Sunday, February 28, 2016

Change of Heart - Courtney Walsh

Change of Heart – Courtney Walsh

            I loved Paper Hearts!  At first I didn’t know what to think about Change of Heart.  Seriously, Evelyn Brandt is married.  It truly doesn’t matter if her husband, Christopher, is horrible.  She is married.  Trevor Whitney has been “friends” with Evelyn and her scum-ball husband for years and years. 
            Trevor has always had feelings for Evelyn, but has kept these feelings bottled up forever.  He knows she is married, but can’t deny his feelings.  He has turned into somewhat of a grump! 
            They are somewhat thrown together as the news about Christopher gets revealed.  Trevor is forced to work out his feelings.  Evelyn is trying to find her feet.
            To be honest, I really struggled with this book for a while.  That said, I liked it very much.  I love Walsh’s writing.  It was the subject matter that bothered me.  You see Evelyn came out of an awful home situation.  Trevor didn’t believe as a young man that he was “good enough”, and he wasn’t honest enough to make a stand when he was young.  But, seriously, how many young people are.  Trevor thought he had truly given his feelings over to God, but he realized he really didn’t.
            I know this was a good book because of the emotions it invoked in me!
            Read it!  I would love to know your thoughts!

Thank you Tyndale Fiction for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

Amish Sweethearts - Leslie Gould

Amish Sweethearts – Leslie Gould

            Let me start off saying that I didn’t read the first book in this series, Amish Promises, and that goes against my general rule.  I think it would have helped me to have read the first book. 
            Lila Lehman is an Amish young woman who has grown up with Zane Beck – the guy next door.  Lila already has an ‘understanding’ with the bishop’s son, but she can’t deny her feelings towards Zane. 
            Zane, who has always been somewhat of a pacifist, up and joined the Army.  He visits his home for a few days, but cuts his visit short.  Lila is still confused.  Her father is pressing her to marry the bishop’s son.  The bishop’s son is ready!
            Zane is serving in Afghanistan.  Lila is in Pennsylvania.  I am sure there will be a third book – well, I hope there will be a third book – to wrap this story up!

            If I am being honest, and I received this book in exchange for an honest opinion, I thought this book was good.  I would give it 3-4 stars.  If you are going to read this series, start with book 1!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Undaunted Hope - Jody Hedlund

Undaunted Hope – Jody Hedlund

            Jody Hedlund is one of my all time favorite authors.  She puts so much research into her stories, and you can tell.  Undaunted Hope, the 3rd book in the Beacons of Hope series, is Tessa’s story.  Tessa made some pretty poor decisions, which have tarnished her reputation.  She has taken a position as a teacher far away from home in order to hopefully out run that reputation.  She landed in her new town with a splash – literally.
            Alex is an assistant light keeper, who rescued Tessa before they formally met.  Persival is a tyrant who runs the town with fear as a weapon.  There are so many twists in this book that I just won’t go into any more detail.
            One thing that I loved about this book is that in the beginning Tessa values a formal education over everything.  However, she begins to view the townspeople as individuals, and sees their worth outside of their education.  “You know that I admire you for who you are, not for what you can or cannot do.”  This is really a lesson many people could learn today: value people not their education.
            I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will too!

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Bethany House!**

Monday, February 8, 2016

Spark Joy - Marie Kondo

Spark Joy – Marie Kondo

I am an organized wannabe.  I really want to be organized, but I just can’t keep up the hard work.  I didn’t read Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up because I am a picture girl!  This book met that requirement for “how-to” books.
Kondo’s main theme is if something doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ discard it.  Don’t store more stuff just to have it, only keep it if it ‘sparks joy’.  She is serious about this process.
She has 4 principles of storage, and I don’t know if I have the time – or want to take the time – to fold things how she recommends.  And I truly don’t have that kind of drawer space.  I love the idea behind it because you can see all your T-shirts in one place and not just choose the ones off the top.  Don’t get me wrong, I like things folded neatly because they fit in their spaces easier that way.  She goes into great detail on folding items from bras to plastic bags.  I really like all the pictures!
One of the places she covers that I need to tidy in my home is the kitchen.  I don’t know how I will because all my kitchen toys bring me joy.  Like – really all of them!
I really do want to be tidy, and this book has inspired me to go tidy something!
 ** I received this book in exchange for an honest review.**

21 Seconds to Change Your World

21 Seconds to Change Your World – Dr. Mark Rutland

            I have always enjoyed listening to Dr. Mark Rutland on a local radio station.  He makes the Word come alive.  When I was able to request this book to review, I jumped at the opportunity!
            This book concentrates on The Lord’s Prayer along with Psalms 23.  I have grown up with these verses as a familiar plan.  My father lived with me last fall before he passed away to his eternal home with Jesus.  When he lived here I would hear him praying these two prayers fervently.  We were even awoken many nights by his powerful prayers.
            I love when Rutland states, “ The Lord’s Prayer begins and ends with God and God alone.”  I have to say, I have never thought about it that way before.   That is powerful!  These prayers are powerful if you take to heart what is truly being said.  I think we often ‘go through the motions’ without truly appreciating what is there.  I know I do.
            This is a great book.  I will be chewing on it for quite a while.  If you are looking for a book to give a deeper perspective on something I think many of us take for granted, read this book!

            I received this book in exchange for an honest review.