Monday, December 15, 2014

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson Book Review

21746534// The Princess Spy //

By Melanie Dickerson

{Review By Bethany}

Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher through Book Look Bloggers
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0310730988
 Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from Good Reads

"Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha---one of the few who speaks his language---understands the wild story. Margaretha finds herself unable to pass Colin's message along to her father, the duke, and convinces herself 'Lord Colin' is just an addled stranger. Then Colin retrieves an heirloom she lost in a well, and asks her to spy on Claybrook as repayment. Margaretha knows she could never be a spy---not only is she unable to keep anything secret, she's sure Colin is completely wrong about her potential betrothed. Though when Margaretha overhears Claybrook one day, she discovers her romantic notions may have been clouding her judgment about not only Colin but Claybrook as well. It is up to her to save her father and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot."
// Bethany's Book Review // 

I've been a big fan on Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale re-tellings for some time now, and had eagerly been looking forward to the release of her newest release The Princess Spy. Dickerson's newest release doesn't disappoint, and weaves an exciting story sure to thrill and delight fans of heroic tales.
This exciting young adult novel is very engaging and flowed very well. There weren't any dry patches, and the story was consistent and adventurous. I quickly fell in love with the characters, and especially enjoyed learning more about Colin and his past, and how his story wove into Margaretha's. The story was well written and I loved how it ended! 
Margaretha's character was one I really admired. She was strong and courageous, and possessed a very mature and trustful quality that really shinned throughout the story. I especially loved how towards the end of the story, she really trusted the Lord with her current situation and didn't fret when most people would have. It was interested seeing her help Colin, and I loved the way that their relationship bettered the both of them; and how their working together brought such fruitful results. I loved how they worked together to benefit others and their relationship was an inspiring one. 
Since this book is a young adult one, it is very easy to read and not one that involves a lot of thinking or processing, making for a very fun, quick read. I loved the fairy-tale aspect, though I couldn't quite place the original story that was being re-told, if there was a specific one (though I'm sure I could have missed it due to my lack of fairy-tale knowledge). Even so, it was still a very interesting story that I thought to be very heartfelt and sweet.
I'd highly recommend this book to fans of fairy-tales. Melanie Dickerson's novels are very unique, even though they are based on well-known classics, and a real treat for young readers and adults alike! If you are looking for a fun weekend read full of heroic princes and strong heroines then look no further!
D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of The Princess Spy from the publisher, for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review or promote this book, and all thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased.

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.