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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Filed under American Frontier, Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

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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The Hideaway by Lauren Denton

Coming in April! New Author!

denton-lauren-the-hideaway

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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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

martin-charles-long-way-gonePublication Date: 2016

Thomas Nelson, division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.

Copy from The Fiction Guild  and Thomas Nelson

 

Excerpt:  One of the mysteries of music is that two can achieve together what one never could do alone. The effect is exponential. It’s also the only activity on Planet Earth that can transport those who hear it from place A to place B in about two beats. It can shift a mood from laughter to tears to I-can-conquer-the-world to what-if and hope. It’s the original time machine.”

Cooper O’Connor is the epic prodigal son in this amazing novel that loosely retells the parable. Taking many things that did not belong to him, he heads out to Nashville to make it big in the music business. Along the way, life interferes.  

The story unfolds as Cooper meets Daley Cross, a rising young star while he is working at the Ryman Auditorium one night. The two have an immediate connection, both musically and emotionally. However, Cooper runs into an obstacle that is tougher than he ever imagined and willing to do about anything to get what he wants.  

Fast forward twenty years, fate steps in and brings Daley Cross back into Cooper’s life. Much has changed for both of them in the past twenty years and not much turned out the way they imagined.  This story is filled with emotion, pain, and faith unlike any book I have read in a long while.

 I very much enjoyed the haunting emotional story and language. I did not want to put this book down and I certainly did not want it to end. The novel has a great deal of faith, some romance, and mindfulness about gratitude. This is definitely not a light read, but a story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page!

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and HarperCollins Christian Fiction and The 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, christian fiction, Contemporary, Inspirational Fiction

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

alexander-tamera-a-note-yet-unsung

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Publication Date: February 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

 

“But you must trust that the Lord has your best at the center of his Heart, and whatever His plans are for your life, for this talent He’s given you, He will bring them to fruition in time.”

                                                            -Adelicia Acklen Cheatham

Once again I feel as though I stepped back in time to the genteel world of Nashville, Tennessee at a time following the Civil War when people were beginning to rebuild their lives. Tamera Alexander writes in such a way that as soon as you read those opening lines you are transported into her character’s world. I hear soft southern drawls and hear the gentle swish of petticoats and skirts stepping into the drawing room.

Rebekah Carrington, a beautiful young woman in her twenties, returns home to Nashville after years of studying music in Vienna, Austria only to find that her home is not a safe haven or even a comfortable place to live. Challenged by a time period when women were not allowed to play an instrument in the orchestra, Rebekah initially chafes at the constrictions placed on her by society as she struggles to find a job and a place to live. Maestro Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb, the handsome young conductor of the Nashville Philharmonic, steps into Rebekah’s life. Although the conductor might be forward thinking himself, his benefactors would never stand for a woman in their orchestra.

Once again Adelicia Cheatham, one of the richest women in America at the time, comes to the aid of a struggling young woman and employs Rebekah as a tutor to her daughter and an assistant to Tate Whitcomb to aid in his music transcription and composition. Tate and Rebekah battle against time, health, and struggling musicians to turn out a symphony worthy of the grand opening of the Nashville Opera House in a few months time.

Rich in historic detail regarding music and the time period, the city of Nashville, and architecture, readers of historical fiction and will truly enjoy this novel. Morals and integrity shine throughout the story which also leaves the reader with a comforting sense of inspiration and faith.

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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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Romance

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

green-jocelyn-the-mark-of-the-king

Publication Date:  January 3, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

                   “Everything begins and ends with grace.”

The Mark of the King is a beautifully written story of a young Parisian midwife sentenced unfairly for a crime she did not commit. As part of her punishment she is sent to the colony of New Orleans on a convict ship after being forced to marry a male prisoner. The story follows Julianne’s unusual story as she and her husband Simon are delivered to the colony of New Orleans to help populate the struggling settlement.

The tale is filled with Julianne’s struggles in the new world; the loss of her husband, her marriage to a French Captain, and the search for her missing brother. Her struggles and her strength and courage to succeed in this rough country shine throughout this story.

I really enjoyed the historical detail about this time period in America’s history. I had never heard of this very interesting aspect of the settling of Louisiana by the French. The inclusion of real historical characters always adds depth to historical fiction. The story also included an amazing number of lessons learned by our characters and cherished by this reader. These lessons include forgiveness, doing the right thing, and living a life filled with grace. Experience Julianne’s tragedies and triumphs! I loved this book and I hope you will too! Outstanding read for fans of historical fiction or inspirational historical fiction!

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.

5/5

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction