Posted in Historical

Lori Wick’s The Hawk and The Jewel


Everyone thought little Sunny had perished with Lady Gallagher in storm-tossed seas off the Arabian coast, but the beautiful toddler had been found, taken to the palace of Darhabar, and raised as the ruler’s own child. Now the emir, Ahmad Khan, is sending her home, and Sunny’s uncertain, new life is completely in God’s hands.


This is one of my favorite Lori Wick novels! Not only is it a regency, but her characters are not quite as perfect in this book as they kind of become in her later ones. Sunny is so much fun right from the beginning of the novel which has her throwing herself over the rails of a moving ship. She doesn’t lose her adventurous nature as she gets older. Brandon is so staid and stoic, but I love how Sunny unravels him every time they are together. Now this is a romance that truly develops over time. Spiritually, you can’t read a Lori Wick novel and not get the message of salvation. Love it. And I love how you see Sunny change and yet stay the same. Great Novel. Highly Recommended!

Posted in Historical

Deanna Julie Dodson’s In Honor Bound


His father will stop at nothing to keep the royal bloodline “pure” –even murder. But his sins have nearly destroyed Prince Philip and the future of his reign.
Forced into a political marriage, Philip tells his bride, “I will not lie to you, I will not be unfaithful to you, and I will not love you. My heart is pledged to another and I am not a man to break an oath.”
His one true love is a lowly serving girl. When Philip refuses to set her aside in order to form a politically beneficial marriage, his father has the girl tried on false charges and executed. He then forces Philip to marry the beautiful and nobly born Lady Rosalynde. Devastated and embittered by his loss and his father’s betrayal, Philip is determined to never love again . . . not his father, not his wife, not his God. Although Rosalynde adores him, he withholds his heart from her, refusing to let even death end his devotion to the love he lost. Despite his coldness towards her, Rosalynde is determined to love him and teach him to love her — as determined as the God he has turned his back on. As civil war rages throughout the realm, Philip faces a greater struggle within himself. Will he open his heart to love again or let his pride destroy him and his kingdom?


This book (and series) is what I would call medieval fiction at its best. Everything you think that should be in them: witch burning, arranged marriages, wars, all in this novel. Reading this novel, I really felt that the author stayed true to the times. Never once reading it, did the characters do anything that brought me right back to the 21st century. I loved Philip, even though he was hard at times. But he had such a good reason to be. Rosalynde was a bit more meek than most heroines, but in her meekness she was strong. She was a perfect foil for Philip. I even loved the secondary character of Tom. Spiritually, I love how you see what bitterness and unforgiveness can do to a person and how much freer you are when you release it. I also love how Rosalynde loved Philip continually, even in his harshness, always showing him the love of Christ which I imagine is easier to do on paper than in real life. Great novel. Highly Recommended!

Posted in Contemporary

Susan Paige Davis’s Frasier Island


After specialized underwater training, Ensign Rachel Whitney is posted to a remote island in the North Pacific, a tiny scrap of rock guarding a highly classified secret. She could love her new assignment if her commanding officer, Lt. George Hudson, weren’t so obstinate—and a bit distrustful.

Despite George’s first reaction to her presence on the island, Rachel sets out to prove she is perfect for the job. She doesn’t dream of being a heroine or falling in love, but months later, when word leaks out about the prize they are guarding, Rachel and George have few resources besides each other and their faith in God to foil an enemy attack that could endanger all of America.


This novel was so good.  Frasier Island is a tiny island in the Pacific that requires three people to live on it. Rachel and George are two of them. I loved Rachel’s character because even though she had had some setbacks in life, she wasn’t about to let that keep her from living. George is more distrustful and to a certain degree rude, but I like how in this novel you can see Rachel slowly winning him over. I also loved one of the secondary characters in this novel.  I think the setting really added to this novel, because it was a setting unlike any other. Spiritually, George has to return to his relationship with God and Rachel learns to walk with God and develop her faith more. Good book. Romantic and suspenseful. Highly Recommended.

Posted in Personal

Monday Musings…New Adult Genre

Has anyone heard of the new genre called New Adult? I had to google that one myself, but apparently it is fiction that has heros/heroines that are between the ages of 18-24. Since I am one of those ages, I do not know whether I should be flattered or annoyed. My younger sister says its because people our age don’t seem to have jobs.
I will say that when I pick up a book that says New Adult, at least I know the people are young, like most young people, I’m not a huge fan of reading romance novels when the main characters are over 35. But I personally thinks it comes out of older people liking teen fiction, but feeling like those teenagers should be a tad bit older. It’s like they want that hint of naivete plus some more adult action.

So thoughts about this New Adult business? Like or dislike?

Posted in Contemporary

Leslie Gould’s Courting Cate

When Amish farmer Pete Treger moves to Paradise Township, Pennsylvania, seeking a better life, he meets sisters Cate and Betsy Miller. Both are beautiful, but older sister Cate is known more for her sharp tongue and fiery temper than her striking appearance. Betsy, on the other hand, is sweet and flirty–and seems to have attracted most of the bachelors in Lancaster County!

However, the sisters’ wealthy father has made one hard and fast rule: elder sister must marry first, before the younger can even start courting. Unfortunately for poor Betsy, and for the men who want to court her, her older sister, Cate, doesn’t have any suitors–until Pete comes to town, that is.

Though he finds both sisters attractive, something about Cate’s feisty demeanor appeals to him. Soon the other bachelors in the district convince Pete to court Cate. She hardly seems receptive to his overtures, though. Instead, she’s immediately suspicious of his interest.

I enjoyed this novel far more than I had anticipated. Though I have never read The Taming of the Shrew, I am familiar with the story and have seen movie adaptations. Thus, I was thinking that this novel could not surprise me. I was wrong. The novel starts off much as you would expect it to, but about midway through, the novel takes a distinctive turn that I am 99% sure didn’t happen in Shakespeare (since I’ve never read it, I’m not sure). After that point, I couldn’t put the novel down. I really liked Cate, I could totally understand her hang-ups and feel her pain. Pete, was an interesting guy, but at the end of the novel, though I knew things about him, I felt like I didn’t know him. I kind of wish he had been more romantic as well, though he had a good reason to act the way he did. And Betsy? Well, who needs enemies when they have sisters like that one. I really like how Cate saw what shrewishness does to people. That was a nice touch. Spiritually, Cate has to turn to God and realize that He does love her and care for her. And more importantly? He is her source. Really good book. Recommended.

** I received this copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

Posted in Personal

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for so many things this year! As far as I’m concerned there is always something to be thankful for. So, here is a short list:

1) Jesus

2) My family

3) My friends

4) My health and the health of family and friends

5) Finishing law school/passing the bar

6) My country

7) This blog 🙂

Feel like giving any shotouts today! Go ahead!

Posted in Historical

Nancy Herriman’s The Irish Healer


Accused of murdering a child under her care, Irish healer Rachel Dunne flees the ensuing scandal while vowing to never sit at another sickbed. She no longer trusts in her abilities-or God’s mercy–though when a cholera epidemic sweeps through London, she feels compelled to nurse the dying daughter of the enigmatic physician she has come to love. James Edmunds, wearied by the deaths of too many patients, has his own doubts about God’s grace. Together, they will have to face their darkest fears . . . and learn what it means to have real faith.
I really enjoyed this novel because the concept of it seemed so unique. Rachel comes across as equally as smart as James without flaunting it. You can understand her desire to stay away from sickness and I find that she is a character whom one can easily identify with. Now, James, had a few more foibles. I liked him and could understand his doubts, but I didn’t understand why he hid Amelia. I could understand why he didn’t want her around, but not why she was hidden. I also didn’t really see him fall in love with Rachel, he sort of just did. That said, this novel is a page-turner. You will root for Rachel and want to pray for James. Spiritually, James realizes that though he still goes through the motions, his heart as grown cold towards God and he rectifies that. Rachel learns that God is in control, even when things don’t make sense. Really good book. Recommended.
Posted in Personal

Monday Musings…..Subjectivity and Reviews Pt. 2

A couple of weeks ago, I came across some subjective reviews that lowered the rating on a book based on the reader’s experiences. Last week I discussed when this kind of thing was okay. This week, I’m following up with how you keep subjectivity out of reviews. So, how do you keep subjectivity out of reviews? Well, there are a number of things that I consider before I will allow my personal opinion to infiltrate a review. Here they are:

1) Did I finish the novel? If I finished the novel, there was obviously something about it that drew me in and made me want to keep turning the pages. For example, I’m not a huge Amish/Amana fan. And I have a list of reasons why. That said, if the author wrote a good book and the people are bonnet people, it’s still a good book.

