Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

Eden Larson thought that her baby was dead. Her hope is renewed when her husband returns to tell her that their daughter has been found.

Five years earlier Eden and Clay's daughter was stolen. When they met the kidnapper to give him the ransom, things went wrong and the car with Brianna supposedly inside crashed into a river. Eden blamed herself, and Clay buried himself in work. And their new marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.

Now Eden is in a new town, with a new faith in God, trying to rebuild her life. She is even in a relationship with a godly man named Kent who is planning on marrying her. However, then Clay appears and tells her that he never signed the divorce papers, so they are still married. He also tells her that he has been searching for Brianna the whole time, and he thinks he has found her in Bluebird, Texas, at a troubled youth ranch. All five of the little girls there are at the right age -but he is not sure which is Brianna.
In order to discover the truth, Eden and Clay become counselors at the Bluebird Ranch. They move into the bunkhouse and oversee the little girls while they try to find out more. Working as a team for the first time, they rediscover how much they love each other. However, danger is closing in, and it could threaten them all.

Lonestar Angel was a very good novel that was brimful of suspense, mystery, and love. I enjoyed the mystery of trying to discover which girl was the Larsons' daughter and who was behind the kidnapping. There were several twists I was not really expecting, and I thoroughly enjoyed how the novel ended. I really liked the characters of Eden and Clay. They were very genuine. The characters did rely on their own strength most of the time, but Eden did realize the sovereignty and providence of God and His work in their life near the end of the novel. The beginning of the novel was a little difficult to get into, but overall I liked how the novel was structured, and I enjoyed the book tremendously. I will definitely be picking up more of Colleen Coble's works.

I received this book from exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Sound Among the Trees

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner was a very interesting book. It definitely was not what I was expecting when I picked up the book.

Susannah was rumoured to be a Civil War spy for the north, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-great granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, disagrees that Susannah's ghost the haunts the mansion, but rather thinks that the house bears a grudge against its tragic past.

When Marielle Bishop marries into the family at moves into Holly Oak with her husband, she soon begins to believe that the house brings misfortune to all the women who live there. With Adelaide's superstitions and family roots at stake, Marielle must begin to sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.

A Sound Among the Trees was a very well written novel. The book is broken up into five parts: the Garden, the Parlor, the Studio, the Cellar, and Holly Oak. The first four parts all represent areas of Holly Oak which are supposedly the most haunted and hold the greatest sadness. The characters were very well done, and there are a couple surprising characters which enter the story near the middle which act as normative characters and reveal the truth about Holly Oaks, forgiveness, and moving on from the past. Between the Cellar and Holly Oak parts there is a significant portion of the book, about a fourth of it, called the letters. This is the section that is composed of Susannah's letters and it is here that the reader learns the truth about Susannah and Holly Oak, and the depth of true love and the importance of moving on and not living in mistakes. These are also the themes which Adelaide, Marielle, and Carson (Marielle's husband) have to learn in order to live truly peaceful lives.

I really enjoyed this book, and I liked how the author set up the book, used mood and tone, and how she designed the characters. There was very little mention of God or His work in a person obtaining true peace and repentance. However, the one real normative character of the novel did find God and develop a relationship with Him before she could move on and begin to explain the truth to her friends and family. I would have liked a little more mention of God, but I thought that overall the message of the book was portrayed fairly well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons

His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons was a truly heart wrenching tale of a choice between love and loyalty.

Amanda Belle is living during the Civil War, and it is not long before the war begins to change her very home life. In the spring of 1861 on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Amanda finds herself in love with Captain Kent Littlefield, despite her promise to her dying mother that she would never marry. However, when Texas secedes from the Union, her brother David joins the Confederate army while Kent stays with the Union troops.
Amanda finds her heart torn between her love for her brother and her love for Kent. When she turns to God for help with her decisions, she hears nothing. Why is God not listening to her? Does he even care what is going on? Amanda senses that her decision will be a turning point for her life. How can she trust God to bring her family through this war and pain? And will her heart and her faith remain intact?
I really enjoyed His Steadfast Love. The novel showed the depth of love and the heart wrenching choices that usually love in its wake. The book also revealed the love and faithfulness of God, even when you cannot see Him working. The characters were developed well and were portrayed in a way that showed the depth of their emotions and the decisions that they had to make. Overall, I thought His Steadfast Love was very well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.