Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Better Than a Crown (Valerie Comer)

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Book Three of the Christmas in Montana series was so good! I enjoyed seeing another Miss Snowflake competition come together, this time told through Heather and Levi’s behind-the-scenes experiences. Their shared time also included caring for Levi’s niece Shelby, who stole the spotlight every time she appeared. Loved her!

Other highlights of the tale (in random order to avoid spoilers): the symphony, brownies (yum!), a fancy restaurant, and two adorable Chinese girls!

Check out the entire series and enjoy all the excitement in Helena, Montana!

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Review: Crisis Shot (Janice Cantore)

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Janice Cantore’s new series (The Line of Duty) starts with a setting change from her recent books, moving the main character from California to rural Oregon. Cantore does well with the different setting, proving that she can set a suspenseful tale anywhere she chooses. Unfortunately, Tess O’Rourke seemed slightly one-dimensional for the first half of the story. More interesting for me was the pastor in the small town, and it was his part in the tale that caused me to want to continue reading. By the end of the book, however, I wanted another story with Tess to be waiting for me. She had progressed to a more realistic and intriguing personality than I felt had been there in the beginning, so perhaps I simply needed to let Cantore do her work and reveal Tess as the plot progressed.

I look forward to what Cantore has in store for her readers next!

Book description: Tess O’Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.

Winning over the residents of Rogue’s Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor’s wife, goes missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue’s Hollow’s first murderer, she worries that she’s breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him.

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Review: Enjoy! (Joyce & Clifford Penner)

I can’t wait until this book’s release and must tell you about it immediately! I’ll repost my review in September to get more folks aware of it. Seriously, you’re going to want this book!

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I’m so excited about this book! The authors work in the field of sexual therapy, so they know their stuff after years of treating couples and helping them through tough times. And I loved how they included the science of what’s going on with different aspects of intimacy. For a long time, I thought I was more of a language nerd and science was just okay, but at this point in my life, I’m finding that I love scientific explanations for everyday topics that may have seemed confusing and mysterious, plus I just like learning all the cool ways God designed us. Side note: This book is written by Christians, but I believe its content will be useful for everyone.

The book addresses all sorts of issues with intimacy, but its main point is reflected by the title Enjoy! Listen up, everyone, because sex is meant for women to enjoy, and if you don’t know how to do that, this book will break it down and help you discover why. Fascinating and practical knowledge!

Though I’m a single mum now and don’t know what the future holds, I wanted to read this book to understand more – about my past, my present and whatever comes in the future. The days of being ignorant are gone for me, and the authors have helped me pinpoint things that I would do differently and how I would maintain a healthy attitude toward sex in marriage. When I read about dating and marriage, I’m looking to be prepared, which I don’t feel I was the first time around. Thank you to the Penners for their contribution to this period of healing!

Book description: Do you want a stronger, more exciting sex life with your husband? As a married woman, you have the power to increase sexual fulfillment for you and your husband—if you aren’t stymied by false assumptions about a wife’s role in sex.

In Enjoy: The Gift of Sexual Pleasure for Women, Dr. Clifford and Joyce Penner dispel assumptions that can keep women from accepting and expressing their God-given sexuality in marriage. After more than forty years as sex therapists and educators, the Penners have learned what helps couples build lasting, mutually enjoyable sex in marriage. Their knowledge is culled from the stories of thousands of individuals and couples who sought help with frustrations and have found relief and mutual fulfillment.

In this book they share step-by-step, practical ways for wives to move from duty and disappointment to pleasure and fulfillment. Learn how the woman’s biblical role for sex in marriage is to pursue all of who she is sexually and share her sexuality with her husband, which will, in turn, increase his satisfaction.

Be empowered as a woman to embrace your sexuality and find deeper enjoyment with your husband. This title is a companion to The Married Guy’s Guide to Great Sex, also by the Penners.

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Review: You Can Do This (Tricia Lott Williford)

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I wanted to like this book, and definitely did enjoy the personality shining through from the author. I think it would be great to meet for tea and chat about our life experiences and dreams and such…

However, there was something missing in this book. At times I wondered if it had really come from Tyndale or from a mainstream publisher – the message so often appeared to be about what I must do rather than what God is doing or wants to be doing in my life if I’d just get out of the way already. Though there are biblical references at the end of the book, I couldn’t feel them as I read through it.

