Monday, January 30, 2012

Where Wildflowers Bloom
Ann Shorey
Sisters at Heart
How far will she go to follow her dreams?
The Civil War stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg--as well
as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her
grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and
traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories
that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the
family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for
When Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that
she and Royal will finally wed. But does he truly love her? Or will
another man claim her heart?
"Where Wildflowers Bloom invites you to settle down over by the
checkerboard at Lindberg's Mercantile Store and get to know the
people of Noble Springs as they put the sorrows of the Civil War
behind them and embrace life and love anew. Ann Shorey has come
up with an appealing mix of history and romance that readers are sure
to enjoy."--Ann H. Gabhart, author of The Blessed and Words Spoken
"The authenticity of Where Wildflowers Bloom transported me
straight to post-Civil-War times, yet the characters--their hopes,
dreams, conflicts, and fears--all rang contemporarily true. Another
winner from Ann Shorey!"--Christina Berry, Christy-nominated and
Carol Award-winning author of The Familiar Stranger
Where Wildflowers BloomWhere Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WHERE WILDFLOWERS BLOOM is sweet, romantic, and even has a hint of suspense.

Faith Lindberg has dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri. Since the loss of her father and brother in the Civil War, she is convinced she and her grandfather need a fresh start and Faith has her sights set on Oregon. With her grandfather’s failing health and the responsibility of the family mercantile, Faith isn’t sure she will ever see her dream come true. But, when Royal Baxter–her teenage crush–comes home from the war, she thinks her dreams might just be attainable. Only one problem, her thoughts keep drifting to Curt Saxon, someone she had thought of as merely a family friend.

Curt Saxon hides his feelings for Faith because he feels she deserves better than he can offer. Struggling with nightmares from the war, and subconscious of the scar that mares his neck, he offers his help to Faith, but never reveals his feelings. When Baxter Royal makes his intentions known to Faith, Curt feels he’s lost his chance to tell her how he feels.

WHERE WILDFLOWER BLOOM exceeded my initial expectations. I don’t think the cover art did this book justice. It didn’t portray Faith accurately, and the storyline had more spunk then the cover let on. The suspense in the storyline was an added bonus, but I wish there had been more time devoted to romance. I’m not a fan of keeping love interests at arm’s length until the end of the book. Overall though, WHERE WILDFLOWER BLOOM was a delight.

Book provided for review purposes.

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads west to Fort Laramie,Wyoming. When her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger,
Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.

Abigail plans to marry when she returns to Vermont, just as soon as she attends to her sister. As the summer passes, she finds herself drawn to this rugged land and to a certain soldier determined to persuade her to stay. When summer ends, will she go back East, or will she find her heart's true home?

"Summer of Promise is an engrossing story of love and adventure on
the Wyoming frontier that is sure to capture your heart! Get ready for
a cleverly concealed villain and a charming tale of life on an Army
post woven into an engaging, fast-paced, heartwarming read!"--
Kathleen Morgan, author, A Heart Divided and A Love Forbidden

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

My Review - Summer of Promise

SUMMER OF PROMISE is the first installment in the Westward Winds series by Amanda Cabot. I was introduced to Ms. Cabot’s writing when I read TOMORROW’S GARDEN. I was not disappointed with SUMMER OF PROMISE

Abigail Harding has read and re-read her sister, Charlotte’s letters and gets the distinct feeling something isn’t right. So, she leaves her native Vermont to travel to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to visit Charlotte and see for herself what is amiss. Setting out on a cross-country trip, Abigail survives not only the rugged terrain, but a stage hold-up as well. When she arrives in Fort Laramie, her instincts are proven correct. Charlotte is with child and in ill health. Abigail is completely unimpressed with Wyoming and knows she will return to Vermont as soon as Charlotte is well. But, while in Wyoming, she finds herself drawn to Lt. Ethan Bowles. She first meets Ethan on the stage, where he foils the attempted hold-up, and their paths continue to cross while at Ft. Laramie. Since she is betrothed to her beau in Vermont, she thinks nothing of the friendship she forms with Ethan. That is, until her heart tells her it is more than camaraderie she finds in Ethan.

