The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee ~ Review

My Review:

I don't always pay attention to ads, but the cover of this book really intrigued me with it's Asian heroine and historical style of clothing. I've been noticing more and more books with Asian protagonists, which is something I am absolutely thrilled about as an Asian-American woman myself. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, and then to find that there are even horses involved, it's like the book was written for me!

Jo Kuan lives with her adoptive father, Old Gin, underneath a struggling Atlanta newspaper whose owners are unaware of their presence. Jo works as a lady's maid for one of the city's wealthiest families, while spending her nights writing the Focus's advice column under the name Miss Sweetie.

Miss Sweetie is provocative, with new ideas that challenge those around her with questions of race and gender roles. Meanwhile she searches for answers to her mysterious parentage, while putting everything she holds dear at risk by getting involved with a notorious trader of secrets.

Jo is a Chinese-American young woman growing up in the aftermath of the Southern Reconstruction, where those of Asian descent have even less rights and are despised more than those who are Black. Jo is hardworking, industrious, with a love for words, and a strong dose of common sense. She is irrepressibly forthright and clever both of which get her into trouble and help her.

A riveting coming of age tale, with distinct and engaging narrative, that shows Jo's wry humor, Southern upbringing, and the influence of Old Gin's Chinese proverbs. As the story progresses, we see that not everyone is what they appear, and long held secrets revealed can change lives. I loved how this book explores a time in history through the eyes of Jo, a minority not commonly acknowledged in historical fiction set in the same time period and place, giving a unique look at Reconstruction Era Atlanta.

Old Gin is the only father Jo has known, he has sacrificed much to raise her and keep her safe, often telling her truths wrapped in proverbs or fables. Noemi is a talented, and determined young woman with big dreams of a better future. Nathan Bell is a forward thinking young man, who challenges himself to look at the story from different angles.

A thoroughly engaging read from beginning to end, I didn't want to put it down! Ms. Lee does an excellent job of crafting complex characters against the backdrop of a young nation fighting for women's rights, turning a blind eye to rampant racism. Secrets whisper, to life in this stunning novel from Stacey Lee, a story about coming of age, equality, courage, truth, secrets, daring, and love. Strong themes of family run through this novel, as well as sacrifice, love and the courage to stand up for yourself. You won't regret picking this one up!

Books reviewed are checked out from my local library or purchased with my own money, unless otherwise noted.


Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin ~ Review

My Review:

Lillian Avery has fought hard for a chance to prove herself, and now that the men are away at war she might finally have the chance to use her degree as a Pharmacist. Her first job is at a small drug store whose owner is set in his old fashioned ways, when she sees suspiciously large prescriptions rolling through, she begins to question the sources.

Archie Vandenburg has lived a privileged life as the heir to a considerable fortune, but he left the expectations of his family and socialite girlfriend to prove himself by serving in the Navy. But a terrible loss of life at sea has left him shaken, and he sees that his men seem to have similar struggles that they are masking with a form of drug use. He is drawn to his best friend's sister, Lillian, but she wants nothing to do with him. He wants to help his men, and finally he convinces Lillian to work together with him to connect the dots.

Sarah Sundin has woven another riveting novel honoring the men and women who sacrificed for our country. Lillian is determined to prove herself indispensable after finally landing a job as a pharmacist, she has never been one to let life's setbacks hold her down. Archie is drawn to her intelligence  as well as her indifference to his charm and wealth.

Archie and Lillian are both very compelling characters, I especially admired Lillian's go-get-em attitude, as well as her determination to cheer up Mr. Dixon's store. Lillian is clever and has worked hard to earn her accomplishments. She is also brave in the face of danger. Archie is a strong Christian, and works to live his faith in the trying times of war.

Fast paced, with excellent character development, mystery, and an explosive ending. I love the close knit Avery family and how protective Jim is of his little sister, and how they welcome Archie right away. A mystery that kept me guessing throughout, with great character growth. I've never met a Sarah Sundin book that I didn't love and this is no exception to that. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz ~ Review

My Review:

Lark works in the stillroom creating herbal tinctures and teas, she refuses to participate in the free-trading done by many of the islanders to survive due to her Christian convictions. She is working on a herbal remedy to help the Lady Isla after the miscarriage of her 6th babe, but an unfortunate accident leaves her wealthy family looking for someone to blame.

