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Love Bears All

Love Bears All Things

Love Bears All by Beth Wiseman

Charlotte Dolynsky has come to town to forget her broken relationship and mend her broken heart. She has come back to the Amish where she was accepted by family even though she previously had lied to them to find out the truth about her brother. Getting involved with the community again, she meets Daniel Byer whom  also is learning to heal his broken heart. Charlotte finds herself getting to know Daniel while trying to help a young couple whom bear a secret from the community. As the secret comes to light,  Daniel and Charlotte learn more about each other. Their dedication to this young couple brings them closer together. Will they see beyond their hurt to learn to love again?

Love Bears All is the second title in the Amish Secrets series. It can be read as a stand alone. Beth Wiseman writes characters which the reader quickly learn to love and identify with them. The plot gives the path of two couples each dealing with obstacles in their lives. Charlotte just wants to escape her bad relationship and isn’t looking for a new one but through friendship with  Daniel she begins to think that she might be able to love again. Young  Jacob and Annie must deal with their secret and decide if their love will survive their differences and secret. The plot twists and reads quickly. Readers who like page turners and well developed characters should snatch up this first in a new series by Ms. Wiseman. The book includes discussion questions, perfect for a book discussion group.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Thomas Nelson for an honest review.

 

The Devoted

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The Devoted by Suzanne Woods

Eighteen year old Ruthie Stoltzfus is torn for her future. She loves her family and the Amish religion but she also wants to go on in school. If she wants to stay near her family and in the Amish way she can not continue her education. She had been seeing Luke Shrock but his bad boy ways have left her lonely and in conflict of the Amish way. All of this conflict comes to head and yet clearer as a stranger appears in town. Patrick Kelly has always been drawn to the Amish religion and decided to move to Stoney Ridge to see if he should convert. Ruthie while torn between her religion and education sees Patrick who embraces the Amish ways.

 

This title is the last of Ms. Woods’ Bishop Family Series. It can be read as a standalone but to fully understand the characters and the quant town of Stoney Bridge start with The Bishop’s Family. Readers who love Suzanne Woods other books will not be disappointed by The Devoted. Ms. Woods does an excellent job showing the plot from a variety of viewpoints which for readers who enjoy the interaction among characters will appreciate. The viewpoint of Ruthie against Luke shows how a person new to world can see things with a new appreciation. The romance does not seemed forced, rather as readers of Christian Fiction expect to figure out the characters who will fall for each other. Readers of Amish fiction will appreciate the freshness of this title by showing that the encroachment of the World can cause us all to slip from our faith. The wrestling of this issue is explored by the character of David. Hand this title to a reader who enjoys Amish fiction with a little introspection on how we all wrestle with trying to life up to ones faith while embracing their desires.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Revell for an honest review.

 

Love’s Betrayal

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Love’s Betrayal by Di Ann Mills

In 1776, Delight Butler is a young girl who supports the patriots in Boston, Massachusetts and secretly helps the effort of those patriots. She and her family are placed in conflict when one evening a young British soldier is dropped off to her family’s home to nurse back to health. Delight because of her mother’s own health, must tend to this soldier who represents the enemy  and against everything she believes. Through her time with this young man, she grows spiritually and experiences challenges to her Christian walk a and sees the young man in a different light.

An enjoyable historical fiction book that shows, through the character of Delight, how a Christian’s walk is to help everyone no matter their beliefs. If you like Revolutionary War time period, you will enjoy this read. It is a slower paced story but is interesting to see how the Irish soldier signed up to free himself from the tyranny of England and through conversations with Delight and her father begins to view the Revolutionary war in a different light.

The Second novel included in the book was a faster paced story and  takes place right before the time of the Revolutionary war. Georgette is part of an arranged marriage to a man that has a bad reputation but is needed to help keep her father out of economic trouble. Georgette accepts her fate but through the meeting of an unknown Frenchman, she begins to think about what it might be like to be betrothed to a “good” man. This story has more romance and a little suspense to keep the reader turning the page to see if Georgette will marry the man whom will help her family. Scripture is sprinkled within the chapters. The reader sees how Georgette wanting to be honoring to her father and her Christian walk struggles between her fiancé and the mysterious Frenchman through her  prayer and her conscience.  A gem to quench the appetite of historical Christian fiction readers since there are few options for this time period.

