Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Series: Double S Ranch Series

Publication Date: May 2016

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com

 

 

Once again Ruth Logan Herne takes us back to the Double S Ranch owned by the Stafford family in a lush green valley of Washington. The last of the Stafford brothers, Trey Walker Stafford, takes a break from his flourishing career as a country and western star and comes home for an extended stay. Trey doesn’t even make it to the ranch before creating turmoil with the nearest neighbor, Lucy Carlton, a struggling single mom raising four children.

The story includes the entire family from the first two novels. The large, all encompassing family is busy shifting with the changes that are underway in their lives. Weddings are being planned; houses are being built; and illness is being dealt with. All around them, the cycle of ranch life continues as they work to rebuild their town as well.

As change swirls all around them, they must remember to trust in the Lord for the answer to each of their prayers. The real story revolves around Trey and Lucy and whether two people from such diverse walks of life can find a place to meet in the middle. Once again the author does a great job of incorporating faith and the balance of life into the book.  Readers of contemporary inspirational fiction will enjoy this family saga.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Ruth Logan Herne Author Page

 

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The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

Cambron, Kristy The Illusionist's Apprentice

Publication Date: 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

“Everything about it causes me to doubt, but that’s just instinct. If you’re asking me personally, then I’d say it’s because my faith must always be stronger than what my eyes can see. However, if you’re asking Wren the illusionist, then I’d say that you once told me a showman must always make the crowd believe the story she tells.”

                                                                        -Wren Lockhart

 Kristy Cambron weaves yet another absorbing tale grounded in history and based on real people. The story of Wren Lockhart, a famed illusionist trained by Harry Houdini, begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the year 1926. Much to my dismay when I began reading, Houdini had been dead for two years. The story focuses entirely on Wren and a young FBI agent, Elliot Matthews.

As Elliot works to solve a mysterious death that occurs as part of a public performance by a well known medium, he draws Wren into the investigation. The case pulls the two together as Wren struggles to maintain her very private life and a few well kept secrets of her own. The more time they spend together, the more their interests intersect.

The story is filled with mystery, suspense, intrigue, faith, and romance. The story is based on a real apprentice who worked for Harry Houdini prior to his death, even though the story itself is fiction. A great job of weaving the threads of history with fiction! Readers who love historical fiction will definitely find this an excellent read.

This copy was received from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

 

 

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True to You by Becky Wade

Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy: Netgalley.com & Bethany House Publishers

“What I’ve learned,” she said slowly, thinking back to the loss of her mother and her broken engagement, “is that the past might be challenging and the future might be unsure. And that’s okay. The present is all we’re given, anyway. When we get to the future, God will there. He’ll supply whatever we need for each day.”

-Nora Bradford

 An interesting mismatched pair is at the center of bestselling author Becky Wade’s latest novel, True to You, set in Merryweather Historical Village in Washington. John Lawson, an impressive, good-looking ex-Navy SEAL, and Nora Bradford, an attractive, rather bookish young woman, meet under unusual circumstances. Nora and John both have complications to deal with before they can begin to think about acting on their initial attraction.

Meanwhile, Nora’s two sisters, Willow and Britt, make plans for her; John hires Nora for a research job; and John finds himself more attracted to Nora every day. As changes comes to each of their lives, John and Nora struggle to uncover the truth, maintain their faith, and live the life God has given them.

The book is an poignant story full of family, drama, and romance. The characters are fun, yet have depth and personality. The plot takes some unusual twists as the story develops.

I loved the book. A wonderful read for people that enjoy romance, family drama, and faith inspired fiction! We have two more books to come in the series. Anxiously waiting on the second now!

This copy was received from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Website and social media links:

www.beckywade.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorbeckywade

Twitter: http://twitter.com/beckywadewriter

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5298259.Becky_Wade

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/beckywadewriter/

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To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

Publication Date: April 4, 2017

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

 

“One should not accept an apology until one is prepared to consign the offense to the past. Otherwise it will fester like a splinter beneath the skin and continue to cause problems in the future.”

                                                                       -Lt. Ryan Gallagher

 Jenny Bennett, a beautiful and rather complex young nurse, works at the U.S. Army Base at the Presidio in San Francisco in the year 1898 when she meets and falls in love with handsome, blonde Lt. Ryan Gallagher. Although not together long, they make plans for their future marriage when Ryan suddenly has to depart mysteriously in the night.