The Lark and the laird of the island, Magnus, grew up side by side, sharing a deep friendship, with hopes unspoken. Mourning the loss of his wife he seeks to prevent another wrong by defending Lark, but he himself finds himself convicted of crime, and together they are exiled to the New World away from the familiar hills of Scotland.

Could their exile be the start of something new?

A captivating read, riveting in it's stark wildness, beauty, injustices, and hope. Lark is a beautiful young woman, considered a spinster in her community, she lives with her wise grandmother. Lark is descended from a highly regarded family, but their lot has fallen in recent generations. Lark is beautiful inside and out, holding to her convictions of her faith through may trials. Her beauty catches the eye of many men that she meets from a sea captain who lives by his wits, a laird, a plantation heir, and others. She has a big heart, and compassion for those hurting, and I admired her unwillingness to compromise in regard to her faith.

Larkin is a bonnie braw lad, well loved and a unexpected blessing. He brings joy to many around him, seeming to defy his lot in life at every turn. Many of the characters are well developed, and I liked the thoughtful Miss Flowerdew, as well as the many who befriend Lark and Larkin.

Magnus is a man of many responsibilities as laird of an island, he tries to do his best to care for the people under his care, and is unashamed of his Scots heritage. He is bound by his responsibilities, I admired his faith despite the challenges he faced, honorably seeking to glorify God no matter the circumstances, holding back his own desires in the interests of others.

Overall an utterly compelling read that grabbed my heartstrings and didn't let go, from the vast wild beauty of the stark lands, to the noble, faithful, Lark and Magnus who are admirable in the face of injustice. I especially enjoyed the strong themes of faith, holding to the promises, and strength in weakness. You won't regret picking up this epic journey of second chances and faith. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Coast Guard Investigator Finn Walker has his work cut out out for him, assigned to the case of a murdered officer discovered in suspicious circumstances, and another Coast Guard member has also disappeared. His job is not made easier when his boss's sister, investigative journalist Gabby Rowley, whom he has history with, comes digging around looking for her next big story.

The story jumps around following multiple characters, which made it a little trickier to understand everything that was going on at first. But as the story progressed the following multiple characters became as strength with the rising intensity, as the stakes rose and the threads of the story slowly started to connect. Fast paced action and a suspenseful mystery that kept me on my toes, with abounding cliffhangers.

Gabby is like a dog with a bone when she's on the tale of a good story, she showed up to fight for answers. She is stubborn and determined to the point of near recklessness. She has a passion for truth and justice. I liked how though she is determined and has an all-in attitude, she is recovering from an event that left her scarred more vulnerable than her ready-for-anything exterior would suggest.

Finn is struggling with the aftermath of a diving mission gone wrong, he is fiercely protective by nature and feels privileged to be serving his country in the way that he does. The Coast Guard was a natural choice for Finn, and is a natural in the water. He struggles to trust and losing control.

A wonderfully complex thriller with multiple twists and great leading characters. I really liked Rissy the only woman on the Coast Guard team, she is new to the team and wants to do her best to prove that she's earned her spot on the team. A heart pounding adventure, with great tension and a plot that keeps you guessing. Highly recommend checking this one out!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Church by A. W. Tozer ~ Review

My Review:

Originally penned decades ago, A. W. Tozer's insights on the church still ring startlingly true today. Speaking in his signature straightforward yet eloquent style that cuts to the heart of the matter, Mr. Tozer writes of what church should and should not be, as well as the importance of a community of believers, holding to biblical truth.

Mr. Tozer's writings never fail to encourage and challenge, his high esteem of Scripture is evident throughout his writings. I especially enjoyed the chapters on spiritual gifts in the church as well as the one on worship.

