Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Faith is pregnant and on the run with her stepson, Colton. After her abusive husband dies she wants to get away or they will force her to marry his brother, Ward, who's even meaner. The wagon gets stuck and she goes into labor. Luke McCutcheon and his brothers are driving cattle back to their ranch. As he's scouting around he finds Faith's wagon and here's the noises she making. He enters the wagon to see what's going on and gets hit on the head. When he comes-to he tries to explain to Colton that he's one of the good-guys and wants to help his mom. He delivers Faith's baby and they tell her she can come to the ranch to gain strength. As they are heading back they run into Ward. Luke can see the fear in Faith's and Colton's eyes but she won't talk to him. Ward is mean and true to his threats. Faith and Colton have come to love being at the ranch but she knows what Ward is capable of. He has something hanging over her head and will use it if she doesn't go along with him.
Because I loved Where the Wind Blows I had to read this one too. I must confess that I didn't enjoy this tale quite as much. One reason I think was because of Faith. I really did like Faith as a person and you could certainly understand her ambivalence in trusting considering her life's situation. But her time at the ranch and with Luke and his brothers should have proved to her that she could trust him. They never gave her any reason not to. One thing I really did like was the McCutcheon family. They were such a tight-knit family and really cared for one another. There was one particular part that was so touching where Luke told his sister that we all get hankerings but she needed to wait for the right one and until they married first. I respect this author for keeping the story clean (other than a few 'words') and even giving some very good advice. I'll be watching for more by this author.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I'm always on the hunt for good books. I ran across Where the Wind Blows and saw all the great reviews. In several of the reviews it mentioned that this was a clean and sweet read so I decided to try it. I must say it was great story! Chase Logan is heading for a new job and on his way he must deliver the news to Jessie Strong that her husband, Nathan, is dead. He sure didn't expect to find such a young wife though. She allows him to stay in the barn and explains that she is expecting a very special delivery. The morning he's to leave, the delivery shows up. Three-year-old Sarah whom they were to adopt. The one escorting Sarah assumes Chase is Nathan. Jessie knew it was only pretend and only for a little while but Sarah was already calling him da. She was fooling herself to think she could have such a life with such a good man. Besides they weren't even married. But the longer they were around each other the harder it was to think of not begin together.
This was such a great romantic western. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I loved the watching Chase & Jessie together. Chase was an excellent hero. I appreciated the way he respected Jessie and took great care with her. Jessie was a feisty gal but not unreasonable or selfish. The romantic tension between Chase & Jessie was tangible. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Sarah was a cute little girl. It's no wonder she melted Chase's heart. Gabe was a teen who would probably be a lot like Chase when he grew up. The characters fit so naturally into the story. There were some very tender moments that melted my heart, some moments that made me smile, and a few places where I was biting my nails. The author allows you to hear the main characters' thoughts and I think it enhances the story, at least for me, when you know why they are behaving a certain way. I must say that other than a few 'words' this could make it into the edgy Christian Fiction category.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
This was a great viking era tale. Kerstin is a healer but she is known to everyone as the 'Witch of Moere' because she uses herbs. She is betrothed to one she loves but the King commands she marry Jonas, the Beast of Hawkscliffe, to ensure peace between their families so they may fight a common enemy. Though she greatly opposes the marriage she finally agrees. There is a strong attraction between Jonas and Kerstin but they don't trust each other. Kerstin believes he is cruel and wants to see her dead and Jonas believes Kerstin poisoned and killed his brother. Slowly but surely they begin to see each other in a different light. Jonas is kind when he could be cruel and Kerstin is helping his people. But there is a traitor in the group. When Kerstin finds out who it is she sets out to warn Jonas. But will she make it in time? and will they ever find peace in their marriage?