2) Am I becoming bitter? To a certain degree, fiction will be….fiction. I think, in romance novels men are allowed to be the next best thing since sliced bread and women can be stunning (as an author you run the risk of pigeon-holing yourself if this is your constant practice however). If I start to get bitter about the perfect man or woman in the novel, than I’m doing too much. It’s a novel. It’s escapism. It’s okay if the fiction world is perfect. So long as you don’t start expecting real people to be perfect it’s all good.

3) Am I aware that this is fiction? If it is fiction, the author is allowed to create situations where you might think certain things could never happen. That is all a part of the fun. I don’t mind suspending my disbelief for a good novel because guess what? It’s fiction. If I want real life I can watch the news.

4) I want to read more. There is an author who, I personally feel does not quite know how to treat certain topics. Sometimes, she steps on my toes a bit. That said, a phenomenal writer. Everytime I put one of her books down I do two things: roll my eyes and find out when the next one is coming out. At the end of the day, she is good writer and her books are engaging and while I’m not against addressing issues in my reviews, I wouldn’t mark her book down because she stepped on my toes a little.

So, anyone have any other ways to keep subjectivity out of reviews? Agree or disagree?

Posted in Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Meredith Resce’s For All Time


Analiese is young, independent, funny, outspoken and intelligent.
And it may just get her killed…
When young Australian doctor, Analiese, goes on the trip of a lifetime, touring the UK with her sister, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. After being trapped by a cave-in at one of England’s famous historic castles, Analiese and castle stunt-rider, Adam manage to make their way back to the surface, only to discover that something is not right.
It is the right castle, but the wrong time.
And now, the unlikely pair are stuck in the sixteenth century, a time when superstition and witch-hunt hysteria are at their peak. While Adam’s years of employment posing as an historical knight may help him fake his way through, Analiese is everything a woman of the sixteenth century should not
be: outspoken, independent, and a doctor.
And Matthew Hopkins, the famous witch hunter, has just come to town…

For those who love time-travel, this was a fun read. One of the things that drew me to the novel was that Analiese and Adam were from the 21st century and both went back in time. I personally think it would be hard to fall for a guy in the old days. What I really liked about this book? It was so realistic. I liked how when Adam and Analiese first arrived, the people smelled really bad and women just didn’t play a role (ok that’s not a good thing, but the novel was true to the times). The only drawback to this novel? It was realistic. I felt that the ending was a bit awkward as I imagine it would have been in real life. Spiritually, I like the way Analiese witnesses to Adam and the effect salvation has on his life. Not cheesy at all. Good Book. Recommended

Posted in Historical

Judith Miller’s A Hidden Truth

When Karlina Richter finds out that a new shepherd will be sent to East Amana, she fears she’ll no longer be able to help her father with the sheep. She’ll be relegated back to kitchen work, a job she dislikes. Her fears increase when Anton Becker arrives and shows little interest in the flock–or in divulging why he’s been sent to East. Dare she trust Anton to help her father, or is he keeping secrets that will impact them all?

After learning that her father will be transferred from Cincinnati to a job in Texas, Dovie Cates decides she wants to visit the Amana Colonies, where her mother spent her formative years. She writes to relatives still living in the Colonies and is invited to spend some time there. Soon after her arrival, Dovie meets Berndt, the handsome young man who delivers bread to the kitchen house each day. But when Dovie begins to ask questions about her mother’s past, no one seems willing to tell her anything, so Dovie decides to take matters into her own hands. Will her decision spell disaster for her future with Berndt?

I really liked this book and I was surprised because I’m not a huge fan of bonnet books. Dovie and Karlina were such great heroines that you couldn’t help but like them. I thought the mystery behind Dovie’s mother, however, was the most intriguing part. It had me turning pages late into the evening. I did think the romance was a bit rushed in this novel, but that might be due to the fact that there are two heroines. I thought Anton was a unique and interesting hero, and I enjoyed watching him develop. Berndt, though, didn’t give me that much information to work with. I also was surprised with Dovie’s decision in the end because she didn’t seem like that much of a rule follower. That said, good writing and an absolute page-turner! Spiritually, I enjoy how Dovie and Karlina constantly ask God to help them make decisions. He is a vibrant part of their lives. Recommended!

**I recieved this copy from BethanyHouse. My opinion was not affected in any way**