Borders Of The Heart

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Title: Borders Of The Heart
Author: Chris Fabry
Publisher: Tyndale House
Published: September 15, 2013
Pages: 400

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J. D. Jessup left his old life to come find solace in the desert near Tucson, Arizona. He’s traded his guitar and the songs in his head for the daily grind of an organic farm. It’s a mind-numbing existence that helps him forget his past and dulls the pain of his memories. His boss just has one rule for him: if he sees an illegal, call Border Patrol. A fairly simple rule that he has been able to follow very easily, until one Thursday morning.

One early ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria. Despite his boss’s rule, J. D. can’t leave a near death woman to the authorities. So following his heart, J. D. decides to hide her and heal her instead of turning her in. Little does he know the chain of events he unleashes at that choice. Now everything he knew has changed his simple mundane life has gotten a lot more exciting.

On the run from a determined killer, J. D. tries to decipher what is going on and why Maria’s life is in danger. Struggling to stay alive becomes harder than they thought when they seem to know exactly where they are at all times. When J. D.’s secrets collides with Maria’s past, J. D. begins to realize that saving her may be the only way to save himself.

Can J. D. and Maria stay alive from a determined a killer or will they’re attempts to stay alive be for naught? Can J. D.’s past and secrets be the death of his new life and his budding attraction to Maria or will it just make him closer to everyone? Will Maria be able to stop the killer before he succeeds in his plans or will he get to her and finish his plan too? Can J. D. and Maria be together despite their differences or will those differences keep them apart?
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I’ve never read a book by Chris Fabry before today and after this exciting book I’m a little upset with myself for not picking up one of his books before now! The imagery and intensity of this book was memorable and made me want to find another one of his books and dig in. I had no idea what I was missing but if any of his books are like this one, sign me up for more from him. I have just become a fan!

My favorite part of this novel has to be the imagery. He described the desert as only a person who lives there could. It may be October but I felt the scorching heat and saw the flat sun bleached terrain like it was July. I’ve read quite few books set in the desert but the author never really dwelled on what desert heat felt like until Chris Fabry. His descriptions are exactly what my sister and I complained about more times than I can count and completely described desert living. Even in air conditioning you sweat! The completely accurate descriptions in this book have to be my favorite part.

The suspense in this book is one part action and one part mystery. You know who’s chasing them in the beginning but you have no idea why or what he really plans on doing. Though parts of this seem unrealistic to me (I mean who can really outrun and outsmart several trained assassins), some parts felt realistic and realistic or not it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and also gave me a new perspective about illegal aliens in my state.

This book had an attempt at a romance, though the suspense took center stage, and though it wasn’t terribly romantic or very memorable I did enjoy it. I think it has more to do with the circumstances of their meeting more than anything, but for some reason I thought that they made a nice couple and enjoyed reading their somewhat romance story. I think it was one the best romances that I’ve gotten from a male author yet.

Before now Chris Fabry has been a name I was familiar with but never read and now that I’ve enjoyed one of his novels, I don’t want to go back. I’m now a fan of his work and want to read anything else he has to offer whether it be western or romance. He completely captured me with his suspense and his accurate description of the terrain I call home definitely earned him some brownie points in my book. I highly recommend this book.

Overall, great book. It had some flaws but nothing that really detracted away from the amazing story. This is perfect for people who love suspense novels. This book is best left to the adults and maybe mature teens. 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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Forsaken Dreams

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Title: Forsaken Dreams
Series: Escape To Paradise
Author: MaryLu Tyndall
Publisher: Barbour
Published: March 1, 2013
Pages: 320

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Eliza Crawford can barely remember the days of her youth spent in opulence and comfort at Georgian home. She can’t help but wonder how her life would’ve been different had she not met her late husband, Stanton Watts, a general in the Northern army. She’s a war widow with no home. The South calls her a traitor and the North rejects her. Naturally she’s desperate to keep her marriage a secret and hopefully start over in Brazil, but the odds of keeping her secret completely are slim with a boatload of people from the same place.

