Archive for July, 2009

A Man Of His Word

Posted on July 26, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

A Man Of His WordA Man Of His Word by Kathleen Fuller is a book about the Amish way of life and what happens when the real world intrudes. It is also a heartbreaking love story. Moriah Byler is a young Amish woman who wants nothing more than to be a good wife to her husband. Somehow, things end up cooling and her husband, Levi Miller, spends more and more time at work far away from home. She is still astonished when he leaves the Amish with nothing but a note given to his twin brother. What Levi doesn’t know is that Moriah is pregnant with their first child.

The knight in shining armor is Levi’s twin brother Gabriel who has always loved Moriah from afar. Gabriel is a man of his word and completely unlike his brother, but Moriah has doubts that weigh her down. It takes another tragedy for Moriah to learn to open her heart and love Gabriel so she can be complete again.

I loved how the action takes place slowly while real life is happening. It made me feel just like I was walking in Moriah’s shoes. Because this story is narrated over time, a bond is made with the lead characters and it is possible to understand why people did the things that they did.

I recommend this book unconditionally. I was so sucked in that I had to be pulled away. I loved that I could cheer and also want to duke it out with some of the characters. I found myself talking out loud to the book! It gets my big thumbs up. A Man Of His Word is a fine love story and a tale about honor, steadfastness, and trusting in God to get us over obstacles in our lives. I loved it. Makes a fine, gripping, fast read.

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BOOK REVIEW: Love’s Pursuit

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

Love's PursuitLove’s Pursuit by Siri Mitchell is a fun-loving, involving, heart rendering, and tragic book that gently pulls you in and before you know it you are in the maelstrom. It is a book about the Puritans, not the Amish, which might be assumed from only looking at the front cover. But the belief system is similar as far as I can tell, and it did not detract whatsoever from my thorough enjoyment of this book. Love’s Pursuit is written in the voice of the heroine, Susannah Phillips, and Small-hope Smyth, a woman with a troubled past who seems to always be in the shadows of the action.

Susannah tries hard to be a good Puritan, but she constantly has rebellious thoughts. She finds herself in conflict when a soldier arrives to help train the townspeople to guard against Indian attack. He is fun loving and has a freer form of belief that she is secretly yearning towards. Despite her best efforts to be married to John Prescotte, she finds herself single and drawn to Captain Daniel Holcombe, a member of the King’s army.

Small-Hope is seen as a withdrawn woman in a troubled marriage. She gives a bird’s eye perspective on all the action taking place. One is intrigued by her silence and skulking in the shadows. Even though she abhors the limelight, she is never far away. She is one of the key characters to watch in this story.

A third main character of note in my opinion is Simon Wright. He has blond hair. He has blue eyes. He is pleasant and the girls flock to him. He has his cap set on Susannah as he finds her the best maiden in the town. He is a leading townsperson, but there is something about him that causes Susannah to not give him a moment’s notice and to be troubled when he makes her aware of his intentions.

Love’s Pursuit kept me turning pages. It almost seems as if there could be a sequel to this eye gripping want to punch the bad guy story. It is a look into the daily life of a Puritan. It is a love story. It has suspense, hope and reassurance. I couldn’t ask more from this story. I highly recommend it. It gets my big thumbs up. It was memorable for its ending and gets extra points for that.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Devlin Diary

Posted on July 7, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

The Devlin DiaryThe Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips is a classic who-done-it of the first order that will have you eagerly turning pages. The Devlin Diary is written by Hannah Devlin, a physician at a time when women physicians were scarce. Her diary leaves clues as to a series of vicious murders that took place in the year 1672. We alternate the story of the diary with Claire Donovan and Andrew Kent, modern day professors who have their own reasons for wanting to solve the mystery of the diary.

The story takes place in both Restoration-era London and present-day Cambridge. Just when you are comfortable in one era you are whiz-banged to the other, so it pays to stay on your toes with this story. There is a liberal dose of humor in this story as Claire is a new and temporary professor and is learning the ropes of the college while trying to figure out where she stands in regards to her relationship with the standoffish Professor Kent. The story can’t help but pick up steam as both sets of stories twist together in a sizzler of a conclusion. The mystery will be solved by using Cambridge’s eminent libraries.

