Posts in category Christian Fiction

Review: A December Bride (A Year of Weddings Novella) by Denise Hunter

http://romancewithabook.com/2014/04/review-december-bride-year-of-weddings.html

Title:  A December Bride (Novella)
Author:  Denise Hunter
Publisher: Zondervan
Pages:  99
Format: ebook copy
Authors Website: www.DeniseHunterBooks.com

 

Book Description 

What started as a whim turned into an accidental, and very public engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season for the sake of her career . . .  and his heart? Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy – the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency – a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client.For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

 

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My Thoughts

I didn’t know when I chose to read this book that it was part of a series, which is called ‘A Year of Weddings’.  The series includes 12 books, one for each month of the year and all are written by different authors.  From what I understand you do not have to read the series in order, because they are not connected to each other.  A December Bride is the first one that I have read, but I do plan on purchasing and reading the others in the series.

A December Bride was a pleasure to read.  Since it is a novella with on 99 pages, it was a fast read also.  The story takes place in Chapel Springs, and the 2 main characters are Layla and Seth.  Layla stages homes for a living, and she is wanting to start her on business someday.  She has just recently had her fiance Jack taken from her by her cousin, and she blames it all on Seth for introducing the two to each other. 

Seth Murphy owns a hardware store and his family is well known in the community.  He also happens to be Layla’s ex-fiances best friend. 

One night while Layla is working, Seth comes in and orders a pizza.  It is the night of Jack’s wedding to her cousin and her date baled on her and she is really stressed because she doesn’t want to go alone.  One thing leads to another and Layla ends up going to the wedding with Seth.

While at the wedding reception the bride is being snobby to Layla and Seth blurts out that he and Layla are engaged.  He realizes what he has done, and can’t take it back.  He promises Layla that he will fix it, and tell everyone the truth. 

Later that night Layla gets a call from ‘big to do’ client that he would like to meet with her.  The client wouldn’t give her the time of day before, so she decides to use her and Seth’s ‘fake’ engagement to her advantage.

I will stop there so I don’t give anymore of the story away, but what follows was very satisfying and pleasure to read.  This novella is listed as a christian romance, but religion is not pushed on you.  There are a few mentions of God, but nothing more.  There is also a few kisses and light innuendos in the book.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance that is fun, clean and a fast read.  I look forward to reading the other novellas in this series.
 
 
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Happy Reading!

 

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*I was given a free ebook copy of this book on behalf of the publisher by BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and views in this review are my own.  This post does include an affiliate link.  You can read my Affiliate & Disclosure Policy here.

 

Book Review: Not Guilty by Teresa Pollard & Candi Pullen

Not Guilty by Teresa Pollard & Candi Pullen

It’s 1974 and Carrie Shepard, daughter of the minister at Windspree Community Church, is a college senior with plans to be a missionary in Africa.  Raped by a masked assailant, Carrie is so traumatized she tells no one until she realizes she’s pregnant.  Refusing to have an abortion, she must find the courage to face her family, her fiance, her friends and a gossiping, angry congregation which may include her attacker.

Can Carrie find a way to cope with the secrets, silence, and shame that threaten to tear apart her family and church?

My Thoughts
Carrie Shepherd is young and full of life and dreams for her future.  Carrie and her soon to be husband, Joe, are going to be missionaries in Africa after they graduate college.  Her father is a minister at Windspree Community Church, and her mother is a very loving and strong woman.

One afternoon Carrie is walking up the trail through the woods that leads to her house, when she is grabbed from behind, and rapped.  Through the ordeal Carrie loses consciousness and when she comes to her attacker is gone.  She gathers her belongings and runs the rest of the way to her house.  She is devastated, and she tells no one, not even her parents who notice that something is terribly wrong.

Carries mother tries to talk to her and find out what is wrong, but her father does not push the issue.  This I didn’t understand (mothers are not perfect), but if I noticed that my child’s behavior has changed drastically from one day to the other, I am going to question it, until I am satisfied with the answer.  Especially if on that same day you notice physical signs in their appearance and the way they act.

When Carrie finds out she is pregnant, and she finally tells her mother, the reaction from her mother seems unreal to me.  Carrie tells her mother she is pregnant and her mother says “I know honey, you were rapped weren’t you.  That day when you said you fell and skinned your knees.  Let’s go talk to your father.”

There were some characters in the book that thought Carrie should have an abortion, and she told them she would not!  Carrie was judged and talked about by Christians in her congregation, which is a good lesson to all of us.  We are all imperfect and sometimes gossip and talk about people and their lives without knowing the whole story or the facts.  Gossiping is not a good thing, especially when it is not true.  There is a lesson to be learned here in the book.

All in all I felt there were too many characters to keep up with, and at times I did want to put the book down and not finish it.  I felt that parts of the book and the dialog was not true to life.

The subject matter of ‘Not Guilty’ is a very important one.  Rape.  It happens everyday and all around us.  I have not been raped or had anyone close to me that has been raped, so I can only imagine.  With all my thoughts about the book and the way it read, I still feel this book would be a good book to use in a group setting.

There is a list of characters in the back of the book for those that want to know what happened to the characters after the book ended.  There is also discussion questions for each chapter in the back of the book for book clubs or church groups.

Happy Reading!

*I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher through Bookcrash.com  in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions I have expressed in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa Samson

The Sky Beneath My Feet by Lisa SamsonTitle:  The Sky Beneath My FeetAuthor:  Lisa SamsonPublisher & Date:  Thomas Nelson (March 5, 2013)
Pages: 
320Series:  NoFormat:  Paperback

Being married to a saint isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

Beth’s husband won’t be joining the family on vacation at the beach this year. He’s not even joining them in the house. Instead, Rick has holed up alone in the backyard shed. Nobody knows exactly what he’s up to. Maybe he’s immersing himself in prayer. Maybe he’s lost his mind. Maybe he’s even the modern-day prophet or the saint the neighborhood artist imagines him to be. But while “St. Rick” waits for an epiphany, Beth will have to figure out what to do with herself and their teenage sons, possibly for the rest of her life.

What happens next is both uproarious and bittersweet: a peace march turns violent, her son is caught with drugs, and she embarks on an ambitious road trip that turns into something nearly surreal. Will Beth rediscover the idealistic woman she used to be, once upon a time? Can her marriage survive Rick’s backyard vigil? Will anything ever be the same? And should it be?

Truthful, comic, heartbreaking, and magical in the very best sense of the word, The Sky Beneath My Feet gently tears the veil off our egos and expectations to reveal the throbbing, redemptive, and achingly beautiful life beyond and within us.

My Review (3 Hearts)

First I have to say that I love the cover of this book!  That is what first caught my attention.  It may sound weird but when I am reading a book I often look back at the cover.  If the book has a bad cover I sometimes don’t even look inside.  I know I may be missing a lot of good books that way.  Ok, on to my review.  This is the first book I have read by Lisa Samson.

Beth is the mother of 2 teenage sons Eli and Jed, and the wife of a pastor, Rick.  Beth feels her life is moving along and she has lost herself somewhere along the way.  Things start to fall apart when her husband is offered a new pastoral position in a different city.  Instead of making plans to head off to the beach to spend time together as a family as they had planned.  Rick locks himself up in the shed out in the backyard to wait for God to speak to him, and let him know what he should do about the new job offer.  Beth feels as if her husband has abandoned her and the boys. 

There is a Jesus Fish sticker that is talked about throughout the book.  Beth hurt a woman’s feelings at church, and before you know it she has a sticker of a Jesus Fish on the bumper of her VW Van.  Which leads Beth into new situations that she may have not experienced if it wasn’t for that fish on the bumper. 

I like the voice of Beth, she was very easy to relate to.  I don’t like books that come off as a preachy or have the ‘once upon a time feel’.  This book didn’t do that way.  The story and characters were very believable.  There are many different characters in the book that make it interesting.  When I first started reading ‘The Sky Beneath My Feet‘ I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it. A little less than half way through the book I became really interested in the story.  It makes you see that sometimes you have to get away from it all, step back (whether it be for a week or an hour), and that’s usually when that ‘ah ha!’ moment hits you.

Happy Reading!

*This book was given to me by the publisher for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.  You can read my Affiliate & Disclosure Policy here.

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