Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Lady Unrivaled

Wiping the rain from his face – a vain pursuit – Cayton said, “I told you begging wouldn’t work.”
Ella breathed a laugh. “Nor did your method of irritating me away. Has it ever occurred to either of you that perhaps Brook and I can help? Help finish this business once and for all?”
Their lack of answer was answer enough. She’d half a mind to stomp in a puddle just to splash them with mud.

Book: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White, Bethany House Publishers, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Adult Women
Subjects: Greed, Fear, Hope
Summary: He’s a grump, a jerk and unfaithful. Or so she’s been told. Brook certainly doesn’t want Ella to have anything to do with Cayton. And oh how Cayton tries. He joins forces with his cousins to try to convince Ella to go away for her own safety. Those who have sought and nearly killed for the fire-eyes diamonds before are back, more determined than ever to get their hands on the diamonds. Ella knows she can help, if everyone would stop trying so hard to protect her! She has the intelligence to understand what all is involved and outwit the enemy. Most of all, she knows she can help Cayton if he would just stop trying so hard to push her away. In fact, she wants to do more than help him, she wants to love him!
Notes: A Lady Unrivaled is the third in the Ladies of the Manor series. The series focuses on a set of jewels that a family is in possession of that others will stop at absolutely nothing to get their hands on. In this third book, Ella, best friend of one of the main characters from the last book is staying with Brook and Stafford. Stafford’s cousin has a bad reputation – he has dumped one woman to get one with more money and then did not even truly love that woman, who died, leaving him with his infant daughter. Cayton is baffled by Ella and her unshakeable joy. He has lost all joy and hope in his own life. Ella has the faith Cayton is trying to find. He wants to be a godly man but sees himself the same way many others see him – as the man he was before. He doubts he can be what Ella needs. Both of the main characters see prayer as the natural, logical response to their problems and mention it often.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 3/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Proverbs 15:27 – The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I enjoyed it!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Just A Kiss

His jaw clenched. What did you expect Callahan? That she was saving herself for a man who can barely pick himself up off the floor?
She touched his arm, and he flinched as a jolt went through him.
She withdrew her touch. “I’m sorry about earlier. I was… impatient and short tempered. I should’ve been more patient with you.”
“I don’t need your pity, Paige.”
She gave him a flinty look. “It’s not pity. It’s compassion. I love you, you big jughead.”
He gave a hollow laugh. “Yeah.”

Book: Just A Kiss by Denise Hunter, Thomas Nelson, 2016
Genre: Modern Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Adult Women

Subjects: Love, Tragedy, Grief, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Summary: Riley had it all planned. Now that she is no longer dating his brother, he was going to come home from the war and declare his love for her – his love as a man who wants to marry her that is, not just as the friend he’s been for most of her life. He will capture her heart. One single explosion changes all that. His friend lies dead and he has lost most of his leg. He knows Paige would never want only half a man. And half a man is all he has left – if that. Paige is so thankful her best friend is coming home alive and well, she volunteers to be the one to house him while his brother is remodeling the family home. But all of a sudden Riley starts to look different to her. She starts noticing things she has never seen before. And that one kiss, just one kiss, well, it changes everything for her! If only Riley would offer her his full heart, but he doesn’t believe he has it to offer.

Notes: Just A Kiss is the third and final book in the Summer Harbor series, each dealing with one of the Callahan brothers. In this book, the brother who fled to the army when his brother began to date the woman he loved, returns home. Riley returns home feeling angry and hopeless due to losing part of his leg. He has determined to put distance between himself and the woman he loves. In his anger and hurt, he is lashing out at others and refusing to accept any help. He has to wrestle with his worth – does he have any value now that he has physical limitations?

Paige has never felt as though she had a family to love and care for her. As she wrestles through her feelings for Riley, she finally accepts that she has a Father who truly does love and care for her and can be enough for her.

Overall, the spiritual elements are not super strong in this book. The characters are Christians and pray asking God for help when in trouble. But Scripture is not focused on and their faith is more of a side element than an all consuming focus.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 3.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


Thank you to BookLook for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I enjoyed it!


The hot walkway burned into the bottoms of James’ sneakers and he felt like he was melting into the concrete. With every word he said to C. J. he was getting deeper into a dark world he was going to be hard put to find his way out of.
But it was too late to back out now. And with Antonia and Maria trapped in it – too wrong to.

