her. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get the opportunity to see that. Sarah Cummings’ story was a great disappointment for me because the entire time I tried to read this book, all I felt for her was dislike. This definitely wasn’t the best I’ve seen from this author.

The romance in this book doesn’t fully exist nor does it make a lot of sense. Simon is interested in Sarah even though she snubs her nose up at everything he holds dear and ignores him. Sarah is chasing a dream that will never come true because it’s built on a lie and completely ignores the best man to come into her life. The whole thing is confusing and the whole time I was wondering what Simon saw in Sarah because I sure didn’t see anything. Not to mention that Sarah has a mild interest until the end and then all of a sudden she loves him? I’m so confused with this one.

Sarah wasn’t a lovable character to me. She risked everything and hurt a lot of people all so she could have a chance at being rich. I didn’t like how she felt she was too good to serve and deserved to be served instead. I didn’t see any dramatic improvement to these qualities as the story progressed. I was disappointed with the lack of conversion and humility that Sarah showed and overall just thought she was an uppity and unlikable character.

The storyline was a good idea but not the execution. I felt that the author should’ve focused more on the real romance and the alterations to her character than the parties and fake lifestyle Sarah crafted for herself. I was gravely disappointed in this book and didn’t feel like this was the best ending to this otherwise good series. This storyline definitely wasn’t a hit with me and I don’t think I’ll ever read it again.

Though I appreciate this author’s work and so far have enjoyed her work, this book didn’t really strike a chord with me not did it make me like Sarah any more with this novel. This author captured me with Charlotte Farrow’s story but Sarah Cummings’ fell short for me. I intend to read more from this author because I know she can do better. This author but not this book come recommended.

Overall, I didn’t like this book much. I didn’t feel a connection to Sarah at all and just plain didn’t like her character or her character development. This book is good for those looking to finish up the series. I don’t recommend this for anyone other than adults. I give this book a two and a half out of five.

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

Trapped

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Title: Trapped
Series: Private Justice
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 1, 2013
Pages: 400

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Laura Griffith’s life is altered when her sixteen years old half sister comes to live with her. They clash from the beginning, but when she runs off, Laura is determined to do anything possible to find her. Armed only with a brief note and a referral to Phoenix, Inc. Laura has no idea what she’s gotten herself into or what will happen because of her sister’s rebellion.

When James Devlin, a former ATF agent, is hired to find a runaway, he’s not prepared for the attraction he feels for Laura or the cold trail the teen leaves behind. With time of the essence, Dev does his best to find Laura’s sister before she gets into something worse than bad company, but with the trail going cold quickly, his hope is beginning to wane.

The deeper Laura and Dev dig, the more their forbidden attraction grows and the more their hope dwindles of finding Laura’s sister in time. However, Dev begins to suspect something sinister is at work with the girl’s disappearance and the more dangerous this man hunt gets. This situation might just be life or death and Dev doesn’t want to make a mistake that costs lives. Not again.

Can Laura find her sister before it’s too late or will her sister disappear never to be found again? Can Dev overcome his past and move on or will he forever hold onto his mistakes? What kind of trouble did Laura’s sister get into and will it cost her her life? Will Dev and Laura be able to date after they close the case or will their attraction fall apart under the pressure?
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Irene Hannon has done it again! Having read almost all of her books, I’ve come to expect a taut suspense with a sweet romance and that’s exactly what I got. This novel is by far my favorite of hers yet and it was something I hadn’t had in a very long time, if ever. Irene Hannon should be deeply proud of this book and I look forward to her next book on this series.

This suspense is in a class all its own. This book brought chills up my spine and was actually pretty creepy. What made it so creepy was how realistic it was and likely it is that this happens, the character that is behind the creepy seems somewhat quirky in public and them is a complete psycho in private. His younger life and his reasons for what he was doing did draw some compassion from me, though. Maybe it was just me, but there were times I just felt sorry for him. It also kept up an amazingly quick pace that actually made me stay up and extra hour just to finish it. I can’t divulge too much or it will ruin it completely but this is easily one of the creepiest books I’ve read in a long time, if ever.

The character development was impeccable. I felt each character was realistic in everything and the character that I was most able to feel for was Darcy, the runaway. I could feel her fear, apprehension, and joy like it was my own and that definitely notched up the chill factor of this novel. I also loved how Laura didn’t seem much like fighter until the chips were down. I loved the 180 from the character I thought I knew.

