September 14, 2017

The Proving by Beverly Lewis - A Book Review

The Proving

by Beverly Lewis

A Lesson in Forgiveness

When Mandy Dienner left her Amish roots in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she wasn’t sure when or if she would ever go back.  But her mother’s unexpected death and the surprise inheritance of her mother’s bread and breakfast inn, called her home and challenged her to run the inn for a year before it would really be legally hers.   

A long ago tiff with her twin sister, Arie Mae, over a man whom Arie eventually married seemed too much to overcome, along with the Mandy’s lack of skills needed to run a B & B.  Could she really keep the success of the most popular inn in Lancaster County going?  How could she fit into the Amish environment which she had abandoned five years before?  Would she be accepted?

Mandy’s year at the Butterfly Meadows Amish Inn brought her life into focus, as she learned what forgiveness and grace could bring to her.  New friends, family, and church came together to show her what was really important. 
This is a typical Beverly Lewis story, full of love and faith inside the Amish culture.
I only wanted Mandy's mother's recipes to be included at the end of the book!

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.

August 11, 2017

Book Review - The Two of Us

The Two of Us

by Victoria Bylin

Finding a Lasting Love

This was my first read for any Victoria Bylin book, and I really enjoyed the way she could emphasize her theme of the "two of us" throughout the novel. 

 Lucy and Mia were very close as sisters, as Mia had raised Lucy after the death of their mother.  They eventually found themselves living in the same town, Echo Falls.  Lucy’s plot line revolved around her marriage to Sam, a military man.  Lucy, young and pregnant, struggled to accept Sam’s obligations to his job, and her own trust in God’s plans for her.   

Mia, a nurse practitioner, felt she had a calling from God to work on a Medical Mission team.  Having been jilted by several former boyfriends, Mia found it difficult to trust fully in her developing love for Jake.  Jake understood her goal to work at a mission clinic because he, too, had a goal to develop a camp, Camp Connie, for boys who have lost a parent in the line of duty. But what about the love they had for each other? The conflicts between all of their dreams meant decisions had to be made.

The stories of Jake and Mia and Lucy and Sam were emotional, romantic, and interesting to me.  But I think Bylin truly excelled in her description of Jake’s parents, Claire and Frank, as they struggled to cope with Claire’s Alzheimer’s disease.  The frustration of Claire’s repetitious conversations and forgetfulness in their daily lives was so realistic, and illustrated the agonizing path of the courageous caregivers who must watch her so diligently and patiently.  The lasting love between Claire and Frank was very special.

I felt that some parts of the story were a bit too coincidental, but nevertheless, the book definitely held my attention.  It was a quick read because I became so involved in the characters’ lives that I just had to find out their destinies!

This book was given to me by Bethany House/Baker Publishing Company for my honest review.  This review reflected my own honest opinions.

June 24, 2017

A Book Review - Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl

Dark Deception

(Defenders of Justice, Book 2)
Nancy Mehl 

Dark Deception, which followed Fatal Frost in the Defenders of Justice series, was very suspenseful with likeable main characters that one wants to succeed and be happy.  The novel revolves around Katie O'Brien (aka Emily Lockwood, her Witness Protection moniker), who witnessed her twin sister, Kelly, murdered.  Kate escaped injury, felt the guilt of that, and eventually testified and made an identification of the suspect, Gerard, who was arrested, tried and sentenced for the murder as the B.E.K (Blue Eyed Killer.)
However, a new development caused the release of Gerard from prison.  Will he find Katie is her new "safe" place, in Shelter Cove?  Will he come for revenge?
Tony Luca, a U. S. Marshal,l has guarded Kate through much of her ordeal, and their relationship and feelings have grown for one another.  Tony must struggle to stay on a professional basis with Kate, and she questions her trust in him at times.  Both Christians, they discussed the issues of trust and faith in God.

The unraveling of the B.E.K. murders was a complicated one, with many surprises, along the way.  Was the killer just one man?  Was every man the person he seemed to be?  This was just the way I like a murder/suspense story to be - posing questions and then slowly revealing answers.  The desire to keep reading will be strong as everything is sorted out

I highly recommend Dark Deception as a fun read that will keep one interested to  the very end.

A copy of this book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.  

March 15, 2017

A Review - Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Leading off the new Tracie Peterson series, Heart of the Frontier, Treasured Grace introduced the sisters, Grace, Hope, and Mercy.  Grace, the main character, was the widow of Rev. Martindale; it had been a marriage of convenience as he needed a wife in order to set up a mission in the west and she and her sisters needed a way west after the death of their parents.  Grace was a respected healer among the people of the wagon train, but when she tried to use her gifts at the Whitman mission, Dr. Marcus Whitman grew jealous and refused her the right to do so. 

At the mission, she met Alex Armistead, a Canadian fur trapper, and although they both wanted to deny it, there was an attraction between them.  When the measles epidemic broke out among the people at the mission, it also affected the nearby Cayuse Indian tribe.  Because so many died, the Indians blamed this on Dr. Whitman and took their revenge in a horrific way.  Grace was away, helping a friend during the raid, but her two sisters, especially Hope, suffered greatly from the attack. Alex was always there to be of help, but in indirect ways, as he had so much on his conscience from his early days.  He had grown apart from God, while Grace held fast to her beliefs. Their spiritual journeys are part of the story.

If you like historical fiction, you will enjoy this realistic story concerning the journey to Oregon and the missionary, Dr. Marcus Whitman.  The hardships of the trail and the fear of Indian attack were real to the early settlers and were well described.  Yes, Grace seemed to be tough at times, but then she had to be to survive herself and to help others.   I look forward to the upcoming books in the series.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House for my honest review.