Friday, February 19, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White

The Reluctant Duchess
(Bethany House 2016)

Roseanna M. White first brought readers into the world of The Ladies of the Manor with her book The Lost Heiress. I found myself captivated by this book and did not think another would pull me into a story as deeply as that one did.

Boy, was I wrong. The Reluctant Duchess was by far even better than the first book of the series. Maybe it was my penchant for all things Scottish, since my own ancestors had escaped the clearances and came to America. Maybe it was my love for a heroine who defied the odds and had more spunk to her than many others. Maybe it was for a hero that reminded me in many ways of Georgette Heyer's Sylvester. What ever it may have been, The Reluctant Duchess caught me in its grasp and held on until I finished the last word, and confirmed my suspicions about who would next receive the Fire Eyes.

This is an era that isn't readily available in most historical novels and Roseanna M. White brings it to life in such an effortlessly way it would seem. The many characters' point of views layered the story with mystery and nuances. The faith element was so natural that the reader could see how it was an integral part of their lives.

Each page brought either frustration at the characters, joy with their joy, the heartache of loss or fear, and above all the hope and love that ultimately overcomes all. I enjoyed immersing myself into this world and seeing the growth of the characters as they came together.

If I enjoyed the first book of the series and absolutely adored this second book, I cannot wait to see how I respond to the third! Roseanna M. White has written an exceptional story line that far exceeds anything I could ever expect.  

***I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest and complete review*** 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette

Counted With the Stars
(Bethany House 2016)

There are countless books that tell the stories of ancient times: walking with Jesus or Moses, traveling with Abraham or Peter, or even the earliest mentions of Israel. But very few tell the tale from a different perspective. 

Connilyn Cossette's Counted With the Stars shows the world the rich history and wondrous miracles of Yahweh, the Hebrew's God, through the eyes of a mistress-turned-slave Egyptian woman. The reader experiences the hardship of slavery under an Egyptian merchant's household. We walk the life during the plagues and feel her confusion about this unknown God. Her doubt and fears are weaved through her longing to belong to someone, to something.
As you follow along in Kiya's life, you start to understand that her friend, Shira, was right: Yahweh was preparing Kiya for something special. She is pulled in many directions, but finds herself being lulled by the unabashed love the Hebrews have for their God who seems to her far stronger than her deaf gods.

This book brings to life the story of Exodus in such rich detail that reading God's words again will bring a new understanding to the majesty of what transpired and the blood covenant that was made with His people.

Emotions are laid bare. Faith and hope spring forth. Fear and awe mingle with the words read. Truly this is one of the best Biblical fiction books I have read. 

Rare is a book makes a reader want to read more in detail what God has said, and this book pushes you back into the Bible with a new understanding and a new light.

The last sentences of the book held by far the most powerful message of them all and I encourage you, the reader, to grab this book and fall in love with history.  

Truly an awe inspiring tale set in the lush land of Ancient Egypt.

*** I received this book via NetGalley in exchange of an honest and complete review***

Monday, February 1, 2016

Of Moose and Men by Torry Martin/Doug Peterson

Of Moose and Men
Torry Martin and Doug Peterson
(Harvest House 2016)

I didn't know anything about this author. It was the cover and title that captured my attention. And boy, am I glad I received the chance to read this book.

With a lighthearted and self-depreciating humor, I found myself giggling and most times laughing out loud--loud enough to wake my sleeping cat that hogged my side of the bed. Between the humor and words of wisdom, each chapter contained a story that was more relevant to a Christian in any walk of life no matter if we're from Alaska or not. I could visualize each scene and at times predict what would happen. And that made it an even merrier read.

This book doesn't give black-n-white stories. It is chocked full of tie-dyed testimonies. Poignant reminders of Biblical truths that a reader is sure to highlight brings to light a refreshing and real look at life. God doesn't want perfect people. He wants us. And Torry Martin reiterates that time and time again.

From crouching sin to the blindness to of the 21st century people to neon orange facial hair, these truths are spoken about in a heartwarming and delightful manner.

I came away with quite a few quotes that spoke to me and I copied them down. I discovered new ways to look at things and people. And I felt a kinship with the author--for many reasons.

I also learned more about how life intersects with another--from Air1 to Adventures in Odyssey, but I'll leave that for you to discover. And you'll enjoy discovering it, too.

If I learned anything else from this book is that at times I'm a salmon ghost fish, I relate to the hippies, the misfits, and the weirdoes, and I suffer from "comparative worthistis", too. But it's all okay because God molded me. I, just like you, am His peculiar treasure. 

I'm sure Of Moose and Men: Lost and Found in Alaska would delight all readers.  

***I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and complete review***