Monday, July 29, 2013

Love At Any Cost by Julie Lessman

Love at Any Cost, The Heart of San Francisco Series #1

Title: Love At Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco #1)
Author: Julie Lessman
Pages: 406
Year: 2013
Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Note: I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway that Julie Lessman held.

     I was sucked into this story from the very beginning.

     Cassidy McClare is broken-hearted after the man she was engaged to dumps her. She leaves home to visit her cousins in San Francisco hoping that time and distance will help her heart to heal.

     Jamie McKenna has worked hard his whole life to better his station in the world. His chief goal is to give his mother and his crippled sister a safe and secure home and the surgery that his sister needs.

     At their first meeting Jamie knocks Cassidy off her feet, quite literally, in the Oakland Pier train station in San Francisco. Cassidy blows up and declares him a “pretty-boy polecat.”

     Their second meeting is when Cassidy’s family has a dinner to welcome her to town. It is just for family and a few very close friends. Jamie is one of the close friends as Cassidy finds out at dinner.

     They each feel an attraction to the other within a very short time. This sets the stage for a very delightful and comedic story as they try to sort out their feelings for each other and people they have been in relationship with in the past.

     The biggest problem they face though is that Cassidy has a deep faith in God. Jamie on the other hand feels that he has no need for God and that God has never done anything for him, his mother, or his sister.

     How do you handle the word of God when it says that a believer is not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever? Especially when the man you love doesn’t share your belief?

     Julie has crafted an incredible story digging deeply into this problem. Her characters are marvelous and well developed. The characters are all three dimensional and very different from each other. There are a lot of incredible twists and turns that take place in the story to help them navigate these treacherous waters.

     I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. I hope that it will dig deeper into some of the other members of the McClare family that we meet in this book.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

Healing Heart (Quilts Of Love) [Paperback]

Title: A Healing Heart
Author: Angela Breidenbach
Pages: 221
Year: 2013
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Note: I received a free copy of this book through for my honest opinion.

      I loved this book and highly recommend it.

     Mara Keegan is a widowed mother of three teenagers. Her plate is very full as she tries to run the company that she started with her husband by herself. She is also trying to keep up with what is going on in her kid’s lives and make the perfect graduation present for her oldest daughter’s high-school graduation. So much work is involved in creating the photo memory quilt and there is so little time to work on it. How will she get it all done?

     When personal medical emergencies knock her off her feet she must stop and take stock of all that she does and really look at what her priorities should be. Are those around her trying to help her in her recovery or are they trying to take over what is hers?

     Angela has developed wonderful characters throughout this story. Their personalities are rich and well rounded. I would love to have this family live near me. In fact by the end of the book I felt that I knew them better than many of the people that do live in my neighborhood, and go to the church I attend.

     This is an incredible, thought provoking book.

     We all make promises to others. Are they all made with the right intent? Can we make a promise to ease someone else’s pain that God never meant for us to make? How do we know that a task we are doing to fulfill a promise is in God’s will for our life?

     I gave this book 5 stars.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Jewel Series Bundle #1: Sapphire Ice/Greater Than Rubies by Hallee Bridgeman

Jewel Series Bundle #1

The Jewel Series Bundle 1: Sapphire & Rubies

Title: Jewel Series Bundle #1: Sapphire Ice / Greater Than Rubies
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Pages: 442
Year: 2013
Publisher: Olivia Kimbrell Press
Note: I received a free copy of this book from for my honest opinion.

          This book includes the entire love story of Robin Bartlett and Tony Viscolli. It starts in book 1 of the Jewel Trilogy, ”Sapphire Ice” where Robin and Tony first meet. It is a story of redemption and transformation.

          Robin had a very difficult childhood leaving her not trusting God or men. She still works extremely hard at 2 different jobs to provide for her two younger sisters. She has decided that it is her responsibility to put them both through college and keep a roof over their heads. She wants them to have a safe and secure home. This has left her with a heart as ice cold as her sapphire blue eyes.

          Tony also had a very rough childhood. He has turned to God and received help from believers to get a start in business. He has gone on to build a financial empire.

          When Tony buys the restaurant where Robin is a bartender they meet. They are attracted to each other almost immediately. As Robin’s job changes and they begin to build a relationship with each other will they be able to sort out their differences in outlook on life? Tony prays for the opportunity to shatter the wall of ice around Robin’s heart.

          We then come to “Greater Than Rubies” the novella that takes place immediately after the first book in the trilogy. It picks up right after Tony has proposed and Robin has accepted. They are now faced with the issues of dealing with Robin’s desire to have a private life and Tony’s position in society.

          Robin plans a dream-come-true wedding. Anxiety arises when she starts to realize the magnitude of change marriage will involve. Forgotten nightmares resurface reminding Robin of the horrors of her past. She gives in to her insecurities and cancels Boston’s “Royal Wedding.”

          Can Robin adapt? How can Tony help Robin to come out of her shell? They need God’s guidance to work through the maze of emotions and past hurts. Tony needs God’s guidance to help convince Robin of her true worth.

          These are incredible Christian romances.

          Hallee has a very smooth writing style. It was a joy to read these stories. She took the time to really develop and introduce us to each of the central characters. These included not only Robin and Tony themselves, but also Robin’s two sisters and Tony’s best friends who are his support team.

          Hallee took the time to explain both Robin and Tony’s childhoods which helped to shape them into the people that they are. This step helps us to understand where each of them is coming from as they face each disagreement and crises in their relationship.

          Hallee’s plot is well developed and clearly defined. There is no confusion as to how we reached each pivotal point.

          At each point friends and family are turned to in asking for help and guidance in how to deal with confusing emotions. The friends then help Robin and Tony to remember the need to seek God for His direction. This offers a breath of fresh air and helps us to keep in mind our need to do the same.

          My rating for each of these stories is 5 stars.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Introduction to my blog.

     Starting a blog is a very new and confusing experience for me. Yet I love to read and I love to share the books I've read with others. I've been considering this step for a few days now. I hope that the posts that I share will help someone find new authors and new books to fall in love with.

     A little bit about myself. I have loved to read since I was a young child. When I was in second grade my teacher had an incentive program for reading and writing book reports. Each time a student turned in a book report she filled out a circle (body section) for a bookworm. The first report became the head of the student's worm. They were posted on the wall of the classroom. By the end of the school year my bookworm had completed a full circle of the classroom and had begun it's second. Ever since then I've considered myself a bookworm.

     During the years that we were raising our five children I didn't have much time to read. I'm thrilled that I've been able to get back into it since they are all grown and starting their own families. I look forward to sharing reviews of the books I read here.