Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Love to Last Forever by Tracie Peterson

This is book 2 of Peterson's Brides of Gallatin County series and it comes as no surprise that it is a great read! I really do love Tracie Peterson's books... and I am sucker for stories set out west during the pioneer days.

Each of the books in this series focuses on one of the three Gallatin sisters, but the story always includes the others and each book builds on the previous one so definitely read them in order. Book 2 focuses on the youngest Gallatin sister, Beth. Beth is a romantic often sneaking off to read a cheap romance and to day dream of finding her own Lord Wodehouse. What she doesn't realize is all she wants and needs is right before her eyes. Nick Lassiter has loved Beth almost since the first moment he saw her, but how can he convince her that they are meant for each other. In the meantime Adrian Murphy has set his cap for Beth and doesn't seem to want to take No for an answer.

Things seem to finally be moving in the right direction for Beth and Nick when a secret from his past shows us... in the flesh... threatening their budding relationship.

This is a very sweet book and one that really focuses on walking by Faith.... hoping in things not seen instead of focusing on what we can see.

On to book 3 soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday Morning Faith by Lori Copeland

I am a big fan of Lori Copeland's fiction. Her books are usually light and funny and a joy to read. Monday Morning Faith doesn't fit that bill. Now let me quickly say it was a joy to read... a wonderful book... but far from light and funny (although there are some hilarious scenes!). In Monday Morning Faith, Copeland seems to step out a bit and present a look deep inside the heart... a heart satisfied with the Status Quo... a good heart... a heart that loves the Lord, lives a good life, does good things, sits in church every Sunday... but a heart that is satisfied to do just that... sit and not grow.

Johanna Holland is a never-married 40 year old librarian with a nice comfortable life... but all that is about to change. In a matter of weeks she goes from caregiver of her elderly parents to single lady with time on her hand.... and then Sam enters the picture. Sam is everything Johanna is not... at least she thinks he is. He is a widower with a call to missions... active hands-on missions in Papua New Guinea. And somehow he is able to convince Johanna to accompany him on a mission trip to this far away place.

We watch as Johanna attempts to adjust to life in the jungle among natives who speak no English with missionaries who haven't been able to break the language barrier with the natives. There are snakes... mud...monkeys... animals that are considered sacred and so can't be eaten...disease... crime (in a fashion)...heat... bugs... none of the comforts of home... isolation...

So does Johanna survive? Does she decide God is calling her to missions or does she decide He just wants her to stay home? I want give that part away, but I will tell you it is not what most of us would assume is going to happen. Copeland gives things a bit of a twist.

Throughout the book the reader is privy to Johanna's thoughts... to her struggles and questions ... her excitement and heartache... her anger and frustration... her love and compassion... I loved that the most. It was enthralling to me to watch everything play out inside her as I also watched things happening to her and around her.

Like I stated at the beginning, this is not a light and easy fun read. It certainly isn't difficult read, but it is a bit heavier than Copeland's normal fare.. and soo worth it! This is definitely one of the best books I have read this year. Very challenging, thought provoking and insightful.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Meet Me at the Well by Virelle Kidder

The subtitle of this book is "Take a Month and Water Your Soul" and that is just what you do. For 31 chapters you listen as Kidder pours out her heart.... sharing the journey God has taken her on with all its bumps and bruises... and along the way she shows where God was walking with her step by step. She includes scripture for meditation and some wonderful thought provoking questions and ideas for journaling each day. Each days reading can be done in 10 or so minutes if your life is overly full right now. And if you have more time, you can do further meditation and dig into the Word for a deeper time with God.

Meet Me at the Well is a wonderful way to breathe fresh air back into your quiet time and your life! And once read, I believe it is a book you will pick up from time to time for a word of encouragement and hope.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bluegrass Hero by Allie Pleiter

Bluegrass Hero is book 1 in the Kentucky Corners series from Love Inspired. I have to admit I wasn't sure I would like this book. It is set in Kentucky and involves a horse farm. I am not a horse fan... I think they are beautiful animals... from a distance! Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the heroine of this book feels the same way... Emily Montague is a girl's girl... she loves old-fashioned charm and romance...anything connected to Paris, France... and especially soaps. In fact, she runs her own soap shop called West of Paris. Gil Sorrent's a guys guy... no sweet smelling stuff for him. He works with horses all day at his farm, Homestretch, which provides an opportunity for guys who have taken a wrong turn in life to get back on the straight path. Gil enters Emily's shop for a birthday gift for his niece and ends up with a bag full of trouble. The men at his farm get the idea the free samples Emily sent home have some power to attract women and so it begins.... a tug of war between Emily and Gil with the farmhands in the middle. Of course all of this is heightened by the undeniable attraction between the two. But will their pasts create an insurmountable wall between the two? And will Homestretch Farm survive after a member makes the choice to fall back into a life of crime?

Bluegrass Hero is a very enjoyable read and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series.