Book Review

The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert

About the Book:Book - The Perfect Arrangement

Author: Katie Ganshert

Publisher: Zondervan

Source: Publisher (BookLook)

Publication Date: 2015

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Series: Year of Weddings 2, #11

Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Novella

Rating: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: As part of my mental exercise of expanding my reading palate, apparently part of my unspoken 2015 goal is to read more novellas. It seems like the past two months alone have involved paging through novellas, all of which have been amazing reads. My latest find is from the pen of Katie Ganshert and as per usual is one of the sweetest little stories I’ve yet to read. The story is simple: A young woman, Amelia meets Nate thanks to a serendipitous case of happenstance. Through a series of flubs, the pair wind up writing emails; letters that tell the other person much. When Nate eventually pursues a relationship that involves finding Amelia in person, she’ll have to admit to the one thing that might drive him away before they’ve even had a chance to begin…  Continue reading “The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert”

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You’re the One That I Want by Susan May Warren

About the Book:You're the One that I Want (Susan May Warren) Book

Author: Susan May Warren

Publisher: Tyndale House

Source: Publisher ARC

Publication Date: 2016

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Series: Christiansen Family, 6

Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: Following the cascade of certain events (vague for the sake of spoilers!) taking place in When I Fall in Love, I was sure that when the time came for Owen’s story I wasn’t going to have any loyalty or much of an inclination to read this novel. This was further reinforced after reading Always on My Mind, which was brother Casper’s story. I felt like because of some of the choices Owen had made and the eventual pairing of Casper and Raina, the woman who shared something with Owen, there would be no way to coax a redeemable story out of this character. Before I share thoughts on this, the sixth and final novel in this family saga, here’s what Owen’s story is about.   Continue reading “You’re the One That I Want by Susan May Warren”

Book Review

Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts

About the Book:Book - Young Widows Club

Author: Alexandra Coutts

Publisher: Mac Teen Books (Farrar Straus Giroux)

Source: Publisher provided ARC

Publication Date: 2015

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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen Contemporary

Rating: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: From the moment I saw the title for this piece of YA lit, I was hooked. It’s rare that a YA novel sticks with me as this novel’s premise did. In my experience of this genre, I’d never before run across this idea which is why Alexandra’s second novel (at least by this non de plume) intrigued so much. The reason for this is the story, which follows 17-year-old Tamsen. Tam isn’t like most girls her age. Instead of giggling with her girlfriends or preparing for senior year, she is burying her husband. She married young and was only married a matter of weeks before her beloved Noah’s heart stopped. Suddenly her forever was nevermore. Feeling without a purpose, Tam moves back to her father’s house where she is expected to go back to mundane life by finishing school, but with such a dark cloud over her, will anything ever feel normal again? Continue reading “Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts”

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Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann

About the Book:Book Told You So (Kristen Heitzmann)

Author: Kristen Heitzmann

Publisher: bHd Books

Source: Author Provided (Launch Team)

Publication Date: 2015

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Series: Told You, Book 1

Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Indie

Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: I still remember reading my first novel by Kristen Heitzmann. It came about thanks to the INSPY Awards and the specific book was The Breath of Dawn. Needless to say and without getting into detail, I was wonderstruck by it. That was three years ago and since then, there has been nothing new from this talented author. Until now. Now, Kristen Heitzmann is revisiting the title of author in a big way: she has joined the ranks of Indie authors. Her first Indie book just released and is as delightful as one would expect. Continue reading “Told You So by Kristen Heitzmann”

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Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:Book - Luther and Katharina

Author: Jody Hedlund

Publisher: Waterbrook

Source: Author (Publisher) Provided

Publication Date: 2015

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Genre: Fiction; Historical (Biography), Romance

Rating:

Review: I’ve never been what someone would call an avid reader of historical events or figures. Any kind of historical “biography” type story kind of scares me off. Those I do experience are exclusive to the silver screen, which we all know is often skewed to suit entertainment purposes. That is also where anything I know about Martin Luther really came from as I vaguely remember watching the film starring Joseph Fiennes in the role of Luther. When I learned Jody Hedlund was tackling the iconic figure, I confess my reaction was one of neutrality. However, it’s safe to posit I have a different opinion now I’ve actually read this nearly 400-page tome…  Continue reading “Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund”

