Feminine By Design

BOOK IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS LENDING LIBRARY
Feminine By Design
The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood

Author: Scott T. Brown
 
Description: Feminine By Design ~ The Twelve Pillars of Biblical Womanhood, is written for teenage girls to help them understand biblical femininity. Here Scott Brown explores some of the major passages of scripture that explain it. You will find the biblical texts that he used to teach his own daughters as he sought to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). His intention was to fulfill the appeal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).

My thoughts on this book:
Feminine By Design is about God's purpose in creating women. The author includes many scripture references with each subject he touch's on. I felt that some of the verses were taken out of context and they were used to back his opinions, but I did agree with a majority of what he said too. I think it would be a good book for parents and their daughters to go through as a study guide on this subject, but like all things, searching the scripture for themselves to find the truth.

Genres: Femininity, Young Adult, Biblical Womanhood

Waiting for Her Isaac

BOOK IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS LENDING LIBRARY
Waiting for Her Isaac

Author: Stephen & Susie Castleberry

Description: Sixteen-year-old Beth Grant is quite happy with her life and has no desire for any changes. But God has many lessons in store before she is ready for courtship. The story of Beth’s spiritual journey toward godly womanhood is told along with the story of her courtship.

These books are written to encourage the active involvement of their parents as young adults seek a mate. The main characters are committed followers of Jesus Christ, and Christian family values are emphasized throughout. The reader will be encouraged to heed parental advice and to live in obedience to the Lord.


My thoughts on this book:
Waiting for Her Isaac is the story of a young woman who chooses to use her single years to grown in an intimate relationship with Christ. It's perfectly clean and wholesome for all ages.

Beth Grant is perfectly happy with her life... until her family moves. Away from all her friends, Beth struggles to remain content with her situation: single and without her friends. When an accident leaves her crippled in one leg, Beth has the choice to dwell on God's blessings or the bad in her life.

I liked that you could relate to many of the situations in the book. It was encouraging to read about how God used the circumstances in Beth's life for good--A book I would recommend for anyone "waiting for her Isaac".

Genres: Courtship, Young Adult, Biblical Womanhood

Harvest of Rubies / Book 1

It's Christmas Eve Eve! :) We set up our Christmas tree this week and since the beginning of December the house has been filled with the yummy smell of Christmas goodies. It is such a special time of the year. Often though, we get caught up in the routines of decorating, shopping, baking that we forget the real reason why we celebrate. It's always amazing to think that over two thousand years ago our Savior came to earth as a baby! Sure, babies are born every day but this was no ordinary child; He was perfect, sinless, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world.
 
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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
 
 
 
Book Title: Harvest of Rubies
Book Series: Harvest Series (Book 1)
Author: Tessa Afshar
(one of my new favorite authors)

Description:
Sarah, the prophet Nehemiah's cousin, is Senior Scribe to the Queen of Persia - the only woman to have held such an important post in the Persian Empire. A genius who is more at home with scrolls and accounts than with people, Sarah finds her worth in her achievements.

After solving a particularly thorny plot, she loses the job that is at the center of her life, and finds herself married to a man who despises her. Through the heartache of loss, Sarah discovers the joys of friendship and the peace of God. To her astonishment, she learns that she has something to offer that is worth far beyond her ability with languages and sums. Her very being proves a blessing to others.

Can she win the heart of her stubborn aristocratic husband, whom she has grown to love?
 
 
My Review:
This was a fantastic book! I read in about three sitting. (It would have been less but there were things I really had to do.) It was almost unbearable to put the book down. :)
 
I loved Sarah's and Darius's genuine kindness for others. They had great character traits even with their flaws. Although Harvest of Rubies is the first of two I didn't feel like I was left off hanging. Not that I can't wait to continue their story, but I liked that it had a happy and almost complete ending. I really dislike when books don't have a happy ending. Makes me sad :(
 
Sarah's newfound relationship with God is really beautiful and I liked the analogy of the grape vines. Can hardly wait to read the next one, Harvest of Gold.
 
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Pearl in the Sand

Okay, so this isn't one of my usual "book in a series" review like I not normally do. I just read this book and wanted to review it as a random one. It's not even a new release but it was a really good. Hope you all will read and enjoy it as much as I did.

 
 
 
"By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." Hebrews 11:31

Book Title: Pearl in the Sand
Author: Tessa Afshar

Description:
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well-walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith ... of pride; a marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.

 
My Review: This book is an amazing story of one woman's incredible faith in God. Based on the account in the Bible, Tessa Afshar uses the facts written there as the foundation to her book. Rahab is a woman with a sinful past but through God's mercy, Salmone's love, and her courage she starts a new life in the Israelites' camp. Such a great and encouraging book. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy reading Christian Fiction on Bible characters. I loved it! (Note: The book starts off when Rahab is fifteen but her life in Jericho is not in depth and fairly clean.) 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

New Releases: In the Field of Grace

Book Title: In the Field of Grace
Publisher: Moody Publishers / River North Fiction

Publication Date: June 15, 2014
(I know this isn't the "newest" book but at least it just came out this year :)

Description:
Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation. But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is astounded to find one of the most honored men of Judah showing her favor. Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

Based on the biblical account of Ruth, In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel's destiny and the future of the whole world.


My Review:
I really liked how Tessa Afshar portrayed Ruth. She fit the Bible's description and yet was brought to life in a whole new way than how I had previously pictured her. Ruth is one of my favorite Bible heroines and I was glad that this book was a tribute to her. Besides how the characters were portrayed, the book itself was of good quality. The author did a great job of keeping your attention through an interesting and enjoyable storyline. Definitely a book I'd like to own.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

New Releases: Spy of Richmond


Book Title: Spy of Richmond
Publisher: Moody Publishers / River North Fiction
Publication Date: March 1, 2015

Description:
Trust None. Risk all.

Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Compelled to atone for the sins of her slaveholding father, Union loyalist Sophie Kent risks everything to help end the war from within the Confederate capital and abolish slavery forever. But she can't do it alone.

Former slave Bella Jamison sacrifices her freedom to come to Richmond, where her Union soldier husband is imprisoned, and her twin sister still lives in bondage in Sophie's home. Though it may cost them their lives, they work with Sophie to betray Rebel authorities. Harrison Caldwell, a Northern freelance journalist who escorts Bella to Richmond, infiltrates the War Department as a clerk-but is conscripted to defend the city's fortifications.

As Sophie's spy network grows, she walks a tightrope of deception, using her father's position as newspaper editor and a suitor's position in the ordnance bureau for the advantage of the Union. One misstep could land her in prison, or worse. Suspicion hounds her until she barely even trusts herself. When her espionage endangers the people she loves, she makes a life-and-death gamble.

Will she follow her convictions even though it costs her everything-and everyone-she holds dear?

My Review:
I liked the title of this book. Spy of Richmond is catchy, in my opinion. The storyline for this book was definitely packed with adventure and excitement. It was a tad confusing though because the author wrote from so many people's perspectives. Maybe this doesn't bother anyone else but for myself I like it when it's written from only two-four. This book had at least six. Also, I didn't feel like the past was explained very well. The author didn't make the previous events in the characters' lives very clear but I think I got the jest of them anyway. I enjoyed the book but it didn't meet up to my standards for a "great" book.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

New Releases: Esther

Book Title: Esther
Publisher: Bethany House 
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
 
Description:
When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people.
 
When Xerxes, King of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

 
My Review:
Angela Hunt is a gifted author who takes the minimal details of a hero/heroine in the Bible and creates a story from them. Reading this book made me think of Esther more as a real person than just a Bible character. Some of the details were a bit gruesome so I wouldn't recommend this book for someone younger than fourteen. I didn't care for those scenes but I guess they made the book more authentic because there are actually accounts of them happening. Overall, it was a book I enjoyed. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Fountain Creek Chronicles / Book 3

We're finally on my favorite book of this series! Yeah. After reading this book those who know me will have figured out why it's my favorite one. The main character is French! (I think I've mentioned I have a love for all things French :) I've even been trying to learn the language for a couple years now. Slow process but I've definitely accomplished some. The only problem is I don't think a native French would be able to understand me. :P
 
