Sunday, May 21, 2017

Count Me In by Mikal Dawn ~ Reviewed

Mikal Dawn
ebook: 217
Publisher: 121 Publishing House
Language: English


*This is a romantic comedy with a Christian worldview.

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym. Okay, sometimes the gym. Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop. She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she's out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books--and his heart. When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It's a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.


When I learned this sweet and hilarious story was set in Seattle, I knew I wanted to read it. The theme of a security-loving account with a safety bubble about a mile wide who’s thrown into one adventure of another intrigued me. Interesting enough, I learned of this novel’s upcoming release around the same time my adult daughter chose to go parasailing—and invited me to join her. My response was quick and certain—No! In other words, I could relate to poor Allegra, and I felt her anxiety intensely, as she soared high above the ground. The fact that she was tethered to a sigh-worthy hero, however, made the experience appear at least somewhat enjoyable.

This was a unique, light-hearted read that provided me with numerous chuckles at the end of rather busy and stressful days. I recommend this novel for those looking for a clean, God-honoring romance that celebrates forever love.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What Matters Most ~ Kellie Coates Gilbert ~ Reviewed

Kellie Coates Gilbert
Series: Texas Gold Collection
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Revell (July 5, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800722752

Back Cover

Just when she can't take it anymore, Leta finally catches a break. But when things seem too good to be true, they often are.

Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mother suffering from dementia. When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization--and that the research she's been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she's swiftly falling in love with.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart--and his future?

With emotional depth and keen insight into what drives us, Kellie Coates Gilbert offers a salient story that calls us to consider what we value most in this life.


What Matters Most is about a young woman named Leta Breckenridge. She had to quit school to take on several jobs to pay for her mother's care in an assisted living facility, as her mother suffers with dementia. While leaving one of her jobs run night, she literally runs into Nathan Emerson, whom later finds out is a senator who is running for the office of governor. There is an instant attraction between the two, but neither really thinks anything of it. In the meantime, Leta manages to land a dream job with a company doing research, which enables her to keep paying for her mother's care. Little does she realize the companies true motives in research – being paid by politicians to find “dirt” on opponents. Leta doesn't realize this at first, and in the meantime, keeps running into Nathan. As her relationship with Nathan develops, so does the intensity of her job, as she realizes she is being paid six figures a year to try to ruin Nathan's career. Her conscious wins out over the need for money and she quits her job, but she highly underestimates the people she's been working for and the actions that they will take.

I really liked Nathan's character in particular in this book. In this day and age, we are so sick of politics and the fact that we don't feel like we can trust any of them. But Nathan was on the up and up, and is someone I would vote for. His character stayed flawless through the whole story. And I liked that Leta stayed true to what she knew was right instead of getting sucked into a bad job just for the money.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ben-Hur by Carol Wallace ~ Reviewe

Editor Note: I get so many books, far more than I can read and review, or pass on to others to read and review for me. So every once in awhile, I borrow great reviews on great books. Today Nora St Laurent shares her review link with us. 

Ben Hur by Carol Wallace
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Mti edition (July 19, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496411064

Book Description: 

As one of the bestselling stories of all time, Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ has captivated and enthralled millions around the world―both in print and on the big screen. Now Lew’s great-great-granddaughter has taken the old-fashioned prose of this classic novel and breathed new life into it for today’s audience.

Coming to theaters in August 2016 as Ben-Hur, a major motion picture from MGM and Paramount studios, the story follows Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman whose childhood friend Messala betrays him. Accused of trying to murder the new Roman governor in Jerusalem, Judah is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path.

Rediscover the intrigue, romance, and tragedy in this thrilling adventure.

Also included: the inspiring story-behind-the-story of Lew Wallace―Indiana lawyer, author, and Civil War general.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Out of the Frying Pan by Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer ~ Reviewed

Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer
Paperback: 276
Publisher: Bling!
Language: English
USBN-10: 1938499131

When the chef of Sunset Paradise Retirement Village ends up dead, life for sisters Fern and Zula Hopkins is whipped into a froth. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety or the criminal's?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all...broken hearts--especially when the Hopkins sisters' niece KC arrives on the scene.

Before the snooping pair gain any headway with the case, it becomes crystal clear that the sisters uncover a mysterious secret that takes life from the frying pan and into the line of fire.


For whenever you need a literal laugh-out-loud moment …

Out of the Frying Pan by Michelle Griep and Kelly Klepfer is a delightful cozy mystery with a bit of a sweet romance. The characters presented, from zany Zula and her roommate, Focused Fern to the handsome cop and niece caught between them, provide a perfect balance of humor and pragmatism, blending for an intriguing plot line that keeps one guessing on numerous levels.

