Monday, August 3, 2015

BECK'S PEACE by Dora Hiers


Savvy McCord is a burn survivor and feels her scars make her unattractive and unworthy of love and marriage.  What else can she think when Beck Harmon, her best friend and the man she’s loved forever, takes off after only seeing part of her scarring.  He ran away and didn’t return.  Beck Harmon has spent years running and searching for peace.  Now he’s returned home a changed man and finds the connection with Savvy is still very strong.  He has a heart for burn victims and wants Savvy to help him with his idea of how to minister to them.  Savvy wants to help Beck but her feelings for him are still strong and she fears her heart will be broken again if he takes off.  Can Beck convince Savvy that he’s a changed man and that he thinks she’s beautiful inside and out?  Is Savvy willing to risk giving her heart again to the man that broke it apart all those years ago?

Wow!  Beck’s Peace is a wonderful soul-stirring story that you’ll think about long after you close the book.  This is book 2 in the Harmon Heritage series and picks up where book 1 left off.  I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like Beck.  I mean, he took off and hasn’t had any contact with Savvy at all and you feel her heartache. But the longer you read the more you realize that those years away (and the Lord) really changed him.  I fell in love with Beck.  He was such a neat guy and so romantic.  I loved the way he handled his return and the way he was with Savvy.  The interaction and dialog between them was outstanding.  We got to know Savvy in Rori’s Healing and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how her story played out.  She is outwardly strong yet she has such a kind and tender heart.  I love the way this story encourages burn victims to remember that who they are hasn’t changed because of their scars.  In fact, we all have scars, it’s just some of us have ones you can’t see.  We are reminded that man look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  There are lots of tender moments woven throughout but there are also some humorous moments too, right when you need them.  Beck’s Peace kept me quickly turning pages from beginning to end yet wanting to savor every moment.  I labeled it as a favorite and one I would definitely recommend.

Some Favorite Quotes:

“Why did it always take something catastrophic to make a person long for what could have been?  To make a person take stock of their blessings and realize what they’d given up or taken for granted?”

“Savanna McCord, I have been from one end of this earth to the other.  You are the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet.  Don’t you ever believe otherwise.”

For more information about this book or other books by Dora Hiers I recommend you visit her website at dorahiers.com/.

Monday, July 27, 2015

RORI'S HEALING by Dora Hiers


Rori Harmon loves living on her animal sanctuary where she feels safe. The circumstances surrounding her father's death and the way the media behaved has pushed her into a life of solitude except for her family. She's uncomfortable with men except for her brother and step-father. As much as she dreams of a husband and family she knows it's not in her future. Graham Decker is a racecar driver with a heart of gold. It would seem though that women are not interested in his heart, only in his wallet. He longs for a woman who would love him for the man he is not what he has. In an effort to support the rescue of animals, he shows up at Rori's animal sanctuary, just in time to help deliver a llama baby. Rori mistakes him for the vet and he doesn't feel inclined to correct her until he has a chance to get to know her. He's delighted and surprised to find she doesn't know who he is. Could Rori be the woman who would finally see him for him instead of his wallet? Rori knows there is no way she could ever fall for someone who is constantly in the media. But Graham is a man of his word, just as he told her. Will all things truly work together for good for two hurting hearts?

WOW!!! I absolutely loved Rori's Healing. I kept thinking as I was reading that this should definitely be a Hallmark movie!! I read the story in one setting because I could not put it down. I really enjoyed the fact that it was just a wonderful romantic read. No bad guys, no major crisis, but a story where you savor every page, and I did!! Rori was so thoughtful and giving and you hurt for her because of the things she’s gone through. Graham Decker is an absolutely swoon-worthy hero. I love the way he handled things and the way he was with Rory! (whew!!! Get your fan out ladies). Although Graham suffered hurt his faith shined through to those around him. It's not always easy turning our greatest fears over to the Lord, but we're reminded that he's always with us. One thing that was really fun was reading about the llamas and Graham's dog. Rori's Healing is definitely a favorite and one I will read again. It comes HIGHLY recommended by this reader but I caution you to set aside a block of time because, like watching a good movie, you'll want to see it through to the end!

