Tag Archives: Reading

Monthly Wrap Up [May in Review]

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It’s been a lousy month of reading. I hate to say it but I’m kind of in a reading slump. I only finished one book in May and the 3 books I’m currently reading are taking me forever to get through! I’m hoping to finish the three I’m currently reading and then find something that will grab my reading attention again 🙂 Any suggestions while I’m talking about it?

Books Read in May:

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Books I am Currently Reading:

Reviews Posted in May:

From the Start by Melissa Tagg

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Other Blog Posts Posted in May:

Monthly Wrap Up [April in Review]

Books to Read in June:

I’m not going to limit myself for June – my goal right now is to just finish the three I’m reading. Wish me luck!

What books did you read in May?

What books do you want to read in June?

What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

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2013 – That’s a Wrap

2013 has been quite a year for reading! In January, I started my blog, which opened up a whole new world for reading as I started to review books in exchange for free copies of books. Who doesn’t love free books? So now that 2013 is just about over and the new year is about to begin, let’s do a review of what’s happened in my reading life for the year of 2013.

Reading Goal: Read 120 books

Books Read: 137

If you would like to see a list of all the books I read in the year 2013, please visit my “Read-in-2013” shelf on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/3676962-leah?shelf=read-in-2013

Favorite Reads of 2013:

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund

The Cadence of Grace series by Joanne Bischof

A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund

Surrender to Destiny series by MaryLu Tyndall

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund

Love’s Awakening by Laura Frantz

Favorite Series: The Cadence of Grace by Joanne Bischof & Surrender to Destiny by MaryLu Tyndall

Favorite New Author: Joanne Bischof

How Many Books Did I Re-Read: 32

Favorite Re-Read of 2013: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Love’s Reckoning

Thanks for taking time to see my review of 2013. How many books did you read this year? Did you reach your reading goal? What are some of your favorite books you reading 2013? Please leave me a comment and let me know some of your thoughts about your reading for 2013!

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Book Review: Stealing the Preacher

Stealing the Preacher

by

Karen Witemeyer

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Stealing the Preacher. At last I held a copy of this book in my hands! I’ve enjoyed each of Karen Witemeyer’s books and I waited for this one ever since I first heard it was coming out! I was quite surprised when I found out this was a “sequel” to Short Straw Bride. While it may be considered a sequel, there is no reason why you should have to read Short Straw Bride. One reading Stealing the Preacher will not have missed out on anything. But I still suggest reading Short Straw Bride at some point because that is a great book as well! So that being said, pick up one of Karen Witemeyer’s books today! You won’t be disappointed.

 

Stealing the Preacher brings us into the world of Joanna and Crockett. Crockett wants to become a preacher. Joanna is the daughter of an outlaw whose only wish is to have a preacher in her town; a preacher who can help her convert her father. When Crockett is on his way to interview for a preacher position, he ends up getting kidnapped – by Joanna’s father! Joanna begs Crockett to stay but he manages to escape. But instead he wonders if maybe that’s where God means for him to go. Crockett and Joanna must join forces to minister towards her father. But will Joanna’s father be able to see that he needs to rely on someone other than himself?

 

As with all of Ms. Witemeyer’s books, this one kept me turning from page to page to see what was going to happen next. It was full of laughter, fun, and romance. This was an enjoyable book in a wonderful setting with a plot line that kept me guessing. The characters were well developed and fun to get to know. I highly recommend reading this book because it’s definitely a great read.

 

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review and I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions stated are my own.

Have you read any of Karen Witemeyer’s books? If so, what one is your favorite?

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

Good evening dear followers! Today I thought I’d share with you about the books I’m reading right now.

The first book that I am currently reading is:

Surrender the Dawn

by

MaryLu Tyndall

This is the third book in MaryLu Tyndall’s series Surrender to Destiny. I have greatly enjoyed this series and am going to drag out the ending of this book because I do not want the series to end! I have greatly enjoyed each of MaryLu Tyndall’s books and I highly suggest picking up a copy of any of her books. They are all wonderful tales full of swashbuckling adventures and breathtaking romances!

Here’s Goodreads’ description of this book:

You’ll be gasping for air in this seafaring romance by popular author and Christy Award nominee MaryLu Tyndall. Baltimore’s Cassandra Channing will do anything to provide for her family—even if it means hiring the town rogue as a privateer. Luke Heaton is a handsome rake with a tortured past who is blackmailed by the British into selling supplies to their ships just off the coast. Cassandra and Luke’s worlds collide as they are drawn into danger, secrets, romance, and war. But when the British begin to bombard Fort McHenry, how long can they protect their love—and each other?

Before you pick up this book, make sure you read the first two books in the series; Surrender the Heart and Surrender the Night. I will be posting my reviews for all these books eventually but since I bought these books on my own and am not required to write reviews, I will be posting reviews for my required books first 🙂

The second book I’m currently reading (on my kindle) is:

Moonlight Masquerade

by

Ruth Axtell

First of all, can I just say that this is a beautiful book cover? I admit, I have never read a book by Ruth Axtell before and this book drew me in merely with this cover. I am only two chapters into this one but it has already drawn me in with the mystery and suspense. I am sure I will enjoy this one. This is one that I am reading for a review so except a review for this book up within the next couple of weeks!

