Tag Archive | romance

All Summer Long by Melody Carlson



All Summer Long is Melody Carlson’s second novel in her Follow Your Heart series and is perfect for summertime reading.  Tia D’Amico has grown up in her family’s restaurant, but she dreams of being a professional chef in a big city.   When her aunt from San Francisco calls her and asks her to help turn a boat into a restaurant and be its chef, Tia packs up and leaves her family behind for a new adventure.  

In San Francisco, Tia reunites quickly with a guy she had met years before at sailing camp, and he just happens to be the captain of her aunt’s boat.  Tia and Leo end up working together much more than either had planned as they ready the boat for their first guests.  The struggle Tia goes through is one that is familiar to many of us, and she handles it with grace.  I felt like Leo’s character could have been portrayed as stronger and more decisive when it came to his love life, but his confusion was evident as this was the only area where he appeared weak.  

All Summer Long is not classified as Christian fiction and does not contain many religious references, but it is a good, clean romance and a wonderful read for teen girls or women of any age.  I received this novel for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  

Free Book: The Renovation by Terri Kraus

If you hurry over to David C. Cook eBooks, you can download The Renovation by Terri Kraus for free! I read this book a few months ago and just didn’t get around to posting a review. That was around the same time that I posted this review and read The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman. You would think I was on a home renovation kick, but it was just coincidence.

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This was a good read, especially if you are interested in older homes and/or restoration. This book is ultimately about forgiveness, and each chapter begins with a quote or proverb that shares a few words of wisdom on the topic. I found several of them very interesting and a couple enlightening. This book made me rethink whether or not I had forgiven someone for hurting me. The author was able to craft a story that touched on a deep subject while keeping the romance light and the characters real.

What have you got to lose? It’s a free eBook. Try it and let me know what you think.

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

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I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. While I love their blogger review program, I have been finding it difficult to post my review within a month of receiving the book, since our one-year-old twins demand so much of my attention. I knew I needed to start reading this book when I received another book to review about a week after receiving For Such a Time. One night, after putting all four kids to bed, I told myself I would try to read a chapter or two each night, even though all I wanted to do was fall into bed and sleep. Five hours later, I forced myself to close the book and go to sleep! My husband was out of town at the time, and I ended up reading well past midnight three out of four nights because there was never a lull in the action. (I wouldn’t even let myself pick up the book on the third night because I knew I needed some rest!)

For Such a Time is a retelling of the Biblical book of Esther set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. The main characters in the novel are remarkably similar to the actual characters in the book of Esther. Each chapter begins with a verse from the book of Esther, and the events that unfold in that chapter directly correlate to that verse. Even though you think you know how the story will end, For Such a Time is so suspenseful that it will keep you spellbound until the final chapter. The author has thoroughly researched the Holocaust, the time period, the languages, customs, etc. I was fascinated by this portrayal of life in a concentration camp, and I have continued to read all that I can find on Theresiendstadt, the Holocaust, and World War II. It has been awhile since a book has so intrigued me that I have willingly researched the subject matter myself. Kate Breslin has crafted realistic characters thrust into a horrific setting that was real.

I highly recommend For Such a Time, and I would like to know if you have as much trouble as I did in not trying to finish the book in one sitting!

Grave Consequences and Glittering Promises by Lisa T. Bergren

51bvl01h8+L512PSzWdiQLI believe I found Grave Consequences free or cheap in an email from Inspired Reads. You can sign up here to receive daily emails with discounted or free books for Kindle. Later I had the opportunity to download Glittering Promises free via Net Galley, which I was able to join because I have a book review blog, and I agreed to post an honest review of the book. I would have gladly paid for either of these books because I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of them. I only wish I would have read Glamorous Illusions first, since it is the first book in the series. However, the author does a splendid job of explaining the characters’ histories without boring us with a retelling of the previous book(s).

The Grand Tour Series is set in the early 1900’s, and follows the lives of a group of young socialites on a grand tour of Europe with their guides. One of the young women did not grow up wealthy and privileged as the others in the group did, and so she finds herself unaccustomed to being waited upon and treats people and life differently than the others. Both books are love stories, but the last book became an intriguing mystery with a twist. I don’t want to write too much and spoil the ending for anyone who wishes to read this series, but you won’t be sorry you read them. In fact, Glittering Promises kept me up late into the night with the suspense. I wasn’t expecting that, or I would not have begun reading it again right before bed!

If you enjoy reading historical fiction, this book is a treat. The reader can learn much about the behind-the-scenes lives of wealthy socialites and be exposed to much history and art through the experiences of the young group. The story is often told from the point of view of the main character in first person, but some chapters switch to a different character in third person. It is a very interesting way to tell a story.

These books are well-written, interesting, and Christ-centered. I would recommend them to anyone.

Little Book of Great Dates by Dr. Greg & Erin Smalley

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This little book packs 52 ideas for meaningful, fun-filled, creative date nights, which should allow a couple to relax, have fun together, and connect. The goal is to develop greater intimacy within your marriage in all areas–emotional, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, social, sexual, affectional, and intellectual. Many marriages revolve around work and kids. When the couple is left when an empty nest and then retirement, they have nothing in common. These dates encourage couples to build a strong, committed relationship in which they are best friends. There are 52 date ideas, so you could use one each week, and many could be completed at home after the kids are in bed. There are questions provided for each date to provide meaningful and thought-provoking conversation.

I have read through the 52 dates and plan to try most of them with my husband. We have just recently begun having a regular date night while our older two children are at a church function and his parents watch our nearly-nine month old twins. If we can make regular date nights work with four children and a limited budget (due in part to the four children!), I’m sure any couple can find a way to have at least one date night a month.

I received this book free from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review.

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

 
 Made to Last is a delightful romantic comedy that will keep you turning the pages to see what will happen next in Miranda Woodruff’s mixed-up life. The life she lives in front of the camera on her reality TV home improvement show isn’t exactly her current reality. Jilted shortly before her wedding three years ago, Miranda has abandoned her faith and lost hope in finding love. She feels like her show is all she has left, and when its future is in question, she takes drastic measures to ensure its survival. Unfortunately, a reporter looking for a juicy story begins to shadow her at the same time that she begins leading a double life. As he uncovers the truth, he must decide whether to use the story to further his career or keep Miranda’s secrets to save her career, reputation, and their friendship.

Full of plot twists and surprises, laughter and tears, Made to Last is entertaining, suspenseful, humorous, and hopeful. Through the characters’ struggles with faith and love, we are reminded that God offers redemption even in our biggest messes.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I forgot to mention that there were some integral characters in this book whose stories were not completed in the pages of this novel. I’m expecting and looking forward to a sequel.