Lt. Ethan Bowles’ life revolves around his position in the Army. He has no interest in finding himself a wife, even though the men around him try to persuade Ethan that is what’s missing from his life. Though he enjoys the time he spends in Abigail’s presences, Ethan convinces himself that it is merely companionship. When Abigail’s stay is prolonged and there time together becomes more personal, he questions his stance on marriage.

SUMMER OF PROMISE was delightful to read. I really appreciated the mystery Ms. Cabot injected into the storyline. It definitely added to the overall content and kept the story flowing. Though I am not a fan of the hero and heroine being kept at arm’s-length for an entire book, I felt the interaction between Abigail and Ethan was enough to keep me from becoming frustrated. I look forward to reading the next installment in the Westward Winds series.

“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Book provided for review purposes.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)Digitalis by Ronie Kendig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

DIGITALIS, the second installment in the Discarded Heroes Series, keep me on the edge of my seat, book firmly in hand.

Colton Neeley, aka Cowboy, aka Digitalis is part of an elite task force. Suffering from PTSD, he continues to question if he has the faculties to continue on or if his debilitating flashbacks puts the rest of his team in peril. With a daughter to raise, he thinks long and hard regarding his future. Lately, he also finds himself thinking of Piper Blum, a sales clerk at a local store. His reconnaissance in regards to the caramel-eyed beauty tells him he has already lost his heart. His brain tells him nothing is worth the pain of bringing one more person into his fractured life. When his heart wins out, he takes a step of faith and asks Piper out. When hidden secrets of her past tear them apart, he shuts down his emotions and tries to block her out of his mind. When it is obvious her life is in danger, Colton must chose once again. She has already taken something from him she can never replace. Will he allow her to take even more?

Piper Blum is not at all what she seems. Fleeing her country and taking on a false identity, she never had intentions of getting close to anyone. But, when the rugged cowboy continues to show up at the department store where she works, her feelings get the better of her. Going out on a limb, she allows herself to enjoy Colton’s company. When she realizes her identity has been compromised, she plans to leave Colton without him ever knowing who she really is. When circumstances lead Colton to her side, botching a planned kidnapping, she unwillingly involves him in the dangers of her life and takes from him one of his most precious possessions. Knowing he has nothing but hate for her, she tries to get away. When his team is brought in to help her with a near suicidal mission, she tries to bridge the hurt between them. But it’s too late. She’s lost his trust, her heart, and could quite possibly lose her life.

DIGITALIS is face-paced, page-turning, action and romance at its best. Great characters, a perplexed storyline, and unending action, DIGITALIS is a book that few will be able to put down. My only caveat – with each character of the Nightshade team having multiple nicknames, it takes several chapters before you have them sorted out. Other than that, a GREAT book for both the male and female reader.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:
Ronie Kendig
and the book is:
Firethorn, Discarded Heroes #4

***Special thanks to Ronie Kendig for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990. Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:

An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.

Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.

    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)

    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)

    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)

    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.

    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)

    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)
Visit the author's website.


Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor.

Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin "Legend" Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How can he prove his innocence behind bars?

Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive confusion may turn out to be her last assignment. What will it take to convince the fugitive that whoever set him up has also dissected the Nightshade team? As Kazi and Griffin race to rescue the others and discover the traitor,
love begins to awaken in their hearts.

Can a covert operative and the felon she's freed overcome their mutual distrust long enough to save Nightshade? Will anything prepare them for who—or what is coming?

Product Details:
  • List Price: $12.99
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602607850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602607859


To all American military heroes

At home and abroad,

Those who have gone before

and those serving today—


Because of you, we are FREE!


Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit, and Heart.

A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.

Swift, Silent, Deadly

Chapter 1

The Shack

“It’s sad, really.” Marshall “The Kid” Vaughn trudged away from the thumping rotors of the helo that had deposited them back at the Shack, his pack almost dragging the ground. “Ya don’t realize how much a person adds until he’s gone.”