Colonel Blake Wallace has seen enough death and destruction to last a lifetime. Slapped with defeat and loss, he’s weary and disillusioned about his country. With his entire family slaughtered by the North and his name appearing on a list of wanted officers for war crimes, Blake sees no choice but to leave permanently. So he assembles a group of southerner who long to escape the horrors of war and start over in a foreign land called Brazil.

Eliza and Blake feel an incredible draw to each other, but when secrets are revealed it seems unlikely that they will be able to broach the past and make a life with each other. With un-forgiveness abounding aboard, Eliza must try and survive the hatred and hostility angled her way. Blake must conquer his own feelings of anger toward a woman that captivates him and makes him want to forgive and start a life, if only his head would agree with his heart.

Can Eliza keep her secret or will it spill out and cost her everything? Will Blake be able to forgive Eliza for her mistakes and the decisions of her late husband or will he be anger and bitter towards her and force her away? Will love survive the hostilities and bitterness left over from war or will it be stomped under the feet of anger and pain? Can turn Eliza’s bad choices into something good or will she just pile on more heartbreak?
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MaryLu Tyndall captured me from the very beginning and she has a very good track record for engaging me and keeping me interested. This book is no different and it brought me great joy to see that she had brought back elements of her first books that I loved, particularly the boat fights and and life at sea aspects. Though this book is no pirate romance, it was definitely one of my favorites and I absolutely must finish the series.

When I first started reading this book, I got captured by the somewhat cowardly actions of the southern people. My opinions changed somewhat about the southerners the more I read, because the more the book progressed and the more light that was shed on the North’s actions made me question whether I would’ve stayed or left with them. I imagine that it was a difficult decision for them to make and I appreciated the different viewpoint of the war and a different perspective of what really happened. It was a new piece of history that I never really learned.

The romance in this book is a bit choppy and full of anger and un-forgiveness. This a different approach for this author and though I didn’t particularly love it, neither did I hate it. I think it was a good choice for the story I just wish there had been more tender moments between Eliza and Blake. The little tender moments there was was familiar, exciting, and sweet. Though this romance wasn’t quite what I expected, I still found it oddly sweet and definitely astounding because it showed the power of God.

The storyline of this book varies between slow-paced and fast-paced. There are quite a few fast-paced or intriguing scenes that tide you over until the next one. Despite the fluctuating pace, I felt that the slow-paced scenes for perfectly into the novel and didn’t detract from the story at all, in fact it improved on it. There are also some unexplainable mishaps and I hope that those get explained soon, even tough I have an idea as to who is causing the disturbances. Overall, I loved this storyline and can’t wait to meet up with these characters again.

MaryLu Tyndall has been a favorite of mine for years after her pirate romance series and ever since then, I’ve tried relentlessly to get every book I can and have only missed a couple. This new book by her and done nothing to lower her esteemed status in my mind, in fact it probably solidified it more. I highly recommend this author and any of her wide array of novels.

Overall, this book is very good despite the less than awesome romance and fluctuating pace. This book is perfect for fans of the author and lovers of historical romance. This book is definitely best left for the adults. I wouldn’t even recommend this to teens. 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.*

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.*

The Power Of An Ordinary Prayer and He Knows Your Name

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Title: The Power Of An Ordinary Prayer
Author: Michael W. Smith with Tom Williams
Publisher: Worthy Press
Published: July 2, 2013
Pages: 128

Title: He Knows Your Name
Author: Travis Cottrell
Publisher: Worthy Press
Published: July 2, 2013
Pages: 160

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In these two books, discover the power of prayer, how the joy of God’s transformation can truly change the world, and how to trust and worship God in the even the darkest of moments in your life. Each book delves into a different topic each just as important and helpful to any Christian’s life and walk. They help you follow and surrender.

Join two award winning recording artists as they teach all that they’ve learned in their travels and walks not only as musicians, but most importantly, as Christians. In their books they explain what The Lord has taught them and what He can teach you. Their wisdom is inspired and is guaranteed to teach you some things about God and your relationship with Him.
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Because I got these two books as a group and because they’re both small gift books, I decided to clump together both reviews into one.

