Grave Consequences

 

Grave Consequences: A Novel (Grand Tour Series)

 

 

 

 

“Grave Consequences” by Lisa T. Bergren

 

Oh, I don’t even know where to begin in reviewing this book.  One thing for sure, if you have not read the prequel to this book, “Glamorous Illusions”, then you must read it first.  This trilogy, the third book in which is entitled “Glittering Promises”, is rather complex in its plot, characters, and ever-changing setting.  Please see my review on “Glamorous Illusions” to help: Glamorous Illusions

 

Now, I will continue as if you have already read and are familiar with the plot and characters of the first book, because going back over all of it is a review within itself (see link above).

 

Cora Diehl Kensington and her siblings decide to continue on their Grand Tour of Europe, even with known kidnappers trailing them.  They move on from Pierre’s house and onto his sister’s, which if I remember correctly was in Italy. (There are so many places to remember that they went to!)  In her time away from Pierre and threats in Italy, Cora’s feelings for Will grow.

 

Will and his uncle continue leading the Grand Tour for the Kensingtons and Morgans.  With every twist and turn, Will finds himself growing closer to Cora, yet he knows that he must remain her guide and nothing more….because her father would ruin both of them.

 

When the kidnappers and a supposed friend turn on them, what will Cora do? Who will she lean on to stand, when Pierre comes back in the picture? What will her father think of her courters?

 

I believe I can truly say I’ve never read a more heart-and-gut-wrenching series.  When I was about 90 percent of the way through the book, I stopped reading it for about two weeks out of sheer terror of the ending! However, I can say the ending isn’t nearly as, shall we say, cruel, as the first book. Whew.  Still, be prepared for a ride! You may want to clear your schedule because this will keep you on the edge of your seat.

 

Thank you so much to Net Galley and David C. Cook publishers for letting me read and review this book.  The setting, plot, and characters are so realistic they remain with me long after I finish reading!

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To Honor and Trust

 

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“To Honor and Trust” by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller was given to me by Bethany House publishers on the condition that I honestly review this book.  All opinions are my own.

Callie Deboyer is a governess who travels to Bridal Veil Island to work for the Bridgeport family over the winter.  She helps the family greatly with the children’s studies as well as hiring a new nanny.

Wes Townsend moves with his family to Bridal Veil Island, where they continue to pester him about finding a wife as well as working for the family business.  Wes desires to do neither, and especially doesn’t want to attend the welcoming party being held in his family’s honor.

Callie, as well, is expected to attend this party, even though she would rather send the new nanny and stay at home with the children.  But when her employer and the children’s nanny tell her to go, what will she do? Will Wes have decided to attend as well? Will they meet each other and what will happen between them?

With deceit and plot twists, pulling of the heart and calling of God, this made for a fairly good book.  This book was pretty slow moving at the start, but then I became more interested in the plot as well as the characters, and continued reading.  It made for a nice read, overall.

As I said before, thank you to Bethany House publishers for letting me read and review this book.

Undeniably Yours

 

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“Undeniably Yours” by Becky Wade

I had high expectations for this book because I had absolutely loved Becky Wade’s first book, “My Stubborn Heart”. This book met and exceeded my expectations, but in a different way than I was expecting.

This book is set in modern-day Texas, where Meg Cole has recently inherited her father’s multi-million dollar oil business. She doesn’t know how or look forward to running this, and in her first couple of weeks she fires several people. However, there is one man who refuses to be fired.

Bo Porter runs a Thoroughbred farm, and refuses to close it when his boss, Meg Cole, insists he shut it down. He is a cowboy through and through and decides to do whatever he can to change Meg’s mind.

In addition to this crisis, a woman hurt by Meg’s ex-husband comes into Meg’s life, and Meg reconsiders everything she is using her father’s money for, to find her true purpose in life.

Once Meg and Bo finally have some understanding between them, and even a little attraction, will an evil force from Meg’s past tear them and their trust of each other apart?

Thank you so much to Bethany House and Net Galley for letting me read and review this book! I thoroughly enjoyed it because the plot was so intense and unpredictable!

The Tutor’s Daughter

 

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“The Tutor’s Daughter” by Julie Klassen is an excellent book! I have read several of Julie Klassen’s books before and had high expectations on this book. These expectations were exceeded! A book of fine quality and obvious research, this book was accurate, historically, as far as I could tell, and had an interesting plot that will hook you from the start.

Emma Smallwood and her father run a small, private school. When all their students have left, and Emma senses her father getting somewhat depressed, she contacts the father of two of her previous students, knowing he has two more sons, and asking whether or not he is interested in having them attend the Smallwood school. She receives a letter back inviting the Smallwoods to his (the Weston) estate, and Emma and her father pack their bags.

