Thursday, April 26, 2012

Surrender Bay - 3.5 stars

Surrender Bay  by Denise Hunter

They were best friends growing up, but somehow, life has a way of splitting apart even the best of friends. Samantha's life hasn’t been easy, as a result of the behavior of her stepdad and other family members, she learned at a young age how to distrust others. The only person she ever could trust was Landon. 

Unfortunately, life happened. Samantha made some mistakes and knew they were unforgivable sins. Landon claims to love her; past, present and future. But can someone really promise that, if they don’t know what happened in the past or what the future holds?

I found this book hard to read. I realize this is probably just because Samantha is so much like me. I understand her need to run away from love, because something seems too good to be true. I wish this book would have talked more about the true Giver of love – our Savior Jesus Christ. The only reason we can understand love to the fullest is through Him. The only way we can be loved to the fullest is through Him. I have learned in my life, like her; when I want to run away out of fear, what I really need is to turn and embrace the love that is being offered so freely. 

Although this book had great characters and a captivating setting (who wouldn’t want to live there?), I wished it would have included more of the saving grace of Christ. No man can fulfill our heart’s desire for love the way that our Savior can. 

3.5 stars

Tender Warrior - 5 stars

Tender Warrior by Stu Weber

The dictionary defines tender as kind, merciful, or sympathetic. The word warrior is defined as a person who shows or has shown great vigor and courage. Putting these two together and you come up with a tender warrior. A man who is courageous and brave, yet kind and merciful. Can such a man be found? Certainly!

The book, Tender Warrior by Stu Weber, details what such a man might look like. In our culture today, it is easy for men to either play the role of the ‘tough guy’ – controlling those around him through fear and intimidation. There is also the ‘sensitive guy’ who is happy to sit back and just let a woman take control of him and everything else. Stu Weber describes a man who is somewhere in between. Someone who is strong enough to step up and lead, even when it is hard; but also who is tender enough to hear the heart of his wife and catch the tears of his children. 

The whole basis of the tender warrior concept is that men need to rely on their example of a tender warrior – Jesus Christ. He was a tender warrior in every way, in moments such as when his friend Lazarus died, we see moments of tenderness. In the moments such as when he cleared the temple, we see his warrior side. Men must rely on the strength and example of Christ, in order to become the man that their wives, children and friends want them to be. 

This book is a fantastic read; I highly recommend it for any man who is willing to read it and any woman who wants to understand her husband more. The book describes how a man can be a tender warrior with his wife, friends, family and situations in his life. 

5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Publishing Company in exchange for my honest review

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Trauma Plan - 4.5 stars

Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert

There was a time in my life when I wanted to be a chaplain. After time though, that dream dulled a little. Now, reading this book has sparked that desire again.

Chaplain Riley Hale is an assault victim, it is easy for her to let that define her, but she chooses to continue to live. Although fear temps her, she continues to pursue her dreams. Then Dr. Jack Travis walks into her life and brings about a truckload of new fears. He is rugged, handsome and dangerous. He is merciful, kind, and fighting battles that he doesn't seem to be winning.

I really enjoyed this book. It was obvious that this book was written by someone with medical experience. Riley Hale chooses to experience life joyfully, rather than be chained down by fear, doubt and shame. How much I can learn from her!

I love books where I am challenged. This book challenged me to be more of a woman of faith, to live victoriously, rather than live life in fear, anxiety and doubt.

4.5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sweetwater Gap - 4 stars

Sweetwater Gap by Denise Hunter

It is a rare thing to get second chances in life. Once decisions are made and actions are taken, it is hard to undo them. Josie Mitchell understands this better than most people. She made a decision years ago that forever changed her life. Now that it seems life is dealing her cards back to her, she willingly accepts them. When she meets Grady, the manager of her family’s orchard, she begins to second guess her decisions. There is one decision she still has time to change, but it would cost her the pride she has held on to for so many years.

I’ve never read anything by Denise Hunter before, but I am glad I did now. She is a great writer. Sweetwater Gap weaves a beautiful tale about second chances and the decision we make on a day to day basis. She learns about forgiving herself. Why is that such a harder thing to do sometimes, than forgiving other people? I love seeing her journey of forgiveness unfold. There were times I wanted to sit Josie down and smack some sense into her. Other times, I empathized with her foolish decisions.

I love how Denise Hunter wrote the characters, they are so rich and believable. I would have enjoyed even more development in the beginning of the story with the relationship between Josie and Grady. Also, I didn’t full understand the friendship that the sisters (Josie and Laurel) shared in the book.

I love the description the author uses, at times I felt as if I were walking in the orchard myself. This books was a delight to me!

4 stars

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Free Books!

Hey guys!

If you want to see my reviews (and vote for them if you like), you can go to the Blogging For Books Website.

It is a great website if you are a reader and are interested in getting free books for your opinions!

Not By Might - 2.5 stars

Not by Might by Al Lacey

From the cover and synopsis of this book, it seemed to be an interesting one. In some ways it was; but it many ways, I was wrong.

This book does a great job setting the scene for the story. I really enjoy reading about the Old West and Al Lacey did a fine job describing it. The beginning of this book was extremely hard to get into. I found it slow, dull and hard to follow. I might have abandoned this book, except for the commitment I made to review it.

It wasn’t until about the middle of the book that I actually started understanding what happening. I even started caring about the characters, although I found them to be a little weak in their depth of development. I wish Al Lacey would have developed the story of the characters even more.

It also was disappointing how quickly events happened. The main events in the story (especially the ending events) weren’t written with a lot of build up or detail and it seemed that they were over before they even began.

Overall, this story is a fine read if you are into the Old West. If you are looking for a deep novel with believable characters, this is probably not your cup of tea.

2.5 stars

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Publishing Company in exchange for my honest review