Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Linda Glaz's Fear is Louder Than Words ~ Reviewed

Linda S. Glaz
Kindle, 281 pages
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
December, 2015
ISBN: 978-1941103500

Back Cover Copy:
Rochelle Cassidy has the perfect life as a radio talk show host in the Detroit market, but her celebrity status doesn't stop an angry listener from wanting her ... dead. Ed McGrath's ideal life as a pro-hockey player doesn't include a damsel in distress until the night he discovers Rochelle being attacked in a deserted parking structure. 

Circumstances throw them together in more ways than one when Rochelle's producer plays matchmaker. A sick boy, a corrupt politician, and questionable medical practices put more than merely Rochelle in danger, and still, her attacker shadows her every step. 

Will Ed be able to break through her trust issues in order to protect her, or will she continue to see him as Detroit's bad boy athlete? Her life AND his depend on it.

Review:
Rochelle, the heroine in Fear is Louder Than Words, had an interesting job and a strong personality. She resembled a female Rush Limbaugh (although admittedly, I haven’t really heard Rush much except in commercial sound bites). I admired her commitment to her beliefs and was intrigued by her personality—a strong woman in what is largely a male-dominated field. Her strength and independent streak added depth to the stalker-storyline. Pursued by a man obsessed with destroying her, Rochelle pinged between her fears and her desire to overcome them. Intellectually, she refused to let a psycho-stalker dominate her thoughts or control her behavior, but her emotions rarely complied.

In walks Ed, a strong, protective type who makes his living on the ice. This is the first novel I’ve read with a hockey player hero, and I found Ed and his career interesting. Though very much a traditional alpha male, Ed did have a softer side, especially when it came to Rochelle. Initially drawn to her out of obligation, having saved her in the midst of a brutal attack, he quickly begins to wonder if there’s more to his feelings, enough maybe to cause him to make some major lifestyle changes.

This story kept me guessing by leading me toward numerous potential plot endings. Was Rochelle’s attacker connected with the congressman? A random crazy? A hostile listener? And how did he know where she was, seemingly at every junction?

I admired Linda’s courage to touch on some intriguing and culturally relevant issues such as organ donation, genetic modification, and abortion. It was interesting to read about these issues through the eyes of a conservative radio host, and the underlying conspiracy theory added additional intrigue.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dan Walsh's and Gary Smaller's The Legacy ~ Reviewed



THE LEGACY
Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
  • Series: The Restoration Series (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800721519


Description:

One young man is about to discover the true cost of independence
For years, Doug Anderson has been drifting slowly but steadily away from both his family and his faith. His parents have been trying to reach him before he falls too far. His friend Christina hopes what she is seeing online isn't true. But sometimes you have to hit bottom before you're ready to grow up. 

Just as things begin to settle down a bit, Doug's life takes a turn that requires every bit of faith and patience for both his family and Christina--whose growing feelings for Doug, a man who writes her off as not worth his time, keep her off balance. Will Doug's crisis finally clear his vision and help him focus on what he has right in front of him?


The Legacy tells us about a young man named Doug Anderson. Having gone off to college, his parents, Jim and Marilyn Anderson, are concerned about him, as he seems to be drifting away not only from them, but from the Lord. Jim is trying very hard not to be controlling and overbearing, but is having a hard time giving his relationship with Doug over to the Lord. In the meantime, Doug is hanging out with the wrong crowd, going to parties, and sleeping with his girlfriend. Through a series of events, he comes to a point where he has to make a decision on where he stands with the Lord and his family – will he choose them, or the lusts of the flesh?


This book was pretty good, although I had a bit of a hard time following it at first as it is book four in the series and I haven't read the other books. I did enjoy it, though, as well as the sub stories. It dealt with real like problems that Christian families have to deal with now days, which is good.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jennifer Slattery's Intertwined ~ Reviewed


Intertwined
Jennifer Slattery
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: New Hope Publishers (October 5, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596694432

Description:

Abandoned by her husband for another woman, Tammy Kuhn, an organ procurement coordinator often finds herself in tense and bitter moments. After an altercation with a doctor, she is fighting to keep her job and her sanity when one late night she encounters her old flame Nick. She walks right into his moment of facing an unthinkable tragedy. Because they both have learned to find eternal purposes in every event and encounter, it doesn't take long to discover that their lives are intertwined but the ICU is no place for romance....or is it? Could this be where life begins again? 

Intertwined, part of New Hope Publisher's contemporary fiction line, is a great reminder of how God can turn our greatest tragedies and failures into beautiful acts of love and grace. Readers will fall in love with the realistic characters and enjoy the combination of depth, heart-felt emotion and humor that makes Jennifer's novels so appealing. Readers will be inspired to find God in every moment and encounter in their own lives!

This book is a great resource for a book club, discussion group in women’s Bible studies, or as a ministry resource to spark conversation about practical ministry needs.

Review: 

Jennifer Slattery writes about difficult subjects. Most of them are topics that aren't faced often in mainstream polite church societies. But if we are honest with ourselves we all know someone near and dear who's been impacted by divorce, addiction, mental illness and even homelessness. Two Christian women I know have gotten divorced or are in the midst of one in this past year alone. They each have families and friends who are devastated for them. One of them has three grown children who are gutted by the fracture of their family. Each of these women is struggling for different and compelling reasons. The choices and sins of others can send waves into our lives that spill out into the lives of those we interact with and our responses can become ugly sin more often than godly communication. 

