Peace in the Storms of Life is a nice devotional for those times in a believer’s life when they feel overwhelmed by all that is going on around them. We can always take heart on the Scriptures and Rayburn adds her own wisdom to the verses that will encourage the reader.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to leave a review and the opinion expressed here is entirely my own.
‘All she’d known was that she wanted nothing more than the formidable safety of his arms.’
Mimi Matthews brings us the last book in her ‘Parish Orphans of Devon’ series and now I am so sad that there aren’t any more books in this series. A friend recommended Mimi Matthews to me last month and I quickly read the first three books in this series and found them absolutely wonderful. This one is Neville Cross’s story. Sweet, strong Neville. We find all four men, former orphans who were treated so despicably by the orphanage director, together for a winter reunion. Justin, Thornhill, Tom Finchley, and Alex Archer are all married happily and Neville feels his life will always be what it is now: living on Justin’s property caring for the horses and animals. He loves the animals and he loves his friends, but deep inside he yearns for more.
Clara Hartwright is at the Thornhill’s for the winter reunion, serving as a companion to Mrs. Bainbridge. Clara wants nothing but to remain invisible in order to keep her stormy past in the past. But she soon discovers that there is something about Neville that she is mightily touched by.
As we watch Neville trying to back away from Clara, fearing he will be frowned upon because of his inability to speak everything on his heart because of a traumatic injury in his youth, we watch love unfold and blossom between these two sensitive souls, it is the most precious thing to behold. I wept several times during the reading of this book. Neville is a most wonderful hero, in this reader’s opinion. His heart is enormous! It’s as if God created these two especially for one another. And Mimi Matthews’ weaving of this tale together is magnificent. I was captivated by her writing, as I was during the first three books in the series. She deftly moves through the story, carrying the reader along feeling every emotion in these characters’ hearts. I dearly wished this series didn’t have to end. I loved every single moment of these books. Well done! Highly recommended.
*My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
‘You tell other people to be brave all the time. I think it’s your turn.’
Daisy Riley comes to Refuge, Wyoming to get away from the place of a violent attack. She knows that she must overcome her fears and this is a place to find safety, near her brother and his fiancé. She finds a great job and settles in. Then life throws another curve ball. Rafe Donovan is staying with his brother after having issues as a cop in Cincinnati. Rafe and Daisy come to care for each other, but Daisy has found a forever home in Refuge and Rafe has to go back to Ohio when his leave is up.
Victoria Bylin shares her heart in the second book of her Road to Refuge series. Life is not always each and bravery is not easy to come by when life doesn’t work out the way you hoped. But we have a secure refuge (no pun intended) in Christ, the Solid Rock. And sometimes, what we hoped is the best for us is not what God thinks is the best for us. Our job is to relinquish our control to God. Well done! Recommended.
*My thanks to the author for a complimentary copy of this book. The opinion stated in this review is entirely my own.
Award winning and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida’s Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than seventeen books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, two grandkids, and three cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
“We must pray. We pray, we plan and then we fight.’ MaryLu Tyndall brings us her ‘Protectors of the Spear’ series to a completely satisfying conclusion with this book. Seraphina deMowbray is now the one carrying the sacred spear and she must guard it with her life for there are those who seek to steak it for their own good. Sir Damien LaRage journeys with her to the king’s castle where there is much evil afoot. Her dear friends and members of the king’s Elite Guard are suspected of witchcraft and are in hiding, so Seraphina must try and persuade the king to pardon them. But she has to wade through a host of evil that seeks to hinder her at every turn. I love the medieval era and Tyndall is very adept at this genre. I have been eagerly waiting for this novel and I was not one bit disappointed! A riveting conclusion to a powerful series! Tyndall is quite good at bringing spiritual warfare into her books and it is incorporated here so well. God does indeed fight for us. ‘Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15b) Highly recommended. *My thanks to the publisher and author for a copy of this book. No review was required and the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
‘In all the years he’d read about the Prodigal Son in the Bible, he’d never really cast himself in that role.’
Carla Laureano finishes up her series with this novel, which is Bryan and Ana’s story. Bryan Shaw is a rock climber who turns to another living after a life altering incident on a mountain. Bryan buys a coffee farm and returns to Denver to set up another aspect of the business, but he has no business acumen. Ana Sanchez, who he has known for two years and has been secretly attracted to, does have loads of business acumen. Ana has just been put on leave as a crisis management publicist and agrees to help Bryan out.
I have read and own all Carla Laureano’s books and have read most of them twice and some three times, so I was in eager anticipation of this one. The other two in the series were awesome, so I had very high hopes for this one. Laureano has proven herself to this reader many times over. She writes convincingly of real emotions in her books and her characters bloom on the pages of her novels.
The story itself was good. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I was fascinated by all that went into making good coffee! The author goes into great detail about the coffee bean business and I was quite surprised at the depth of the industry. And, as usual, I enjoyed the food! Rachel and Melody are quite amazing cooks, as we learned from the first two books, and I think I might have drooled a little bit during the reading.
I enjoyed meeting Bryan and Ana as secondary characters, but sadly, for me, they didn’t live up to my expectations. Bryan did for the most part. He truly had turned his life around and I felt his heart in the pages of the book. But Ana gave me a hard time. She just never seemed real to me. She came across as pretentious and cold almost the entire novel, even seeming hard and uncaring. She did redeem herself a bit at the ending, but by then, I had lost hope that she would come around. I just felt no real connect with this character, but the book as a whole was quite good.
My thanks to Tyndale House Publishing for an ARC of this book. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
‘It’s odd how some things have to be broken before their value and worth can be discovered.’
New York. Five strangers receive a mysterious, anonymous invitation to a meeting of The Fifth Avenue Story Society. Each are familiar with the library, but have never heard of the Society. Not one of them knows where the invitation came from, either. But all five show up. And they keep coming back week after week. Chuck, Jett, Lexa, Coral and Ed all have deep hurts in their lives and none want to share their secrets with strangers. And yet they find that they really care about each other and soon they are not strangers anymore. They really do have stories, each of them, stories waiting to be told and what blooms from each meeting of The Fifth Avenue Story Society is incredibly touching and inspiring. And deeply satisfying.
Rachel Hauck has once again crafted a story that will move her readers’ hearts. That shouldn’t surprise me and yet we are moved anew each offering from her. Her ability to delve into her characters’ hearts is amazing and she definitely hits another home room with this one. And her trademark touch of the Divine in each book just warms my heart. Well done!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
‘I couldn’t help that I was skilled in sniffing out mysterious deaths.’
Heather Gilbert is back with the third offering in her Exotic Pet-Sitter cozy mystery series. And she has outdone herself with this one, let me tell you!
Belinda Blake lives in Greenwich and babysits exotic pets like boa constrictors, wolves, and the like. She also is quite a dab hand at solving murders. This time, Belinda spends much of her time upstate at her parents’ home when, of course, there is a murder. And an unsolved murder from the past. And Belinda herself has some decisions to make in this book, which was part of the charm of the story. And let me tell you, I NEVER guessed the culprit! Never, ever would I have guessed that. This is my favorite of the series so far. I loved it so much! Highly recommended.
*My thanks to the Kensington Books/Lyrical Press for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions shared in this review are entirely my own.
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. She writes small town romance and women’s fiction while juggling the performing arts studio and youth theatre she owns and runs with her husband. If For Any Reason is her eleventh novel. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category, and her contemporary romance Just Let Go won the Carol Award in 2019.
A creative at heart, Courtney has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children and a sometimes naughty Bernedoodle named Luna.
Connect with Courtney online at her website (courtneywalshwrites.com) or on any of these social media platforms:
‘So much for believing God was really going to be there for her this time.’
After suffering a huge professional failure and going broke, Emily Ackerman comes back to the little Nantucket island she lived on as a child. Her grandfather has died and left her their cottage and she plans on renovating it and selling it. She discovers that her childhood friend, Hollis McGuire, is staying next door with his family. With his 12 year old daughter. Hollis’s baseball career has ended and he’s trying to connect with his daughter but not being very successful at it.
Soon Emily discovers shocking secrets about her mother’s fatal car accident 18 years ago but nobody will talk to her. Her world has just taken a nose dive and she keeps reading the series of letters her mother wrote to her when she was small. Can she get past all this and build a life for herself and stop running?
Courtney Walsh knows how to engage her readers’ hearts. Always has. I was rooting for Emily all through the book. And Hollis’s daughter Jolie is so precious. And Walsh made me want to visit Nantucket so much! Walsh takes us on a journey of love, heartbreak, faith and new beginnings. Recommended.
*My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions here are entirely my own.
After mustering out of the Great War and returning to his post as personal valet to a member of Britain’s aristocracy, Quinton Aspinall learns his mother is in the workhouse and his three siblings have been shipped to Canada to work there as indentured servants. He is determined to find them and bring them home so their family can be whole again. His employer agrees to Quinton going as long as he searches for and brings him his own wayward niece who has run off with a Canadian soldier, promising Quinton a free and clear tenant farm.
Julia Holloway’s dreams have been shattered after going to Canada with a soldier. Now she is working as a maid and her life is about to turn upside down again. She meets, quite by chance, Quinton, and agrees to help him find his siblings. As they start on the journey to reunite his family, they discover shocking truths about how these so called orphans have been treated.
Susan Anne Mason has given her readers a good lesson in history with a fact-based story of the many children shipped to Canada for a better life. Combined with her ability to tell a good story, this is a book to settle in with and enjoy.
*My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.