Tag Archives: christian fiction

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

Publication Date: 4 August 2020

Publisher: Revell

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Revell

Rating: 5 out of 5


“But as you ponder what it is you want most in life, remember most things fade away with time. Only love, pure love, remains in the end. ”

                                                                      -Catherine Pratt

Step onto the rugged streets of Penance in the Dakota Territory in the year 1880 and meet the diverse and entertaining citizens of this small mining and logging town. The story focuses on the town’s schoolteacher, the upstanding Miss Agnes Pratt, who came out six years ago from Buffalo, New York to teach the youngsters of Penance.

Life is good in Penance and relatively predictable for Agnes until the new doctor arrives in town. Dr. James Harris, a fine young doctor newly graduated, arrives in town from none other than Buffalo, New York. Six years after Agnes disappeared from his life, James is finally face to face with her again. As they struggle to keep their shared history a secret, they find that their unsettled past continues to haunt them. Agnes unexpectedly finds herself with an orphaned baby to raise and the challenges of the child’s background bring unexpected memories back to disrupt her life.

As Agnes and James are forced to confront their history, they must figure out what is really important in life. They each must learn that where we come from doesn’t dictate who we are nor does it change the person we are. As Agnes and James explore the seasons of their life, their growth as individuals helps them make the right choices bringing a beautiful ending to this story.

Begin the journey to Penance and read this engaging story interwoven with threads of friendship, family, faith, and community. Everyone loves a genuine “feel good” story that ends leaving us feeling all is right with the world at that moment. Great read for lovers of historical fiction, historical romance, and Christian fiction!

This ARC copy was received from Revell and Netgalley. The thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.  

#ALifeOnceDreamed #NetGalley


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

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

Publication Date: 30 June 2020

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

 Rating: 5 out of 5



 “The world is dark, so dark we sometimes forget the stars. But they are always there—we need only fight to see these places of brilliant light, these echoes of the truest story.”

                                     –Simon Claremont, watchmaker & storykeeper

A magical story spun full of hope and wonder, love and loss, and so much more! Candlewick Commons in London is home to Simon Claremont, a watchmaker by day and a marvelous storyteller by night, and his small family consisting of Penny, his wife, and Lucy, his young daughter, and their honorary member, Dashel Greene, a young boy befriended by Lucy. The children grow up inspired by the rich stories told each evening and the imaginations that are nurtured with love and ideas without boundaries.

Lucy grows into her occupation as a maritime archaeologist and keeper of the watch shop. Dash, moved by his aunt to the States while in his teens, becomes a forensic astronomer with an amazing career. When the two young adults cross paths, their careers and lives intersect over an amazing story from their shared past about the mysterious disappearance of the ship, the HMS Jubilee.

The story spins and weaves its magic while detailing another extraordinary story set back in time beginning in 1802 in East Sussex, England. A young boy by the name of Frederick Hanford set in course the motion of a life that would brand him a traitor and bring about his disappearance along with that of the Jubilee.

A beautifully told complex story that moves through two time periods drawing the reader into the lives of Lucy and Dash, as well as that of Frederick and Juliette. The historical part of the story was spellbinding.  I loved the elements of the story that kept me grounded in reality while also stretching my imagination with that hint of mystical realism. An absolutely sublime, summer read! Don’t miss this book to find out if Dash and Lucy can uncover what really happened to mysterious Frederick Hanford.

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley.  The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#SetTheStarsAlight  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction

A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden

Series:  Hope and Glory, Book 2

Publication Date: 02 June 2020

Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

ARC copy from Bethany House and Netgalley.com

Rating: 5 out of 5

Beautiful, feisty Caroline Delacroix works day and night as personal secretary to the president’s wife, Ida McKinley. What a job the young woman has! Ida McKinley is certainly not the easiest person to work for and requires an undue amount of attention. Caroline does her job flying by the seat of her pants and breaking whatever rules are necessary to get things accomplished. The stakes are high for Caroline as she desperately needs a pardon from the President for her wayward brother Luke.

Nathaniel Trask, treasury agent and investigator extraordinaire, gets assigned to head the new security task for President McKinley. Nathaniel has some issues of his own with which he struggles, but there is no one better at details and plans for security. He is a handsome, serious fellow that believes firmly in following the rules and guidelines.

 As Caroline and Nathaniel bump heads over jobs and rules, they find value in many of each other’s distinctive traits. Each of them tries to do the best job possible, but each follows a distinctly different set of rules. Caroline’s brother Luke adds another layer of complication to their blossoming friendship.

