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.*

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All For A Song

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Title: All For A Song
Author: Allison Pittman
Publisher: Tyndale House
Published: February 1, 2013
Pages: 360

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Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything any girl could ever want: a family that loves her, a great church, a tight-knit community, and a handsome fiancé that’s the pastor to her church. Spending time in the woods lost in her music, lifting her heart and voice in worship to God with her brother’s guitar, should make her life complete but she longs for more.

Spending a week in St. Louis looking for a wedding dress with her sister, gives her more when she discovers Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team. Given the chance to sing on stage for this powerful woman, Dorothy begins to see how dangerous stardom can be. But she reluctantly agrees to follow Aimee and her troupe to Los Angeles to find her brother and herself.

As she traverses the good and bad side of the ’20s she’s forced to consider what she wants out of life. With her engagement on the rocks because of her choices and temptation like no other rears its ugly head and innocent Dorothy must use every power in her to resist. Dorothy and her naïveté get her into a lot of trouble and temptation and it doesn’t seem like she’s strong enough to get herself out.

Will Dorothy resist temptation and sin or will she give in and ruin her life for good? How will Dorothy decide what she truly desires in life? What will Dorothy choose? Her sweet innocent life back home or a wild new world out in California? Can Dorothy win back her fiancé or did she lose him forever?
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Being me, I picked this book solely for cover and era. I’ve been a fan of the “Roaring ’20s” for a while and wanted to read this one solely for that. Unfortunately, this time my gamble didn’t pay out. This book is, for lack of a better word, boring. There was no real excitement and the storyline was actually kind of predictable. I don’t think this is the best representative of the 1920s and the views of that time.

This book was a mess. It felt disjointed and bipolar. The emotions shot all across the map, making the reader wonder what emotion we’re going to encounter next. And the fact that part of the book was from the 19 year old Dorothy and the 107 year old Dorothy really made the story jump around and though it was a good concept, it wasn’t executed very well.

One factor I really didn’t like was Aimee Semple McPherson. It was the part that the author liked the most and her admiration for the woman comes through her after note but it doesn’t resonate throughout the book. I didn’t agree with the doctrine in this book nor did I like the Aimee Semple McPherson I was shown. My view of her after reading this book was that she was haughty and in the business of saving souls just for the fame and fortune that comes with being a female evangelist. I really don’t think the author portrayed this woman, whom she really admires, in a very appealing light.

I really didn’t care much for any of the characters, except for the minor characters that only had a few lines. I felt that the heroine left her faith when she left her hometown and particularly when she needed it most, I felt that her fiancé was foolish and slightly controlling, the guy she turns to and trusts is the epitome of slimy and womanizer and not at all what a Christian should be not to mention I got the impression he was just being nice to her to make her his conquest, Aimee came off as haughty and slightly bitter, and Dorothy’s sister was overbearing. None of them were very like able and I felt greatly disappointed in that.

I didn’t like this book from Allison Pittman. I don’t think I’ve read anything from this author before and because I like to give people a second chance I do intend to read more from this author but with more of a caution. I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess I would say that this book isn’t a proper representation of her ability. I don’t recommend this book and I can’t really recommend this author, at least not yet.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all and I don’t really recommend this one. Some of you might like this book more than other and me, but read at your own caution. This book is best for adults only. I give this book a two out of five.

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