Category Archives: Clean

The Hideaway by Lauren Denton

Coming in April! New Author!

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Publication Date: April 2017

Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson, division of Harper Collins Christian Publishing

 

“I’d sit along the edge of the water and imagine what it would have been like if things had turned out differently.”       

Narrated with the alternating stories of Sara, an aggressive young business owner living in New Orleans, and Mags, her 72 year old grandmother living and running The Hideaway, a backwater bed and breakfast in Sweet Bay, Alabama that is home to an eccentric group of older folks. Margaret Van Buren, Mags, to her friends wandered into the unusual bed and breakfast in 1960 and took it over after the owner left the area a few months later. Mags’ life had its complications over the years and as a result, she displayed a quirkiness that greatly embarrassed her granddaughter Sara.

The tale unfolds with the death of Mags and the inheritance by Sara of The Hideaway. The back story of Mags’ life is pieced together by Sara as she begins to make decisions about her inheritance. Sara’s life takes on greater meaning as she discovers a grandmother she never really knew.

The cast of characters in this story is entertaining and enlightening. I enjoyed the book and the lessons learned along the way by Sara. The moral of the story to me was that everything happens for a reason. We do not have to always understand the why. The novel has some mystery to it in the back story, some romance for all ages, and just a good story of family and all the love and difficulties that come with it.

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

 

 

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A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

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Series:  The Royal Wedding Series

Publication Date: 2016

Publisher: Zondervan and the Fiction Guild

 

 

“You’re redeeming the curse of Prince Michael, bringing the tradition back to life.”

                                                                        -Edward Tattersall

There is nothing like a good Christmas book filled with a real live prince, a beautiful young American woman, and a bell ringing tradition to spice up one’s holiday season. An entertaining read sprinkled with fairy tale romance, Christmas balls, and a Royal family!

After being dumped by Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom five years previously, Avery Truitt is hesitant to encounter the young man again. However, in order to see her favorite sister, Avery must endure the company of Prince Colin during the holidays.

The story follows Prince Colin as he learns to stand up for himself and act on the wishes of a power higher than himself and his rather overbearing father.  Avery reaches deep to find the faith and trust she will need to change her world and to truly believe in Colin again.  Will Avery show up on Christmas morning after the bell rings?

A fun and engaging story! Perfect holiday reading!

This ARC 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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The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Series: The Bishop’s Family Series

Publication Date: Oct 2016

Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

 

“Watch and wait for God’s timing. You’ll know it when it comes.” 

-Dok

Ruthie Stoltzfus, a lively 17 year old Amish girl, is restless and can’t decide what she really wants to do with her life. Being Amish is a crucial part of her life, but the need for more than the Amish life is driving her in a different direction. To add to her confusion, Patrick Kelly, a quiet, intelligent young man from Canada, arrives for an extended stay at the Inn at Eagle Hill interested in becoming Amish.

Our story revolves around Ruthie, Patrick, and Luke Schrock, a 17 year old Amish boy who has been Ruthie’s on again and off again close friend since grade school. Of course, we also have the people of Stoney Ridge and their everyday lives making things interesting, mysterious deaths at the Inn, unexpected illness, and the odd romance here and there.

The book is an interesting read with undertones of faith, second chances, and finding ourselves where we are instead of always searching elsewhere. Ruthie’s restlessness and Patrick’s quest each lead them to come to the realization that the alternative to their current situation is not always the better one. The story is a pleasant read with a clear path to additional stories in the series. I especially enjoyed the bits of wisdom sprinkled throughout the story.

I received this copy from NetGalley.com and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a fair review. The opinions and statements above are my own.

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Filed under Amish, Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Inspirational Fiction

Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund

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Publication Date: September 2016

Publisher: Waterbrook and Multnomah, a division of Penguin Random House

 

 

 

“If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity befalls you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.”

-William Law from A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Jody Hedlund once again weaves a story around a very real historical man named John Newton, adventurer and philanderer and his wife-to-be, Polly Catlett, a devout and beautiful young woman raised in an upright manner. John meets Polly when he becomes late and is forced to stop at a distant cousin’s home one evening on his way back to the coast. John is an irresponsible person with no real sense of ambition when he initially meets Polly.