A couple favorite quotes:
"Rori, God decides when I go home. Whether that's in a racecar or just sitting in my chair in the office." He heard her soft intake of breath, but he had to go on. "You don't need to face this alone. God will walk this path with you, just like He does with me. He can take that fear and replace it with peace."

"We've both lived through pain and suffering and survived, by the grace of God. We survived, Rori, but that doesn't mean we don't carry our scars forever."

For more information about this book or other books by Dora Hiers I recommend you visit her website at dorahiers.com/.

Monday, July 20, 2015

FORGOTTEN MEMORIES by Laura Scott


Shane Hawkins (who’s a SWAT cop) stops by the hospital to pick up evidence for a case he’s working on. Instead of picking it up right away he decides to stop by and see Dr. Gabriella Fielding to once again thank her for saving his life. Imagine his surprise when he sees her walking outside of the hospital at night, alone and then sees two men grab her and put her in a pick-up truck. Shane vows to help Gabby find out who’s after her, but she no idea why someone would want to kidnap her. Shane is not sure what to think but they need to figure out if maybe it’s some kind of repressed memory. As they work together to figure out just who the enemy is, their mutual attraction becomes stronger and stronger. But someone doesn’t want Gabby to remember the past. Will they figure out who it is before it’s too late?

Forgotten Memories is the fourth book in the series and the third book I’ve read in the SWAT: Top Cops series and all of them have been very good. Laura Scott has such a talent for keeping you on your toes and providing the reader with the perfect blend of danger, suspense and romance. I enjoyed the interaction between Gabby and Shane. You meet them in Under the Lawman’s Protection, so it was great to see how their story unfolds. Shane is a really great guy. I liked that he was so open about his faith and lived what he believed, it made Gabby take notice. Gabby was both smart and sweet and someone who always puts others first. I enjoyed that the characters from the previous stories are peppered throughout this story. You could read this as a stand alone and wouldn’t feel lost but the whole series (or the three I’ve read) have been really good and I would recommend any and all of them. If you’re in the mood for a good romantic suspense remember to pick up ‘Forgotten Memories’!
*This complimentary copy was provided by Harlequin through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
For more information about this book or other books by Laura Scott, I recommend you visit her website at http://www.laurascottbooks.com/

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A HEART'S HOME by Colleen Coble


 Coming to terms with her feelings for Isaac, Emmie agrees to marry him.   Things are looking up as Joy and happiness abound.   Emmie, Sarah and Amelia begin plans for her wedding.  Then the unthinkable happens and a friend asks the impossible.  Will Emmie honor the promise she made once to his wife.  The promise that if anything happened to her she would marry her husband and raise their child as her own.  Emmie want's to honor the promise she made but that would mean giving up her own happiness for a loveless marriage.  The Sioux wars have escalated and everyone is on high alert.  Isaac is sent to another fort along with another soldier,  in a blizzard, hoping one of them might make in order to gather reinforcements to fight against the Sioux.  Before he leaves  he talks with Jacob and they make a deal.  What was the deal and what if Isaac doesn't return safely?  Will they all find the happiness they so long for?

This last book was, I think, the most emotional of all the books in the series and really was my favorite.  You'll experience extreme joy and heart-wrenching sorrow right along with these folks you've come to care for.  I was sad to see this series come to a close but I think the author did an excellent job with the ending and the epilogue.  It was completely satisfying.  I enjoyed seeing some of the characters return from the previous books.  Life at a fort was definitely difficult and scary, but the faith of the characters came shining through.  It was realistic in that they were scared, angry and questioning God because of things that happened, just as we would.  Trusting the Lord isn't easy when things don't make sense but we know He is always right there with us.  If you enjoy a good western saga with danger, deceit, love, hate, faith and where you come to really care about the folks you're reading about, then I recommend not only A Heart's Home but the whole series.  It truly is a Journey of the Heart!  I strongly suggest you read them in order as it's in a serial type format.  I would also like to add that I really like the the covers on the books, they just beckon you to read them.