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Hope y'all enjoy this book as much as I did.
Book Title: Remembered
Book Series: Fountain Creek Chronicles (Book 3)
Author: Tamera Alexander
 
 
Description:
The threat of war--and a final request--send Véronique Girard from France to a distant and uninviting country. In the Colorado Territory, she searches for the man who has held her heart since childhood--her father. Pierre Girard left Paris for the Americas to seek his fortune in fur trading, vowing to send for his wife and daughter. But twenty-five years have passed and his vow remains unfulfilled. Sifting through shards of broken promises, Véronique embarks on a dangerous search for a man she scarcely remembers.
 
His grief finally healed, Jack Brennan is moving on with life. After years of guiding families west, he is now working as a freighter to the mining towns surrounding Willow Springs. What he doesn't count on is an unexpected traveling companion on his trips up into the mountains, and how one woman's search will cause havoc with his plans . . . and his life.
 
My Review: Remembered was a great book, and not just because there was a French person in it. :) I liked the characters of Jack Brennan and Véronique Girard. The story always kept your attention and there was a good message of Christ's love and forgiveness. It was also sporadically funny; which makes me like a book even more--a great ending book for a great series.
 
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yes. This book is for anyone who likes novels with a Christian and western theme, plenty of adventure, romance, and a great message.
 

New Releases: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café

Book Title: Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café
Publishing Date: February 17, 2015

Description:
What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?
 
Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Café, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea's door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Café, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They've come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the café has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life's biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way.
 
My Review: This is my favorite book by Max Lucado; at least novel wise. I love the way his books have such a depth to them. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Café had a great storyline. I loved all the characters, especially Sawyer and Manny. Manny was so sweet and his antics were quite funny. Sawyer, even though he had made lots of mistakes, had a determination and persistence I really admired. I especially liked "the God Blog" but I don't want to spoil the book so I'll let you read it for yourself and find out why. I'm sure you'll be awed by it too--I definitely recommend this book for all to read.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Fountain Creek Chronicles / Book 2

Happy 2nd week of November! It's only snowed here once so far this month. Well, at least a snow that counted anyway; it's yet to cover the ground. But we do have four days of snow in the forecast for later this week so who knows, right? I'm really looking forward to Winter this year. I mean, I always look forward to it, always hope for a TON of snow :D but even more so this year with plans for skiing.

This week's book is the second in the Fountain Creek Chronicles series. Revealed is the story of Annabelle Grayson; a previous character in Rekindled. The majority of Tamera Alexander's books have a story of forgiveness and forgetting the past and Revealed is no exception. Annabelle's past is far from perfect; in fact most people avoid her because of it but she learns that in Christ all things are made new, including her. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Hope you enjoy,


Book Title: Revealed
Book Series: Fountain Creek Chronicles (Book 2)
Author: Tamera Alexander

Description: Annabelle Grayson has been given a second chance at life, but she can't claim it with the cloud of her past hanging over her in Willow Springs. After her husband dies, she advertises for a trail guide to accompany her to land waiting for her in Idaho--and a most unlikely candidate applies for the job.

Matthew Taylor is a man on the run, with consequences of past mistakes pursuing him at every turn. Meeting Annabelle Grayson the first time was unpleasant enough, but when she crosses his path again, her presence in his life--and what she reveals--is devastating. If given a single wish, Matthew would turn back time and right a grievous wrong. If given a second wish, he would make Annabelle Grayson pay.

My Review: Revealed tells the story of two characters, Annabelle and Matthew, both running from their pasts. When their lives are brought together, although alike in many ways, the two don't get along. In fact, there's more hate in their relationship than love in the beginning. I liked the main character Matthew but I sympathized for Annabelle because she really was such a sweet person and no one could see that because they shied from her past. I was glad when the book ended it summed up their story like I hoped it would.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yes. This book is for anyone who likes novels with a Christian and western theme, plenty of adventure, romance, and a great message.