I got these two books because they are different than what I normally read and I’m glad that I got the chance and that I accepted them. The reason I really got them was because of the authors, however I didn’t expect to get the large dose of wisdom and advice from each one. Michael W. Smith’s book had a lot of good stories and wisdom about prayer and encouraging those around you and Travis Cottrell’s book was chock full of what to do when times seem like they’ll never get better. Both had content that I really needed to hear and incorporate in my spiritual walk.

The stories in each book tugged on heart strings and showed the kind of faith that we all want. Mostly those stories made me want to do exactly what they were suggesting and I was amazed at how much faith some of them had. Also, the stories also made me view some points at different angles and opened my eyes to a different way of thinking about something. It was amazing.

The best part of both, though was the teachings. Each said things that hit home in many ways. Even if I’ve already heard something similar before, the way they put it made me get it in a whole new way. Both definitely followed the Lord’s calling and their books are definitely something He put on their hearts to do. Despite their size neither of these books feel rushed or empty and I really learned something from each. I would like to maybe see them be expanded, though.

These books really make you dig deep inside and evaluate your relationship with Christ and help you possibly have a stronger relationship with your Creator. I’m in love with these books and I highly recommend them. I look forward to seeing what else each recording artist has for the future, book wise. I fully intend to read more from each of them.

Overall, I loved both of these and fully intend to read more from each. These are great for anyone looking to improve their relationship with Christ. This book is best for adults but discerning teens can benefit from these books. I give both of these books five out of five.

Even though this is a joint book review, they’re pretty small and I ran out of things to say so I’m going to cut this one short.

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

It Happened At The Fair

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Title: It Happened At The Fair
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publisher: Howard Books
Published: April 30, 2013
Pages: 432

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Cullen McNamara, farmer’s son with bad allergies to plants, risks everything, including the family farm, to travel to the Chicago World’s Fair with his most recent invention. Unfortunately he has a a problem that the Machinery Hall makes more prevalent, he has trouble hearing with a lot of background noise. So in an act if desperation he hires a tutor but he might’ve gotten more than he bargained for with his beautiful new teacher.

Della Wentworth is teacher of the deaf and has spent her entire career teaching children how to lip-read. When Cullen asks for her help she is reluctant to agree, but his desperate plea and interesting situation win Della over and she begins to teach him. However, Della begins to find herself feeling things that don’t belong in a student-teacher relationship and Cullen finds himself having a hard time concentrating when he has to stare at her lips all day.

The more the two are together the more their attraction grows and the more they find themselves looking forward to seeing each other daily. But, Cullen has a secret that could cause him to lose her forever and Della isn’t such a fan of secrets. Their relationship might be over before the World’s Fair if they can’t hold on to each other and let go of all their hesitations.

How will Della react to Cullen’s secret? Will she leave him or will she decide that he’s too important to lose? Will Cullen be able to hold onto what he has back home or will he lose everything because of one very expensive trip to the Chicago’s World Fair? Can Della and Cullen’s relationship stand the test of time or will it fizzle out before the fair comes to a close?
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For years I have been a fan of Deeanne Gist’s. I’ve only four books by her but ever since I read A Bride Most Begrudging, I was hooked. Because I love A Bride Most Begrudging so much, I had really high hopes for this book and, thankfully, this book didn’t disappoint me. I loved this book and I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to read it.

The romance in this book is just what I’ve come to expect from this author, steamy for a Christian novel but with a lot of emotional growth as well. I became fully immersed in their romance and how the author would work it out in the end. I loved seeing Della realize that not all men were what her father warned her about and seeing Cullen realize that lukewarm just isn’t enough. I absolutely loved this romance and can’t wait to see what else I can get from this author (maybe a sequel :D).

The storyline of this book is pretty impeccable. It moves along at a nice pace, the only wrinkle, for me, was how quickly and easily Della decided to forgive Cullen and take him back. I felt that it was a bit rushed and took away a bit front he overall story. Other than that small wrinkle, though, this story is utterly satisfying and completely worthy of not only being read, but being read a second time.

