Love Unfeigned

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Keels, Nadine. Love Unfeigned: When It’s Time Series- Book 1. Amazon Digital Services, LLC. 2013.

SUMMARY:
Lorraine Tyson and Isaiah James were childhood buddies who loved and trusted each other as only true young friends can. As the two grew up (and grew apart), though they found themselves back together, it was not with the same abandon as when younger. Maturity, honesty, forgiveness, understanding and healing come to have a part in their more adult relationship. With a mix of faith, love, adolescence and sweetness, accomplished author Nadine Keels shares the heartache and delight of growing up…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As one of my most true and trusted authors, Nadine Keels yet again pens a cleanly and reliably written story. Fully developing the characters as well as the storyline, emotions, and scenes, Love Unfeigned is also complete with exquisite, interesting and skilled language adding to the overall success. As one of those stories that is hard to see end, luckily, a sequel has already been written, Hope Unashamed. Absolutely a book I would not hesitate to recommend, I can only applaud the author and encourage her to keep writing!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Love Unfeigned from the author for my honest review*

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Christmas Star Sapphire

Bridgeman, Hallee. Christmas Star Sapphire: A Novella Inspired by the Jewel Series. Winchester, KY: Olivia Kimbrell Press. 2015.

christmasstarsapphire

SUMMARY:
As kin to the powerful and successful Viscollis Enterprises, Madeline Viscolli is content to earn her graduate degree from a college in Alabama. Meeting a leader in the campus ministry, Joe Westcott, Madeline soon realizes that she and Joe have very different backgrounds, experiences and rules. Through the many trials, Madeline must come to accept that God’s timing may not match her own, especially in her relationship with Joe. With an appropriately titled novella, Christmas Star Sapphire shines brightly with faith, romance and hope…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Though never having read any previous books in the Jewel Sapphire collection, I certainly did enjoy and appreciate this novella inspired by that series. Full of faith, misunderstandings, romance, forgiveness and a few surprises, Christmas Star Sapphire is perfect for the season (although I did read it a bit later than the Christmas season). Complete with a reader’s guide and suggested luncheon menu, some of the included recipes were absolutely delicious. Author, homemaker, blogger, chef and coffee lover, Hallee Bridgeman puts God first in her life and hopes to be a blessing to others…such an example!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of Christmas Star Sapphire from BookCrash and the author for my honest review*

A November Bride

Vogt, Beth. A November Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
novemberHaving just turned thirty and dumped by her boyfriend through a text message, Sadie McAllister begins to wonder if true love will ever find her. As a food-star hopeful, Sadie receives an invitation to move out west; however, she is beginning to wonder if perhaps her chances at love may be right under her nose at home with Erik Davis, her eighth-grade crush…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As the ending to A Year of Weddings series, this was a fun-filled novella perfect for this busy time of year. Light-hearted yet with a good message, this short contemporary romance is actually quite relevant today (text messages, Food Network). As a new author for me, Beth Vogt will definitely be an author I read again as I appreciated her sense of humor and developed characters in her writing. The entire Wedding series was a delight for me…fast paced, humorous at times, and faith-filled while introducing me to several new authors. Even some of the author’s friends/ co-writers are my favorites now too!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of November Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for my honest review*

An October Bride

Ganshert, Katie. An October Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
octoberSet in Mayfair, Wisconsin, during the stunning autumn weather, Emma accidentally discovers her terminally ill father’s bucket list…which includes walking Emma down the aisle. Having recently broken off her engagement, Emma sets out to find a willing groom to help her dad achieve that event…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
As a new author for me, I truly enjoyed Katie Ganshert’s style of writing. (The entire collection of wedding novellas has introduced to me to many new authors.) With humor, compassion, faith and reality, An October Bride was probably one of my favorite novellas yet. Of course I appreciated the setting in Wisconsin (Go Brewers) too! Cutely written yet with a deeper meaning underneath, An October Bride is perfect for A Year of Weddings Novella series. Definitely an author I will now seek out further to read; I appreciated the “wordiness” with which she claims she writes!

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of An October Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

A June Bride

Whalen, Marybeth. A June Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
juneBeing on the reality show, Rejection Connection, Wynne Hardy cannot believe her life has come to this since the break-up with her long-time boyfriend, Callum Royce. Never dreaming her video would be picked, Wynne soon becomes caught up in the fast paced flow of reality TV. However, right before the large media-based wedding takes place, Callum asks to meet Wynne one last time…

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A new author for me, I enjoyed her style and wit. Similar to the current reality shows, A June Bride followed a contemporary romance story. Though brief, this novella was a quick, likable, fun read for summer. Part of A Year of Weddings series, this novella was perfect to be included in the set. Predictable yet pleasant, A June Bride was just as expected. Definitely an author I will pursue further, I am glad I read this novella as it may lead me to books I may not have previously picked up.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A June Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan Publishing for my honest review*

A May Bride

maybrideMoseley, Meg. A May Bride. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing. 2014.

SUMMARY:
Caught pulling weeds in a church garden during a “guerrilla” wedding, Ellie finds herself face-to-face with Gray, a handsome cowboy attending his friend’s wedding. Through a quick romance, Ellie finds herself falling in love with Gray while planning her sister’s wedding and trying to convince her mom of his worth, which proves to be harder than it seems. A May Bride is part of A Year of Wedding Novellas.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Short, quick, sweet, funny…this novella was wonderful for a busy time in life. Though predictable, considering the brevity of the story, it was well written and enjoyable. I loved the humor with which Ellie thought to herself. The generation differences between mother and her daughters were also quite amusing albeit viable. Meg Moseley is a favorite author of mine (A Stillness of Chimes) and this novella was a nice installment to add to my wedding novella collection.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A May Bride from BookLook Bloggers for my honest review*

A March Bride

Hauck, Rachel. A March Bride. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
marchbrideRoyalty Nathaniel II (of Brighton Kingdom) and Susanna Truitt (of Rib Shack BBQ, Georgia) are set to be married in just under three weeks. Due to an ancient decree still being enforced, Susanna must resign from her United States citizenship in order to serve as Princess of Brighton. Having already given up her home to join Nathaniel in Brighton as well as leaving her family, Susanna struggles with this latest necessary writ. While talking to her Pastor back at home in America, Susanna realizes her identity may be for more than her own use, it may be to serve God. Will Nathaniel and Susanna finally join as King and Princess of Brighton Kingdom?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Having recently read Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck, I was very surprised and excited to read this continuing novella containing the same characters. As a fan of this author, I knew I was in for a treat…especially as it concerned an already-known princess! Though not necessary to read the books in order, it definitely makes for a more interlinked story if the characters are met in Once Upon a Prince and A Princess Ever After. Perhaps due to my fairy-tale bias, this novella was my favorite so far contained in A Year of Wedding Novellas.

RATING:
4.5 (out of 5)

*I received a complimentary copy of A March Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for my honest review*

A January Bride

Raney, Deborah. A January Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
janbrideMadeline Houser makes the move to be closer to her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. However, much to her chagrin, she finds she is not able to meet her writing deadline due to the current construction associated with the house renovation. Arthur Taylor, a recent widower and owner of a Bed and Breakfast Inn, has just the perfect, quiet set-up for Maddie to use. Through many written correspondences as well as varied assumptions, Maddie and Art are in for a delightful surprise in their lives.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Yet again a new author for me; I found I liked Deborah Raney’s style. Though predictable, the clever obstacles (assumptions) which were made kept the story sweet and moving forward. Never having been a huge fan of short stories, I sometimes now prefer the novellas after the many excellent ones I have read in the past year (this one being included). Witty yet quite possible, A January Bride was a pleasing read during this (never-ending) winter season.

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A January Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for my honest review*

A February Bride

St. Amant, Betsy. A February Wedding: A Year of Weddings Novella. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2014.

SUMMARY:
FebbrideJilted at the last moment at the altar, Marcus Hall never saw it coming. His future bride, Allie Andrews, just couldn’t marry him and put him through the Andrew’s family curse so she ran (actually drove) fast away. Over the course of the next months, Allie and Marcus cross paths in some not-so-traditional yet hilarious ways. Will love prevail over the jinx experienced by all the Andrew family women? Will Valentine’s Day prove to full of intended consequences?

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Cute, cute, cute! A perfect read for upcoming Valentine’s Day, A February Bride was my favorite novella included in the series so far. A new author for me, I am already looking forward to her upcoming novel, All’s Fair In Love And Cupcakes. I enjoyed the spunk, cleverness and light touch of romance with which this novella was written. I was able to read this book in just a brief sitting but finished it smiling! Definitely worth the time to enjoy!

RATING:
4 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A February Bride from BookLook Bloggers and Zondervan for my honest review*

A December Bride

Hunter, Denise. A December Bride. Zondervan. 2013.

SUMMARY:
decemberbrideLayla O’Reilly is trying to break into the interior design world but is stuck at Cappy’s Pizzeria for the moment. Needing to attend her ex-fiance’s wedding in a few hours, she accepts Seth Murphy’s invitation to accompany him even though she still blames him in part for her break-up. To make things even a bit crazier, Seth announces they are now engaged which causes Layla to decide if furthering her design career is worth the facade.

A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
A cute yet predictable novella, December Bride was an enjoyable read during a busy time of year. Part of the series, A Year of Weddings Novellas, I look forward to the next novella, starting with A January Bride. I plan on reading all of the stories in the series as there are several of my favorite authors included.

RATING:
3.5 (out of 5) pennies

*I received a complimentary copy of A December Bride from Netgalley and Zondervan for my honest review*