Tag Archive | Bethany House

Tide and Tempest (Book Review)

Tide and TempestI am given opportunities to review books and was thrilled to read Elizabeth Ludwig’s newest novel, Tide and Tempest

I knew I was getting a historical romantic suspense and was transported into the world of Irish immigrants and their struggle to fight for their country’s freedom as well as adapt to life in a the new world of America.

It’s been two years since Tillie McGrath left her Irish home, against the wishes of her parents, to travel with her fiancee to America. He died before they could arrive and Tillie has forged a new life for herself, moving past her grief and loss and personal shame over some of her own choices. She now lives in New York boardinghouse, has a steady job and plans to open an orphanage. Maybe she would never marry and have children of her own, but she would care for others. Living a life of hard work and service in an effort to purge her soul of her own sins, her life comes to an abrupt change.

Captain Keondrick Morgan had never forgotten the young Irish lass who had been heartbroken on his ship. Following a life of duty though, precludes marriage. When he discovers that Tillie’s fiancee had been murdered, he worries now that maybe whoever did it might also be after Tillie. Morgan will do everything in his power to keep the invisible threat from succeeding.

Accompanied by his younger brother, Cass, Morgan struggles with stronger feelings for Tillie, who he believes he can never have. At the same time he starts to unravel a threat more deadly than he ever expected. Now he will do everything in his power to keep Tillie safe, even if it means giving his own life or losing her to the affections of his charming brother.

This book starts out slow as it builds the characters and the rich picture of the evil that is simmering behind the scenes. There is a light touch given to the faith of the characters. It is most fun when things really start to move forward with the action and the complexity of the underground societies that exist and could eventually bring about the demise of them all.

With a beautiful ending this book qualifies as a happily-ever-after. If you love historicals and some suspense, this is a great read.

I was given a copy of the book, by Bethany House, in exchange for this review.

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Made To Last (Book Review)

made to lastI love the cover of Melissa tagg’s novel, Made to Last. The smirk o the mans face and the happy smile on hers made me want to jump in and read. (Great job with that Bethany House!).

Miranda is in a tight spot. She hosts a building show and really knows her stuff, but one lie told early on is snowballing and instead of dealing with the memory of one lost love, she as three very real men, includng the lost one, vying for her attention.

Unfortunately the one who grabs her heart is the nosy, yet handsome reporter, Matthew who has his own secrets to hide even as he tries to unearth hers.

But as far as Matthew and the public knows, Miranda is married. That means she is off limits.

Miranda has to decide if she’s willing to strip away the lies and rest in her value for who God created her to be, and maybe as she potentially loses everything, she’ll find the one thing she’s longed for the most. Real love.

This was a sweet novel filled with twists and turns that kept me wondering even till the end. If you like romance you may just want to snag Melissa’s book. It was definitely one I enjoyed and an author I hope to read more from.

A Talent for Trouble (Book Review)

A talent for trouble 2I love Jen Turano’s witty writing and slapstick characters and she does not disappoint in her third novel, A Talent for Trouble.

As we follow the colorful cast of characters from Jen’s previous two novels, A Change of Fortune and A Most Peculiar Circumstance, which I have reviewed here on my blog, you’ll find the adventures continue here.

Miss Felicia Murdock has foolishly believed for years that she was destined to be a pastor’s wife and dressed and acted in a way that she thought would capture the heart of her desired mate. That dream crashed colorfully when that man married–another woman!  Sent to revive her spirits, Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton finds himself involved in saving the beautiful woman from one scrape after another.

Grayson, however, is not devout and with a tainted past does not feel he could, in any way, be a suitor for Felicia’s hand. The only problem is, no one told his heart that. Felicia finds the nobleman to be an enigma. She delights in the fact that he does not tell her lies to placate her likes others have. But surely such an aggravating man could never be good husband material, could he?

Grayson’s past catches up with him and soon it is Lord Sefton who is in trouble. Will Felicia risk it all to help rescue him?

Not everyone will appreciate Jen’s unique voice but I personally love it and at times found myself laughing out loud at the antics of her characters or her way of turning a phrase. I also applaud Bethany for another beautiful cover that displays the spunk of the main character. I look forward to Jen’s fourth installment in this series and hope she has plans for more after that.

My Stubborn Heart (Book Review)

This review was initially posted on Sept. 11, 2012 but I have reposted it here because it was one of the top five books in the Romance category of the INSPY awards of which I was a judge.

On a whim I had clicked to download a free ebook on amazon as I so often do – and yesterday My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade just happened to be the book I decided to open and read.  It seems that lately every book I pick up by Bethany House, whether historical or contemporary romance – have been beautifully written and have touched my heart. This book is no exception.

Kate is on a break from her job as a social worker and on a three month stint to help her Grandmother restore an old family estate.  She has reached the advanced age of 31 with no husband and is constantly reminded of her lack by those around her – as well as the loneliness she feels deep inside. Yet she has determined and prayed that she would never settle for any man – but only the one God would have for her.

Matt has had a career as a hockey player, fame and beautiful wife. After his lovely bride died of cancer he walked away from everything he knew, even shutting out family and friends, to live a hermit’s life and live with his grief and subsequent anger at God for not answering his prayers. Accepting the job to work at renovating an old home, he shows up to work to find that there is an annoying woman who keeps coming by to talk. He doesn’t want to talk, he wants to be left alone.

