book, Book Review

An Uncertain Choice, by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:Book - An Uncertain Choice
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: NetGalley via Jody Hedlund’s Launch Team
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: An Uncertain Choice, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Historical
Rating: 5 out of 5

BOOK BLURB: Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, shortly before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice—if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.
Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the knights’ arrival results in a series of attacks within her land, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights—the one who appears the most guilty—had not already captured her heart. Continue reading “An Uncertain Choice, by Jody Hedlund”

book, Book Review

How to Catch a Prince, by Rachel Hauck

About the Book:Book - How to Catch a Prince
Author: Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Publisher Provided ARC
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Royal Weddings, book 3
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Christian
Rating: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: On my list of most-anticipated 2015 releases, this novel ranked high. It’s the final in a series of books that to some may appear to be no more than fluffy romances. I am here to deflate that mindset – or give it a go. These are really much more than just a happily-ever-after. Corina Del Ray is grieving. Her twin brother’s death shattered her family and now they are a shell of what they used to be. She’s trying to move on after a move to Florida and pursuing her journalism career, but everything about her past comes right back to the surface when Prince Stephen finds her. Married in secret to the prince once upon a time, Corina is shocked to learn that they are still married. The marriage was never annulled. In America at the order of his brother, Stephen is not completely over events of the past either. Stumbling in his rugby career, Stephen feels lost while recovering from an injury. The weight of a secret he still carries and coupled with seeing the woman who still owns his heart isn’t helping. Continue reading “How to Catch a Prince, by Rachel Hauck”

book, Book Review

Falling for Texas, by Jill Lynn

About the Book:Book - Falling for Texas
Author: Jill Lynn
Publisher: Steeple Hill
Source: Author Provided
Publication Date: 2015
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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Sweet romances are my “happy place” in reading. Yes, I will freely admit that. There is something “easy” about them that I cannot put my finger on, but do know they leave me happily smiling and normally willing to re-read. If I had the time, that is. But hey, at least I have the thought of re-reading – that totally counts, right!? Back on track, right. One of 2015’s debut authors, Jill Lynn’s contemporary romance tells the story of Olivia Grayson. A newcomer to Texas, Olivia is not without her secrets. Still suffering the emotional aftereffects of the string of bad choices she made, she wasn’t prepared for the stir rancher Cash Maddox would cause in her heart. The legal guardian and elder brother of her star volleyball player, Rachel, as Olivia gets to know Cash, she realizes that they could never be more than friends. Cash too is cautious as he gets to know Olivia. Truth is important to him in any relationship and right now Rachel needs to be his focus. But… something about Olivia makes him re-think his “no dating” policy. Continue reading “Falling for Texas, by Jill Lynn”

book, Book Review

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

About the Book:Book - If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak (Penguin)
Source: Purchase
Publication Date: 2012
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Series: If I Stay, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA/Teen
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: As I’ve expressed before, reviewing secular fiction is a tough business. It’s more complicated than the Christian fiction that dominated my reading for years so I’m just going to follow suit with my methods of reviewing that and say this: If I Stay was probably the (best) most surprising read of the year for me. The reasons why are recounted below though first, for anyone who may be unfamiliar with the material, here’s a little about what the book is about. It tells the first-person narrative about Mia. A high-school junior whose life is a happy one with her kind-of hippie parents (her dad is a teacher and mom is a travel agent) and her younger brother, Teddy. She is never really sure who she is or what’s to be and in a family of rockers (her dad once had his own band and travelled on tour, a life Mia grew up in), Mia is a talented classical musician who plays the cello. A talent her family has never seen the likes of. Into this life walks a student transfer named Adam who Mia explains just “was” when they met – he was confident in who he was already. Like her father, he’s a singer in a band and as his fame and recognition rises, he and Mia spend nearly every waking hour together. Though on this snow day when everything is not as perfect as their two years were, Mia’s life is forever about to change when it’s struck by tragedy. Continue reading “If I Stay by Gayle Forman”

book, Book Review

Sabotaged, by Dani Pettrey

About the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Author Provided / Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Alaskan Courage, book 5
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary/Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5

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Review: For three years, readers were invited on a journey with the McKenna family. Fictional yes, but so real was their depiction it seemed as if they might be next-door neighbors or best friends. Ushering in 2015 brought about the last story from the saga that started in 2012 with Submerged. This is the book with the most build-up considering it was about the one sibling that was never really properly introduced. The wild child of the family, Reef rarely spent time at home during his adult years. Instead he travelled and tried to fill his restlessness with casual dating and the adrenaline of extreme sports. Now he’s finally settled down and found peace in his belief in God. But his reunion with family and childhood friend Kirra Jacobs is sort lived. Kirra’s uncle disappears during an Iditarod musher race. Somehow it ties into a past Kirra never knew of her uncle and her cousin, Meg is missing. Continue reading “Sabotaged, by Dani Pettrey”

book, Book Review

The Vow, by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:Book - The Vow
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Purchased
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: An Uncertain Choice, 0.5
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Novella
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Known for her beautiful historical novels that explore unique times in history and feature swoon-worthy heroes, author Jody Hedlund is expanding into a new genre. Though keeping with her signature of history, she’s trying her hand at the young adult market and if the novella teaser is anything to go by, I think fans will approve. 14-year-old Rosemarie is travelling with her family when the Plague arrives, threatening her entire hunting party. The handsome knight she is beginning to care for volunteers to take her to safety at a convent where she stays until she’s sent for. When she is returned to her family home, it’s to news of her father’s death and the deathbed of her mother. The only claimant to her family’s wealth, Rosemarie learns that at the age of eighteen, an ancient edict will fall into place, a secret that will forever alter her future. Continue reading “The Vow, by Jody Hedlund”