The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

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The Two of Us, written by Victoria Bylin is a great story of healing and moving on. Mia Robinson has flown to Las Vegas for her sister’s wedding. Mia raised her sister after the death of their parents and is now a nurse practitioner who has given up dating after two broken engagements. She has applied to Mission Medical for a position on their team.

Jake Tanner is a disabled police officer who lost his partner as a result of a decision he made. He is now looking out for her son, Sam, who is marrying Lucy.

Mia and Jake meet a a coffee shop, not knowing the connection they have. When they meet at the wedding, they find out the wedding is postponed due to complications Lucy is having with the pregnancy.

Jake’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer and needs someone to help her. Lucy and Sam have been asked to move to Echo Falls so Lucy can help her. They plan to have their wedding there as well. Sam is going to school some distance away and Lucy has given up college and excels at caring for Jake’s mom.

This is a wonderful story that touches on several topics. The one that I feel was the best was that Sam and Lucy are Christians but they are also human. They made a mistake and now find themselves about to be parents. But they love each other and make wise decisions for their future. Another is Jake’s desire to start a ministry for young boys who have lost a parent in the line of duty, despite the opposition from the community. And Mia has to make a decision to follow through on taking a position between Mission Medical or being with Jake and serving the community where she lives.

This story has several little stories written in one. But the theme that I take from this book is the caring that each of the characters have for other people. The characters are well defines and the story so well written it is easy to feel you are in the community meetings hearing the chanting and feeling the tension. The story has great from the beginning. I think anyone who enjoys reading contemporary novels with a touch of romance will enjoy this book.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Bethany House Publishing. I have written an honest review.

344 pages

ISBN: 9780764217388

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author go to:

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Two-Us-Victoria-Bylin/dp/0764217380

https://www.christianbook.com/the-two-of-us/victoria-bylin/9780764217388/pd/217388

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-two-of-us/376171

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/bylin-victoria/two-of-us/6986983.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-two-of-us-victoria-bylin/1124824749?ean=9780764217388

In Time of Trouble by N. J. Lindquist

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In Time of Trouble written by N. J. Lindquist is a story of Shane, an 18 year old boy who felt he was living in the shadow of his twin brother, Scott, and developed a tough guy appearance. He eventually loses his job and is dumped by his girlfriend. He is failing in school, his father has taken away his car keys and has now given up on him. His twin has turned his back on him as well and they are fighting a lot. He has hit bottom and is thinking of suicide. The only friend he has left, talks to him about God and invites him to go to a concert. At this concert he turns his life over to God. His father forbids him to talk about God or go to church. His friends ridicule him. But his mother talks with him and also turns her life over to God.

A store is robbed and the owner injured. Someone has stolen Shane’s car and jacket and set him up to take the blame for the robbery. He turns to his new Christian friends who help him through this situation.

This is a wonderful book for teens. It touches on so many issues teens are faced with, such as anger, fear, and bullying. With three pages of discussion questions, this would be a great book for small group discussions. I especially liked the way the author wrote the story so clearly and encouraged Shane to not turn his back on God with all the bad things that happened to him. I enjoyed seeing the change take place within Shane with studying to get his grades better and spending time running for his health. I think teenagers and adults will enjoy this book as it contains suspense and mystery with just a touch of romance.

I received a copy of this book from the author and BookClub Network. This is my honest review.

277 pages

ISBN: 9781927692240

Publisher: That’s Life Communications

To learn more about the author go to: http://www.njlindquist.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Trouble-novel-second-chances/dp/1927692245

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-time-of-trouble-n-j-lindquist/1124243340?ean=9781927692240

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

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Portrait of Vengeance is book 4 in A Gwen Marcey Novel series written by Carrie Stuart Parks. Gwen is a single mother of a teen age daughter and a cancer survivor. Her ex-husband is threatening to take their daughter from her. Her parents were killed when she was little and she was raised by a lady until she returned home to see the house filled with blood. She is on probation with her new job as a forensic artist with the Interagency Major Crime Unit when she finds out about a case of a missing girl after the murder of her parents in Lapwai, Idaho. The case takes place where she lived when she was little and sounds similar to her background so she insists on being put on the case.

