Fitting Series Conclusion

blades of valor

A couple of years ago I reviewed the second book in the Merlin’s Immortal series written by Sigmond Brouwer. Since then I’ve been interested in how the story develops and also reviewed the third book in the series and now, with the release of the fourth, and final, book, Blades of Valor I felt the need to see how the series ended since I have grown to know these characters over the past couple of years.

In book three, Thomas of Magnus and Katherine ended up in the Holy Land looking for answers. Book four picks up right where book three ended. Katherine and Thomas have found Sir Williams and are looking for a treasure they believe to be hidden somewhere in the Holy Land. However, Thomas is still struggling to figure out who he can trust. His heart wants to trust Katherine, the beautiful girl that he can’t think straight around, but he feels she has betrayed him when he sees her enter a city with men who tried to assassinate him. Thomas must use his knowledge to figure out whether to trust Sir William and Katherine or Sir Baldwin instead. Meanwhile, back in England, a conspiracy brews that could destroy the kingdom.

This is a great series for teenage boys with fighting, sword play and the mystery of what Thomas possesses that is sought after by evil men. Brouwer did a great job of wrapping up the series and giving readers closure to the story of Thomas of Magnus.

****Waterbrook/Multnomah 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.

Good Chapel Springs Series Bridge

december bride

Denise Hunter is one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. She does a great job of developing her characters and drawing the reader into the story. In A December Bride in the Year of Wedding Novellas series, she once again delivers. This is a good story to read while you wait for the second book in her Chapel Springs series to be released in March as some of the characters from the first book, Barefoot Summer, make an appearance.

Layla O’Reilly is still hurting from the betrayal of her fiancé and needing someone to blame, she has focused on Seth Murphy. While Seth didn’t intentionally throw Layla’s fiancé and her cousin together, things progressed and now Layla finds herself attending a wedding that should have been hers. While at the wedding, an opportunity arises for Layla to land a big client for her home staging business, which has yet to take off, arises but it is based on the lie that she and Seth are engaged. Seth has loved Layla since before his best friend, and current groom, started dating her. This is his opportunity to show Layla that he’s not the man she believes him to be.

While Layla struggles with letting go of being hurt in the past and her unfair blame of Seth in what happened with her fiancé, Seth struggles to show Layla that he is a good guy and that he wants more with her than a fake engagement. While Layla decorates his home for a Christmas decorating contest, she learns more about him and finds her feelings are changing toward him. Layla’s brother, Beckett, and his fiancée, Madison McKinley, make an appearance in the novella as well.

****Booksneeze and Zondervan Publishing 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 negative or a positive review.

Safe Lands Series Book Two Does Not Disappoint

outcasts cover

It is pretty amazing how imaginative some authors are. After reading Captives, book one in The Safe Lands series, I was ready to read the second book, Captives and the pages turned faster in the second book because I was now familiar with the kids from Glenrock.

The three brothers, Levi, Mason and Omar successfully got the women out of the Harem and are not trying to save the children of Glenrock. Levi, the oldest, is doing his best to lead his people but feels that he struggles with people, especially his brothers, not listening to him or respecting him in his new role as elder. Mason has been warned that he is being watched but is back at the medical center. He and Ciddah are researching the drugs used to treat the thin plague and come upon some information that may be useful to them. Omar is still struggling with the temptations the Safe Lands surround him with and failing. He doesn’t believe he is worthy of forgiveness but decides to become a vigilante to try and offer the people hope and tell them the truth about their government.

Jill Williamson’s characters are likeable and you are rooting for a happy ending for them but at the same time she writes the realities of a dystopian future where the government has secrets and people try and expose them. I will definitely be in line for the third book in this series when it comes out in August.

****Booksneeze and Zondervan Publishers 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 negative or a positive review.

Average Regency Romance

dancing master

Once in a while I find a book that is difficult to get into and I have to force myself to read it to the point where I finally start to enjoy the books. This was definitely the case with The Dancing Master written by Julie Klassen. From the book description, the story sounded interesting and it was set during the regency era that I love so much. Because the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen are large influences for Klassen I was looking forward to the book.

Julia Midwinter is restless. She longs to leave her boring village of Beaworthy and see the world. She feels stifled under her mother’s constant criticism and concern. Alec Valcourt has just moved to Beaworthy with his mother and sister to flee a scandal that occurred in London. Alec is a Dancing and Fencing Master but has not been made aware of the twenty year old unwritten law that no one in Beaworthy dance. Can he convince the townspeople that it is all right to dance. Will he lose his heart to the beautiful Julia Midwinter who is above him in station?

The main characters in this books weren’t my favorite, especially Julia. She seemed spoiled and unwilling to change. Alec Valcourt was just okay. While both characters seemed to be developed pretty well, it seemed the supporting characters, the Allens, John Desmond and even Alec’s family were more interesting than the two main characters. The book did start to pick up about halfway through but the story was predictable and seemed to drag a little.

Overall, I would give this book two out of five stars.

***Harvest House Publishing 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 negative or a positive review.

A Good Christian Alternative for Teens Interested in Dystopian YA Fiction

safelands captives cover

Dystopian Young Adult novels are very popular these days. Between the popularity of The Hunger Games and Divergent series and a few others out there, there were bound to be some Christian versions of this popular genre right now. Captives, the first book in The Safe Lands series written by Jill Williamson, does not disappoint.

The year is 2088 and three brothers are trying to find their way in their small village. When Omar, the youngest, decides to show the other villagers that there is a better life for them inside the Safe Lands, he doesn’t realize the true cost until it’s too late. Mason feels backward from the other men in the village. He is training to be a doctor (usually a woman’s job) and he doesn’t like to hunt or scavenge like the other males. Inside the Safe Lands Mason finds a job where he can learn and help some of the other members of their village. Levi comes home after being tricked by Omar to find no one left in his village, including his fiancée, gone. He is determined to find them and bring them back.

Captives is a fast moving, page turner. You want Levi and Mason to succeed in their missions. It took me a couple of weeks to pick this book up to read it but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. It’s nice to have a dystopian YA story with Biblical principles throughout.

****Booksneeze and Zondervan 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.