His passion for God is infectious, and I appreciate his sound, clear cut preaching that is concise and effective. Like everything else I have read by Tozer, I can't recommend it enough!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The River Palace by Gilbert Morris ~ Review

My Review:

In the aftermath of the Civil War, former Confederate soldier Gage Kennon is a good samaritan to Dennis Wainwright, a Union officer, saving his life. They meet up with a family of Gypsies who welcome Gage and Dennis, after Gage saves an older woman's life. They form friendships that lead to opportunities and unconventional adventures, as well as love.

While the third in a series, there really is no connection to the previous books besides the common theme of riverboats and the time period, so this book is a complete stand alone.

Gage is a man who believes in living his faith, and his actions speak louder than words. He is a humble man, with good intentions, and a courageous heart when it counts. He admires the fiery spirit of Nadyha, a young Gypsy who has sworn off men. He is always respectful of her people's ways, while seeing past her hardened exterior.

An interesting story that slowed at times when explaining back stories or when there was a lot of Romany thrown into the dialogue. Simza is a wise and straight shooting woman, I liked the close knit family and how Gage brings light to every new situation, living his faith. There were parts of this book that I really liked, and other parts where I definitely skimmed a bit. In the end though it was an enjoyable read, though parts of it could have been tighter.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Shelter from the Storm by Patricia Davids ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Pregnant and alone, Gemma Lapp returns from Florida to face her family, she finds herself stranded in a snowstorm with her former crush Jesse Crump. She spoke harsh words to Jesse before she left, and he never returned her affections. But as they spend time together a camaraderie of sorts forms and Jesse offers a marriage of convenience.

Can their marriage of convenience turn into lasting love?

Gemma and Jesse both have scars and misgivings from the past to overcome as they work to make the best of living in a small new Amish community in Maine.

Jesse is a strong man, used to working with his hands, he has written off marriage as there are few prospects in their small community and he has never really felt that he fit in. He doesn't know the right thing to say and often chooses to stay silent, but when he does say something it's important, he has a strong faith and is a man of his word. I admired how Jesse gives Gemma another chance.

Gemma grows up a lot over the course of the story, as she faces the consequences of her decisions and comes to see what a kind, wonderful man that Jesse is.

Overall, a sweet heartwarming romance, full of faith, and the family that we choose. I love how both Jesse and Gemma get to know each other, there is good dialogue and interaction throughout. A highly enjoyable read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Overcomer Movie Promotion ~ Giveaway ~ Opens in Theaters August 23rd, 2019

Opens in theaters August 23rd, 2019

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth ... until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.
Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box- office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces Aryn Wright-Thompson. Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

Provident Films, a division of Provident Music Group, a Sony company, develops, produces and markets faith-based films. A pioneer in the genre since 2006, Provident Films’ partnerships include Sherwood Pictures/Kendrick Brothers (WAR ROOM, COURAGEOUS, FIREPROOF and FACING THE GIANTS), The Erwin Brothers (WOODLAWN, MOMS’ NIGHT OUT and the $83 million box office surprise, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE), Kirk Cameron (CONNECT) and Graceworks Pictures (INDIVISIBLE released Oct. 26, 2018). For more information, go to www.providentfilms.org.

Kendrick Brothers Productions is the company of brothers Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick that exists to honor God and share the truth and love of Jesus Christ through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By blending engaging stories with doctrinal integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire audiences with resources that positively impact their lives and strengthen their faith, families, and personal relationships.
2018 marks the 15th anniversary of the release of FLYWHEEL, the Kendrick Brothers’ first feature film. Produced with a shockingly modest budget of only $20,000 and intended for Albany, Georgia residents where the brothers served on staff at Sherwood Baptist Church, FLYWHEEL went on to sell over a million copies in DVD format.
“We’re just amazed at what the Lord’s done with it,” says Alex Kendrick.
2018 also marks the production of the Kendricks’ 6th film, OVERCOMER. Between those two milestones, the Kendricks’ first film and the production of their latest film, the Kendrick Brothers’ body of work has been credited with creating a subcategory known as faith-based films.
With more than $150 million in box office receipts across five films plus millions more in DVD and on-demand sales worldwide, the Kendrick Brothers are recognized as leading the genre.

