Category Archives: Fiction

A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury

Title: A Thousand Tomorrows
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0364-9

“Whatever drove Cody Gunner to ride bulls for a living, Ali guessed it wasn’t far off from what drove her. A passion born of something intensely private,” Karen Kingsbury writes in her novel, A Thousand Tomorrows.

~ What ~
Originally published in 2005 and recently rereleased with a bonus chapter, this two-hundred-and-seventy-two-page book targets those who like a tragic story of finding love among anger, fear, and illness. With no profanity or graphic sexual scenes, the topics of hatred, illness, and death may be inappropriate for immature readers. While the beginning has a dedication and author’s note, the ending includes fifteen discussion questions, acknowledgments, and a list of books by the writer.

In this current-day story, young Ali Daniels is determined to be the best barrel racer in the country. Although she appears to be aloof to those around her, only nationally renowned bull rider Cody Gunner has uncovered her secret. Yet, Cody has issues of his own regarding why he insists on being the best in the rodeo circuit. As their friendship grows, each must deal with the sacrifices and challenges of love, both with each other and others.

~ Why ~
This is a good read if you love cowboys, horses, and the rodeo with fortitude, encouragement, and perseverance. I liked learning about bull riding and barrel racing. The underlying anger and fear both protagonists experienced were written with depth while being emotional and tender. The hardships of cystic fibrosis and the characteristics of Down syndrome were explained well without going into too much detail.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of illness and heartbreak may pass on this read. Others may not care for the hatred and angst of a young man who always wants life to be perfect, not realizing it never can be. Some may think that since the author is a Christian, the book would promote God and Jesus, but there is little reference when facing illness and death. The new addition of a bonus chapter was more of a recap that leads to the next book in the series.

~ Wish ~
With the book’s dedication and author’s note mentioning God Almighty and a Bible verse, I expected Jesus to be more of a focal point between the two protagonists, yet the chapters mentioned prayer minimally, never calling on Him for redemption, grace, or mercy. I felt the author missed a wonderful opportunity to share the eternal plan of salvation and God’s love several times.

~ Want ~
If you like an emotional cowboy romance that deals with acceptance and forgiveness, you might enjoy this read but do note it is love-based not faith-based.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WorthyPublishing #HachetteBookGroup #KarenKingsbury #AThousandTomorrows #CodyGunner

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3U6r2Wj

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Fiction

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman

Title: Honor’s Refuge
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4022-1

“He just wanted to quit fighting, to quit resenting how the failures in his life, the decisions he’d made, and the loss of his leg made him feel,” Phil realizes in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, Honor’s Refuge.

~ What ~
The third book in the Love & Honor series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in romantic suspense involving moving on in life despite its challenges and heartbreaks. With no profanity, topics of drug addiction, physical abuse, drug cartels, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes reviews, a list of the author’s written books, and a dedication while the ending has a dozen discussion questions, food recipes, a biography, and advertisements.

In this tale, it has been two years since Phil Osbourne lost his leg in a Special Forces mission, and he still has been having trouble accepting his new identity as a man. But Melissa Braxton, a woman who runs a domestic abuse shelter, has had him in her sights, begging for his attention and love. When Phil and his friends find Melissa’s missing sister is the wife of a Columbian cartel teniente, the couple works together to keep her only family safe, even during a hurricane.

~ Why ~
This is a quick read that follows one of the military members in the previous books in the series. It is detailed and descriptive regarding what mainly women go through when they are abused in the home and how they fear retaliation when they have escaped. I like that Phil’s insecurities and inadequacies were realistic and honest.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not care for the prayers to God or Biblical references. Others who are not interested in stories about domestic abuse may avoid the book. While I appreciated Melissa’s often confrontational manner, I found her a bit pushy, demanding, and always right.

~ Wish ~
Although the protagonists included God in their daily lives, it would be encouraging if the read added the plan of eternal salvation.

~ Want ~
If you enjoyed the other two books in the Love & Honor series, this one focuses on one couple’s love during hardship and offers grace and redemption in dealing with feeling unworthy and unimportant.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Honor’sRefuge #HnonorsRefuge #Love&HonorSeries #LoveandHonorSeries #Revell #HalleeBridgeman #ChristianRomanceMilitarySuspense

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3TWbF2O

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Sundown by Susan May Warren

Title: Sundown
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3983-6

“We’re both driven by our hope to matter. To save lives,” Tae is told in Susan May Warren’s novel, Sundown.

~ What ~
The third and final book in the Sky King Ranch series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like a Christian contemporary romance about saving the world and finding true love. Containing no profanity, topics of insecurity, illness, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes acknowledgments, a teaser from another book by the writer, the author’s biography, and advertisements.