The historical data is excellent in this novel. The details regarding Ida McKinley’s illnesses and personality issues, President McKinley’s reelection and his assassination, as well as the information about the formation and changing work of the Secret Service provide an interesting backdrop to an excellent story. As always with Elizabeth Camden’s work, the historical notes add depth to the book.

An excellent read! The first book in the series definitely adds background depth to the story so I would highly recommend reading The Spice King first. Readers of historical fiction and historical Christian fiction will enjoy this book! Book Three is coming in 2021!

 This ARC copy was received from Bethany House and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#AGildedLady #NetGalley


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Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey by Abigail Wilson

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 4 out of 5


 “Trust is personal and dangerous and terrifying…”


Who doesn’t love good Regency filled with handsome highway men, a bit of espionage and intrigue, an adorable baby, and a distressed lady? A mistaken identity in carriages sets a course of events in action that will drastically change Elizabeth Cantrell’s future plans.

Going from housekeeper to becoming the esteemed Lady Elizabeth Torrington literally overnight, Elizabeth Cantrell must decide what type of man she married. Working together to uncover a mystery in their midst, Adrian, Lord Torrington, and Elizabeth must play the roles of their lives in order to expose the bad guy. The masquerade behind which they hide allows them some interesting insights into each other. Can they learn to trust each other when so much is at stake?

Read this intriguing tale to find out if trust is indeed dangerous and terrifying or if the truth will free both of them from their pasts to forge a promising future. A delightful read and my first book from this author! I am looking forward to reading the rest of her books. I highly recommend for people who enjoy historical fiction, Regency fiction, and Christian fiction.

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


#MasqueradeAtMiddlecrestAbbey #NetGalley

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Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Publication Date: 12 May 2020

Thomas Nelson Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 3.5 out 5


“She’d read it somewhere—something about the fact that after taking a wrong turn, traveling further down the road doesn’t get you any closer to your destination. You have to go back in order to go on.”


 Welcome to Winsome, the quaint little town north of Chicago where we first visited The Printed Letter Bookshop in Katherine Reay’s last novel. Step into Andante, the town’s newly upgraded coffee shop with its chic décor and excellent coffee. Jeremy Miller and his partner, Ryan, are the new business owners in town trying to figure their way around town. Meet Alyssa Harrison, daughter of Janet Harrison, one of the owners of The Printed Letter Bookshop.

Alyssa and Janet’s stormy and volatile relationship intensifies as Alyssa’s move back to town brings a great deal of emotional family drama into their life. Peeling away the layers of the past is the only way forward for these two women. Alyssa comes across as a spoiled, unlikable character through a great deal of the story as she struggles with her life choices. Only as she comes to term with owning her issues does she become a person with whom I could empathize.

As Jeremy struggles to understand life and business in a small town, he undergoes a great deal of emotional turmoil and joy in building a relationship with his young daughter. Jeremy and Alyssa cross paths and find common ground as the new people in town each struggling with their own problems.

The story has a great deal of emotional depth and angst. Once again community, family, friendship and love rule the story. Readers of women’s fiction and coffee lovers will be entertained by this book!

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson.  The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#OfLiteratureAndLattes #NetGalley


Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

ARC from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 5 out of 5


“Love does that. It erases pain. The darkness. The stuff that wants to hold our head under the water. Love reminds us who we are and who we were always meant to be. And there never has been nor ever will be anything that can kill it.”

                                                                                              —Murph Shepard

Journey deep into the intracoastal waters of Florida and a dark, shadowy world filled with evil in this captivating tale that explores the international world of human trafficking. In spite of the evil and darkness in this multi-layered story, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love play a prominent role as well.

Murphy Shepard is a blend of Good Samaritan, Rambo, and Charles Martin. A retired priest who lives reclusively on a semi-deserted island crosses paths with a beautiful young girl who doesn’t realize the danger in which she placed herself. As Murphy finds himself drawn into a time sensitive search for the girl, he acquires a disparate crew of assistants that he encounters one-by-one along the way. Each unique person has a story and a purpose.

Emotional, heartbreaking at times, and memorable, this story will stay with you long after that last page turns. Charles Martin continues to refine his extraordinary storytelling skills with each new book. Don’t miss this one! Stunning read!

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.


#TheWaterKeeper #Tnzfiction #NetGalley

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Unyielding Hope by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

Series: When Hope Calls, Book 1

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

Publisher: Bethany House

Rating: 4 out of 5


This heartwarming story set in Canada introduces us to sisters, Lillian and Grace, orphaned and separated at a young age.  Lillian raised in a wealthy family, lives a pleasant life with her loving father while Grace, on the other hand, grew up in orphanages. The two sisters finally meet and their story unfolds as they move with a group of foster children from the British Children’s Home Society to Lillian’s comfortable home.

