Reviews

 

The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse45022285._SY475_

The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide

Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Jackie can’t decide if Elijah is friend or foe. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)

The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)

The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)

The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)

The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah territory (July 2019)

Book 9 of the Daughters of the Mayflower series, this one is my favorite. (Each book is a stand alone so feel free to jump in!)

Author Kimberley Woodhouse did a fabulous job with this one, and kept my attention all the way through. I enjoyed learning more about the Pony Express, and how it worked. The characters were well developed and the descriptions of the area made the story come to life.

Unexpected twists and turns, intrigue and secrets abound. Who is Jack? What’s her secret? She doesn’t even know! I really enjoyed seeing the characters grow, and learn to trust God with their secrets and with their relationships. With strong references to faith, and a sweet romance, if you enjoy Christian historical fiction then you’ll love The Express Bride.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

Breathe Again; How to Life Well When Life Falls Apart by Niki Hardy

735542No one gets to skip the tough stuff and when life threatens to drown us we’re left gasping for air, merely surviving a life we never ordered. Niki Hardy has been there, screaming, “God, is this it? Where’s the abundant life you promised? Are you even listening?”

Life might not be fair, but through loss, grief, and cancer, Niki discovered life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full. With sensitivity and without Christianese or stock answers she invites women to replace the lies they believe about themselves and God with sound biblical teaching and his unwavering promises. Through 7 practical steps, with hands-on questions, actions, and prayers, she equips readers to grasp the full life Jesus came to give them, right where they are.

No matter how broken a life might seem, the abundant life Jesus promised is available–now and always. Let Niki show you the way.

So life isn’t easy. And sometimes it’s really hard. Author Niki Hardy gets that. Hardy encourages us to look at the lies we are believing and replace them with God’s truth. It’s the only way to get through the hard stuff. I really like that Hardy is open and honest. No Christianese and some tough language (not bad language, but she doesn’t cut us any slack either). Her vulnerability helped me to look at my “junk” and how I was viewing it and myself. And then what to do about it. She didn’t leave me hanging but held out hope

As Hardy says, “Life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full”. In the midst of pain you can not only survive, but you can thrive and live the life God means for you to live. If you’re not in the midst of something painful right now, you will be someday and should be prepared. Grab a copy of Breathe Again. I know I’ll be reading it again.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

The Healing Jar (The Prayer Jars Book 3) by Wanda Brunstetter

JarWhat if you have waited to find love only to be rejected when it finally comes?

 Lenore Lapp is an Amish schoolteacher in her late twenties still living at home with her parents and grandparents. She thought love had passed her by until she meets Jesse Smucker, a widower with a baby daughter. She quickly falls in love with them both and accepts Jesse’s proposal of marriage, but Jesse breaks off their engagement when he realizes he can’t marry only for convenience.

 Resigned to living single, Lenore throws herself into caring for her elders. While working in her grandmother’s garden, she digs up an old jar. Will Lenore find healing for her broken heart and solve long-buried family secrets by reading the note contained inside?

The final book in this series, I think it’s the best one. Author Wanda Brunstetter puts so much heart and emotion into this one that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Book 3, you could read it as a standalone but I would recommend reading the others.

The characters are well developed, and seemed as if they could be living in Lancaster County. I felt really bad for Lenore when her engagement with Jesse is broken, and it was hard to see Jesse struggling with the past. 

I’ve loved the concept of the prayer jars throughout the series. Maybe I’ll start one myself. Regardless of whether I do or not, if you enjoy Amish fiction I highly recommend this series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda, Jean, & Richelle Brunstetter

BridesIn an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which 3 distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.

Another good book by authors Wanda, Jean, Richelle Brunstetter, it’s especially fun to see the younger Brunstetter coming into her own as an author. I think her story was my favorite in this collection.

Maybe a typical Amish story, I enjoyed learning about the way of identifying different groups according to the color of the buggy tops. We also learned about how strict (or not) a group was based on the buggy top color. I really like it when I learn things while reading a novel. I would have liked a bit more excitement but I know fitting three stories into one book cuts down on the space an author has to expound on things. All in all it’s a clean, relaxing read and I recommend it if you enjoy Amish fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

Escaped (Intrigue Under Western Skies Book 4) by Elaine Manders

EscapedJuliette Kendal has vowed to protect her siblings from their abusive step-father after their mother’s death. When she finds him attacking her younger sister, Annie, she accidentally kills him. With no way to prove her innocence she fears her brothers and sister will be taken to an orphanage if she’s arrested. 

