Wednesday, April 25, 2012

REAL VIRTUE by Katy Lee




Mel Mesini grew up with a lot of hurt and pain. Her mother is known as the "crazy lady" and her dad somewhat pushed her away as she was growing up. But the incident with Jeremy (a man she loved) was the final straw that caused her to leave her hometown and head for the city. There she became a successful restaurant owner. Mel is also heavily involved in a virtual reality game on the computer where her avatar looks a lot like her. It's a virtual world, and unlike her real world, she is in complete control..or is she? Someone is shaking up her virtual world. Then she receives news that her father has been hit by a car and she is asked to return home to care for her mother. Jeremy Stiles, once a war vet, is now a policeman and knows that what happened to Mel's father is no accident. After several close calls, Jeremy feels that Mel is the target. Someone is taunting her in her virtual world and threatening her in the real world. Jeremy doesn't know much about Mel's virtual world but he does know that God is control of the real world and he just needs to be faithful. Will Jeremy be able to show Mel that God is big enough for her to trust Him, that she can always count on Him, before it's too late?

WOW! Real Virtue is an exceptional, well-written, spiritually enriching story that is going down as a favorite. I don't think I have ever read a story where a character was involved in a virtual reality world and the effects it can have. It was very interesting. I also learned a little something about schizophrenia which I found fascinating. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Mel and Jeremy. I loved the way Jeremy handled things. Most especially Mel and her mother. The world could sure use more Jeremys! This author did an excellent job of weaving spiritual truths throughout the story and bringing them to life by using some really great illustrations! You'll have to read the story to find out what they are. From beginning to end, the story is loaded with action, danger, mystery, humor and a really great romance. The ending alone is worth reading the book! The cover, as well as the title, does a excellent job of reflecting what you'll find in the story. Katy Lee has an easy writing style that just makes reading the story a real pleasure. If you're looking for a book that's hard to put down, has larger-than-life characters together with a great message then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Real Virtue. Great job, Katy!
File Size: 2549 KB
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing (April 4, 2012)
ASIN: B007SHM5AQ
*A thank you goes to the author for providing this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

GIFTS OF LIFE by Heather Hunt




Natalie Mercer just found out she's pregnant. Before she can share the news with her husband, Donovan, he delivers some devastating news. In the next instant Donovan is gunned down by a drive-by shooter. Hoping to start a new life after all that had happened she accepts a new position as a flight nurse for a rescue service in the Georgia Mountains. That's where she meets up with Jake Adams. A handsome ex-baseball player, now rescue helicopter pilot, who has issues of his own he's dealing with. Although their first meeting was a disaster, the more they work together the more they realize the strong feelings that are developing between them. Will they be able to let go of the past in order to forge a future together?

Gifts of Life was a story I could not put down! From the very beginning this author grabs you and doesn't let you go until the last page. I loved all the delightful, real-life characters and enjoyed all their interaction. You feel like you're a part of the life-flight rescue team and get some great insight into what their jobs really involve. I totally enjoyed the relationship between Jake and Natalie. They played off of each other very well and I found their situations and how they dealt with things to be very realistic. I have to say, Jake is a swoon-worthy hero! I liked that he was protective of his own! Natalie had such an inner strength for all that she had been through. There is a subtle message of faith running through the story which I always appreciate. Though there is a lot of emotion tied to this story, there is also lots of humorous banter between the members of the rescue team. To me that really added an extra spark! Heather Hunt is a new author to me but I really enjoyed her writing style. If you like a relationship driven story that keeps you turning pages, then try Gifts of Life. It's one I would read again. I am now looking forward to reading Gifts of Hope.
File Size: 471 KB
Print Length: 217 pages
ASIN: B007HHNYK2

Sunday, April 15, 2012

NOT THIS TIME by Vicki Hinze




Beth and Sara are sisters-of-the-heart and have built a very successful business together. But Beth does not like Sara's husband and because of that Beth has had to hold her tongue...a lot, and it's put a strain on their relationship. Seagrove Village is hit hard again by an act of terrorism. Sara's husband is kidnapped and a few think it might be Beth. Then there is Sara's strange behavior. Beth doesn't know what to make of it all or who to trust and is trying to figure out how it's all connected. Then there's Joe, a man from her past that she finds herself very attracted to. There's a strong connection between them but Beth is apprehensive. Someone in their village is a traitor, will they figure out who it is before it's to late?

What an excellent romantic suspense! I was glued to the pages from beginning to end. I had come to know the folks of Seagrove Village after reading Deadly Ties and was anxious to return there with Not This Time. I really liked everything about this story. Most especially the relationship between Joe and Beth. I just loved how they were together! I also enjoyed the dynamics of the Shadow Watchers. How a tight-knit team operates and interacts. I really appreciated how the author skillfully wove the message though the story, that nobody is beyond redemption if they choose to turn to the Lord. It doesn't change your past or the circumstances you're in, but it's the peace that passes all understanding that washes over you and gives you hope and changes the way you think. It was a great conclusion to the series but I was sure sorry to say goodbye the folks of Seagrove Village! Although you could read this as a stand alone, this is a series I would highly encourage reading in order. Not This Time is a tightly woven story that keeps you on your toes. I highly recommend it but be sure to buckle your seat belt, there's lots of curves ahead!!! Great job Vicki!!!
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books (February 21, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1601422075
ISBN-13: 978-1601422071
*I received this book from the publisher through LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review*

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LULLABY IN LONE CREEK by Mary Manners




Dalton Merrill's life is bull riding. Now, due to an injury, that career has come to a close. He heads home to Lone Creek Ranch to recover and find his footing. Instead, he finds that his one-time afternoon tryst with Emilee Walker has left her very pregnant with his child. Dalton is not one to stay in one place, so how will he deal with this current situation? Emilee Walker has always loved Dalton Merrill. She not only gave her heart to him but she also gave herself as well. Though she knows that was wrong, soon she will be having his son. Dalton's home for now but will he stay? And if he does, will it be because he loves her or because he's being responsible?

