Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis

Book Description:

Of her Old Order parents' five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie's father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they'll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?

My Review:

Sweet Tessie Ann! I just loved her. Such a gentle soul, who despite her one rash decision genuinely wanted to obey her parents and the church.

This is one of my favorite books by Beverly Lewis. I enjoyed the familiar setting of Hickory Hollow, and the look back into the lives of the minor recurring characters. There is a lot of depth to this book. Between the struggles of Tessie and her sister Mandy and a father who, in trying to prevent heartbreak, breaks the heart of his daughters there is much to be learned and appreciated.

As long time readers of Lewis have likely come to expect, there is beautiful look inside both Amish life and Amish faith. With a strong view of the sovereignty of God, I found this book to encourage me in my faith, too.

The story unfolds at just the right pace, and I loved seeing the soft romances unfold.

I would strongly recommend this book.

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

Book Description:

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

My Review:

This is the third book in the Edge of Freedom series, and I think it is my favorite.
One can't help but love the sweet and humble Tillie McGrath, and seeing her thrust into danger from a foe she does not know makes this book a read-in-a-weekend story. And the tough yet surprising sensitive Morgan makes the perfect hero.
The story moves along at the perfect pace, with the mystery unfolding at just the right times to keep you reading way past bedtime.
Those who have read the previous books will love the look back into the lives of Cara, Amelia, Tillia, Rourke, Eoghan and the rest.
If you haven't read the previous books, I would recommend reading from the beginning of the series. There is a lot of background information that is needed for you to really understand the characters as well as the plot.  

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

Book Description:

Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father's unfinished destiny. When she's offered a production assistant's job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father's footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream. 

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delavan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the region's folk songs. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.
When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood--including Blake Fulton, Allie's handsome neighbor on the film set--seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn't know whom she can trust. If she can't find the answers in time, history may repeat itself...with the most unthinkable results.

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this Moses Lake novel by Lisa Wingate. I have read the other three, and would recommend them as well, but this one is my favorite.

This book contains two distinct storylines, one set in the 1860's and one is current day. The author weaves these two storylines together in a most incredible way, making the past "touch" today.

I loved both Allie Kirkland (present day) and Bonnie Rose (from the past). Both were very unique characters in their own way, and the unfolding story of Bonnie Rose touched my heart. 

I believe the author must have done quite extensive research for this book. This historical detail was amazing, and it made the story very believable.

What really made this book stand out for me was the subtle suspense that builds throughout the book as the mystery of Bonnie Rose unfolds. 

I believe this book will appeal to many types of readers. It contain historical fiction, action/suspense, mystery, as well as contemporary fiction.

For those who have read previous Moses Lake novels, you will enjoy appearance from old favorites such as Mart McClendon, Pop Dorsey, and the Frontier Woman. If you haven't read them, this book will read quite well as a stand alone.

This is an all-around great story to read.

I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers.

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