Continuing the tale of three brothers who are dealing and healing from their pasts, this one has Colt, a former Delta operative, keeping a careful eye on the beautiful Tae, who seems to have dark secrets that include why Russian thugs seem to be trailing her. When the truth is discovered, both of them take it to task to save the world while they learn to rely on God and each other.

~ Why ~
This story ties all three brothers and their significant others together in a group effort to keep America safe. I liked the humanity of some of the characters and how Colt dealt with feeling unworthy while Tae insisted on going it alone to initially deal with her problems. The hope and joy one finds when trusting in God and each other were well orchestrated.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like a tale that includes the possibility of a worldwide catastrophe. Others may tire of the machoness and bravado interspersed with gawking at the opposite sex and descriptive kissing. While I loved the first book in the series and liked the second one, this one was more frustrating in some of its scenes being unfeasible, especially due to medical reasons.

~ Wish ~
Having the protagonists calling out to God for guidance and protection, the read missed the opportunity to explain that Jesus is our one and only savior, who died and shed His blood on the cross for our sins and rose the third day. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you have read the other two books in the series, this one ties up the loose ends as the Sky Ranch family deals with hope, redemption, forgiveness, and putting the past behind them.

Thanks to Revell and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Revell #SusanMayWarren #Sundown #SkyKingRanch

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3Wj5w2i

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

The World’s Longest Sock by Juliann Law

Title: The World’s Longest Sock
Author & Illustrator: Juliann Law
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0258-1

“Ah, yes, the World’s Longest Sock. This is quite the remarkable story about two people who simply would not give up,” Juliann Law begins in her children’s book, The World’s Longest Sock.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a matching jacket cover targets children ages four to seven years old. With no scary scenes, it is about two adults competing to knit the longest sock in the world. Colorful illustrations grace the pages with a decent font size.

In this tale, Nana Nina in Chile has recently set a record for the world’s longest sock. When Lumberman Chuck learns about the competition, he determinedly wins, happy to have friends and be famous. Of course, Nina is upset she is no longer the record holder, so the two become fiercely competitive, even with their friends having to choose sides. After both are physically exhausted, a smart decision is made to declare the winners.

~Why ~
This is a quick story that shows how ardently two people want to win yet together make the perfect pair. I liked that both tried and tried to succeed and did not give up. Competition is good to a point if monitored carefully.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not competitive may not like a book that promotes trying to obsessively win a contest. The book mentions being lonely and zombies, which some young children may not understand. Beginner readers may have issues with the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I do not care for books that use the slang word, heck, especially when they are for young readers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that promotes striving to be the best, this is a nice read.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #TheWorldsLongestSock #JuliannLaw

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3TmKQo6

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

Wreck the Halls by Melinda Rathjen

Title: Wreck the Halls
Author: Melinda Rathjen
Illustrator: Gareth Williams
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0226-0

“To break it all down, what makes Christmas a gift is the love that we share — it gives us a lift!” Melinda Rathjen rhymes at the end of her children’s book, Wreck the Halls.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it focuses on a wrecking truck and how it helps make Christmas special. Simplistic, colorful designs grace the pages with a decent font size.

In this tale showing different vehicles helping to decorate Christmas, the wrecking truck is used to load up trees, set up festive displays, help wrap presents, tow cookies for Santa, pull a large weight of gifts, and deck the halls. Other vehicles such as cranes, police cars, trains, semis, race cars, snowplows, taxis, boats, and buses are mentioned and depicted.

~Why ~
This is a nice book to read to a young child who knows the difference between different types of vehicles and likes wrecking trucks and the holiday. The colors are bright and cheery, which could be used as a teaching tool for young ones. There is enough happening in the illustrations to keep a youngster engaged.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about Christmas or vehicles may skip this read. Realists may feel that some of the statements are not true so will have to explain to an educated child that a wrecker cannot sing Christmas carols or wrap presents.

~ Wish ~
I had trouble with the concept of this book as it may be cute in its rhyming and pictures of a specific type of truck, but it didn’t correlate well with Christmas and Jesus’s birth.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about trucks to give to a toddler for a Christmas present, this one may work well, but it doesn’t wreck any holiday halls.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #WrecktheHalls #MelindaRathjen #GarethWilliams

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3CY7fkK

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

Solomon’s Porch by Janet Morris Grimes

Title: Solomon’s Porch
Author: Janet Morris Grimes
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-649493392

“Drop by anytime. I’m usually here on my porch. My heart is always ready to listen,” Solly tells Harper in Janet Morris Grimes debut novel, Solomon’s Porch.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-ten-page paperback targets those who enjoy an emotional read about resolving broken relationships through love and redemption. Containing no profanity, its topics of unexpected pregnancies, injuries, illnesses, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. With endorsements, dedication, and acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, the ending has the author’s biography.

