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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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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Love in the Details by Becky Wade

About the Book:Book - Love in the Details

Author: Becky Wade

Publisher: Zondervan

Source: Author via NetGalley

Publication Date: 2015

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Series: Year of Weddings 2, 12

Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Novella/Romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: My exposure to the Year of Weddings collection (published by Zondervan, a house under the HarperCollins umbrella) has been limited. I have one of the paperback collections on my shelf and read one other thanks to a blog tour. When I learned rom-com author extraordinaire Becky Wade was contributing a novella to this year’s line up, I knew, without question it’d be a must read. Texas as the home base might set the stage for most of her novels, but this one is “fresh.” It steps away from her beloved, rooted-in-Texas Porter clan to introduce readers to an entirely new set of characters. Lest you be worried this doesn’t live up to the quirky albeit loveable family, I’d like to convince you otherwise.   Continue reading “Love in the Details by Becky Wade”

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Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone

About the Book:Book - Picture Perfect Love
Author: Melissa McClone
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Litfuse Publicity
Publication Date: 2015
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Series: Year of Weddings 2, 7
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Novella
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.
Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren’t always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God’s plan and His perfect timing. Continue reading “Picture Perfect Love by Melissa McClone”

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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”

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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”

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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”

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Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Book - Destined for Doon

About the Book:
Author(s): Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Blink YA Books, a division of Zondervan
Source: Publisher (ARC Copy)
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Doon, book 2
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: There is something about a contemporary that travels back in time. Maybe its allure first began with the popular Gene Kelly musical Brigadoon (which this YA series is loosely based on) or maybe it’s just the idea that we have the ability to revisit these eras long gone through stories and it’s because of these visual descriptors that many of us have come to one conclusion: we were born to the wrong era. This co-authored series is the sequel to last summer’s inventive novel Doon and it continues the adventures of McKenna Reid and her best friend, Veronica. Living in Chicago pursuing her dream of a career on stage, it’s been nearly a year since McKenna left behind her true love, a native Doonian (what, so that’s not a word… work with me) – not to mention real-life royalty, Duncan, though for Doon, it’s merely been three months and now Doon requires McKenna’s return – or more importantly Veronica needs her best friend. Doon is coming under attack by forces that are ruled by evil witches and would have Doon’s beauty turned into a zombie wasteland. With her new Calling as the Queen of Doon, Veronica is only able to fight the battle so far by herself – her best chance at winning is with McKenna by her side, only McKenna left Doon with broken hearts in her rearview and it’s impossible not to let personal infractions complicating things… Continue reading “Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon”

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Distortion by Terri Blackstock

About the Book: Book - Distortion
Author: Terri Blackstock
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Litfuse Publicity
Publication Date: 2014
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Series: Moonlighters – Book 2
Genre: Fiction; Suspense, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5

My familiarity with Terri Blackstock may be limited to only two novels and though I’m quite late to the party, it’s not hard to easily get wrapped up in her writing. Book two in her Moonlighters series may not have been my favorite but it’s still a solid mystery that doesn’t follow genre convention. Fifteen years of marriage has meant happy stability and savoring the “good days” for Juliet Cole. Married to a successful doctor with two sons, Juliet is a happy stay-at-home mom who thinks her husband Bob is also an overworked yet happy family man. When her husband is murdered right in front of her in a dark parking lot, Juliet falls apart unsure how to tell her sons their father is no longer coming home. Family friend and private investigator Michael Hogan begins working on the case especially given how little time the police seem to be giving to the Kramer family given their family name has just worked past a family tragedy. Along with Juliet’s sisters Holly and Cathy – who also happens to be dating Michael – the gang investigate what could have possibly pegged the mild-mannered Bob Cole as a target, only the answers they find uncover more questions than the truth Juliet so desperately needs. Continue reading “Distortion by Terri Blackstock”