This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by Colleen Coble, I suggest you visit her website at http://colleencoble.com/






Saturday, July 11, 2015

A HEART'S PROMISE by Colleen Coble


Isaac Liddle is determined to win Emmie Croftner’s heart.  Emmie’s drawn to Isaac but she’s not sure how he’ll feel about her when he finds out the truth surrounding her pregnancy.  She also has a hard time trusting a man after Monroe.  Then a woman shows up at the fort and sets her sights on Isaac.  Emmie is not sure what to do as this woman is a formidable foe.  Then a friend asks her for a promise that could change everything.  A promise, that if anything happened to her in childbirth, she would marry her husband and raise the child as her own.  When the birth becomes difficult, Emmie fears she just might have to keep her promise.  And then what would happen with Isaac?

This is the fifth installment in the Journey of the Heart Series and we once again find ourselves at the fort.  The pages are full of emotion as Emmie struggles with the idea of love, a good friend asks Emmie for a big promise, two women from the past show up and Isaac is trying his best to get past Emmie’s protective wall.  None of these issues are easy.  I appreciated the genuine faith these folks displayed though.  You again get an idea of how tough life was at the fort and what courage and stamina it took to live there.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and by this installment I’ve really come to care about these folks.  This story is part of a serial series so you really need to read them in order as each story picks up where the previous one left off.

*This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more information about this book or other books by Colleen Coble I encourage you to visit her website at http://colleencoble.com/



Friday, July 10, 2015

WANTED: ROYAL PRINCESS OF CONVENIENCE by Anna Dynowski


Prince Cristiano is second in line for the throne so he doesnt carry the pressure his older brother Stefano does, however he works very hard as the Minister of Finance, Tourism and Sports.  He is tall, dark and handsome and considered by women to be a great catch.  Too bad those women only see him for his princely status and the fan-fare that goes along with being royalty.  He longs to find a woman who sees him for the man he really is.  Ciara Janicki is a public relations consultant hired by the royal family to work alongside Prince Cristiano to promote tourism to Mondoverde.  Ciaras not worried about succumbing to any royal charm.  Shes not interested in men, period!  But the more time she spends with him the more she realizes hes not at all as she expected.  His kindness, charm and his wonderful family cause her to yearn for things she can only dream of.  Cristiano is drawn to Ciara because she is not impressed with his title or position.  Knowing Ciara is the answer to his prayers, he proposes a marriage of convenience that would benefit both of them.  But how can Ciara marry a prince when she knows very well she is not princess material.

I thoroughly enjoyed this royal treat!  It was so much fun to return to Mondoverde.  I enjoyed getting to know Cristiano in the first book and was excited to hear his story.  Prince Cristiano will make your toes curl with his romantic ways and quiet strength.  Hes the kind of man every little girl dreams of growing up and marrying.  I must say that I really didnt care for Ciara much in the beginning but as you get to know her, you understand why she is the way she is. You also see how the faith of Cristiano and his family made a difference.   It was so much fun catching up with Stefano and Sofia.  I really like Sofia and I like how she treated Ciara.  I appreciated the whole family dynamic and the way their love for each other is shown in tangible ways.  Their playful banter is a lot of fun too.  The author did a wonderful job weaving Biblical truths naturally throughout the story.  I have been thoroughly enjoying this series and am looking forward to seeing what happens with the next Mondoverde prince.  If you want to get away from it all for just a little while, then I highly recommend a trip to Mondoverde.  I know you will fall in love with the Graziani family, just as I did!

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

A couple favorite quotes:

Prince Cristiano to Ciara
“Listen to me.  Your parents do not define who you are.  Their genes and blood in you do not define your character.  Their mistakes do not define you…”

Princess Cristina to Ciara
“Imagine Ciara, my husband, the ruler of our country, maintains meticulous control at all times, but stuck in the birthing room and he falls apart.”