Jake Gresham is known as a fun-loving, careless cowboy, as good at finding trouble as he is roping cattle. So far, he’s managed to avoid God and decent women. But on a scouting trip for his boss, he steps in a bear trap in a South Georgia swamp. Facing certain death changes his outlook, and Juliette, who fights tenaciously to save his life, changes his opinion of women.

When Jake asks Juliette to marry him and take her family with him when he returns to his Nebraska ranch, she sees it as an escape. But she can’t marry Jake without confessing to him and God the secret buried in her backyard.

I’ll start by saying that yes, this is book 4 in the series but can act as a standalone. I haven’t read all of the others and had no trouble following what was happening.

Author Elaine Manders does a really good job of setting a scene, which made me feel as if I were right there with Annie and Jake. She also has good character development; there is a depth that makes reading Escaped very enjoyable, even though it isn’t a light hearted story.

The book has a really good plot that had a very sensitive issue which was handled delicately, yet I knew what had happened. I appreciate that she didn’t go into detail with it. A heart warming story that focuses on love of family, I highly recommend it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

Soldier’s Heart by Tamera Kraft

HeartCan they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife.

Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm. But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home.

This Inspirational Civil War romance gives the reader a taste of what it was like for the soldiers coming home from the war with PTSD.

Author Tamera Kraft always finds the most interesting historical subjects to write about, and Soldier’s Heart is no different. I didn’t realize that PTSD used to be called Soldier’s Heart but it makes sense.

This novella is a quick read but it has great character development. You will love Noah, and appreciate his heroism, even though he doesn’t see himself that way. I really enjoyed this story and recommend it if you like historical romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

On a Summer Tide (Three Sisters Island Book 1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

TideSometimes love hurts–and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving. 

Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island–a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals–and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises. 

With On a Summer Tide, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher begins a brand-new contemporary romance series that is sure to delight her fans and draw new ones.

Right away I’m going to say I am so looking forward to book two in this series! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens next on Three Sisters Island. It can go in so many directions.

Author Suzanne Woods Fisher had great descriptions of the island. So much so that I’d love to visit. Her characters are not only well-developed but down right delightful. I mean, who doesn’t love a scruffy, lumberjack style teacher who understands what a true education is?

This family has some issues but their love for each other is apparent. And they willingly sacrifice much. If you’re looking for a fun, quirky read with serious undertones then I suggest this book. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

The Pink Bonnet: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime by Liz Tolsma

BonnetWidowed in Memphis during 1932, Cecile Dowd is struggling to provide for her three-year-old daughter. Unwittingly trusting a neighbor puts little Millie Mae into the clutches of Georgia Tann, corrupt Memphis Tennessee Children’s Home Society director suspected of the disappearance of hundreds of children. With the help of a sympathetic lawyer, the search for Millie uncovers a deep level of corruption that threatens their very lives.

 How far will a mother go to find out what happened to her child?

 

You know how people often say that they couldn’t put a book down? And you probably think, “yeah, right.” Well I couldn’t put this book down. And knowing it was based on a true story made it even more riveting. Do be aware that this is a difficult subject, so while it was riveting it wasn’t fun, easy reading.

Author Liz Tolsma does a fantastic job of bringing her characters, both good and bad, to life. It’s incredible to think about people doing the awful things that Georgia Tann did. But in reality those things happened and this story brings the horror of 1932 Memphis to light.

I found myself emotionally pulled into this story and I highly recommend it for fans of historical fiction based on truth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

CoreCore 52 By Mark E. Moore

Most of us want to know the Bible better, but few reach our goal, often because we’re too busy or we don’t know where to start. Core 52 removes both barriers, offering a common-sense solution that fits into our busy lives. Respected Bible professor and teaching pastor Mark E. Moore developed this proven process from thirty-five years of helping people grow deeper in God’s Word.

 Each week features a brief essay, memory verse, Bible story, trajectory verses, and practical ways to put what you’ve learned into practice. An optional “Overachiever Challenge” offers the chance to memorize the top 100 Bible verses by year’s end. 

 This simple approach allows you to become familiar with the big ideas of the Bible in less time and with less effort than other reading plans. In one year, you can master the core of the Bible—focusing on topics from God’s will to worry, happiness to holiness, and leadership to love. These fifty-two core passages are lenses through which you can read the rest of the Bible with clarity and confidence.

Author Mark Moore lays this book out in such a way that you read a chapter a week (52). During that time you’ll study a Bible truth, memory verses, etc. It really is a great way to study the Word and makes a good devotional. He also gives resources (books to read) for further study.

I don’t hesitate to recommend this book for someone who wants to grow, spiritually. I didn’t agree with everything, and maybe a few subjects could have gone a little deeper but that’s okay. It really is a great resource.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.

 

 

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