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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Guest Post: Rachel Hauck

Today on the blog I have the privilege of sharing some writing by Rachel Hauck! Rachel writes Christian fiction with Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, and she has a great newsletter that I’m subscribed to.  Recently, I received a newsletter from her and absolutely loved what she had written, so I contacted her to ask if she would let me share it with you all today, and she agreed! Continue reading “Guest Post: Rachel Hauck”

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”

Falling for You

Falling for You by Becky Wade is the second book in her “Bradford Sisters Romance” series, following True to You.  Falling for You works just fine as a stand-alone, however if you want some bonus background information on the characters, be aware that the heroine is the sister of the heroine in True to You and the hero is best friends with the hero from Becky Wade’s “Porter Family” series book 4, Her One and Only.

This book picks up following the story of the eldest Bradford sister, Willow. Continue reading “Falling for You”

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.

A Loyal Heart

A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund is the fourth installment in her young adult historical series, which began with the prequel novella The Vow and continued through the following three books, An Uncertain ChoiceA Daring Sacrifice, and For Love and Honor.

This has been a really enjoyable series that got better with each installment.  Geared towards teenage and young adult audiences, I think it would be enjoyable for adults as well.

This novel follows the story of Sir Aldric and Lady Olivia.  I don’t want to say anything about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away, and there’s not much I can say about these two characters and how they meet without getting into spoilers.  So, I’ll go straight into what I loved about this book.  First of all, these characters are adorable and have fantastic chemistry.  I love the tangles they get themselves into as they learn who is trustworthy and understand more of people’s motives.  The plot keeps moving and keeps you engaged; I literally finished this book in one sitting.  I picked it up and did not put it down until I had finished it.  I loved the storyline, I loved the setting, and I loved the time period.  These young adults novels are definitely winners for me as well as my younger sisters, and address important issues like being trustworthy and having integrity and good character while being wholesome entertainment.

Thank you to the author 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.

*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.*

The Realms Beyond

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The Realms Beyond by Bo Burnette is the second book in The Reinhold Chronicles series, following about a year after the events of The Fiery Arrow.   I would definitely recommend reading these in order and not as stand alones, because the story picks up following the life of the same character, Arliss, and her journey to find out the truth of her and her people’s existence.  There are a lot of legends, clues, and character development that build from the first book.

So this story picks up with Arliss having discovered a taste of what is beyond her kingdom of Reinhold, and in this book we find her heading out on another adventure to find more out about the realms beyond her own, as well as to protect her people from imminent danger.

I liked this sequel more than the original, which is often hard to say about books! I found that the action was easier to see in my imagination, to picture who was were in a scene and such, and the characters more developed and likable.  The plot kept twisting and the aura was just mythical and magical.  It was the medieval treasure hunt you wish you could watch in a movie.  My only complaint was that there seemed to be too many characters for me to keep track of who was who, but in the second half of the book that became easier too.  I would recommend this to tween and teenagers looking for a good, exciting read!

Thank you to the author 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.

*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.*