Saturday, September 08, 2012

The Reunion by Dan Walsh

The Reunion
By Dan Walsh

Expert storyteller Dan Walsh pens a new tale filled with the things his fans have come to love – forgiveness, redemption, love and that certain bittersweet quality that few authors ever truly master. Fans old and new will find themselves drawn into this latest story about restoration for the broken and ignored.

Walsh brilliantly weaves together two stories of men embroiled in turmoil – Aaron Miller a Vietnam vet who returned from war only to lose everything and of Dave Russo, a writer unable to love again. The Reunion opens with Aaron, 40 years after the war, slowly putting his life back together. Dave uncovers his heroic actions during the war, leading both men to find a second chance in life and love if they’re willing to take a risk.

Walsh captures genuine emotion in his writing, and according to RT Book Reviews, he “demonstrates that, like Nicholas Sparks, men are capable of writing romantic fiction.”

Walsh has mastered telling stories set in separate time periods. The Reunion is a contemporary story with flashbacks to Vietnam. When Walsh was young, he hated history until he discovered a few non-fiction history books that read like page-turning novels. “They made history come alive,” says Walsh. “Reading became a joy. That’s my goal now, to create that same experience for my readers. I hope they get inspired and thoroughly enjoy themselves.”

My Review - The Reunion

The ReunionThe Reunion by Dan Walsh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a person who likes romance books or books with high drama, THE REUNION by Dan Walsh was a departure from my normal reads but exceptional all the same!

Since I usually read romance or suspense books, I didn’t know what to expect from a book that looked as if it would have neither.  What a pleasant surprise.  From the first chapter, I was drawn in and instantly attached to the characters.

Vietnam vet, Aaron Miller, was honored by his country with a distinguished medal, but now, is just a trailer park handyman that lives in a store room.  Aaron came home from the war wounded, hooked on drugs, and became an outcast to his family.  Upon finding the Lord and kicking his addiction, he tried to reunite with his family, but his ex-wife would not allow it.  So, Aaron lives his simple life in obscurity, but continues to touch the lives of the people he comes in contact with.

Dave Russo has been tasked by fellow Vietnam vet, John Lansing with finding Aaron Miller.  Aaron saved the lives of John and two other Marines and the three of them want to get in touch with Aaron and offer him the thanks that are long overdue.

As Dave searches for Aaron, the reader follows the lives of Aaron, Dave, and the parties that ultimately bring about THE REUNION.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE REUNION.  Not only were the main characters likable, but the secondary characters were rich and colorful as well.  The added budding romance between Dave and Aaron’s daughter, Karen was a great side story.  And the honor Dan Walsh bestowed on Vietnam vets in his telling was well deserved. THE REUNION is a true feel good story.

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

Book provided for review purposes.

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Love's Reckoning

Love’s Reckoning
By Laura Frantz
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?
Laura Frantz is a lover of history, is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady, and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons.

My Review - Love's Reckoning

LOVE’S RECKONING is definitely suited for those who like period pieces with grand language.  Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.  It was author Laura Frantz’s name that drew me to this book because I have read some of her previous books and enjoyed them, but LOVE’S RECKONING just never grabbed my attention.  Scenes that I felt could’ve had more emotional impact seemed to be glossed over and left me, the reader, feeling cheated.  I liked the characters of Eden and Silas, and hated Elspeth and Liege.  So, Frantz definitely drew emotion out of me, but it wasn’t enough to keep my interest.  I found myself breezing over long descriptive passages, zoning in on the dialogue, and just wanting to get to the meat of the story.  The last few chapters were more to my liking but I don’t know if that was because I knew how it would end or because I knew the end was near.

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Book  provided for review purposes.