In Idaho she works with the Nez Perce Tribal Police and finds herself being treated as an outsider. Her car is stolen right away so she calls a friend, Beth, to come help her. As Gwen works on the case, she has Beth doing research. They quickly discover that someone is out to get Gwen and this case may be connected to the death of Gwen parents. Her boss from the crime unit calls to check on her and she ends up losing her job. But she continues working the case with Beth’s help.

This story is so awesome, it starts out running and never lets up. This story is so full of mystery and suspense that it was hard to put down. The author writes so clearly that it is easy to imagine what is happening and to feel the suspense. While this is a Christian book, the Christian theme is very mild. It is more so a good clean police novel with violence written in it. I think anyone who enjoys reading suspense, mysteries or police stories will enjoy this book. This is the first book I have read and it appears it would be best to read the series in order.

The part in the story that stand out most for me is that there are different times and places in our lives that make us into who we are. Beth reminds Gwen that the hard times she goes through help to make her the person she is today.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and this is my honest review.

Series: A Gwen Marcey Novel (Book 4)

309 pages

ISBN: 9780718083786

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

You can learn more about the author by going to: http://www.carriestuartparks.com/

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Portrait-Vengeance-Gwen-Marcey-Novel/dp/0718083784

https://www.christianbook.com/portrait-of-vengeance-4/carrie-parks/9780718083786/pd/083786

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/portrait-of-vengeance-carrie-stuart-parks/1125138283?ean=9780718083786

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/parks-carrie-stuar/portrait-of-vengeance-gwen-marcey-novel-4/7005811.html

A Groom for Christmas by Anne Greene

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Oh, dear heavenly Father, please send the right man. Seems quite a few men want a wife as well as have their way paid to the Oregon Territory. How shall I ever find the right groom?”

A Groom for Christmas, written by Anne Greene takes place in 1850. Felicity Daniels is traveling with her father to homestead 640 acres in the Oregon Territory. Her father catches cholera and dies before he tells her why they left Missouri in such a hurry and why she must marry and change her name. Felicity and a family friend, Jed have been in Laramie and will be leaving with the wagon train in a few days. Felicity must marry so she can get her land when she gets to Oregon. She puts a sign up and is overwhelmed with the amount of men who show up. Felicity and Jed make a list of requirements to cut down on the amount of men to interview. She wants a man who is intelligent and can carry on a conversation as well as one who does not smoke, drink and is a Christian who regularly attend church.. The men who make the list must put $10 in a box. But the one man Felicity wishes would come, does not.

Ben Bonneville is working to earn money to go to California to pan for gold to pay off his mothers medical expenses and to witness to the gold miners. All of his things are stolen and he is forced to meet with Felicity. Ben is chosen but finds out it is a marriage in name only so Felicity can get the land.

While on the wagon train, Ben is constantly showing his love for Felicity, but she stands firm. It is only when Felicity is carried down stream on a mule does she soften and start to think more about Ben.

This is a fun little story, just perfect for reading in one evening. I really enjoyed reading his story. Even though Ben has less going for him during his interview, he is the one that is chosen. This story is so well written it is easy to see the line of men apply to be Felicity’s husband or to feel the cold during their travel. This book would be enjoyed by those who enjoy reading American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network. I have written an honest review.

128 pages

ISBN: 9781547205431

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing

You can read more about the author and books she has written at: http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/

You can buy this book at: https://www.amazon.com/Groom-Christmas-Anne-Greene/dp/1547205431

Road Trip of Delusion by Jean Ann Williams

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Kari Rose and her two sisters are visiting their grandmother during spring break when their grandmother decided at 3AM to take a long trip to visit family. Even though the girls know they should not go, they can not convince Granny and they are forced to go with her. Kari’s younger sister is constantly mouthing off to Granny, the old Cadillac breaks down and then Granny can no longer drive so 15 year old Kari has to take over.

