A Stolen Heart

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Cabot, Amanda. A Stolen Heart: Cimarron Creek Trilogy- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

SUMMARY:
Traveling from the North to meet and marry her intended in the South, Lydia Crawford is surprised to find her fiancé gone…not just gone, but leaving a pregnant wife in his place. Between secrets and trials, faith and hurt, memories and love, Lydia finds the quaint town of Cimarron Creek in the Texas Hill Country may not be as unfriendly as she first suspected. Learning to forgive while finding happiness in unexpected places, A Stolen Heart is full of adventure, mystery, and love…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Drawn to the delightful cover by a favorite author of mine, Amanda Cabot begins her new Cimarron Creek Trilogy series in a sweet albeit fussy manner. Truly liking the storyline fused with enjoyable characters, this novel surely met my expectations. Easy yet complete, a perfect read for a spring vacation, to fill an Easter basket or share with a friend, A Stolen Heart sets the stage for the next book in the series due out later this year which I intend to read.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Stolen Heart from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

My Sister’s Prayer

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Clark, Mindy Starns. And Gould, Leslie. My Sister’s Prayer: Cousins of the Dove- Book 2. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 2016.

SUMMARY:
As the second book in the Cousins of the Dove series, My Sister’s Prayer continues the Talbot family story, following the story of two sets of sisters-one contemporary and the other historical-separated by 300 years. Told in the first person point-of-view, alternating between present and past, the sisters’ lives run individually yet intertwine through a family heirloom. Romance, sisters, secrets, and hardships divide yet combine the centuries as sisters realize the importance of devotion.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Liking authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, I was ready to read their combined novel. Though perhaps just a bit confusing in the beginning, it wasn’t long before I caught on and sped through the book. (Confession- I did not read book 1, My Brother’s Crown, which may have helped my initial confusion.) Skillfully making the first person POV work well within the story, the added design of parallel yet perpendicular stories only enhanced the creativity. With book 3 already on the horizon, I most likely will read the previous novel to be ready for the May 2017 release of My Daughter’s Legacy.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of My Sister’s Prayer from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*

Rescue Me

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Warren, Susan May. Rescue Me: Montana Rescue Series- Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

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SUMMARY:
In love with both her sister, Sierra, and her sister’s boyfriend, Sam, free-spirited Willow Rose also has a heart for God. Though she has been in love with Sam for years, Willow doesn’t want to hurt her sister so decides to keep her emotions to herself. Detailed-minded Sam knows Sierra appears to be the perfect match yet finds himself drawn to Willow for some unexplainable reason. While in the Glacier National Park with a group of teenagers from a youth ministry group, both Sam and Willow must save their own lives, the lives of several teenagers, and quite possibly their hearts…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Starting with the cover and continuing throughout the story, I liked every page of this novel. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, faith and romance all played center stage while several other pieces surrounded them. As a stand-alone novel while also being a great addition to the Montana Rescue series, I am already waiting for book 3, A Matter Of Trust, due out in July. Like a good story, interesting characters, dangerous situations and the beautiful wilderness? Then look no further than this series by talented author Susan May Warren.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Rescue Me from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

A Moonbow Night

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Frantz, Laura. A Moonbow Night. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2017.

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SUMMARY:
In 1777, Sion Morgan is leading his group through the wilderness into what will become Kentucky when he realizes he may need a guide to get his group there safely. Stopping at Moonbow Inn along the Shawnee River, Sion meets Temperance (Tempe) Tucker, a guide known for her survival skills. As Sion and Tempe push through the wilderness, a friendship develops though Tempe is quick to guard her heart against more. With danger, mystery, romance, faith and lots of history, A Moonbow Night tackles more than the wilderness of the land.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As one of my favorite authors, Laura Frantz knows how to write. Though perhaps a bit of a different genre than her previous novels, I still enjoyed it but not quite as much (due to a personal preference). Beautiful and full descriptions of the land, characters, and struggles lend themselves to a heart-tugging story which revolves around strong characters laced with emotions. Slow to set the stage yet complete once done, A Moonbow Night was definitely worth the wait and the read.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A Moonbow Night from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Mattie’s Pledge

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Drexler, Jan. Mattie’s Pledge: Journey To Pleasant Prairie- Book 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

mattiespledge

SUMMARY:
Moving from her current community to yet another, Mattie Schrock knows how to nestle into a new place. Though leaving some friends and family behind, Mattie has a yearning for new adventures, especially when associated with travel. Not an easy journey, Mattie and her family set out for an Amish community in Indiana. Connecting with past friends again including Jacob Yoder, someone who always had a special place in her heart, Mattie discovers she must decide between a new adventure in the West or the comfort of her own community based on a certain pledge.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Liking to read Amish fiction scattered throughout the many other books I read, I enjoyed the newest novel by author Jan Drexler. With ancestors dating back to the Amish immigrants in the 1700s, Jan Drexler has a special interest in this type of genre and it definitely shines. As a continuation of the Journey To Pleasant Prairie series, it was interesting to follow another related character’s story. Heart tugging at times yet full of traveling experiences, I am glad I took the time to read it. Well written and true to the Amish culture, I look forward to the next book in this same series.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Mattie’s Pledge from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

Storm

Calhoun, Bonnie S. Storm: Stone Braide Chronicles Series- Book 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

storm

SUMMARY:
Selah Rishon Chavez just celebrated her eighteenth birthday, and unbeknownst to her, begins a transformation that is linked to her heritage. The transformation requires leaving all things she knows and loves to join the group that is now hunted by her father and brothers. Needing to complete the Third Protocol while still sane, Selah and her alliances must rush across the country, push through enemy territory, and learn to trust while trusting no one. Full of fight scenes, continuous suspense and fantasy, this young adult dystopic novel, Storm, is sure to appeal…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though obviously author Bonnie Calhoun knows how to write, unfortunately, it is not my genre of reading. Neither connected to the characters nor the storyline, this book was not much to my liking; however, I feel it is purely a personal choice. Perhaps readers of fantasy, dystopia or mild violence may enjoy this book three in the Stone Braide Chronicles series, but I would advise reading the previous novels immediately before this one. Intriguing cover.

RATING:
3 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Storm from Revell Publishing for my honest review*

The Cottage

Phillips, Michael. The Cottage: Secrets of the Shetlands- Book 2. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

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SUMMARY:
Loni Ford discovers she is to become a laird due to an inheritance of a cottage, buildings, land and livestock on the island of Whales Reef, in the Shetlands. As an American far from home, Loni soon finds herself questioning her own life direction as she is determined to fight for the property and protect the people of the island. Full of beautiful landscapes, authentic food and well researched culture, The Cottage provides authenticity along with quite the mystery…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author for me, Micheal Phillips convinced me he is an experienced author. With exquisite details of the Shetlands, an unfamiliar place to me, the vivid descriptions were impressive. Though perhaps a bit of the dialogue was difficult to follow and the Quaker information a touch too rich, the storyline and characters were well developed. Easily read as a stand-alone novel, I wonder if I would have enjoyed it even more if I had read book 1 in The Secrets of the Shetlands series, The Inheritance. All in all, a good introduction to a new author for me.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Cottage from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

The Silent Songbird

Dickerson, Melanie. The Silent Songbird: Young Adult Series. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing. 2016.

thesilentsongbird

SUMMARY:
Promised in marriage by her cousin, King Richard, to the nasty Earl of Shively, Evangeline knows she must escape. A bit naïve due to being locked away in the castle for her own protection, Evangeline soon finds herself outside the Berkhamsted castle and part of the traveling group under the leadership of the handsome Westley le Wyse. Now working as a servant, Evangeline also leads those around her to believe she is mute. Living this lie while hiding from her intended, who surely is searching for his beautiful songbird, turns out to be dangerous to both her life and heart.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a loose retelling of the fairytale Little Mermaid, even the cover of the book reflects Ariel, the red-haired singing beauty. With brief suggestions to the Disney story, The Silent Songbird is a delightful, suspenseful, medieval and interesting retelling. As part of the young adult series written by author Melanie Dickerson, this newest addition nods to a few previous characters; however, is also easily read as a stand-alone. Though classified as young adult, readers of all ages are sure to enjoy!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of The Silent Songbird from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

Fatal Frost

Mehl, Nancy. Fatal Frost: Defenders of Justice- book 1. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers. 2016.

fatalfrost

SUMMARY:
As a member of the law enforcement, US Marshal Mercy Brennan understands danger. Though absent from her life for many years, Mercy’s father makes a reappearance. Now in danger herself, Mercy must trust her ex boyfriend, Deputy US Marshal Mark St. Laurent, to keep her safe while battling an ice storm, hiding from a deadly enemy, and guarding her own heart in the process…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As another romantic suspense novel from author Nancy Mehl, Fatal Frost was a great start to the new series, Defenders of Justice. Full of suspense, a bit of mystery, subtle faith and of course, some romance, this was a quick fulfilling read. Though perhaps a little predictable in parts, it was still a story I wanted to finish to the end. Extra thoughtful was the dedication page to law enforcement men and women, as well as a beautiful poem from her mom to her son. Definitely a series I will continue, I look forward to the next installment.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Frost from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*

Wild Montana Skies

Warren, Susan May. Wild Montana Skies: Montana Rescue Series- Book 1. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell Publishing. 2016.

wildmontanaskies

SUMMARY:
Ben King, an international country music star, returns home to Mercy Falls, Montana, to help care for his injured, ageing father. Kacey Fairing, currently on leave from her position with the military as a helicopter pilot, spends time with her daughter and parents in her hometown of Mercy Falls. With a past history between them, Ben and Kacey find themselves working together to save the town from flood waters but may need help rescuing their own hearts as well…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Cowboys, danger, survival, romance, drama, secrets and faith all combine for a fast-paced, amazing read. With likeable characters, several storylines, and a message of second chances, Wild Montana Skies sets the stage for an enjoyable new series, Montana Rescue. Though I did not read the prequel to this first book, If Ever I Would Leave You, I had no problem connecting with the story, and look forward to the continuing saga in book 2, Rescue Me, due out in spring of 2017. Definitely a good book by a well written author.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Wild Montana Skies from Revell Publishing for my honest review*