After being gone for a year, a cryptic letter from Ryan arrives telling her that he will not be returning. Six years later Jenny still struggles to completely give up thoughts of Lt. Gallagher who disappeared that night. When the mysterious Ryan arrives back at the Presidio with a beautiful Asian daughter, Jenny wants only an explanation for his behavior from him.

The story revolves around the conflict of Jenny’s need for security and the truth and Ryan’s characteristics of being closed off and secretive. Even when the secrets are finally disclosed, Jenny and Ryan find that they have different definitions o f forgiveness.

An intriguing read that will leave readers questioning the art of forgiveness!  Be sure and check out the reader’s notes at the end of the book. Elizabeth Camden once again fills her novel with detailed historical data that captivates one’s imagination and characters that are true to life.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Author Links:

 Elizabeth Camden

 Facebook:  Author Elizabeth Camden

 Goodreads: Elizabeth Camden

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An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray

Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 2

Publication Date: Feb 2017

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

“I’m too rough. Too big. I’m not smart, and I get in fights all the time too. None of those things are what women want.”

                                                                                    -Thomas Baker

Little did Thomas Baker know but that big, rough man was exactly what Laurel Tracey needed in her life at the time she meets him. Laurel, a pretty, young woman intent on saving the family ranch, is having a tough time on her own. She takes matters into her own hands and uses the last of her money to get Thomas Baker out of jail and into her employ.

Sergeant Thomas Baker is a young man who is rough around the edges but has a very good heart and a huge soft spot for Laurel Tracey. Laurel needs help desperately, and the only person that seems to be seriously on her side is Thomas. As mysterious events start to occur around the ranch, Laurel questions whether she’ll lose everything she worked hard to hold on to or whether Thomas will be enough to help her figure out what is going on and stop the threats.

Little does Laurel know but Thomas has a close group of officer friends who made an agreement to look after each other after the civil war. As a result of this friendship, able bodied help rides to the rescue in the form of his war comrades. Together the four men and Laurel take on the quest to stop the mysterious accidents and save the ranch.

Readers of Civil War and post Civil War fiction will enjoy this easy read! The characters are engaging and the plot line pulls the reader in right from the start. A fun read that continues the story of the four survivors from Johnson’s Island POW camp.

This copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Series: Heart of the Frontier

Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

Tracie Peterson narrates an engrossing and heart-wrenching story in the first book of her new Heart of the Frontier series, Treasured Grace. The novel centers around three young women headed west on the Oregon Trail in 1847 whose lives are forever changed by the Whitman Mission massacre. At the mission Grace Martindale meets Alexander Armistead, a hunter and guide, with strong ties to the area. Grace and her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, have not been at the mission long when the massacre occurs.

Alex and Grace find that they will need faith to get them through some very difficult situations after the slaughter of so many innocent people. The massacre was a very real historical event around which the story of Alex and Grace evolves. The historical details were a bit sparse in this novel, but the basic plot hooked me and kept me intrigued. This sad, introspective story will leave readers with much to think about. Not a light read, but a very deep touching tale!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

 

 

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Child of the River by Irma Joubert

joubert-irma-child-of-the-riverPublication Date: October 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson      

                                      

“It’s hard to be a woman, child.”

                                    -Ma Pieterse

Irma Joubert once again weaves an intricate tale of life in South Africa amid the political turmoil of the apartheid and WWII. Pérsomi Pieterse, a thin young girl raised on a dirt poor sharecropper’s farm in the veld of South Africa, values her education and her big brother, Gerbrand, above all else.

Pérsomi’s story unfolds as her beloved brother goes off to war, and she struggles to be able to continue her education. Before departing, Gerbrand discloses the fact that Pérsomi’s father is not really the father she has been raised to believe, much to her relief. This fact makes a fundamental difference in the outcome of Pérsomi’s education and life choices.

Follow Pérsomi’s journey to adulthood and her success as an attorney as she strives to lead a life that does not always conform to the beliefs of those around her. A woman of strong values and character, Pérsomi sets a fine example as a strong female role model during a time period when women were dominated by men.

The historical detail adds depth to the novel, and the incorporation of the politics of the apartheid offers an interesting intensity.  The religious and ethnic prejudices encountered in this book are reminiscent of our own history in the United States at different times.

A very intriguing novel! This is not a light read, but the book is excellent for readers of historic fiction and anyone with a specific interest in South Africa.

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson’s Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction