Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beneath the Night Tree by Nicole Bart

Julia DeSmit is a single mom to her son and her half-brother. She takes delight in living with her grandma on the family farm. While their family looks different than most it's hers and she loves it. She has a good job, a handsome boyfriend whom she expect to be engaged to any day, and family that is dear. Her world is rocked when her son's father e-mails her and asks "do I have a child?". Her response and what follows turns her world upside down. God's grace reigns and Julia finds God's blessings in the midst of uncertainty.

I gave you a very brief synopsis of this book because it's a winner and I didn't want to give anything away. Nicole Bart writes with beautiful imagery and you'll find yourself captivated. The book's description did not intrigue me so I was reluctant to crack open the pages of this one. However, I was immediately drawn in and I read it in record time. The undertones of healing and wholeness were beautiful and the story so sweet you'll be up late turning the pages of this one. Get it, read it, be blessed.

Thank you to Tyndale House for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

Her husband has moved to New Hampshire needing "time away", her son is off to college, and Jane has just received a shipment of antiques from England with a hidden ring that dates back to the 1500's. The ring is beautiful but even more intriguing is the inscription on the inside side that has Jane's name on it.

This book was an easy fascinating read. I was dreading another book about a woman's struggle to rebuild her life after her husband leaves her. However, Lady in Waiting holds many surprises and I was very pleasantly surprised. Switching back and forth between the 16th century England and modern day New York I found myself captivated by the stories in both centuries. As always I found myself fascinated by the historical aspects. Jane learns much about love and I dare say the reader will as well.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The House on Malcom Street

Leah Breckenridge’s life has been one cruel twist after another. Forsaken by her father, her husband killed, and her baby son a victim of influenza Leah is desperate to find a way to provide for herself and young daughter in 1920. Leah is angry at God and there are days that Eliza, her daughter, is the only thing that keeps her moving forward. Left with nowhere else to turn Leah and Eliza show up on the doorstep of her late husband’s aunt’s boarding house. It doesn’t take long for Aunt Marigold to worm her way into Leah’s heart but will Leah’s heart ever start
mending after all of her losses?

Purpose is found in helping Aunt Mari keep the boarding house running, although there is only one border, Josiah. A relative of her late husband Josiah seems to resent Leah’s very presence in the house. Leah finds escape in the garden as she helps bring life to what was thought to be dead. Josiah has his own story and is dealing with his own loss as the reader will discover as the book switches back and forth in first person between the two characters.

There are a myriad of themes that run throughout this book. Will healing happen? Will Leah be able to face her demons and move forward? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Leisha Kelly has written some truly wonderful books and I opened the pages of this one with great anticipation. I was disappointed. It’s a very heavy book and the resolution at the end is rather poorly written. I could appreciate all the themes of God’s healing and wholeness but I was hoping for more. I snuggled in expecting to fall in love with the house on Malcom Street and instead I was rather ready to head out the door about halfway through the book. I do, however, believe this provides a very accurate description of what true mourning is like and I am confident there are readers that will find great comfort and healing in this book.

Rated PG- for heavy content

Thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review purposes!

Licensed for Trouble

PJ Sugar is trouble with a capital “T”. Her whole life has seemed to be a series of mishaps and disasters. When she finds out she has inherited the Kellogg family fortune she can’t imagine why. The sole beneficiary of Kellogg’s wealthiest widow PJ is baffled why a woman she hardly knew would leave everything to her. The inheritance turns out to be the Kellogg family mansion that is in complete shambles. Charming with an idyllic setting the mansion is nonetheless in serious need of remodeling. Handyman help comes in the form of Max Smith, a man without a past. Private Investigator in training, PJ takes on Max’s case with no idea where it might lead.

Licensed for Trouble is the third installment in Susan Warren’s PJ Sugar series. This book picks up a few weeks after “the kiss” in book two between PJ and her boss, Jeremy Kane. While PJ can’t deny the chemistry she has with Jeremy she also can’t put former love, Boone, out of her mind. Jeremy remains distant and PJ remains confused. As PJ tries to figure out her love life she also stays busy, and in trouble, trying to find Max’s past, chasing a bail jumper, and discovering secrets about her own past.

PJ’s character development in this book is wonderful and completely relatable. Feeling doomed to always live up to her moniker “nothing but trouble” PJ slowly but surely begins to experience God’s grace and redemption. With the help of the dashing and romantic Jeremy PJ finds the fresh start she’s been longing for. She turns to God and allows him to name her, define her, and love her.

Susan May Warren is a favorite author of mine. Although there are plenty of page turning moments in this book I also found sections that seemed to drag. However, PJ is a delight to get to know and while I would recommend reading the first two books before this book, this one can be read as a standalone. Warren keeps the reader guessing as PJ’s heart pulls her in different directions. You’ll find yourself gasping as PJ is rescued time and time again by one or more of the handsome men in her life. The mystery will keep you guessing and the ending will….well I’m not going to tell you everything. Enjoyable and a great end to this series!

Rated PG- for violence

Thanks to Tyndale Fiction for providing a copy of this book for review!
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