Monday, May 31, 2010

Hearts Awakening

Spinster Elvira Kilmer's life has been dictated by others for as long as she can remember. Now, at the age of 31, she finds herself as a housekeeper and nanny to two motherless children. When the handsome widower she works for proposes a marriage of convenience, she sees it as a way out of the life her family intends to inflict upon her. But will this marriage truly bring the freedom she seeks or will it tie her tighter to her unhappiness? She always dreamed of a loving husband and children of her own. This marriage will offer her two young boys, but it is quite clear widower has no interest in ever loving her.

Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr is a good read. Although it is somewhat predictable, the plot is enhanced by little twists and unique scenes that keep the story moving and appealing. The one complaint I have about this book is the lack of romance. Although it is certainly a love story, the romance department is severely lacking. This is particularly strange to me because the story has a basis that seems like it would make some romance easy to incorporate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Sabrina Matthews does not know how to respond when she is taken from where she lives as a prostitute and offered a new life of hope. She takes a risk and chooses help, but finds that her old life keeps catching up with her. She moves to Token Creek, Montana, where she finds confirmation of her new spiritual life. She is blessed by quickly obtaining a job and a place to stay. Yet, a restlessness remains. She longs to help women like her who have been involved in prostitution and desire a new life. When a young, attractive preacher tries to reach out to these women as well, Sabrina finds herself deeply attracted, but still convinced that this man could never accept a person with her past.

This is a classic story of “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” I liked the book well enough, but I just did not think it was as well written as some of the other books Lori Wick has produced. Also, I am a bit biased because I've read Francine River's Redeeming Love which is also about a woman coming out of prostitution and I think that will forever be one of my favorite books.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fair Game

When Dinah Mayhew leaves her aunt and uncle's farm for the exciting city of Chicago, she anticipates the excitement of the World's Fair and reconciliation with her estranged father. What she does not expect is the way her heart is affected by Seth Howell and the religious work he is part of. When people she is involved with start literally disappearing, Dinah finds no help from the local police. She finds a helper and a confidante in Seth, but she is unsure if he returns her growing attraction. As she grows deeper in her faith, she must learn to trust God even during the dark times.

Fair Game by Carol Cox is a mixture of romance, mystery and intrigue. There is also some suspense towards the end, though personally, I think a little more of suspense would have benefited the story. I found that I liked the character of Dinah, but she seemed ridiculously innocent. Not that an innocent-type character is a bad thing, but the problem for me was that she did not seem believable. Aside from that, the story is good. But it is still the type of book that I recommend renting from the library before buying.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life Is Like A Good Book

I was thinking about my life today and I realized how much life is like a good book.  Life is full of mystery, suspense, drama, romance, spirituality and so many more things that when brought together would create a captivating book.

Specifically, I was thinking of my photography classes that I took last semester. I felt that it was something that God wanted me to do and I thoroghly enjoyed the classes. However, I wonder, why would God want me to take those classes?  I love photography, but is that really a reason God would have me to take a class?  I think there is more to it than God just letting me enjoy a class. I think there was some purpose and I don't know yet what it is.  It's a suspensful waiting that I'm enjoying because I know that at one point I will get to learn the answer.  And I probably won't have to wait to the end of life's book to know what it is!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Plain Perfect

Lillian Miller is tired of her crazy, hectic life. She leaves one day and takes the road to Lancaster County, PA, where her aging, Amish grandparents live. Once there, Lillian is offended by certain Amish beliefs, but still finds the peace that its followers have extremely attractive. She also finds a certain Amish man, Samuel Stoltzfus, quite attractive and quickly grows to care for him. As her affection for those surrounding her grows, she must make a choice to adopt the Amish ways that she sometimes struggles with or to continue living as she is – an outsider.

This book captured me right away. The plot and writing style were excellent. I loved the character of Lillian Miller and I think the author did a good job of making her story believable. It is quite rare for people from the outside world who were not raised in Amish ways to adopt such a belief system, but the author made Lillian’s conversion seem honest and natural. I also found the passion experienced by some of the characters surprising. Apparently, I had a preconceived notion that Amish people are dispassionate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Jessie Wheeler has successfully managed her business and her life without help from anyone for years. When her husband left her eight years ago, she single-handedly took care of her two daughters while running her mercantile. Now her estranged husband, Seth Redding, is back in town and claims to be a different man. Jessie’s not about to trust him, but she recognizes that the girls are longing for a father figure and is willing to give Seth a second chance to know his daughters. Not surprisingly, Jessie makes it clear that she is off-limits. When an expected illness confines Seth to Jessie’s home, her feelings begin to change, but she’s not about to trust the man that left her once before. It will take a miracle to heal Jessie’s heart, but is she even willing to accept it?

Jessie by Lori Wick was enjoyable, but it is far from being my favorite book by Lori Wick. I liked the characters of Jessie and Seth very well; however, there were some characters in the book that just did not seem to make sense - characters such as Meg, who had a baby. She did not really interact much with anyone and what was written about her did not contribute to the plot. The romance between Heather and Nate was cute, but it was a sub-plot that really had nothing to do with the main plot. I am not sure there was even any interaction between those two characters and the main two characters, Jessie and Seth.


Eventide by Cindy Martinusen is the emotional story of the ending of a life. Carrie is not an old woman, but she has experienced many wonderful times in her life. Now as a rare disease is shortening her days, her best friend, Lauren, has set out to bring Carrie one of the few things that Carrie was never able to do – retrieving a box buried in Italy years ago. The mystery surrounding the box is from a summer long ago when Carrie and Lauren were young and Carrie experienced her first love. Though the relationship ended tragically, Carrie moved on, married and had a child. Now as Carrie knows her days are limited, she struggles with memories of that summer and seeks closure. It will take a miracle of grace to bring together Carrie, her family, her friend and her first love. Will her miracle happen or will all the difficulties of the situation prevail?

This mystery aspect of this book kept drawing me to it, and I think the plot was well-designed. However, I found this book to be depressing. Perhaps it was because the entire plot was based around the death of a woman. I would recommend this book to people who like mystery, but do not mind reading about death.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Falcon and the Sparrow

One bad decision has put Dominique Dawson’s and her brother’s lives at stake. Now, she will do whatever is necessary to prevent her brother’s untimely death. When she is hired as a governess for the young son of Admiral Chase Randal, she has an opportunity to save her brother’s life. Unfortunately, it will mean betraying her country as well as the admiral. Dominique must choose between the family she has quickly come to love or the brother that she has loved for years. Will her faith open a door for her to have both or is she destined to lose all those she loves?

The Falcon and the Sparrow by M.L. Tyndall is an excellent book choice for someone who likes romance, mystery and a little suspense. I enjoyed this book and even stayed up reading it until 2:00 am one Saturday night. I simply had to know what happened. Admiral Chase Randall was an intriguing character to me. One moment he would be teasing; another he would be angry or brooding.

I did not care for the title of the book. I can see why the author chose it because it describes her two main characters. However, it sounds too much like Lori Wick’s book series which is set in the same time period and has titles such as The Hawk and the Jewel.