The characters of the story were really realistic. In a lot of cases I felt Della’s caution, particularly with what her father told her about men, was granted and I genuinely felt that Cullen’s struggle with his attraction to Della was believable. Every supporting character enhanced the story and made it even better. I also felt each character was well developed and their feelings at each interval were completely understandable. I think the author did an amazing job with the character and has a gift of storytelling.

The setting of this novel is one that I don’t usually see written about in this amount of detail and I loved it. I felt the author’s love for it and I wanted to be able to travel back in time to see the Chicago’s World Fair in all it’s glory. Even though the author wasn’t able to include all the details about the fair that she wanted, what she did include was spectacular and I drank it up. I’m actually a little upset that I didn’t get to see that magnificent fair, but at least we have people like Deeanne Gist who are willing to resurrect interest in it and write pages and pages about it.

Deanne Gist captured my heart with A Bride Most Begrudging and for a while now I haven’t been able to get my hands on any of her books, but I’m extremely happy that this was the one I was able to get. This book captured me just like my first, by her, and I can’t wait to see what I else I can read by her. I’ve found that even if it take years to get a book by her, it’s completely worth the wait. I completely recommend this author and any of her work.

Overall, I loved this book. The romance, the storyline, the setting. All of it captured me and held me hostage until the last page. I think this is perfect for those who like their story a little bit more steamy and who like historical fiction placed in a historical event. This book is definitely best left to the adults. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

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

Once Upon A Prince

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Title: Once Upon A Prince
Series: The Royal Wedding
Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: May 7, 2013
Pages: 352

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Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a fantastic romance or being treated like a princess. She just wars to marry the man she’s loved for twelve years, but life isn’t going according to her well though out plan. Susanna is left scrambling to rebuild her life when her Marine officer high school sweetheart boyfriend dumps her instead of proposing. All her plans are falling apart and that might just be the best thing for her.

Prince Nathaniel came to America to make a speech and hopefully take a little vacation to get away from the stress of royal life, especially since it seems his ailing father won’t get better, leaving him king of an entire country. His family’s tense political situation has chosen his wife for him, so the last thing he expects to find in America is love, but when he meets the lovely Susanna under Lover’s Oak it seems that that is exactly what he’s found.

As they grow closer, Susanna finds out he’s a prince and is shocked but not enough to leave. However, their romance might not be anything but a romance due to a two hundred year old law that doesn’t allow foreigners to marry into the royal family. They try to move on and forget each other, but it’s not that easy and everything seems to change when Susanna gets an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

Can Nathaniel’s and Susanna’s romance become more or will they have to love each other from afar? Will Nathaniel be able to take the throne or will he give it up for Susanna? Will Susanna fall in love again even if the love seems forbidden or will she guard her heart and possibly lose the best thing for her? Is there any way for Nathaniel and Susanna to be together or will law and duty tear them apart for good?
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With all the attention Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have been getting, both in the UK and in the US, it’s no real wonder why this book was created. I will admit to eagerly anticipating Kate and Will’s baby and wondering what they will name him and that was why I was so excited to get the opportunity to read this one. I think every girl has had their dreams of marrying a prince reawakened when William chose to marry a woman with a common background and because of that this book came to fruition and I imagine more will follow it. Though I’m not sure this was the best one to lead the pack.

Though I enjoyed this book and the idea of it, there seemed to be something missing and it wasn’t until I put down the book that I finally realized what it was, a lack of romance! Frankly, I think the two character fell in love way too soon and the romance in general felt a bit rushed. I find it a bit unrealistic for two characters to fall in love after two weeks of seeing each other.I also felt jilted because most of those two weeks were glossed over leaving me feeling robbed of falling in love alongside the characters and seeing them emotionally connect and slowly fall in love. I felt a total lack of emotion towards the characters because of the rushed feel and I just didn’t really get a chance to get attached to them as a couple.

The storyline was a good idea, but maybe not executed as well as it could have been. The storyline lagged in some areas delving into politics instead of the actual storyline and I felt like that time could’ve been used to develop the romance instead. While I enjoyed the parts that included romance and pushed the story along, a lot of the pages included useless repetitions and boring politics. Though the author tried, this execution wasn’t the best and felt a bit slow.

