Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson (Review)

  • Series: Prince Edward Island Dreams (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080072450X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724504

  • Evocative Contemporary Romance Set in a Charming Inn on Beautiful Prince Edward Island
    In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

    Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets.

    When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival--it might also break her heart.

    Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

    My Review:

    This was a really sweet unique Christian romance book. I love the setting of Prince Edward Island. This is book two in the Prince Edward Island Dreams. The characters continue from book one so I recommend reading them in order. The main focus of this book is Caden and visitor Adam. Caden  worked at her father's bakery. She became friends with Marie in the first book and at the end Marie asked her to become the chef for the Red Door Inn. Caden is also very self conscious. The only place she is okay is in her kitchen. Adam is a guest at the Inn. He is there because he had a bad experience overseas as a journalist. His editor has a double purpose in sending him to the inn though. Adam invades her kitchen from the beginning. They have sparks from the beginning. Marie thinks Adam is there to write a story on them for a travel magazine so she asks Caden to show him around the Island and make him love them. The Inn is not doing good enough financially so it puts pressure on Caden. Caden and Adam hit it off from the start. The author did a good job developing the characters. There were interesting secondary characters. I could feel, see, and hear the descriptions. This book is going on my keeper shelf and I can't wait to read book three in the series. Recommended.

    By day Liz Johnson is a marketing manager for a Christian publisher. She finds time to write late at night and is a two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys theater, exploring local music, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nieces and nephews. She loves stories of true love with happy endings and blogs about her adventures in writing at www.LizJohnsonBooks.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016

    The Devoted by Susanne Woods Fisher (Review)

  • Series: The Bishop's Family (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800723228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723224

  • Bright, curious, and restless, Ruthie Stoltzfus loves her family but is stuck in a sea of indecision about her future: Should she stay Amish? Or should she leave? She's done all she can to prepare to go--passed the GED, saved her money--but she can't quite set her journey into motion.

    Patrick Kelly is a young man on a journey of his own. He's come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to "everything Plain." Time, to Patrick, is of the essence. Every moment is to be cherished, especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

    Ruthie's next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back--anything--and Patrick Kelly is getting in his way.

    Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites readers back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred and hopes fulfilled--complete with Fisher's signature twists that never fail to leave readers delighted.

    My Review:

    This is book three in the Bishop's Family series. I recommend reading them in order as the characters are mostly the same. You learn more about each character's story as the series goes on. The main focus in this book is Ruthie Stoltzfus. She is one of six children. Her father is the bishop of their Amish church. She is in her late teen years and is a curious unsettled young lady. She is not sure if she wants to join the Amish church but she is a good girl. Her dad's sister is a local doctor who is also an inspiration for her. She has two love interests. One is her ex boyfriend and bad boy, Luke Schrock. He is even worse in this book and at times seems like he will never be redeemed. The other is a visitor to Stoney Ridge, Patrick Kelly.  He is a nice young man that Ruthie is tutoring in Amish. He is not all that he seems though. He has a big secret of his own. The plot and characters were well developed and held my attention. I enjoyed this book and it was a satisfying conclusion to the series. I recommend the whole series.

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Imposter, The Quieting, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson (Review)

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 30, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800722698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722692

  • Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club--enjoying one another's company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they're sure that without her the group can't continue.

    When the group gathers "one last time" to open a bag Abby's husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way--little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever.

    My Review:

    This was a sweet, heart warming, touching, Christian fiction book. I enjoyed reading it. It appealed to me for several reasons. I love the plot premise. The author does a good job developing it and the characters. The main characters are five women who are from different walks of life who meet for a book club. In the beginning of the book the leader of the club, Abby, dies. She was the glue of the club so all the members thought it would fall apart. Not all of the members are close. She leaves behind a present for each lady left. It is an Angel ornament with a note from Abby. The ladies decide to use it as inspiration to do different projects.  It is a slower paced book but it did not bother me. All of their lives ended up changed for the better by the end of the book. Recommended.

    Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Cat, and The Christmas Joy Ride. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Saturday, November 12, 2016

    Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard (Review)

  • Series: Serena Jones Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800726693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726690

  • When a valuable Salvador Dali painting belonging to her grandmother's friend is mysteriously replaced by a forgery, FBI Special Agent Serena Jones is called in to investigate. Serena hopes finding the thief will also mean finally measuring up to Nana's expectations. But when the evidence points to members of the owner's own household, it becomes increasingly clear that Serena won't be winning any popularity contests.

    The Dali isn't the only painting that's fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the specter of a sophisticated theft ring--one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena's grandfather.

    With plenty of edge-of-your-seat moments, Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena Jones--and readers--a new high-stakes case to crack.

    My Review:

    This is book two in the Serena Jones mysteries. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of them. I recommend reading them in order. The characters are the same. There is one mystery that runs through both concerning the death of her grandfather. The other mysteries are not connected. FBI Agent Serena Jones is the main character for the series. Her friends and family members are interesting secondary characters. I love her quirky elderly aunt who wants to help her solve mysteries. She even has two love interests. One is a fellow agent and one her landlord. They are both great men and I adored them. This was a great cozy mystery suspense book. The characters and plot were interesting and unique. The author did a good job with the dialogue and there is plenty of humor too. Highly Recommend the series.

    Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several books, including A Fool and His Monet and the Port Aster Secrets series. The winner of five Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Sandra has also received a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, a National Readers' Choice Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more at www.sandraorchard.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Missing by Lisa Harris (Review)

  • Series: The Nikki Boyd Files (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800724194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724191

  • Nikki Boyd Enters the Deadly World of Counterfeit Drugs to Find a Missing Woman

    Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant--and another dead body--Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business--including Nikki.

    Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts readers right into the action in this fast-paced thriller that will have them turning pages long into the night.

    My Review:

    This book was a wild ride from beginning to end. It is book two in the Nikki Boyd files. It can stand alone. There were several twists and turns. The featured character that is the backbone of the book is Nikki Boyd. She is works with the police on missing persons but not normally homicides. They call her in for this set though since there are two missing and they are the home owners. The two dead are the villains that broke into the house. There is a big mystery surrounding who all of them really are and what actually happened. Nikki quickly uncovers that the home owners might not be what they seem. The romance in the book comes from her deceased friend's husband, Tyler. Nikki and Tyler are attracted to each other. Nikki gets close to him because her friend left behind a small child that she helps him with. The book ends with no definite relationship between them. I can't wait to read book three in the series and see where the author takes it. The mystery part of the book concluded nicely.

    Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. The author of nearly thirty books, including Vendetta and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon (Review)

  • Series: Men of Valor (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; Reprint edition (October 4, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800724542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724542

  • My Review:

    I have been looking forward to Finn's story. He is a former Army Ranger whose career did not end on a good note. This is book three in the Men of Valor series. The first two focused on his brothers. This book can stand alone as his brothers only make a brief appearance. I thought the romance between Finn and Dana was more of a focus than the mystery. There was not a lot of suspense in it. I did like Finn and Dana but I missed the suspense/mystery part. The part that was in there was good. Overall the book is okay but not the best in the series.    

    Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, www.irenehannon.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016

    An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

  • Series: Charmed Amish Life (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062337866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062337863

  • In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love. 

    Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.
    But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

    Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

    Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

    My Review:

    This was a good Amish Christmas romance book. It is book four in the Charmed Amish Life series featuring the Kinsinger family. I recommend reading them in order since the characters are mostly the same and you learn more about them each book. The main focus of this story is Levi Kinsinger and Julia. The plot was different and interesting. Levi is the odd one out in the family now. So he decided to rent a house instead of living with the family. His neighbor is Julia and her young daughter. He is intrigued by her. He likes her daughter too. She is hiding some secrets though. I thought the author did a good job developing the plot and characters. It is a good conclusion to the whole series. Recommended.

    Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.

    Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.

    She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.

    Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please visit her website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com to find out her latest news...or become her friend on FaceBook.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.