The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers


The Masterpiece, by Francine Rivers, is a very good story. With 484 pages, it is not a quick read. This is a contemporary Christian fiction that shows real life struggles Christians deal with. It also shows that yet we are all sinners, God forgives us our sins. The story deals with the issue of an unwed pregnancy and the decisions the mother has to make for the sake of her child and herself.

Roman is a successful artist in need of a personal assistant. His mother was a prostitute and would leave him alone at night. One day she did not come home. He was put in the foster care system and would run away, going back to look for his mother. He eventually ended up at the Masterson Ranch for troubled boys. It was there he finished his education as well as was given a start in his painting career. To this day he still falls back on his earlier life of tagging building, the taller the better.

Grace is a single mother in desperate need of a job. Her father was an abusive man who accidentally killed his wife and then took his life. She went to live with her aunt, who did not show her any emotional love. Grace grew up wanting to please everyone. She married Patrick, who just used her to put him through school and then left her for another woman. One night her friend convinced her to go to a club. Being a non-drinker, the drinks she had allowed her to make an unwise decision that left her pregnant. She was taken in by a family that she planned to let adopt her son, but when he was born she could not give him away.

Together Roman and Grace develop a working relationship They take a business road trip and Roman has a heart attack. He has an after life experience with creatures pulling him to hell. With this experience, he turns his life to Christ. Shortly after returning home, their relationship starts turning personal and Grace leaves his guest home and employment.

This is such a good book. Anyone who enjoys reading contemporary Christian fiction will enjoy this book. There are a lot of characters that span the length of the book, but are slowly introduced so easy to follow. This book does mention sex, drinking and swearing, so for the reader who does not appreciate those, this may not be a good book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, this is my honest review.

484 pages

ISBN: 9781496407900

Publisher: Tyndale House

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Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren


Troubled Waters is book 4 in the Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren. This book is a continuation of the series. While it is a good story in itself, it is best to read the series in order. With this book we pick up with the PEAK rescue family as well as Ian and his missing niece.

Ian’s funds have been frozen pending investigation due to an accident with his business. He is struggling with how to liquidate his personal property to help those hurt by the accident.

PEAK’s chopper has been damaged and there are no funds to repair it. Sierra plans a short cruise on Ian’s yacht as a fund raiser. The cruise goes terribly wrong, when it is extended and goes into a bad storm. The PEAK rescue family, along with Ian’s niece travel to Florida to help rescue the people from the yacht.

This is a great quick to read story that gives the reader answers to questions they may have from earlier books in the series. I admire the strength Ian’s niece has to return home and give the true accounting of what cause her to run away. The part in the book that stands out to me is, when on the yacht with Ian’s friends whom seem to have it all, his friend tells Ian that a few years earlier he hit rock bottom. Hayes tells Ian “there comes a time in every man’s life when he either has to get right with Jesus and ask for help, or go it alone.”

I have enjoyed reading this series. Each story is filled with suspense as well as a touch of romance. The characters are well developed and the story is written to hold the readers attention.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing, this is my honest review.

Series: Montana Rescue

333 pages

ISBN: 9780800727468

Publisher: Revell

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Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry


Under a Cloudless Sky, by Chris Fabry, is a very well written story of a coal mining town in West Virginia. The story focuses on Ruby, an 80 year old lady who left the town the day after the massacre, as a young girl, and has never been back. The story is told through the happenings of Ruby and her childhood friend Bean during 1933. As well as during 2004. Ruby is the daughter of an owner of the mine and Bean is the daughter of a miner.

When Ruby’s children decide it is time to take her car keys away from her, she makes the decision to go back to attend the dedication of the Company Store being turned into a museum. When she gets back to Beulah Mountain, she goes through the Company Store as well as the apartment she and her father lived in and the third floor of the building. One of the guides tells her the story they will tell others of what happened with the massacre on the third floor in 1933. They do not listen to her when she tells them it is not what happened. What she has to say will affect so many people. But the truth comes out.