For more information on this book or other books by Anna Dynowski, I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.annadynowski.com/.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

WHEN LOVE TRIUMPHS by Dora Hiers


Winter Evan had deep feelings for Tanner Random, but her fear of water and his need for greater physical intimacy caused her to break things off with him four years ago.  She couldnt understand why Tanner would chose being a SEAL over being with her.  He couldnt understand why Winter broke things off.  Now Tanner is home to care for his young niece, whose mother abandoned her.  Hes putting down roots in North Carolina as a paramedic and is surprised to find that his neighbor is Winter.  The chemistry between them is still very strong, but Winter isnt willing to risk her heart againor is she?  Although Tanner has changed, his love for Winter has not.  Will the Lord give them the strength to overcome their fears and trust Him for their future?

What a great story.  A fun and quick romantic read that leaves you totally uplifted.  Winter is so kind hearted and is always looking out for others.  Someone you would definitely want for a friend.  I did think her fear of water was a little irrational but everyone deals with things in different ways.  And Tanner, Wow, what a guy!  You would have to be flat lining to not be move by him.  I loved the way he was with Winter as well as his niece.  Speaking of which, Chaney will win your heart; she was such a sweet little girl.  You will absolutely love the chemistry between Winter and Tanner, lots of sizzle.  Nothing is impossible with God is the message this story conveyed to me, an encouraging message to be sure.  I was so sad when it ended, but I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending!  Are you looking for a quick romantic fix?  I recommend you pick up When Love Triumphs and find out if it really does!

For more information about this book and other books by Dora Hiers, I encourage you to visit her website at http://dorahiers.com/

One of many favorite quotes:

But life and love marriage was about so much more than just passion.  It was about loving somebody even when they were unlovable.  It was about never giving up, even when times were tough.  Love was supposed to be about forever.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE by Beth K. Vogt


Vanessa Hollister is planning a destination wedding in Destin, Florida. Her fiancé, Ted, wants to combine a medical convention with getting married. Vanessa's not happy about that but concedes that that's what they'll do. Ted asks her to go down to Destin and begin making arrangements. The problem for her is that's where she married Logan Hollister. In trying to convince herself she has moved on since there divorce eight years ago, she decides to make the trip, never expecting to run into Logan. Logan is a storm chaser. Loves the thrill of it, but an accident this past year has caused him to question his judgement. Logan returns to Florida, with his team, to see his parents and take a break before he announces his big decision. Being there in Destin is a stark reminder of how badly he failed Vanessa. When a hurricane blows in, Logan and Vanessa are thrown together once again and the long suppressed feelings begin to stir. Forced to confront their past, will they accept that they made a big mistake all those years ago or will they find that God just might be giving them a second chance at love?

Wow, wow, wow! This is definitely on my favorites list. It's not really a lighthearted story as the cover might imply, but more of a deep soul-searching type. Vanessa and Logan are such complex characters and you just feel a connection with both of them right away that grows with each passing page. I must say that Logan was the consummate tortured hero. I absolutely fell in love with him. He’s strong, tender, romantic, all the things I adore in a leading man. However, he’s far from perfect. Vanessa is someone I really liked. She had and inner strength that kept her going but it wasn’t overpowering. I appreciated how the story switched between present-day and back to when and where it all started, so you see how their relationship develops and what happened between them. There were so many poignant moments throughout the story that I was flagging pages left and right. I absolutely loved the dialog between Logan and Vanessa and the romantic tension was superb! There were also things happening with Logan's team members and Logan's sister that could be potential future stories. The faith element woven throughout felt very natural. Logan and Vanessa were both believers, but they questioned (as we all do) why God sometimes seems silent. The whole story is amazing but the ending is one that will live on in my mind for quite some time. This has a prime place on my 'keeper' shelf and is one I definitely want to read again. In fact, I have already gone back and re-read several of my favorite spots (which were many)! I encourage you to read the "Conversation with the author" at the end. She gives you some interesting insights concerning the story. Crazy Little Thing Called Love was breathtaking and one I HIGHLY recommend! Well done Beth K. Vogt!