The romance was pretty good too. In most cases, one thing or another had to take the backseat to the main story and in Irene Hannon’s case that usually means that the romance is more of a back story the main one and this book was no different and that was a good thing for me. However, I did feel like this romance was more prevalent than some of her other novels and the parts that had romance were amazing. I loved it and I think this author’s getting better with her incorporation skills.

Irene Hannon has never ceased to amaze me with what she can come up with and this time is no different. This book was positively none chilling as I can’t wait to see how she’s going to top it in her next one. I’ve always been a fan of hers but with this one she has climbed the ranks and has marked her spot on my list. I love her work and she and this book come very highly recommended.

Overall, I loved this book. I have no complaints about the fast and scary pace, the characters or the romance. This book is perfect for people who like a like a little goose bumps with their suspense. This book is best left to the adults, but can be used as a very important message for children and adolescents. I give this book a five out of five.

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

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.*

Icing On The Cake

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Title: Icing On The Cake
Series: Weddings By Design
Author: Janice Thompson
Publisher: Revell
Published: August 15, 2013
Pages: 320

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Scarlet Lindsey is busy making her baking dreams come true. She moved her bakery to a prime spot on Galveston’s most popular street, she’s making the cake for her best friend’s weddings, and she has a great relationship with Bella Neely, the island’s most popular wedding coordinator. So far, business is booming for her and Scarlet is enjoying the ride.

Scarlet’s happy ride comes to a snag when Bella’s dangerously handsome brother, Armando, sweeps into Galveston and Scarlet’s life. Her love life has just gotten so much more complicated. She has one dependable, sweet, safe guy who has been a fixture in her life for years and she has the dangerous guy with a bad reputation. She just has to choose between the two of them and the decision isn’t as easy as she thought it would be.

As Scarlet gets to know Armando better she starts to see a different man than the man his family warned her about. She starts to feel things for this man but doesn’t know if what she feels will last or whether Armando really has changed at all from the man he used to be. Falling for him also makes Scarlet finally feel comfortable with who she is, which is one of the hardest journey a woman can make.

Can Scarlet learn to be okay with who she is the easy way or the hard way? Will Scarlet let go of her worries and head over heels for a guy she knows next to nothing about? How will Scarlet pick between guys? What will happen to Scarlet’s life now that Armando’s life has become part of it? Will Scarlet’s life and priorities be the same after Armando?
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I love Janice Thompson! She always manages to hook me with her stories and the hilarity that goes along with them. From hilarious hi-jinx to quirky characters, her stories always grab me and touch a different part of me. This one in particular touches a piece of me that very few do. I feel like this book might just be the best yet and I applaud the author’s ability to get me so engrossed in her stories.

Scarlet is by far my favorite character in this book. There are quite a few colorful and quirky characters to choose from so it wasn’t easy picking one, but after getting to “know” Scarlet and her struggles, I had to pick her as my favorite. I really empathized with her because of my own struggle with weight and trying to feel comfortable with who I was. Because of that big similarity, I really felt a kinship with Scarlet that I haven’t felt with many characters and it was really awesome to get to experience that.

The romance was another hit from Janice Thompson. For me she combines the perfect amount of emotional growth with enough physical displays of affection to leave me satisfied. Another thing I loved was the fact that Scarlet found not just any guy but an incredibly attractive Italian guy to fall in love. For some reason it gave me a confidence boost and reaffirmed for me that I didn’t have to be supermodel thin to get an incredible guy. I think that factor alone made this book incredibly relatable and touching.

The story is really well written and has an amazing pace. It’s filled with humor, a few accidents, and a sense of family, unlike any other book I’ve read. Story lines like this one are the very reason why I come back for more as far as this author is concerned. I got sucked in and a piece of my heart was stolen once again and I’m glad that it happened once again.

Janice Thompson never ceases to amaze me when I pick up one of her books. Her ability to craft an amazing story is an art form and I will forever try to get my hands on what she’s written. I don’t know how she does it but she truly has a God-given gift of storytelling and character building that can leave you breathless. I will forever be a fan of her and definitely plan on reading more from her. She comes highly recommended.

Overall, I connected with this book in a way I never really have before and I loved the piece of my heart that was stolen during Scarlet’s story. This book is perfect for those that struggle with self image issues and want romance that includes someone with those same issues. I also think this book is good for adults but I think you can’t really go wrong by giving this to your teens. It’ll show them that perfection doesn’t happen nor does it need to. I give this book a five out of five.

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