Despite that, I did like the characters, particularly the small ones that always interject a bit of knowledge or humor into the book. Each character had their own opinions and wisdom to impart on our guarded and scared heroine and love struck prince. Though Nate’s supposed walls weren’t properly represented, I felt like the majority of the characters were perfectly fallible and likable, making this book a much better story to read.

This is my first book by Rachel Haick and I have heard amazing things about her, but I wasn’t amazed or wowed by this book. However, all of these high marks for her writing can’t be wrong so I think I’m going to count this book as an anomaly and keep my eyes and mind open for more of her books. I really want to like this author and I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being a disappointment for me and I hope the author isn’t going to be.

Overall, it lacked romance and it was the only thing about this book that was rushed. I also felt that the story chugged along at a too slow pace and had too much politics about a fake country in it. This book is good for those who like stories about love overcoming social differences. This book is good for teens and adults but not as great for the younger readers in your life. I give this book a three out of five.

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

Judge

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Title: Judge
Series: Books Of The Infinite
Author: R. J. Larson
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: November 1, 2012
Pages: 368

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Kien Lantec is on the first day of his military leave when the unexpected happens, he gets marching orders from his Creator, the Infinite. Orders that include going to ToronSea and warn them of their worship of a new goddess. This is the last thing he wants to do. What he really wants to do is race his destroyer and court the love of his life, Ela. What’s worse is that his mission doesn’t even utilize his skills as a military judge-in-training and he’s not happy about it.

Ela Roeh of Parne, the newest prophet of the Infinite, has just been given some shocking and devastating news. Her beloved hometown has turned their backs on the Infinite and have started idol worship. She now has a mission from her Creator to go and warn Parne of their imminent doom and urge them to turn their hearts back to their Creator. Not only does she not get to spend the next two months with Kien but she’s now going to have to watch her birthplace be turned to ash and maybe with her still in it.

With them both pulled in separate directions, they both must seek the Infinite’s leading and hope he will reunite them soon. But for Ela, part of her vision includes an ominous ending that she must keep to herself or scare everyone who loves her. Kien’s mission means he must listen to his Creator and do what the Infinite wants, even if it isn’t what he wants or if it means giving up what he desires most.

Can Ela turn the hearts of her fellow Parnians or will she be forced to watch her city burn? Can Kien follow the Infinite’s leading or will he have to learn the hard way that the Infinite’s way is best? Will Ela survive the destruction of her city or will this be how she dies? Will Kien be able to fulfill his Infinite given duty or will he fail and see another city’s end? Will Ela and Kien get the chance to be together or will they be torn apart before they he the chance to love each other?
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I loved the first book in this series and was so ecstatic when this one became available and I must say that this one is even better than the first. The storyline has gotten even more intricate and the characters have gotten even more lovable. This book was so good, i devoured it in one day flat and loved every single moment of it. R. J. Larson definitely nailed this one and I can’t wait to read her next one.

The thing I love most about this book, besides the destroyers, is the fact that though it’s a fantasy, it’s easy to see this world existing and the Infinite and the miracles of Ela all are similar to miracles in the Bible. So the transition from reality and fantasy isn’t that big of a leap and makes this world so realistic. It’s so realistic, that when I came up for air I felt that it was a real shame that this world didn’t exist and I wouldn’t be able to have a destroyer of my own. I’m still amazed that this author was able to create such a realistic world and captivate me so easily. I think this author has found her niche and I would be happy to read her fantasy novels until the day I die.

Every character in this book has a different personality, even Scythe/Pet and the array of destroyers. It’s easy for me to imagine Kien, Ela, and every side character as a part of history and not imagined characters. In fact, every time I pick up a book in this series I wish I had a destroyer and I could ride into battle alongside the hero and heroine. Actually, I still want a destroyer and am actually a bit upset that they don’t exist. I love the entire cast and how each one’s story went through the book.

