Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Forgiven Duke

The Forgiven Duke
Jamie Carie
B+H Publishing Group
Coming soon! July 2012  
Genre: romance, historical, fiction
Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

Carie does an excellent job with this book. The story picks right up from the first book (my review here) and you are immediately swept away. Intrigue, treasure-hunting, danger, romance, and more. This series has it all. The plot thickens and the characters develop nicely. We finally get the satisfaction of the Duke and Alexandria meeting and much more. I hesitate to even say more but after reading the first book you will be chomping at the bit to read this one. Thankfully this one doesn't end on as much of a cliff-hanger but it is still enough that I am more than ready for the third book. Well written and enjoyable. I recommend. 

Thank you to Netgalley and B&H Publishing for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Guardian Duke

The Guardian Duke
Jamie Carie
B+H Publishing Group
February 1, 2012
Genre: romance, historical, fiction

Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. Unfortunately due to ill health Gabriel is not able to travel to Lady Alexandria right away so he starts a letter correspondence with her. While Gabriel struggles with regaining his mysteriously lost hearing Alexandria is slipping away. Convinced her parents are still very much alive Alexandria sets out on her own to find them. Her journey leads her directly into trouble and thankfully into the very capable hands of two unlikely protectors. Together the three of them follow the clues to Ireland. Meanwhile the Duke is giving chase in desperation to not only find this woman he has become attached to but because the King has told him the whole story behind her parent's disappearance and she is not safe. 

The twists and turns in this book will keep you up reading late into the night. You'll also find yourself frustrated as time after time the Duke misses the Lady but mere moments in his quest for her. The first in a trilogy The Guardian Duke will keep you guessing and will leave you delighted and wanting for more. Carie writes with beautiful detail of a time and places that are intriguing and colorful to the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment and look forward to the next two.

You can purchase your own copy here.

Thank you to Netgalley and B&H Publishing for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beauty for Ashes

Beauty For Ashes
Dorothy Love
Reviewed by: Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: historical fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Date: 2012

Carrie Daly is a Civil War widow who is somewhat content with her rather ordinary life. She and her brother are happily living together on their childhood farm and her soon to be fiance is a steady likeable fellow. Things change drastically in her ordinary life when her brother takes a peckish wife with two rambunctious and rude boys. Then mysterious horseman Griff Rutledge comes into town and sets Carrie's heart to beating. Unable to endure her mean-spirited sister-in-law Carrie sets out on her own to pave her own wave. However, there is a depression going on and when her brother has to leave to find work and her sister-in-law discovers she is pregnant Carrie moves back in to take over the home. Meanwhile Griff keeps showing up and causing her to rethink what she has always known. Add to this that her "fiance" ran away and got married and you've got a recipe for an interesting book.

Neither Griff nor Carrie are perfect and it's always refreshing to see real characters portrayed in a book. I particularly found the historical aspects of the book to be quite interesting. The depression of that time was really quite severe and it was intriguing to watch the characters struggle through. Griff himself struggles through forgiveness and misunderstanding that adds depth to his character. While it is plain to me that Love had a number of good ideas for some reason the book did not completely mesh and come together for me. The characters could have used a good deal more developing and at times the story line was a bit confusing and down right dull. There were moments of interest and laughter but for the most part this book did not hold my attention for long. I do think Love has great potential and I look forward to reading more from her. If you're looking for an easy read that looks at a time of history in a different perspective than you just might enjoy this read.

Rated: PG 

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Ginger Garrett
October 1, 2011
David C. Cook Publishing
Biblical Fiction, Romance, History   

Book Description:

 Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him-the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress-the famous Delilah-who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel's to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows

My thoughts: 
Growing up I used to love the story of Samson. Without fail when dad got boring (pastor's kid speaking here) I would have mom find the story of Samson in my Bible and I would read it over and over again. Love, gore, adventure, and riddles would grip me. This book was no different. I was gripped from the very beginning. Garrett is a masterful storyteller. She describes in great detail and her characters come to life. Unfortunately the tale of Samson and the women in his life is one of great sorrow. Even though I knew how things ended I was profoundly saddened by this story. Samson's tale is one of great heartache and misdirection and yet God chose to use him. Another lesson for me. Delilah is portrayed as misunderstood instead of the vixen I was taught growing up. I enjoyed seeing her in a different light. All in all this was a good book. I would suggest entering into the world of Biblical fiction with this one but definitely put it on your "too read" shelf. 

My thanks to Netgalley and David C. Cook for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Pearl in the Sand

Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Moody Publishers
September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8024-5881-0
Genre: Inspirational/historical/biblical

It's easy to get bogged down in the lineages listed in the Bible. So and so begat so and so and on it goes. What I often forget is that each person in the lineages has a story. Each names listed has significance. Pearl in the Sand takes us into the life of Rahab. Rahab was listed in the lineage of Jesus and Rahab was a prostitute. You may remember Rahab as the one who helped the spies escaped Jericho. Because of her bravery and honor to God she and her family were spared when the city was demolished. We know she goes on to live life and have children because from her line comes Jesus.

Afshar weaves an incredible and gripping tale. I was hooked from the beginning. I was also in awe anew of how God uses the seemingly unusable. I was touched by this story and it has stuck with me for days since reading. Whether you like biblical fiction or not I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Moody Publishers for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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