Lillian’s charmed life is greatly changed as a result of her sister and the children and Grace finds herself challenged in caring for multiple children and living in someone else’s home. Love, challenges, and adventures carry the sisters and their young wards through this enjoyable tale as they struggle to get to know each other, live together, and find a path to their future.

A great book to curl up with in your comfortable chair and enjoy! A delightful tale of two sisters, their young charges, and their enterprising scheme to find families for them! A thoroughly enjoyable read! Readers of Janet Oke and Laurel Oke will be delighted with this new spin off of the Canadian West, When Calls the Heart, series.

This copy was received from Bethany House and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#UnyieldingHope #NetGalley

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When I Meet You by Olivia Newport

Publication Date: 01 May 2020

Series:  Tree of Life

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

ARC from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley

Rating: 4 out of 5


Once again Olivia Newport weaves a unique dual time line story that intertwines the past with the present in the scenic town of Canyon Mines, Colorado.  Working her magic once again with genealogy and research is Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her attorney father, Nolan. The opening of a mysterious, antique trunk complete with all its contents begins the fascinating historical story filled with cross country train rides, bank fraud, Pinkerton agents, and a multitude of other fascinating adventures in the year 1909.

The usual cast of characters living in Canyon Mines from the previous novels is alive and well and contributing to the central story. Adding interest to the story is a handsome young man named Drew Lawson who happens to have ties back to the mysterious trunk. As Jillian finds herself drawn to Drew, she finds herself pulled in another direction with her own family issues which blurs the lines for her between professional and personal behavior.

The flow between the past and the present stories is smooth and consistent. The theme that resonates through the book for me was how the past reflects on the present. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction alike will enjoy this book. The book can be read as a standalone.

This ARC copy was received from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#WhenIMeetYou  #NetGalley

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The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

Publication Date: 21 April 2020

Publisher: Waterbrook Press, a division of Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC Copy from Waterbrook and NetGalley

Rated: 4 out of 5


“One of the things I’ve learned this past year is that whatever we choose to do sacrifices something else.”

–Roy Graber

The Englisch Daughter explores the implosion of Roy and Jemima Graber’s marriage. Living in the Old Order Amish requires a unique lifestyle, set of rules, and faith, particularly for the women. Jemima’s dreams and savings disappear overnight along with the husband she thought she knew well. Left with a husband who lies, cheats, and brings his secrets home, she struggles to find herself and to deal with four young children.

Pulled into the complexities of Roy and Jemima’s troubles is Abigail Graber, Roy’s younger sister. She too trusted her brother with her life savings and her future. Chris Fisher, a young man with his own set of challenges resulting from his lifestyle choices, comes to work at the Graber farm to help Roy. Abigail and Chris fight their attraction as they become pulled into Roy and Jemima’s problems.

A deeply moving story that centers on the lessons learned when we try to protect the ones we love with lies and dishonesty. Can the pieces of broken trust be healed? How far must a person go to figure out his personal self-identity? How far is too far? Read this compelling story about these four people each at different places in their life struggling to find forgiveness, trust, and to rebuild their family and lives.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Press and NetGalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheEnglischDaughter  #NetGalley


Filed under Amish, Book Reviews, Contemporary

The Chisholm Trail Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Publication Date: 01 April 2020

Series: Daughters of the Mayflower, Book 12

Publisher: Barbour Books

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Barbour Books

Rating: 4 out of 5

“…but this is 1889 and a woman’s place is not with a rifle in one hand and a saddle in the other.”

–Susanna Gentry, Eliza’s mother

Steeped in rich Texas history, this adventurous story offers romance, intrigue, and a bit of danger. Ranches, cowboys, and cattle drives bring this story to life. Eliza Gentry has disagreed with her mother’s philosophy on being a lady since she was old enough to get around outside and follow her brothers and dad around the ranch. Spirited and outspoken, Eliza wants nothing more than to get an education and study the stars.

Spoiled and rich Ben Barnhart has his eyes set on Eliza and wants to marry her. Only problem with Ben is that William Gentry, Eliza’s father wants nothing to do with anyone named Barnhart. In an effort to make sure Ben Barnhart gets nowhere near his daughter, Mr. Gentry hires the John Brady Detective Agency to guard his daughter.

Eliza finds Mr. John Brady to be a bit of a mystery. Something about him seems remotely familiar, but she can’t seem to place him. Follow the adventures that lead Eliza into serious trouble and John Brady to the rescue. As secrets are uncovered and the truth reveals itself, can Eliza forgive the man she knows as John Brady?

This twelfth book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series is as good as the very first one. Don’t miss this fun read!

This ARC copy was received from Barbour Books and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#TheChisholmTrailBride #NetGalley


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