Slattery writes about these difficult issues and brings the reader to uncomfortable places. She does her research and homework and has tackled another controversial and difficult topic, organ donation in Intertwined. Clearly, this is not a light read nor is it your traditional light and fluffy romance.   

Honestly, I struggled with her main character, Tammy. As the story developed Tammy became more palatable to me, but her bitterness was off-putting. I also had issues with her extended support system that was  made up of meddlers and manipulators. Nick had some really challenging issues and relationships as well. As I said this novel is not light and fluffy. But the value in a dose of reality can be life-changing for those who need to hear that reality. 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Janice Thompson's Every Girl Gets Confused ~ Reviewed


Every Girl Gets Confused 
By: Janice Thompson
More in Brides with Style Series
REVELL 
2015 
PAPERBACK
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0800724003

Description: 

Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn't seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. Katie's almost-fiance Casey is back in Fairfield, ready to rekindle their relationship. And there's nothing Katie's parents want more than for their small-town girl to leave Dallas and come home for good. But can she really leave Brady behind? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won? 

Review: 

I appreciate that Janice Thompson put her characters through a little reality check in Every Girl Gets Confused. Now Katie is every bit of the hopeful bride. She is immersed in bridal smells and sounds and lace every day in her job as the go to girl at Cosmopolitan Bridal. But Katie takes a few bumps along the way. Take Brady for instance. The man who has stepped in to help heal her Casey-crushed heart. But even Brady, as nearly perfect as he is, has a few struggles that put Katie’s mind in a spin cycle of confusion. 

And have Katie’s brothers all found true love? Then even her grandma? Katie’s still hoping for a ring on her finger but it seems as if maybe her happily ever after isn’t going to come knocking on her door any time soon.  Her parents are suddenly experiencing a second honeymoon kind of a lifestyle with adventure and trips. Casey begins to contact Katie every once in awhile to reminisce about the good old days. Brady is so caught up in his own epic challenge that sometimes Katie just feels real alone. Can she weather this storm and hold out for the real deal versus the counterfeit that keeps being dangled right in front of her?

There’s more, of course, plenty of drama for all involved. Even Doris Day gets in on the action. Needless to say, there is a satisfying ending as well as the promise of another book to resolve all the frayed and loose ends of all of Katie’s friends and families.

If you love your romance as big as Texas and sweet as wedding cake then you probably need to check into this series.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Susan May Warren's The Wonder of You ~ Reviewed



THE WONDER OF YOU
Susan May Warren
File Size: 3551 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 18, 2015)
Publication Date: June 18, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00PCK3A7I
Mortified after her semester abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough for the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her new place mean leaving home behind?


Review:

The Wonder of You is book five in the Christiansen Family Series. In this book, Amelia, the youngest daughter, returns home from Europe with her parents after having her heart broken by who she thought was a man that didn't care for her. She met Roark St. John while taking photography classes in Europe. They hit it off right away, and though she didn't know much about him, she easily fell in love with him. Then, one night, she saw him with another woman. Now, she is back home with her parents, trying to forget him and revive her romance with her former high school sweet heart. Until Roark finds her, moves to Deep Haven, and begins pursuing her all over again. Though there are things about his life he keeps quiet at first, he does everything he can to win her heart back and prove he is worthy of her.

I was so excited to get this book. I have loved reading every book in the series, and this was no exception. My heart hurt for Amelia's character, the heartbreak she was going through, the debate on whether she could really trust Roark, and being torn between two men she loved and not knowing which one was the right one. Eventually, she was able to put her trust in the Lord to help her, which was the best part of the whole thing.

Sarah Meyers

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Julie Klassen's The Painter's Daughter ~ Reviewed

THE PAINTER'S DAUGHTER
By Julie Klassen
Dec. 2015
Bethany Publishing
ISBN: 0764210726

BACK COVER:

Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse.

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

MY REVIEW:
 
Love a dark and brooding hero who’s really all heart on the inside? Captain Stephen Overtree is the man for you! He comes to the rescue time and time again in The Painter’s Daughter, another deliciously intriguing Regency by author Julie Klassen. 

This tale of a marriage of convenience is sure to keep you up late into the wee hours of the morning. The heroine, Sophie Dupont, is between a rock and a hard place when she finds out she’s pregnant. Her lover leaves her behind for a painting trip to Italy.

Enter hero Stephen Overtree, a hulking captain in the army, and the brother of the man who ruined Sophie. He does the right thing by asking her to marry him, giving legitimacy to the unborn babe. But should she? She hardly knows him. She does, and ooh-la-la, what a heated relationship begins. 

And therein begins The Painter’s Daughter. There’s intrigue, romance, and plenty of secrets to go around. Stock up on frozen pizzas before you crack open this one, folks. Your family will starve otherwise, because there’s no way you’ll stop until you read The End.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

Monday, December 14, 2015

Katie Ganshert's The Art of Losing Yourself ~ Reviewed


The Art of Losing Yourself
Katie Ganshert
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601425929




Description:




Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.
Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.
 
Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole? 

Review:


I love literary novels. There are few things more satisfying than a beautifully turned phrase, a poignant metaphor, a sense-infused scene that transports a reader far away, or a character that pulls at every emotion. If you agree you need to look into The Art of Losing Yourself and find a place where you can devour and savor this novel.

Told in two parallel 1st person accounts, the story centers around a dying motel, a demented aunt, and two sisters attempting to overcome huge, painful challenges.  Poignant, powerful, rich, raw and infused with faith and hope, this is one of those stories that grabbed my heart. Katie Ganshert's name on the cover is going to guarantee A place on my to read list.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer