Another Terrific Novel from Denise Hunter

The Trouble with Cowboys is another terrific novel in Denise Hunter’s Big Sky Romance series.  Annie Wilkerson is a horse trainer and part-time columnist.  But her paper has decided that a horse column no longer appeals to the readers, and ask her to write an advice to the lovelorn column instead.  Annie can’t afford to lose the column’s income, because she’s trying to put her younger sister through college and help provide for both her sister and her nephew.

Dylan Taylor desperately needs Annie’s help to retrain his beloved horse Braveheart, who is going blind and acting up out of fear.  Annie distrusts all cowboys, especially Dylan with his reputation as a playboy.  But she strikes a deal with him to help her with the advice column, because surely he knows more about love than anyone else in town.

Annie reminds me of myself in many ways.  She is strong and resourceful, but has trouble letting others, especially her sister Sierra, make their own mistakes.  She also finds it difficult to accept help from others.  Annie also makes some rash assumptions that cause problems for her as she judges people based on her imperfect knowledge.

Denise Hunter has written another great novel with characters you can relate to as they grapple with real issues.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Lis Wiehl Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat

Darkness Rising is the middle book in Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson’s East Salem trilogy.  Dani Harris is a forensic psychiatrist who serves as a consultant for the district attorney’s office in East Salem, NY.  Tommy Gunderson, her boyfriend and would-be private eye, is a retired pro football player and owner of a local gym.  Having solved a murder committed by a student at St. Adrian’s boarding school, they are now investigating the school itself.  St. Adrian’s is having an exhibition of paintings by a Dutch artist that are not what they seem.  Meanwhile, there are still the mysterious wanderings and ramblings of Tommy’s neighbor Abbe Gardener to unravel.

Middle books in trilogies are notoriously difficult to write, but this one will keep you on the edge of your seat.  I actually liked it even better than the first book in the series.  There are twists and turns, mysteries solved and new puzzles cropping up.  Several things happened that I did not see coming.  The characters are multidimensional and believable.

You do not need to read the first book in the trilogy to enjoy this one.  However, there are several spoilers in this book  as the authors bring the reader up to date on what has happened so fa.  Darkness Rising can be enjoyed by itself, but I for one would not enjoy reading the books out of order.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Authentic Police Procedural from Jerry Jenkins

Boone Drake loves his life.  He loves his wife, his young son, his job as the youngest bureau chief on the Chicago police force.  At the beginning of The Breakthrough, Jerry B. Jenkins’ latest in the Precinct 11 series, Boone is right with God, right with his wife, and all is right with his world.

But Boone’s peaceful world is soon shattered, with those he loves most in danger.  Now he must make difficult decisions.  His loved ones are separated and he can’t protect all of them himself.  Who does he go to?  Who does he trust to others, and ultimately, to God?

Jerry B. Jenkins has written another fast-paced, action-packed thriller.  His knowledge of the Chicago police force, gleaned from his immediate family members who have served, brings an authentic ring to the story.  Jerry B. Jenkins may be best known as the co-author of the Left Behind series, but that is only one facet of the talented writer’s work.  The Precinct 11 series is equally as enthralling.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my review.

Check out my next post for a way to win a copy of The Breakthrough!

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Win a Copy of The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins

I am giving away a copy of The Breakthrough, the latest novel in Jerry B. Jenkins’ Precinct 11 series.  All you have to do to enter is comment on this post with your e-mail address.  Comments will not be visible to the public from this post only.

Entries may be made until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2012.  Only one entry per person, please; multiple entries will not increase your chance of winning.  I will notify the winner by e-mail on Monday, October 1, 2012.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Giveaway | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Read for the Porch Swing at Twilight

Twice a Bride is the fourth book in Mona Hodgson’s Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series.   Willow Raines Peterson is not a Sinclair sister, but a Sinclair sister-in-law, the sister of Ida Sinclair Raines’ husband Tucker.  Willow and Tucker have just buried their father, and Willow is still hurting over the loss of her husband two years ago.

Trenton Van Der Veer is also newcomer to Cripple Creek, having opened up his photography studio there two months before Willow’s arrival.  When he hires Willow to paint portraits, he doesn’t realize that she’s a widow.  Nor does he know that his former fiancée is headed his way.

Twice a Bride is a relaxing read, with friends from previous Sinclair Sisters books, as well as some real historical characters brought to life by Mona Hodgson’s prose.  I found it the perfect book to read after supper, sitting on the swing until twilight made it impossible to see the page.

I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Engrossing Story about Choices

Robert Whitlow’s “The Choice” opens up in Rutland, Georgia in 1974.  Sandy Lincoln is 17, pregnant, and scared.  There are so many choices she has to make.  Her boyfriend Brad wants her to have a newly-legal abortion, promising to marry her afterward.  His parents want the abortion but don’t want the kids to stay together.  Sandy’s aunt Linda has offered to let her stay with her in Atlanta, going to school there and giving the baby up for adoption.  Another option would be for Sandy to drop out of school, get her GED and have the baby in Rutland.

