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.*

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A Reluctant Courtship

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Title: A Reluctant Courtship
Series: The Daughters Of Bainbridge House
Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
Publisher: Revell
Publisher: October 15, 2013
Pages: 368

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Honore Bainbridge has been courted by two men, one of whom turned out to be a traitor and the other a murderer. Because of that and the reputation she has, she’s been banished to her family’s country estate, where her family hopes that she will stay out of trouble. Honore and trouble seem to be far apart until she meets a man with another checkered past and suspicions hanging over his head. Honore’s sure this man is the one for her, if she can figure out whether she’s fallen for another miscreant or the man he shows her.

Americus “Meric” Poole Lord of Ashmoor has just come into his lordship but already he’s realizing just how different England is from his American upbringing and how out of place he really is. Because of his upbringing, his loyalties are under suspicion as well as his involvement with escaped prisoners from Dartmoor Prison. With all the suspicions and accusations swirling around him he needs a wife beyond reproach, something the beautiful Honore is not. So he distances himself from her, or so he tries.

Drawn together even with social and family obligations trying to pull them apart, they work together to try and prove Meric innocent of the crimes he’s being accused of. Meanwhile, Honore wrestles with her decision to help him and getting involved with someone that could be another criminal and Meric’s attempt to not fall for Honore begin to slip leaving him confused and disappointed. The two must work together and somehow not fall victim to the same crimes that took Meric’s father to America and not ruin their reputations beyond repair.

Can the two of them stay together despite attempts to keep them apart or will social and family obligations get in the way of love? Can Honore prove Lord Ashmoor’s innocence or will she be fooled yet again by a criminal? Can Meric find a way to win Honore’s heart and keep his reputation intact or will he decide that she’s not good enough for him?
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Laurie Alice Eakes captivated me with her Midwives’ series and then gave me a glimpse at England in the early 1800’s. Originally, I didn’t care much for the transition and got a little bit bored over England’s high society. However, with this novel, I finally fell in love with her Regency novels and, though I felt the emphasis on reputations and whatnot was a bit tedious, I truly enjoyed her newest Regency novel.

The setting of this book is my main problem with it. Regency has never been my favorite time period because of the emphasis that’s put on reputations and what others think of you and this book isn’t any different in that respect. It gets tiresome and tedious. However, I do think that this is one of the best Regency’s that I’ve read and will most likely read more of them from Laurie Eakes but they still won’t be my first choice for a genre.

The romance in this book is sweet and romantic. Honore is determined to win him over and Lord Ashmoor is determined to stay away from her and her bad reputation. I won’t give too much away but after a series of dramatic and fast-paced events, Lord Ashmoor realizes that Honore is the one for him and isn’t beneath him and the last two chapters of their romance was just plain romantic, heart-warming, and suspenseful. I think this romance will stick in my head for a while.

There’s a bit of suspense in this book as well and though it’s not very prevalent or will truly satisfy the appetite of true suspense fans, it played a pretty big role in the outcome of the book, particularly towards the end, and really livened up what would’ve been an otherwise boring book. It was also pretty hard to guess the culprit in this one as there was really no indication as to who was responsible for a lot of things, so that added mystery left me feeling completely occupied and satisfied with the outcome. I think the suspense and the choices that made up it, we’re a huge plus for this book.

Laurie Alice Eakes has been a favorite ever since I read the Kindle version of her first Midwives’ series book. Ever since then I have tried to get my hands on anything else she writes and this is the best one I’ve read outside her Midwives’ series. I plan on reading more from this author and hopefully being as happy, if not more so, as I was with this book. It wasn’t perfect but it was enjoyable. I recommend this book for Regency lovers.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it much more than the previous in this series, but I still can’t get past the Regency setting. This book is perfect for Regency lovers and lovers of historical romances. I’d keep this book away from the kids but adults and maybe mature teenagers will love this one. I g e 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.*

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.*

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.*

Lock, Stock, And Over A Barrel

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Title: Lock, Stock, and Over a Barrel
Series: Dear Daphne
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: B&H Books
Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 316

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Daphne Ballinger, armed with high hopes, lands her dream job at The New York Times. However, it’s not long before writing about weddings becomes a painful reminder of her failed relationship. It also doesn’t take long before her perception if the big city begins to lose its luster and her opinion of it begins to sour. Because of that she slowly starts to realize that her life needs a change of pace from her usual predictable life. She just doesn’t know how to change anything.