Over time though Matt has a change of heart as Kate worms her way in with her light banter and teasing. She is not afraid to challenge him as she is determined to help him escape his self made prison. Definitely attracted to this “hottie” she feels that he is above her reach and tells herself they could only be friends. The heart doesn’t always listen to logic.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but I loved the challenge of this book as it looked spiritually at two key issues: 1) Can you trust a sovereign God with your prayers and that He, knowing what’s best will answer them in His perfect timing?  2) How far are you willing to go to obey Him?

This book is not preachy at all – but it deals with the honest gut-wrenching decisions we all at times have to face at the foot of the cross and as we deal with the painful realities of life. Becky Wade does a beautiful job weaving that all together in a compelling story.

A Change of Fortune (Book Review)

a change of fortuneI love historical romances that have a bit of wit and whimsy to them and Jen Turano serves up a generous helping of both in her novel, A Change of Fortune.

Lady Eliza loses everything, including her fiance. In a desperate scheme, she sails from England to America to find the man who not only stole her money, but her families title and good reputation as well. To make her plan successful, however, the English aristocrat hires herself out as a governess, sports spectacles and seeks, in her spare time, to ferret out the whereabouts of yon thief.

The entire adventure puts her in the path of another man also in pursuit against said criminal and they team up with some fun results.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett seems intrigued with the mousy governess in her unattractive garb and her clumsy behavior. He is a widow raising two wild children who fall in love with Lady Eliza. As she leaves her post to come to his home, she takes the motherless children under her wing and the attachment becomes mutual.

Can a man trying to work on his business, avoid the sparks that fly when Eliza is around?

Also – I loved the cover of this book as well. The image of Lady Eliza seemed to fit perfectly with the descriptions in the book, including that spark of whimsy that is woven in the novel.

This story is a delightful romp that will have you smiling in many places. It was a delightful read. Thank you Jan for an entertaining romance and thank you Bethany House for publishing it.

Over the Edge, The Kincaid Brides, Book 3 (Book Review)

I had previously read the first book in The Kincaid Brides series and somehow missed number two before having an opportunity from Bethany House to review Over the Edge, another great novel by Mary Connealy and book three in the series.

I worried for a fraction of a second that I might have a hard time with having missed book two but that was not the case. I didn’t feel like all history  of the previous stories were retold in this book but enough that there was a solid sense of the family that the Kindcaid brothers make up and the unusual way they seem to have in acquiring wives.

A western romance taking place in Colorado, this story centers on Seth, the “crazy” brother who grins even as a woman is ready to aim at him with her rifle. He takes in the information that he is married without doubting much that it could have happened, even if he cannot remember it! Seth is truly a crazy nut of a hero but adorable for all his brokenness and pain and this story follows his rocky past, regaining lost memories, winning the trust of his bride but also finding healing for that little boy deep inside who has been tortured for years.  Add in winter,  a new-found younger brother, a son he didn’t know he had and a man eager to kill to get his hand on some diamonds all taking place around some deep and dangerous caverns and you have a wild ride of a romance and several moments of smiles along the way.

This book left me in a happy place when I finished – and that’s a lovely place to be. Definitely a fun read with lively characters! Thank you Mary for providing a wonderful romanc

Short-Straw Bride (Book Review)

I had seen promotions for Short-Straw Bride on Facebook and was intrigued. I saw the trailer and it whetted my appetite, which is unusual.  I went to Amazon to put the book on my wish list.  Then the opportunity came up with Bethany House to review it and I leapt at the chance. When I found out I would be mailed a copy I waited impatiently for it to come. I hesitated to read other things because I was so eager to read this story.

Short-Straw Bride is a historical romance written by author Karen Witemeyer. Karen has a gift for making fictional characters come alive.  This story, set in Texas, introduces a young girl, Meredith Hayes with a childhood incident with Travis Archer that spurs  myriad  dreams of love. All grown up and on the verge of a possible marriage, Meridith hears of a plot against the Archers and in desperation flees to their ranch to warn them of the impending danger.  Trouble does come and Meredith’s reputation ends up in shreds. Four Archer men need to determine which one will wed her.  After drawing straws, Meredith finds herself wed to the man of her childhood dreams, Travis, but wonders if he will ever come to really love her as she loves him.

The book goes beyond this initial development in their relationship to follow the rocky course of love and misunderstandings and is filled with adventure, hope and yes, romance. All the characters are well-developed and believable. Headstrong, feisty Meredith struggles to comply with a man who is used to being entirely in charge of everyone and everything around him, supplanting God in the process. A woman on Archer land changes everything for this solitary band of brothers and all of it for the better.

I look forward to reading more from this author. I loved Short-Straw Bride and had to re-read the last chapter again so I could sigh once more at the beautifully written ending. It was a book I had a hard time putting down and I enjoyed every minute spent in its pages.  Beautifully done, Karen. Ms. Witemeyer and Bethany House get two thumbs up for not only creating in me an appetite to read this book and by not disappointing me when I finally did.