Lullaby in Lone Creek is the second installment in the Lone Creek Ranch series and I enjoyed my trip back there. You catch up with what's going on with the ranch and some of the folks we first met in 'Lost in Lone Creek'. I liked getting to know Emilee and Dalton better. There was a lot of emotion to this story with a career ending, a baby on the way and wondering how it will all work out. You get a little more insight about why Dalton is the way the he is. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between our lead couple and watching as they worked through their difficulties. Now I'm looking forward to returning to the ranch for Lesson in Lone Creek.
File Size: 164 KB
Publisher: Pelican Ventures Book Group-White Rose Publishing (March 22, 2012)
ASIN: B007NPUQVI

Sunday, April 8, 2012

WHEN LOVE COMES MY WAY by Lori Copeland




Tess Wakefield has inherited a lumber business from her grandfather but knows nothing about it. Besides she's interested in fancy hats not logging. Her fiance encourages her to sell the lumber business and reinvest the money in her hat boutiques. With that decision made she travels to the logger camp to sign all the necessary papers but before she arrives, she's in a terrible wagon accident. She wakes to find she has no memories of who she is. But she does know that Jake Lannigan stirs her heart like no one else has. Jake has an idea that she's Tess Wakefield and uses her loss of memory as an opportunity to show her about the responsibility of replanting the trees. What he doesn't count on is falling in love with the pretty little fire ball. Jake knows he should be honest with Tess about who she is but before he can do that, she regains her memory. When the truth is made known, can Jake and Tess overcome their emotions to see that the Lord just might have worked out everything for good?

This was a wonderful story and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey to the Wakefield logging camp in upper Michigan. What a rugged life those men (and some of their wives) lead. All the dangers they faced daily in their work is something you don't really think about. I enjoyed getting to know the characters who were all larger than life and fully fleshed out. While I was reading, I truly felt as if I was there at the camp. I could feel the cold frigid air touching my face, smell the food cooking in the bunkhouse and hear the saws of the men working to cut the trees. Along with the heart-felt emotion in this story, there was also plenty of humor. Even when I finished the book, I found myself recalling some of those memorable moments. One verse that kept running through my mind as I was reading was 'man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps'. Sometimes what we have planned is not what the Lord has planned and we need to be open to His leading and trust Him. When Love Comes My Way is a fun and uplifting story that I would definitely recommend.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; Expanded edition (June 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736930213
ISBN-13: 978-0736930215
*A thank you goes to Harvest House Publishers for providing this complimentary ARC through Netgalley for my review*

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

HER LONE STAR COWBOY by Debra Clopton




Gabi Newberry returns to Mule Hollow to stay with her grandmother (who happens to be a Mule Hollow matchmaker) and recover from a very difficult time in her life. As a new believer she's anxious to leave her past behind and start fresh, working as a veterinarian's assistant. Fate seems to be working against her when she finds herself caught in a flash flood while hauling a couple of calves. That's when she meets Jess Holden. A very handsome cowboy who rescues her and the calves from the rising water. The attraction between them is strong. Gabi has never met anyone quite like Jess (though he is a little high-handed) and, though Jess is a confirmed bachelor, he finds himself drawn to the sweet and spunky Gabi in a way he's never been drawn to a woman. But when Gabi's past collides with Jess' past, will Jess be able to deal with it or will he turn his back on what just might be the best thing that ever happened to him?

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Mule Hollow! This is the first book I've read in that series but I'll tell ya, it makes me want to read all the others. I fell in love with the town and it's people and though this is the latest in the series I didn't feel lost at all. This story really felt like the perfect blend of emotion and humor while tackling difficult subjects like alcoholism, abandonment, abuse and anger. I loved how the author effortlessly weaved the message that 'God is bigger than our problems and works out everything for His glory and purpose'. That's a great reminder when you're traveling a difficult road. The characters were very well drawn and the emotions they faced and how they behaved, in my opinion, were very realistic. I loved all the interaction between Gabi and Jess, and between Jess and his brothers. It just made me want to keep turning pages to see what would happen next. And although you can pretty much guess the ending, it was still more than satisfying. For those who have not yet visited Mule Hollow, I highly recommend you pick-up Her Lone Star Cowboy. For those who have been following the Mule Hollow series, I'm sure, will find this to be a wonderful addition. Great Job, Debra! Can't wait for the next installment!
File Size: 350 KB
Print Length: 220 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (April 1, 2012)
ASIN: B006YACWV0
ISBN-10: 0373877331
ISBN-13: 978-0373877331
*A thank you goes to Harlequin for this complimentary copy through Netgalley for my review*

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