Thursday, December 29, 2016

Travis Thrasher's Awe ~ Reviewed

By Travis Thrasher
2016
Lucas Lane Publishers
 0996474714



BACK COVER:

THE MYSTERY ONLY DEEPENS. After his best friend disappears and his girlfriend abandons him, Brandon finds himself alone with few answers about what's happening in the small town of Appleton. Nobody knows the whereabouts of Devon, so Brandon decides to get the help of a private investigator who warns him of bad things ahead. At every possible turn, Brandon seems to meet a roadblock. With Marvel's dangerous uncle, Carlos. With the mysterious Otis Sykes. Even with Marvel herself. What darkness awaits them as the story unfolds? The third in The Books of Marvella series after Marvelous and Wonder. Watch for the final book, Glory.

MY REVIEW:

Gah! Be forewarned: this one leaves you hanging in a beautiful yet must-have-the-next-book kind of way.

In usual Thrasher style, the writing of Awe is quick-paced yet connects you to the characters so much, you feel like you're one of them. Brandon and Marvel's relationship is so right and so wrong at the same time. Without giving any spoilers, there are a lot of answers in this 3rd installment of the Marvella series, but not all -- and even leaves you with a few new what-the-heck's by the time you close the book.

God's love is clearly portrayed through story in this dynamic sequel to Marvel and Wonder. If you haven't read the first 2 books, don't start here. Snatch those up and then grab this one.

And then join me with my nose pressed against the glass door of the bookstore while waiting for the next one!

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Johnnie Alexander's When Love Arrives ~ Reviewed


WHEN LOVE ARRIVES
Johnnie Alexander
  • Series: Misty Willow (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 20, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800726413


Description: 

An Unlikely Couple Struggles to Reconcile the Burdens of Their Past
Dani Prescott came to the children's hospital to spy on Brett Somers--so how did she end up on a date with him? Weeks earlier she'd seen an interview in which he blamed her mother for the plane crash that had killed his parents. But the crash had killed her mother as well, so Dani can't believe the story Brett's trying to sell to the media.

Vowing to find a way to discredit the privileged--and maddeningly handsome--Brett, Dani has been following him and taking photos, hoping to find something she can use against him. But when she catches his eye instead, she quickly finds herself offering up a fake name and agreeing to a date. Brett knows this mystery girl is hiding something--but he's got his own secrets to keep. What will happen when he discovers who she really is? Will Dani and Brett look beyond their own heartaches to discover a love that could heal their deepest pain?

Fresh, flirty, and fast-paced, When Love Arrives is an engaging story that will have readers falling in love with the characters as they navigate the tricky waters between romance and revenge.

Review:

When Love Arrives is book number two in the Misty Willow Series. We learned about Brett Somers in Where She Belongs, and the story continues in this book. At the end of the last book, Brett discovers he has a young son who was in a terrible accident, and it is questionable as to whether he will live. Brett's life has taken quite a turn. He's gone from being a selfish womanizer, to a person who realizes he isn't the only one that exists! In the mean time, a young woman named Dani, has sought him out, initially to hurt him for things he said about her mother. But a chance meeting between Brett and Dani takes a turn for the unexpected, and tensions build for Dani as she begins to develop feelings for Brett.

I was really excited to get his book to see how Brett's character developed. He was a bit annoying in the first book, but became more likable as it went on. You can really see the change in him in this book. Dani's was a great character as well. She was originally out for some sort of vengeance, but was able to allow her feelings to change her attitude. This was a great follow up to the first book. Can't wait for the next one.


Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Monday, November 28, 2016

Chawna Schroeder's Beast ~ Reviewed

Beast
by Chawna Schroeder
October 2016
Gilead Publishing
1683700260

BACK COVER:

I am Beast. I serve the master.

For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master's dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master's favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire.

When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners.

They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she?

For anyone who has found a monster within, Beast is a tale of truth and transformation.

MY REVIEW:

Ever doubt God loves you? Ever struggle with a lower than low self esteem? This story wrestles with those issues and is told from the perspective of an unlikely protagonist . . . a beast. But is it really a beast -- or is it you? I know, intriguing questions, right?

And a very intriguing story.

Just like life, the beast's circumstances go from bad to dire, yet has moments of kindness and seasons of love. Yet it's harder for her (yes, the beast is a female) to accept the good times instead of the bad because she feels like she is worthless. Through the efforts of a patient King and compassionate Princess, she eventually comes to see herself for what she is - a priceless creation. It's a beautiful parable of our own lives.

Chawna Schroeder's writing is fresh and well-crafted. I look forward to whatever her next book will be!

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Christine Johnson's Honor Redeemed ~ Reviewed



Honor Redeemed
Christine Johnson
Series: Keys of Promise (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Revell (July 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800723511


Description:

Two Men Vie for Her Affection--Survival Will Depend on Choosing the Right One

Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West. Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life. Arriving penniless in the South, Prosperity is dismayed to find David married to someone else. Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, she gains the friendship--and the affection--of a kind doctor. Could he be the answer to her loneliness? Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the reader's senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.

