Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lost and Found by Ginny Yttrup- Gripping!!

Jenna, married to Gerard, famed vitner, both live under the controlling and suffocating rule of Gerard's mother Brigette. Jenna is always looking for ways to please Brigette, she seeks courage and comfort from God, yet she always feels inadequate, a victim of the lure of beauty gone wrong.
Andee, a successful businesswoman, whose drive to surpass her expectations of herself, encompasses her, grips and motivates her. She puts up walls around herself to hold her past life in and to keep others out. Her boyfriend Jason (Jenna's brother) supportive of her sees her as his other half.
Brigette, widow, has the upper hand in every business and personal tranaction concerning her winery and her family. A very strong and self assured person, she is in need of no help from anyone especially not God.
When tragedy strikes the family is forced to come together. Can they mend the hurt that separates them or will the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the present sever the bond they share?

This is a novel of life, of learning to live and learning to trust. A novel of heartbreak, betrayal, acceptance and God's perfect love.

Raw emotions gripped me holding my attention with every word. A well crafted novel that once I started reading found it impossible to put down. Character development surpassed my expectations as I felt I knew them. Dialogue and scenery worked very well together. This is one story I won't forget at least anytime soon. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future! I found the overall message inspiring and I was challenged in my faith. I would recommend this novel to others. Thanks to B&H Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Highland Crossings- Entertaining!

Travel with a valuable brooch handed down amongst 4 generations and catch a glimpse of the hearts of Scottish and American charm!

Healer of My Heart by Pamela Griffin
Accused of being a thief, Seona a medical healer, vows to protect a priceless family heirloom. Onboard the "Thistle" enroute to America Colin Campbell in charge of guarding his younger brother, is leary when he encounters Seona. When they reach the colony on land in America, Colin and Evan's cousin Isabel invites Seona to stay with them and Isabel quickly feels a bonding with her. Seona who is on run for her life feels she cannot trust anyone. But can she trust Colin with her life and her heart?

Printed on My Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes
McFarlane bent on upholding the laws governing his area insists on the beating of Fiona who has been unable to secure her keep. Kindhearted Owain, town printer along with his sister, Bronwen, offers Fiona a job to save her from further punishment. Fiona is in search of the brooch and her sister Murday. Fiona is approached about information concerning Murday, but such knowledge comes with a price. Can she do as she is asked or will her hopes come to an abupt end?

Sugarplum Hearts by Gina Welborn
Finley Sinclair, broker, looking for clients and hoping for a position with Overton Shippers meets Angus, ropemaker and Mary McDubh creator of delectible cider are also looking for good homes for their new brood of kittens. Finley longs for the simple things in life along with a cat to sit on his lap. Seren Cardew, creator of luscious candies and confectionaries is searching for a way to market them. Finley offers her a business proposal that will benefit the both of them. When someone sabotages her wares they are left with little clues. In wake of the discovery the community comes together before. But what is lost can it be found again?

Hearts Inheritance by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Bynna Sinclair lover, of historical things, does not take to change lightly. Niall Cameron has come upon an inheritance left to him by his uncle, and is insistant upon change for the better. The two always seem to share a difference of opinion. Sometimes misunderstandings bring about bitterness. Even in the most desparate of lives the Lord can bring repair and healing to any situation of the heart.

I enjoyed reading and getting to know these personable and well developed characters. Each gifted author adds her own personal touch to four interacting progressive storylines. These can be read in one sitting or broken up into more. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Sugarplum Hearts. I was entertained by these well written romantic and suspenseful novellas and had a hard time putting the stories down! I found the overall message inspiring and would recommend this book to others Thanks to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC for my review.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Captain of Her Heart by Lily George- My Review

Harriet, a great lover of books, her sister Sophie, and mother Harriet have been forced to support themselves upon the death of Harriet's husband. Capt John Brookes returning from war and betrothed to Sophie has seen much in his previous years. The war leaving him with scars and memories that haunt him in ways beyond his control. At Sophie's request to Harriet she asks that Harriet entertain John while she makes up her mind about their relationship. Harriet yearns to be an authoress, and putting in practice her dream she begins to compose a memoir about the war. When John's Aunt Catherine arrives to stay with him she seems to bond instantly with Harriet. Can John and Harriet successfully work together despite their differences and create the masterpiece she so longs for? And in doing so will it drive a wedge between the sisters?

While my heart went out to John from the injustices he has suffered, I feel I did not connect with the characters, John and Harriet as much as I had hoped. I did enjoy Aunt Catherine's character however as she breathed humor into the storyline. Dialogue worked for the most part although I wondered why John sometimes was called John but most of the time was called Brookes by even the ladies. I always enjoy the opportunity of reading a new authors work, and this author will be one to watch in the future! The historical experiences and scenery in the time period from which this book is written captured my attention and entertained me. The bonus story was good and a nice addition to the book.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell- The Best Coming of Age Story I have read!

The Reynolds, a family broken, struggling and alone, grasping for air and hoping for dreams.

Jack bullrider, dangerously controlling

Marie depressive, and very much a victim of circumstances

Daughter Millie young, searching for God and answers in the home and situations that she is a part of. Usually found nestled safely among the branches of her magnificient sweet gum tree, Sweetie, she escapes into her backyard watching from above the world that lies beneath.

Sloth best friend of Millie, each helping the other through the storms of life.

Every year the traveling gypsys arrive in town bringing with them fascination, curiousity, a little music and magic to captivate the residents of Iti Taloa, Mississippi. When Millie now 16, meets one of them he entrances her and for awhile she steps out of her present life and sees the world through his eyes. Promises are made and secrets are shared. When tragedy descends upon Millie the choices she has are now limited, her past lying in front of her eyes she must make a decision about her future. But when a new opportunity arrises she leaps forward. Can this be where she has belonged all along, after all, where she can be free?

This very well written novel is by far the best coming of age story I have read. The author tackles sensitive issues with grace and compassion and gives the characters a strong voice. I quickly became "attached" to Millie. A story guaranteed to capture your heart, stir your emotions and keep you reading until finished. I will definately be reading more from this author in the future and look forward to hopefully a sequel. Dialogue, description and scene mesh together perfectly creating an unforgetable and hard to put down book! I was entertained, challenged in my faith and I highly recommend this book to others. Thank you to David C Cook Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC copy for my review.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All Roads Lead Home by Christine Johnson- My Review

Hendrick Simmons, a mechanic, still feels like Mariah Meeks is the only one for him, but her heart is promised to the Orphaned Children's Society. Problem is that her family is well off financially and he feels inadequate about his current financial state. When Mariah feels the need to travel to Montana to help an orphaned child she never thought that Hendrick would want to accompany her. Because of a secret Mariah has kept hidden, she has convinced herself that romance cannot be hers, so in turn she hides her true self from others. Could Hendrick melt this career girls heart?When she meets Frank Gillard in Montana he is not at all what he seemed, being a most hospitable and charming host. She must make a decision about a child's future. Yet sometimes danger lurks around the corner but hides itself well.

I wasn't sure that I would enjoy the novel at first but after a few chapters I was totally captivated and found that I had a hard time putting it down. There were twists and turns within that kept me turning the pages of this suspenseful and romantic read. Scenery and dialogue worked within the storyline and I found the overall message inspiring. I would recommend this book to others.