A ‘Lit’ Update (yes, I cringed at myself)

I try to post book-related things on Wednesdays, and I haven’t finished a book this week, so I don’t have one to post about specifically, but I decided to write a post about what I’m currently reading and what I’m looking forward to reading next.  I usually do this just at the end/beginning of a year, but since summer’s a great time for reading, it’s always useful to know some good books to pick up.

Continue reading “A ‘Lit’ Update (yes, I cringed at myself)”

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Redeeming Love

Perhaps one of the most-loved pieces of Christian fiction, especially of the romance genre, Redeeming Love has been recommended to me over and over again.  I finally read it last month and wanted to share my thoughts with you all!

The story is a loose parallel to the biblical account of Hosea, except it is set during the California gold rush in the 1840-50s.  This fictional account gives a personal look at how God is faithful to us, time and again, no matter how often we leave Him or how far we run.  Its power and timelessness lies in the emotional impact of the story and how relatable the characters’ feelings are.  Its draw and effect were not lost on me; I sat down and read the whole novel in one afternoon (quite the feat since it’s around 450 pages).  I, without hesitation, join the line of women recommending this book.  It does have some mature themes and scenes, so I’d limit it to mature teenagers and up, but the message of God’s love, faithfulness, and pursuit is so relevant to all of us.

I’ve had this book sitting on the bookshelves for years, so the only incentive in writing this review was to share the story with you all! If you do end up buying it through the link above, there’s two things you’d ought to know: 1) I’d love to know your thoughts on the story, so please comment them on this post! and 2) I will receive a small percentage from your purchase of the book, but it doesn’t increase your price at all, just helps to support me.

xo,

love first, love well, love anyway-4

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The Pirate Bride

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo is part of a unique new series being published by Barbour Publishing Group.  In this series, each book is written by a different author and takes us through American history.  The first book starts with the Mayflower, and the last book (at least the last announced one, there may be more coming that are as of yet unannounced) is set during the war of 1812.

A description of the book and overview of the series is as follows:

“Can a former privateer and a determined heiress find lost treasure in 1725?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. Continue reading “The Pirate Bride”

A Daring Venture

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden is the second book in the Empire State series, following A Dangerous Legacywhich you can find my review of here.

This book follows the story of Nicholas Drake, brother of the heroine of book one.   Continue reading “A Daring Venture”

The Weaver’s Daughter

As promised last Wednesday, today I’m back to give you some information on the other book I received from the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild last month.  This week’s book is The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd.

Continue reading “The Weaver’s Daughter”

Together Forever

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund is the second book in the Orphan Train series, the sequel to With You Alwayswhich you can find my review of here.  While I suppose this book could work as a stand-alone, it will make more sense if you read book 1 to get background on the characters: who they are and how they came to be where they are at the start of book 2.

Marianne Neumann works with the Children’s Aid Society placing orphans from the streets of New York with families out west.  While she works, she looks for records of her younger sister Sophie who disappeared in book 1.  In doing so, she befriends another placing out agent, Andrew Brady, and the two of them travel out on the orphan train with a group of kids and the two of them learn to love and let go along the way. Continue reading “Together Forever”

Holding the Fort

Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings is the first book in a new series set at Fort Reno in Indian Territory, late 1800s.

Louisa Bell just got fired from her job singing at a saloon in Kansas, and is trying to make herself some money and find her brother. In doing so, she accidentally lands herself a job as a governess for Major Adams’ two daughters.

Major Adams, after losing his wife, needs help raid his two girls at a military fort in Indian Territory. He has no idea how to turn his daughters into proper young ladies and while he has his reservations about Ms. Bell, he is just glad to have the assistance.

There are certain reasons I enjoy Regina Jennings’ novels: the historical western setting, the laugh-out-loud humor, the likable characters, and the unique romances. This novel only had the historical western setting. I found this book really hard to get into, the plot slow-moving, the characters unlikable, and the dialogue and quirkiness usually found in Jennings’ novels missing. I was disappointed in how long Louisa kept up her deception (over 90% of the book), and felt that the romance between her and the major was not believable. They had virtually no chemistry and the only reason that they seemed to get together was their common love for the Major’s daughters. The only redeeming quality of the book for me was the message of salvation woven into it, but even that seemed out of place in the midst of how disappointed I was in the rest of the book. I would recommend Karen Witemeyer’s Head in the Clouds over this book if you’re looking to find a Christian historical western about a governess who falls in love with the child’s father.

Thank you to Net Galley and Bethany House publishers for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.

The Crooked Path

The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert is the sequel to Child of the River, both of which are published by Thomas Nelson and set in South Africa during the mid-1900s.

This was such a beautiful book! Joubert takes us on a heartfelt, emotional journey through the lives of a group of friends growing up in South Africa during World War II, and the plot line coincides with that of Child of the River.  The characters grab onto your heartstrings and won’t let go! I finished this book in just a couple of days.  It felt like a short story but also a good, hearty one because there wasn’t a moment where the plot dragged or slowed.  I was constantly kept guessing as to what would happen next, which is somewhat unusual in books for me.  I was caught off guard several times by the plot twists, and had four or five burst-into-tears moments and one throw-the-book-across-the-room moment.  The South African setting lent a unique perspective to the second World War, and the message of the book about life being a crooked path yet one worth walking on was beautifully intertwined into the story.  This is a story I will want to read over and over, and tell all my friends and family about.  It is, quite frankly, phenomenal.

Thank you to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.  All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*