August 23, 2016

Review: A Tapestry of Secrets

A Tapestry of Secrets A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series of books has been among my very favorite since I read her first novella in 2014. Since then I've devoured every book she's written as they've come out and loved every single one.

She writes such profound books full of sound spirituality. In A Tapestry of Secrets one of my absolute favorite parts of the book was watching the faith of so many characters grow so deeply throughout the book. Numerous characters either went from no belief or very little belief to being strong in their faith. And I even saw spiritual growth in the pastor and loved that Thomas included him in her characters that were strengthened in faith! I really love it when a Christian Fiction novel challenges me spiritually and I was really challenged as Ella grew in her prayer life.

Another part of these books and especially this one that I love so much is the importance of family. I love how the entire family is so close and always bands together to help each other out. But likewise I appreciate that the family isn't perfect and that different family members don't always see eye to eye and often even argue.

The undertones of romance gone wrong and romance while following God's lead throughout this book are just wonderful. I really enjoy love stories but sometimes books like this are the better love story because the love story with God comes out of the pages more than the male/female love stories!

This book floats between present day and the Grandmother's youth in 1948. Sometimes I don't care for dual time books because I don't feel they transition well. But Thomas has a gift for making me love both side of the story in her books about equally. And I never feel annoyed with the transitions because they flow together perfectly.

I could gush on and on about this book because I loved it so much. I cannot wait to see what Thomas comes up with next!

I received an advanced copy of this book from Bethany House and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

August 15, 2016

Review: Two Ways Home

Two Ways Home Two Ways Home by Sondra Kraak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the first book in this series I was really excited for this one to come out! I really loved the banter between Luke and Mary. I like women who can joke around with and keep up with the teasing of men and just tease them right back. Makes for a really fun interchange between characters.

I really empathized with Luke in this story having to head home after having been way. I felt many of the same emotions he felt anytime I went home after moving away. It can be a really hard transition. I loved his character. He had a lot of flaws that came out slowly throughout the story at just the perfect times. I like a man who can be so blunt and honest while still being a good guy. I really appreciated the fairly unique strugges that Luke dealt with. I don't want to spoil anything but I believe it was an excellent addition to the story and might be really eye opening for some people. I didn't empathize quite so well with Mary and her desire to stay home but she was a good balance to Luke's constant wanting to go back to Texas. I did admire her incredibly strong worth ethic though.

This friends to marriage love story was really good. I liked how we got to see the relationship evolve and sometimes got Luke's inside perspective into his feelings. And the building love between them made for some great chemistry in the pages of this book.

The only part of this book that threw me off a little was when it would switch back to when they were kids. I have trouble with dual time books because I tend to get so enveloped in one time setting that when it switches to another time it throws me off. It was done very well in this book it just isn't my favorite so I'm mentioning it.

Overall this was a super cute story full of wit and banter but also full of really open and honest feelings from the characters. I loved the theme of forgiveness but I also loved the idea that you don't always end up where you think you will and sometimes it is even better that way.

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August 9, 2016

Devoted Defender

Devoted Defender
by Rachel Dylan

I loved book one in this series, Lethal Action, so it wasn't really any surprise that I loved this one too. Caleb and Annie are wonderful characters that are so easy to relate to and have great stories both individually and together.

This book really includes everything. I was pleased to find myself in a fast-paced novel full of action, adventure, suspense, drama, and of course romance. I really enjoyed getting to know Caleb better after meeting him briefly in the first book. He is an excellent police chief. I love how he isn't content to sit in an office and delegate but actually gets out there in public and does the leg work. And I truly love how passionate Annie is about her job as a chef.

Sometimes when both characters in a book have similar baggage it is overwhelming. But even though Caleb and Annie have some similarities in their past difficulties I never felt like their pasts overpowered their present day issues. And I loved the open dialogue that took place between the two of them. It isn't often you find a book where the dialogue between characters is so well played out. I also really appreciated that this wasn't another missionary dating situation. I loved that both characters were already strong in their Faith.

Another aspect of both Caleb and Annie's characters that I really appreciated were their flaws. Annie has some pretty serious fears of police from her childhood. And Caleb is dealing with his time in Afghanistan. Both of these issues are quite realistic with what many people face today and I was pleased to see characters working through such realistic situations.

Probably my absolute favorite parts of this novel surround the areas of suspense. There were a few different times where Dylan completely surprised me and I truly love being surprised in a suspenseful story. There was one point in the story where I actually took in a sharp breath because I was so surprised! This book isn't super heavy on the romance. But the moments that are there will make you sigh and Dylan does a great job of interspersing those amidst the tension of the story.

I really enjoy Dylan's books because she brings such a strong level of credibility to her novels since she is a lawyer. Her insight into how interviews with DAs go made for especially interesting scenes in this book. And I also loved her insight into what lawyers are looking for when they interview suspects and witnesses. I'm already looking forward to the third book in this series!

I was provided a free advanced copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. But I also purchased both book 1 and 2 from Amazon because they are that good!

This is book 2 in a series. Book 1, Lethal Action, can be purchased on for .99 cents right now!