New Releases: To Everything a Season

Book Title: To Everything a Season
Publishing Date: October 14, 2014

Description: Trygve Knutson is devoted to his family and his community. With his job on the construction crew, he is helping to build a future for the North Dakota town of Blessing. Though he loves his home, he sometimes dreams of other horizons--especially since meeting Miriam Hastings.

Miriam is in Blessing to get practical training to become an accredited nurse. She's been promised a position in the Chicago women's hospital that will enable her to support her siblings and her ailing mother. Although eager to return to her family, Miriam is surprised to find how much she enjoys the small town of Blessing. And her growing attachment to Trygve soon has her questioning a future she always considered set in stone.

When a family emergency calls Miriam home sooner than planned, will she find a way to return? If not, will it mean losing Trygve--and her chance at love--for good?

My Review: I had a really hard time finishing this book. It was a slow story and the main character, Miriam didn't even come into the story until the book was half way over! That struck me a little odd. Also, although To Everything a Season was the first book in the series it was like a middle one. The author didn't explain who everyone was and it was like she just expected us to know; so I was a little lost while reading. I liked the Christian message in the book but it's not on my to-read-again list.

My Rating: ⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Fountain Creek Chronicles / Book 1

I am so sorry everyone for not having posted anything in a long time. With school and all my other activities and projects the time has really zoomed by. Although it's not my favorite season, Autumn sure is a pretty time. The vibrant change of the leaves' colors and the crisp smell in the air. One of my favorite things about this season is all the baked goods made from apples. Apple crisp, apple pie, apple cider, dried apples, apple sauce, apple fritters... You definitely can't beat all that. :) We just got our first snowfall this weekend. Yeah! Winter's on it's way.

I recently read this series of Tamera Alexander's and decided it would be nice one to review for the upcoming weeks. There are three books in the Fountain Creek Chronicles: Rekindled, Revealed, and Remembered. My very favorite is the book three but I really enjoyed all of them.

593031Book Title: Rekindled
Author: Tamera Alexander
Series: Fountain Creek Chronicles (Book 1)

Description: Ten years ago Kathryn Jennings mad a vow. For better or worse. And that promise still holds true, even though her marriage has not turned out as she expected. When her husband fails to return home one stormy winter night, she struggles to keep their ranch, but her efforts are blocked at every turn. After a shocking glimpse into her husband's past, Kathryn uncovers a hidden truth. What she wouldn't give to turn back time and be able to love her husband for the man he was, not for the man she always wanted him to be.
Larson Jennings has spent his entire life running from a broken past, unable to trust, reluctant to try again. One fateful night, his life takes an unexpected twist, and soon he is forced to make a choice. Whatever he chooses, his decision may cost him his life.

My Review: This was a great book. Just reading the tagline made me excited to start it. I loved the characters. They were inspiring and as I read I wanted to be more like them. I just recently heard of Tamera Alexander and now she's on my list of favorite authors. I've already read all of her books.  :)

Rekindled was an exciting and inspiring book. You will not be able to put it down.

My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yes, most definitely. 

New Releases: Four Weddings and a Kiss

Okay, so maybe this book isn't quite so new but with my long list of books that I was reading and reviewing I kind of got behind. Oh well, better late than never :) I really liked this book and I hope you all will be encouraged to read it too.

Book Title: Four Weddings
and a Kiss
Publishing Date: June 10, 2014

Description: Four best-selling romance novelists bring tales of feisty heroines, stubborn heroes, and unlikely love in the Wild West. Get lost in Four Weddings and a Kiss today.

"Spitfire Sweetheart"
by Mary Connealy
Maizy Place is an unruly tomboy. When she causes an accident, injuring neighbor Ryan Carstens she becomes his unlikely caregiver. Ryan has never noticed how pretty his infuriating neighbor is, and he never expected to fall in love.

"Love Letter to the Editor" by Robin Lee Thatcher
Molly Evans is the outspoken daughter of the town newspaper's owner. When her father brings in an outsider to be editor, she tries to drive him out of town. But Jack Ludgrove is not intimidated. He's resolved to change Molly's mind about him--as an editor and as a man.