“The movie OVERCOMER is about identity, an issue that everyone deals with. Everyone needs to answer the questions: ‘Who is God?’, and ‘Who am I?’, and the Scriptures deal with both of those things. When a person discovers who they are in Christ, it opens up an understanding of how they can live that out in a daily basis in what they do in their relationships with others,” said Stephen Kendrick.
“When we started the process with OVERCOMER, Alex began to unpack this idea of a cross-country runner who’s dealing with the issue of identity, and at the same time, I’d been studying Ephesians 1 and 2. We can see how the Lord was paralleling our paths to specifically make this movie.”
“Cross country is a very difficult sport. From the time you start, you do not stop or pause until you cross the finish line. And in many regards, that’s like our life; that’s our journey of faith,” said Alex Kendrick.
“As people are walking out of the theater, we hope that they begin to ask questions about where their identity is found, because too often we find it in our circumstances, in our titles, in what other people are saying about us, in our jobs, in our positions or awards. Those things can be taken away,” said Stephen Kendrick.
“I hope moviegoers will realize their salvation is about much more than just having a ticket to eternity. They were actually given a brand-new identity. Which means, they have access to spiritual blessings, they have an inheritance, they have all this stuff that’s available to them, this side of eternity. And when you realize that, that means the decisions you make, the relationships you have, the trajectory you choose, the ambitions that you hold, all of that stuff will reflect, and be indicative of your brand-new identity. That changes and transforms the way you live,” said Priscilla Shirer.

OVERCOMER in many regards, is a discovery of who we are in Christ, who gets to determine our identity and what we have to overcome to embrace the life God has for us,” said Alex Kendrick.
“Overcoming is about powering through and realizing that on the other side of it you are stronger and more courageous than when you started,” said Shari Rigby.
“Being an overcomer means you keep your head up and you know that you’re going to get through it; you figure out a way to get through it, you keep your faith strong, you get through it, and you just thank God,” said Aryn Wright-Thompson.
“Being an overcomer means there is pain, discomfort, inconvenience, life’s tough, and yet you have joy and peace and all the stuff that you can only have if there is an anchor in your soul,” said Priscilla Shirer.


You can share memes, pictures, trailers and more to help promote the movie. You can also access promotional materials like a parental guide and sports team devotional here: https://www.overcomermovie.com/share-tools
Twitter - @overcomermovie  


The contest will run from August 19th, 2019 thru August 22nd, 2019. The winner share receive Fandango promo codes that are good for 2 tickets to see Overcomer in theaters. In order to enter to win please use the rafflecopter installed below.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  No Canadian winners please, Fandango does not reach to our Canadian friends.

The ticket codes are only good as long as Overcomer is in theaters.  
They can not be used for any other movies, they are for Overcomer only.  (Won’t work for any others)


Always by Jody Hedlund ~ Review

My Review:
The kingdom of Mercia is under siege, the king is on his dead bed from a fatal wound, and the queen has died giving birth to twin girls. Elite Guard Lance and Noblewoman Felicia are entrusted with the task of taking the girls to safety, pledging to protect the young princesses with their lives.

Lance takes his duty as an Elite Guard seriously, honored to be given the opportunity to make his family proud. He has vowed never to let distractions get in the way of his duty; he is determined to guide the princesses to safety with his heart intact despite his growing attraction to the beautiful Felicia.

Felicia has let everything that she’s known behind to fulfill her pledge to the dying queen. She is determined to see it through to the end. I admired her sacrifice and courage throughout their journey.

Felicia and Lance are dedicated to their mission, both willing to lay down their lives. I admired Lance’s humble devotion to the life that he had chosen and the esteem and respect that he has for Felicia. Felicia is strong in her faith and is willing to give up everything to serve her country. A fast paced plot, with compelling heroes, this prequel novella sets the stage well for what is to come. I hope to see more of Lance and Felicia in the future!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Marked for Revenge by Valerie Hansen ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

EMT Kaitlin North responds to a call about shots fired up in the mountains, she is surprised to recognize the wounded man as the one who gave her a break back when she was down and out. Now in order to save his life, Kaitlin must keep undercover cop Daniel Ryan one step ahead of the hitmen who are after him.

On the run with nowhere to turn, and not knowing who to trust, can Kaitlin and Daniel turn the tables on the hitmen and give love a chance?