This book is also set at an amazingly fast pace. This book literally doesn’t let up until the last page and it was so difficult to put this book down that I actually stayed up late trying to finish it. I didn’t succeed but I reluctantly put it down and woke up the next morning and started it up again. I couldn’t put it down and I loved the fact that the story pulled me along and didn’t let me go until I closed the book. This book definitely makes it onto my favorites list and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

This author caught my eye with Prophet and has now latched on in this one and I’m happy to be latched into when it means I get a fantastic book out of it. I’m so happy this author decided to go into fantasy because if she hasn’t we wouldn’t have this series and the world would be deprived of a fantastic fantasy author. I highly recommend this book and series as well as any fantasy novels this author writes. I’m now a huge fan and look forward to digging into King.

Overall, I loved this one and have absolutely no complaints about this glorious fantasy novel. I think this is perfect for anyone looking for a realistic fantasy novel with a biblical feeling. This book is great for adults, teens, or tweens and is a great book to build their faith ad imaginations. 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.*

Small Town Girl

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Title: Small Town Girl
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
Published: July 1, 2013
Pages: 400

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Kate Merritt’s life is changing. Her sister is marrying the man she’s loved since she was fifteen years old and her heart is breaking in two. Even the attentions of the best man, Jay Tanner, can’t draw her interest. But with rumors of war heating up and a warning from her brother-in-law about Jay, Kate just can’t seem to stay away. Even knowing he might leave at any moment.

Jay Tanner has never found a reason to stay in one place for long. He never gets involved and never let’s himself care, until now. Now he not only cares about an eccentric little girl with dark hair, but with her older sister that is the fixer. Despite everything Jay does, he can’t quite seem to stay emotionally uninvolved and he doesn’t know why. The last thing he wants is love but maybe this small town and the people in it will give it to him anyway.

As the two grow closer to each other, Pearl Harbor happens and their worlds are turned upside down. Jay starts contemplating joining up and begins to realize what he feels for Kate isn’t just an infatuation that will I away in time. Kate realizes that she’s ready to fall head over heels for the bad boy even if it means she might lose him to the war.

Will Jay enlist and if he does will he survive the war or will Kate lose him before she’s ready? Will Kate get over her infatuation with her sister’s husband or will she forever love him even though he’s unattainable? Will Jay and Kate find love or heartbreak? Will Kate give Jay her whole heart or will she snatch it away when he’s finally ready to grab it? Will Jay and Kate’s love survive WWII or will they lose everything including each other?
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I’ve read only one book by Ann H. Gabhart but I can tell you that I love her books. The emotional connection each character goes through but also how emotionally involved it makes the reader makes her books a joy to read and it makes me look forward to every new release she has. This one was no different. It tugged at my heart strings and was the perfect romance for me.

Having not read Angel Sister, I didn’t know if I would be able to keep up with this book, but thankfully, the author made it so that there was only a few references to the first book and I was overall able to keep up. There were a few parts where I was left behind but those parts are generally insignificant to this story. Though I must say those parts made me really want to read Angel Sister and maybe I will someday.

The romance in this novel was impeccable. It had the perfect amount of emotional involvement and physical affection. I loved the fact that they fell in love despite the warnings that he won’t stick around from Mike. I also liked the whole good girl, bad boy angle. I feel like Kate jumped to some conclusions without hearing him out in the book, but if I had grown up the way she had, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t do the same. Which made her character really realistic and relatable. I loved this romance.

The storyline was also spot on, along with a cast of quirky and eccentric characters. Books like this make me wish for small town living and a close-knit community. I loved the way the story played itself out, the only thing that I wish I could change would be the conversion of Jay. I wish it were a bit more dramatic or heart-tugging but even though it wasn’t I still enjoyed this story and how it played out. The characters also helped make this story into a memorable one and made me wish that maybe the author will make another sequel.

This author captured my heart with Words Spoken True and now has held my heart hostage with her line of lovable and amazing characters. This book is part of the reason I love reading so much and want to write someday. This book is amazing and I highly recommend it and this author. I will eagerly anticipating her next release and will try and snatch it up when it becomes released.

Overall, I loved his book. My only complaint involves the conversion of Jay, but that isn’t such a big detail to really hurt the story. I highly recommend this to historical romance lovers and people who love a book filled with amazingly real and quirky characters. I think this book is perfect for adults and is singly teens but younger readers should avoid it for a while. 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.*

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.*