"A Cowboy for Katie" by Debra Clopton
Katie Pearl is uninterested in men and love. But she needs help on her ranch and hires Treb Rayburn, a wandering cowboy looking to make a buck. Will Treb change Katie's mind?

"Courting Trouble" by Margaret Brownley
Grace Davenport is either the unluckiest woman alive--or a killer. When her third husband is found dead, Grace is arrested. Attorney Brock Daniels is uninterested in the case--until he meet Grace. Only a miracle will prove her innocence, but the joining of two lonely hearts may be their saving grace.

My Review: Each of these novellas were fun, entertaining, and enjoyable but my very favorite was Spitfire Sweetheart. Like almost all of Mary Connealy's books, Spitfire Sweetheart was quite funny. I loved the wit and humor she portrayed in her characters and how they interacted with each other. I liked the stories by the other authors too and will be on a lookout for more of their books.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

New Releases: In Perfect Time

Book Title: In Perfect Time
Publishing Date: July 29, 2014

Description:
Bold, sophisticated, and flirtatious, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.

Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don't want to go. Can they confront the fears and misunderstandings in their pasts?


My Review: This was a great book. I totally loved it! It was exciting to learn Kay Jobson's story and watch her life change; along with that of Roger Cooper's. It was interesting to learn more about the aviation in World War II too. In Perfect Time had just the right amount of romance and history weaved into a strong Christian message.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

New Releases: The Brickmaker's Bride

Book Title: The Brickmaker's Bride
Publishing Date: October 7, 2014

A little bit about the book: In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.
Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?


My Review: The Brickmaker's Bride was the first book I've read by Judith Miller and although it had the makings of a good book it didn't really appeal to me. I felt like the story was being drawn out which made me lose interest in the book. And although I did finish it I could have done without reading it. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐
Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Courting Morrow Little: A Novel

This week's featured book is Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. The book's theme is about forgiveness and it takes place during the Revolutionary War; although, it deals more with Indians than with the British.

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Book Title: Courting Morrow Little
Author: Laura Frantz

Description: Morrow Little is haunted by the memory of the day her family was torn apart by raiding Shawnee warriors. Now that she is nearly a grown woman and her father is ailing, she must make difficult choices about the future. Several men--ranging from the undesired to the unthinkable--vie for her attentions, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to a forbidden love that both terrifies and intrigues her. Can she betray the memory of her lost loved ones--and garner suspicion from her friends--by pursuing a life with him? Or should she seal her own misery by marrying a man she doesn't love?

This sweeping tale of romance and forgiveness will envelop readers as it takes them from a Kentucky fort through the vast wilderness to the west in search of true love.

My Review: This was a great book. I loved the main characters Morrow and Red Shirt. They both had good morals and personalities and Morrow's father was an inspiration to me. I've always liked books that take place in a historical setting. Reading them makes me want to live in that time-period and yet appreciate the living conditions I have now. :) I will definitely be looking for future Laura Frantz books now that I've read all of hers.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yep. This is one of my very favorites by Laura Frantz.

New Releases: The Lady and the Officer

Book Title: The Lady and the Officer
Publishing Date: August 1, 2014

A little bit about the book:
Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow’s Hope) presents The Lady and the Officer, Book 2 of her new Civil War historical romance series, which tells the stories of brave women and the men who love them.

Serving for a brief time as a nurse after the devastating battle of Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederate Home Guard. But even though Maddy makes her home in the South, her heart and political sympathies belong to General James Downing, a soldier from the North.

However, Colonel Haywood has never forgotten the beautiful nurse, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he is determined to win her. But while rubbing elbows with army officers and cavalry generals and war department officials in her aunt and uncle’s palatial home, Maddy overhears plans for a Confederate attack in northern Virginia. She knows passing along this information may save the life of her beloved James, but at what cost? Can she really betray the trust of her family and friends?

Maddy’s heart is pulled between wanting to be loyal to those who care for her and wanting to help the man she believes is on the right side of the conflict. Two men love her. Will her faith in God show her the way to a bright future, or will her choices bring a devastation of their own?

