Showing posts with label Adult Christian Romance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adult Christian Romance. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Beyond the Storm by Carolyne Zane

I was on Spring Break this week. One of my goals was to catch up on reading. That didn't go as planned. However, I spent several days reading and below is one of those books. Unfortunately for me, when reading about quilts, whether fiction or not I start thinking about quilts. This is why my reading goal didn't get met.  I got side tracked and planned an entire quilt for my bed and a throw for my mother-in-law. However, I loved this series. See my review below

Genre: Christian, Romance
Source: I purchased a copy 

The idea of this story was great from the beginning. It is the story of a tornado that ripped a town apart. But, it is much more than that. The storm could also be seen to represent the storms or trials in our lives. Through the making of a quilt made from scraps of fabric found by the local hairdresser after the storm. We see how each piece of fabric helps make sense of the tragedy and the part the person played in the lives of those in the town. Creating the quilt, putting it together piece by piece is the way we have to put our lives back together after we weather our own life storms. The center patch belonged to a man who made Jesus a part of his daily life. It is the interconnectedness of those he touched along with the interconnectedness of the quilt pieces that make this such a wonderful book. The book doesn’t come off as preachy. It is a demonstration of a life lived the way Christ would want us to live life. Just another reminder that in life’s storms we need to turn to and rely on God. He is truly the only one who has control. This is the first book in this series and was by an author I was not familiar with. I am looking forward to reading the others in the series.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Amy Inspired - Bethany Pierce

Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  322 Pages
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Genre: Christian, Adult, Romance

Amy Inspired is not your typical Christian fiction novel.  So many of them slap you in the face with a sermon.  This does not.  I think that is what I really liked about the book.  Amy, the main character is full of flaws.  She proclaims she is a Christian, yet she makes the same realistic mistakes that many Christians make.  That doesn’t make her less a Christian, just more realistic.

Amy is an aspiring writer.  To live she accepts a teaching job at the university.  Her writing passion shines as she teaches her students the finer points of writing.  Unfortunately she is amassing a stack of rejection letters for her own writing.  Feelings of happiness and jealousy rage as her friend and roommate Zoe gets an article published in a national magazine.  Then Zoe lets a friend move in with them until he can find a job.  Amy is attracted to Eli Moretti.  He is everything that she has never wanted in a man.  Eli is a tattooed, scruffy looking, an artist that lives  life more freely than Amy has ever dared. It is exactly this type of man that helps put things in perspective for Amy.  He causes her to question things.

There was so much I could identify to in this story.  I like Amy make lists and have stacks of post it notes.  My family teases me about my lists for my lists.  I often feel I do a better job inspiring my students in their writing than I do in my own.  I loved the way the author showed the human side of Amy.  Things like jealousy, dealing with death, and family issues were handled in such a realistic way that anyone reading this could find something to relate to.  This was the first book I had read by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I will definitely recommend it to my friends both Christian and non-Christian.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Two by Alice J. Wisler

Rain Song 
Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  304
Source:  I received a copy for review
Genre:  Adult, Realistic Fiction

From Goodreads:
Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan...something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone...something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney. Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy Web site, she meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart. Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does.

My Thoughts:
Nicole Michelin has had a lot of heartache.  She was born in Japan.  Her parents were medical missionaries.  At the age of two, she lost her mother in a fire and she and her father moved back to the United States. Like many children, Nicole has fears related to things she doesn’t fully understand.  Her father refuses to talk about the past so she is left without answers and too afraid to seek them out.  Then she meets Harrison Michaels through a website.  He knew her as a child in Japan .  He knows there are many in Japan that can answer some of those questions.  This means Nicole will have to takes some steps of faith and courage.  This is accomplished through the love, encouragement, and wisdom of her grandmother.  There are other side stories that add to the warmth and depth of this story.  This was a wonderful book.  One that lets the reader know that we have to let go of fears and lean on our faith.  This is an author to watch out for.

How Sweet It is 
Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  320
Source:  I received a copy for review
Genre:  Christian, Romance

From Goodreads:
Deena Livingston leaves behind a broken romance and her chef job in Atlanta to spend time at her grandfather's cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. But her grandfather has an odd request: he wants Deena to teach cooking classes to the ragtag group of middle-schoolers who attend the local afterschool program, The Center. Reluctantly, Deena agrees, but how is she supposed to convince these kids that cooking at home is better than eating at McDonalds? And after all she went through in Atlanta, why is she attracted to Zack, the social worker at The Center? Can a Dr. Seuss-quoting plumber, a curly-haired basketball player, and a group of middle-schoolers change Deena's outlook on life?