The story deals primarily with John Newton’s life after meeting Polly. Their story is one of Polly’s loves of music, hymns, and education and John’s struggle to become a person that deserves a girl like Polly. The characters in the novel, particularly John, undergo transformations as they mature and undergo life altering circumstances. From deckhand to writer of one of the most beloved hymns of all time, Amazing Grace, John grows and develops into a devout, Christian man. As a young man John tended to make the same mistakes over and over before he finally learning some valuable lessons. One of these lessons was the quote at the beginning of the review. This becomes one of his life mantras by which he learns to live.

The message carried throughout the storyline is that God loves us absolutely regardless of what we do and how we behave. The story also carries the underlying theme of the prodigal son, acceptance and forgiveness. This book will appeal to serious readers of Christian fiction and inspirational historical fiction. The story starts out a little slow, but gains momentum as it progresses. I liked the book and very much enjoyed the historical notes and details at the end of the novel.

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

 4/5

 

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The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

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Publication Date:  October 2016

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.

ARC from Netgalley.com and Barbour Publishing

 

After a hasty departure from her last employer, governess Eleanor Morgan is forced to board a ship from London and sail for the colonies as an indentured servant. The year is February 1770 and the country is far from being settled. Eleanor is in for a rude awakening as she crosses the ocean and arrives to begin a new life.

Samuel Heath, a wild looking man who appears to be as much Indian as he is settler, purchases Eleanor’s contract. Unbeknownst to Eleanor, her contract requires that she marry the man in order to provide an upbringing for his young daughter, Grace. Eleanor steps into a life unlike anything she has ever experienced. Her adventures and travails begin as she learns to make a life for herself in the wilderness with Samuel and Grace.

The story unfolds as Samuel and Eleanor encounter enemies, politics, and the complications of frontier life. Their difficulties encompass everything from Eleanor’s lack of cooking skills to crazed bears to very real enemies. This book is a great read for lovers of historical fiction, particularly those who enjoy Revolutionary War era novels. Interesting storyline that definitely pulls the read into the plot and keeps them engaged!

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

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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, Clean, Colonial Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne

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Series: Double S Ranch Series

Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC from Multnomah and Bloggingforbooks.com

 

 

“We all need reminders, especially when we let old memories or bad memories take over. We allow them too much power and they become dangerous.”

                                                                                    –Dr. Elsa Andreas

What is a doctor with years of education and experience in family therapy doing hiding out in the backwoods of Gray’s Glen? Dr. Elsa Andreas, a lovely woman with long blonde hair, lives in a gnome’s cottage in the woods of Gray’s Glen and doesn’t venture to town and doesn’t allow visitors.Not until she takes on Nick Stafford and his two troubled young daughters! All four have deep places with secrets and darkness dwelling in them.

Elsa takes on the girls as a challenge from which she can’t quite walk away. In the process of trying to assist the girls, Elsa finds the help she so badly needs herself to heal from old wounds. Nick Stafford continues to struggle three years after his wife walked out and divorced him. He tries to do it all; father, mother, rancher, and dutiful son. It is a heavy load for any man. In the midst of putting his life back together, along with his girls, his ex-wife shows back up and starts her old behavior once again.

This novel is a story that touched my heart. The story is about finding faith in troubled times and finding help and forgiveness in places where you least expect it. The story has some focus on alcoholism and the ravages it can bring to a family, along with some good messages scattered throughout for readers of contemporary Christian fiction. Readers of the first book in the series, Back in the Saddle, will also meet many familiar faces once again. Looking forward to book three, Peace in the Valley, coming in March 2017!

This ARC copy was received from Multnomah and Bloggingforbooks.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 Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Series: Lone Star Hero, Book 1

Publication Date: July 2016

Publisher: Zondervan

Gratis copy from The Fiction Guild

 

 

Suspense, a bit of a mystery, and some romance all rolled into a post Civil War story set in Galveston, Texas!

Miranda Markham, a devastated, lonely widow, is currently being harassed endlessly by the townspeople of Galveston. Life is not difficult enough to endure after the loss of her husband, Captain Phillip Markham, she must put up with rumors about her husband’s loyalties, disgruntled in-laws, and a boarding house where no one wants to stay.

Robert Truax, a fellow officer from Robert’s unit, arrives to do his duty to his fallen comrade’s widow. As part of a close knit group of officers who agreed to look after each other after the war, Robert begins an investigation into Miranda’s troubles uncovering secrets that were not meant to be discovered and struggling to maintain secrets that need to remain just that!

Readers of historical fiction who enjoy the Civil War and post Civil War era will enjoy this novel. The secrets and mysteries add to the intrigue. Is it possible for Miranda to have feelings for someone other than Phillip again? A serious, but quick read!

 

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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