My Review: I'm pretty sure everyone has heard the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" but despite knowing this I almost did. I didn't expect the book to be of much quality seeing the cover looked pretty cheaply done to me but I am so glad I actually decided to read the book. The Lady and the Officer definitely excelled over my expectations and I really enjoyed reading the story. I liked the morals of the main characters in the book and the Civil-War era theme. I will definitely looking be forward to more books written by Mary Ellis.

My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

New Releases: With Every Breath

Book Title: With Every Breath
Publishing Date: August 5, 2014

A little bit about the book: In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.


My Review: This was an interesting book about two characters determined to find a cure for tuberculosis, a dreaded and fatal disease in that time-period. I liked the interaction between Kate and Trevor, who in high school were competitors instead of friends. As they put aside their differences and worked together they discovered more about each other and it was exciting for the reader to learn about them too. Along with the main theme of the book (finding a cure for tuberculosis), there was romance and a stimulating plot that drew me into the story. Overall, it was a great book and one that I would recommend.


My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

The Colonel's Lady: A Novel

Good morning. Instead of starting a new series this week I've decided just to review a singular book. It's called The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz and it takes place during the Revolutionary War in the unsettled land of Kentucky. 

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I've just recently come across this author but already I've read almost all of her books. I believe I have two left; one sitting on my shelf right now and the other to be published in a couple weeks.

Book Title: The Colonel's Lady
Author: Laura Frantz

Description:
In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father's place as scrivener. Before long, it's clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own--some of which have to do with her father's sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

Readers will be enchanted by this powerful story of love, faith, and forgiveness from reader favorite Laura Frantz. Her solid research and deft writing immerse readers in the world of the early frontier while her realistic characters become intimate friends.


My Review: I became engrossed with this book from the first couple chapters. After starting I had a hard time putting it down because I couldn't wait to find out how the story would unfold. I really liked how the story ended too. Sometimes I'm slightly disappointed with how a book ends but not with this one. Forgiveness was a big theme in this book-either from one another or from God. The Colonel's Lady was a great book with a great message.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I would. It had a nice message to it along with adventure, action, romance, and history.

Hearts of Faith / Book 3

Today was another beautiful, sunny day. We spent the afternoon wading at the beach in honor of my sister's birthday. It was so much fun! Our family hadn't gone there for a few years so my little brothers and sisters had a blast. Doing things with my family are some of my greatest memories.

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A note about today's book: Rebellious Heart is actually based on the life and courtship of John and Abigail Adams. Many parts in the book are fictitious, such as the smuggling and incidents with the British, but it is possible those things could have happened as they are in accordance with the character of John and Abigail.

Book Title: Rebellious Heart
Author: Jody Hedlund
Series: Hearts of Faith (Book #3)

Description: In 1763 Massachusetts, Susanna Smith has grown up with everything she's ever wanted, except one thing: an education. Because she's a female, higher learning has been closed to her, but her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. She's determined to put her status to good use, reaching out to the poor and deprived. And she knows when she marries well, she will be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Ben Ross grew up a farmer's son and has nothing to his name but his Harvard education. A poor country lawyer, he doesn't see how he'll be able to fulfill his promise to make his father proud of him. When family friends introduce him to the Smith family, he's drawn to quick-witted Susanna but knows her family expects her to marry well. When Susanna's decision to help an innocent woman no matter the cost crosses with Ben's growing disillusionment with their British rulers, the two find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice.


My Review: This was probably my favorite book in this series. I really liked how Susanna and Ben were compassionate towards the innocent and poor. And how they were willing to sacrifice even those things which were most important to them. Rebellious Heart also gave a nice glimpse of life as opposition against England grew in the Colonies.  

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book? Yes. This book is for anyone who likes novels with a Christian and historical theme, excitement, romance, and plenty of danger and adventure. (ages 15+)

*Note: Rebellious Heart is loosely based on the life and accounts of John and Abigail Adams. For more information read the author's note at the end of the book.

