Down Fall by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

71YdG6ICCLL._SL1500_

5 stars

Down Fall by Suzanne D. Williams is a Christian romance that leaves the reader with a good feeling. Jacob Flynn left Georgia and fled to Florida hoping to lessen his grief and erase the memories caused by the death of his wife and son in childbirth. Almost immediately after reaching Florida he runs into temptation in the form of Aurelia Cotton, another man’s wife, and to make matters worse she is pregnant. Aurelia’s husband has given Jacob a job and a place to live. Jacob soon learns that Aurelia also feels an attraction to him but they both uphold their Christian faith and strive to avoid temptation.

Suzanne did a great job in the development of the characters in this story It would have been easy to write the story in a worldly way but she upheld her Christian beliefs. I was completely drawn into the lives of Jacob and Aurelia and felt as if they were close friends and I wanted to help them solve their problems. The dialogue throughout the story was well thought out and showed the personality of each character. The plot was very well written and I was not always certain as to how things were going to end. The story could have had a much different ending but Suzanne gave it just the right touch.

I definitely recommend this novella to anyone who likes a good clean romance that gives you a good feeling.

Thanks to the author, Suzanne D. Williams, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Works of Darkness by V. B. Tenery 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

81nYkruRBmL._SL1500_

5 stars

Works of Darkness by V. B. Tenery is a griping romantic suspense story with Christian values throughout. The skeleton of a small child wrapped in a sleeping bag is uncovered at a construction site. Matt Foley, the Police Chief, has been working on a cold case involving the hit-and-run death of Attorney Josh Bradford and he thinks that the twenty-five year old murder is somehow connected. The skeleton turns out to be that of a six year old girl that disappeared twenty-five years ago. Through clothes and a birthstone ring, the remains are determined to be that of Penny Pryor whose best friend was none other than Sara Bradford. Sara was also six when Penny disappeared and she may have some information hidden deep in her memory that could help solve the case. To add to the mystery, Matt suspects Sara in the death of her husband.

V. B. Tenery did an excellent job in the writing of this very suspenseful story and it grabbed my attention on the first page and did not let go until I reached the last page. All the characters were very well developed and their dialogue was right on target. Because of the authors descriptions, I loved some of the characters and others I simply did not care for and in my opinion that makes for a good story. Scenes were also very well developed and were so real that I could almost feel myself right in the middle of whatever was going on. There were several twists and turns to the plot that added to my enjoyment of the story. I was sure that I had the murderer all figured out but was quite surprised when the true villain was revealed. I really like a story that keeps me guessing. I am very much looking forward to the sequel to this story.

I highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a good Christian romance that is also a very suspenseful story.

Thanks to the author, T. B. Tenery, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

91ONE-yi5wL._SL1500_

5 stars

At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony is a wonderful story of love between a man and a woman and the love of God for man. Cole Harrison is a veteran of the Iraq War and he came home missing his left leg and his right arm. He also has a disfiguring scar on his face and head but that was not a result of the war. Carly Rose is the daughter of the man that developed artificial limbs that work almost like human limbs but the business was almost destroyed by the dishonesty of Carly’s two brothers. She is determined to help her father rebuilt his company and she approaches Cole to try the artificial limbs and then hopefully he will invest in the company.

Connie did an superb job in the writing of this story and developed every element of the story in a way that touched my heart. The characters were so realistically portrayed that I almost forgot that they were fictional characters in a book. Every scene in the story was so true to life that I was right in the middle of the action. At times the dialogue was so intense that I had to take a deep breath and keep on reading. Cole felt that if he treated Carly with disdain and spoke harshly to her that she would leave him alone but she would not be discouraged by his speech and actions. I have not read such a touching story in quite some time. There were a few laughs in the story but most of the time I was reading with tears in my eyes. However, do not let that keep you from reading the story for I am just a softie and get very emotionally involved in books that I read. The story had a great ending!

I highly recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a book that shows what love can accomplish– the love of a woman for a man and the love of God.

Thanks to the author, Connie Almony, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

A Place to Call Home by Merrillee Whren 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

51a-f35IueL

5 stars

A Place to Call Home by Merrillee Whren is a wonderful story of love and forgiveness of God and man. Kurt Jansen has just been released from prison where he has served six years for the charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife. He has insisted that he was innocent from the very first and is looking for a restoration job so that he will have money to hire a private investigator to find the real murderer and a lawyer to help him get custody of his six year old twins. He is referred to Molly Finnerty for she has a house that she wants to restore and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Molly finally decides to give Kurt the job since she is a supporter of the prison ministry in her town. And, she has secrets of her own that involve the death of her husband and a short stay in jail..

Merrillee did an outstanding job in the development of all elements of the story. The characters are so real that one almost forgets they are fictional individuals. Molly and Kurt came to life in the story and I was pulling for them to solve all their problems and hopefully fall in love. All the settings are so well described that I felt as if I were right in the midst of the story. There were several twists and turns in the plot and a good bit of suspense. Who did kill Kurt’s wife? Would Kurt be able to get custody of his children? Would Molly finally let go of her secrets about the death of her husband? I was somewhat surprised when the true murderer of Kurt’s wife was revealed. I like when a book has a strong Christian message and this one did, both Molly and Kurt had a relationship with God and looked to Him for guidance and forgiveness. In addition to Molly and Kurt, there were other strong Christians in the book.