Just A Kiss

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

Just a Kiss (Summer Harbor #3)

Riley joined the army to avoid watching his best friend, Paige and his brother in their relationship. Riley has known Paige all his life and has fallen for his best friend. When he hears that his brother and Paige have broken up, Riley plans to come home and declare his fillings. But as best laid plans happen, he returns from Afghanistan missing a leg. His feelings put distance between Paige and him. She desires to help her best friend but doesn’t understand his actions towards her.

Denise Hunter always writes fast paced  romantic novels. This title is the last of the Summer Harbor series but can be read as a standalone. Reading this title you can tell there is more of a back story between the characters but can still enjoy this story. She is a master when it comes to family and romance stories. The side romance between the other characters, Sheriff Colton and Aunt Trudy, is sweet. Readers quickly find themselves  rooting for each character to complete the romance. Ms. Hunter places obstacles for each couple but the resolution of them is nicely paced. Just a Kiss is an enjoyable quick read for fans of romantic fiction and of Ms. Hunter. If I had read the first two in the series, I might have given it a higher review. Give this title to any Denise Hunter fan or any Romantic Christian fan who enjoys a quick read and revolves around families.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Thomas Nelson for an honest review.

Sarah’s Surrender

 

Sarah’s Surrender by Vickie McDonough

Sarah Worley has lived with the Coulter’s for several years after escaping a situation that greatly impacted her outlook on life. Luke McNeil also lived with the Coulter’s as their foreman and best friend of Gabe Coulter. Luke and Sarah have been friends for years but for Luke his feelings for Sarah have changed. He asks her to marry him but she rejects him setting out instead to journey and try to win the lottery in the Oklahoma land lottery. Will Luke change her mind about himself and men in general?

This entry is the third in the Land Rush Dreams series by Vickie McDonough. This title can be read as a standalone. The pacing is fast and the characters while not deeply flushed out are written in such a way that the reader learns to care about Sarah and Luke and root them on both individually and as a potential couple. This story is one of independence and forgiveness.  Readers who enjoy historical fiction, stories with family focus and a gentle romance will enjoy this book.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Barbour Publishing for an honest review.

This is Our Story

This Is Our Story

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won’t say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them.
Kate Marino’s senior year internship at the District Attorney’s Office isn’t exactly glamorous-more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys’ case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families.
Kate won’t let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has personal reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone-the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot-she realizes that nothing about the case-or the boys-is what it seems. Grant wasn’t who she thought he was, and neither is Stone’s prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all-and if Kate doesn’t uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line including her own.

The first line of this book just grabs the reader…”A ten point buck and a dead body make the same sound when they hit the forrest floor.” It sets the scene that this is a murder mystery. In alternating chapters told from Kate and one of the River Point boys. This is a fast, twisting story that keeps the reader wondering what really happened. Kate is a likable character from the beginning but towards the end some of the things she does towards the end of the book are frustrating. Through the author’s writing the reader begins to empathize with Logan and hopes that the killer is not him. Through the River Point boy’s view, the reader midway through begins to understand that this person is the killer but the author leaves enough clues to suggest who it might be while leaving enough doubt that the reader continues to quickly turn page after page. A satisfying ending but once the reader finishes the book, the plot seems familiar. Even with the feeling of familiar plot, give this to a teen that loves mysteries that keep you guessing with a fresh scenery from most YA reads.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Disney- Hyperion for an honest review.

Three Truths and a Lie

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Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

This read is a quick read and has a unexpected ending. The mystery is not gory and is more suspenseful while reading it. Mr. Hartinger writes the plot so the reader is constantly trying to figure out what is going to happen next. The characters, however, are not written that the reader cares too much about them. The premise that parents would allow two teen couples to spend the weekend in a remote cabin by themselves is somewhat unrealistic. The plot is pretty predictable as the mystery begins to unfold. Although as previously written, has a surprised ending. It is more of a plot driven than character driven story. If you have a teen that likes unexpected endings but doesn’t care if they remember the story too far in the future, give it to them.

Note: I was given an electronic copy via Net Galley and the publisher, Simon And Shulster Children’s Publishing for an honest review.

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