Here’s Goodreads’ description of this book:

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need–or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess’s butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London’s West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham’s spell. Will he find the proof he needs? And if she is a spy after all, will he do the right thing?

So what do you think? Have you read either of these books? Have you read any books by these authors?

Now that you know what I’m reading this Wednesday, tell me, what are you reading this Wednesday?

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Book Review: Hill Country Cattleman

Hill Country Cattleman

by

Laurie Kingery

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Hill Country Cattleman is one of the first Love Inspired Historical books that I have read and it won’t be my last! While it was a short story, it was very sweet and I found myself enjoying the story from start to finish.

Violet has come to Texas in order to escape scandal back in England. She comes to her brother’s ranch and decides she wants to write a novel. Dreaming of returning to her love, Gerand, Violet makes the most of living in Texas. The setting of her life in Texas makes for the perfect backdrop for her novel.

Raleigh’s biggest dream is to own his own ranch someday. When Violet comes to town, he can’t help but admire the pretty girl. But when he falls for her, he knows her heart is taken by someone back home.

When another cowboy starts to notice Violet, he begins to make trouble. Who will come to Violet’s rescue?

 

Like I said, I enjoyed this book a lot. While some parts were slightly predictable, there were still things that caught me by surprise and the fact that things were predictable didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. While the book was short, the author did a great job of creating the characters and developing an enjoyable story. I look forward to reading more from this author and also more Love Inspired Historical books.

 

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

Have you read any Love Inspired Historical books? If so, what ones are your favorites? If not, are there any on your to-read list?

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Book Review: Sundays in Fredericksburg

Sundays in Fredericksburg

by

Lynette Sowell, Eileen Key, Connie Stevens, and Margie Vawter

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sundays in Fredericksburg is a 4-in-1 collection that follows several generations of families living in Fredericksburg, Texas. We read these stories through the perspective of four different women from four different time periods. These stories revolve around the Sunday Houses that German communities often used.

Our first story follows Amelia and Hank. Amelia has arrived in Fredericksburg to teach at the new school. When three orphans, unwanted by their uncle, come to school, Amelia falls in love with them. Hank also cares about these children and Amelia and Hank must find a way for these children to be provided for.

The second story takes place after the end of World War I. Coming home from being a nurse, Mildred is quickly put back into nursing when the community is struck with influenza. Nelson, an out of town doctor, has come to help the town doctor. Mildred and Nelson work together to stop this epidemic, but when one of them gets sick, the other doesn’t hesitate to help them to return to health.

The third story takes place after the end of World War II. Trudy loves taking photographs and longs to explore the world. When Bradley, an out-of-town journalist arrives, Trudy allows him to rent their Sunday House as he works on his journaling. As they begin spending more time together, Trudy finds herself drawn to Bradley. But is it Bradley or the idea of traveling the world that intrigues her the most?

In the fourth story, we are in the present day. Gwen is working in her aunt’s antique store and Clay is in town for a class credit assignment. Both of them are staying in Sunday Houses and they enjoy spending time together.

 

Each story was short and sweet. I enjoyed learning about some of the German history and their community, as well as learning about Sunday Houses and what they were. While I enjoyed the stories, I just didn’t like how everything happened so fast. I realize that these are each novellas, but I still felt like there was not a lot of development and for me, to really enjoy a book, I need more development. However, this was still an enjoyable book and each story was fun to read.

 

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated are my own.

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Book Review: Dandelions on the Wind

Dandelions on the Wind

by

Mona Hodgson

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Dandelions on the Wind is the first novella in Mona Hodgson’s series: Quilted Hearts. Normally I am not a big fan of novellas. I enjoy novels more because I feel like there can be so much more character development and depth to a story. That being said, while this book was not one of my all-time favorites, I was still able to enjoy the sweet story that was told.

 

The Civil War has just ended and Maren Jensen is working at Mrs. Brantenberg’s farm, helping with the farm chores and taking care of her granddaughter, Gabi. When Gabi’s father returns, after not having heard from him in several years, Maren realizes that now is the time to go back to Denmark. Having come to America as a mail-order bride, her groom decided he didn’t want her and while she has grown to love Mrs. Brantenberg and Gabi, she doesn’t want to impose forever.

However, Woolly, Gabi’s father, has come to enjoy the presence of Maren and he doesn’t want to see her return to Denmark.

 

Ms. Hodgson did a great job of creating an enjoyable story in this short novella. I liked the characters and overall setting of the book as well. I really like any story set during the civil war time period, whether pre-civil war, during the civil war, or post-civil war. I look forward to reading the other books in the Quilted Hearts series as well.