I highly recommend this book to all that enjoy a great story with romance, suspense, Christian values, and a happy ending.

Thanks to the author, Merrillee Whren, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

River Oaks Plantation by B. J. Robinson 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

A1fdwzVPZTL._SL1500_

5 stars

River Oaks Plantation by B. J. Robinson is two stories in one but expertly woven together by the author to make one wonderful story of love and hardship with love winning in the end. The story begins in 1856 when Margaret Turnrow, the fifteen year old bride of Danny Turnrow, sees her new home for the first time. She thinks it is the most beautiful house she has ever seen and immediately starts thinking of the formal gardens that she will plant and she plans to model them after the gardens she saw in Europe on her honeymoon. The Civil War brought many changes and heartaches to Margaret but she had her gardens to help her through the hard times.

The modern part of the story began when Margaret’s great, great granddaughter, Camilla O’Brien, arrived at River Oaks Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005. Camilla spent many summers of her youth at the home and is overjoyed that her grandmother left the house to her and she plans to restore it to its former beauty. She had dressed to impress the manager of the plantation but when she met him she was soaked to the skin from the pouring rain. Camilla and Noah Gautreaux, the plantation manager, spent their childhood summers together but at their first meeting neither recognized the other. Soon Camilla and Noah were swept up into all the problems and dangers caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the story in the way that she interwove the story of the nineteenth century with the story of the twenty first century. I like the way the author included the diary of the great, great grandmother in the story. All the characters were so real that they seemed to came to life on the pages of the book and I felt as if I knew each one of them personally. All the action was so realistic that I was living it right along with the characters in the story especially the scenes that were taking place during Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to twenty-four/seven television coverage of Katina, I had lived through that part of the story and the author’s vivid descriptions brought the terror of Hurricane Katrina to life in the book. There were twists and turns in the plot and even a little suspense. Would Danny come home from the Civil War? Would River Oaks Plantation be destroyed by Hurricane Katrina? Would Camilla and Noah end up together?

I highly recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a great romantic story. This novel has two wonderful stories with one beginning in 1856 and the other beginning in 2005.

Thanks to the author, B. J. Robinson, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Minding Molly by Leslie Gould 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

817APsagIqL._SL1500_

4 stars

Minding Molly by Leslie Gould is an Amish story with a little different twist. I don’t remember reading any Amish books that had such a domineering female main character. But by the end of the book I liked her and actually felt sorry for her at times. Molly Zook always wants to be in control of any situation and she is having a huge problem with her mother. Her mother wants Molly to marry Mervin Mosier for this will save the family farm. However, Molly is working very hard to get Mervin to renew his interest in her best friend Hannah. To add to the problem, Molly meets Leon Fisher and is instantly drawn to him. He is from Montana and is now living in Pennsylvania and working at a nearby farm training horses. Molly plans a camping trip in the hopes of getting to know Leon but it seems that he is more interested in Hannah than her.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the characters and they came to life on the pages of the book.. Usually I really like the main character of a story but I had to read almost the entire book before I began to like Molly. The other characters definitely were a group with a wide range of personalities. Some I liked and others were somewhat unlikeable. Scenes were well developed and I felt as if I were right where the action was happening. Sometimes I just wanted to shake Molly and her sister and tell them to shape up. At times the dialogue seemed a little immature but it did fit some of the characters. I was glad that by the end of the story, Molly had softened and was learning to let God lead her. There were a few twists and turns to the plot that kept me guessing as to which woman would end up with which man. All in all the story had a happy ending.

I recommend this book if you like Amish fiction and also like a bossy main character.

Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Wren’s Nest by Deanne Durrett 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

81PtDcI-37L._SL1500_

5 stars

Wren’s Nest by Deanne Durrett is a great story of love, the love one gives and receives through helping others. Joe Chandler is fast asleep when a very loud knocking on his front door awakens him. He opens the door to find a young man and woman soaked to the skin in the driving rain. As they enter the house, Joe realizes that the woman is in labor but he is an ex-cop and has delivered babies before. The young man tells Joe that Blake Adams in Phoenix sent them. With this information Joe relaxes and gets everything ready for the impending birth. The young couple are brother and sister, Loren and Sherman, and they are fleeing from their lawyer uncle who has substituted Loren as a surrogate mother due to the disappearance of the original surrogate mother. After Joe learned that Sherman was Loren’s brother then he just assumed she was a single mother. Loren assured him that she was married and that her husband was in the Air Force Special Ops somewhere in the Middle East.

