When The Clouds Roll By

20130930-223042.jpg

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

—————————————-

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?
———————————-

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.*

Advertisements

Once Upon A Prince

20130802-221134.jpg

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

————————————

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?
——————————–

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.*

A Noble Groom

20130508-213802.jpg

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

————————————-

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?
——————————————

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.*