Her life is changed when her beloved Aunt Dee passes away and leaves a sizable estate to Daphne. She now has a change of pace, but it might not last long wit the strings attached to the estate. Coming home was easy, fulfilling the conditions of the estate, getting married within a year of signing the paperwork, isn’t quite as easy, especially since she has to really fall in love within a year.

With the year deadline looming over her, Daphne only hopes for a year in the house before she has to leave, but with so many bachelors in town it seems only a matter of time before she falls in love with one of them. But Daphne is focusing on her transition and her change of lifestyle then falling in love, along with all the secrets her aunt was hiding and whether she should tell them. But maybe God and her deceased Aunt Dee might have different plans for her life and her time in her small town.

Can Daphne fall in love before the allotted time or will she only get a year in her favorite childhood home? What will daphne do if she fails to me the deadline? What secrets will Daphne discover about her aunt and are there any more to be found? Who will Daphne fall in love with if anyone? Will Daphne find that she enjoys life in her small hometown better than life in the big city or will she miss the lights and luster of New York?
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I’m a huge fan of Melody Carlson’s and because of her popularity it’s a struggle to get any of her books, so I was thrilled to get the chance to review this one. I’m used to reading her young adult novels, so I believe this is my first adult novel by her and I must say that it was a new experience and one that I wouldn’t mind experiencing again.

This novel wasn’t quite what I expected. I didn’t expect it to be a series and I definitely didn’t expect it to end at the point or on the note that it did. I did enjoy this novel, but because my expectations were a bit more exciting and romantic I think I’m a bit disappointed with what I got. However, knowing this is a series eases my disappointment just a bit because I know she has to fall in love at some point.

There really isn’t much romance in this book it’s more of flirting and establishing who Daphne’s options are and there are quite a few. There are at least six different guys that are bachelors and are a possibility. I know I’m rooting for Mick, but maybe that’s just because I’m a sucker for an Australian accent. But I have a feeling that I know who the author will pick for Daphne and he’s my second choice. I’m really interested to see how the author navigates half of a dozen men and how she will pick one without disappointing too many people.

The story line of this book isn’t fast paced and isn’t one that’ll keep you up at night but it is one that’s worth reading and I think it holds a lesson all of us single people ought to learn, that we need to look for God for fulfillment instead of the perfect guy or girl. That was my favorite part of the novel because it was an epiphany for Daphne and allowed her to get her priorities straight. It progressed the story nicely and allowed a great finish.

I love this author and though this book was a bit of a disappointment for me and the title sounds better suited to a western, I don’t plan on stopping being this author’s fan and I do plan on reading the next books in this series because I want to know who Daphne ends up with. Though I don’t fully recommend this book I recommend the author’s other books.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment but still a good novel and the start to a good series. I think this book is perfect for those who want more of a serial romance series and not a quick romance read. This book is best left to the adults and possibly older teens. I give this a three 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.*

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.*

A Noble Groom

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Title: A Noble Groom
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: April 1, 2013
Pages: 368

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Annalisa Werner’s hope for a fairy-tale love is over. Her husband failed to save her in every way, and now his death has left her in dire straits. Without a husband to plant and harvest their crop, she has little hope of saving her family farm without a man to help her. In order to pay off her loan she needs a plentiful crop and a husband to bring it in. So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find her a groom.

Carl von Reichart is on the run from the law. He was falsely accused of a bombing and has had to flee to America under a false name, Carl Richards. He promises his servant that he will watch over his niece until her groom arrives. Being a nobleman’s son, he is completely unprepared for the farming lifestyle. However, he is determined to help the beautiful widow and her lively daughter. He never felt the need to settle down or stay in one place before but now he doesn’t want to leave the farm or the widow who is trying to save it.

The more Carl helps Annalisa the closer they get. Annalisa starts to see the difference between the husbands around her and Carl and she realizes that love and kindness isn’t too much to ask for in a marriage. Carl can start to see himself spending the rest f his life with Annalisa and her daughter but is reluctant to enter into a marriage where love isn’t involved. But Carl knows that even if love was there he couldn’t marry her not when she doesn’t even know who he really is.

Can Annalisa marry a strange man or will he realize that it’s her life as she deserves a say in it? Will Carl realize that he loves Annalisa or will he walk away and let her marry someone else? Will Carl tell Annalisa who he is or will he leave her wondering? How will Annalisa react when she finds out who he is? Will true love be able to conquer the most difficult struggles or will life destroy what they feel for each other?
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I have never read a book by this author before but this cover dragged me in and I couldn’t resist requesting this one. When I got it in the mail, I was even more excited because of its size and because of its back cover synopsis. But when I started reading it, I was even more hooked. I actually finished this one in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one of the first historical fiction that I’ve truly enjoyed in a while. This book makes me want to find this author’s previous works and devour them too.