My Thoughts:
Oh this one touched close to home.  Deena Livingston and her boyfriend are involved in an accident.  He doesn’t bother to come see her, he just sends her flowers.  When I read this I thought about my cousin.  The night she became engaged she and her fiancé were involved in an accident.  After emerging from a coma she had to learn to talk all over again, as well as learn to walk.  She actually overheard her fiancé tell a friend outside of her door at the hospital that there was no way he would marry her.  When the friend asked why, he replied that he would not marry a retard.”  He had caused the accident.  She was so hurt yet determined to move on with God’s help.  Deena is just as determined.  She moves to a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina.  Her grandfather left it to her with the stipulation she will teach cooking classes to a group of middle schoolers.  You could see the hand of God in all of this as she begins to heal not only on the outside, but on the inside.  It is through learning to know these children and the scars they hide within themselves that she begins to heal.  I know as a teacher I often have kids dealing with some pretty terrible things.  Sometimes those things resonate with me and I find myself thinking about how much I have felt some of the same things and have harbored hurt or hatred even.  It is through helping others we often help ourselves. 
I enjoyed this book more than her first one.  I look forward to reading more by her.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

On Wings of Trust - Anna Dynowski

Publisher:  Write Words, July 2011
Source:  Review Copy from author in exchange for a review
Genre:  Adult, Christian, Romance

 From Author’s Website:
Izabella Golec  once stalked her art professor. She’s since channeled her energy into a thriving venture and into interring the man with the ebony hair and dark eyes into a remote chamber of her dead heart.
But when lucrative artist, Roman Ricci, shows up unexpectedly in town, books a room in her inn, and parks his easel and brushes there, her dead heart is revived…and so are the memories, both the shameful and the passionate.
Will a beautiful painting of love emerge on his blank canvas, or will the services of Harmony Village’s indomitable matchmaker, Cupid Cat, be needed?

My Thoughts:
This was a romance story full of one twist after another.  I kept wondering why Izabella and Ricci were married in such a manner t the beginning of the story.  Why was he so angry.  What had she done to make him react the way he did at their wedding.  I loved the way the author made the reader wait as the story was unfolded layer by layer.  Anna Dynowski is a master story teller.  You think you’ve answered one of your questions, only to be find you now have a new one.  I loved Harmony Village.  It has the feel of many small towns that make you feel warm and welcome.  They open their arms to all who enter.  This was the fourth book in the Harmony Village series.  It is a series I highly recommend, not only to those who love romance stories but also to those who are not real sure about reading romance.  The lessons from God were interspersed as reminders to the characters.  They were not a hit you over the head sermon.  I loved every aspect of this book.  This is one you need to read.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cascade - Lisa Bergren

Publisher:  David C. Cook
Pages:  416
Source:  I purchased a copy
Genre:  Young Adult, Medieval, Romance

Here are the books in the River of Time Series.

Blurb from Amazon:
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”
 Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead.
But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

My Review:
I love this series.  In the second book of the River of time Series, Gabi and Lia have returned and been found in the tomb.  They are taken to their mother.  She is in awe of their gowns, yet upset that they would enter the tomb.  They wait until she is alone and tell her about traveling back in time.  Gabi has fallen so in love with Marcello that she feels she must get back to him.  She and Lia and their mother all enter the tomb and return to the past.  Like the first book, this one is filled with even more adventure and danger.  It is obvious that Lia and Gabi have fallen hopelessly head over heels in love.  They must return.  However, not necessarily to their present time.   They have something very important they must do before they return.  That is all I will say about this book.  It would be so easy to tell too much.  I have a love at relationship with the endings of these books.  I love how they make you wait to find out what is going to happen until the next book.  I hate it for the same reason because there is such a long time between them it seems.  The third book Torrent comes out in September and  so I must wait until September 1st to read it.  This is a must read for anyone who loves romance stories and/or medieval stories.  They are good enough that when I got each of these books my mother took them from my desk and read them first, loaned them to her best friend and then let me have them to read.  My mother is 79 years old.  She is as anxious about the books as I am.  It is her opinion that women of all ages should read this book.  She said if a mother and daughter read it they have something to discuss.  Besides, she said she could relate to Gabi and Lia’s mother and what she was going through.  She could understand the mother wanting to protect her children and at the same time wanting them to be happy.  If I know my mother, and  I do, she will read Torrent first.  The good thing is she won’t say a word about it until I’ve read it.  I can’t wait to discuss it with her.  This would make a great book for mother/daughter book clubs.   It will also be a great addition to my school book shelves.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Called Home: Two Hearts Answer – Gloria Schumann

Publisher:   Savant
Pages:  342
Source:  Review copy from author
Genre:  Adult, Romantic Mystery

Emma Benson's view of life was crafted as a child by the death of her brother, the abandonment by her father and later, the man she trusted she would marry. A teacher by training, she forgoes her chosen path to save the Wisconsin farm she calls home from financial ruin.