I want life advice that obviously comes from Scripture and is backed by it, not modern wisdom with the Bible as afterthought. That may not be at all what the author intended me to feel as I read it, but the fact still remains that I was left wanting more – a message with far more hope, one that doesn’t depend on what I can accomplish, but what God achieves in the human heart that is surrendered to Him.

Book description:

Our culture as a whole, and often the Christian culture in particular, discourages confidence in women. Tricia Lott Williford explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith. She offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Readers of this book will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. They will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.

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Review: A Matter of Trust (Susan May Warren)

The Montana Rescue series continues in this latest book by Warren, and it lives up to the standards set by the previous two books, Wild Montana Skies and Rescue Me.

As always, Warren drew me in with characters I could believe I’d meet in my own town; they’re realistic and flawed, but with much potential for personal growth. She doesn’t just leave them in the sticky emotional situations she devises for them, either, but brings them out stronger and even more likeable than before.

Though winter sports have never been my thing, especially hurtling down icy slopes with avalanche danger imminent, I enjoyed every page that passed with Gage out on the mountains or even thinking about the mountains. Warren’s ability to make the reader identify with her characters and their passions is superb, something every fiction writer should aspire to achieve.

I’m certainly looking forward to more from this series and will be sure to check for previous books I may have missed before I had come to the realisation several years ago that Warren is one of my favourite writers.

Grab a copy at your favourite retailer! Here’s an Amazon link to get you started on your shopping…

Book Description:

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder–and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella’s secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other–even when disaster happens again?

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Review: Sprouts of Love (Valerie Comer)

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I’m always excited to read Valerie Comer’s work because she creates realistic characters with backstories that don’t feel made up or glossed over. This is nitty-gritty life happening inside of a book, and yet it’s not depressing or too much to handle because Comer knows how to inject hope into her tales.

Sprouts is Book 1 in the Garden Grown Romance series, and it was preceded by an introductory novella that appeared in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. I love the setting for these stories and the fact that the other authors in Romance Grows are writing within the same setting, and using businesses and characters from each other’s stories.

It was great to get back to Arcadia Valley and get to know Evelyn, her daughter Maisie, and Ben, the man running the charity that Evelyn and Maisie want to help with the produce from a community garden. At first it doesn’t look like any of them will become friends, but eventually that changes and the result was a book I couldn’t put down. (Okay, I read an ebook, but seriously, I couldn’t stop flicking to the next page… It was one of those nights where I didn’t stop at the end of my allotted reading-to-wind-down time and just kept going till the book was done!)

Book Description:

Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on a third part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.

If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.

Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?

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Review: Still Waiting (Ann Swindell)

It’s interesting that this review has been waiting in my mind while I finished up a semester at school. It’s hard to say just how much this book resonated with me because of the times of waiting I’ve gone through. No one wants to put off that dream or endure hardship a day longer than they think they should, but there’s something about waiting that can strengthen a person, especially if they draw close to God as they wait.

Swindell’s experiences taught her and deepened her relationship with God, and I’ve found the same, waiting for years to find a career path that made sense and used my skills to the full. Now that I’m in school and find confirmation almost every week that this will be a job where God can use the talents He gave me to reach others, I can picture myself looking back at the waiting as being worth it for the good in the end, though I would never have been able to see it back then. Now, I think, I could get through waiting of different sorts with more hope, because of the assurance that God will use every experience and won’t waste a thing…

Through her story, Swindell explains well why we chafe at the waiting times, and how God can use them for our good. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone struggling with waiting, and even those who’ve come out of those times but still need to time to reflect and to glean the lessons and hope for the future.

Book description: 

What if God wants you to wait?
Most of us know what it’s like to wait for God to change our circumstances. But, whether we’re waiting for physical healing, emotional breakthrough, or better relationships, waiting is something we usually try to avoid. Why? Because waiting is painful and hard. The truth is, it’s also inevitable.

In Still Waiting, Ann Swindell explores the depths of why God wants us to wait by chronicling her own compelling story of waiting for healing from an incurable condition. She offers a vibrant retelling of the biblical account of the Bleeding Woman that parallels her story—and yours, too.

Let Ann help you see the promise that is hidden in the ache of waiting and the hope of what God can—and will—do as you wait on him.

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