Tag Archives: book review
Publication Date: 23 February 2021
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
ARC copy from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah
Rating: 3 out of 5
From This Moment introduces three young people each struggling with their own unique problems and each coming from a less than perfect home life as children. Jase Edgar, the new youth minister in Bradleyville, Kansas, comes from the foster system where he spent much of his younger life. He is trying to come to terms with the death of his fiancé. Lori Fowler is a custodian at Jase’s church and an employee at a local quilt shop where her best friend, Kenzie Stetler works. Kenzie, a young woman from an Amish background, chooses not to join the Amish church and remains separated from her family as a result of her personal choices and beliefs. These three young people become good friends as a result of their beliefs and backgrounds. The appearance of a mysterious ring binds the young people together even tighter and ultimately allows them all to follow their hearts.
This book offers a good depiction of the journeys one’s life can take when dealing with hope and loss and the process one goes through in life of waiting and trusting. As these young people progress along their path, their new beginnings will bring romance to some and a deepening of faith and sharing the message to others. This book is an easy read that blends a contemporary romance with faith and hope. Readers of Christian romance will enjoy this book.
This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: 16 February 2021
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson
Rating: 5 out of 5
“The things we thought we were supposed to do and be once upon a time, they evolve as we do.
A captivating story of two strong, resilient women, each working in her own unique way against the German occupation of France! Meet Lila de Laurent, Parisian dressmaker working for Chanel in 1939, and Sandrine Paquet, wife, mother, and member of a prominent publishing family. As the war begins to take shape in early 1940, the lives of these young women are changed forever. Lila goes from high fashion with its captivating parties to dressing the women of the Nazi regime. Sandrine’s life changes dramatically when she must go to work for the Nazis at the Jeu de Paume sorting, cataloging, and readying stolen Jewish artwork for transport to Germany.
Both women, driven by their own reasoning work, in very different jobs for the La Résistance. Lila, driven by guilt, works passionately for information to help La Résistance in their battle against the Nazi regime and to recover the stolen family jewelry and artwork of the Touliard family. Sandrine, driven by love for her missing husband and her family, begins work under Rose Valland, an art director working through the resistance to document the stolen artwork of France and its Jewish citizens.
Behind these strong, brave, and capable women are their men, René Touliard and Christian Pacquet, both members of La Résistance as well. A cast of secondary characters work in conjunction with these brave men and women to add depth and reality to this dynamic historical story. An excellent blending of history, faith, and love pulls this story together.
Read this excellent piece of history to follow the journeys of Lila and René and Sandrine and Christian as they find their way through the occupation and war working toward a different future than the one they faced down. Be sure to read the Author’s Notes at the end as they add depth and detailed explanations to the novel.
This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
ARC from HQN and Netgalley.com
Welcome to the wine country of Washington State! Follow Mackenzie Barcellona, through the vineyards of Bel Après, the family owned business in to which she married. A winemaker by trade, she lives a life immersed in grapes, wines, and vineyards. A romantic proposal to the winery’s owner, Barbara, at the annual Solstice party triggers an avalanche of emotional events for many members of the immediate family. Once the events begin, nothing will be the same for the entire Barcellona family.
The novel focuses predominantly on Mackenzie and the strong females in the family and their intertwining lives and emotions. In addition, the reader gets a great insider look at the running of a winery and its day-to-day operations. An intriguing family drama highlighting family, friendship, and a sense of belonging!
This copy was received from HQN and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: 12 January 2020
Publisher: Atria Books, Division of Simon and Schuster
ARC copy from Netgalley and Atria Books
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Traumatic, life altering events change Lana Antanova’s life forever as she witnesses the deadly work of the Gestapo in Paris. As a result, Lana, the daughter of a Russian countess, goes to work for the Resistance in southern France along the Riviera posing as the mistress of a very wealthy Swiss businessman, Guy Pascal.
The unique setting for WWII definitely got my interest as well as the lifestyle of the German officers and the Russian émigrés which highlights the distinction between people during the war. As Lana and Guy work together to save as many Jewish people as possible, they find themselves drawn together in spite of the difficult times. One of the most personable characters of the story is the taxi driver, Pierre, who is much more than what he seems to be on the surface.
When Guy disappears one night, Lana must take charge of her life and alter her plans. Follow Lana as she travels to Switzerland and reinvents her life. The story sets a good pace and kept my interest most of the time. However, the ending is too farfetched for this reader.
This ARC copy was received from Atria Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: 12 January 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: 4 out of 5
This poignant and emotional story begins one beautiful, sunny day in January of 1888 on the plains of the Dakota Territory. The story introduces us to Gerda and Raina Olsen, sisters and schoolteachers working in different parts of the territory. Both girls are faced with decisions that will alter their life and that of their students forever when a blizzard unlike anything they have ever seen hits the prairie.
Gerda and Raina each choose a different path to follow as the storm hits. One becomes disgraced over her actions and the other becomes a heroine. The story follows not only the girls, but several of their students and their paths forward. Intertwined in the story is Gavin Woodson, a disgraced writer, trying to make a new way forward for himself. Gavin’s impact on one of the sisters and her student will be felt for years to come.
The story is a rich mingling of history and drama. Touching on complex issues of the prejudice against immigrants, the difficulties of life on the plains in the 1800’s, and of the complications faced by young women on their own during this time, the book weaves an engrossing tale that readers of historical fiction will find well worth their time!
