Sunday, March 24, 2013

Scent of Lilacs, a review

Before Ann H. Gabhart became well-known for her much-loved Shaker novels, she wrote three poignant novels centered on the loveable Jocie Brooke and her family, who lived in 1960s small-town Kentucky. Once named as one of "Booklist"'s Top Ten Christian Novels and now featuring a brand new cover, "Scent of Lilacs" is poised to capture the hearts of new readers everywhere. Life-changing events rarely happen here, and when they do, they are few and far between. But for Jocie Brooke and her family, they happen all at once. Jocie has questions that need answers. As she digs into her family's past, she finds a whirlwind of discoveries, and everything begins to change. In the end, will Jocie find the answers everyone so desperately needs, or will her questions lead to truths that were better left uncovered?
Combining unforgettable characters, true-to-life struggles, and the perfect dose of humor and nostalgia, this riveting story takes readers through the universal experiences of true love, new life, and renewed faith. With a beautiful new cover, "Scent of Lilacs" is poised to capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

...For me, this book held so much loveliness...

- a transformation of the life of a young girl

- a father trying to do his best

- a long-lost daughter's return...with a surprise of her own.

- precious memories. Bittersweet memories. What if the future?

It is a perfect combination of Because of Winn Dixie, The Secret Garden, and that familiarity of life's joys and sorrows. I loved this book- heart warming package, and a brilliant read. This joins others if Gabhart's on a well-loved reads shelf. You will be sure to enjoy!

Thank you to Revell for a complimentary copy in return for my review.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Love in a Broken Vessel, a review

Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God's message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel heal Gomer's broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.

A story, as vivid and pure as it is in the Bible, that will touch your heart and meet you where you are. This is Mesu Andrew's Love in a Broken Vessel. It's full of a fresh insight, a dynamic view of God's unfailing love for us. Heartbreaking- the way Hosea's wife delivers betrayal time and time again. Craftmanship- a weaving of new words and history. Redeeming- perhaps such a unique reading it will touch your heart in new ways, to see more parts clearly. Mesu defines Hosea so perfectly from the pages of her own story....I loved her clear characterization of him. So believable! Hosea continuous love for Gomer, and forgiveness upon forgiveness is penned throughout Andrew's book as well.

Thank you to Revell for the complimentary review copy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A review for Moonlight Masquerade

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need--or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London's West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham's spell. Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, will he do the right thing?

A tantalizing read....I wish this book never stopped. Beginning to end, the loveliness of story, setting, characters, and prose satisfied my reader's heart.

The widow, Lady Celine, is believable and such a strong heroine. I wanted, oh so wanted, her to get the best at the end. It seems such an impossibility, being French, considered a spy, caught in intrigue.

Then you have first, I wasn't sure what he would truly add to the story. He seemed to be in a rut, but given a chance to prove himself and move up in his world, you will see he provides a satisfying part of the story...and, in fact, perhaps the most interesting.

Moonlight Masquerade, for me, was one of the best Regencies I've read, with its always-brilliant characterization, dialogue, and moving scenes. Absolutely the best!

Thank you to Revell for the complimentary review copy!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Forsaken Dreams, a review

Embark on a seafaring adventure in a brand-new series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. After witnessing the death and destruction caused by the Civil War, Colonel Blake Wallace is eager to leave his once precious Southern homeland for the pristine shores of Brazil and the prospect of a new utopian community. Widow Eliza Crawford seeks passage on Wallace’s ship harboring a dirty secret—and a blossoming hope for a fresh start. But will dangers from the sea and from man keep them from the peace and love they long for?

With each book written, MaryLu Tyndall is unceasing with the way she develops such fascinating characters and a whirlwind of adventure. I've loved every novel of hers so far, and this most recent most of all. Eliza Crawford is a deep, long lasting heroine who has secrets to hide during the passage. She meets a man who seems to gather feelings for her in time. But, as the voyage continues to Brazil, will her other secret come to light? What other obstacles will Eliza need to overcome before her fresh start? Beyond the characters, however, Tyndall intertwines a spiritual depth and storyline that I greatly appreciated, as it is a unique aspect in books these days. Rebuilding after a war, fleeing one life for another, taking risk after risk....this is a page-turning, faith filled story that will not remain on your shelf very long- for it will be one to gather in your hands to read its exceptional words, over and over again. Thank you to Net Galley for the complimentary copy in return for an honest review.