A tornado threatens damage, but David Schlosser—back in town after years in New York writing best-selling novels—could ruin her neatly tended life. He's looking for the charms of the small town he once rejected and finds more than he bargained for. He risks everything to get what he wants.

The storms of life throw Emma and David together and into the world of a criminal determined to ruin their plans by any means necessary. Robbery and near death connect Emma and David to their nemesis and during the throes of securing life and limb they make every effort to resist falling for one another.

My Review:
First let me be honest about something, I usually don’t read romance novels.  When Gloria Schumann emailed me and asked me if I would be willing to read and review her book which was “ a sweet romance with plenty of passion and longing without sex scenes, and a bit of crime and suspense  thrown into the mix to make a compelling story”, I thought I’d give it a try.  By that I meant I would try it because it had the element of crime and suspense mixed in.  It was those elements as well as how well she crafted the romance that drew me in. 
Emma was rude at times to David.  I identified with her situation somewhat.  After my divorce I thought I’d never remarry.  Why take a chance again?  I’d lost my first fiancé to cancer and later my husband left me with two small children.  When my current husband and I got together, we’d both had failed marriages so I figured marriage was out of the picture.  My husband was patient and persistent.  Like Emma I’m a teacher who grew up on a farm.  I connected with David wanting to go back to the quiet life.  I live in a city, and long for the day I can move to the country.  The author has done an excellent job of creating a realistic romance that is not mushy.  The suspense is great.  I will gladly read anything else this author comes out with.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Waterfall - Lisa Bergren

Publisher: David C. Cook
Pages: 384
Source: Received a copy from publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Adult, Christian Fantasy

Two sisters, Gabi age 17 and Lia age 15 are once again on an archaeological dig with their mother. They have spent almost every summer traipsing around these old digs. Their parents were experts in all things Etruscan. Not that their father is dead their mother feels she must carry on. It is at one of these sites that the girls break the rules. Before it has been checked out and documented Gabi and Lia enter a tomb and discover a set of handprints that fit their own. Once they touch the wall they find themselves thrust back through time to the medieval period. They are separated. GAbi the oldest lands in a tomb in the middle of a battle between the Forelli's and Paratores, two feuding houses. She is taken in by the Forelli's. she becomes a target for the Paratores who have her sister Lia prisoner. Gabi uses her fencing skills to help her use a sword to try to get her sister back. The story is full of historical details and information. The romance between Gabi and Marcello was not too unrealistic. It was not a love at first sight type of romance that we find in too many young adult books. This is also not an in your face religious book. Gabi never really thought about her religious beliefs until she landed back in time. Religion was very important to this time period. It makes her look at and question everything she has ever believed.
Look for Cascade June 1 and Torrent September 1.

Watch the Trailer

Read the prologue and Chapter one at

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where Strangers Cross - Kevin Avery and John Long

Where Strangers Cross: East Meets West on a Journey Toward Christ
Publisher:  Xulon Press
Pages:  330
Source:  Review copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult Christian Autobiography

From the back of the book:
They come from two different worlds. John (Jiang) Long grew up in rural China where the name Jesus never surfaced.  Kevin Avery grew up 8,000 miles away with Christian parents in the suburbs of the United States.  Humanly speaking, their paths should never cross, yet this situation changes when they follow a transforming Jesus.  Not only does God divinely bring them together to start an international student ministry but also he reverses their residences.  He plants Long as a pastor in Tulsa and sends Avery as a missionary to China, even to the mountain villages of Long’s youth.  While in exchanged countries, they become strangers of this world, ready to disciple the nations in reverent brokenness.

My thoughts:
This is the story of two men led by God to serve in each other’s country.  They have the same difficulties such as language barriers and especially cultural barriers.  Both of them step out on faith letting God lead them and use them.  I think the thing I took from this book the most is the difference between being a Christian and a disciple.  As was pointed out in the book the word Christian is used only three times, whereas the word disciple is used 269 times.  We have been sent into the world to be disciples for Christ.  That means he sends some to other countries and some of us he uses right here.  For me this book was a reminder that we need to be  doing more for the Lord where ever he places us.  I love the book and highly recommend it.

for more information check out the following sites:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beloved Castaway - Kathleen Y'Barbo

Publisher:  Barbour
Pages:  304
Source:  Review copy received from author
Genre:  Adult Christian Romance

From the Publisher's Page
Isabelle Gayarre, fleeing a life of servitude, refuses to be owned by anyone, yet soon finds her heart in danger of being possessed by the godless Captain Josiah Carter. Can Isabelle trust him to help her escape without losing her heart? Josiah Carter, running from demons of his own, is stirred by the presence of the beautiful woman seeking refuge on his ship. Realizing that a runaway slave can never be his, legally or otherwise, a storm begins to brew within. Will their love ever reach a safe haven, or is it doomed to wreck upon the jagged reefs of the Fairweather Keys?