New Releases: A Match of Wits

Book Title: A Match of Wits
Publishing Date: July 1, 2014

A little bit about the book:
After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancé, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she’ll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home… until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha’s determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they’ll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.
Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth–until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

My thoughts on this book: Before coming across this book, I had never heard of Jen Turano. After reading A Match of Wits, and enjoying it SO much, I've been in the process of reading her others; especially the rest of this series, Ladies of Distinction. Jen Turano has a knack for making her books hilariously funny. Agatha and her pet pig were a comical duo and their interaction with others was fun to read.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: I received this book through NetGalley. http://netgalley.com

Time in the Limelight with Priscilla White & Eli Ernest

 
The Story
Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.
 
 (from the cover of The Doctor's Lady)
Brief Physical Description:

Priscilla White is a devoted young woman with her heart leading her to the mission field. She has beautiful golden, blonde hair and gray/blue eyes framed by long lashes. She is mostly gentle and soft-spoken but occasionally her determination gives her a fiery disposition.

Eli Ernest studied to become a doctor with the intentions of bringing healing to others. He has tan skin from being constantly in the outdoors and his eyes are the color of blue winter skies. A thin scar is faintly seen from the corner of his left eye down to his cheek. He has a strong resolve and willpower in things he is passionate about.

Character Traits:

Priscilla's strongest trait is probably determination. Most of that is directed towards the mission field. She loves to sing hymns and to others she has the voice of an angel. She is gentle and sweet with a natural ability for teaching.

To those who don't know him well Eli seems gruff but his compassionate spirit is definitely seen in his care for patients. Like Priscilla, he feels a strong call as a missionary. His passion is doctoring and through his travels he's become a skillful woodsman.

Occupations:

Priscilla is the daughter of a fairly wealthy family in New York. She teaches school to the town's children-a job she loves. She has also been training to become a missionary to India. When the mission board refuses to accept single people she marries Eli Ernest and heads west instead.

Eli is a doctor by trade but has been called to be a missionary to the Indians. He intends to use his skill as a doctor to share God's love and care with those who have never heard the Gospel.  Having been out West, Eli sees the Indians' plight and starts whole-heartedly into helping them. But when the mission board changes their mind on accepting him Eli realizes he must find a wife. At first he is uninterested in Priscilla, but when a lack of options forces his hand he makes an agreement with her--they will marry in name only. At first all is well with this partnership but when their feelings for each other change will Eli and Priscilla be united in love or is it too late?

Note: The Doctor's Lady is loosely based on the accounts of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman.

Hearts of Faith Series / Book 2

This week's book is called The Doctor's Lady and is the second in our current series. Actually, it should have been last week's book but I was really busy last week. I've found that as you grow up the time seems to slip by faster. When I was in the single digits I never to seemed to lack time. Now, in my teens, it's like the days are passing by in a hurried blur. I used to think Friday, (my favorite day of the week then, because we got to stay up late and play games as a family) never came soon enough. I don't think that thought much anymore.


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Hopefully I will have the next Time in the Limelight posted tomorrow but if not then definitely by Sunday. The characters will be Priscilla White and Eli Ernest from The Doctor's Lady.
 
Have a great "rest of the week"!
.



Book Title: The Doctor's Lady
Author: Jody Hedlund
Series: Hearts of Faith (Book #2)

Description: Priscilla White knows she'll never be a wife or mother and feels God's call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God's leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.



My Review: When I learned that this book was based on the life of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, missionaries to the Oregon Indians, I was excited to read it. Once I started the book I couldn't put it down and finished it rather quickly. Jody Hedlund's writing gave a nice glimpse into what it was probably like to travel west in the nineteenth century. It's almost impossible nowadays to imagine the difficulties involved. I especially liked The Doctor's Lady because it was historically-based and a Christian fiction/romance--an all around well written book.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Would I recommend this book: Yes. Especially for others like me who enjoy books written with: an nineteenth century theme, historical base, romance, and an interesting plot.

*Note: The Doctor's Lady is loosely based on the life and accounts of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman. For more information read the author's note at the end of the book.