The romance in this book is perfect. I felt like it progressed nicely and had a perfect amount if passion and restraint. I liked how the romance ended and I felt like the struggles that were roadblocks to it were reasonable and understandable. I loved how Carl was able to show Annalisa that a marriage doesn’t have to have a lack of kindness and respect. This is one the most well developed romances, that were set in this century, that I’ve read.

This storyline, though not terribly unique, is special. It touched a chord with me and drew me in. At first I didn’t love it. I felt that Annalisa was too meek and jaded about marriage and that Carl was too snooty, but as the story progressed I saw both characters grow and soften and it captured me. It also captured me with its smooth storyline progression and its unique problems.

Most of the characters in this book aren’t too likable. The men were too aggressive and the women too meek, but some characters just stuck out and captured my heart as well as my attention. A part of me hopes for a sequel so I can see Annalisa’s sister get a husband that loves her, but another part thinks this book is fantastic on its own and doesn’t need a sequel. Even though some characters were too extreme for me to like, the ones that were likable made the story into a fantastic read.

This author is a new one for me but if this book is any indication, I will be reading her books for years to come. This book captured my heart and I absolutely loved it. This author has created a new fan in me and I fully intend to read anything else she writes. Like I said, this book was so good I almost want to track down and read anything else she’s written. This author and book come highly recommended.

Overall, a great book. It had a great romance but some of the characters were unlikable. This book is perfect for those who like historical fiction set in the 19th century. I don’t really think this book is good for younger readers or young teens but adults and older teens will definitely enjoy this one. 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.*

Wake Up, Generation

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Title: Wake Up, Generation
Author: Paige Omartian
Publisher: Harvest House
Published: August 1, 2012
Pages: 224

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After a life-threatening battle with cancer at 10, Paige Omartian was compelled to live her life the way God wanted, even if it means she goes into a risky career. Now, with a new appreciation for life, she is compelled to show other young people how precious their lives are and how important they are to God. This is her calling, now it’s time to find yours.

Apathy has become a growing epidemic an has caused many people to sleepwalk through life. They don’t realize that their dreams, mission, and identity are at stake. If you want to be one of the few who want to live their to the fullest and fulfill their ultimate calling, then join Paige Omartian as she shows you why coasting through life can be more dangerous then following your calling.

Follow Paige as she explores the apathy that has taken root in our young people’s minds. She also tells stories from friends and influential people. Stories that are both good and bad and really make you think about what you want. This generation has been asleep for way too long and if your still breathing then there’s a reason you’re still here. You just have to let God lead to that reason.

Do these question scare you? What is my purpose? Who was I created to be? What can I possibly do to make a difference in this world? What does God want me to do? Why should I do anything? Do you want to live your life outside the complacency that too many people have? If so read this book and break the chain of apathy that has taken hold.
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I heard Paige’s story a few years ago and was amazed. A little girl and her life-threatening fight with cancer. Now she’s back and this energetic and inspiring 21 year old is determined to show teens and young adults that their life is worth more than what we’ve been led to believe and chosen to believe all these years and she did it well. The Lord is going to do great things through this young woman.

Normally when you read books like this, the author is usually in their late thirties early forties minimum and I think that this book and the subject matter came great from someone IN the projected audience. Because she’s a young adult too, she knows how we think and what we want out of life and that makes this book great. This book was well written and absolutely perfect for any person under the age of 25. It truly inspired you to do it God’s way even if it’s risky and unconventional.

I think my favorite part of this book was the conglomeration of stories, including Paige’s. I loved each story whether it was sad, anger inducing, or joyfully inspiring. I also loved how the stories were set up. They reinforced the point she was trying to driving home and it made me want to live my life God’s way more than if she hasn’t put in the stories. I loved the stories and what they did for the book.

This book really makes you think and question whether or not you’re living your life and whether you’re following God’s plan for it. I think this is the perfect book for teens and people up to 25. This book inspires teens to turn to God and follow His plan. I think that’s something everyone especially a younger person who doesn’t know what they want to do or be.

Paige Omartian may not be older and may not have a ton of experience but he knows how to reach the young generation and teach them how to be who they were meant to be. I don’t know whether this author intends to write more anytime soon but if she does sign me up because she knows how to communicate with young adults because she is one.

Overall, this is an amazing book for teens and young adults who want a new outlook on life and how to live it. This book is perfect for teens and adults. I highly recommend this one. 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.*