My Review 
I am so happy that I was able to read and review this book.  I loved it like I expected I would.     The twists and turns in this book kept me reading from beginning to end.  The love story was not gaudy or over done.  It was a love that could only be brought about and shaped by the hands of God.  We have Josiah Carter on the run from his father.  Why?  His father, the Reverend Carter is a hard man and Josiah has taken his young brother and runaway with him.  He has no use for God after what he has seen in his father.

Isabelle Gayarre was born into slavery and was sold to Reverend Carter.  At the same time her half sister Emilie refuses to let her leave alone so she accompanies her.  Escaping with these three women is Violet Dumont who is promised to Andre Gayarre a very cruel and violent man.   Once they have escaped  they are hunted by Andre.  Their ship catches fire before they leave New Orleans, then springs a leak and they manage to make it to  Fairweather Key.  Here is where things take their biggest twist and the reason I recommend this book be read.  I look forward to reading Beloved Captive and Beloved Counterfeit the Sequels to this book.  This is an author I will most definitely keep my eye on.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Path Less Traveled - Cathy Bryant

  • Publisher:  WordVessel Press (October 18, 2010)
  • Pages:  312
  • Genre:  Adult Christian Romance
  • Source:  Purchased

  • Like her first book "Texas Roads", Cathy Bryant has once again crafted a wonderful Romance.  In this book, upon returning to Miller's Creek we find the main Character Trish preparing the church for her brother's wedding.  Enter a lawyer who is returning to Miller Creek, Andy Tyler.  Trish is trying to survive and raise her son after her husband passed away.  She isn't looking for love.  Andy has his own secrets yet finds himself drawn to Trish.  This was the last thing he needed or wanted.  It's hard to trust when you've been hurt.  The characters in this story were well developed and the story swept me along.  Bravo Cathy for once again providing us with a wonderful story full of lessons and love from God

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Pocketful of Hope by Anna Dynowski

Source:  I received an ebook copy for review.
Genre:  Romance

Kerry Heaton a former nun decides to return to her hometown.  She has a flat near Harmony Village.  Harmony's tow truck driver Janek Kaznaski comes to her aid.  There is an immediate attraction between them.  Both of them have reasons of their own for not getting involved with each other.  Sometimes, when God is in control things change.  This was a wonderful book but is not for the reader who wants a feel good book.  It touches on the issues of child molestation which can have an adverse affect on relationships with the child enters adulthood.  However Dynowski handled it beautifully.  Her characters find out that with God forgiveness can happen and healing can begin.  As I read this book I thought back years ago to my divorce.  I wanted revenge for the years of cheating.  It really hampered my relationship with God.  I realized when I let God handle things and began to pray for my ex-husband the healing and forgiveness could begin.  Not only was I able to forgive, but God brought a wonderful man into my life and the life of my children.  All we need is a pocketful of hope and God will do the rest.

After reading this book I visited the authors website.  I was able to read excerpts of her other books.  I can't wait to read them as well.  I am not one who likes mushy, gushy romances and that is why I think I like these.  They aren't all mushy, gushy.  I can't wait to recommend her books to my friends who read romance.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant

Publisher:  Word Vessel Press
Please visit to purchase
This was a PDF copy of the book provided by the author.  I received no compensation for reviewing this book.  all thoughs, opinions expressed herein are mine alone.

I was lucky enough to be allowed to review this book before it came out. I am not one who likes mushy romance. Therefore this book was one I really enjoyed. Dani came from a privileged life yet here she was running to some hick town to visit an aunt she didn't even know. Running out of gas she is lucky enough to get picked up by Steve, a very handsome man who is also the mayor of Miller's Creek. Steve and Dani immediately get off on the wrong foot. They prejudge each other. This is made worse by the fact that the one person they have in common is Mama Beth. Dani has been looking for a place to call home for a long time. She thinks she finds it in the dying town of Millers Creek and sets about helping revive the town. Dani's secrets along with her mother's feelings of betrayal come to a head one night when Danie learns the biggest secret of all. The only thing she can do is run until she realizes the only way she will find her way home is through God.

This was a well written book. The old saying of "show don't tell" is exactly what Cathy Bryant has done. I grew up in the country and could feel the breeze blowing through my hair, and smell the country smells. It took me down memory lane. I laughed and cried and worried throughout the book. I read it through in one sitting. This is definitely a book I will recommend to all of my friends. This is the type of book I would re-read again and again. I was pleasantly surprised to get a glimpse into the second book in this series and I look forward to reading it when it comes out. Cathy Bryant is a talented writer and one we need to keep our eye on.