Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson - Review of the fifth book in the Healer's Apprentice series

Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English Lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha--one of the few who speaks his language--understands the wild story.

Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself "Lord Colin" is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy--not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Cokin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

Even though this book was not my usual genre, and how I happened to pick the fifth in a series to read I don't know, I'm still shaking my head at that, I found the book very good. It is a young adult book but also fun for adults to read as well. This book is full of action, romance, adventure and not to mention faith. Melanie did a good job of developing the characters so much so that you felt as if you knew them personally. After you read this book you will find yourself going back to find more books by this author. A enjoyable read for everyone.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers for an honest review and that is what I have given here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Love Undone by Cindy Woodsmall - Review

A husband and son abandoned to forge a path alone,
A young woman who sacrificed her dreams.
How will the God of grace and hope
help them find their way?

At the age of nineteen, Old Order Amish Jolene Keim was on the brink of happily-ever-after when when everything changed, stealing the future she expected and burdening her with an unbearable decision. For the next ten years, Jolene threw herself into family life--and then she meets Andy Fisher. The horse trainer and father to a sweet nine year old challenges her and holds up a mirror to issues Jolene has been unwilling to face.

Andy is cautious about his deepening friendship with Jolene, but he believes she knows the truth about him--that he is a grass widower. As a man whose wife abandoned him six years ago, he is unable to divorce or remarry according to the Amish ways, Andy wrestled with God concerning his reality and he had found peace with the solitary future facing him...until he met Jolene.

As Andy and Jolene find themselves confronted by difficult choices, will they trust in God's guidance--or will the allure of their deepening friendship only lead to further temptation?

My  Review
It's been a while since I've read one of Cindy's books and how I have missed them! This was one wonderful love story about two very strong people. They were strong in their faith, strong in staying true to their family and the Amish beliefs, and willing to sacrifice themselves to do what was right in the eyes of their church elders and community. I would very highly recommend this book as a fantastic book.

I was given a copy of this book by Blogging For Books in return for an honest review. This is my honest opinion and recommendation of this book.

A Plain Malice by Amanda Flower - Review of the fourth book in An Appleseed Creek Mystery series

The Amish community in Appleseed Creek's new bishop believes the best way to help his district in the struggling economy is to increase tourism. He invites Blue Suede Tours from Mississippi to visit the community and asks his district to host the southern visitors. The Troyer family agrees to participate in the tour with an old-fashioned milking demonstration on the family's dairy farm. But when two Mississippians die during the milk  taste test, the local police chief believes someone poisoned them, and Timothy Troyer's father is her number one suspect. Computer whiz, Chloe Humphrey, jumps onto the tour bus as an undercover tour guide in order to prove her boyfriend's father is innocent despite the Troyer family's reservations about her and Timothy's relationship. If they solve the crime, will Chloe and Timothy finally prove that they belong together or will the investigation be the final act to tear them apart?

This has been such a great mystery series I had a hard time putting my kindle down so I could finish this story. I like the way Amanda has the police chief having to ask someone she 'appears' to not care for to help her out. Oh, and she does it in a demanding way that gives the impression, 'you will help me or you'll be sorry with the outcome of this investigation', leaving Chloe no choice so to speak. I would highly recommend this book, this series, to other readers who enjoy Amish stories or mysteries. Great job Amanda!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Season of Secrets & A Christmas to Die For by Marta Perry - Review

Season of Secrets
Years ago, Dinah Westlake witnessed the murder of her cousin, but lost all memories of theat night. Now, her cousin's husband, Marc Devlin, is back in town for a true Southern Christmas. But when recollections of the night start to resurface, Dinah will have to uncover whether Marc is a murderer or the man she loves.

A Christmas to Die For
Tyler Dunn comes to Rachel Hampton's family inn seeking justice for a decades-old crime. Rachel wants to trust the attractive architect, but he's too secretive--until a shocking link to her past is uncovered. Suddenly Christmas in Amish country is full of danger as Rachel finds herself the target of a killer...