Phillip and Henry Weston remember their childhood teacher and his daughter, and are pleased, for the most part, to see the Smallwoods again. Both find that they think of Emma fondly.

Not only does Emma have to deal with seeing the elder Weston sons again, one whom she was great friends with and the other who always played practical jokes on her, but there are several mysterious noises at the Weston estate. She senses that the Westons are hiding things from her, and is suspicious. Beyond that, Emma keeps hearing someone in her bedroom at night. Will she figure out what is going on, as well as which brother to trust with her heart?

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Bethany House publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. This was one of the best books I have read in a while, because of not only the mystery but the depth of the characters and the plot.

Rush to the Altar

 

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***”Rush to the Altar” by Jamie Carie is, at the time of this post, only $4.99 at the Kindle Store. Clicking on the picture above will redirect you there.***

 

I have pretty much read all of Mrs. Carie’s works, and they have been ok, but sometimes a bit ‘intense’ in some cases. This book was over-the-top in these areas. Let me explain the characters, and then I will get to the pros and cons.

 

Maddie Goode is a single-mom with a two-year-old son named Max. Her husband, Brandon, was killed in a car accident six months before. She is out of work. Maddie’s friend Sasha wins a radio contest that gets them tickets to the next basketball game in town. Maddie isn’t a huge basketball fan, but her friend convinces her to take the night out. (Maddie and her son are currently living with her parents.) Through a series of extremely unlikely events, Maddie lands a high-position job for the basketball team. The whole events leading up to her landing this job were so unrealistic it was comical. Suffice it to say, she gets the job and runs into the “hot” basketball players on the team.

 

Jake Hart is one of those players. He runs into Maddie holding his underwear for a job interview (don’t ask). That is pretty much how they meet, and seeing how this is a romance novel, you can probably guess the rest of the story. However, there are several huge plots twists that come along, so don’t just take my review for it.

 

Now, for the pros and cons:

 

Pros:

 

This was a cute story.

 

Cons:

 

Swear words were used twice throughout the book. And not just “So-and-so swore under his breath”; no, the actual word was printed in the book.

 

Drinking heavily to the point of insulting Maddie was in the book, but only once. However, characters are shown-er, written- as drinking several different alcoholic drinks for different reasons through the book. (I.e. in anger, at a party, in celebration, etc.)

 

Kissing was heavy in this book and made it appear less “sacred” than I believe it to be. Sometimes things got a bit too passionate for my taste.

 

Sex was shown as something done just, well, because so-and-so was a couple, even when they weren’t married. Now, I realize that some people may not share my same opinions on this, and how far is “too far”, but for this to have been written by a self-proclaimed Christian, this was too much, a stumbling block, if you will. (Note: the actual act is not written about, just referred to)

 

SPOILER: Maddie and Jake get married on a whim without consulting or even telling their parents (or Max).

 

SPOILER: Maddie’s first husband had a mistress………while he was married to Maddie.

 

In addition to those “personal” cons, there were also several noticeable grammatical errors, and more than just “a few” mistakes.

 

As for character development, I personally didn’t think it was all that great. Only the two main characters were really focused on, leaving you to wonder what was happening with the others, including Maddie’s son.

 

All in all, I realize this was Mrs. Carie’s first try at something other than historical romance, but I really didn’t like it. It’s not one I would read again or recommend.   However, this book is marketed for general contemporary romance, not inspiration/Christian romance.  This apparently changes the standards of the content.

 

Thank you so much to Mrs. Carie for providing me with a copy of “Rush to the Altar” to review.

Another Free Book Alert!!

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I’m jumping for joy because there is another great book on Kindle that’s free!! Mary Connealy is an excellent and funny romance author.  I’ve reviewed one of her books already and read three of them (including this one), the one I reviewed being “Swept Away” (yes, the review is on this blog).  Please download this book for your Kindle, Nook, etc.; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! And yes, just click on the picture above and you should be redirected to amazon to download it :).

Catch a Falling Star

 

 

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Catch a Falling Star is written by Beth Vogt and published by Howard Books. Beth Vogt wrote one of my favorite books, “Wish You Were Here”, so I had high expectations for this book.

And boy oh boy, did it ever measure up! This is a sweet romance book that has some unexpected mystery in it. Dr. Kendall Haynes is family doctor in her thirties, unmarried, and still holding out for “Mr. Right”. She does not think that she will get married, judging by how all her fellow girlfriends are engaged or already married, as well as her own younger sister, who is engaged. However, Kendall keeps a smile on her face and devotes herself to helping kids with asthma and allergies.

Griffin Walker is an ex-pilot in the Air Force, due to a case of vertigo that he can’t rid himself of. When his parents die, they put him in charge of his adopted younger brother Ian, who is sixteen. Ian has severe allergies that Griffin does know about.