“Legend’s not gone.” Max “Frogman” Jacobs hoisted his rucksack into a better group, his mind locked on Sydney and their two sons waiting for him at home. Poor woman had to be going out of her mind with two of his Mini-Me’s running around.

“Yeah.” John “Squirt” Dighton hit the light breaker, then waited for the six-man team to clear the door. “He’s just temporarily detained.”

Lights sizzled and popped to life. Groaning bounced off the grimy windows as he hauled the door closed, locked it, then started toward the showers.

The Kid grunted. “Forty-years-to-life temporary.”

In the locker room, a depressive gloom hung over the team. They’d been on countless missions, hit just about every terrain and environment imaginable, but none had taken the toll the last couple had. And there was one reason—they were down a man. Griffin “Legend” Riddell. If Max could write the playbook, they wouldn’t do another mission without the guy. But with the man in federal prison for murdering a congressman, it’d be a long wait.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Max looked around the Spartan room. Walls of lockers, most unused. A few benches. A giant once-white bin for dirty duds. And the team. Six men, now. All very skilled. Good men. Even the one missing. Every man here knew Legend had been set up—he didn’t murder that congressman. But nobody could prove it. The evidence was damning. Justice—injustice was more like it—came swiftly. Lambert, ever the puppeteer, couldn’t pull the right strings to get Legend off.

“I’m heading up to visit him tomorrow. Anyone game?” Colton “Cowboy” Neeley slumped on a bench and ran a hand over his short, dark hair. His blue eyes probed the group.

“Nah, man. I’ve got a date,” the Kid said.

Squirt beaned him with a towel. “What girl would go out with you, mate?”

The Kid snapped the terry cloth back at the former Navy SEAL. “Your sister.”

Squirt froze. His jaw went slack. Then his eyes darkened.

Laughing, Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe rose to his feet from the corner. “You just proved his point by thinking your sister would actually go out with him.”

Squirt swallowed, his face drained of color. “I introduced them at a New Year’s party.”

Midas laughed harder. “Your mistake, mate.

Shuffling closer, Squirt pointed a finger at the Kid. “I swear, you touch her, I’ll shove a fist full of witchety grubs down your gullet.”

“Give me credit, dude.” The Kid raised his hands. “I’m a gentleman.”

Max grunted. “Right.” As he strode around the lockers to the shower well, he heard more threats and much more laughter from the Kid. Max shook his head. Would the Kid ever grow up, learn when to leave things alone?

As he tossed his oily, grimy duds on the bench, Max paused, thinking maybe he should send his report to Lambert now so he wouldn’t have to mess with it tomorrow. The mission had been simple enough, a snatch-n-grab of an Iranian doctor. It’d been nice and clean, in and out. The report wouldn’t take long. Then he could shower, bug out, and know he had the whole weekend with Syd and the boys.

Max jogged up the iron stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath his weight. Down the hall to the right. He punched in the code and entered the secure hub, the door hissing shut behind him. The most high-tech part of this dump-of-a-warehouse.

Shouts drew his attention to the blinds. He jabbed two fingers between a couple and spread them to peeked down into the main area. Squirt and the Kid raced into the bay and back the way they came. Squirt looked ready to kill. The Kid’s face revealed his fear. Max shook his head again. Man, he wanted Griffin back. The guy seemed to bring balance to the team. Badly needed balance.

Max powered up the computer. Hand propped on the warped wood, he waited for the system to boot.

More shouts. Loud thuds.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they never—?

Tat-a-tat! Tat-tat-a-tat!

Instinct drove Max to his knee at the sound of gunfire. He scrambled to the window. Through the slanted blinds, he peered down into the slab of cement. His brain wouldn’t assemble what he saw. Gunmen. A dozen or more. Rushing into the Shack from the parking bay. Moving swiftly, as if. . .

They know the layout.

Max darted to the door and jerked it open. He sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. As his boot hit steel, he froze. A shadow emerged. Floated into the hall.

Too late.

Max jerked back. Pressed his spine against the wall.

By the showers, the Kid looked up. Max signaled to him. Then made his best and loudest Nightshade whistle, hoping it would penetrate the building, give the men warning to take cover.

The Kid threw himself back into the locker room.

Men swarmed the corner. One looked to his left, one right. His weapon slowly rose as he traced the stairs with his M16.

Max leapt backward into the darkness and into office. He closed the door. As the lock clicked, darkness dropped like an anchor over the entire building. Behind him, a glow screamed his location. The monitor!

Max spun. Lunged across the desk. Stabbed the power button. And paused with his hand still near the monitor. If someone was coming after them. . .accessing this computer. . .

On his knees, Max yanked the cords free. With the box, he moved to the window and reassessed the parking bay. Another van with a half-dozen men with AK-47s. They streamed into the warehouse.

Max’s gut wound into a dozen knots. They were screwed.

Think! Hand on the door, he considered going back downstairs. But that would get him captured. Killed. Yet he’d rather be with his guys than running like a chicken.

No, not running. Considering options, gaining the advantage. Planning. The invasion force was armed to the teeth. They knew who they were coming after. They’d brought weapons. And those guys moved with precision. Swift, deadly precision.

Though Nightshade had a stellar ops record, perhaps they had finally met their match. Still. . .two to one? Nightshade had faced worse.

A large black Suburban screeched to a halt in the middle of the parking bay. Two men emerged, both wearing trench coats.

Max cursed his luck to be up here, away from his gear, his weapons. Up here, without firepower. Thus, powerless.

Okay, enough. He was going down there. He eased the door open and slid across the hall. Bathed in darkness, he crouched at edge of the landing, using the wall for cover. A dozen men so far, rushing here and there. Quick, quiet chatter between the men.

A smirk slid into Max’s face. His team had taken cover and these goons couldn’t find them. If he could just get a weapon. . .

“Can’t find them.”

“They’re here. I saw them go in,” the man nearest the SUV shouted. “Find them! Lights!”

Light rushed through the building as headlamps from the vehicles stabbed the dusty, damp building. Max yanked back, out of sight. He needed to get down there, defend his men. His boot hit the landing.

Shouts erupted. A shot bounced off the steel rafters, taunting as it echoed through the Shack. Stilled, Max waited. More shouts. The sound of a scuffle. The half-dozen men waiting by the SUV lifted their weapons to the ready.

The locker room door swung open. A man walked backward, his AK-47 aimed at a large form filling the doorway. Cowboy. Arms raised, dressed only in his jeans, he stalked forward. Someone shoved him from behind, which barely moved the big lug.

Spine pressed against the wood, Max peered down into the bay.

“You move one wrong muscle,” the one in front of Cowboy growled, “and so help me God, I’ll kill you.”

“No you won’t.” Cowboy lowered his hands. “If you wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be out here.”

Ride ’em, Cowboy.

From the side entrance to the showers, three men dragged a shouting, cursing Kid into the bay. Max smirked that it took three tangos to wrangle the Kid.

Hand clenched, Max’s mind went into overdrive. What could he do? God. . .I need. . .something. What could he pray for? Intercepting the team was impossible. Twelve, fifteen armed tangos against one unarmed man?

He latched on to the hope that they’d only found Cowboy and the Kid. No Midas, Squirt, or Aladdin. Good. Maybe they could regroup and—

A man flew through the bay door from the showers and landed with a thud a yard from the others. Midas flipped over, scissored his legs, and swept the thug off his feet. The Kid seized the confusion to attack the men guarding him. And impressively. With a hard right, he dropped the first and used that weapon to disable the second.

Cowboy took a step back and rammed his elbow into the gut of the nearest guard. The gunman bent forward—straight into Cowboy’s meaty fist. The big guy pivoted, slapped the interior of the gunman’s wrist, effectively seizing the weapon and flipping the muzzle around. He fired at the guy.


