Friday, November 28, 2014

Unexpected Christmas Hero

Unexpected Christmas Hero
Kathi Macias
Josie has the perfect life - a husband who loves her, two wonderful children, and a gorgeous home. But when her husband dies she realizes that their home is mortgaged to the hilt. She has no time to regroup before she loses her home and finds herself and the two children on the streets. Life literally becomes a day to day game of survival. But God places people in the her life that will show His love and change hearts.

The author has a talent for creating an emotional story. The subject of homelessness is often sad and depressing. But this story has an underlying theme of God's love and ends on a redeeming note. I don't usually like books that make me cry, but this one was worth it. It definitely made me think of how I could help not only the homeless, but anyone around me who might be needing to see God's love.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Promise

The Promise
Beth Wiseman
Mallory was prevented from giving her cousin a kidney when she was a teenager. So she promised her dying friend that she would save a life when she was an adult and could make her own decisions. Her best friend's fiance convinces her to go to the middle east to save a young girl with cancer. Her friends and family try to convince her it's a mistake, but she is determined to save someone since she couldn't save her cousin. 

The Prologue starts the book off with a bang. The author has a strong writing style that carries well with this plot. The author based this book on a true situation that happened to a friend. Knowing that this was based on a true story made it feel very authentic and scary. I can see this book easily becoming a favorite with a lot of readers. But it wasn't really my style. The book has some slow points. And the book didn't really seem to fit into the Christian fiction category. I felt that several of the religions weren't portrayed authentically or fairly. It's definitely not a book that I would recommend for younger readers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Louie's Big Day

Louie's Big Day
Maria I. Morgan
 Louie is very nervous. He's been purchased from the hardware store and tomorrow is the first day that he tries cutting grass. He doesn't know if he'll do a good job and he's always had his friends with him. Now he's all alone. But the next day proves that he's great at his job and also has a wonderful surprise.

My children enjoyed the story. The illustrations are realistic enough to catch the meaning of the story, but whimsical enough to capture the imagination of the children who are listening. As a parent, my favorite part of the book were the thoughtful questions at the back of the book that allow the readers to dig deeper and learn more about the meaning behind the story.

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Daughter of Highland Hall

The Daughter of Highland Hall
Edwardian Brides Book 2
Carrie Turansky
Katherine is ready to enter the London social season. Her cousin is her guardian and her rather abrasive aunt has taken it upon herself to get Katherine ready for the season. Everyone hopes that Katherine will make an advantageous match and live a life of luxury. But Katherine catches a glimpse of what it would be like to live a life in service for God and others. Now she's torn. Which direction should she go?

Regency or English historical fiction is one of my favorites. So I was super excited to read this book. The book started off slow and didn't really grab me at first. I wasn't aware when I picked it up that it was book 2, so maybe the first book would have set the story a little better and made it less confusing. Once I got into the book I enjoyed the characters and was drawn into the story. There were several things that didn't ring true to the time period, but for the sake of fictional license I ignored them. The messages of faith and trust that were woven into the story were insightful and thought provoking. They were the best parts of the book, to me. In summery, I enjoyed the story and will try another book by this author.

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Princess Cupcake Jones

Princess Cupcake Jones Won't Go To School
Ylleya Fields
Cupcake doesn't want to go to school. So she comes up with a plan. But each time her mother thwarts her plans. Cupcake is really scared, but her mother reassures her that it will be fine. When cupcakes meets her teacher and classmates she feels much better. Maybe school won't be as scary as she'd thought. And having a new friend is pretty cool.

The rhyming text and colorful illustrations make for a really fun story. The author shows kids that it's okay to be scared, but new things can be really fun. This book would be perfect to read to any little one just starting school. My five year old daughter loved the story and the illustrations. She laughed at the antics of the little girl. The story is a great opening to talk to children about what their concerns might be with school.

I received this book free of charge from Direct Contact in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Long Road Home

The Long Road Home
Four Romances with an Enduring Pioneer Spirit
Judi Ann Ehresman & Naomi Mitchum
Story 1 - Mandy watches her husband walk away to work on the railroad, wondering if she should have told him she was pregnant. When she gets notice that he was killed in an accident she wonders how she is going to survive. But God sends a run-away slave with a the message of salvation. Deidre saves her financially by helping with all of the work and by helping provide an income. But most importantly she saves her spiritually.

Story 2 - Bess grew up in a brothel. But when one of the patrons "finds Jesus" she realizes there might be a way out of her former life. But old thoughts are hard to shake and Bess struggles with the concept of forgiveness and a new life.

Story 3 - Deidre ran away from a cruel master who had sold her husband and was getting ready to sell her baby son. She's found a wonderful home with Mandy, but she misses her husband. Will she ever be reunited with him?

Story 4 - Frederika wasn't happy about her family leaving Germany. She protests vehemently, but eventually steps up to the plate and takes over when neither of her parents are there to help her.

The first three stories are sweet, well written, and romantic. They all tie together to form a nice cohesive story about three woman who overcome difficulties to become strong women in Christ.
The fourth story doesn't fit with the first three and is by a different author. The feel of the story is completely different. The romance felt rushed. I'm sure that the author writes a great story. It was just didn't seem to fit with the first three stories. I would recommend this book for the first three stories alone.

I received this book free of charge from Barbour in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Surprised by Love

Surprised by Love
The Heart of Sand Francisco Book 3
Julie Lessman
Megan is returning from Paris a completely different woman. She's lost some weight and gain some confidence. But she's hoping that her friendship with her best friend Bram hasn't changed a bit. 
Bram is shocked when he sees the beautiful woman that Megan has become. His feelings for her are very non-best friend like. But he's made some commitments that might prevent him from following through on his new feelings.

I really enjoyed the double romance in this story. The author painted a beautiful visual as she told the story. There were times that I felt a little lost since I was coming into the story without having read the first two books. But instead of frustrating me, it made me want to check out the other books. The story was sweet, had a bit of drama, and had great secondary characters as well. I'll definitely be adding this author to my wishlist.

I received this book free of charge from Revell Reads in exchange for my honest review.