Heath Parker takes up an interest in Kendall, and is quite flattering to her. Kendall thinks she’s finally found the man of her dreams. But after her dates with him, her heart fills her head with thoughts of another. Add to that the pressure that Kendall’s sister is adding to her about wanting a family heirloom, and Kendall is a wreck. Who will her heart choose, and will it be God’s will for her life?

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Howard publishers for letting me read and review this book. I have really enjoyed this author’s works in the past, and this one was no different. I would totally recommend this!

Forsaken Dreams

 

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“Forsaken Dreams” is the first book in a new series by Mary Lu Tyndall, “Escape to Paradise”. What a true title; these books will sweep you off your feet into a world of romance, God, spiritual warfare, and the high seas!

This story is set post-Civil War, when a widowed wife of a Yankee soldier, Eliza Crawford, boards a ship to Brazil, looking to leave her past and scorn from her southern peers behind. Colonel Grant Wallace also wants to leave his past behind. He barely manages to escape his past long enough to board his own ship, before it attempts to catch up with him.

Several people aboard this boat are looking to start a new life in Brazil, and also are the main characters in later books in this series. For now, though, we just have to focus on Widow Eliza Crawford and the Colonel/Captain of the ship, Grant Wallace.

Eliza Crawford married a Yankee against her family’s wishes, and paid a price when he died in the war, leaving her nothing but scorn from the people surrounding her. She boards this boat in hopes of a new life.

But adventure abounds, a new kind than that of previous Mary Lu Tyndall novels, at least to some extent: spiritual warfare is present, and very real. Of course, there is still the trademark sea battles, romance, and adventure expected of a Tyndall novel.

Thank you to Net Galley and Barbour Publishing for letting me read and review this novel. I really liked the excitement and suspense.

A Word of Encouragement for all my fellow Princesses

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.  Arise, come my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” (Song of Solomon 2:11-13)  God loves us so much.  Well, this is probably an understatement that you have heard a lot.  It’s true; however small or insignificant you may feel, God loves you and rejoices in you.  He is preparing you to become the bride of His one-and-only Son, Jesus.  God wants you to rejoice in Him, keeping your focus on Him instead of your troubles.  In Isaiah 41: 13, God says to you, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  Just imagine, the One who created the whole universe for His glory taking time out of His day to walk next to you and hold your hand.  God is so in love with us, and He wants our feelings to be mutual.  He wants us to put our whole being into loving and following Him, and not other things, because He is jealous for us.  Can you believe it? God, in charge of armies and armies of angels, wants us.  In Exodus 20:5b-6, God tells us, “for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand  generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”  Don’t you love it when, after a punishment, there is always a “but”? That’s when God is pretty much saying, “I know what’s best for you-Me.  I will punish you when you do wrong so that you can see that, but I will always love you and welcome you back to Me.” The Lord deserves our praise, and uses us to bring further glory to His Almighty Name! Jesus has redeemed us from our sins, and wants us to remain pure in Him.  He has forgiven your sins and is just waiting to bless you! In Zephaniah 3:14-15, 17, 20, God says, “’Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy.  The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.  The Lord your God is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.  At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home.  I will give you honor and praise among all the people of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,’ says the Lord.”  At the end of verse 15, we see another name of the Lord, the King of Israel.  When you become a Christian, you become a child of God.  What is the daughter of a King called? A princess! So when you become a Christian, you also become a princess.  Not an earthly princess, with billions of dollars, but a princess in the palm of God.  Not only are you a daughter of the King of Kings, but you also are betrothed to His Son, the Prince of Peace.  Stop and consider that for a moment.  In verse 17, the Lord says that He is with you, and that He is mighty to save. “Mighty to save” means that He doesn’t just throw you a rope for you to climb out of your ditch.  It doesn’t just mean that he will give you a Hello-Kitty band-aid! It means that the Lord has lots of power, and when He saves you, you will be redeemed from your sins in His timing and He will hold you in His hand.  He says in Isaiah 49: 16, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”  God sees your troubles, your “walls”, and is holding you in His hand while you go through hard times and good times. Even when you may not be feeling up to it, God wants you to bring glory to His name.  He says in Isaiah 42:6-8, “I, the Lord, have called you into righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.  I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.  I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.”  Again, the Lord is saying that He will take hold of your hand and lead you to show others that He has redeemed them, just like He did for you.  God wants all people to live for Him and rejoice in Him.  He wants us to stay in Him, in everything, and stay pure.  2 Corinthians 11:2 says, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.” In case you have not quite grasped the point, let me close with these two verses from Hosea 2:19-20.  They say, “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.  I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”  The Lord will love you forever.  Think on that today, and share with others about how YOU are a princess of God, betrothed to your very own Prince of Peace, who has redeemed you and given you life! Go and bring glory to your King today!