In the split second it took for Max to realize the sonic boom that rent the air wasn’t the report of Cowboy’s .45 MEU but of a rifle, Max saw the man in the black trench coat drop to the ground. A circle spread out like a dark halo.

“Sniper!” someone shouted.

The dead guy had fallen backward. Most likely shot from the front. Which meant. . . Max’s gaze rose to the rafters. With no light, it’d be the perfect hiding spot. But. . .who? Squirt? Aladdin?


The man guarding Colton stumbled forward, then went to his knees before hitting the cement.

The man in the black trench coat nearest the SUV dropped. A pool of blood spilled out.

“There!” One guard swung and fired his fully automatic at the ceiling. Four others followed suit, firing at the bank of grimy windows on the southeast wall of the building.

Max followed their direction and watched. Waited, his breath caught at the back of his throat. Cracks and shattering glass blended with the staccato punches of the guns to create a wild cacophony of noise. Max tuned it out, praying whoever—Aladdin or Squirt—wouldn’t be hit.

But then he saw it. A shift of a shadow. Like someone rolling. . .

The gunfire petered out as a body plummeted the eight feet to the ground.

The thud seemed to have supernatural powers as it pounded Max’s chest and pushed him back. Away from the window but not far enough that he lost line of sight.

Silence dropped on the Shack.

“Where’s Max Jacobs?”

As the question streaked through the warehouse, Max registered a red glow in the far corner. Even as he noticed it, he heard a beep. Another. His gaze darted to the source of the noise. Two men were walking the perimeter, their M16s dangling as they raised their arms and pressed something against the supports. Arms lowered and the men stepped back revealing gray bricks with wires.


Gotta stop this. Do something. His gaze collided with Cowboy’s. The big lug gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

Max’s nostrils flared as he wrestled with what to do.

“Where’s Dighton?”

How do they know our names?

“Dead,” someone answered.

Pulled back into the shadows, Max clenched his eyes and bit down on his tongue. Dighton was dead. What about Aladdin—had he survived the fall?

Sirens wailed in the distance.

“Load ’em up.”

“What about Jacobs?”

“Outta time.” The leader left as the gunmen dragged the team out of the building.

Stealthily, Max held on to the box and sprinted the length of the hall to the side of the Shack. In the conference room, he plunged toward the window. Craned his neck to peek out. Three vehicles—twin white vans and a black town car.

The guys were loaded into the van and one into the car.

The leader shifted, held something out, then it wavered.


Max spun around, searching for an out. Doors. Only one way down—the stairs. But they led to the bay, which would be engulfed.

Windows. Overlooked the dock. The canal. It was January. The water would be brutal cold. His split-second assessment told him no matter what route he took, it’d be deadly. Despite his training, if he didn’t find shelter out of the water once he broke surface, he’d die an ice cube. If he stayed, he’d die a fireball.

Good thing SEALs are insulated against cold water.

Max vaulted toward the window, hurtling the computer through the window. The glass shattered as a violent force blasted through the air. It lifted him. Up. . .up. . . Flipped him. Searing pain sliced through his arm. Heat stroked his back and legs. Fire chased him out of the building. Into the night.


Another wave slammed into him. Threw him backward. Toward the water.

Something punched his gut. Knocked the breath from his lungs.

Bright white lit the night. Blinded him. Then—almost instantaneously—black. Pure black. And he was falling. . .down. . .down. . .

Ro n i e K e n d i g
Discarded Heroes # 4


Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1)

Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)

Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)

© 2011 by Ronie Kendig

ISBN 978-1-60260-0785-9

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

For more information about Ronie Kendig, please access the author’s Web site at the following Internet address:

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.

Printed in the United States of America.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

My Review - Firethorn

Be watching for my review, coming soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RememberRemember by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

REMEMBER, the second installment in the Redemption Series traveled at a quicker pace than it’s predecessor. While still keeping the reader in touch with the entire Baxter family, this book centered more on Ashley – the self prescribed black sheep of the family, and Luke – the perfect son whose life isn’t so perfect anymore.