This is an exceptional story. It pulls you right into it and is very hard to put down. The friendship Ruby and Bean had was unusual, Ruby was a wealthy girl, while Bean’s family struggled for everything they had. While Ruby’s father wanted to run a mine that help the miners, his partner was only concerned about himself and money. I just really enjoyed this story! It is a story of friendship, faith, family and forgiveness. With this being a Christian Fiction, it is not preachy. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories set in the Appalachians will greatly enjoy this story.

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

382 pages

ISBN: 9781414387789

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

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The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips


William and Hanna took part in a reality TV dating show, The Price of Love. William proposed to Hanna at the end of the show, but then made a comment not honoring her Christian life and she broke the engagement. For six months Hannah has struggled with the press. She has quit her teaching job and has moved home with her father near Embarrass, Minnesota.

The company William works for is having problems and William convinces Hannah to pretend to be engaged to him to help turn the company around.

The Engagement Plot is a good clean romance that is fast paced and well written. There is some suspense in the story with what is happening with William’s company. The part of the story that really spoke to me was Hanna’s determination to have her Christian faith be respected with her dating William on the show. I also enjoyed the author’s portrayal of the cold, snow and mud in Minnesota. The story will be enjoyed by those who enjoy Christian romance stories.

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

320 pages

ISBN: 9781683223160

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

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Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon


Dangerous Illusions is the first book in Irene Hannon’s new series, Code of Honor. Trish has been staying with her mother, caring for her since shortly after her husband’s death. She has been sitting in with her mother and her accountant, Matt. She starts to date Matt, but on the night she plans to break it off, she comes home to find her mother has died in her sleep. The police are called and Trish is suspected of over medicating her mother. While Detective Colin Flynn is talking with Trish, Matt points out that Trish has been making a lot of mistakes.

Trish is not found responsible for her mother’s death. With the investigation over, Colin can move forward on getting to know Trish. When suspicions about Matt open up the investigation, their relationship must be put on hold.

This is a very good book. The story is so well written it was easy to get pulled into it. The parts in the book I enjoyed the most were the friendships Colin had from his youth and how they still got together on a regular basis and help each other out.

The story is full of suspense and has a lot of twist and turns in the investigation. The plot of the story thickens as the story advances, but I did not expect it to end the way it did. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys romantic suspense stories.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review.

Series: Code of Honor (book 1)

368 pages

ISBN: 9780800727673

Publisher: Revell

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Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris


Vanishing Point, by Lisa Harris, is book 4 in A Nikki Boyd Novel series. This book spans 13 years with the murder of teen age girls. Garrett Addison is a new criminal investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation when his team is called out to investigate the deal of a teen age girl.

Jordan Lambert is with the FBI. One of her co-workers is assigned this case as well. Knowing her family lives in the area, he asks for her to go with him. Garrett and Jordan went to the police academy together and had not seen each other since Jordan joined the FBI. Even though both have moved on with their lives, they still have feeling for each other.

This is a very good suspenseful story that will keep you reading to find out “who done it.” Even though it is part of a series, this book is a very good stand alone story. Having read other Nikki Boyd stories I was surprised to find she was not the main character of this story. This story does cover the murder of her sister, Sarah. This is the reason Nikki goes into law enforcement.

The thing that comes out for me with this book is “Where is God when bad things happen.” I especially liked Garret and Jordan’s discussion on page 284 where they talk about when bad things happen, we start to see God’s grace.

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

Series: The Nikki Boyd Files (Book 4)

291 pages

ISBN-13: 9780800728489

Publisher: Revell Publishing

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The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner


Sarah Hollenbeck has recently divorced her husband. He has cheated on her though out their marriage and had not shown affection to her for a long time. She decided to become an author. She wrote stories filled with steamy romance that quickly became very popular. When she becomes a Christian, she attends church with her friend. She bumps into the pastor in the hall and starts to fall for him. He is a widower with a little girl, and he develops feelings for her.

Sarah needs to figure out how to fulfill her book contract by writing a Christian novel. And Ben is faced with certain members of the congregation that do not feel his and Sarah’s relationship is right.