Sandy agonizes over this decision and others that follow, receiving advice from her parents, friends, aunt and boyfriend, but ultimately having to make the choice herself.  And as I read, I was right there with her.  What choices would I have made in her shoes?  What choices would I want my daughter to make?

In Part II, we find Sandy, 33 years later.  Whitlow shows how the choice she made as a 17 year old has impacted the rest of her life.  Now Sandy is a teacher, and wants to help Maria, a young girl from a troubled family who is pregnant and facing the same choices that Sandy once had to make.  But the school counselor doesn’t appreciate Sandy’s interference.

Whitlow has written an engrossing story, with his legal prowess showing in the second half of the book.  While the first half is fairly straightforward with only a few surprises, the second half offers many twists and turns on its way to a satisfying conclusion.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Florence Italy Comes Alive

Meg loves the Italian city of Florence.  She dreams of visiting the city that her grandmother described so lovingly.  Despite her father’s 18-year-old promise to take her there, the closest she’s gotten is talking with travel writers Lorenzo and Renata DiSanti via Skype.

Sofia Borelli is a neighbor of Lorenzo and Renata in Florence.  She has written a powerful story that parallels her life with that of a Medici descendant of the sixteenth century, Nora Orsini.  Sofia also claims to be descended from the powerful Medici family.

Susan Meissner overlaps the stories of the three women, alternately writing of the childhoods of Nora and Sofia and the contemporary stories of Sofia and Meg.  In some ways, Meg relates better to Sofia and Nora than she does to her own life with family crises and her uncertain love life.  Ultimately, Meg and Sofia must examine who is the girl they see when each stares into the looking glass.

After reading this, you will feel as though you’ve been to Florence, seen the sights, and sat in a local café drinking a cappuccino or enjoying a gelato with your Italian friends.  Meissner makes the city come alive; it is almost another central character in the story.

I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Story of Hope and Growth

Ava is blessed.  She has a loving husband with a good job that provides a comfortable lifestyle.  She has a daughter in college who is engaged to be married, and she has a son in high school who is a star on the football team.  She even has a ministry, comforting those who have just experienced a tragic loss.  Her life is far different from her childhood.

Suddenly, Ava’s life starts to unravel.  Her husband is working too many hours and won’t discuss problems at work.  Her daughter flies home unexpectedly from college.  And Ava must face the tragedies of her childhood before she can grow to deal with the challenges she faces now.

Song of the Brokenhearted shows how clearly the authors understand human emotions and how our past impacts our present and sometimes our future.  Ava can overcome once she understands the ties that bind her to the fears of her childhood.  Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma have written a well-crafted story of hope and growth.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Book for a Summer Evening

The Bride Wore Blue is the third book in Mona Hodgson’s Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series.  Vivian, the youngest sister, has just arrived from Maine with Aunt Alma as her chaperone.  Always feisty and hiding her own secret, Vivian arrives in town having tripped a bandit who robbed their train.  This puts her square in the path of Deputy Carter Alwyn, who cannot understand why Vivian repeatedly rebuffs his offer of friendship.

Vivian’s life in Cripple Creek seems to be nothing but one disappointment after another.  The job she wants doesn’t come through, and she is quickly fired from another.  In desperation, she becomes a hostess welcoming customers to the local “sporting house” where the “other women” in town work.  Now she has more secrets to hide from her family.

This is an enjoyable story with a few plot twists as Carter tries to hunt the bandits and win over Vivian.  The redemption theme is strong and well-played.  It is a good read for a summer evening, and you do not have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one.

I received this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah’s Blogging for Books program.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Light-Hearted Look at Facing Challenges and Changes

What would you do if you lost the main skill or ability that is essential to your job?

Daphne Sweeten trained in Paris as a perfume creator.  She left Paris and took a job in Dayton, Ohio to be with her fiance after they marry.   But he never showed up at the wedding.  Not only has Daphne lost her dream of a happy future as Mrs. Mark Goodsmith, but she has also lost her sense of smell.  What kind of perfume can she create when she can’t even smell coffee?

Daphne bravely leaves her friends and family in California and heads toward an uncertain future in Dayton.  Here she must handle her attractive new boss Jesse, coworkers who range from indifferent to hostile, and a house that Mark bought that is far from ideal.  All of this takes its toll on her, and at the same time, she is trying to hide the fact that she can’t smell anything.

Kristin Billerbeck gives us a light-hearted take on some serious issues, and shows how we can find the strength to go on despite difficult circumstances.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment