Posts in category Christian Romance

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.

 

Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren (Christiansen Family SeriesBook 1)

http://romancewithabook.com/2013/04/take-chance-on-me-by-susan-mae-warren.html

Title:  Take A Chance on Me
Author:  Susan May Warren
Publisher/Date:  Tyndale/ April 28, 2013
Pages:  400
Series:  Christiansen Family #1
Format:  Paperback


Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren

Darek Christiansen is almost a dream bachelor—oldest son in the large Christiansen clan, heir to their historic Evergreen Lake Resort, and doting father. But he’s also wounded and angry since the tragic death of his wife, Felicity. No woman in Deep Haven dares come near.

New assistant county attorney Ivy Madison simply doesn’t know any better when she bids on Darek at the charity auction. Nor does she know that when she crafted a plea bargain three years ago to keep Jensen Atwood out of jail and in Deep Haven fulfilling community service, she was releasing the man responsible for Felicity’s death. All Ivy knows is that the Christiansens feel like the family she’s always longed for. And once she gets past Darek’s tough exterior, she finds a man she could spend the rest of her life with. Which scares her almost as much as Darek learning of her involvement in his wife’s case.

Caught between new love and old grudges, Darek must decide if he can set aside the past for a future with Ivy—a future more and more at risk as an approaching wildfire threatens to wipe out the Christiansen resort and Deep Haven itself.

My Review


‘Take a Chance on Me’ is the first book in the Christiansen Family Series.  There are 6 other books in the series, and I plan on reading all 6!  Before reading this book I had never heard of Susan May Warren, and that is probably because this book is not in my normal genre to read. 

Take a Chance on Me’ is a story of tragedy, love, family, friendship and forgiveness.  The story takes place in the town of Deep Haven, and Evergreen Lake Resort in Minnesota.  (I have never been to Minnesota, but this book made me want to visit!)  Darek is the oldest brother in the Christiansen clan, and he has been angry at himself and life since his wife died in a tragic car accident.  Which left him to be a single father to their son Tiger. 

Ivy Madison is new to Deep Haven, and she is the new District County Attorney.  Ivy grew up in the foster care system and she feels hurt, and as if God and life have given up on her.  When Ivy & Darek meet for the first time, she immediately thinks him a jerk.   Then she meets the Christiansen clan and instantly likes them all.  They treat her like one of their own.  It is like a dream come true, because she never had a family to call her own.  

I really enjoyed the secondary characters, Claire and Jensen.  Claire feels like she has been a failure to her parents.  She didn’t go to college after high school ans she hasn’t done anything ‘big’ with her life.  She works in a pizza place, takes care of prized roses and helps out at the elderly home.  Her parents expected her to go to college and get a degree, but Claire wants to stay in Deep Haven.  She doesn’t want to live or go anywhere else. 

Jensen was responsible for Felicity’s death that fateful night.  Most everyone in the town of Deep Haven look at him like he is a murderer.  He has been sentenced to community service in Deep Haven, and he longs for the day when it is over and he can leave town and never come back.

Darek, Claire, Jensen and Felicity grew up together.  They went to high school together and were all best friends.  I enjoyed this book because none of the characters were perfect.  They were all just people longing to be forgiven and trying to forgive themselves.  Meeting the Christiansens’ through this book, made me want to be a part of their family.  They are not perfect, but they love and really care for each other.

Sometimes you have to forgive someone for a wrong they have done to you, to be able to forgive yourself.  Most of the time forgiving ourselves for something is the hardest thing to do.

Mrs Warren did a great job developing her characters and her setting.  While reading the book I could actually see the characters and the town of Deep Haven.  A few times I could actually feel fire licking at my heels.  Take a Chance on Me is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Happy Reading!

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts and opinions in my review are my own.  This review contains an amazon.com affiliate links.

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn (Glenbrooke Series Book 1 )

Secrets by Robin Jones Gunn

Title:  Secrets
Author:  Robin Jones Gunn
Format:  eBook
Series:  Glenbrooke Series
Publisher & Date:  Multnomah Books (February 16, 2010)

Jessica ran from her past…but can she hide from love?
Jessica Morgan wants desperately to forget the past and begin a new life. She chooses a small, peaceful town tucked away in Oregon’s Willamette Valley as the place to start over—Glenbrooke. Once there, Jessica conceals her identity from the intriguing personalities she meets—including the compassionate paramedic who desires to protect her and the jealous woman who wants nothing more than to destroy her.
Will Jessica’s deceit ruin all hope for the future? Or will she find a deeper peace that allows her to stop hiding the truth from those who love her most of all?
This heartwarming bestseller, book one in the Glenbrooke series, introduces the fascinating people of Glenbrooke in a compelling tale of romance and spiritual truth.

(You can read the first chapter of secrets here on Scribd.)


~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Pain?”  Jessica questioned. She had learned a bit about pain lately.

“Love?”  she asked, secretly knowing that she knew very little about love.  Then almost under her breath she said to Teri, “Aren’t they both about the same thing?”

Terri looked at Jessica, her expression turning more solemn.  “I don’t suppose they have to be, but sometimes I suppose they are.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review

Jessica is running away from something or someone in her life.  The place she chooses to run to is a small town in Oregon called Glenbrooke.  In Gleanbrooke a friend and Principal of the local high school has rented a house for Jessica and she starts teaching in just a few weeks. 

While driving to Glenbrooke Jessica is in a car accident that causes her to injure her leg, bust her lip and total out her car.  Kyle, a fireman, is the first one to come to Jessica’s rescue, and call for an ambulance.  Jessica had $300 when she left California, and now after paying her hospital bill she is left with $12. So starts her new life in Gleanbrooke with $12, no car to drive and a secret.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It didn’t bore me as I first thought it would.  The author made me care about the characters and what happened to them.  That is a big plus, because if you don’t care about the characters you’re not going to enjoy the story, right?

I was on Jessica’s side right from the start.  (Although there were a few times I wanted to shout ‘HELLO!’.)  Jessica wants so very much to get close to people, to make friends and to give her heart to Kyle, but it is hard for her.  You can’t have a close friend if you are not willing to be honest with them, right?  Jessica was afraid if she got to close to anyone that they would find out her secret.  I am not going to say what that secret was, that would give it all away.

I could picture myself living in Glenbrooke, in Jessica’s cute little house with white shutters!  I would love a small town!  I think that is part of the reason I enjoyed this book. 

Along the way Jessica learns to trust in God (before, God was never really a part of her life) and surrender to him.  She learns to trust others and let them into her life.  Most of all she learns that people can love you for who you are and not what you have or where you’ve been!

There were a few parts (just a few) in the book that can come on a ‘little preachy’ to some, but those parts had light bulbs coming on in my brain!  If you are looking for a good romance, with down to earth, wholesome characters and a plot that want ‘kill off brain cells’, then Secrets by Mrs Gunn is the book for you.

Happy Reading!

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review of the book.  No other form of compensation was given.  You can read my Affiliate & Disclosure Policy here.

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