Zula, the dumpster diving, flower saving sister-in-law/aunt is the Lucy Ricardo of the 21st century. Oh, the messes she gets herself in, from sneaking “stolen,” discarded plastic foliage into rusted old cars to stumbling upon a dead body. It’s no wonder her sister-in-law Fern lives in a perpetual state of exasperation. Zula was by far my favorite character, though Fern made her all the more delightful.

This is a fun story that will make you laugh on even your most melancholy of days, and the mystery was so skillfully presented, it will keep even the most skilled sleuths guessing.

Highly recommended.   

Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery

Bonus Thoughts from Amazon Reviewers:

"A laugh out loud mystery with quirky, lovable characters who find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The storyline is believable and comes with descriptions of mouth-watering food, which makes for a delicious plot! A cohesive and fast-moving novel." 4-Stars! RT Book Reviews

“Out of the Frying Pan is a delicious cozy mystery! I loved the humor, the villain surprised me, and the main characters, Fern and Zula, are so richly drawn, they step off the pages and lead you on a merry chase. Masterfully written, it has all the elements of a great read: romance, murder, a dog, and humor. Did I mention the humor?” Ane Mulligan

“I loved this book. The authors, Michelle and Kelly, each writings from one of the two main character's viewpoint, developed a story line that was laugh out loud funny and entertaining. There are many minor characters, and together with the two main characters, they keep the pace moving quite fast while being believable. Scenes are well thought out and the setting, in a senior citizens neighborhood, gives a lot of twists and turns. There's murder, intrigue, romance, love, family relationships -- all written in a fun style. I can't wait for the next book in this series.” John Vonhof

“Who knew life in a seniors community could be so wild, suspenseful, and hilarious? Sisters-in-law Fern and Zula Hopkins are opposite in every way except age. How they keep from killing one another is a mystery, but that's not the mystery of this book. Their zany antics to solve the murder of the cook keeps detective Jared Flynn on his toes. Cozy mysteries are my favorite, and this one is good, with a twist ending that caught me by surprise (the best kind).”  Debra Butterfield

“Absolutely loved every word of Out of the Frying Pan! Having read other of Michelle Griep's work, I knew I was in store for a great story and Out of the Frying Pan did not disappoint. Quirky characters, high adventure. Can't ask for much more. I highly recommend this cozy little romance with a side of murder!” Deanne Davis

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Susan May Warren's Wild Montana Skies ~ Reviewed

Susan May Warren
Series: Montana Rescue (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 18, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800727436


Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town.

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?


Wild Montana Skies revolves around the home coming of Kacey Fairing and Ben King. They were high school sweethearts, who got pregnant at a young age and planned to get married. Due to unfortunate events and misunderstanding, Ben left right after the baby was born, and Kacey was left as a young, unwed mother. Kacey ended up joining the Air Force as a pilot and served several tours in Iraq, while Ben went on to Nashville to become a big Country Music Star. When horrible flash floods threaten their home town, they are both called home by Ben's dad, who runs PEAK Rescue in Glacier National Park. Not only does he hope to get their help, but he's hoping to reconnect them again.
I really enjoyed this book, and had a hard time putting it down. At first, I felt sorry for Kacey, thinking she'd been wronged by Ben, a young man scared of commitment. But then, after hearing Ben's side of the story, I felt bad for him as well, and the whole misunderstanding that kept them separated for so many years made me sad. But I enjoyed seeing how their faith was rekindled, as well as their love for each other. Great book, and I hope to be able to read the next one in the series.
Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beth Vogt's Crazy Little Thing Called Love ~ Reviewed

Beth K. Vogt
  • Series: Destination Wedding
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (June 30, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476789789

Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancĂ©. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?


Crazy Little Thing Called Love is part of The Destination Wedding Series. In this book, we follow Vanessa Hollister, a paramedic, and Logan Hollister, a professional storm chaser. They were high school sweethearts who married each other during their senior year of high school. However, after only two years of marriage, they divorced and never saw each other again. Here we are, eight years later, and Vanessa's current fiance, Ted, wants to plan a destination wedding in Destin, Florida, so he can attend a work conference at the same time. Vanessa has no desire to go back to the place where she met Logan, but Ted's practicality wins out. A freak accident on the beach brings her and Logan back together briefly. But when a major hurricane forces them to work together to save a life, they find that they fall back into their old patterns and habits, and struggle with the fact that they still care for each other.

This was a great book. I found myself getting upset with Vanessa for staying with a guy like Ted when there was a guy like Logan around that still loved her, even after all they had been through. You'll find yourself rooting for them from the moment they see each other again, despite the circumstances that tore them apart.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Rachelle Dekker's The Returning ~ Reviewed

Nora from The Book Club Network is sharing her review with us today. 

THE BOOK CLUB NETWORK BLOG : LIKE FUTURISTIC DYSTOPIAN FICTION? CHECK THIS OUT...: The Returning By Rachelle Dekker Published by Tyndale ISBN#978-1-4964-0229-5 405 pages ABOUT BOOK: Twenty years have passed ...