While Kari is driving, they drive into a snowstorm and have to sit through a road closure for the night. When they are able to get back on the road, a second blizzard hits and Kari pulls off the road and follows a snow plow. They find themselves at an abandoned restaurant and lodge to wait out the storm. Kari goes through the kitchen and finds food to make and they are able to stay warm by the fireplace. While staying at the lodge the family pull together to survive. Kari’s younger sister apologizes for the way she talks to others.

I enjoyed reading this book. There were several parts of the book that were very funny. But for the most part I just wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. There is a little bit of romance in the story with Kari and the young man at a hotel as well. The part I enjoyed most was while they were at the lodge. The love they showed to each other and how they took care of Granny was enjoyable to read.

Any one who enjoys reading adventure stories will enjoy this book. It is a good clean book that could be enjoyed by youth and adults alike. There are some parts of the book where the better proof reading could have been used but it did not disrupt the story.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have written an honest review.

257 pages

ISBN: 9780997701623

Publisher: Love Truth

The author has written over three hundred articles for youth and adults. She writes a healthy eating column in a teen magazine. This is her third book.

Some places you can buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Road-Trip-Delusion-Mrs-Williams/dp/0997701625

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/road-trip-of-delusion-mrs-jean-ann-williams/1126630252?ean=9780997701623

The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling

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The Promise of Dawn is the first book in the Under Northern Skies series written by Lauraine Snelling. Lauraine Snelling is my all time favorite Christian historical fiction author. And I think this is one of the best books she has written. The story takes place in 1909 when Einar Strand sends his family in Norway a letter asking for Rune and his family to immigrate to Benson Corner, Minnesota. Einar and Gerd bought property in Minnesota and Einar has been logging the trees. Gerd took care of their animals until she developed a heart condition that now has her bedridden and in need of help. The agreement is that Einar will pay for Rune and his family to travel to Blackduck in exchange of helping them. When the passage is paid off, Rune and his family will receive a piece of land as their own in exchange of helping.

Rune, Signe and their three sons travel to help the Strands but when they get there they find a house that is mouse and rat infested and filthy and with no beds to sleep on. The Strands are very hard people to work for. Einar is only concerned about the trees and demanding help. Gerd is constantly yelling for Signe to help her. Rune and their oldest son are to help with the trees and one day the young boy is injured. Then the middle son has to help with the trees. Signe finds herself having to go against Einar to protect her children. When Rune starts to stand up to Einar, Einar contacts the sheriff to lock them up and deport them. Signe has kept records of how much the family has worked for the Strands and has received the cost of their passage to show that they have worked more than enough to repay the Strands. The sheriff finds the Strands guilty of de facto slavery.

This story is awesome! Even though parts of the story are hard to understand, such as Rune not standing up for his family, that was a different time and Rune was appreciative of being given the chance to start a new life in America. And Signe showed so much patience to Gerd with caring for her. With Signe’s insistence, Gerd is able to get out of bed. I like the change that slowly takes place in Gerd as she is able to do more things on her own. I also liked how the neighbors came to help Signe in her time of need, even though Einar has run them all off before. I can understand how Signe would start to lose her trust in God with the situation they are in. But I so appreciate Rune being the type of husband that would be gentle with her and help her to see that God is with them.

This is a great book. I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I think anyone who enjoys historical fiction will enjoy this story. With the research the author has done as well as having lived in Northern Minnesota as a child, this story is very true to the time.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Under Norther Skies (Book 1)

379 pages

ISBN: 9780764218965

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author and books she has written go to: http://www.laurainesnelling.com/

Some places you can purchase this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/snelling-lauraine/the-promise-of-dawn-under-northern-skies-1-soft/6986995.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-promise-of-dawn-lauraine-snelling/1124824744?ean=9780764218965

https://www.christianbook.com/the-promise-of-dawn-1/lauraine-snelling/9780764218965/pd/218965

https://www.amazon.com/Promise-Dawn-Under-Northern-Skies/dp/0764218964

The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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The Blessing is book two in the Amish Cooking Class series written by Wanda E. Brunstetter. When the adoption of a baby falls through, Heidi Troyer decides to have another cooking class. Just like the first class, this one has a mixture of students who bring with them personal issues.

