Review: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

In spite of their differences, Trey Walker Stafford knows he owes his life to cowboy and legendary rancher Sam Stafford–the uncle who rescued him after his parents’ death. Trey had left the Double S Ranch to pursue music against Sam’s wishes, but returns to central Washington when he learns he’s the best match for a procedure that could save Sam’s life. Although Trey’s found country music fame and success, he’s also endured the tragic loss of his wife. He croons about love, but struggles with a yawning emptiness he can’t explain.

Overwhelmed by a growing list of challenges, but mistrustful of Stafford men, single mother Lucy Carlton reluctantly accepts Trey’s help to revive her crumbling farm when Sam instructs him to repay the overdue debt to her family.

As the two grow closer, Trey slowly begins to open his heart to this beautiful woman and strives to let go of the grief he’s held for years. Lucy has a complicated history of her own. Can Trey accept her as she is, learn to forgive the past, and find the elusive peace he’s sought for so long?

 

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Book Review: Grace and the Preacher by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My Review

Sometimes God has a different path than the one we plan out.

Theo Garrison is hiding a huge secret, one that might destroy everything he’s built, including his budding relationship with Grace Cristler, in Fairland.

In Grace and the Preacher, both of characters are likable and despite Theo’s duplicity, I wanted him to find happiness. To find his identity in Christ and his home in Kansas. Grace’s soft heart and naivety could have made her annoying, but the author managed to balance it perfectly throughout the story.

As both Grace and Theo embark on a journey they didn’t set out on, they draw closer to each other. While Grace questions some odd things about the new preacher, she is quick to accept the reasoning of her elders as to why he’s different in person than on paper.

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Book Review: Life After by Katie Ganshert

Life After

Katie Ganshert

Available 4/18/17

 

My review

This story. Wow! There is so much I want to say about this book, so many things I want you to know but at the same time, I want readers to experience it for themselves. Katie Ganshert has outdone herself with this one.

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Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne

This week, Home on the Range, Ruth Logan Herne’s second book in her Double S Ranch Series is available to purchase. Here’s a fun fact. I got to meet Ruth Logan Herne (and a bunch of other Christian fiction authors) at the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat this summer. It was a blessing to get to learn more about several of my favorite authors—and there was lots of laughter throughout the day.

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But let’s get back to why you’re here. Readers met Nick Stafford and his daughters in Back in the Saddle but we get to know this little family more in Home on the Range. As Nick’s oldest daughter Cheyenne struggles with school, she’s on the verge of being held back. When the principal suggests a counselor, Nick is unsure. Surely he can help his daughter—both of his daughters. He doesn’t need any help.

Upon their first meeting, Elsa Andreas doesn’t seem interested in taking on the challenge of his daughters either. But it doesn’t take Nick long to realize that he does need help and seeing Elsa with his girls, he realizes she’s the best person to work with them. Soon he finds himself taking her advice with his relationships and he is drawn to this quiet, even-keeled woman. A woman who is so different from his ex-wife.

Both Elsa and Nick must come to terms with letting go of the hurts of their past, of realizing their perceptions of the past aren’t reality (the difference between a child’s perspective and an adult’s), but will those understandings come to late to build the future they both long for and dream of?

These two characters were a perfect fit for each other. Nick’s a gentleman at heart, caring for the little ladies (and the new woman) in his life. Elsa is patient and everything Nick needs in his hectic life.

The author depicts life on the farm (the good and the bad) in a beautiful way. And since some of my family lives in Washington State, I could picture the Stafford Ranch clearly in my head. Even if you’ve never been to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, you’ll experience it in Home on the Range.

***The publisher provided me a complimentary copy of this book via Bloggingforbooks. I was not required to write either a negative or positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer

As a resident of Nashville, I’ve made the trek north into Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave, and believe me, its name does not do it justice. Standing in the entrance of the large cave, a visitor realizes the vastness of God’s creation (and it’s just a small, tiny part of this large cave system). I’d post a picture, but it would just be a picture of blackness.

In Guide Me Home, Kim Vogel Sawyer, offers readers a glimpse into the world of the cave system while giving quite a bit of history—and yes, this is a work of fiction so some of it is creative license but much of it (the creatures, the trails, the saltpeter mining, and more) is steeped in fact.

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Rebekah Hardin’s desire to ease her family’s sorrow and suffering lead her to take a job as a guide at the Mammoth Cave resort—a job that is given only to men. Her determination leads her to don men’s clothes and grasp for the job. While Tolly Sandford see’s through Rebekah’s disguise almost immediately, he’s not keen to turn her away and hires her as Reb. Devlin Bale has set his sights on mapping out the cave system as his senior project—one that will not only get him to college graduation but will also give his father a step up in his run for state senate. Cissy Hardin is not like the rest of her family, she believes she’s destined for something greater, something more than being a poor Kentucky farmer’s daughter and she’s determined to make that reality happen no matter what.

As these four lives are intertwined both in the cave and in the land surrounding the cave, each person must face a truth that isn’t always pleasant. Rebecca struggles with guilt, Devlin (while a good person and a complete gentleman) has not yet found the true Source of Light, Tolly’s own burden of guilt weighs heavily, and Cissy’s selfishness and self-importance hurt more than herself.

A story that so beautifully illustrates light in darkness, peace that surpasses understanding, and love undeserving, Guide Me Home is worth the read.

***Blogging for Books and Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.