Monday, May 22, 2017

Review of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander



From the Back Cover ~

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is homeWhen Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the things she's done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her--especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it's difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

For more information about Johnnie Alexander and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

What Hope Remembers is a sweet, lyrical story with surprising depth! Simply beautiful! This story is so full of spring and summer vibes, I can almost taste the cool breeze blowing through the luscious green grass and dainty willow trees. And I love the author's nods to Cary Grant and J. R. R. Tolkien! Also, if you're a fan of cowboys and horses, then this is another reason you will love What Hope Remembers.

Both Gabe and Amy need a fresh start. Amy has taken a lot of wrong turns on her journey, and after hitting her ultimate low, she gets a wake up call. She's desperate to change, but worried she can't - or won't - be able to change, and she thinks that maybe she doesn't deserve a happy ending. Gabe struggles with guilt, wishing he was able to do the past differently. He's no stranger to loss, rejection, or the stigma that accompanies his past. What Hope Remembers is a story of second chances and new beginnings as Gabe and Amy experience God's redemptive grace.

On a romantic note - because I love the romantic notes - I love, love, love stories of first love and/or unrequited love! It was so sweet seeing Gabe and Amy find their way back to each other in this sweet romance. *happy sigh*

Four Stars - A wonderful story! What Hope Remembers is the last book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow Series. Even though this is a separate story, it builds off of the first two books, Where She Belongs and When Love Arrives, and has an intricate backstory, so I highly recommend reading the series in order.

I received a copy of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber



Description ~

For fans of Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel--Earth's charming young playboy--the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.

For more information about Mary Weber and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Mind. Blown.

Everyone should stop what they are doing and preorder this book.

Right. Now.

If you've followed my excellent advice, or you're awesome and have already preordered this, then make sure that your schedule is free and clear. You will not want to set this book down. To be honest, I'm not sure it's physically possible to set it down.

This review is going to reveal a facet of my nerdy geekdom to you guys. I apologize in advance. ;)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is like The Hunger Games meets Ender's Game meets Firefly meets Falling Skies meets Stargate! But let me be clear, it has awesome aspects that remind me of these books and TV shows, but it is in no way a copy of them. This novel is unique and original and awesome sauce! My husband is tech savvy and a gamer, so I've picked up a lot of lingo. And I will admit that I have a thing for Nintendo and Metroid. I told you. Geekdom, my friends. Anyways. As soon as I read the premise, I was hooked.

Awesome premise aside, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow overflows with gripping writing and an intense message. Mary Weber attacks the issue of human trafficking in this novel, and I applaud her! This is also a novel about finding yourself. Sofi and Miguel are experiencing the evaporation of their beliefs - beliefs about everything they know. This proves to be terrifying, exhilarating, dangerous, and revitalizing for them. I can't wait to read the next installment!

Five Billion Stars!!! - The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is the first book in Mary Weber's new series, and yeah, read the series in order. The book ends with an extreme cliffhanger that makes me want to scream and rage into the wind. But that's just because I want to read more. NOW! ;) I also want to note for you guys that this is technically ABA (American Book Association), not CBA (Christian Book Association). This book is written for the general market, but it has soul and heart and a deep spiritual message that draws readers closer to Him. Amazing!!!

I received a copy of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

 
 
Description ~
 
After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.
 
For more information about Jen Turano and her books, check out her website here!
 
My Thoughts ~
 
You had me at wallflower. ; ) Who doesn't love a good wallflower story? I think many readers will be able to relate to Miss Permilia Griswold, Mr. Asher Rutherford, and company!
 
I loved that the first third of the story took place at the Vanderbilt ball! It was enchanting, thrilling, and beautifully detailed. Amusing and quirky characters make this a light read despite the murder attempts. ; ) The final scenes brought happy tears to my eyes. What a wonderful resolution!
 
This struck me as a novel of acceptance. Asher learned to accept help from Permilla as well as accepting himself for who he really was. Permilla had to come to terms that her plan was not necessarily God's plan for her life. The poignant truths of this novel are sure to touch many hearts!
 
 Four Stars - A funny and charming story! Behind the Scenes is the first book in Jen Turano's new Apart from the Crowd Series. The next book, Out of the Ordinary, will release on November 7th, 2017. I'm looking forward to Miss Gertrude Cadwalader and Mr. Harrison Sinclair's story!
 

I received a copy of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

 
 
Description ~
 
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant. But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .if she makes it in time.
 
The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

For more information about Melanie Dickerson and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours! So did I like The Noble Servant? Yes. Yes, I did. ; )

From the opening scene, you are tossed into the middle of the action when Magadalen gets a mysterious letter. Who? What? Why? Then Steffan is ambushed when you turn the page. The writing flowed, and the story sucked you into its lovely pages. And it was just so charming watching their love bloom while they tended the animals!

I enjoyed the character development and spiritual plot. Steffan entered our world a bit selfish and entitled. He's been afraid to fall in love ever since he witnessed his father's broken heart - and eventual death - after his mother's tragic death. His struggle made his eventual triumph even sweeter. Magadalen struggled to give all the situations beyond her control to God. She would turn it over to Him, and then she would struggle with her anger towards those who had wronged her. I found her attitude refreshingly realistic! We all struggle with this.

Five Stars - I think this is one (Just one you guys, but really, how do you pick between them?) of Melanie Dickerson's best fairy tale retellings! The Noble Servant ties into The Beautiful Pretender, and we get to see Lord Reinhart and Lady Avelina Thornbeck again.

I received a copy of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer