This month, I'm reviewing three novels plus one book by Dutch Sheets. What's life without a little variety, right? 🙂
First, for the three novels:
This book made my week. It's not a new release; it was published in 2013. But it was awesome. I didn't even get a free copy from the publisher, and I didn't get it on sale. I saw it on Amazon and went directly to my local LifeWay to get it (at full price no less!), because I loved the cover so much. 🙂
But you know what? I wasn't disappointed, and I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. I loved, loved, loved this book, and I'm going to systematically read all of Rachel Hauck‘s books now that I've read this one. 🙂
So the story goes that Susanna is a starting, struggling landscape architect on St. Simons Island. She gets dumped by her fiance of many years, and has no prospects. Then she suddenly meets this guy… who turns out to be the crown prince of the fictional but decidedly British-sounding kingdom of Brighton.
Romance flares, but the problem is that the princes of Brighton are forbidden by law to marry foreigners. Ahhhh… can't you just see it? The setup is perfect for an awesome story.
And an awesome tale it is. It's so endearing. It's filled with joy. It focuses on the grace and provision of God. It magnifies Jesus, Who has a plan for our lives that goes above and beyond what we could ever dare to ask or hope for.
“Once Upon a Prince” is amazing. It's gorgeous. Run, don't walk, to get it. Even if you pay full price like I did. You won't be sorry. 🙂
This was a really good story that was a fun weekend read. It's about a guy named Ryan who came back from fighting in the Civil War, and he had become an alcoholic. He meets a girl whose dad just died. She's taking care of a lighthouse. Ryan is given her job but then feels bad for kicking her out, so he lets her stay awhile. Enter romance.
I read the first book in Jody Hedlund‘s “Beacons of Hope” series about lighthouse keepers (called “Love Unexpected,” and you can also download her free intro novella, “Out of the Storm,” here on Amazon, which is really, really an awesome story). Both “Love Unexpected” and “Out of the Storm” were amazingly good.
“Hearts Made Whole” displays the same great writing, and a wonderfully-inventive story, but I gave it 3 stars on Amazon instead of 4 or 5 stars because it does describe some violence. The heroine, Caroline, experiences some attacks from a mysterious source–someone who doesn't want her to stay at the lighthouse. These attacks include things like people leaving mutilated ducks at her house. There's a more violent scene at the end when the whole plot is unfolding, too (no spoilers in case you read the book).
The whole book is really interesting, but I read fiction to relax and unwind, to be transported to another place of peace and rest. Not to read about violence. Even though the violent parts are a very small portion of the book, if I had known about them in advance, I probably would not have chosen this book.
I received a free copy of “Hearts Made Whole” from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The free copy didn't influence my opinion.
Love it, love it, love it. This book is perfect and gorgeous in every way. Need I say more?
“A Bride at Last” describes the story of Kate, a teacher and an orphan herself. She takes an “orphan” child under her wing, and Silas, the man who turns up unexpectedly as the father of said orphan child. Silas has a lot of baggage, and Kate has quite a bit of her own baggage too. They both love the child, but somebody has to keep him.
Well, that somebody turns out to be his father … who compromised Kate's reputation with a passionate kiss on his way out of town … leaving Kate where? Yeah, homeless and jobless, that's where. So then we get to follow both Kate's and Silas' stories as they figure out how to handle this turn of events, how to trust God, and how to allow themselves to heal from past hurts enough to move forward with their lives and love.
This book is awesome. I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but the free copy didn't influence my opinion. I'd highly recommend this book to anybody. It was a great read. And by the way, you can check out Melissa Jagears' website here and my review of her other book, “A Bride In Store,” (which was equally awesome), here.
And saving the best for last …
“The Pleasure of His Company” is the best of all of these.
I wanted to read it not because I don't know God; I do know God. But I wanted to read this book because I wanted to learn from what Dutch Sheets has to say. Have you ever heard him preach? He's powerful, and you can almost SEE the tie he has to Heaven. It's like there's a string above his head that's directly connected to the throne room of God. And I wanted an impartation of what God has given him, and of what he has labored for.
However, I didn't expect this book to be such an on-time word, and I didn't expect it to make me hungry. It did both.
“The Pleasure of His Company” cuts through the burden of formulas and good works that we oftentimes pile up on ourselves as Christians. It goes back to the heart of the matter: that Jesus Christ is the most pleasurable person to spend time with in the universe, and enjoying Him, knowing Him, and being intimate with Him is what it's all about. Yes, there are still many commands and principles in the Bible that we should obey–but this book isn't about those. This book is about the thrill of the dance with Jesus Christ.
And even reading in the first few chapters made me wasted for Jesus more than ever.
If you have grown tired of instructions and rules–if you want your romance with Jesus back–read this book. The chapters are short, and it's a really easy read. It will fire you up and renew your passion for God.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The free copy didn't influence my opinion.
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