Nicole, a teenager that is now responsible for caring for her family has been given the cooking classes by her father. Nicole is failing in school due to all the family responsibilities. Bill is taking the class to learn different things to cook for his friends when they go hunting. He also works at the school Nicole goes to and wants to do something to help her without her knowing.

Allie was given the class as a gift from her policeman husband. Allie is questioning why her husband is having to work so much. He is very seldom home and now she sees him with a female officer.

Lisa is a caterer who is taking the class to learn new things to use in her catering business. Todd is a food critic who takes the class to write an article. He attends a reception Lisa caters and criticizes her food. They develop a friendship but Lisa refuses to let it become more due to Todd not being a Christian. Lance is a widower who enjoys the smells of Heidi’s home when he delivers her mail. He has left his brother stay with him for a while. When this does not work out, Lance arranges for his brother to rent an apartment from Lisa.

With the longing to have a family Heidi and her husband start going through the process of becoming foster parents.

I am really enjoying this series. I enjoy how Heidi gives the classes to have something to do as well as to help others. I like how the author uses the characters to help each other out with the personal struggles they are going through as well as how the students react to the Bible verses Heidi writes on the recipes. I like how the author uses a variety of backgrounds for the students. The story is like having several little stories built into one. I like that some of the characters from the first story are brought back to this one. For that reason it is important to read this series in order.

The theme of Heidi and her husband wanting and not being able to have a child is emotional. Yet they move forward and are open to options for having a family.

I especially enjoy the recipes and the discussion questions at the end the book.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish and their lifestyle.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Series: Amish Cooking Class (Book 2)

318 pages

ISBN: 9781624167454

Publisher: Shiloh Run

To learn more about this author go to: http://wandabrunstetter.com/

To watch the book trailer go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGUleFWRFlM

Some places to buy this book are:

https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Cooking-Class-Wanda-Brunstetter/dp/1624167454

https://www.christianbook.com/the-blessing-2-wanda-brunstetter/9781624167454/pd/167452

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The Promise of Breeze Hill by Pam Hillman

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The Promise of Breeze Hills, written by Pam Hillman, is set in Natchez, Mississippi in 1791. Connor O’Shea was indentured to a master craftsman who past away. He was to continue working to pay for passage for his brothers to come to the United States. He is being auctioned off and Isabella Bartholomew has purchased his papers.

The Bartholomew plantation has been struck by bad luck. The house caught fire along with their cotton fields. Her father was severely injured in the house fire. Shortly after, Isabella’s brother was killed by highwaymen.

Isabella is now responsible for the running of the family home. With the loss of the cotton, they were not able to keep on their employees and only a few have remained. Her family does not believe in having slaves and there are not enough employees to do all the work. Connor is to repair the house in exchange of the Bartholomew’s bringing his brothers to the area. Even though Connor reports to Mr. Bartholomew, he has to work with Isabella and at times this is a struggle as they both have feeling for each other that they are trying to ignore.

Connor finds out they have a sawmill as well. With the help of a few employees, he starts cutting trees to make lumber to rebuild the house. One day Pastor Horne and his family stop by and ask to work in exchange of a place to stay, as his wife is expecting another child. The entire Horne family pitch in to help, some working at the sawmill, some on the house and some in the fields.

As the family’s mourning period comes to an end, men from the surrounding area come to visit Isabella. A neighbor, Nolan Braxton, plans to marry her to get the plantation to carry out his business.

This is a good story. I enjoyed reading about the strength and determination that Isabella had to try to save her family’s home and plantation. As well as the sacrifice Connor is making to help bring all his brothers from Ireland. Connor also gives assistance to those he meets that are in need. He also finds little things Mr. Bartholomew can do to give him something to do besides sit in his room. I appreciate the faith that the characters have. Even though the family does not have extra to spare, they take on the pastor’s family.

This story is fast paced with mystery and suspense woven through out it. The romance is not so strong that it overwhelms the story. The story is so well written it is easy to imagine the storm as well as the dangers the characters face. There a a lot of characters, but they are well introduced and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading early American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing. This is my honest review.

406 pages

ISBN: 9781496415929

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

To learn more about the author, go to: http://www.pamhillman.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

http://www.deepershopping.com/item/hillman-pam/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-a-natchez-trace-novel/7006107.html

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https://www.christianbook.com/the-promise-of-breeze-hill/pam-hillman/9781496415929/pd/415922?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9781496415929&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-promise-of-breeze-hill-pam-hillman/1125140315?ean=9781496415929

Spur of the Moment Bride by Anne Greene

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With God’s help, perhaps getting married wouldn’t prove too awful.”

Spur of the Moment Bride is a novella written by Anne Greene. This story takes place in Wyoming in 1880. Abby Hollister has earned the reputation of being a heart breaker. Her father has now told her she must marry within a month or move out and and kiss her inheritance goodbye. She saw an add for a mail order bride and has decided to take the stage coach to Laramie to check out the man before she decides if she will marry him. She has a list of qualities she is wanting, the man must be poor, had to be ugly, had to be kind and older than her.

Stage coach driver Zach Tyler takes his job very seriously and feel he is responsible for his passengers until he gets them to their destination. He feel especially protective of Abby as she is the only woman passenger in an area where women are as scarce as a bird’s nest in a cockcoo clock. When the stage gets to Laramie, the men go crazy and start fighting over who will get Abby. Zach steps in and tries to help her but gets called on a duel instead. Zach is to face the fastest draw in the area, unless Abby is married before then. And even then Abby is not safe until she is with child.

This is a great funny little story, perfect for reading in one sitting. I really enjoyed the humor in the author’s writing. The story is written so well, it was easy to imagine the dust in the stage coach and the frustration Abby must have felt with the men traveling with her. This book would be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys American historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Book Club Network. I have chosen to write this honest review.

102 pages

ISBN: 9781544638843

Publisher: Winged Publications

You can read more about the author and books she has written as: http://www.annegreeneauthor.com/

This book can be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Spur-Moment-Bride-Anne-Greene/dp/1544638841

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

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Beloved Hope is book two in the Heart of the Frontier series written by Tracie Peterson. This story takes place in Oregon City in 1850. Hope Flanagan was at the mission when it was raided by Cayuse Indians. She is now to be one of the witness to testify against the prisoners standing trial.

Lieutenant Lance Kenner is planning to leave the military and return to Louisiana to take over his family’s plantation and return to his legal work. One of his last military responsibilities to to make sure the prisoners are being treated fairly and to make sure nothing goes wrong at the trial.

After the prisoners are taken back to the jail, Hope goes to the jail to kill Tomahas, the man that abused her. Lance finds her and takes her home to the farm she lives with her sister’s and brother in law. This is just the beginning of the friendship between Lance and Hope. Lance takes a job working for Hope’s uncle to raise the fund to go home to Louisiana. While Hope finds peace tending the sheep and trying to heal from the abuse from Tomahas. Hope has a friendship with Lance that allows her to share what happened to her at the mission, something only her older sister knows.

I like this book, and this series so far. The story contains issues of rape and violence, which may bother some readers. The author has used these issues to bring across the message of healing, growing in faith and returning to God. The story also focuses on forgiveness when Alex and Lance realize they are connected by an incident in Louisiana. I especially like that the author continues the story of Grace and Alex. I really like this series and feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction will enjoy it.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany Publishers. This is my honest review.

Series: Hear of the Frontier (Book 2)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780764213281

Publisher: Bethany House

To learn more about the author visit: http://traciepetersonbooks.com/

Some places to buy this book are:

https://bakerbookhouse.com/products/beloved-hope-9780764213281

https://www.amazon.com/Beloved-Heart-Frontier-Tracie-Peterson/dp/0764213288

https://www.christianbook.com/beloved-hope-heart-of-the-frontier/tracie-peterson/9780764213281/pd/213282

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