Review:

Honor Redeemed is book two in “The Keys of Promise” series. In this book, we follow Prosperity Jones. Her fiance left two years ago, as the army sent him to the Key West for eight years. In the meantime, both of her parents have died. Since she has nothing to hold her to Nantucket, she decides to sail to Key West to be with David. What she doesn't realize is that David has gotten himself into a compromising position, with no memory of the incident, and is forced to marry a woman of ill repute as she claims she is expecting his child. Prosperity does not get the message in time, so when she arrives at David's door, she finds he is married and soon to be a father. Since she has no where to go, she stays with some new friends and gets a job at the hospital in town. But through different events, David and Prosperity's paths keep crossing, making it hard for them to forget each other.

It had been a while since I had read book one in this series, but it didn't take too long to put things together again. The main character from book one, Elizabeth, has a decent role in this storyline, and I love how she is involved in Prosperity's life. This was such a good book, and I so admired David, even though he made a mistake, or so he thinks, he is willing to step up and make things right, even if it means giving up the love of his life. 

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sarah Sundin's Anchor in the Storm ~ Reviewed



ANCHOR IN THE STORM
Sarah Sundin
Series: Waves of Freedom (Book 2)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Revell (May 3, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800723430

Description:

One Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance--and Danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America's entry into World War Ii means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg's attentions only annoy--even if he is her brother's best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves--and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War Ii to life, offering readers an intense experience they won't soon forget.



Review: 

Anchor in the Storm takes place during World War II. Lillian Avery is a young woman who has studied to be a pharmacist and has persevered through many ordeals, including the loss of a leg at a young age, resulting in wearing a prosthesis. This has caused her to keep to herself and not trust any man, after a bad experience she had in college. Arch Vandenberg is best friends with Lillian's brother, Jim. He is an Ensign in the Navy, and the heir to the Vandenberg fortune, which he is trying to get away from. He has an immediate attraction to Lillian, but soon realizes that not only is she not interested in him, but the lure of his fortune means nothing to her. That is refreshing to Arch, who is used to women wanting him just for his money. Through his experiences on a Navy destroyer and Lillian's observations in the pharmacy she is working at, they discover a drug ring and attempt to work together to bring it down.

I loved this book. The storyline flowed well, the characters were great, and I loved the time period. There were some twists and turns I didn't expect that made it even more interesting, and, of course, the budding romance between Lillian and Arch. This is a great book. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Michelle Griep's The Captive Heart ~ Reviewed

The Captive Heart
Michelle Griep
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press; Gld edition (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1634097831


Description: 

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.


Review: 

Michelle Griep knows how to get a reader's attention from page one. We open the page to find Eleanor panicked over the worst of scenarios. She has stepped well over her position and is going to pay a consequence she cannot afford. The lesser of two evils is thrown at her like a rope to a drowning woman and she grasps hold. This rope takes her to an unknown land across a foreboding body of water and a journey through a near hell in the belly of a ship. 

When she arrives her placement evaporates and she is quickly joined in marriage to a frightening man. An angry half-wild man who is looking for a mother for his child, nothing more. Bound by societal rules she has no choice but to go with him to the virtual wilderness. Only trained to be a governess she has no training in cooking, or even the proper clothing. 

As the plot thickens, Samuel's truth is slowly revealed, as are his enemies. Eleanor is forced to protect Samuel's child from new-to-Eleanor terrors and she has to face the possibility that this little one might need protection from her own father. 

Griep can write a beast of a bad guy. Whew. And she always manages to torture her heroes. I'm not even kidding you. Every one of her novels there is a secondary character who gets a royal beating at best, or a tragic death at worst. This one is no different. People die in Griep's novels, yet it is impossible for me not to finish one. 

I loved a couple of story line's that were nice little teasers and sure hope their stories end up being shared in future books. If you love historical romance this little gem is right up your alley. Especially if you don't mind a dead character or two. Shoot. Maybe I don't want her to write the other stories, more people will die, and the townsfolk are pretty charming. 

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jolina Petersheim's The Alliance ~ Reviewed


The Alliance
Molina Petersheim
Series: The Alliance
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Author Signed edition (June 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1496402219

Description: 

When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it's a foreshadowing of things to come. Soon after the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won't start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they're willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

Review: 

The Alliance takes place in an Old Order Mennonite Community. Leora Ebersole is taken aback when a small plane crashes in her community. The pilot, Moses Hughes, regains concsiousness, and realizes his plane crashed because his instruments were destroyed by a strange power outage the took out the electricity and power in all of the local stores. Not only that, the cars and cell phones of the Englishers in town were not working either. Moses, theory is that there was an EMP attack, causing the loss of all power and electricity, and that it will not come back. This results in the town and the Englischers coming together to ration food and protect their families and belongings from anyone who might come along from the cities. This ordeal tests both Leora and Moses, not only in their faith, but the struggle they have with the growing attraction they feel towards each other.

This was a very interesting storyline that I did not expect when I started the story. I guess the thing that hits home is that this is something that could realistically happen today, and it makes you wonder what will happen, how the world will react, and how we as believers are to conduct ourselves. Of course, God is sovereign over all, and we can trust him if something like this happens. However, it is a bit scary to think about. I'm hoping there is a sequel to this book as I felt like the ending was abrupt.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers