Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray


Love Held Captive, by Shelley Shepard Gray, is book three in A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series. This story takes place after the Civil War. Soldiers often raided homes and left the owners with nothing. Lizabeth was one of these owners. She was forced to turn to her cousin for employment. She is a maid at a hotel when she is cleaning Adam’s room, he comes and and makes advances at her. This is the man that raided her homes first and left her injured. She ran from his room, thinking Major Ethan Kelly’s rooms were vacant she ran to those to hide. When her cousin finds out, she is fired. When Ethan finds out what happened, he fears for Lizabeth’s safety and moves her to a home of a friend of his.

During the war Julianne met Adam, thinking he was single and about to propose, she had a relationship with him. She was caring for her grandmother who was very ill and both were starving. She became Adams mistress to provide for her and her grandmother. After the war, he ended the relationship to return to his wife. He returned to visit Julianne and Captain Devin Monroe is also showing an interest in Julianne. He shots Devin in the back as he rides home from visiting Julianne. Devin’s horse takes him to the hotel where Ethan is staying.

As Devin heals from his injury, Lizabeth and Julianne confess their pasts with Adam. Ethan and Devin call in a couple friends from their war years and together the men go after Adam.

This is a good story. The characters are well introduced and a lot of back ground information was given. It was very easy to follow along, however it felt like it also made the story move to slow. The story bounces between 1865 and 1867 to give additional background as the story moves on. The story is one of brotherhood that is formed between the soldiers that were held as prisoners. The story also shows us how Lizabeth and Julianne were forced to do things they didn’t want, as a way to survive, and the guilt they carried with them because of it. It also shows us how while Lizabeth was working just to survive, she as not able to get past the pain of hat happened to her and move on with her life.

Once I got into the story I really enjoyed it. I think anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction that contains romance as well as some suspense will enjoy this book. Even though it is part of a series, this is also a stand alone book.

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

Series: A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story book 3

320 pages

Publisher: Zondervan

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Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander


Christmas at Carnton is a novella written by Tamera Alexander that takes place in Franklin, Tennessee during the Civil War. Aletta Prescott’s husband was recently killed in the war and she is left to take care of herself, her six year old son and her unborn child. She lost her job and has been notified the bank is taking her house. She has just two weeks to find someplace to live. She takes a job at Carnton Plantation to work for the Women’s Relief Society.

Captain Jake Winston is shot in the shoulder and suffers a head injury that affects his vision. He wants to return to the war but cannot focus to do his job as a sharpshooter. Jake has been ordered to go to Carnton Plantation to represent the soldiers at the Women Relief Society auction. Jake also assists Aletta with making the nativity for the event.

This is a wonderful story. The story is based on a real plantation and the cook is based on the real life cook at the plantation. The story also focuses on the Women’s Relief Society that was active during the Civil War. I really enjoyed reading about the work the women were doing to help the soldiers. This story is a reminder to us of how lives were changed with the Civil War. Part of the story that I really likes was when Jake realized that even though the women were not out fighting the was, the war was changing their lives. Many soldiers lost their lives and their wives were left behind to support themselves and their families. This is a story of hope and faith that God will provide when there is a need. Another thing I really enjoy about this book is the author shares the recipes of items mentioned in the book and also shares with us her plans for upcoming books based on characters from this book.

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

224 pages

ISBN: 9780310293248

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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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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Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson


Cherished Mercy is the third and final book in the Heart of the Frontier series written by Tracie Peterson. Though out this series we have followed the Flanagan sisters as they made their way to the Oregon Territory. The older two sisters have married and started their families but Mercy has yet to find the man for her. Mercy receives a request from a friend, Eletta, to travel to the Browning Mission in the Rogue River Valley. Eletta is having problems with her pregnancy and has taken to her bed. Mercy helps with Eletta’s home and young adopted daughter, Faith, as well as helps Eletta’s brother-in-law, Adam, teach the Indian children.

The government is trying to take all the Indians to a reservation and has hired men to help. Some of the men take it upon themselves to kill the Indians instead. Browning Mission is attacked and the white people are forced to flee. Eletta’s husband was killed prior to the attack and Eletta passes away when they reach the new town. It is now up to Mercy and Adam to take care of Faith.

