Monday, February 29, 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

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review of The Prophetess

From the back cover:

"At last, the mystical figure of Deborah comes to life! Jill Eileen Smith gives vivid voice to the women at the center of Israel's victory over Canaan. A tale of strength and faith that bears relevance even today. Not to be missed!"--Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author

Canaan has ravaged Israel. The people are in hiding. All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman.

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle--or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates. The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel. Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him.

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it. Can her family ever understand? Will her people believe God's calling on her life? And can the Canaanite menace be stopped?

With her trademark impeccable research and imaginative storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the story of Israel's most powerful woman in this intriguing and inspiring novel.
My thoughts:

Wow. Just Wow.

This book was incredible. I highly recommend The Prophetess by Jill Elieen Smith.

Please remember that Biblical fiction is just that - fiction. It's based on hours of laborious research, but it's just one person's point of view and insight on a story that we know so little about.

But again. Wow.

There were actually five points of view in this novel - Deborah, Lappidoth, Jael, Barak, and Talya who was Deborah's daughter in the story.  Jill Eileen Smith truly made Deborah come alive. I loved seeing Deborah as a wife and mother who questioned her destiny and struggled with her family. She is very relatable!

I loved how the author added Talya as Deborah's daughter. Talya's storyline was expertly crafted, and added so much to the story. By the end of the story, she had grown tremendously, but she wasn't perfect. She was still human, selfish, stubborn, and a dash impertinent. However, I can't imagine the story without her.

We read so much in the Bible about the Israelites oppression, but I think we gloss over the words. We don't think about the pain and agony. The questions during the persecutions. The cries for deliverance. The depth of the victory afterwards. There was so much heartache, triumph, love, uncertainty, and destiny in this novel. Despite being set in the days of old, this novel is very relevant today.

I was given a copy of The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith from Revell in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys again on March 1st! God bless you guys!

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review of With This Ring

From the back cover:

Sometimes Love is Found in the Most Unexpected Places!

Love isn't always a fairy tale, and it doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!

The Husband Maneuver
When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

Her Dearly UnintendedJosiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they'll save their reputations--but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

Runaway BrideHired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he's promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

Engaging the CompetitionHarrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they'll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison's glasses--without which he's nearly blind--she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.

My thoughts:

This was a great collection of Historical Romances! My only real compliant was that there wasn't more. I would have loved to see all of these as full length novels. More swoon worthy moments, more laughs, more fun. I think these short stories were the love stores for side characters in the authors' other novels, but someone not familiar with their stories could easily follow along and enjoy them.

The Husband Maneuver by Karen Witemeyer

I cannot tell a lie. This was my favorite story. Marietta was tons of fun, and Daniel Barrett was completely swoon worthy! And I adored the ending!

Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings

This story was a lot of fun. The heroine frustrated me a little bit, but you come to realize that her actions come out of a place of deep hurt. I loved that the couple had known each other for such a long time.

Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy

This was the only couple in the story who didn't know each other for years and years. This was a fast paced story filled with gun fights, being on the run, good friends, and romance.

Engaging the Competition by Melissa Jagears

I enjoyed the fun spin with the heroine being a tomboy and the hero being the book nerd. I like swoon worthy book nerds, too. This was loads of fun filled with unrequited love...until the end that is!

I received a copy of With This Ring a novella collection by authors Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Mary Connealy, and Melissa Jagears from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you on February 20th! :)

V. Joy Palmer