Kaitlin has used her second chance well, making a career of helping others while thinking on her feet. She is good at calmly taking charge of a situation and is ready for the challenge of taking on new experiences. She is very committed to her faith and her calling to be a first responder.

Daniel is working hard to blow a case wide open, but there are insiders working against him and time is running out. He is a quick thinking man of action, he is determined to see his job through to the end, and is strong in his faith.

Overall, a fast paced, action packed read from the very start. Strong, intelligent characters, with an engaging plot that kept me riveted to the book. I really enjoyed this book, and admired Kaitlin for her faith and commitment. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Kate Gruener is excited to travel with her family into the uncharted and untamed wilderness territories. She has a passion for telling stories, and intends to document her adventures in the new land. She is intrigued by their scout Thomas Bledsoe, a jack-of-all-trades kind of man, with a vast knowledge of the wild, but beautiful land around them. But there is more to Thomas than he lets on, and will Kate's curiosity get them into more trouble than they bargained for?

Slow to start, it took a while for this one to get going, but I'm glad that I kept reading because it was worth it. The story builds and increases in intensity as the story progresses. I liked how it focuses on a lesser thought about time in history, and settling the Southern parts of the United States.

Kate has a thirst for adventure and telling stories, she wants to write about Thomas and tell his story, and talks to him almost non-stop. She learns to rely on a faith of her own, as she fights to survive the wilderness territory and the dangers that it brings.

Thomas is a man who casts two shadows, walking in between two worlds, but never fully in either. he struggles to find his place in the world, and though initially annoyed with Kate's chatter, he does warm to her attention. I liked how he and Kate have deep discussions, and also talk about their faith.

Overall, I'm really glad that I hung around for this one, I almost didn't finish it and that would have been a shame. It wasn't till about thirty percent of the way through that it really picked up, and when it did, the intensity continued to grow, ultimately coming together for a heartpounding and satisfying conclusion. Strong characters, with excellent themes of faith and hard to put down adventure.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Heart of a Vicar by Sarah M. Eden ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Harold Jonquil has thrown himself into pursuing a career as a vicar, it was what was expected of him, but once he achieves his goal he finds it and himself lacking. But then a face from the past returns, she challenges him to reclaim his fire.

Sarah Sarvol returns to visit her ailing uncle, who is bitter and has become more reclusive in progressing years. Sarah ends up bearing the brunt of her uncle's bitterness. She is hesitant to see Harrold again, and is shocked to see the uninspired dullness that he has fallen into.

Is it too late to give love a second chance?

A multi-layered read, that follows multiple characters, with a lot going on simultaneously. Firstly, this is a stand alone read, though the sixth in a series--though there are a few appearances by previous main characters. There always a lot going on, as well as strongly developed characters that kept me reading.

Sarah is a cheerful young woman who makes the best of a tough situation, she genuinely cares about people and challenges them to be their best selves. She is very insightful, and knows how to express things in the right way to get people to take notice but not be offended.

Harold feels very overwhelmed by his responsibilities as a vicar, he isn't inspired to encourage and comfort his congregation, and feels like they expect perfection from him. But with Sarah he can finally be himself, and she sees that he is still the man she fell in love with many summers ago.

The book also follows, Phillip and Scott, who are Harold and Sarah's brothers, as they assume their responsibilities as heads of their estates.

Overall, an engaging read, with many compelling characters. This is a story of family, as well as personal growth and letting go of presupposed expectations. An enjoyable rekindled romance read, with a strong heroine, intricate relationships, and the importance of family. Great humor also adds laughter to this well-rounded read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

This is a part of the Proper Romance collection, and is not considered Christian Fiction, though it is considered clean. 


Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock ~ Review

My Review:

Eve Marryat is thrilled to be leaving crime laden St. Paul, Minnesota, when her father loses his job working for the Ford Motor Company during the Great Depression, and headed for her Uncle Cy's vacation resort in Ohio to work. She quickly makes friends among the people who work for her uncle or live on the island, unaware that her new home might now be the safe haven she believes it to be.

