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Pelican Point

Lighthouse. That’s all I needed to know when I first picked up this book. Because I LOVE lighthouses.

 

The publisher’s blurb:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

What I thought of the book:

Oh no! I’ve jumped into a series on the last book again. But what a jump. This is the fourth novel in the Hope Harbour series, and while it can definitely be enjoyed on its own, like so many later books in any series it’s probably better to have read the previous stories first. Old characters tend to give a lot of the background in everything, and this book was no exception.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. Easy to pick up and read, whether I had a few minutes or a whole afternoon. This would be a great story to take to the beach or poolside this summer. The characters are pretty well-developed (though again, already being familiar with the background would probably help a lot), and the storylines flow.

Grab it – you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

 

 

**I was sent this copy from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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The Heart’s Appeal

The publisher’s blurb:

Strong-minded and independent Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. She witnesses a serious accident, and through her quick actions saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its money and its respectability, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought was impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to rise above his family’s stigma and set him on the path to wealth and recognition. But his well-laid plans are upended when the accident brings Julia into his life.

Michael soon discovers he’s met a woman every bit as stubborn and determined to make her mark on the world as he is. Sparks fly–but will they find common ground?

What I thought of the book:

In all honesty, I had mixed feelings about this book. The story itself was good. The characters were interesting and varied, and there was nothing glaringly incorrect for the time period. (I just hate when that happens!)

Julia Bernay is an orphan raised in an orphanage who has managed to overcome that societal flaw. She is determined to become a woman doctor, and join a mission in Africa, not only tending to the natives’ bodies but to their souls as well. Michael Stephenson is just as determined to regain the status of his family – mainly for his sister who places a great deal of importance on this. He is a barrister, but will soon see himself with a thriving practice of his own, especially if he is on the winning side of this current lawsuit.

The lawsuit just happens to be against the medical school Julia is set to attend next semester…

As I said, I really enjoyed the story, but what I found a bit grating was Julia’s near-constant espousing of her beliefs. (Kudos, though, that the author showed some others of her acquaintance ill at ease and at times a bit hostile towards this.) Maybe it’s because I wanted to step into the story myself and tell Julia to hush up a bit, that not everyone wants to listen to her claims of faith all the time. Show, don’t tell, Julia!

Still, that is part of Julia’s personality, so after a bit I found I couldn’t complain… too much.

I do recommend this book, though there is one before it which you might like to read first.

 

 

**I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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The Golden Vial

Not the conclusion again!

The publisher’s blurb:

Lady Shona, the newly crowned queen of the realm, is a leader without a throne. Pursued relentlessly by a dark force, her small contingent of loyal followers must make a difficult choice–flee or fight. Determined to save her land from nefarious threats, Lady Shona decides that she must seek out the enemy and attack them head on–a strategy that leads back to the region of the Three Valleys where Hyam was born.

Alas, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that is silently sweeping through the realm. Known as the wasting disease, the sickness has no cure. But there is one shred of hope for Lady Shona and the realm–and it comes in the most unlikely of forms. A young orphan, untested and untrained, could well mean the difference between victory and total defeat.

Thomas Locke concludes his epic trilogy with a gripping tale of courage that will inspire readers to persevere even when all seems lost.

What I thought of the book:

I was very ready for a story that takes place somewhere “other Continue reading “The Golden Vial”

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For Studies…

The publisher’s blurb:

When it comes to the realm of biblical studies, students of the Bible are often overwhelmed, both with the sheer volume of information and with all of the unfamiliar terms, concepts, and topics. Like any other field of study, the serious study of the Bible has developed a specialized vocabulary. The key terms in this important field are defined in The Compact Dictionary of Biblical Studies. It provides clear, concise, and accurate definitions to help students of the Bible make sense of the specialized language of biblical studies.

What I thought of this book:

I love this book. I know – who would have ever thought I would say I love a dictionary? But it’s true – this dictionary is a wonderful resource for the biblical scholar, the theology student, or just someone like me who would like a bit more information on something. Marduk, Marxist interpretation, Gilgamesh Epic, gloss. From “abomination of desolation” (the first entry) to “Zoroastrianism” (the last), there are so many clutches of knowledge in this little book! Honestly, just reading a bit through it – not solely to learn about something you’ve come across in the Bible, but just to be looking – will give you things to think about, and to widen your view of the world, both modern and ancient.

A reference book that should have a place on desks and in backpacks around the world.

 

 

**I was sent this copy from Baker Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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Phoebe’s Light

I really like Suzanne Woods Fisher. Just sayin’.

The publisher’s blurb:

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

What I thought of the book:

I absolutely loved the tandem storylines – one taking Continue reading “Phoebe’s Light”

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Warning: Sarcasm Ahead

Most of the books I review come from a few Christian publishing houses, for which I am grateful. I’ve discovered some great authors and read some enthralling stories thanks to their generosity in allowing bloggers with less than 100 followers (at the time) to sign on as reviewers. I also get to review books through Blogging For Books, which is part of Penguin Random House. Theirs is a decidedly wider, secular offering for blogging. This time, I couldn’t help it – I had to try this out:

The publisher’s blurb:

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your “holiness” as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

What I thought of the book:

First thing’s first: If you take your church community or yourself too seriously, this may not be the book for you. However, if you enjoy sarcasm, good satire, Continue reading “Warning: Sarcasm Ahead”

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Violin Strings…

 

The second installment of the Shadows Over England series by Roseanna M. White.

 

The publisher’s blurb:

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I–to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t–that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

What I thought of the book:

Awhile back, I had the pleasure of Continue reading “Violin Strings…”