In this tale set in the rundown military town of Ginger Ridge, Georgia, old man Solomon has spent decades keeping his demons at bay by compassionately trying to help everyone he meets to be the best that they can be. When he becomes the victim of a hit-and-run accident and is in a coma where he is identified as Grandpa Doe, those around him rally together to find out who he is, not realizing how much of an influence he had on their lives.

~Why ~
Since we all deal with hurt and pain throughout life, this novel is a loving reminder of how we are running out of time fixing strained relationships, and we should reach out and help those around us. I loved how the author created strong bonds between her characters as the old man was lying listless, ready to die. The single-mom case worker, burnt-out addicted policeman, divorced interim pastor, and illegal alien father were only a few of the many people who dealt with misery while learning about passion.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like a book that promotes Bible verses and praying. Some may want to avoid a story about life’s complications with others as it may touch home too closely. Others may be overwhelmed by the plethora of characters.

~ Wish ~
With so many different characters involved, it would be helpful to include a list of them at the beginning. I wish the plan of eternal salvation were added to the story and that there were discussion questions at the end. A few punctuation issues could be resolved.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a tender, heart-wrenching read of how a sweet but tormented man impacted the lives of many in a small town, this one will be savored, not wanting it to end.

Thanks to CIPA, Elk Lake Publishing, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#CIPA #ChristianIndiePublishersAssociation #ElkLakePublishing #SolomonsPorch #JanetMorrisGrimes

This book is available at https://amzn.to/3MaHDFj

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Title: Body of Evidence
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3619-4

“But he wasn’t a quitter–and from what he knew about Grace, she wasn’t, either. Between the two of them, they’d solve this case and bring BK to justice,” Nate concludes in Irene Hannon’s novel, Body of Evidence.

~ What ~
The third book in the Triple Threat series, this three-hundred-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in a romantic suspense about finding a killer who is targeting the elderly. With slang words such as dang, drat, and heck, the topics of harassment, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. While the beginning has praises and a list of other books written by the author, the ending includes an excerpt for another book series, the author’s note and biography, and advertisements.

In this ongoing current-day story about three sisters, thirty-year-old forensic pathologist Grace Reilly has been living in a rural Missouri town where elderly people are dying of natural causes, yet she believes there is a pattern developing with their deaths. When Sheriff Nate Cox gets involved, the two have to work around the clock to find the killer while they flirt through their budding relationship.

~ Why ~
If you like a series about siblings with a deep bond who are community-driven, this one is about the youngest sister and her attraction to Sheriff Nate Cox as they piece together to find out why so many older residents in their county are dying. I liked the medical details of the autopsies, although some were gross and graphic.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the importance of prayer. Others may not like the references to body parts doing an autopsy or small-town living where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

~ Wish ~
Although the tale briefly mentioned praying to God, it lacked relying on Christ during day-to-day challenges and did not have the eternal plan of salvation. I figured out who the killer was about halfway into the read so found the romance became more of the focal point. I prefer no slang in Christian reads.

~ Want ~
If you like a romantic suspense about a couple finding love between searching for a killer of the elderly and doing autopsies at the morgue, this may interest you, but I found it lackluster on the suspense and heavy on the romance.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book to read and review.

#Revell #BodyofEvidence #IreneHannon #TripleThreatSeries

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3C4b2wj

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Word of Honor

Title: Word of Honor
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4021-4

“Right now, I’m mission focused. I have other things to deal with than a December morning ten years ago,” Bill firmly tells Lynda in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, Word of Honor.

~ What ~
The second book in the Love & Honor series, this three-hundred-and-eighty-four-page paperback targets those interested in romantic suspense involving the military. With no profanity, topics of physical abuse, terrorism, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes reviews, a list of the author’s written books, and a glossary of military terms and acronyms while the ending has a dozen discussion questions, food recipes, a teaser of the finale in the series, a biography, and advertisements.

In this active read, it has been ten years since FBI Special Agent Lynda Culter and Army Weapons Specialist Bill Sanders broke off their college romance. But when Lynda is taken captive and her partner is killed, she is the only one who can identify the murderer. With Bill and his team trying to capture those behind worldwide oil pipe bombings, both he and Lynda have to put their emotional past behind them to find the mastermind behind the terrorist group involved in the vicious attacks.