Eve considers herself a good and moral person, she likes to see things in black and white, she find herself challenged by what she sees and learns on the island. She has a strong sense of right and wrong, as well as a compassionate heart for her step-cousin Jones, and other newfound friends.

Eve's parents are people who live their faith, and have instilled their values in their daughter. Her father is dyslexic and has always struggled with feeling like a failure in comparison to his more successful brothers, he has strong convictions and makes choices that are good for him family.

Overall, a compelling coming-of-age tale set during the Great Depression and the height of Prohibition. I like how Eve is challenged by what she sees, and is forced to re-examine her beliefs. Link and Jones challenge her to see that things aren't always what they seem, and that "good people" do bad things. A well-written read, the desperation of the Depression, as well as the glamour of the gangster era, well worth the read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Knox by Susan May Warren ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Ex-bull rider and Montana rancher, Knox Marshall works hard raising champion bucking bulls for the NBR-X. His life is ordinary, stable, and expected, he has worked hard to bring the family ranch back into the black, but he wonders if he has settled for less than his potential.

Kelsey Jones is a rising star with the Country singing group, The Yankee Belles. She struggles with anxiety when not onstage, after an explosion at the expo, her nightmares come back in full force.

Can Knox and Kelsey get to the bottom of who is behind the costly explosion, and give love a try?

A fantastic new book from best-selling author Susan May Warren, I was thrilled to find her new series at my local library, and even more thrilled when I recognized many familiar faces from her previous novels. Strong new characters, great interaction, engaging plot, and strong faith, make this book near impossible to put down.

Multiple relationships are what drive this book, with the bond of brothers, new and old friends. I also like how this book follows Tate, Knox's younger brother who is a bodyguard charged with protecting singer, Glo. The interaction and dialogue are really well written in this book.

Overall, a highly enjoyable read, a great introduction to a new series, with a fantastic balance of faith, family, relationships, as well as a mystery. A must read for all Susan May Warren fans, and a great introduction if you've never read her books before.

Books reviewed are checked out from my local library or purchased with my own money, unless otherwise noted.


Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Research scientist Caitlyn Lindsey has begun to suspect that someone is slowly picking off her team members, her hunch is solidified when she barely survives a hit and run. She goes with her suspicions to her late team member and friend's widow, Detective Josh Solomon.

Pressure builds as they get closer to the truth, tables turned and they find themselves fighting for their own innocence. Can Josh and Caitlyn work together to stop a weapon of biological warfare?

Josh has been widowed for over a year now, he jumps at the chance to go after his late wife's killers after Caitlyn comes to him with her suspicions. He quick thinking and cool under pressure, he is dedicated to his job to uphold justice. He is noble and brave, risking it all to keep Caitlyn safe.

Caitlyn had a tough childhood, and never really pursued having a relationship despite her friends trying to set her up. She came to faith through a friend inviting her to church, and has held fast to her beliefs through difficult times. She is very intelligent, with a gift for deductive reasoning.

A stand alone thriller from Lisa Harris, engaging and intense, easy to follow, and full of action, this book was one that I didn't want to put down. Josh and Caitlyn are strong Christians, and lean on their faith to get them through. Filled with twists, and surprising turns, this story did not disappoint. Edge of your seat drama, excellent plotting that had me wondering how they would ever make their way out. You won't want to miss this suspenseful, heart pounding read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette ~ Review

My Review:

Recently widowed Rivkah rebels against the Levitical marriage arranged by her father to her late husband's younger brother, Malakhi. Malakhi teased her tirelessly when they were children, and she cannot imagine a marriage to him, so she flees with her newfound friend away from Kedesh.

Malakhi has loved Rivkah since they were children, teasing her to get her attention, but when a marriage was arranged between her and his brother, Gidal, he stepped back. Malakhi is please to be betrothed to Rivkah, and hopes that she can see the man he has become, but when she runs away, and he is injured in battle not long after, he wonders if he should give up on the woman he had hoped to call his own.

Rivkah is headstrong and hurting, rash and quick tempered, a series of choices leave her shamed and destitute. At first I struggled to like her, but as she matured and the story progressed it was clear that she had become a courageous woman, willing to sacrifice everything for her family.