This is such a good series, it should be read in order as the three sisters are the focal point in each story. This series covers some tough topics, such as racism, greed, war and rape. This book is a reminder the importance of prayer, showing mercy to others and keeping our faith even in the worst of times. The characters are well developed and the writing is so clear it is easy to envision the fear of the white man’s attack at Browning Mission as well and the Indian’s retaliation and the hunger at Fort Miner. I would recommend this series to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction based on the settling of our country.

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

Series: Heart of the Frontier

310 pages

ISBN: 9780764213298

Publisher: Bethany House

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My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley by Andrea Boeshaar


Who can really possess land? God is supreme owner of all the earth.”

Lily and her two brothers have recently lost their father. One day after bathing in the river, Lily runs into Captain Albright, Mac, and is informed he has purchased her family’s orchards and fields. Her father’s friend, Mr. Everett is suppose to be taking care of them. He is now telling them he had to sell the property to pay for their upkeep and he has purchased their home. Mr. Everett has also made it plain that he determines to have Lily as his wife. Lily and her family have not been able to find her father’s will, but they believed they would not have to worry about money.

Mac and his partner, Mr. Blake have been invited to Lily’s home for meals. Lily and Mac both develop feeling for each other, but since they both lost significant others, neither want to get into a serious relationship. However, that is not the case for Mr. Blake and Lily’s aunt. Their friendship turns into a serious relationship very quickly.

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma is a good story that takes place in 1816. This is one of those stories that is easy to get caught up in. Andrea Boeshaar has done a good job of building the characters as well as the story. While this is a Christian romance, this story has a lot of twists and turns in it that will keep the reading wondering what will happen next. I enjoyed reading of the mischief Lily’s brothers got into. Even though Lily intended to stay on the family property, when she sees the sale contract, she admits that she will miss the property but also feels that God is the owner of all the earth. The author has shown us how it was for women at that time with not being in charge of their own family finances. I think anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction and romance will enjoy this story.

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

Series: My Heart Belongs

254 pages

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

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Band of Sister’s by Cathy Gohlke


Band of Sisters, but Cathy Gohlke takes place in 1910 in New York City. When their mother dies, Maureen O’Reilly’s aunt makes Maureen and her sister Katie Rose leave Ireland to travel to Ellis Island. Their father has a friend that sent a letter and money years ago for him to move there. Katie Rose is ill when they reach the USA and is hospitalized. Maureen goes to her father’s friends home to find out he has past away and his family is not honoring his debt. Maureen accepts money from a man and uses that to set up an apartment for them. She gives false recommendations to obtain a job at a local department store. Maureen quickly realizes the department store is a front for a totally different type of business.

Women began disappearing from the store and Maureen eventually tells others. She works together with a man who also traveled from Ireland and his employer to try to find the women.

This is a great adventure to read. I really enjoyed the suspense that is written in the story. I wanted to just keep reading this story to see what was going to happen next. The parts in the story that really stand out for me are what it was like for immigrants who arrived in the United States and how the women from church got together to try to help the women immigrants.

I feel anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction based on immigration will really enjoy this story.

422 pages

ISBN: 9781414353081

Publisher: Tyndale House

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All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick


All She Left Behind is a fictional story written by Jan Kirkpatrick based Jennie Pickett Parrish, one of the first doctors in Portland working with women and children. Jennie and Charles Pickett were married in 1860 and lived with her sister’s family. They had a young son, Douglas, and Charles worked for their brother-in-law. Charles started drinking and became addicted to alcohol. They borrowed money from Josiah Parrish to start a real estate business. But Charles used the money for other things. He divorced Jennie so she and their son are not pulled in to his life. With no way to support herself and Douglas, Jennie moved home to her parents. Josiah offered Jennie a job caring her his ill wife, Elizabeth, to work of the debt. When Elizabeth passed away, Jennie stayed to help Josiah go through their home and prepare for him to move to Portland. During this time, they got to know each other and developed a relationship. They eventually married and Josiah convinced Jennie to go to school to become a doctor, a dream she pushed aside to raise her family.

This is a great story. The story focuses on the topic of addictions and how they affect the family. The story also gives historical information concerning divorce and women’s place in school and business. I really enjoyed reading this story and seeing the strength that Jennie had to move forward with her life as a single mother. The struggles Jennie went through with Charles, her son and their addictions must have been really hard. I appreciate the research the author has done to write the story as well as the additional information she includes in the book, such as who the characters are and the different types of herbs Jennie used and what she used them for. I believe anyone who enjoys reading historical stories will enjoy reading this story.

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

352 Pages

ISBN: 9780800727000

Publisher: Revell Publishing

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These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart


The year is 1945 and the war has ended. The soldiers are now coming home and for Francine Howard that should mean having the man she loves coming home to her. But he is bringing home a girl from England. Francine is a nurse and signs up to go to the Appalachian Mountains to train to be a midwife with the Frontier Nursing Service. Her mother continues to pressure her to come home, but she now feels the Appalachian Mountains is her home.

Ben Locke is a medic returning home from the war and meets Francine. Francine visits the Locke home frequently to check up on Ben’s two sisters and his brother. Even though the Locke’s like Francine, the mother still feels she is an outsider. Despite their differences Ben and Francine develop a friendship.

These Healing Hills, by Ann H. Gabhart, is a really good book that blends history, friendship and a touch of romance. The story contains a good blend of characters and beliefs. I really enjoyed reading the beliefs that some of the mountain people had about how to cure their health issues. I enjoyed reading how Francine left the city and moved to an area where she had to learn how to grow and process the food she ate. The strength Francine displays and the love and caring ways she treats others is encouraging.

This is such a good book that I hope the author writes a sequel. I think anyone who enjoys reading books based after World War II would really enjoy this book.

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

368 Pages

ISBN: 9780800723637

Publisher: Revell Publishing

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As A Shield by Danny & Wanda Pelfrey


As a Shield: A Davis Morgan Mystery is about former Pastor Davis. After the death of his wife, he no longer pastors a church but is a pastor for the local law enforcement. He often rides with officer and friend Charley. Davis’s daughter is soon to be married. She and her fiance are purchasing an old house that no one has lived in but are finding their lives threatened. Two men have been hired to stop them from buying the home. The men have kidnapped the wrong lady and shot the wrong man. A visitor in town dies of natural causes but his body is stolen from the funeral home. Tattooed on his body is a location in the area.

Davis works with Charley to try to find who is threatening his daughter and her fiance. While doing so the plane they are flying in goes down and Charley’s squad car is totaled.

This is a very enjoyable mystery to get lost in. One of the things that stands out for me with this book is the friendship of the two men. As well as how Charley feels since he is not a Christian, that God was watching out for Davis and Charley’s life was saved as well. I enjoyed the humor that is woven through the story as well. I really enjoyed this book. It kept me reading until I was done reading it and kept me guessing. I am looking forward to more in this series. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read a good mystery.

I received a copy of this book from BookCrash and have written an honest review.

Series: Davis Morgan Mystery (book 1)

208 pages

ISBN: 9781633570917

Publisher: Crosslink Publishing

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Crisis Shot by Janie Cantore


Crisis Shot, by Janice Cantore, is book one in the Line of Duty series. Tess O’Rourke is a commander with the Long Beach police department and one morning while on her way to work she responds to a call. She finds an officer down and some young men near him. When she shots one of them, the public and some of her co-workers go against her. She takes a job as chief of police in Rogue Hollow, a very small town. She has to deal with issues surrounding being the only woman on the force and having to report to a very demanding mayor.

The pastor’s wife has found out her cancer has returned again and this time it is worse. She goes away one day and does not return. While she is gone her brother turns up dead. The police force is being forced to work extra hours to find the pastor’s wife and get to the bottom of the situation. They are also reaching out to surrounding forces for help.

I really like Janice Cantore’s books and this one is her best so far! I enjoyed how Tess and her father would make rules. Much like my favorite TV show. The suspense is carried through the entire story, both with the Long Beach shooting and situations in Rogue Hollow. One of the things that stands out for me in this story is even with what the pastor is going through he still is there to encourage others. When they find his wife injured he tells Tess that he is worried and a little frightened but he trusts God. If he didn’t, nothing in this life would make sense.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys police stories.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and I have written an honest review.

Series: Line of Duty (book 1)

432 pages

ISBN: 9781496423702

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

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