~ Why ~
This is an engaging read if you like military ops, working as a team, and learning to understand the past when it comes to relationships. I liked the references to praying, even when Bill and Lynda had to pretend to be a married couple or when deciding what to do next about the mission and their broken relationship. The details of the U.S. military tactical operations were realistic.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not care for the prayers to God or Biblical references. Others who are not interested in military stories about the struggles in personal relationships may avoid the book. While there is an unexpected twist in the plot, some of the scenarios involving sub-characters seem unbelievable.

~ Wish ~
Although I appreciated the many times the protagonists looked to God first and foremost, I would have liked to have added the plan of eternal salvation.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a military read of rekindling a past romance while tracking down the head of a terrorist group, this will keep you engaged.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WordofHonor #Love&HonorSeries #LoveandHonorSeries #Revell #HalleeBridgeman #ChristianRomanceMilitarySuspense

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3Rpslxp

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Review: Dangerous Beauty

Title: Dangerous Beauty
Author: Melissa Koslin
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4017-7

“She refused to think of herself like that, as a victim. She was a fighter. Even if she lost sometimes, needed help sometimes, she would never stop fighting,” determines Liliana in Melissa Koslin’s novel, Dangerous Beauty.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like romantic suspense involving escaping human trafficking. Without any profanity, topics of abduction, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a sneak peek at another novel by the author, her biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day tale, gorgeous Liliana Vera has been kidnapped from her murdered family and is to be sold when she escapes with the help of Meric Toledan, a rich single guy who shies away from the public and press. To remain in the States under his protection, the woman agrees to marry one of America’s most wanted bachelors but finds he has his own agenda and reasons for sheltering her. As they uncover who wants to desperately own her, both protagonists must deal with their pasts to know if they can become more than friends.

~ Why ~
Although the main theme of this book is heartbreaking as it relates to women being abducted and sold, the tale shows how Liliana avoids those who want to recapture her while she comes to the aid of Meric and others who need her help. The tragedy of trafficking is well documented, explaining how one can heal and grow after experiencing it.

~ Why Not ~
Those who prefer not to read books about the kidnapping and abuse of women may want to avoid this one, but it does not go into too much physical detail about what really happens. Others who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand how trusting in Him is pertinent to surviving life. I found several of the scenarios unrealistic and the two main characters rather disconnected, even though they both were determined and stubborn.

~ Wish
Writing about human trafficking is a hard topic, especially when there is a potential for romance between the hero and heroine; I wish the way the story was presented did not remind me in a strange way of Pretty Woman with a twist. With the few references to God and prayer, it would have been thoughtful to include the plan of eternal salvation. I prefer all pronouns of the Almighty capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like reading a Cinderella story where a beautiful woman is taken advantage of and fights back plus a wealthy man wants to protect her and others due to his past, this may be a good book for you, but it often did not seem like a feasible storyline to me.

Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Revell #DangeousBeauty #MelissaKoslin #FightingBackHumanTrafficking

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3xhwOLj

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Review: Honor Bound

Title: Honor Bound
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4020-7

“My knife saves lives. Your knives take lives,” Cynthia tells Rick in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, Honor Bound.

~ What ~
The first book in the Love & Honor series, this three-hundred-and-eighty-four-page paperback targets those interested in romantic suspense involving the military. With no profanity, topics of physical abuse, war, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes reviews, a list of the author’s written books, a dedication, and a glossary of military terms and acronyms while the ending has a dozen discussion questions, food recipes, part of another novel by the writer, a biography, and advertisements.

In this fast-paced read, Dr. Cynthia Myers has found solace working in the African jungle, away from the pain and shame of her past in America. When a warlord’s son dies under her care, she is forced to go with U.S. Army Captain Rick Norton and his team of Green Berets out of the jungle and back to civilization. While the thirty-two-year-old gets involved in the military missions and the team’s camaraderie, she has to decide what is the most important to her.

~ Why ~
This is an exciting read if you like military ops, loyalty, and engaging team players as they save and protect others. The romance between two who are bound to their oaths is well orchestrated. I appreciate that both protagonists rely on and pray to God. I like the details in explaining the U.S. military tactical operations.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not care for the prayers to God or Biblical references. Others who are not interested in military stories about the struggles in relationships may avoid the book. While three-quarters of the book is action-packed, the ending is predictable and quick.

~ Wish ~
It would have been thoughtful to include the simple plan of eternal salvation.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a military read with a sprinkle of romance involving being honor bound, this first one in the series book will make you want more.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#HonorBound #Love&HonorSeries #LoveandHonorSeries #Revell #HalleeBridgeman #ChristianRomanceMilitarySuspense

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3BvBGPt

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction