Monday, August 25, 2014

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden Book Review

18652812// With Every Breath //

By Elizabeth Camden

{Book Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0764211749
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //

Taken from GoodReads

"In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease.

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future.

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?"

 // Bethany's Book Review //

I've been a fan on Camden's novels ever since reading The Rose of Winslow Street, and falling in love with it! Ever since then I've been eager to get my hands on her other novels, and this newest one was no exception, upon it's recent release! I absolutely adored this novel and the characters; however I do feel like The Rose of Winslow Street is still my favorite Elizabeth Camden novel. But, With Every Breath is a close second!

This story surprised me when it captivated me within it's pages, and kept me saying "just one more chapter"; which all book lovers can relate with. I couldn't put it down! The pages flew by for me, despite the fact that I usually pay close attention to the page numbers and how many pages are left in a book. For some reason I'm like that, but with this book I'd look up and think how strange it was that 50 pages just flew by! That is the sign of a good book: if it places you into the story, and makes you loose track of time.

Camden has penned a brilliant novel! While this story doesn't have a whole bunch of main characters, and heavily focuses on the two main characters, it's anything but a drab and bland storyline! I think the fact that Camden chose to focus the story on the two main characters made for a better reading experience, since you really got to know the main characters-which I really did. I definitely felt this way with these characters, and rarely feel such a close connection to book characters. I truly was able to say at the end of this book that I was sad to see the story come to a close!

This story was set in the 1800s, a time when doctors were researching how to cure tuberculosis which was a horrible illness that so many people lost their lives to. The time period in itself was extremely interesting to learn about, but alongside the meaningful characters, it made for an exquisite story, and one that was a favorite of all the books I've read this year!

I would highly recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction, as it's a heart-felt story that will make you sad to finish reading!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of With Every Breath through the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not paid to promote this book, and all thoughts expressed are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot Book Review

19006252// Prelude for a Lord //

By Camille Elliot

{Book Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Book Look Bloggers
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 0310320356
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //

Taken from GoodReads

"An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?

Bath, England—1810

At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.

In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.

But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.

Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.

Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . ."

// Bethany's Book Review //

Camille Elliot's debut is a lovely regency novel with a nice sprinkle of mystery. Full of meaningful characters and lessons learned, it is a wonderful choice for all regency suspense fans!

I am quite a fan of regency fiction, and I also enjoy stories that have an aspect of mystery to keep things jumping. Prelude for a Lord involves both of these aspects, making for a delightful read with a very classical feel!

Even thought this is Camille Elliot's first novel, you really wouldn't think so from her elegant writing style, which impressed me right from the beginning. This author has such a lovely way with words, and her writing style really did fit perfectly with the regency genre. The story was very well thought out, but the way it was told added so much to the story!

This novel had a lot of characters, and I think that the author did an excellent job intertwining their lives, making for a well-thought out story line. I loved how certain aspects of one character's life provided insight into another characters personality. For example, the gentleman in the story had a sister who's protection he greatly valued. Since the author went into detail with his sister's character, you really got to know her and her fear of not being protected. Since we really get to know the sister well, we see how great her brother's integrity is when we see him go to certain lengths for his sister, and how that is his way of loving her. There were many other instances like this, that I just loved. It added another dimension to the novel!

Despite the fact that this is a regency fiction, this story surprisingly wasn't heavy on the romance, and rather focused on the main character and the mystery surrounding her. While there was romance at the end, I felt like the relationship status stayed at the "friendship" or "co-worker" level for a great portion of the story, cutting out a lot of mushy feelings and scenes. Personally, I like to have a controlled level of romance in the novels I read, so I loved how that worked in my favor with Prelude for a Lord.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and would definitely recommend it! Fans of regency suspense will not want to miss out on this gem of a novel!

D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a complementary copy of Prelude for a Lord from the publisher, for the purpose of this review. I was not paid to promote this novel, and all thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased opinions.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Revolutionary by Krista McGee Book Review

18806299// Revolutionary //

Anomaly Trilogy // Book #3

By Krista McGee

{Book Review by Bethany}

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Book Look Bloggers
Publication Date: July 15th, 2014
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 1401688764
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

// Book Synopsis //

Taken from GoodReads
 "All her life Thalli thought she was an anomaly. Now she must use her gifts to fulfill the role she was called to play: Revolutionary.

Back in the underground State against her will, Thalli is no longer the anomaly she was before. She has proven herself to be a powerful leader above ground and returns with information that Dr. Loudin needs to complete his plan of uniting the world under one leader: himself. But he, too, has information. A secret he has kept from Thalli her entire life. A secret that, once revealed, changes everything about the person Thalli thought she was.

Hoping to help Thalli rise up against the Scientists, both Berk and Alex join her underground, but their presence only brings more trouble for her. Now Dr. Loudin knows just the leverage to use on his captive, and she is forced to choose between the two of them. Is her first love her true love? Or does Alex ultimately claim her heart?

Unsure of everything around her, including her own identity, Thalli doesn’t know where to turn. She knows she needs the Designer, but he seems further away than ever. What she does know, though, is that if she doesn’t do something to stop Loudin, the fragile world above ground will be lost once and for all."

// Bethany's Book Review // 

What a phenomenal conclusion to the Anomaly trilogy! Packed with action and constant suspense, this novel delights and entertains. This story of a young girl learning to realize her true identity in Christ as she lives in a Government controlled State, is a book that teens can relate with and learn from while enjoying.

Ever since reading the first book in this trilogy, Anomaly and absolutely loving it, I've been eager to get my hands on the other books, as they were released. Now that the trilogy has come to an end I'm sad to have to say goodbye to Thalli and her friends! This series is definitely my favorite YA sci-fi trilogy that I've ever read, and that probably won't be changing. I'd highly recommend this these books to action-loving Christian teens!

All three books in the Anomaly trilogy are packed with action, adventure and quick turns that are completely unexpected-and Revolutionary isn't an exception! While all the novels in the trilogy were very exciting and fast-paced, I think that Revolutionary was even more so, since it's the final book. I really enjoyed the easy-to-read story, and how it was easy to digest making for a quick read that allowed you to really experience the story as if you where there!

Even though it has been a year since I'd read Luminary (book number two) I had no problem jumping back into Thalli's story. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering all the details of the previous book if it has been a while between the two reads. But Krista cleverly added helpful little reminders in subtle ways at the beginning that helped me remember bits that I hadn't thought about since I read Luminary, making for a smooth re-entrance into Thalli's world.

The love triangle in this book was very complex, and the thread was much stronger in Revolutionary then the previous two books. I felt just as flustered as Thalli was over being torn between the two, and not being able to pick just one, for fear of hurting the other! It was interesting seeing Thalli react to this, and how she dealt with difficult things. The way that the story ended was a complete shock, and I think it was the perfect ending to the trilogy!

One of the biggest threads that I noticed in this trilogy was how Thalli was searching for "herself", and learning to understand her identity in the Designer. Since she was created in a lab and turned out an anomaly, she really didn't have much of a realization of her worth, since she was merely an experiment. But as the story progresses she learns that while a Scientist might have been the one who created her, God was ultimately her Designer and had her life in His hands. Her faith in the Designer grew, and was a process that happened bit by bit in each book. I really enjoyed seeing the process completed in the story and seeing how the Designer really did work out everything towards His glory.

My favorite thing about this trilogy is how faith-based it is. I loved how the aspect of Christianity was woven into the story. I for one, am so thankful and excited that this trilogy has been written. It was so refreshing seeing a story that so heavily incorporated Christianity into it's base, and loved seeing how this effected the book in such positive ways! The world needs more stories like this!

In all, this was an amazing conclusion to the trilogy, and one I'd highly recommend! This book was one of my favorite books that I've read this year, and I can't wait to see what books Krista releases in the future! I simply cannot recommend this book enough to Christian teens!!

D I S C L A I M E R : I received a complementary copy of Revolutionary from the publisher for the purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review or promote this book. All thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

In Perfect Time By Sarah Sundin Book Review

In Perfect Time

Wings of the Nightingale, Book Three

Review Written By Madi
Book Title: In Perfect Time
Series: Wings of the Nightingale, #3
Author: Sarah Sundin
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 410
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2083-4
Publisher: Revell
Year of Publication: 2014
Rating: Five Out Of Five Stars
Book Description
Two hearts are about to learn the rhythm of love
Bold, sophisticated, and coy, Army Air Force flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can ruggedly handsome C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be all but immune to her considerable charms? In fact, he seems to do everything he can to avoid her.
Still, as they cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer. Can they overcome the fears and misunderstandings of the past in order to take hold of the future?
Sarah Sundin seamlessly weaves together emotion, action, and sweet romance into a tale that transcends time and calls us to believe in the power of love.

Favorite Quotes From This Book

"God makes sense, even when we don't see it." - Page 38

"Most danger was meant to be avoided, but some danger was meant to be embraced." - Page 398

Book Review
 This book is the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, but is a stand alone novel that can be read without reading the first two. I personally didn't get a chance to read the first one, but I read the second one and this one and I had no problem hopping into the story. Each book is about a completely different character, with only vague references and connections to the other novels. But, if you have the chance, I would recommend that you read the other ones (just because this author is phenomenal).
Kay Jobson is the type of girl to date every guy that she comes in contact with. Roger Cooper refuses to date period. But when Kay tries to free herself from the lies of her parson/father, Roger feels obligated to lead her to Christ and help her understand God's written word. For months he fights his feelings toward her, but they keep persisting. Between their biblical conversations and the time that they spend together in combat, they become very close and get to a point where no subject is too brutal for discussion. As I watched these two learn that God's grace is sufficient, I was encouraged to believe the same for myself. Possibly my favorite part of this novel is one reoccurring theme; God's grace. That Christ came to save the least of these. That no one can out run God. That the opinions of your family and friends are irrelevant compared to the opinion of God. That no one is too far gone. That's what I loved about it most. There were, of course, other things that it had going for it. It was very interesting to get a peek into history. Like the last novel in this series, it was full of military life and even a few combat scenes. There was never a dull moment and I enjoyed it from page one to page 410. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military fiction and redemption stories.
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, and that is just what I have given. I was not further compensated to review this product and all thoughts/sentiments expressed above are completely my own and unbiased.

Friday, August 8, 2014

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin Book Review

// In Perfect Time // 
Wings of the Nightingale // Book #3
By Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0800720830
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

// Book Synopsis //
Taken from GoodReads
"Flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper is immune to her charms. Throughout Italy and southern France, as she evacuates the wounded and he delivers paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them where they don't want to go."
// Bethany's Book Review //

I had heard about Sarah Sundin's books, and always wanted to one day read them. So when I was able to review the third book in her current series Wings of the Nightingale, I was very excited!

I enjoyed reading In Perfect Time a lot, and loved the story! This book is definitely one of those that heavily focuses the plot around the two characters, so occasionally I felt it could have had more sub-plots and further developed other characters in the story; or perhaps expand on the historical details of the time period. I felt like even though the story is a historical fiction, I would have liked to have seen more historical bits, as it felt solely focused on the story versus the time period. However the plot was very exciting and steady, since both main characters are involved with doing their part for the war effort, whether it be shown through their jobs as pilot and nurse during the Second World War.

The romance between Kay and Roger was very unique and original. I really loved how the story started with Roger helping lead Kay into a true relationship with the Lord when he have her his Bible. I loved seeing both character's faith in the Lord strengthen and grow throughout the story. Their friendship was very unique and I loved how the author wrote their love story.

Right from the moment that Roger gave Kay his Bible, I really admired his character, and found that my admiration for him only grew. He was such a neat character, and one that I really enjoyed getting to know in the story.

I also really enjoyed seeing Kay's development throughout the story. She became a new person after becoming a Christian, and I loved seeing that transformation take place on the page. I also enjoyed seeing her journey to redemption and how she dealt with things that were in her past that tainted her view of the Lord, and how she worked to overcome the lies she grew up hearing, believing the truth instead.

Even though I occasionally felt like the novel was a bit slow for me, I don't think it was due to the story not having interesting scenes, as the plot was very constant. A lot of different things happen that keep you reading, however I felt like sometimes I wasn't as eager to continue reading. Overall it wasn't a huge deal, but still something I noticed.

In all, I really enjoyed this endearing love story of two people, sharing about their relationship with each other and the Lord. While it felt a bit slow to me at times since I felt it lacked interesting historical detail and further plot and character development aside from the main characters, I loved the plot and especially the unique ending! I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance.
D I S CL A I M E R :: I received a free copy of In Perfect Time from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to do so, and all thoughts expressed are completely my own, honest and unbiased.