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What I’m Reading This Week

What I’m Reading This Week

Like many elite private schools, Madison High has a legacy steeped in traditions, none of which revolve around learning. Survival is simple: keep your head down, don’t say a word, and never question school royalty.

Cody James, a former victim of Madison’s vicious brand of hazing, wants nothing more than to graduate without breaking the unspoken rules that could land him back in social exile. Cody has breached the elusive inner circle, and he has no intention of losing his hard-earned security. But a beautiful new student shakes up his plan to coast by and causes him question his role as sidekick to the king of the school.

As the only daughter of rock legend Donnie Wyld, Skylar has been homeschooled her entire life. Now she wants normal, and she hopes that Madison High will offer her an escape from her father’s deteriorating health. She never intended on catching the eye of the school’s self-elected king or falling for his confusing best friend. But one look at Cody James, and she is drawn in by his guarded vulnerability.

When an average Friday night party turns into a nightmare, Cody is forced to make a decision—fight or follow. But standing up for the bullied and broken means facing a past he’s long buried and risking the future he’s worked so hard to achieve.

What are you reading this week?

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Monday Musings….October Reads

Julia Broeder is only six months shy of graduating from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania when one small decision spirals out of control and results in her expulsion. Hoping to travel the world as a missionary doctor, her only choice is to return back home…or throw herself upon the mercy of Ashton Carlyle.

Formal and straight-laced, Ashton Carlyle is not pleased to see an expelled Julia arrive at his Manhattan office. His position as a junior attorney for the Vandermark family’s world-famous shipping empire entails taking care of the Broeders, longtime employees of the Vandermark family. But Ashton has no intention now of using his employer’s resources in defense of Julia’s impulsive and reckless actions.

What Ashton did not expect was a scathing reprimand from none other than the Vandermark family patriarch or the bewildering resistance from Julia herself when he’s forced to change his tune. At an impasse, Ashton and Julia never anticipated the revelations that arise or the adventure that awaits them.

In this novella, award-winning novelist Elizabeth Camden introduces readers to the world of the grand Hudson River Valley estate Dierenpark and the enigmatic Vandermark family. Includes an extended preview of Until the Dawn, Camden’s full-length Dierenpark novel.

She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.

In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.

His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.

Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.

But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.

Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

France, 1685. Catherine Gillet knows her brother, Jules, wants to protect her from the sinister threats of the French crown. But Jules is involved in a potentially deadly enterprise, one connected with an encoded document. When his actions put the whole family at risk, will Catherine find a way to save them?

Virginia, present day. Renee Talbot, a direct descendant of Catherine’s, is fascinated by the document that’s been part of her family legacy for more than three centuries. Certain its pages hold hidden secrets, she takes a closer look—and makes a shocking discovery. But when memories of a childhood trauma are rekindled, she’s forced to seek answers of a different kind. Inspired by the faith and bravery of Catherine, can Renee find the truth and face her deepest fears at last?

From the authors of the Christy Award–winning The Amish Midwife comes an epic story of two women, centuries apart, each discovering her own hidden bravery, standing for what she believes in, and finding love in unexpected places.

How can she choose between the love she thought she lost and the love she stumbled upon in the aftermath?

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-fiancé 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?

It’s not a whole lot in October. If you know of one, please share it. But come November? Better watch out!

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Sarah Sundin’s Through Waters Deep

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.


Sarah Sundin is my go-to author for WWII novels. I was thrilled to see her branch out into the Navy. Here’s my thoughts:

What I liked:

Mary. The heroine in this novel was so relatable. Maybe I didn’t understand everything she did, but I always understood why.

The history. Even though the author admits to taking a few liberties with history, the atmosphere of the time is present. Sundin is able to effortlessly weave history and fiction together to make it feel real.

The romance. Jim and Mary become friends and it is so easy to see them fall for each other. At first, I was worried what with Jim being in the Navy if he would even have much of a role in this novel. Never fear, Jim is often in Boston.

Spiritually, Sundin always give her characters some kind of flaw that they have to overcome. And this time it was, essentially, fear. I will say that this novel is different though because both main characters recognized their flaws almost immediately and instead of getting a revelation at the end, they slowly worked on their faults throughout the novel.

What I didn’t like:

It was linked to the characters’ flaws. I wanted to tell both Mary and Jim to not be so afraid.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, I very much enjoyed this novel and I am so looking forward to book 2.

**I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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Monday Musing…Best Friends

Best Friends. In war books they die. In romance novels they encourage the heroine to give the hero a chance (unless they’re evil in which they try to steal the hero). But can they ever serve a purpose besides simply propping up the main character in some way?

I think so.

What are some awesome books with good best friends? Here’s a few:

Patrick Carr’s A Cast of Stones (although arguably they’re not best friends until the end of the series)

Jill Williamson…almost anything she writes, but

Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series (best friends who adopt each other)

These are just a few. What books have you read that have good best friends?

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Monday Musings…Trends

This year, I’ve noticed a couple of book trends…and these are common. I do believe 2012 was the year of Titantic retellings. But this year seems to be the year of the hood. Robin hood. Female Robin Hood to be exact. Look:

Are trends a bad thing? Yes and No. A) It makes you wonder if you missed a memo. Is this the 100th celebratory year for Robin Hood? B) It makes you compare. Her Robin Hood was this way, but the other author’s Robin Hood was that way. I’m sorry folks, only one can really come out a winner. C) It makes you feel like I’ve read this before and I’m so over it.

And so I ask you, what trends have you noticed this year?

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Leah Atwood’s Come to Me Alive

Bryce Landry, country music’s hottest star, has it all, or so everyone on the outside thinks. They can’t see his struggle to discover himself, to find his place in unfamiliar territories, both as a dad and as a Christian. He takes a month off and escapes to the small town of Oden Bridge, Louisiana, where his daughter lives with his grandparents.

Sophie Thatcher has never been a risk taker, but she has no complaints and never thought her life lacked until her boyfriend of three years breaks off their relationship. Only then, does she begin to question what she’s missed by always playing it safe. Meeting Bryce is a call to action. She can let fear rule or trust in faith, which means taking the biggest risk of her life.

As the weeks and months pass, they discover finding each other was easy, but holding on will be a different story.

In Come to Me Alive, best-selling author Leah Atwood weaves an inspirational love story of redemption, faith and trust in God.


I’m all about trying new authors and I kind of sort like the idea of NA fiction so of course I had to read the Christian NA. My thoughts:

What I liked:

The premise. I mean, there’s just something about a famous person falling for a regular person that gets me every time.

Bryce. He was brutally honest. Always. And I loved it. There was no miscommunication when he was involved.

The romance. I hate insta-love. But there is insta-love here and it worked. For some reason, I totally got their romance and why they were attracted to each other physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Spiritually, there is this theme of grace that is quite lovely. I like how Sophie just accepts Bryce without making things a big deal.

What I didn’t like

Bryce was able to hide out in a small town and date Sophie, and so that meant that for the most part, Sophie was able to avoid his fame. I guess I just feel like his fame is part of what makes these kinds of books fascinating and it was mostly done away with (like it was there, but not really, Bryce didn’t seem all that famous to me).

The other thing was that when Sophie interacted with Bryce’s career she really freaked. I get it…but I didn’t get it.

Romance scale: 8

Overall, so very cute and definitely worth a read!

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Cover Love

In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she’s grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she’s come to despise.

A Flight of ArrowsNo one connected to Reginald Aubrey has remained untouched by his choice made twenty years ago. Not William, the Oneida child Reginald stole and raised as his own. Identity shattered, enlisted in the British army, William trains with Loyalists eager to annihilate the rebels who forced them into exile. Not Reginald’s daughter Anna, nor Two Hawks, William’s twin, who long for Reginald to accept their love that bridges two cultures. As the British prepare to attack frontier New York and Patriot regiments rally to defend it, loyalties will be tested, hearts divided, while two families separated by culture, united by love, will do all in their power to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

When Lucy’s secret is unearthed, her world begins to crumble. But it may be the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Lucy Alling makes a living selling rare books, often taking suspicious liberties to reach her goals. When her unorthodox methods are discovered, Lucy’s secret ruins her relationship with her boss and her boyfriend, James—leaving Lucy in a heap of hurt and trouble. Something has to change; she has to change.

In a sudden turn of events, James’s wealthy grandmother, Helen, hires Lucy as a consultant for a London literary and antiques excursion. Lucy reluctantly agrees and soon discovers Helen holds secrets of her own. In fact, Helen understands Lucy’s predicament better than anyone else.

As the two travel across England, Lucy benefits from Helen’s wisdom as Helen confronts ghosts from her own past. Everything comes to a head at Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters, where Lucy is reminded of the sisters’ beloved heroines who, with tenacity and resolution, endured—even in the midst of impossible circumstances

Now Lucy must face her past in order to move forward. And while it may hold mistakes and regrets, she will prevail—if only she can step into the life that’s been waiting for her all along.

I’m super excited about Lori Benton’s novel. Loved the first one (hated the cliffhanger). Female Robin Hoods are apparently in, I think that’s the fourth one I’ve seen this year. What are you looking forward to?