Friday, February 24, 2012

Rekindled - 5 stars

Rekindled by Tamera Alexander

I couldn't put this book down, the characters enchanted me, and I felt as if I was a part of this story.

Kathryn Jennings moved from all that was comfortable and familiar to live with her husband, Larson Jennings. Together, they started a ranch and a new way of life. Although Kathryn is in love with her husband, there is something missing. She has everything she could possibly want in him, or so she tells herself. Somehow, the pain of not being able to get inside her husband's heart is something that nags at her day after day.

During a snowstorm, her husband leaves without much explaination, other than a note. She trusts him to make his way back to her, but when he doesn't return for days, she begins to worry. Months pass, and Larson never comes home. Kathryn must deal with the reality that she must now run the ranch, deal with the loss of her husband and take care of the child that is growing inside her.

As she begins working for another rancher, she meets another man. This one reminds her so much of her late husband, yet he has scars that have disfigured him. Still, she is drawn to him and slowly finds herself falling for him.

This book was so beautifully written. The characters were so developed and deep, I enjoyed watching Larson transform through the power of Christ. The theme of this book is truly, "God works out all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

5 stars!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beyond the Shadows - 4 stars

Beyond the Shadows by Robin Lee Hatcher

Life is hard. God never said this life would be easy.

When Deborah's husband passes away early in their marriage, she is devastated. It seems that life has no purpose. She questions God and, to some extent, falls away from her faith.

Then, one day, her hero comes along. Without much thought, Deborah commits herself to Gideon in marriage. Everything seems blissful in the beginning, but soon she begins to realize that her husband is hiding a problem. No one wants to admit it, but her new husband is an alcoholic.

Through the book, we see Deborah come back to God through the trials and loneliness she experiences in her marriage. Gideon struggles with the demon of alcoholism and threatens to destroy the family that he and Deborah have built.

Beyond the Shadows was eye opening for me. I have not had a lot of experience with alcoholics. Deborah has to face the impact of her decisions (rushing into a marriage before dealing with her own grief) while trying to figure out how to help her husband.

4 stars

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Convenient Groom - 3 stars

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter

Can you imagine the pain of getting jilted at the altar?

 That is the situation Kate Lawrence finds herself in when an unlikely hero comes into the picture. Kate has her life mapped out, she is happy only when everything is planned and perfectly controlled. Lucas Wright might possibly be the exact opposite of her. As a counselor herself, Kate can't see how the marriage can possibly work out.

When they find themselves in a marriage of convenience, they have to learn how to live with their differences. And how to convince the rest of the world.

I found this book pleasing, yet shallow. The characters didn't really captivate me, neither did they change and mold with the progression in the book. Although the story is sweet, it wasn't a story that I will forever remember.

I will note that I was disappointed by the lack of spiritual themes in the book. I don't recall Christ or God even being mentioned. It is a clean book, but not a Christian one.

3 stars

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dawn's Prelude - 5 stars

Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson weaves stories with such depth and detail. I find myself disappointed each time I finish a book, I want more!

Lydia isn't very grieved about her husband's death, in a way, it is a relief. She has experienced more of life's hardships in her short marriage than many people experience in a lifetime. When she moves to Alaska to get away from the rest of her "family" she finds herself experiencing peace for one of the first times in her life. When news gets out that she is pregnant with her dead husband's child, the rest of the family come looking for her. It is very obvious they only want one thing; her inheritance, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

I loved this book. I found myself wrapped up in the story of Lydia and the past she is trying to escape. Tracie Peterson beautifully combines suspense, romance and God's grace. This book reminds me of the verse that "God works out all things for good, according to His purpose, to those who are called according to His will." Romans 8:28

5 stars!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Nightmare Academy - 5 stars

Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti

Every book I have read by Frank Peretti, has made me think. You know how some books are just 'mind candy
' you don't really have to think, you can just kick back and enjoy it. Kinda like reality T.V. shows. Well, if you are looking for a book like that, Peretti is not the author of choice.

I am not a fan of scary/horror movies or books. Although this book is titled Nightmare Academy, it isn't scary. At least not in the normal sense of the word. What is so scary about this book is the fact that it deals with human nature at it's worst. It reminds me a little of Lord of the Flies, but with a deeper message. Elijah and Elisha are two kids who go undercover to expose a secretive academy. In the process, they face temptations and experience evil human nature at it's worst.

What made me so reflective about this book, was how quickly people can go from good to awful - when truth is thrown out the window. It is SO important that we know truth and are deeply convinced of what we believe. If you are wishy washy and can't decide what you believe, then FIGURE IT OUT! Read this book, if you don't believe me on how important that is!

5 stars!