A Good Action and Adventure Read

I am usually a person who reads mostly chick lit or romance novels but every once in a while I like to branch out into something new. Blood and Bone by Don Hoesel sounded like it would be very similar to Dan Brown’s books and in several ways the story was along that vein. Hoesel’s books however moved a lot more quickly than Brown’s books do.

Dr. Jack Hawthorne hid the bones of the prophet Elisha over a decade ago. Now someone has come looking for them. As Jack and his wife, Espy race across the globe trying to find the bones so they can get their two boys back, they run into more than one enemy. As the couple advance through Australia, England, St. Petersburg and Paris, they piece together the puzzle of the secret order that has been the guardian over the bones for centuries. Will they find the bones in time to save their children or will they die trying?

As I mentioned before, this book moved well. There wasn’t a lot of time spent on background or delving into too much. There was just enough information to keep me interested and plenty of action. There is some fighting, blood, guns and death in this book for anyone who is sensitive about that but it did not take away from the story. This is the third book with these characters but the first one I’ve read and I wasn’t lost while reading but I do now want to go back and read the first two.

Overall, I would give it four and a half stars.

*****Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.

Accepting Forgiveness

We are currently going through a series at my church called “Forgiven: The Free Power of Forgiveness.” The pastor has covered God’s forgiveness, forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. I found it fitting that I get to review Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh during this sermon series because the theme when right along with it.

Harriet Bisset, AKA Harri, was one of those rebellious PKs (preacher’s kids”. She left the church, turned her back on God and hurt her friends and family when she dove into a world of cigarettes, alcohol, tattoos and men. After two years of living in this way, she reaches rock bottom and is brought back into the fold. And for eight years, Harri has shielded herself from all of those past temptations. Then the safety of the cocoon she’s built around herself gets tested when Maddox McCray, a tattooed, long-haired, motorcycle-riding church consultant, is hired by her church to turn things around. Can Harri leave the safe world she has built without giving into temptation? Can she forgive herself for her past failures?

What I loved most about Splitting Harriet is how quickly Maddox realizes he likes Harri. He repeatedly points out her flaws and errors but with caring and understanding. And while Harri is usually upset at first, she comes to the realization that he was right and doing what is best for her.

When we’ve made mistakes that lead us far from God, it’s sometimes hard to grasp how freely His forgiveness if given. We feel like we are required to pay for it. As Harri finds her true self, and true love, she learns God’s love and forgiveness are there for the taking at no cost to her.

****Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.

Fun Historical Romance

bride for all seasons

I enjoy these books with four novellas in them. They are pretty quick reads and while you don’t have all of the misunderstandings and miscommunications that are in full novels, there are enough to keep you interested in the story. In A Bride for All Seasons: The Mail Order Bride Collection (with stories from Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Mary Connealy and Robin Lee Hatcher), I felt like I wanted more of a couple of the stories, especially the one written by Robin Lee Hatcher.

In A Bride for All Seasons, there are four stories of couples who have advertised or subscribed to The Hitching Post mail order bride catalogue, a publication in which the publisher chooses to do some creative editing with both the advertisements and the correspondence between interested parties. There is confusion and frustration when each of the women first arrive at their destination. Set in the 1800s, the women have no options of other places to go once they arrive to meet their husbands. Through time and getting to know each other, each couple comes to the conclusion that they are in the place God has planned for them.

Each novella was a very quick read but also engaging. The only thing connecting each of the stories was the mail order bride catalogue but that was definitely enough. If you are looking for some light, before bed reading or a good beach read, this one might be just what you are looking for.

****Thomas Nelson Publishing provided me with a free copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.

Engaging Historical Fiction

It’s always a nice surprise when you pick up a book not expecting much and get pulled into the story pretty quickly. That is exactly what happened with me and Grace’s Pictures written by Cindy Thompson.

Grace McCaffery has just arrived in America from Ireland. In a new place, she doesn’t know who to trust and she is uncertain that she can be successful here. Circumstances in her past have caused her to have strong opinions about herself and about others. Owen McNulty has forsaken his wealthy background and become a police officer to help those less fortunate for him but he is unsure that this is God’s will in his life. When members of a local gang start to harass Grace because they think she has photographed their elusive leader, Owen promises to protect her. Can Grace put her trust in him?

Thompson does a good job of getting a lot of background in about the two main characters before she gets to the action in the story. Right away you like these characters and want them to do the right thing. It is also refreshing that the romance in this book does not take center stage. In fact, it is almost non-existent. If you are looking for something with good guys and bad guys and guys you aren’t sure about, this book is for you.

Stealing the Preacher

When I read the synopsis of this book, I thought it might be humorous to read. There is very little humor in the book but it was a decent read with lots going on throughout the book.

Joanna Robbins told her father what she wanted for her birthday was a preacher. Her desire is to revive the community church and finish a promise she had made to her mother. Crockett Archer is on his way to interview for a preaching position when he is abducted from his train and taken to Joanna. Is this God’s way of showing Archer where He wants him?

While many romances out there are full of miscommunications and misunderstandings between the couple, there is very little of that in Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer. For the most part, the book shows the growth of each of the main characters and the faith the two main characters have in God’s will being completed through them.

****Bethany House Publishing provided me with a free eBook in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was not compensated in any way for either a positive or a negative review.