If you are the type of reader that likes to read read about touchy subjects, this book is for you. The story is well written with a lot of humor. I especially liked the part of the rules Sarah and Ben set for when they are dating. The part of the story that really touched me was the pain Sarah endured with her ex-husband. He withheld affection from her while having affairs and would not allow her to have a child. The story is very realistic story of a new Christian who is trying to move from their past past into their future. For these reasons this is a very good book. I have to give this book a 4 as I felt the reference to sex was to overwhelming in this story.

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

296 pages

ISBN: 9780800727666

Publisher: Revell

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Abridged by Alana Terry

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Abridged by Alana Terry is book seven in A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Series. This is a really good series. And each book just gets better. The church Kennedy attends is hosting the Truth Warriors men retreat and there are many people who are upset about it. The pastor, Carl, and the youth pastor, Nick, get into heated arguments about hosting this event. While setting up for the event, someone goes into Carl’s office and attacks him. While on the way to the hospital, Carl stops breathing and is left on the ventilator with brain trauma.

Carl is not the only one under attack. His wife was written about in the college newspaper. Being good friends with Carl’s wife Kennedy writes an honest article for the newspaper about women’s right to chose to stay at home or have a career. She finds herself being forced to apologize for the article or face damaging her education.

I just love this series. I find myself reading the books non-stop to find out what is happening and I can’t wait for the next in the series. The books do need to be read in order to follow through with the story. I also enjoy how the author brings in characters from her other books. This story is very fast moving with a lot of twist and turns. While Carl is struggling for his life, his son is kidnapped. Kennedy is trying to be a friend and support Carl’s wife, yet is being pulled in different directions with meetings at school regarding her article. If you enjoy suspenseful Christian Fiction you will love this book.

I received a copy of this book from the author through Book Club Network and this is my honest review.

Series: A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel (book 7)

262 pages

ISBN: 9781941735367

Publisher: FirstFruits Publishing

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The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin


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

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A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren


Don’t for a minute think that God has forgotten about you or doesn’t have your back. And don’t base God’s love or desire to help you on your opinion of yourself. Base it on who God says he is.”

A Matter of Trust is book three in the Montana Rescue series written by Susan May Warren. This book centers on PEAK Rescue team member Gage Watson. Gage was a champion backcountry snowboarder who was forced to end his career after a fan was killed while following Gage down Outlaw Mountain. Since then he has been working as a ski patrol in Montana.

While at Outlaw Mountain Gage met a fan, Ella Blair. Ella was part of the legal team working for the dead fan’s family. Now she has come to Montana to try to talk her brother, Ollie, out of dropping out of college to be a snowboarder. Ollie has been training and studying Gage’s videos. Now he and his friend are going to snowboard Gage’s route on Heaven’s Peak. When Ella finds out she insists Gage go after them and she insists she goes with him.

Ella has brought along her friend, Brette. Brette is a freelance writer that is out to get any good story she can. While Gage and Ella are on the mountain, Brette meets the rest of the PEAK Rescue team members and realizes there are hero stories for each of them.

This is a great action packed story that is full of suspense right from the beginning and continues to the end. The story keep me reading to see if the snowboarders would be able to make the jumps without getting hurt. And if they could beat the weather conditions to safety. One of the things I enjoyed most about this story was reconnecting with the PEAK Rescue team. I also liked the theme of forgiveness in the story. Gage struggled with forgiveness when he learns more about the incident that changed his career.

This is a contemporary Christian romance story written in such a way it could be enjoyed by anyone. Written by award winning author, I think anyone who enjoys reading contemporary stories will enjoy this story. I really like reading Warren’s stories and this series does not disappoint. While this is part of a series, and would be best read in order, it is not necessary as background is given from previous stories.

I am very thankful this story was available for review from Revell Publishing. This is my honest review.

Series: Montana Rescue (Book 3)

336 pages

ISBN: 9780800727451

Publisher: Revell

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as well as Walmart and Target.