I have read several books by Marta Perry and she did not fail me with this one. These two mysteries held my interest and kept me reading late into the night. Who says mysteries and Christmas don't go together, not I after reading these stories! If you like holiday stories and/or like mysteries I would recommend you find this book, take it home and read it, of course I expect you to pay for it first unless you find it in the library then you can check it out, lol, I know I'm glad I bought it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Prairie Romance Collection by Cathy Marie Hake, Judith Miller, Lynn A Coleman, Mary Davis, Linda Ford, Lena Nelson Dooley, Linda Goodnight, Kathleen Paul & Janet Spaeth - Review of the 9 Historical Romances from America's Great Plains

Expanding western borders, taming the land, and finding a place in which to live and love defines the pioneer heart. Within this unique collection are nine stories of romance on the American Great Plains penned by nine different multi-published authors.

After the Harvest by Lynn A Coleman
Love Notes by Mary Davis
Mother's Old Quilt by Lena Nelson Dooley
The Bride's Song by Linda Ford
The Barefoot Bride by Linda Goodnight
The Provider by Cathy Marie Hake
Freedom's Ring by Judith Miller
Returning Amanda by Kathleen Paul
Only Believe by Janet Spaeth

Follow pioneers, immigrants, and orphans through their adventures, heartaches, challenges, victories, and romances. Your are sure to have more than one favorite to warm your heart and encourage your faith.

I really enjoy the omnibus books with the short stories. They may take a while to read but each story tells how the pioneers had to depend on faith and even if they are afraid to step out in faith when they do it usually turns out for the good of each party involved. I just have to admire the hard work our ancestors went through to build this country and their determination to succeed.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Light In the Window by Julie Lessman - Review of the prequel to the Daughters of Boston series

One Woman. Two Men.
One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.
But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn't expecting. Sam O'Rourke is the childhood hero she's pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O'Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy's--both in her faith and in her heart.

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary's parish soup kitchen--A Light in the Window--Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play's message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to "the light in the window."

Although I have had this book and some others by Julie for quite sometime with good intentions of reading them, I must say that it took me entirely too long to get around to it. That's what happens when your TBR pile is too high and continues to grow.

I found this story very enjoyable even though I was screaming (in my mind) at Marcy a lot. The sad part is that what Marcy was doing happens all to often in real life. We know we shouldn't judge people because of their past, their family, etc. but we do just that and don't even realize we are doing it. Oh if we could only see the full picture as we do when reading a story life would be so much better. There is a lesson to be learned here, practice what the Bible tells us to do, don't just expect others to practice it and remember that not one of us is perfect so be willing to forgive others and accept that we all can change no matter what our past is.

Stolen by Vikki Kestell - Review of the fifth book in A Prairie Heritage series

Denver, 1910: Stolen returns to Denver and Palmer House--a most extraordinary refuge for young women rescued from prostitution--and to the lives of Rose Thoresen, Joy Thoresen Michaels, and their unorthodox "family."

Taking up where The Captive Within leaves off, Stolen finds Mei-Xing safe, but after six harrowing monts of captivity, Mei-Xing stuns those who love her when she returns to Palmer House with child.

If Su-Chong's mother, Fang-Hua Chn,  discovers that her son, now dead, has left behind a child, will she allow Mei-Xing to keep him--or will she set in motion plans to steal him away? Will O'Dell, Martha Palmer, Minister Liang, and others concerned for the safety of Mei-Xing and her child be forced to face off with those who would see Mei-Xing and the work of Palmer House destroyed?

All I can say is that I must have been so ANXIOUS to read the next book I completely forgot to do this review! I guess that must tell you how good this one was. Vikki put a lot of activity in this one and you are on the edge of your seat reading it. There are tears and fear both in this story, you will find it hard to put down. Oh yes, another winner as far as I'm concerned! You too will want to hurry on to book six, "Lost are Found".