This copy was received from Delacorte Press and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: 07 December 2020
ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Bookouture
Rating: 4 out of 5
Zoey Jansen settles in for a quiet summer with her great-Aunt Ivy in her rather large, old beach house in the historic little town of Benjamin’s Manor on Dune Island. Little does Zoey realize her summer will be anything but quiet. This emotional contemporary family drama introduces us to Zoey, Aunt Ivy, Cousin Mark, and Zoey’s niece, Gabi.
The family members are each unique and a bit broken in their own way. Their family dynamic is complex and becomes even more so as the summer wears on and family rumors and secrets begin to surface. Can the truth be discovered? Will the truth do some good or just create more turmoil? Join Zoey as she works to uncover the real truth
With a surprise ending well worth the read, readers of contemporary women’s fiction and chick lit will enjoy this family drama. A great beachy read to put you in a warm frame of mind during this chilly winter season!
This ARC copy was received from Netgalley and Bookouture. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
#AuntIvy’sCottage #NetGalley #Bookouture
Series: The Alex Carter Series
Publication Date: 27 October 2020
ARC copy from Netgalley.com and William Morrow
Rating: 5 out of 5
This fast paced novel quickly drew this reader in with atmosphere, suspense, and adventure. When Dr. Alex Carter receives a call from an old professor at Berkley for a field job in northwest Montana, she jumps at the opportunity. Alex, a wildlife biologist, is more than ready to leave Boston and all its drama behind. The adventure begins when she is dropped off at the desolate, abandoned ski resort on the reserve where she is supposed to headquarter alone for the winter while she tracks and studies wolverines.
Alex quickly finds that she is not welcome; not at the ski resort and not in Bitterroot, the nearest town. As the story unfolds, the suspense builds as cameras are destroyed, wild animals break in to the lodge, and mysterious wounded men disappear. With a dial phone for communications and an old Willys Wagon for transportation, Alex’s options for help are limited when situations escalate. Who can be trusted?
This enthralling, suspense filled novel is excellent. Not only is the suspense and drama captivating, but I learned an amazing amount of information about wildlife, particularly wolverines. Great read for going into the winter months!
This ARC copy was received from William Morrow Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
Publication Date: 20 Oct 2020
ARC copy from Revell and Netgalley.com
Rating: 4 out of 5
“Matched souls always find their way back to one another, for they seek refuge in the same place.”
An emotional story about the turmoil created when a long lost love note is returned to its original location! An interesting tale is woven around the premise of the mysterious love note and the path it takes from its beginning until the final discovery of the author and the intended recipient. The story centers on a young woman, Willa Duvall, who is extremely interested in becoming a doctor in a time when women were not doctors and her ties to the Gresham family. Willa finds herself with one last chance to prove herself at the dark, moody Crestwicke Manor with its ruined towers and rugged coastline.
Filled with some unusual twists as the plot follows the mysterious note, the story will leave the reader guessing as to who actually wrote the love note. The characters are varied; some I liked very much and others I disliked everything about them when I initially met them. Understanding evolved as the story unfolded. I loved the voice in which the story was told, and the atmospheric setting of the dark manor definitely adds to the overall intrigue of the book. Readers of historical fiction and historical mysteries will appreciate this book!
This ARC copy was received from Revell and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
The Soldier’s Lady: Four Historical Stories by Susanne Dietze, Janette Foreman, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing
A delightful collection of novellas about four bold young women who choose frontier adventure in the forts of the west!
The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabrielle Meyer
Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, 1828.
Duty calls Major Nathaniel Ward to guard his Colonel’s three daughters upon their arrival at Ft. Snelling. Nathaniel’s job is to make sure the girls are protected and that they not get involved with any man in the military. As Nathaniel spends more and more time with the charming Ally, he finds he is in danger of breaking his own rules. Read this enjoyable story and see if Ally and Nathaniel can figure a way around the Colonel’s rules.
Frontier of Her Heart by Susanne Dietze
Ft. Humboldt, California, 1854.
When the fort commander issues a challenge to his Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton and his cook, Emily Sweet, he merely intends to entertain his troops with a bit of fun. Emily is raising her younger brother and is a rather serious soul and Boyd is the exact opposite, finding amusement in most things. The contest he challenges them to sets a course in motion that neither could have predicted. Fun story!
Save the Last Word for Me by Lorna Seilstad
Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1864.
Adelina Dante, a schoolteacher on a mission to educate, collides with her fort commander, Colonel Isaac Scott, a young officer who takes his duty at the fort very seriously. Mishap after mishap dogs Adelina on her first posting to a military fort. Will the outspoken Adelina ever learn to follow the rules or be perpetually in trouble with the Colonel?
Winning the Lady’s Heart by Janette Foreman
Ft. Garland, Colorado, 1879.
When Captain Jefferson Gray’s friend, Martin O’Neal dies, duty demands that he meet Martin’s new fiancée, Annie Moreau, who arrives on the coach shortly after his death. When Annie becomes stuck at the fort, she finds that she hasn’t really been corresponding with Martin, but instead with the Captain. Can Annie get over her embarrassment, pride, and confusion to figure out who she really cares for? Time has a way of making complicated situations clearer. This novella was definitely my favorite of the four.
This ARC copy was received from Barbour Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.