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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Where Hope Prevails

Waiting on Wednesday is  a weekly event hosted by The Breaking Spine to highlight the upcoming books we're dying to read.

This week, I'd like to point you in the direction of the Return to the Canadian West trilogy by Janette Oke and her daughter Laurel Oke Logan. The story is meant to be a companion (though it's really a totally different story, just similar characters/setting) to the Hallmark television series When Calls the Heart which was actually loosely based on Oke's book by the same name.

I love Janette Oke and I love this series! I think this will be the first one of her book that I will have been waiting on for publication. Many of the ones I read as a kid came out in the 80's--before I was born.

So this is very exciting.

The next book, Where Hope Prevails, will be released on August 2, 2016. Unless you get it on Kindle, which will be about a month sooner. I MAY JUST BE TEMPTED.

Inspiring Conclusion to a Popular Series with a TV tie-in

When Beth Thatcher returns to Coal Valley, she has much to be excited about. She anticipates Jarrick's proposal of marriage and perhaps a spring wedding. The mine is expanding, and there are more schoolchildren than ever.

But the town's rapid growth brings many challenges. A second teacher is assigned, and Beth finds herself going head-to-head with a very different philosophy of education--one that dismisses religion and rejects God. Fearful for the children who sit under the influence of Robert Harris Hughes, Beth struggles to know how to respond.

At the same time, Beth wonders if Jarrick is considering a position at her father's company simply for her sake. Should she admit her feelings on the matter? Or keep silent and allow Jarrick to make up his own mind?

  *To pre-order Where Hope Prevails by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan, please click here.
*Contains an Amazon Affiliates Link

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings 5 of 5 stars.


With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage? (Book blurb)

Newlywed Abigail Calhoun heads South into the wild Ozark mountains following the death of the jovial Confederate soldier, Jeremiah Calhoun, she married in a Union hospital. The young man generously offered Abigail a home and a family--something he couldn't possibly have known she needed so badly--in exchange for her nursing his sickly sister. Everything seems to be working out fine, until the real Captain Jeremiah Calhoun shows up and challenges her. 

The real captain is serious, controlling and steadfastly goal-oriented, and the temptingly beautiful woman claiming to be his widow is dead-set on getting in the way of the very goals that have carried him through the war, the most important being his determination to marry his sweetheart. Only Abigail isn't the only obstacle. His Laurel has become engaged to another man. What's more, his sister, Rachel, is angry and bitter, having let her resentment toward Jeremiah fester over the four years that he's been gone.

Abigail and Jeremiah must search for their own peace and happiness whilst protecting "their" farm from the bushwackers and thieves that seem to be the Ozarks' only remuneration from the war. Will Abigail be able to overcome the painful secrets of her past and find a home with this frustratingly hard-headed man and his family? Will Rachel be able to find forgiveness? Will Jeremiah win back his love? 

A Most Inconvenient Marriage is a brave, fast-paced story told from the perspectives of two strong, enigmatic characters that compliment each other beautifully. The romance is tension rich and uncertain, leaving the reader gasping and unsure what outcome to wish for the characters. The writing is full of depth and description that propels the tale along at a pleasant pace while keeping the reader immersed in the setting and time period from beginning to end.

I adore the way this novel is set up. It is told in third person with the point of view switching easily between Abigail and Jeremiah. The more dominant perspective in the beginning is Abigail's which maintains the mystery surrounding Jeremiah. When he steps onto the scene, we get more from his point of view which is hilariously different than Abigail's. There is a definite masculine feel to his parts that contrasts Abigail's more feminine perspective. Still, they compliment each other, making the ensuing romance delicious in a crossed wires sort of way. They're both willful and fully developed characters. I loved them both so much by the end!

The other character are just as interesting. They all have their own unique internal conflicts and goals. It adds to the beauty and richness of the novel as a whole. Jennings is obviously a masterful author when it comes to creating realistic characters and authentic settings. 

I would suggest this book for anyone who loves a good strong heroine or a nice historical romance. The elements of faith that are woven throughout the book are subtle but still meaningful for Christian readers.

*To order A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jenning from Amazon.com, please click here.

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*This post contains an Amazon Affiliates link.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Searching Heart by Janette Oke

A Searching Heart by Janette Oke 5 of 5 stars.
Book 2 of Prairie Legacy

The Yearning Deep Inside Her—to Go Somewhere, Discover Something, Be a Part of the World About Her in a New Way—Would Not Go Away. But What Would Satisfy It?

In The Tender Years, Virginia Simpson managed to struggle through adolescence and was looking forward to stepping into adulthood. When her graduation day arrives, she walks to the podium as the class valedictorian to the proud grins of her grandparents, Marty and Clark Davis. College beckoned, and life seemed to be well in hand.

She thought she would feel different. Like an adult, with an inner knowledge that she was on the edge of the nest, ready to try her own wings. And then circumstances began swirling around her, making her rethink her plans and reevaluate her priorities. (Book blurb)

Virginia Simpson is ready to graduate high school and join her boyfriend in the exciting world of college. The mature, capable young woman having just graduated as valedictorian, is ready to take her place in the world of adulthood. However, that very maturity keeps her at home—first one semester then another. 

While Virginia works to help her family during their time of need, she must also help her wayward friend Jenny when her carefree, life’s-a-party ways get her in trouble. Not only that, she must try to keep her boyfriend Jamison tethered when she fears he is straying from his faith and losing his way. 

Before Virginia is able to become her own woman, she must learn what is within her control and what is only within God’s. 

A Searching Heart is a gentle, thoughtful novel that perfectly captures the feelings of a young woman stuck between the situation of childhood and the wide-open world of adulthood—when she’s already crossed the threshold of womanhood in both mind and body. As usual, Janette Oke masterfully portrays the feminine heart in all of it’s depth and nuance. I was sucked in by Virginia’s story because I understood it. I recognized her longing for action and independence while being tied down to self-imposed responsibilities. I laughed and cried for her throughout her journey, and I rejoiced when the novel ended on an incredibly hopeful, sweet note. 

I would suggest this novel especially for any woman between the ages of 17-25, though I believe it would touch the hearts of both younger and older women as well. Janette Oke astounds me with how well she manages to capture what it means to be a woman (especially a Christian woman) in so many different chapters of life and situations. She certainly did not disappoint in A Searching Heart

*To order A Searching Heart from amazon.com, please click here.

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