One of my favorite hobbies is reading. I don't just read books...I devour them. Seriously--my husband will buy me a book for my birthday, and I'll usually read it within 2-3 hours. A few years ago, I decided that I would read faith-based fiction & non-fiction and personal development books only, so on this page you'll find reviews for these kinds of books--both fiction and non-fiction. Whether you're looking for a fun read or something that will inspire you, I hope my reviews help you choose a book you'll love!Click here for recommendations for books for girls.
If you like historical fiction, you’ll want to read Sarah Ladd‘s first novel, The Heiress of Winterwood. Set in Darbury, England, in 1814, the main character is an heiress who must marry to get her inheritance. However, a promise she made to her best friend puts a glitch in her plans (and those of her scheming fiancee!). Amelia Barrett promised to always take care of Lucy, her friend’s daughter. However, it seems that the only way to keep her promise will be to convince the child’s father, sea captain Graham Sterling, to marry her.
From the cover description, I expected a novel much like the cowboy fiction I’ve grown to love–a marriage of convenience, two people fall in love, etc. “Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She’ll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.”
However, the book exceeded my expectations. Instead of a predictable plot, we find Amelia Barrett locked into a battle with her family and her fiancee, who is neither willing to take in the infant nor give up Amelia’s fortune. On the other hand, Captain Sterling doesn’t want to marry again, but he does need someone to care for his daughter while he is at sea. The ensuing commotion as each party works to get what he/she wants is action packed and full of twists and turns. I enjoyed the novel and look forward to more from Sarah Ladd!
**Disclaimer–I received a free e-copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.**
Have you ever wondered what you would do in an emergency–an apocalyptic emergency? Who would you trust? How would you protect your family?
In Afloat, Erin Healy (co-author of Kiss & Burn), explores how one woman, Danielle Clement, deals with a very strange and scary situation. A resident of a floating house designed by Vance Nolan, Danielle receives free luxury accommodations for herself and her son in exchange for helping Tony Dean sell the floating condos. The tradeoff is a false relationship with Tony.
Unfortunately, a bomb gone wrong and a series of weather abnormalities creates havoc in the lives of the residents of Building 12. As Danielle fights to keep her son safe, she must decide who to trust, ultimately making a decision to live her life selflessly, rather than selfishly.
Vance Nolan also has a lesson to learn in this novel–what true love really means. As both characters deal with issues of their pasts and as truth is revealed, they must discover Who is really keeping them afloat.
Afloat is another great read by Erin Healy. I love the way she incorporates a spiritual dimension (reminiscent of Frank Peretti) in a story that dives deep into the souls of the main [...] Continue Reading…
Recently widowed Annalisa Werner finds herself struggling to hold on to hope as she tries to keep her farm going. An immigrant from Germany, Annalisa hopes to secure a future for her daughter and the child she is expecting by becoming a landowner–something that was impossible in her home country. However, the loan on her farm is coming due, and, in addition to the loss of her husband, Annalisa discovers that her dearly departed has gambled away all of the money they had saved, leaving her and her children destitute.
As the plot of A Noble Groom, by Judy Hedlund, progresses, readers discover just how much Annalisa has lost–not just her husband, but her hope of love and kindness. Her husband was not a kind man, but all Annalisa’s heart desires is to be loved. Her father decides that Annalisa must have a new husband and writes to his brother in Germany to send someone suitable for Annalisa, and she agrees, praying that this husband will at least not beat her or gamble their profits away.
Before the promised groom arrives, however, another man, Carl Richards, arrives from Germany to help her keep up the farm until her relative shows up. [...] Continue Reading…
I’m so excited that Mary Connealy has another new series in the works. I just finished reading the first book in the series–Swept Away. I couldn’t put it down!
Ruthy MacNeil is a hard-working orphan who gets Swept Away when her wagon train is overtaken by a flash flood. When she was a little girl & her parents died, Ruthy had been “adopted” by neighbors who treated her as a servant and expected her to marry their creepy son. Understandably, Ruthy isn’t too heart-broken to be rid of her adopted “family.”
Luke (remember Seth Kincaid?–this is Callie’s brother) is on a mission of his own–to reclaim the ranch that was stolen from his family by a ruthless outlaw. When he stumbles upon a half-drowned Ruthy, he is honor bound to keep her safe, even though it means taking her along on his own mission.
Though neither Luke nor Ruthy is looking for romance, they find that they compliment each other. I love that the characters in Connealy’s books connect to each other–though I was a bit disappointed that the Kincaid brothers didn’t show up in this novel to help out their brother-in-law!
Connealy’s books usually have a similar theme & even the same [...] Continue Reading…
Dessa Caldwell is a girl with a purpose. Determined to carry on the legacy of her friend and mentor, she decides to seek a loan to fund a home that will serve as a refuge for prostitutes. She knows that many of these women were not given a choice, and Pierson House will give them just that.
Unfortunately, the man who holds her future funds in his hands, Henry Hawkins, does not see the value in her dream. And neither do many of the shady characters in Denver whose fortunes are made on just the sort of activity Dessa hopes to provide an escape from.
In All in Good Time, Maureen Lang tells the story of two unlikely friends–both hiding secrets they feel too terrible to bear, and yet both needing to be loved. While I find some parts of this story a bit unrealistic, I highly enjoyed it. The characters are well developed and the story is interesting. I especially like the epilogue, in which Lang answers some of the questions remaining for readers about the characters.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.
As women, one of our most common topics of conversation is weight. Most of us weigh too much, regardless of how great our friends think we look. We’re exercising, dieting, chastising ourselves. For most of us, this doesn’t go to the extremes of obesity or eating disorders, but the core dissatisfaction with our bodies remains.
In Invisible, Ginny Yttrup explores the issues women have with our bodies in a fictional story about Ellyn, an amazing chef with a love for butter and all things delicious. Everyone loves Ellyn…except Ellyn. In her head, a dialogue constantly runs telling her she’s too fat, not good enough, not disciplined enough, etc, etc. So, when a good looking doctor who’s been recently widowed attempts to explore a relationship with her, Ellyn isn’t buying it.
Thankfully for both of them, God brings amazing women into Ellyn’s life–a young woman named Twila who is recovering from a battle with anorexia and a beautiful woman named Sabrina who has her own dark secrets. All three woman have different circumstances, but the battle being waged internally sounds the same. Through their friendship, they gradually learn how to begin to accept themselves–and to allow others to love them too.
Invisible is [...] Continue Reading…
Is love at first sight possible? For Mallory Hale, a chance meeting with her very own Prince Charming, Daniel Everson proves that love at first sight is not only possible, but life-changing. An up and coming star in the political scene on Capitol Hill, Mallory has her life mapped out, and it certainly doesn’t include moving to a tiny town in Texas with a husband and his three year old. Yet, that’s where she finds herself after a whirlwind romance with her Mr. Right.
As Mallory struggles to adjust to life as a wife and mother, she also works to recapture her identity. Amidst battles with roaches and scorpions, she stumbles upon a mystery bigger than she could imagine that puts her political knowledge and connections to the test. As she seeks answers, she discovers that she is happy with who she has become and with her new life.
Firefly Island is a great story of faith. Lisa Wingate shows us through Mallory’s tale that, while life may take unexpected twists and turns, the Author of life has a purpose for it all. I really enjoyed this book. It’s characters are real and likeable, and the story is intriguing. A great [...] Continue Reading…
One of the things I’ve realized in my years of reading my Bible from start to finish every year is that, as Christians, we miss out on a lot of depth when we disregard the Old Testament and our Jewish roots. The truth is that Christianity and Judaism are not two separate religions–both began in the same place. The difference is that the Jewish community is still looking for the Messiah, while Christians have accepted Jesus, or Yeshua, as the promised one. In fact, my Judaism professor in college told us that Christianity could actually be considered a sect of Judaism. Interesting, right?
Anyway, because Christians as a whole have divorced ourselves from our Jewish roots, we miss out on a lot of the connections and significance of New Testament events. We’ve lost centuries of history and commentary on the Old Testament, which has much more relevance on the NT than most of us believe. In A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days, Jonathan Bernis, who is a Messianic Jew and a Rabbi, brings forward many of these connections.
This book is a fascinating look at the role the Jewish nation plays in the end times. I loved reading about the [...] Continue Reading…
Wishing on Willows is another great book from author Katie Ganshert. Set in the small town of Peaks, Iowa, Wishing on Willows is the story of Robin Price. Robin is a widow with a 3 year old son and a cafe that for her embodies the love she holds for her mother, who died when she was a teenager, and her husband, who died without knowing he had a child on the way. In Robin’s mind, her marriage and her husband were perfect…and, even though her cafe is bleeding money, she will never let go of it or her memories.
And then Ian McKay shows up, looking to redeem himself to his father and save the family business and hundreds of jobs. His family has been hired to revitalize Peaks by building condos in a dilapidated section of town. Unfortunately, Robin’s cafe is right in the middle of the planned development.
Both Ian and Robin are trying to fix their problems on their own. But, as the two go head to head fighting for what they believe is right, they have to decide whether to trust God and His plan for them or continue to try to do life on their [...] Continue Reading…
Have you ever opened a book, read the first sentence, and KNEW you were going to love it? That’s how I felt when I sat down to read The Tutor’s Daughter, by Julie Klassen. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will love this book! It has all of the great situational irony and character development I love about Austen, with modern language that makes it easy to read for those of you who don’t like the “old-fashioned” language in Austin’s books. :)
This historical romance is set in a castle on the Cornwall coast, where Emma Smallwood has accompanied her father. Mr. Smallwood, who generally runs a school for boys designed to prepare them for University, has fallen into a depression since his wife died. He has lost all desire to continue his school, and, in the process, has found himself with no students at all. Emma, in an effort to save the school and their finances, writes a letter to the father of two of their former students, Philip & Henry Weston, in the hopes of gaining his two younger sons as students. To her surprise, Mr. Weston invites her father to be the boys’ private tutor.
The [...] Continue Reading…