Books

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Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray



MY REVIEW:

I have enjoyed Shelley Shepard Gray’s Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series so I was happy to have the opportunity to review the latest book in the series, “Love Held Captive”. I was not disappointed. In fact this book actually provides the reader with two different love stories.

Once again, Confederate officers who spent time in the same prison camp are featured. Both Ethan Kelly and Devin Monroe are heroes in this novel and they both meet women who have managed to survive the war on their own despite many hardships. Both women have also been mistreated by a despicable man who had also spent time in the prison camp with them. Will Ethan and Devin become the true heroes Lizbeth and Julianne need?

I thoroughly enjoyed “Love Held Captive”. Although it did touch on some very adult subject matter, I personally thought it was handled tastefully and discreetly with no explicit intimate scenes. Some readers may still prefer to pass on this book and that is their choice.

The plot is well written and moves along steadily with some flashbacks to the prison camp that helps set a background for the relationships between the men. As in the previous novels, I was impressed by the strength of their friendships and their determination to be there for the others when needed. I have loved this series and am hoping this will not be the last book.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

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The Blessing by Wanda Brunstetter



MY REVIEW:

In her second Amish Cooking Class novel, “The Blessing”, Wanda Brunstetter continues the story of Heidi and her cooking classes. After a disappointment, Heidi’s husband Lyle convinces her to begin another class to help keep her from dwelling on her letdown. Readers will meet a new group of students as well as catch up with some familiar characters from “The Seekers”.

The steady plot is filled with day-to-day scenes that set the background for life as experienced by Heidi and her students. A bit of humor is scattered throughout although the tone is predominately serious. The students are a mixed group – readers can expect to like some and to dislike others. But as in “The Seekers”, Heidi’s gentle spirit and quiet wisdom as well as sharing Bible verses at each lesson unexpectedly impacts each student and changes their lives.

“The Blessing” (and the rest of this series) is a must read for all lovers of Amish fiction.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Six new cooking class students.  New friendships form, a romance blossoms, and hearts receive healing nourishment. Will Heidi’s own hurting heart also be healed?

Despite stressful changes occurring in their lives, Lyle and Heidi once again open their Ohio home up to those seeking to learn about Amish cooking. This time a teenager helping her divorced dad cook for the family, a caterer needing new recipes, a food critic, a hunter looking to impress his buddies, a wife given the class as an unwanted gift, and a mailman lured in by the aroma of good cooking gather around Heidi’s table.

During each class, Heidi teaches culinary skills, but it is her words of wisdom that have a profound effect on her students—though, this time Heidi’s own hurting heart will need some healing nourishment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wanda Brunstetter is an award-winning romance novelist who has led millions of readers to lose their heart in the Amish life. She is the author of nearly 70 books with more than 9 million copies sold. Many of her books have landed on the top bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, CBA, ECPA, and CBD. Wanda is considered one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre, and her work has been covered by national publications, including Time Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, Good Housekeeping, and Country Woman. Wanda’s books have been translated into four foreign languages.

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Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter



MY REVIEW:

“Blue Ridge Sunrise” was an enjoyable romantic novel that features two people who had been in love but life came between them. Circumstances unexpectedly bring them back into contact and anyone who has ever read any romance novels has an idea of what happens. Of course there are secrets between them and another man who does everything he can to cause problems. Oh, there is also a cute little girl who will steal your heart.

Characters are well-defined, so much so that many readers have difficulty liking the female lead Zoe, including myself. Eventually, after learning more of her background, I was able to understand Zoe better and maybe even like her a bit. Cruz, on the other hand, was the perfect hero despite having a few flaws of his own. Kyle, the other guy, is a classic jerk who is very easy to dislike intensely.

The plot moves back and forth between present and the past which fills the reader in on what actually happened between Zoe, Cruz, and Kyle and how they reached the present point in their lives. Some drama and action are included but the story very much revolves around the relationship of Zoe and Cruz. As mentioned by other reviewers, the faith thread is not as strong in this book as previous ones but it is still a clean novel with no violence or graphic intimate scenes.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Litfuse Publicity. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe–a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband have three boys and are rapidly approaching an empty nest.

You can learn more about Denise through her website www.DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter

 

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Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble



MY REVIEW:

In the eagerly anticipated return to Rock Harbor, “Beneath Copper Falls”, Colleen Coble has proven once again that she is a master of suspense.  This dark tale of a stalker and murders should have readers attempting to decide if the same person is guilty of both crimes. Definitely a page-turner, this novel had me holding my breath at times while the pages never stopped turning. It was one of those books that made me have to know what would happen yet I did not want it to end.

“Beneath Copper Falls” took me with Dana and Boone along a tangled web of danger and mystery. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and admired how Dana was able to overlook Boone’s physical appearance to see the beauty of his inner person. It was fun to touch base with Rock Harbor residents I met in the earlier books. Funny how they seem so real!

Although this book is technically part of the Rock Harbor series, it can easily stand alone and would be a good place to try one of Colleen Coble’s books if you haven’t done so already. Take it from me, once you read one of her novels, you will probably want to read them all.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Amazon Vine. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Dana has already learned that love isn’t safe . . . but could it be different in Rock Harbor?

As a 911 dispatcher, Dana Newell takes pride in being calm in tough circumstances. In addition to her emotionally-charged career, she’s faced enough emergencies in her own life. She recently escaped her abusive fiancé to move to tranquil Rock Harbor where she hopes life will be more peaceful.

But the idyllic town hides more danger and secrets than it first appeared. Dana is continually drawn to her new friend Boone, who has scars inside and out. Then she answers a call at her job only to hear a friend’s desperate screams on the other end. Soon the pain in her past collides with the mysteries of her new home—and threatens to keep her from the future she’s always wanted.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written numerous romantic suspense novels including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and Beneath Copper Falls. Visit her website at ColleenCoble.com, Twitter: @colleencoble, Facebook: colleencoblebooks.

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