February 20, 2017

Review: Begin Again

Begin Again Begin Again by Crystal Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 1/2 Stars!

Oh my! This book was so good. I've definitely fallen in love with Walton's writing!

I really liked Drew. I like how even as a single dad he found time to do so much. And I loved Ti in book one so I was thrilled to find she had a book of her own. She is a little eclectic for me but makes for a super fun character to read about. I love how she kept Drew on his toes.

At one point in the book Drew picks up a hobby again after having set it aside for awhile. I won't share what it is for fear of ruining it for someone who hasn't read yet. But I got to see said hobby once as a child on a vacation with my family and loved seeing it as a point in this book! I would love to visit a place where I could see it again!

I'm not a big beach person but this book really made me want to take a walk on the beach and watch people surf. I would also love to visit a bunch of little touristy seaside shops. I think I might need a vacation!

This was another wonderful clean read. I loved that there was passion and kissing but nothing ever crossed the line.

I've already downloaded another book by Walton and can't wait to continue to read more from her.

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Review: Write Me Home

Write Me Home Write Me Home by Crystal Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first book by Walton but I'm all set to start book 2 in the series! I really enjoyed getting to know Cass and Ethan. And I was very impressed with how everything in the story weaved together so well.

I especially loved the cover of this book. I'm not usually a huge cover person but this one is exquisite and I fell in love. Then I read the story and fell in love even more. My favorite part of the whole book was the fact that it was clean! I tend to only read fiction from Christian publishing companies because I know they will be safe but I took a chance on Walton's since they were advertised as clean and was very impressed. I would love to have more young people reading books like this one than some of the other stuff out there for them. Even though this one was more geared toward adults in my opinion I think it would be fine for YA too.

If you're looking for a strong and opinionated heroine and a dedicated and hard-working hero I think you'll love this one.

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February 18, 2017

Review: Maybe It's You

Maybe It's You Maybe It's You by Candace Calvert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 1/2 Stars!

I really love Calvert's books. The remind me of t.v. medical dramas but with faith and prayer instead of sex and lies. Her books are so uplifting and constantly remind me that our God is a God of grace, forgiveness, and second chances. Her books also remind me of the importance of friendships.

This book deals with the difficult subjects of alcoholism and sex trafficking. Both are topics that desperately need to be brought to light as they are becoming increasingly common and need to be advocated against. I felt both subjects were dealt with very well. Nothing was graphic but it wasn't glossed over either. I loved that Sloane was so dedicated to her AA meetings and I hope that reading this book spurs others on to find a meeting or encourage a friend or family member to.

I also loved the theme of second chances. Sloane is a human just like we all are and has made mistakes but I love that she is able to move past those mistakes. And I love the theme of forgiveness that comes up for quite a few of the characters too.

And don't worry Calvert doesn't leave out the romance. Micah and Sloane continue with what I have found to be tradition in her books of having fun and unique dates. And this one has an especially sweet one you won't want to miss!

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale. This review is my own honest opinion.

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Review: Justice Delayed

Justice Delayed Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this first book in a new series by Bradley. I'm always intrigued by cold cases and this book was very multidimensional and definitely kept me on my toes. It truly had everything from suspense and action to a little romance!

It would be hard to pinpoint my favorite part but I was definitely intrigued by the concept of smuggling represented in this book. I don't know that it has ever been in a book I've read before and it was very interesting. I especially liked that it was diamonds and not drugs because it seems so much more unique. And actually is one of the reasons I asked my husband not to put a diamond in my engagement ring..

Sometimes when I read a book that goes back and forth from present to past I get a little annoyed because it isn't done well. But Bradley made good use of her flashbacks and the time spent reading them was worthwhile to the story. But I do wish they had been in italics or had some sort of separation to make them known to be flashbacks because I would be reading along and all of a sudden realize I wasn't in present day anymore.

I think what Bradley did best in this book was the killer. I never did put two and two together to figure it out. I love it when I can be surprised by the bad guy.