I loved the history of this story and the fact that it is wrapped around a love story the whole time Claire Donovan is getting her love life started. The mystery of the multiple murders alone was intriguing enough to give the story a second read. The Devlin Diary is fast paced and full of twists. It is not stuffy or dry or arcane even though the subject matter it deals with is ancient. This book is very deserving of attention and cries out to be read and enjoyed. It is not what you think it is. Get prepared for a delectable thrill ride. I give this a hearty thumbs up and recommend this story for teenagers on up

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BOOK REVIEW: The Birthing House

Posted on July 7, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

The Birthing HouseThe Birthing House by Christopher Ransom is a psychological thriller that will play games with your mind. This story centers around Conrad Harrison and his wife Joanna. Living in Los Angeles has almost caused this young couple to divorce. Conrad decides to make a fresh start in Wisconsin when he is charmed by an old Victorian in the small town of Black Earth. When the previous owner drops off a photo album of the house’s history, a horrible chain reaction of events is set in place.

The secondary characters of Nadia Gum and Eddie make the story crackle with excitement as the pregnant girl next door and her abusive boyfriend who come in contact with Conrad. It is left to the reader to decide whether the house actually has a ghost or if living in a birthing house was enough to send Conrad over the edge.

With the understanding that this story is more of a mental shake-up rather than being physically scary this book is recommended to those who like the scare of dark corners. Mentally, it packs quite a punch. There are rather vivid images to deal with. This book is recommended as a do not miss for the scare genre. Pregnant women beware!

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BOOK REVIEW: One Deadly Sin

Posted on July 7, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

One Deadly SinOne Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon is listed as romantic suspense. Let me give you a heads up that there is more suspense and a little less romance. But don’t let that throw you off. The romance that is in this book sizzles. The suspense gradually builds up. I had the impression I was just learning about the characters and figuring out why people are meeting untimely ends when all of a sudden I realize I am on the edge of my seat and don’t remember getting there.

The premise of this book is that Edie Swann is coming back to her hometown for revenge which has been brewing in her mind since childhood. She has her list and is leaving each name a little something to get him shaken up.

There are layers of betrayal, secrets, and surprises in this book. Why would all the names on Edie’s list need to be warned? How are they all connected? What are they hiding? Who is responsible for deaths that are looking more like murder with each passing day? Who is really one of the good guys?

I especially liked the connection of the angel at Edie’s parent’s gravesite and how it winds its way through all the action. The angels throughout this book are usually understated, mentioned almost in passing alongside the main plot and it makes the book a candidate for a re-read.

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon is a pot boiler of a book. It is sure to earn a handy spot on the bookshelf. Because of the big footprint that this little book makes I give it a big thumbs up and heartily recommend it.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Bone Factory

Posted on July 1, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

The Bone FactoryThe Bone Factory by Nate Kenyon is a quick, chilling horror story that will have you racing for your child’s room to make sure everything is okay. As the story begins, Dave, Helen and Jessica Pierce are excited to be moving to the Jackson area as Dave finds work on a hydroelectric project taking shape in Canada. What they don’t know is that a farmer has been found mutilated, a little girl has disappeared from her home, and deep in the woods a deputy found a gory storage shed all near this hydroelectric facility. Has Dave been hired as a Patsy? Can he protect his family so far away from civilization? But the house is paid for by the company and the family is sequestered at the finest resort in the area until they can move in. It seems like so much good fortune that it can’t be true.

Helen is a devoted teacher that just wants to do right by her daughter. She has been really stressed in the months Dave has been out of a job. Dave is a very educated engineer who just wants credit for his own ideas and is trying to make this job work for the good of his family. The most exciting character in this book is Jessica herself who has extraordinary visions and intelligence. Even the location is a character in this book as it plays its part in chilling, slowing and isolating the characters. The theme of this book is definitely horror of not providing for or protecting your family and learning to believe in the unseen and in psychic powers.

This book made my heart race. It was fast paced and a quick read. The characters were believable and I enjoyed the mention of places familiar to me. If you are sure you want to be scared make sure your family is around. I give The Bone Factory a big thumbs up and would recommend it, especially for camping out.

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