Jul 28, 2014

Book Review: Love Comes Home by Ann Gabhart

Back Cover: When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.

World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.

My Review: I cried! After watching the Merritt sister grow up in the pervious two books of the Rosey Corners series, I feel like I know these girls. Now, the war has ended and the boys come home - well most of them. This book touched me in a deep way. Tears came to my eyes more than once during the reading of this novel. I would strongly suggest having a box of tissues ready before diving into this drama. Gabhart's story is easy to read and the characters live on in my mind. I do hope that there is another book in this series.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to readers of historical fiction who enjoy stories in the WWII era. I would suggest reading the first two books in the series first (Angel Sister and Small Town Girl).

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Jul 22, 2014

Book Review: Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund

Back Cover: Michigan Territory, 1814

A voyageur and a young woman swept up in a time of upheaval and danger discover firsthand the high price of freedom.

The British Army has taken control of Michilimackinac Island and its fort, forcing the Americans to swear an oath of loyalty to the crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a fur trader who returns after being away from the island for years, only to find the family farm a shambles and those he cares about starving and at the mercy of British invaders.

Torn between the adventurous life of fur trading and guilt over neglecting his defenseless mother, Pierre is drawn deeper into the fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique MacKenzie, a childhood friend who's grown into a beautiful woman. She now finds herself trapped by the circumstances of war and poverty, and the cruelty of her guardian, Ebenezer Whiley.

As tensions mount and the violence rages on, Pierre and Angelique must decide where their loyalties rest and how much they'll risk for love.

My Review: Reading Hedlund's fiction is like stepping right into the past. As a Michigan born girl, I enjoy Hedlund's novels due to their connection with my home state. The premise of Captured by Love drew my attention. Like many of my fellow Michiganders, I have been to Mackinac Island many times. I've visited the fort on the hill and peered into the Black Hole. I loved the way this novel brought the history of the island to life. After reading this book, I want to visit the island again and relive this tale. I am very interested in reading Jody's next series about the Michigan light houses.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to fans of Jody Hedlund and readers of historical fiction.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Jun 24, 2014

Book Review: A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

Back Cover: She could cross an ocean, but could she ever win his heart?

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?

My Review: I wanted to like this book. Rebecca DeMarino is a debut author and the premise of this story sounded interesting. Unfortunately the novel didn't click with me. I tried to like the characters, but they didn't resonate. The dialogue felt contrived. I understand that the 1600s were a different time and people then acted differently then they do now, however, as a modern reader I couldn't bring myself to care about what happened to the characters. I had nothing invested in the story. That being said, this story isn't a complete write-off. What I may not enjoy about the writing, others may find intriguing. This review reflects my opinion of the book, but you may feel completely different after you read it.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: This book may appeal to readers who enjoy fiction about the Puritans.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Jun 17, 2014

Book Review: Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer

Back Cover: When love simmers between a reclusive scientist and a wealthy debutante, will they abandon ship or is it full steam ahead?

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston, Texas, to find her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, Nicole's father has always focused on what she's not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to find a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it's too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family's greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But her father's rivals come after the dagger, forcing a change in Nicole's plans.

After a boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana nearly took his life, Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed. He will do anything to stop even one more steamship disaster. Even if it means letting a female secretary into his secluded world.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grow between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to another? And when her father's rivals discover her hiding place, will she have to choose between that love and her family's legacy?

My Review: Karen Witemeyer is my go-to author for historical romance. I love her novels and Full Steam Ahead is a great example. Witemeyer's characters are wonderfully complex and believably flawed. Where else will you find a knife throwing debutant working for a reclusive scientist haunted by nightmares? The chemistry between the two leaves little doubt on what they feel for each other, but both have other concerns that keep their hearts in check. I devoured this novel in a single day (not an easy feat as a mother of a two-year-old bent on world domination). I love the little surprises that pop up in the pages. Just when I think I have the characters figured out, they do something unexpected (but completely believable.) I can not wait for Witemeyer's next book to come out.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to readers of historical romance.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.