Monday, June 5, 2017

"The Captain's Daughter," by Jennifer Delamere

"The Captain's Daughter," by Jennifer Delamere
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don't catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided--until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.


This is the first book in the series "London Beginning."  It was okay, which isn't a great thing, I'm sorry.  I found the story a bit lack lustre.  I did learn something about theatre, but otherwise, I thought the story was lacking depth.  Without giving the story away, I did expect more twists and turns in the "mystery" part of the plot.  It was no surprise the outcome.

As there are three sisters, I am assuming the next book would be about one of the other sisters, and as each one has a different occupation, maybe the next book will be more interesting?

Stars out of 5 : 3 This book was a pleasant read over a couple of afternoons.  Ask me in a month or so time what it was about, I probably won'r remember.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"With You Always," by Jody Hedlund

"With You Always," by Jody Hedlund
One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?


Prior to reading this book I had heard of the Orphan Trains, this book deals with adults (women) being on them as well, which was a twist.  The author's notes sheds light on this aspect of history which is interesting.

This story does have true stories twisted into it along with fiction and it makes for an interesting read.  Add a bit of mystery and it keeps you wanting more.  I did not figure out the "who-dun-it" part of the story until just before it was revealed.

Stars out of 5 : 4   I would be interested in reading more books from this series, when they are released as the author writes:

" Throughout this series I'll be focusing each book on a different aspect of the Orphan Train movement, particularly from the perspectives of women,"

I think there will be a lot to be learned from reading these books in this series.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Friday, May 5, 2017

"The Ebb Tide," by Beverly Lewis

"The Ebb Tide," by Beverly Lewis
Sallie Riehl has dreamed of traveling at least once before settling down to join church, so she is thrilled at an unexpected summer opportunity to nanny in Cape May for a well-to-do family. However, saying even a temporary good-bye to Paradise Township means forgoing baptism another year, as well as leaving behind a would-be beau. Yet the weeks in Cape May soon prove unforgettable as Sallie meets a Mennonite young man whose friendship she quickly begins to cherish. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will she only find what her heart is longing for back home?

Once upon a time, I loved reading books about Amish and Mennonite people; and read stories with them in none stop.  I then got totally fed up with the same old story lines, so didn't read any for a few years.  I have read many of Beverly Lewis' books over the years, so thought I would give this one a try and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

I guess what made this one so different was that although Sallie was Amish, she had hopes and dreams that were not centred around her day to day Amish life.  I don't ever remember reading a book about an Amish woman wanting to travel the world?  Also what made this story so different is was set at the sea side in a real place called Cape May; a place I had never heard of before reading this book.

There was enough detail in this book on various topics away from the Amish culture that it would appeal to a number of people, not just people interested in the Amish.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Really enjoyed it.  Enjoyed the authors notes.  Learned something new about various marine life species and the book's lead characters lives were interesting.  Well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

"The Chapel Car Bride," by Judith Miller

"The Chapel Car Bride," by Judith Miller
After a sheltered life in Pittsburgh, Hope Irvine is ready for a new adventure. When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she's thrilled at the chance to accompany him. While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn't be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father. But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn't always offer steady work. When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him--and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope's desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtatious young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealousy. But when he begins to suspect the manager's motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?


This was one of those books that touched on a number of subjects, all equally as interesting to me.  I had never heard of Railroad Chapel Cars, so this was something new for me.  If you would like to read more about them, here is a link.  I found the details about the "hill country" people also interesting, and how hard their lives were made you stop and think.

The main story of Hope and Luke was lovely and made good lead characters.  Their hearts were in the right places for doing both God's work and serving others. Add a "villain," and the plot becomes more interesting.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 I knocked off half a star as I had hoped that Judith would have added some author's notes to the back of the book, about how this book came about?  Overall though, I loved the book, Judith is a great storyteller and this book flowed along seamlessly.  Being a fan of Judith's writing already I knew I would be reading an interesting book.  Really well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"To the Farthest Shores," by Elizabeth Camden

"To the Farthest Shores," by Elizabeth Camden


The unpredictability of her upbringing prepared army nurse Jenny Bennett to face any challenge at the Presidio Army base, but the sudden reappearance in her life of the dashing naval officer who broke her heart six years ago is enough to rattle even her.

Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher is one of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring government mission overseas--an assignment that destroyed his reputation and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor-bound never to reveal where he was during those years, he can't tell Jenny the truth, or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution to his impossible situation, but he needs Jenny's help. While her loyalty to her country compels her to agree, she was too badly hurt to fall for Ryan again despite his determination to win her back. When an unknown threat from Ryan's past puts everything at risk--including his life--can they overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them in time?


This was an interesting book covering an array of topics, including Japan, pearls, spies, nursing and a number of other subjects, all which I knew little about.  This book was full of twists and turns and kept you on your toes and thinking.

I like a book where you can learn something new, while you are reading a story.  I didn't know the history of cultured pearls and had never heard of the MID.  Even the little facts like Jenny working night shift and how she just wanted to get enough sleep all added depth to this book.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  Well worth the read.  Such a lot of interesting information packed into this book. The final outcome won't be a shocker.  I do feel a follow up book about Finn would be a great read as well, as there is a story to tell there.  Great book Elizabeth!


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Treasured Grace," by Tracie Peterson

"Treasured Grace," by Tracie Peterson
Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters, Hope and Mercy, became her responsibility. A hasty decision to head west seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start but has instead left Grace in a precarious position. When missionary Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife agree to let Grace and her sisters stay at their mission for the winter, Grace is grateful. Until they hear from their uncle in Oregon City, the three sisters have nowhere else to go.

As Grace adjusts to life in the West, she meets a fur trapper named Alex Armistead who intrigues and infuriates her in equal measure. But when a measles outbreak threatens lives at the mission and among the native Cayuse who live nearby, it is Alex who helps Grace use the natural healing remedies she learned from her mother to help where she can, despite Dr. Whitman's disapproval. As the death toll rises, so do tensions between the settlers and the natives, and Grace soon finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.


This is the first book in the "Heart of the Frontier," series and what an interesting book it was.  It is a fiction book which is centred around The Whitman Mission Massacre of November 1847.  I am familiar with that, so to have a fiction book which was written about that kept me very interested and wanting more.  

The hardship they all went through just to get to the mission and then to be attacked was so sad.  However what happened after was as interesting as the actual massacre.  The way Tracie wrote about it made it all come to life more and was well written.  This first book centres around Grace, the next will be about Hope and the third about Mercy.  I MUST read all three as the story carries on from one to another.  There is much more to this book that will keep you interested

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book.  Tracie tells a great story and makes the characters of her books feel so real.  The added tidbits of information she includes; like Grace's natural healing remedies just add another layer to an already wonderful story.  If you are at all interested in a historical story with a bit of romance thrown in, this is a book for you.  Well done Tracie.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot

"A Stolen Heart" by Amanda Cabot
From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancé.

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you into Texas's storied past to experience adventure, mystery--and love.


This is the first book in the "Cimarron Creek Trilogy," and was very enjoyable.  It was a mystery story first and a love story second to my mind.  You will guess "who-dun-it," so no surprise there, but the story has plenty of twists and turns in it, to keep you interested.

If I were being picky the fact that a town of under 200 people could keep a sweet shop in business, was a bit far fetched to my mind, but still very interesting to hear about what sweets/candy they liked to eat.  What would have made this book perfect would have been recipes for the different candies included in the book.

Stars out of 5 : 4 It is one of those books that would be perfect to sit and read over a couple of afternoons.  The next book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy will be available early 2018 and it is a book I will be looking forward to reading.  It's a feel good book that doesn't over tax the brain.  It also made me curious to visit the Texas Hill Country as well.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".