Love without End by Robin Lee Hatcher

love without end cover

Kimberly Welch has come to King’s Meadow, Idaho because she has nowhere else to go. Her best friend offers her and her teenage daughter a place to live after their belongings are reposessed. When Kimberly’s daughter, Tara, is given a horse that needs to be broken in, she turns to Chet Leonard–a man who owns a ranch in the area. With no money and no job, she doesn’t know how she can possibly pay him but she also understands taking the horse away from Tara will damage their relationship further.

Chet Leonard has had his own share of heartache. He’s oldest son died at seventeen and then his wife walked out on him and their two remaining sons without a glance back. The pain still overwhelms him sometimes but he continues to run his horse ranch and raise his two sons to love the Lord. When Anna McKenna, better known to Chet as Nana Anna, returns to the ranch after years away, hope seems to come into his household again. And it’s not just Nana Anna who is bringing that hope. No, the beautiful widow, Kimberly Welch, has an awful lot to do with that.

Robin Lee Hatcher does an amazing job of weaving Anna’s story from years ago in with those of Kimberly and Chet. Not only does the reader learn about these three, they also learn about the three teenagers and the dynamics of that group. As someone who is (clears throat) a little older and never married, I always enjoy reading stories where the main characters have experienced a little bit of life but still have a chance at love-in Chet and Kimberly’s cases, a second chance. Hatcher does not disappoint.

***Booklook Bloggers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

A Bride in Store by Melissa Jagears

bride in store cover

Mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell intends to surprise her future husband by arriving a week early. She gets her own unpleasant surprise when her train is robbed and the thieves steal all of her inheritance—money she told Axel Langston she had to help him with his store. When she arrives in Kansas with a cut on her cheek given to her by one of the train robbers, William Stanton is called in to patch her up. The attractions Will feels toward Eliza is almost immediate so when he learns she’s his business partner and best friend’s intended, he knows he needs to stay away from her. When she comes into their store with no money, no place to stay, and no help, Will decides to help her. Sparks fly between the two of them until Axel returns and the real trouble begins. Both Eliza and Will have dreams that will take them in different directions—Will wants to become a doctor and Eliza wants to run a successful store. Will they follow the dreams they’ve been chasing or will they find a new dream together?

I have read both the novella and the Melissa Jagear’s other book in this series and this one was by far my favorite (you do not need to read the others to read this one. The few things you might need to know from the previous works are explained in this one). Both of the main characters were well written and endearing in different ways. Will is a tenderhearted man who wants to do what’s best for everyone. You grieve his losses with him. Eliza is a confident woman who’s not afraid of a little work and she is determined to prove her worth. I didn’t want to put the book down once I started. Definitely worth the read.

***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Denise Hunter returns to Chapel Springs and the McKinley family in The Wishing Season

wishing season

As the youngest McKinley sibling, PJ feels the pressure of trying to prove to her family that she can succeed. She has to believe in herself because no one else, including her family, does. When a contest is opened up to convert a historic home into a business, PJ sees the perfect opportunity to make her dream of owning a restaurant and B&B come true. She pours herself into her presentation to win the contest. Her only competition is Cole Evans. A man with no family and regrets a mile long who wants the home to help foster kids who have turned eighteen and aged out of the foster care system before they have finished high school. When the judges of the contest are unable to come to an agreement, PJ and Cole are challenged to put their plans to the test. For one year they will live under the same roof–PJ on the first floor with her restaurant and Cole on the second floor with his foster program–and try to make a go of their businesses without killing each other. Sparks fly immediately between them. First with distrust and silent accusations and later with heat and passion. Who will have to give up their dream? And will the loss of that dream ruin an even bigger dream for both of them?

I’ll admit I’ve had this book for a couple of months and have had to restrain myself from diving into it because I needed to wait until we were closer to the release date (Dec. 9 if you’re wondering). I love Denise Hunter’s books and can easily sit down and read one in less than twenty-four hours. The Wishing Season was no exception. PJ is sweet, funny, and likable. Her incessant chatter is humorous. Cole is the perfect brooding hero–haunted by his past and trying to make amends. He is also the perfect gentleman (after a bit of a rough start). There is one more McKinley sibling who needs to find his happily ever after. I hope readers get to learn Ryan’s story next.

***Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance

the covered deep

Bianca Marshal feels trapped. Her twenty fifth birthday is around the corner and, according to the book she is reading, her prospects of marriage are about to decrease thirty four percent. With that weighing on her mind, when Bianca’s father shows her an advertisement for contest that will include a trip out of Ohio and across an ocean to London and then on to the Holy Land, she decides to enter. When Bianca arrives in London, she meets Paul Emerson, a local historian, and is immediately captivated by him. Emerson feels the same way about Bianca but some mistakes from his past keep dragging him down and making him believe he’s not worthy of Bianca–the perfect woman for him. Adrian Hartwith has chosen his travel companions carefully for his own dangerous game. How much will they endure until their faith is shaken? Will Paul Emerson’s faith crumble when he loses the one thing he desires most but can’t have?

Brandy Vallance’s debut novel is intriguing and the concept is an interest twist. Filled with adventure, danger, romance, and hope, The Covered Deep keeps the reader immersed in the story. Bianca is naïve but likeable and there are some laugh-out-loud moments in the book. There are also some heart-wrenching moments and still others where you want to wring someone’s neck. The ending felt somewhat rushed as I would have liked to hear what became of a couple of the other characters we’d traveled with throughout the book (what happened to Adrian Hartwith? Did he have a change of heart? Is he still playing with people’s emotions and lives?) and more about Bianca’s change of heart toward Paul at the end, but overall, the story was worth the read.

***Worthy publishing provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

thief of glory book cover

Ten-year-old Jeremiah Prins has not idea the turn his life will take the morning another boy challenges him to a fight over a girl. In the Dutch East Indies in 1942,the Prins family leads a privileged life until the Japanese invade the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah’s father urges him to take care of his mother and younger siblings before he and Jeremiah’s half brothers are taken to work on the railroad. A few weeks later the Japanese return to their home and Jeremiah and his remaining family are loaded into a truck and taken to a Japanese concentration camp. Jeremiah is forced to rely on his cunning and courage to keep his family–and later, his one true love–safe and alive.

While I am well aware of the Jewish concentration camps set up by Hitler, I was unaware of the Jewish interment camps set up to hold the Dutch women and children. Through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy, Sigmund Brouwer paints a vivid picture of the day to day life in these camps and transports the readers to the time and place. I worried for Jeremiah and cried with him throughout this book. It’s a reminder to be thankful for the life I have been given–a life with little pain and trials. Read this one with a tissue, folks. But do read it.

***Blogging for Books 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.