Friday, April 22, 2016

Book Review of Dear Mary: Lessons From the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom by Sarah Jakes

Sarah Jakes' book, Dear Mary: Lessons from the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom, "explores biblical stories about Mary-as well as stories from her (Jakes) own life- to better understand what living for Christ can look like today and how to model that for your children."  Each chapter is a separate letter to Mary.  Jakes writes about her own personal experience in each chapter and writes about how Mary handled each situation  If we look at Mary's example as a mother, we can "learn valuable lessons from her life."

I loved how honest Jakes was about her own personal struggles. It isn't often that you read something so raw and real, and I found that really encouraging. I really think this is an inspiring book for mothers.

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

Book Review of Worship Changes Everything

Darlene Zschech's book, Worship Changes Everything, is great for anyone looking for something inspirational to read.  It is divided into two parts: Part One: The Heart of Worship and Part Two: The Hands of Worship.  Each part is divided into several chapters.  This book has anecdotes, lots of scripture and lots of things to think about and apply to your spiritual walk. This book is "An Invitation to Praise & Honor God in Every Area of Life."  Darlene Zschech shares her thoughts and wisdom for how to begin to do this.

I think this book is a good mixture of personal experience and scripture.  I always enjoy reading anecdotes when reading non-fiction because I feel like it makes informational books easier to get through.  If you are like me, then you will like this book.  It is definitely a great inspirational read.

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

Book Review of Dressed for Death by Julianna Deering

I always enjoy a good mystery, and Dressed for Death did not disappoint me! In this book, Drew Farthering and his wife of 6 months, Madeline, attend a party at an old friend's home.  When their friend's fiance dies unexpectedly from an apparent overdose, Drew's friend insists that she was murdered and asks him to find her killer with lots of twists along the way.

Julianna Deering keeps the reader guessing who the culprit is until near the end of the book.  I didn't realize that this book was part of the Drew Farthering Mystery Series until I received it from the publisher, so there were few things referenced that I was confused about (that were most likely learned in previous books).  However, it didn't take away from the story, and I still enjoyed reading it.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries!

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

Book Review of the Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen's book, The Painter's Daughter, is a historical romance.  The back of the book says: "Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape. 

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble. 

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?

I had a hard time getting into this book at first.  However, I did enjoy it once I got further along.  There were some parts of the book that didn't really have anything to do with the main story, but I felt like those parts helped develop the characters more.  I really liked seeing the relationship between the two main characters, Sophie and Steven, develop throughout the book.  I recommend this book for anyone that enjoys reading historical romance.  

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

Book Review of Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

Cold Shot is book one in Dani Pettrey's Chesapeke Valor series.  This book starts out with Griffin McCray discovering vandals that have uncovered skeletal remains at the Gettysburg National Military Park where he works as a park ranger.  Most of the remains in the area are from the Civil War-era, but these remains are not.  Finley Scott is the forensic anthropologist that Griffin calls for her expertise.  She discovers evidence that points to the work of an expert sniper.  Some old friends of Griffin's are called in to help and the search for the killer is underway.  There are things from the past that both Griffin and Finley must deal with as well.

I was super excited to see that Dani Pettrey had written a new series after reading her Alaskan Courage series.  This book did not disappoint me!  I really enjoyed reading it.  I was a little confused at the synopsis on the back cover that said "Four best friends, and then one went missing" because it really isn't what the book is about.  The back cover can be misleading because it really doesn't tell you what the book is about.  I expected a little more background information on the four friends, but this is really a story about the search for a killer and the danger that the characters encounter during the search.  The characters  also have to come to terms with some of the things that have happened in the past.  All in all, I thought it was a good read, and I recommend it to those who like suspense novels with some romance mixed in.

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