Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review of Now and Forever by Mary Connealy

Now & Forever is the second book in Mary Connealy's Wild at Heart series.  It brings Shannon Wilde and Matthew Tucker together when Shannon sees "Tucker" getting attacked by a grizzly bear and attempts to rescue him by throwing him and herself over a cliff into the Slaughter River.  This river is one that no one has ever made it out alive, but Shannon and Tucker do, which is the beginning of a new relationship between the two of them.  There are some strange things that start to happen on Shannon's homestead as they get to know each other, and Shannon is lucky to have Tucker by her side to get to find out who is behind those things and to protect her as well as her homestead.

I enjoyed the relationship between Shannon and Tucker.  They get married with not really knowing each other well, and as you get further into the book it is clear that they have truly fallen for each other.  I'm always leery when I choose to review a book that is the second in a series.  I found parts of this book to be confusing because I had not read the 1st book in this Wild at Heart series. With that said, I did enjoy this book.

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*

Book Review of A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

Here is a quick synopsis from the back cover of A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears:

"Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she'd been deceived about her intended groom, she's now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she'll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony--until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy's father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony's wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?"

I thought that the characters were well developed and enjoyed the interactions between Kate and Silas.  Both Kate and Silas have a past that haunts them as they try to form a new relationship because of their mutual love for Anthony.  I really loved how they help each other overcome that baggage to come to the end result.  The title of the book tells what the outcome will be, but you have to read the book to find out how Kate gets to that result.   I really enjoyed reading this book!

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, July 31, 2015

Book Review of How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird by Amy Lively

I really enjoyed Amy Lively's book, How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird.  In this book, Lively gives practical ways to get to know your neighbors.  She encourages the reader to venture out of his/her comfort zone to form friendships with those people around you.  At the end of each chapter, she has a "Next Best Steps" section that has questions for the reader to answer and sometimes verses to read.

I really think that this is a useful tool for any Christian that wants to learn to love their neighbor, but isn't quite sure how to go about it.  I highly recommend this book!

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*

Book Review of The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis

I found Beverly Lewis' book, The Love Letters, a bit disappointing.  The back of the book says that this is the story of Marlena Wenger.  She goes to Brownston, Pennsylvania to help her Mennonite grandmother after the death of grandfather.  Her life takes an unexpected turn when she learns that she must care for her estranged sister's baby, Angela Rose.  This means that she has to be away from her Old Order Amish beau, Nat.  
The title led me to believe that it would be a book about love letters written between Marlena and her beau, Nat, but that was not the case.  The back of the book only tells part of what this book is about. Marlena does spend time at her grandmother's, and she does take care of her niece.  She is miles away from Nat. There were a few letters exchanged between Marlena and Nat, but the love letters that seem more important were those of another character, Boston.  He has lost his way, and young Jake Bitner befriends him.  Jake's family allows Boston to stay in their barn, and Jake reads the letters that were written to Boston.  This book seemed like two stories in one book, and other than the Bitners assisting Marlena with some things needed for Angel Rose, I didn't feel that there was anything to bridge the gap between the stories.  It wasn't my favorite Beverly Lewis book.

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*

Book Review of A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade is the third book in her Porter Family series.   This book is about Jake Porter and Lyndie James.  Jake Porter is a former Marine who suffers from PTSD.  Lyndie James is back in Holley, Texas after moving from there to California as a preteen. She and Jake had been best friends until she moved away. Jake hires her to exercise his horses, but he is very cautious around her.  Jake felt the need to watch over Lyndie as a child, and he finds those feelings have not changed.  Lyndie and Jake's friendship begins to grow again, and the walls that Jake has built around his heart begin to break down.  I won't give away too much more!  It is a book about healing and finding your way back to God because He is the ultimate healer. 

I chose to read this book because I really enjoy Becky Wade.  I didn't realize that A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade was part of a series when I chose to review it.  Normally I prefer to read the first book in the series, but I have to say that I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down.  I highly recommend it!

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Review of Worry Less So You Can Live More: Surprising, Simple Ways to Feel More Peace, Joy and Energy by Jane Rubietta

I was excited to read Jane Rubietta's book Worry Less So You Can Live More: Surprising, Simple Ways to Feel More Peace, Joy and Energy.  It seems like everyone has something that they worry about at one time or another.  It is hard to put those worries in God's hands.  This book has stories from Rubietta's own life as well as tools to help you work on overcoming your worries.  It also has lots of scripture throughout the book.

From the back of the book:
"Exchange Your Worries for Delight in God . . . and God's Delight in You
Weary of worry and its tagalongs: anxiety, discouragement, and exhaustion? Jane Rubietta invites you to leave behind your heavy heart and learn to truly live again. To experience joy and rest in the moment-by-moment pleasure of a God who delights in you--and has all your tomorrows under his control. Jane's picturesque prose offers enduring encouragement and practical tools for change. Discussion questions and journaling prompts make this the perfect book to read on your own or share with your small group and discover how to worry less and live more."

I think that this is a good book for anyone who is a worrier.  Each chapter has questions for the reader to answer as well as a Votum and Benedictus--a prayer and a response from God.  I recommend this book if you are looking for something to help you in your journey to stop worrying so much!

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*

Book Review of From the Start by Melissa Tagg

From the Start by Melissa Tagg is the story of Kate and Colton. Kate Walker is looking for something meaningful to do with her career, and she ends up back in her hometown of Maple Valley.  Colton Greene is a former NFL quarterback and a friend of Kate's brother who comes to Maple Valley to stay out of the media spotlight.  

From the back of the book: "Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. 

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?"

Kate and Colton's relationship is so fun.  There is an attraction from the start even though neither of them will admit it.  The project that they begin to work on is supposed to be "strictly business" as Colton says to Kate's brother.  As they spend more time together, they both begin to truly care each other.  I really loved this book!  I can't wait to read more from Melissa Tagg. I highly recommend From the Start.

*I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.*