 

I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher Waterbrook Multnomah through the program Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

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Book Review: Chosen

Chosen

by

Ginger Garrett

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Chosen tells the story of Queen Esther. Chosen reads like it is the diary of Esther, a Jewish girl who is chosen to be a part of the King’s harem. Many of us know the story of Queen Esther, but this novel opens up the possibility of what Esther’s life may have been like, living in the king’s harem. Her life in the palace was not an easy life. Esther is torn from her life with her cousin Mordecai, leaving behind her first true love, Cyrus. Esther does not wish to be in the king’s harem, but since she is there, she decides to accept where she’s at. After several months of preparations, Esther is brought before the King, where she challenges him to give her his heart. Sealing her place as queen, Esther then finds herself caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the king and destroy her people. Esther must soon find her courage to confront the king and stop the plans of the conspirators.

 

I have always loved the biblical story of Queen Esther, and reading this fictional tale of her was equally pleasing. The author does a great job of bringing Esther’s story to life. I loved that it was written like a diary, so we could see what Esther’s innermost thoughts were. While this was a fictional novel, the author does a great job of including the biblical facts as well. I highly recommend reading the Bible book of Esther as well.

 

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions stated are my own.

 

Who is your favorite biblical character? Are there any good books about that character? What is your favorite biblical fiction book?

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Book Review: Unending Devotion

Unending Devotion

by

Jody Hedlund

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Ever since I first saw the cover of Unending Devotion, I knew I was going to like the book. I anxiously awaited it to come out and when it did, I quickly got my copy. But somehow the book got buried in my to-read pile and I just now finally got to it! Let me tell you, I wish I hadn’t waited so long because I absolutely loved this book!

Unending Devotion follows the story of Lily Young who is searching for her lost sister throughout the lumber camps of Michigan. Having been orphaned at a young age, Lily longs to keep her and her sister Daisy together. But when they are put into two separate homes to work, Daisy runs away, leaving only a letter for Lily. Lily takes a job as a photographer’s assistant and begins her journey to find her sister. Lily believes her sister may have been forced into prostitution and on her journey to save her sister, she finds ways to help other girls enslaved in prostitution as well.

Connell comes from a wealthy family and is in charge of several lumber camps. When Lily shows up in Harrison, Michigan, he’s intrigued from the start. Will Lily feel the same about him?

I loved this book from start to finish. Jody Hedlund did a great job of explaining the lumber camps and making them come to life. She also did a great job of addressing human trafficking. I have recently become more aware of how much of a problem human trafficking is becoming and it is important to realize that this has been a problem for many years.

I loved the romance between Lily and Connell, and being from Michigan, I loved reading a book that took place in Michigan. It was also interesting to read some of the history of Michigan. Jody Hedlund has quickly found her way to the top of my favorite’s list and I will continue to look forward to each of her new books. Don’t miss Unending Devotion, it is truly a wonderful book.

I bought this book and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions stated are my own.

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Book Review: It Happened at the Fair

It Happened at the Fair

by

Deeanne Gist

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

I have enjoyed all of Deeanne Gist’s books and It Happened at the Fair was no different. It Happened at the Fair transports us back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Before traveling to the fair, we meet Cullen McNamara, a farmer from North Carolina, who has dreams of being an inventor. His father pays his way for him to go to the Fair to try and sell his invention of the automatic fire sprinkler. Before leaving, Cullen gets engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Wanda. Cullen is swept away in the enchantment of the fair but he is greatly discouraged when he tries to sell his product and runs into several roadblocks, including his inability to hear some of his potential customers over the loud noise of the fair. Not only are the noises too loud, but Cullen is starting to go deaf as well. In his desperation, Cullen hires Della Wentworth to teach him how to read lips. Of course, Cullen didn’t expect his teacher to be an attractive young lady. Della agrees to teach Cullen, but is still very reluctant in opening up to him and has several suspicions about him. As their lessons progress and tragedy strikes the fair, their friendship deepens and an attraction starts to grow as well. Cullen must soon choose between his love for a girl he’s always known, or this new girl who seems to have captured his heart.

 

As I mentioned before, I greatly enjoyed this book! The descriptions of the Fair were very detailed and it brought the Fair to life for me. The author also included pictures at the end of each chapter so you could see what some of the exhibits looked like. The author did a great job of telling the story of Cullen and Della but also showing us what the fair was like. I also really liked reading about Della teaching Cullen to lip-read. I felt like I was being taught right alongside Cullen. It was also interesting the way the author jumbled up some words when someone was talking to Cullen, so that we had a hard time understanding them as well. At first I thought there was a lot of spelling mistakes, but then I realized that we were “hearing” the way Cullen was. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends! One more thing, I know a lot of people sometimes skip over the Author’s Note at the end of books but I definitely recommend reading the Author’s Note in this book because the author gives more interesting information about the Fair and more historical details. I hope this review was helpful and that you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did!

 

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions stated are my own.

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Have you read any of Deeanne Gist’s books? Which ones have been your favorites?

 

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