Book Review: Made For the Journey, by Elizabeth Elliot

From the Back Cover

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The Reluctant Warrior, by Mary Connealy

From the Back Cover

He Thought His Toughest Tests Were Behind Him.But Nothing Could Prepare Him for Trying to Win Back the Love of His Daughter.

Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He’s come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children, who are terrified of him, and the stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he fears may be trying to keep the children.

When danger descends on the cabin where they’re all huddled, Cam is injured trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and worries that it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection–and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at http://www.maryconnealy.com.
My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book by Mary Connealy. This is the second book in the series and it was as well written as the first. Mary Connealy is one of my favorite authors, and she seldom disappoints me. Her characters and entertaining and it is fun to have the story of past characters continue on in the series.
I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: The Hope Jar, by Wanda Brunsetter

What it’s about:

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

About the author:

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

My thoughts:

Though this story had the potential to be a interesting read, I found the writing style to be lacking in depth and appeal. The author seemed to enjoy writing about the daily activities and habits of the Amish and how the main character viewed their lifestyle. The story was shallow and the ending unsatisfying.

I truly dislike giving poor reviews, but I have to be honest and say I would give this book a 2 out of 5 stars, and likely will not read anything by this author again.

Barbour Publishing furnished me a copy of this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Hope of Azure Springs, by Rachel Fordham

From the Back Cover

Alone in a strange town, can she find healing for her new home . . . and herself?

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Welcome to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

About the Author

Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. Finally she put her love of good stories with her love of writing and she hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

 

My thoughts:

Rachel Fordham is a new author to me. But I must say I enjoyed the book very much. It was entertaining, kept my attention, and the characters were interesting. I hadn’t heard about the orphan trains before, so I guess you could say the book was educational as well. I look forward to reading more by this author.

The only “negative” think I could say would be that I didn’t care for the design of the cover, I don’t get the “cutting off the head of the person” idea. But that is just a personal preference.

I would give this book a four out of five stars.

Revell provided me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Falling For You, by Becky Wade

From the Back Cover

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is reveling in the peace and quiet of her hometown right up until the moment she comes face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend, Corbin Stewart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow is concerned. He’s never been able to forget her, but Willow makes it crystal clear she’s unwilling to risk her heart again.

When a decades-old mystery in Corbin’s family brings them together, will the heartbreak in their past and the complications in their present keep them from falling for one another all over again?

About the Author

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Christy Award, a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and an INSPY Award. Learn more at http://www.beckywade.com.

My Thoughts

As usual, Becky Wade wrote an awesome book. I have read several of her books and they never disappoint me. Falling For You is the second of A Bradford Sister Romance. It is the compelling story of the eldest Bradford sister, Willow.

I have to say this story kept me engaged and entertained from the very first page. I didn’t want to put it down, and I was sad that it had to end. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

If you are looking for a new contemporary author, you should definitely check out Becky Wade. Her Porter Family novels are excellent as well.

Bethany House provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Accidental Guardian, by Mary Connealy

From the Back Cover

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

About the Author

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Learn more at http://www.maryconnealy.com.
My Thoughts:
Mary Connealy does it again with this fairy-tale-like story, with a real life feel. With a mixture of tragedy and joy, this story keeps your attention from the first chapter.
I enjoyed the story very much. It was interesting to read and learn about life in the Sierra Mountains of Nevada in 1860s.
The struggles that the main characters had to deal with were entertaining without being ridiculous.
As usual, I enjoyed Mary Connealy’s story and can see where the next book might possibly flow right out of this one. Looking forward to it!
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Book Review: A Most Noble Heir, by Susan Anne Mason

From the Back Cover

Will Gaining the World Cost Him Everything He Holds Most Dear?

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope–believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father’s demanding expectations.

Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

About the Author

Susan Anne Mason‘s historical novel Irish Meadows won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA as well as the Christian Retailer’s Choice Award for Debut Novel. A member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at http://www.susanannemason.com.

My thoughts:

Susan Anne Mason is a talented writer. I enjoy her style and character development for the most part. I think that because she is a good writer that I was intrigued by the story and found it difficult to put down.

With that said, there were a few things that bothered me about the story. For one thing, Nolan, the main character was almost following in his father’s footsteps (ie. falling in love and marrying someone beneath him in station), but his father had absolutely no empathy for him. And I thought the story kind of dragged a little towards the end. These negative comments probably make you think that I really didn’t like the book, but that isn’t true. I did like it, but it just seemed a little unrealistic.

As I said, this was a well written book, and a real “page-turner”, and I would recommend it. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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