The Heart's Warrior was very engaging and kept me reading from start to finish. The characters were very well drawn and seemed natural to the story. I liked both Jonas and Kerstin. Jonas was a hulk of a man yet had a tender heart. Kerstin had fire and grit yet in her heart she really did want peace. There was a mystery concerning who killed Jonas' brother that you don't find out until the end. There is also a spot in the end that sucked the breath out of me. I loved it because it was unexpected. This would not be considered 'Christian Fiction' but it is what I would call "clean with an edge" (with the exception of a few words).
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Michael Archer used to run wild, stealing, cheating and lying until it finally landed him in jail. Mostly he was running from the pain of a burden he carries with him. A certain preacher took an interest in him and finally lead him to the Lord. Now he finds himself doing that same thing for Ben Carstairs. He can't save him from being hanged but he's agreed to grant Ben's last request, to tell his father he was sorry and return his mother's necklace to him. So Michael heads for Riverbend to accomplish the task. He's not there too long before he meets the beautiful Rachel Stone. Rachel is drawn to Michael but she doesn't trust men and frankly when he finds out about her past he will definitely not be interested. But Michael is not like any man she's ever met. He's strong, gentle and protective of her. Could she ever have a normal relationship with a good man like Michael? Word finally reaches Riverbend that Ben's father was kidnapped from the stagecoach. Michael joins the posse and danger lurks everywhere. Michael wants to return to Rachel and see what God has in store but first he will have to face his deepest fear.
I must first off say that the cover of this novel is beautiful. It's what first made me want to read the book. The story itself was very good and held my interest the whole way through. In many ways I felt like I was watching a good western movie. The cast of characters were well drawn and definitely had life in them. The theme of trusting the Lord ran through the entire story. Many of the characters had pasts they were trying reconcile while learning about God's forgiveness. One thing that was a little frustrating for me was the ending. Although I liked it I wish, as a reader, it would have been more complete in how everything turned out. Almost like there should have been an epilogue. Overall it was a good story. I think Journey to Riverbend would appeal to both men and women. I look forward to future works by this author. A thank you goes to Tyndale (Booksneeze) for providing me with this complimentary review copy.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Lisa Harper's father was killed. Feeling desperate Lisa's mother, Annie, marries Dutch Hauk who turns out to be an abusive monster. He has plans for Lisa that will be a fate worse than death. But before he can do anything, Annie gives over custody of Lisa to a trusted friend. Dutch has made it his mission to keep Lisa and Annie apart. He's successful for a lot of years. But now Lisa and Annie have an opportunity to be a family except they didn't anticipate how far Dutch would go.
Mark Taylor is living with a burden he can't seem shake. Being a former Special Ops officer, he's been watching over Annie and Lisa. Mark has secretly loved Lisa from the time they met but he just doesn't feel he deserves her love. He has told her more about himself than anyone else. But her's afraid of failing her. When Lisa finds herself in trouble both Mark and Lisa need to muster all the strength they can and have trust in the One that will never leave them or forsake them.
Great Story! This author pulled you into the story right from the start. I haven't read anything by this author so didn't know what to expect. But this tale had it all, romance, mystery, suspense, intrigue. I must say that the subject matter was difficult to read about although Human Trafficking is a very real problem. This author handled it honestly without being overly descriptive. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in the story. Mark was a great hero and I really liked the interplay between him and his old team. Sometimes intense but with a lot of humor interjected. The villains were written in such a way that you felt threatened by them. Some suspense stories don't really come across that way but you certainly hated these villains. Lisa was a great character. Though she had lots of hardships in her youth she hadn't completely lost her faith. She was still bubbly and sweet. I liked watching Mark and Lisa together. I also liked the way the author always brought the reader around to the fact that God walks with us through our darkest times, that He's always there and using that circumstance to make us stronger for something that may come up in the future. To me that was uplifting. What was a little tough for me to grasp was Annie staying married to Dutch. Even if she didn't divorce him she needed to at least get to a safe place. Which Mark offered in the story. If you like Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon and Anne Patrick then you're sure to like Deadly Ties. It's Book 2 in the Crossroads Crisis Center Series but I must say I didn't feel lost in the story by not having read book one, Forget Me Not. Thank you goes to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.