Monday, March 21, 2016

Review of A Daring Sacrifice


From the back cover:

The only thing harder than fighting for what's right... is fighting their feelings for each other.

For three year, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little does anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle - the current Lord Wessex - believes was killed along with her father.

Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasant her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood - and challengers her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility - as well as win her heart.

My thoughts:

I read An Uncertain Choice, the first book in this series, last year and enjoyed it but it was a little on the sweetly corny side. I looked forward to reading A Daring Sacrifice, which features one of the knights from An Uncertain Choice. I suppose I was expecting something of a similar nature. However, I was pleasantly surprised.  I really enjoyed A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund!

I thought Juliana Wessex was a smart, realistic, albeit jaded character. She realizes that just because the nobility don't understand the hardship and persecution of peasant life, that not all of them are evil, and that she should stop judging them. Juliana realized that if she is going to fight battles, it needs to be done the right way, God's way. She's realistic and flawed, and I liked that.

I absolutely loved Collin Goodrich! He was a charming, witty, swoony knight. He wasn't so full of himself to believe that he was doing everything perfectly. Collin realized that he could do more to serve his people. He learned what sacrifice really meant.

The chemistry between Juliana and Collin was intense, and I liked how the author handled their physical attraction and the temptations they faced. The story ends in a similar fashion to An Uncertain Choice, and all I can say that they had better keep Collin safe! A Daring Sacrifice was a sweet love story with an accurate portrayal of what needs to be at the core of every relationship - sacrifice.

I received a copy of A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review of Katie in Waiting

From the back cover:

Is this it?

Katie McCoy has spent her whole life waiting for the right guy and he isn't coming.

After relocating to Carrington Springs, Missouri, Katie finds herself getting more and more frustrated. Can't God see that she's trying her best to meet someone? Doesn't He care that she's lonely? What is she doing that is making Him not bless her with this?

With two new friends, Eliza and Ashten, by her side, Katie starts to realize that maybe God has bigger plans for her life than she could have ever imagined.

My thoughts:

I love all of Erynn Mangum's books, and this was no exception! It's full of her trademark dialogue, loveable friends, and real emotion.

Katie moves from NYC to a sleepy little town in Missouri. All by herself. She struggles with God about being alone because she has always wanted to get married and have children. She becomes friends with two young women (who will each take a stab at being the main characters in the upcoming books), and suddenly there are not one, not two,  but three men who are showing romantic interest in her.

I will give away one spoiler. Katie doesn't end up with anyone by the end of the book. I hope in the future books that we see Katie's desire to fall in love and get married actually happen. Erynn Mangum, I'm rooting for Luke, by the way. :)

I honestly think this story has an important message that EVERYONE should read. At some point in our lives, every girl, young and old, has felt like this. We have all endured seasons of waiting. It's a wonderful message that we don't have to feel ashamed for not understanding God's plans or struggling with it. It's a loving reminder that despite our hurt, God is enough, wants to be enough. This is a heartfelt story, and you should make it a priority to read Katie in Waiting this year.

Katie in Waiting is the first book in the Carrington Springs Series. I can't wait for the next book which is coming summer of 2016. Once Upon Eliza features Katie's fun friend, Eliza. Yay!

God bless you guys! See you next time! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review of Mermaid Moon


From the back cover:

Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together

My thoughts:

When Mallory's father dies, her mission is to make sense of his dying words, "Find...mother." Unfortunately, she needs the help of her ex-beau, Kevin. I love it when characters have deep, emotional histories. It adds to the romantic drama. While there was certainly romantic tension between Mallory and Kevin, I didn't connect to them as much as I would have liked.

This story was certainly full of plot twists! It kept me guessing, and there were turns I didn't see coming. I've read some of Colleen Coble's stories and loved them, but I didn't think Mermaid Moon was up to her normal standards. I liked it, but it didn't grip me the way her previous novels did. Also, one of the earliest plot twists changed the mysterious tone of the story, which is what drew me into the story initially.

I must say, though, that this cover is gorgeous! I love the colors and the design. I feel like it really captured the setting of the story. I've been to the Maine coast before, and Colleen Coble did an excellent job describing its beauty.

While Mermaid Moon wasn't my favorite story by Colleen Coble, I still think it was an excellent read and would recommend it to my friends. This is the second book in the Sunset Cove Series, but you do not need to read the books in order to enjoy the story.

I received a copy of Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble published by Thomas Nelson from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you on March 10th. :)

V. Joy Palmer