Malakhi is no longer a boy, playing childish games to get Rivkah's attention. He never stopped caring for her, despite her marriage to his brother. So when he gets the chance to honor his brother and marry the woman he loves, he accepts. He tries patiently to win her love, growing into a natural leader of men, carpenter and warrior. I admired his steadfast patience, throughout the entire story he is honorable and loves fiercely.

A powerful tale of forgiveness and unconditional love, set the days after the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land. I loved revisiting Kedesh and Moriyah's family. Connilyn Cossette expertly weaves a poignant prodigal love story against a realistic Biblical setting. She does an excellent job of showing the struggles that the Hebrews likely faced living among pagan neighbors in the Promised Land. A riveting read, with verdant descriptions, and lush adjectives. You won't want to miss this memorable story of love and God's grace.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The Soul of the Rose by Ruth Trippy ~ Review

My Review:

Celia decides to make a fresh start by taking a job working for dear family friends, the Chestley's, at their book shop. While there, Celia makes a big impact on the small community, catching the eye of a young man training to be a lawyer, as well as the mysterious and reclusive, Edward Lyons.

Celia shares her love of literature with the community through a weekly book discussion, the community welcomes her readily, even Mr. Lyons who is drawn to her fresh beauty and insightful mind.

With multiple men vying for her hand, Celia has to decide whether to follow her heart or the One Who Made It.

A fascinating book that focuses on the beautiful harmony of art and religion, as well as the importance of Biblical doctrine rather than man made constructs that seek to eliminate God from our daily lives. I liked how this book explored importance of genuine faith, partially dissecting worldviews like deism and transcendentalism.

From the beginning there is warmth and familiarity about the community, especially from the Chestleys who are a very dear middle aged couple, who demonstrate a godly marriage and hospitality throughout. There are many interesting characters, who are all a mix of good and bad. I thought that the story dealt realistically for the time period with the various situations at hand.

Celia has an innate love for literature and art, with a firm shining faith that cannot help but attract all who cross her path. She has a firm foundation of faith from her family, and in many ways is mature for her age. I admired her faith and her willingness to let go of what she wanted because she knew it was right.

Overall, I applaud this book for its strong messages of faith and firm doctrine, and as a fellow booklover it was impossible not to be drawn to this book and its heroine. Mr. Lyons is an excellent brooding leading man, drawing comparisons to Mr. Rochester or Beast from Beauty and the Beast. I liked how the author strove to show how art and literature can be appreciated with a Christian worldview and insight, and how these things give a window to the soul of their authors and creators. This book had something of a gothic feel to it with a nod to Jane Eyre, though in the middle the pace lagged a bit. At times it felt predictable, but I liked how this book took a more in depth look at faith and the intellectual side of things than many other books of its contemporary. A book written for booklovers, it shines with appreciation for literature alongside a firm faith foundation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


5 Minutes in Church History by Stephen J. Nichols ~ Review

My Review:

Stephen J. Nichols is the host of the popular podcast of the same title. In this book we look at defining snapshots from church history, from early disciples to saints, architecture, kings, and moments in history. Easy to read, with each chapter written to take a mere 5 minutes to read, each concise chapter shows the event or person's modern day relevance.

This was an enjoyable read, an though many of the stories were familiar to me, I can't say that I thought much about the historic building and their relevance in church history before reading this book. It took me a while to read this book, only because I read about once chapter everyday. It was a very enjoyable read, and I really liked how it talks about guarding the "good deposit" by learning from our past.

The final chapter, which is an interview with R.C. Sproul is a great conclusion, and sums up the book well, in speaking on the importance of church history and the Gospel.

"in every generation, the gospel has to be understood anew; it has to be preached with vigor and urgency, because as quickly as we receive it and understand it, like the ancient Galatians, we are fast to move away from it and try to interject some additive that we give to secure our own justification. It is always faith plus something rather than faith alone."

Overall, a very good book that can be read in chapters at a time, or just in 5 minutes a day. I liked how it focuses on how God has preserved the Good News through many generations and empires, using unassuming people and places to show His divine plan for our salvation.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.