Book: Priceless by Nancy Rue, Joel and Luke Smallbone, Worthy Publishing, 2016

Genre: Modern Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Adult Men and Women
Subjects: Human Trafficking, Loss, Hope, Love

Summary: Gone. It’s all gone. Everything worth living for, everything with any meaning is gone from James’ life. First his wife dies in a horrid car accident. Then he loses his job. Then in an attempt to care for his daughter, he dares to do drug dealing – and gets caught and thrown in jail for a year. Then he loses custody of his daughter. Now, he foolishly accepts an offer from the same source that got him into trouble the last time, but this one is simpler – just haul cargo from one place to another. He doesn’t have to mess around with drugs or anything, just drive a truck and agree to not unlock the back of it to see what the cargo is. James has every intention of obeying until a minor accident causes him to stand near the truck as the cargo inside cries out in fear. Even when he discovers two young women in the back, he chooses to turn a blind eye, assuming it’s nothing more than illegal aliens sneaking into the country. What is it to him if they want to go work at some hotel? Never mind the angry glares he receives from others familiar with this practice, never mind the many women pouring out of the hotel room in various states of undress, never mind that the women were handed roses rather than information about jobs. James ignores it all, until he can’t, until the thoughts rummaging around in his mind finally demand to be let out and the pieces fall together, making him realize, he has just delivered them into the industry of human trafficking to be sex slaves. Then comes the decision point: will he risk everything for the sake of these girls? How much are they really worth?
Notes: Human Trafficking and prostitution are very tragic and increasingly common realities in our world. These three authors all have a passion for seeing healing and restoration come to those trapped in this world. Nancy Rue has previously written a series on the issue of prostitution (Reluctant Prophet Trilogy). Joel and Luke Smallbone, Christian recording artists (For King And Country) have produced a movie of this same story and title as well as leading the “Priceless Movement” to remind women of their worth and encourage men to respect the worth of women. This book sets up a scenario where a man unknowingly assists the human trafficking movement and starts to become attracted to one of the women he is trafficking. When he realizes what he is taking her into, he and one other make the choice to do whatever it takes, risking their very lives, to save this woman as well as the others in this particular group. James, the main character, does not have a faith in God to turn to, but Antonia, the woman he is attracted to has a very strong faith and encourages and challenges James. Then the man who assists him in attempting to rescue the women encourages and challenges him as well. James has determined that the tragedies he has experienced prove God is not there or involved in his life. After all, James can’t see Him. But when it is pointed out that James’ daughter is not alone because she has a loving father even though she can not see him, James realizes that he is not alone because his heavenly Father is there for him and loves him. Then at the climax of the book when James has to decide what to do, he finally turns to God and receives the wisdom and direction he is searching for.
This book does do an excellent job dealing with the theme – human trafficking and the great worth and value of human life. However, I also highly recommend it simply as a great story with great spiritual encouragement.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J;-)mi

Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Information on the Priceless Video:
Nancy Rue's Website:
For King And Country's website:

When Love Arrives

The giddiness faded. She wasn’t destined for the feel-good story with the perfect ending.
Not if her happiness depended on Brett.
Despite herself, she was falling under his spell. Because if he’d attempted to kiss her this evening, she would not have resisted.
Only one thing could thwart her treasonous heart. She booted up her laptop and clicked on the research folder. One lousy news clip, watched for the millionth time, would reignite her anger.

Book: When LoveArrives by Johnnie Alexander, Revell Publishers, 2016

Genre: Modern Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Adult Women
Subjects: Revenge, Love, Romance, Forgiveness, Trust in God
Summary: Getting revenge should be easy. Brett Somers has quite a past – messing around with all kinds of women, a child out of wedlock he didn’t even know existed until recently, a sister in an affair with an important politician, and plenty of other bad decisions to his name. After he claimed in the random interview that the pilot was to blame for the crash that killed his parents – the pilot that was Dani’s mom, Dani has good reason to want revenge. The problem is that Brett has been changing. He’s no longer the jerk he appeared to be in the interview. In fact, he’s quite kind and thoughtful and, well, attractive. And Dani can’t help but fall for him. Yet, how can a strong relationship be built on lies? If Brett finds out that the only reason they met is because Dani was stalking him, intent on revenge, the relationship is doomed. Can she really keep her true identity a secret forever?
Notes: When Love Arrives is the second in the Misty Willow series. This book tells the story of the cousin of the main character from the first book. Brett Somers is a broken man. Living life on the wild side has failed him and finding out he has a son in the hospital in a coma, a son he is not allowed to even see, is tearing him apart. Dani Prescott’s life has been nothing but a mess since the day her mom died. When she sees the interview attacking the one person who had given her love and stability in life, she decides revenge is the best cure. But somehow, almost accidentally, they start dating and as the relationship grows, the desire for revenge dissipates and the desire for the truth increases. Each character is wrestling in their walk with God. Brett’s wake up call comes when a friend points out that God already paid the ultimate price to save Brett’s son as well as Brett. Then a small child tells him about learning Psalm 116:10 in Sunday School and he realizes he needs to make the decision to trust God.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Psalm 31:21 - Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I greatly enjoyed it!