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Lost Lake House by Elisabeth Grace Foley

About the Novella:Book - Lost Lake House2

Author: Elisabeth Grace Foley

Publisher: Second Sentence Press

Source: Author provided

Publication Date: 2016

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Series: Historical Fairytales, novella #2

Genre: Fiction; Historical, Novella

Rating: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: Novellas were never my thing as a reader. Or at least I didn’t think they were. Fortunately, I chose to ignore that niggling at the back of my mind and forged ahead. Since then, I’ve read a handful or more novellas that were absolutely and I might not have discovered had I let my prejudice affect my decisions. This is one such novella. Following up her 2015 release Coral Nocturne, new-on-the-scene author Elisabeth Grace Foley gives her readers what I’d assume is another (I’ve yet to read her debut), charming coming-of-age story. Continue reading “Lost Lake House by Elisabeth Grace Foley”

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Siren’s Song by Mary Weber

About the Book:Book - Siren's Song

Author: Mary Weber

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Harper Collins)

Source: Author/Publisher Provided

Publication Date: 2016

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Series: Storm Siren Trilogy, 3

Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: One of the most anticipated YA reads of 2016, Siren’s Song, has finally hit store shelves and with it, closes out a grand adventure. As with any series ender there are bound to be some bittersweet feelings for anyone who has been a fanigirl of the series. Mary Weber’s fantasy series caused more than a little stir in the bookish world and because of this, it was next to impossible not to be caught up in the exhilarating world.   Continue reading “Siren’s Song by Mary Weber”

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The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

About the Book:Book - Wedding Chapel

Author: Rachel Hauck

Publisher: Zondervan

Source: Publisher

Publication Date: 2015

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Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Investing in The Wedding Chapel isn’t hard. The decades long love story is sure to stir the reader’s emotions and as is true to the signature style that is Rachel Hauck, the book has a wonderful concept of love so that despite the complex story, by its conclusion everything is wonderfully brought full circle. At the core, the story is about two couples. The first is Jimmy and Collette; 19240s, high school sweethearts, life hasn’t been kind to the now elderly couple. Collette left, leaving Jimmy with a shattered heart and nothing but a shell of a dream. In the present day, Taylor married Jack on a whim – in fact, they eloped much to the shock and horror of Taylor’s family. Six months into their marriage and Taylor senses their relationship is fading – fast. Leaving to return to her hometown for a job, it takes a wedding chapel, a reunion and a carefully hidden secret for over 50 years to open their hearts to new possibilities.   Continue reading “The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck”

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A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:Book - A Daring Sacrifice

Author: Jody Hedlund

Publisher: Zondervan

Source: Author/Publisher ARC Provided

Publication Date: 2016

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Series: An Uncertain Choice, book 2

Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Historical, Re-Telling

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

REVIEW: When accomplished historical novelist Jody Hedlund decided to enter the fray (because, yes, it is a competitive field) known as YA literature, those of us who were already devoted fans knew it was bound to be a wonderful novel. With her debut An Uncertain Choice, we were treated to a medieval fairytale in the most chaste of manners. With her follow-up A Daring Sacrifice, she continues on with that charming trademark of historical fiction “magic.”  Continue reading “A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund”

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The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

About the Book:Book - The Trouble with Destiny (Lauren Morrill)

Author: Lauren Morrill

Publisher: Delacorte

Source: Publisher (NetGalley)

Publication Date: 2015

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Genre: Fiction; Young Adult Contemporary

Rating: 4 out of 5

REVIEW: Some of the best stories can go full out “whimsy” and it’s a strategy that will serve them well. This is one of them. The darling premise and fabulous characters makes this recently released novel an easy-going piece of charm anyone can thoroughly enjoy. It all begins with a luxury cruise on which high school senior Liza travels for one purpose only – never mind all the fun that comes with the luxury cruise, Destiny. Liza has arrived on board with a purpose that includes ensuring her school band continues to receive funding by winning the $25,000 talent show prize. Only trouble is, Liza is keeping this pressure from her band mates turning her into a crazed director and to complicate matters more, Liza’s camp crush Lenny appears on the scene. Destiny has more than a few pranks in store for Liza.  Continue reading “The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill”