Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund Book Review

20665078// Love Unexpected //

Beacons of Hope // Book #1
By Jody Hedlund

{Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Review copy provided by the author
Publication Date: December 2nd, 2014
Number of Pages: 348
  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from Good Reads
 "A Perfect Blend of History and Romance, with a Whisper of Mystery

All she's ever wanted was a home. But stranded at Presque Isle port after their steamboat sank, Emma Chambers and her brother, Ryan, couldn't be farther away from security. While Ryan at least can find work, Emma can't even find a place to stay. An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper, who recently lost his wife and is struggling to raise his young son, arrives in town. A traveling preacher believes they might be the answer to each others' problems, and after a hasty marriage, Emma is headed back to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger.

But nothing in her wandering life has prepared her for suddenly being asked to raise a child and keep a house. Struggling at every turn, Emma also suspects Patrick may be keeping something hidden from her. In town she hears whispers about strange circumstances surrounding his previous wife's death, and it seems as though Emma's answered prayer for a home and family may actually be something much more dangerous."
// Bethany's Book Review // 

Love Unexpected, the first book in the Beacons of Hope series, is a tender story of hope and redemption. Charmingly set in Michigan by the sea and lighthouses, this sweet story is a heart- warming one that is sure to delight and inspire. 

One of my favorite parts of this story was the setting and characters. There is just something very calming about lighthouses; and the tenderness of the storyline combined with the backdrop made for a very pleasurable read, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While reading this book, I could almost feel the sea spraying on my face, and feel the wind blowing my hair. I easily got into the story and connected with the characters. The story was so sweet and endearing, and I loved reading Patrick and Emma's story.

Each of the characters were meaningful, and I'd have to say that my favorite was Patrick's son Josiah. I've always particularly enjoyed stories where the story has a young child, as it really helps bring the characters personalities out. I think this was especially true for Patrick and Emma. Josiah had such a huge part in bringing out the other characters personalities, and I loved seeing him in the story and the warmth and humor that he brought into the novel. I also admired Patrick's character. He was such an honorable person, and I loved learning more about him as the story progressed! The mystery aspect of his past kept me turning pages!

The story was very easy to get into, and had a nice mix of tender romance with a hint of mystery. The story flowed very consistently, and there weren't any dry bits that hindered the reading experience. The story line itself was masterfully written, and I loved seeing how the themes of love and redemption came out. 

Hedlund's writing style is so easy and fun to read, and I loved how she combined a sweet story that is interesting, with historical bits that added even more to the story. I loved how the story was loosely based on a true story of a light-keeper. I always enjoy stories that are based on real events as they make learning history fun and memorable, and this story is no exception!

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of sweet historical fiction! I eagerly await book number two in the Beacons of Hope series!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I  received a complementary copy of Love Unexpected from the author and publisher, for the purpose of this review. I was not paid to promote this book, and all thoughts expressed are completely honest and unbiased.

KINDLE FREEBIE ALERT! Interested in the Beacons of Hope series? If so then you should check out the free e-novella prequel to the series, Out of the Storm, available for free on Amazon HERE! I really enjoyed this quick read, and would recommend it if you are interested in reading Love Unexpected or looking for a good weekend read! If you are interested in hearing my thoughts on the novella, then check out my short review over on Good Reads.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot Book Review

Review Written by Madi
Book Title: At Bluebonnet Lake
Author: Amanda Cabot
Source/Sponsor: Revell Buzz
Genre: Christian Fiction
Number of Pages: 377
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3434-3
Publisher: Revell
Year of Publication: 2014
Book Description
Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is slow down to a crawl at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. But she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week (albeit fifty years ago). There Kate meets Greg Vange, the resort’s handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye–billions more, in fact, as he recently sold his successful software company and is at the resort in search of what’s next for his life.
Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. She even starts to see potential in the rundown resort. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?
Book Review
 I have always had a weakness for sweet southern romances, so when I saw this book I just had to read it. I have read a few other books by this author and I remember really liking them, so I was pretty excited to get this novel in the mail. The first thing I noticed was the cover. The blurry version of the one I included above really doesn't do it justice. It's super cute. Anyway, when I started reading this book I was immediately interested in it and read it in just a  few short hours. My favorite character from At Bluebonnet Lake is most definitely Greg, by a long shot. He's a good looking guy that is most comfortable in jeans and boots, he is a nerd that earned a fortune by inventing a computer software that went viral, and he has a super cute personality. He reminds me of some of my own friends. This book has as sweet plot and is an intriguing, light, and funny read. It wasn't super intense, it wasn't very suspenseful, but I still really enjoyed it. This is what I call a "beach book". It's a book good for some good, old fashioned relaxation time. I loved how the story unfolded and I thought that the author has a really nice writing style. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick, lighthearted read.
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by Revell Buzz. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Lady at Willowgrove by Sarah E. Ladd Book Review

Review Written by Madi
Book Title: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Source/Sponsor: Litfuse
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction
Number of Pages:  344
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8837-0
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Year of Publication: 2014
Book Description
Willowgrove Hall is full of secrets, but soon everything hidden is brought to light.

Cecily Faire has a secret—and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady’s companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past.

As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice—including the beautiful new lady’s companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove’s former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire.

When Willowgrove’s mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel’s inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive?
Book Review
 A Lady at Willowgrove Hall is the third installment in the Whispers on the Moors series. I read the first two books in the series and I seriously loved them. I could not put them down. So, needless to say, when the opportunity presented itself to read this novel, I jumped on it. I had high expectations for this book, so I was a little disappointed when it started off kind of slow. For the first half of the book there wasn't much going on. Once things DID start happening, though, it was kind of a whirlwind. But, I can't really say that I was surprised by anything that happened. In all honesty it was kind of predictable. The characters didn't make a huge impression on me. I was really disappointed on how this book turned out. I mean, it's not BAD, per say, it's just not as good as I was expecting it to be after reading the first two books in this series. It's technically a good book, and I would probably be more praiseful of it if I hadn't read what this author is capable of in the past. I enjoyed it as a one time read, and would recommend it to someone looking for a laid back book to read on a weekend vacation or something.
D I S C L A I M E R: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion by the Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.