Slow Moon Rising

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After All

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Title: After All
Author: Deborah Raney
Publisher: Howard Books
Series: Hanover Falls
Published: May 1, 2012
Pages: 368

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Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal. She has a homeless shelter that keeps her busy. She also has caught the attention of the local fire chief. She finally believes that she can move on from her husband’s death and live again.

But, she soon finds out that David took a secret to his grave, a secret that could’ve tore his family apart. It wrecks havoc on her and her family and makes her question her marriage and all it was. She’s trying to forgive for her sons but she just can’t seem to do it.

Peter Brennan is the local fire chief and was there when he lost five firefighters in the fire. He feels responsible for the loss and thinks there might’ve been something to save those lives. As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, he finds comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

Will they be able to conquer the tragedies that confront them? Will they be able to stay together or will David get between them?
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I didn’t quite know what to expect with this book. The cover was incredible and I’m a little ashamed to say that I picked solely because of the cover. I guess I haven’t broke that habit yet. Anyway, the author did a fantastic job at creating family drama and making believable situations come from that drama. The author made me feel the characters went through throughout this book.

However, the romance was the typical Christian kind and I prefer a little more. Despite that, the romance was a funky one. Pete was the fire chief when Susan’s husband was alive and Pete doesn’t like her homeless shelter at all. That plus the fact of her husband’s infidelity, made the romance a roller coaster that makes you dizzy.

There is a sense of suspense in this book, but it’s not a large part of the book. However, this time I didn’t anything that was going to happen with the suspense because it was something that supposed to be resolved and figured out. It was a nice surprise and twist to not guess it. It was nice to see how the author formulated the suspense and played it out. But, it doesn’t make my top ten list in best suspenses and I wouldn’t expect it to, it was never supposed to be one.

Though I did enjoy this book, it wasn’t really my cup of tea. The whole book wasn’t something I normally pick and it’s just not something I really want to read on a regular basis. However, this book was nice for a change, but I don’t think I intend to read another for a while.

Overall, not my cup of tea, however, it is an well written book. I recommend this more for older readers or for someone looking for a drama slash romance. I give this book a three out of five.

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