*This complimentary copy was provided by Howard Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A few of my many favorite quotes:

“You know how people say God will never give us more than we can handle?” “Yes - I’ve heard that all my life from my mother.” “My grandmother says that’s not true. That we do face things we can’t handle – and that’s when we’re supposed to realize how much we need God – his strength, his peace, his wisdom.
--
“God knows what He’s doing, even when life doesn’t make sense to us.”
--
“So you’re beautiful and smart, huh?” Another breeze caused strands of Vanessa’s hair to tangle in front of her face, and Logan brushed them back with his fingers. Traced the outline of her jaw before he dipped his head and kissed her. The faint taste of salt tinged their lips, and he forgot all about being careful, taking it slow. He pulled her to him, pressing his body against hers, even as her arms wrapped around his waist and then slipped up over his back, pulling him closer.

For more information about this book or other books by Beth K. Vogt, I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.bethvogt.com/.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

VENGEANCE by Anne Patrick


Nick and Hope Cunningham are both in the army and home on leave. When Nick gets word that his sister, Beth, is missing they immediately travel to Nick’s house to be with his mom and try to figure out what happened to Beth. Beth has always wanted to be a reporter but currently she’s a fact checker; someone who checks the facts and sources. While she’s working on checking facts about a girl’s disappearance, she disappears herself. The situation becomes very stressful and Nick is showing classic signs of PTSD which causes Hope to worry because he won’t acknowledge he needs help. Hope is dealing with her own painful childhood memory that she has yet to share with Nick. As the situation becomes more dangerous, Nick becomes a little more volatile. They must find Beth and Hope must convince Nick he needs help or she’s afraid he’ll find himself court marshaled.

Okay, I have loved all the stories in the Wounded Heroes series but I must say that this is definitely a favorite. Anne Patrick consistently and skillfully weaves mystery, faith, intrigue and romance into page-turning story. You really don’t know who the bad guys are until very near the end, which is always a treat! I loved the dynamic relationship between Hope and Nick. They have a strong love but it’s put to the test. I appreciated Hope’s unwavering faith and the way it influenced her husband. It also helped her through a difficult time in her childhood. I highlighted so many encouraging quotes. You get a glimpse of how difficult a military marriage must be, especially if both people are enlisted. The whole mystery surrounding Beth’s disappearance was very intriguing and kept me guessing, which I love. I truly couldn’t turn pages fast enough. The message that God is always right beside us in good times and bad is woven throughout. I also appreciated seeing Kory and Sean (from Kill Shot) again and catching up with what’s happening in their life. You can learn about Hope and Nick’s history and how they get together by reading “Christmas with Hope”. If you enjoy a page-turning romantic suspense, then I HIGHLY recommend Vengeance.

*This complimentary copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

A few favorite quotes:

Hope to Nick:
“I wanted you to know that no matter what dark valley you’re going through, God is right beside you. If you look closely enough, you can see His fingerprint in many aspects of your life.”

Conversation between Hope and Nick:
Nick helped her from the saddle then wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. “What was that for?” “Cause I felt like it.” “Well do it again.” This time she kissed him back. Nick pulled her close, savoring the outdoorsy scent mixed with her perfume and the taste of her perfect mouth. He left a trail of kisses as he moved to her ear lobe. “I could do this all day.” “Me too…”

Hope to Nick:
“Instead of worrying about me, you need to be concerned about what’s happening with you. We’re gonna have to leave for Germany in a week. If I were you, I would put in for an emergency extension, because if we haven’t found Beth and you go back on duty the ticking time bomb you are right now, you’re liable to end up court marshaled for punching someone out.”

For more information about this book or other books by Anne Patrick, I recommend you visit her website at http://www.annepatrickbooks.com/

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