If you love mystery and suspense I definitely suggest this new series by Bradley.

I received a copy of this book from Revell. This is my honest opinion.

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February 12, 2017

Review: Still Life

Still Life Still Life by Dani Pettrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was amazing! I felt like I was reading an episode of Criminal Minds only not near as gory as those sometimes are with a little bit of CSI in there with all of the crime scene processing. But most importantly I was especially thrilled that for most of the book I had no idea who the killer was!

Pettrey is very skilled at descriptions. I've always loved how she can describe a scene or a location or even people. Throughout this book I was captivated by the details both of descriptions but also of the interviews with subjects.

But as much as I loved all the story about the crimes and the investigations what I really truly loved was the relationship between Parker and Avery. I loved how honest they were with each other. And of course I also loved the kissing and the falling in love. But what first caught my attention with these two was the fun wit and banter between them. I love couples that tease and have fun together. I was almost sad to get to the end of the book because I could have enjoyed many more pages of those two!

And before I close this review I must mention the part of this book that probably touched me the most. The spirituality. Bethany House and their authors truly write the best books with spiritual emphasis even though they are fiction. Multiple times Pettrey shares the prayers of her characters and multiple times her characters remind each other of God's forgiveness and second chances and I love reading books that are so spiritually uplifting.

I am very excited for book 3. It cannot come out fast enough. I need more from this series asap!

Bethany House sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Review: Rescue Me

Rescue Me Rescue Me by Susan May Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This one is packed full of action and surprises! I'm not an outdoorsy girl but I sure love reading these adventurous stories about people doing cool things like hiking, skiing, rappelling, flying helicopters, escaping grizzlies...

And then you add in the love stories and the suspense and mystery and you have a real winner. I was so thrilled to get two love stories in this book. Obviously one was the main story but they both were great. I really loved watching the relationships develop from the first kiss all the way to the very end of the story. I loved Sam. Such a stubborn man. And Willow was amazing. Some of the things she accomplished in this story were nothing short of amazing.

I cannot wait for book three in this series.

Revell provided me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Review: Life After

Life After Life After by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Autumn’s story in Life After is so unique and has so many emotional twists and turns that I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in one sitting and then couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about the story all night!

I love books that make me think about life and death, love and family, and about why things happen. This book includes all of those and so much more. Not a chapter went by that I wasn’t pondering something new or feeling more and more connected with Autumn.

At so many points in the story I really related with the characters. Death is always a hard topic whether it be real life or in the pages of a story. Being confronted with so many deaths in one book was hard but Ganshert was quick to point out that being the one still alive was almost harder. The grief that Autumn lives with is immense. As I read I truly felt every emotion that she was dealing with and loved traveling life with her as she went through her recovery if you will. I really appreciated the journey it was for her because it wasn’t easy but she persevered.

I really liked Paul. There were so many times when I was frustrated with him but then he would do something so amazing or sweet and show his true self and I’d start to fall in love with him. But I truly adored Reese. She was probably the most complex child character I’ve ever read in Christian Fiction. The trials she goes through after losing her mother are awful but I admire her so much.

Ganshert has an amazing ability to put her characters through incredibly hard lives but to come out in the end so much stronger. Few authors can put their characters through so much, share their journey through life, and still me feeling satisfied at the end of the book. The growth that Autumn, Paul, and Reese all experience throughout the pages of this book is amazing. I loved all the ways that they overcame the hard parts of life and that so many outside sources were involved that were truly realistic to anyone going through similar battles. I hope this book spurs people who need help with similar issues of grief and depression not to be afraid to reach out to friends, family, the church, and/or a counselor.

And while love isn’t the main part of this novel don’t worry it is still there. For me, it was almost more special because it wasn’t the main focus of the story. I really enjoyed watching it unfold in the small ways.

The back of this book calls it Ganshert’s most complex novel yet and it certainly is. You do not want to miss this one. It is amazing.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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