Ashley has never felt like she’s fit in. Her close-knit Christian family is what others would consider ideal. But Ashley would call them “safe”. Ashley sought out to find more in life and traveled to Paris to make her mark in the art world and have some adventure. When she returns from Paris pregnant and tight-lipped, she drifts even farther from her family. She trusts no one, including God, and Landon Blake. Landon Blake has loved Ashley and tried to win her over since they were in their teens, but Ashley never returned that love because she felt Landon was just life her family – “safe”. Now, as Landon tries to woo her, she doesn’t allow herself to give in. Not because she doesn’t have feelings for Landon, but because he deserves so much more than she can offer. For his own benefit, Ashley keeps Landon at arm’s length.

Luke is riding high. Life is great, his steady girlfriend is great, and his future is looking bright. When his world comes crashing down around him–just like the twin towers on 911– Luke begins to doubt the power of God. His humanistic leanings cause strain between him and his family so he moves out and seeks solace from a classmate that’s more than willing to show him the errors of the Christian faith. Though he blames God for the turmoil in his life, he can’t ignore the fact that it was his own mistake that started his life spiraling downward.

REMEMBER was a quick read. Now, that could be because after reading REDEMPTION so much back story is already in your mind. Whatever the reason, upon finishing it, you can’t wait to pick up the next in the series, RETURN. The more you read, the more you feel as if the Baxter’s are your neighbors and you are genuinely concerned with their trials and circumstances.

View all my reviews

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Accidental Bride (A Big Sky Romance)The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE, the second in the Big Sky Romance series, while not completely plausible, it was completely enjoyable.

Shay Branderberger’s life has been filled with nothing but ups and downs, mostly downs. She struggles to keep her family ranch afloat while raising her daughter on her own. Left at the altar by her first love, rodeo star Travis McCoy, and then abandoned by her husband, Shay has sworn off men, that is, until she agrees to be the bride in a Founder’s Day reenactment. But when her pretend groom ends up being Travis, she wants nothing more than to run away from the man who broke her heart. In a twist of fate, their fake marriage ends up being the real deal and Travis wants nothing more than a second chance to prove to Shay he never stopped loving her.

THE ACCIDENTAL BRIDE was a quick read. The characters were genuine and the setting of a working ranch is always my location of choice. Give me big skies, open land, and a handsome cowboy, and a great story is sure to abound. Of course, the accidental marriage was a bit far-fetched, but I was able to overlook that because Ms. Hunter’s writing made it almost seem plausible. As stated before, this is the second book in a series, but has no problem as a standalone novel. Good writing + good characters = great enjoyment.

Book provided for review purposes.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 06, 2012

RedemptionRedemption by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is not my first time reading REDEMPTION from the Karen Kingsbury Redemption series. I had read the first three books in the series when they first came out, but then I got out of step. I continued to purchase all the books in the set and the series’ that followed, but always felt I needed to go back to the beginning and re-read before I continued on into the other series that dovetail off of this one. So, between my other scheduled readings, I have committed to get up to speed on the multiple series put out by Kingsbury. All that to say my reviews will probably be short and to the point.

The Redemption series follows the Baxter family. The Baxter’s seem to be a genuine, close knit family, but there are many fractures under the surface. REDEMPTION tells the story of Kari Baxter Jacobs. When she discovers her husband, a respected professor, is having an affair with one of his students, her life comes apart at the seams. Wanting to do everything she can to save her marriage, she refuses to give up on her husband. But, when her old high-school sweetheart shows up on the scene, and would like to pick up where they left off, Kari is torn between forgiveness and anger, temptation and commitment. What ensues is a roller-coaster of emotions and a horrible tragedy. Kari’s strength on all counts will be tested.

It took a little while to get back into this book. I think it’s because Christian fiction has grown by leaps and bounds since this series debuted in 2002. About a third of the way in, the momentum picked up and I remembered why I liked Karen’s writing. I like stories that are realistic, not cookie-cutter, and the troubles that plague the Baxter family make them human. I am half way through REMEMBER, the second in the series and will post more when I am finished.

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