Deanne did an excellent job in the development of all elements of this story. Each character was so well developed that I felt as if they were close friends. Well the lawyer uncle would never be a friend but he was also so well written that one could not help but greatly dislike him, even feel a little hate, and have the desire to toss him in jail and throw away the key. The scenes were so descriptive that during the birth of the baby I could almost feel Loren’s pain and then her joy when the baby was placed in her arms. There were several twists and turns in the plot and each one seemed to be more suspenseful than the next. While reading everything that Joe and his retired cop buddies were doing to protect Loren and the baby, I did a lot of nail biting and sitting on the edge of my chair. Matilda, Joe’s neighbor and friend, added a lot of love to the story but she also was the cause of a great deal of danger and fear. The story has a happy ending and even a surprise at the very end of the story, at least it was a surprise for me. I really appreciated the way the author showed through the main characters, the importance of prayer and how helping others brings happiness to the one being helped as well as to the one doing the helping. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Phoenix Connection Series about Joe Chandler and his retired cop buddies.

I definitely recommend this book to all readers who enjoy a clean and suspenseful story with strong Christian values and enough romance to be interesting.

Thanks to the author, Deanne Durrett, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Say It With Flowers by Suzanne D. Williams 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Saturday, April 12th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

910B0284W6L._SL1500_

5 stars

Say It With Flowers by Suzanne D. Williams is the fourth book in the Italian series and this book is just as enjoyable a story as the other three. It is a delightful feel good romantic story but how could it be anything else with a handsome and sweet Italian man as the main character. Benito Bottari owns a florist and when Arabella Howland comes into the store to order flowers for her wedding, Benito falls in love immediately. It is no surprise that Arabella also feels something when she meets Benito. He has secrets in his past but he is determined to win Arabella’s heart for he has a feeling that she does not really love Fredrick, the man she is to marry. When Arabella’s best friend tells Benito that Fredrick is not what he seems and that Arabella’s life is in danger, Benito thinks he may be the only person who can help Arabella.

Once again Suzanne has done an excellent job in the development of the characters, dialogue, and plot. All the characters were so realistically portrayed that I felt as if I were friends with all of them, well not with Fredrick. I was instantly drawn to Benito and was pulling for him to win the girl. The dialogue was gripping at times and at other times my heart was melting. There were a few twists and turns in the plot and one of those turns had me sitting on the edge of my chair and chewing on my fingernails. The author definitely knows how to keep the reader reading. And during all the action that took place in the book, I was right in the middle of it for the scenes were so well written and real. You will have to read the book to learn if Benito wins Arabella’s heart.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially to those that love a feel good romantic story.

Thanks to the author, Suzanne D. Williams, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Hands of Darkness by Heather James 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Friday, April 4th, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | No Comments

1609555_734353786599112_1268552769_n

Hands of Darkness by Heather James was a good book but I had a hard time getting involved in the story. Evelyn Barrett can no longer practice law so she has taken a job as a police consultant and will be working with Detective Thatcher. She worked with him to help solve the kidnapping and murder of her young daughter. At the beginning of the book she is almost at the end of her pregnancy and has the baby before the middle of the story. Working as a police consultant allows her to be at home with her newborn son and to work only hours that are convenient. At least that was the way it was supposed to be. The first case she works on involves a very sadistic serial rapist and murderer who is very methodical in his killings. He leaves absolutely nothing at the scene that would lead to his identity so Thatcher and Evelyn have a very tough job in bringing him to justice. The case becomes very personal for Evelyn when her good friend Jen is raped but somehow manages to survives.

The author did an excellent job in the development of the characters. I had a problem liking the main character for she had so many quirks in her personality that simply rubbed me the wrong way. The description of scenes, especially ones that involved a dead body, were so real that I felt as if I were a witness to what was happening. I love a good police drama, even with murder thrown into the mix, but this story just seemed almost too dark for my taste. The villain was so evil that I cringed every time I read what he was thinking and doing. Evelyn seemed to be a devout Christian but it seemed that a great deal of the time, the devil controlled her tongue. And it bothered me that she would get a bee in her bonnet and strike out alone and not tell Thatcher what she was going to do. That trait finally got her into a lot of trouble and danger. I was a little disappointed with the ending but I guess it was the only way the story could end. In spite of the darkness of the story, there was a time or two that I actually laughed at whatever was happening or being said.

I gave the book a four star rating because I could not honestly say that I loved the book and give it five stars.

I would recommend this book only if you are really into dark murder mysteries with a murderer that seems to have a soul that is pure evil.

Kregel Publications provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Catch a Robber by Gloria Repp 

Filed under: Book Reviews on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Deanna Gottreu | 1 Comment

91r7k2hZPAL._SL1500_

Catch a Robber by Gloria Repp is the fourth delightful story in this series. Pibbin the tiny frog with the big heart is off on another adventure and this one will take him to Shadow Swamp which is inhabited by very large creatures. But he is loyal to his friends so he will put on a brave face and do whatever is necessary to free Skitter the lizard from the Rabbit’s jail. A necklace has been stolen from Grannie Primrose and the rabbits are sure that Skitter is the thief. Nisk has mended his ways and is helping Pippin and Leeper to hunt for Skitter’s cousin for they believe the cousin is the real thief. With the help of several friends, Pibbin is able to rescue Skitter from the jail and she is taken to Gaffer’s house to recover from her ordeal. When Pibbin goes to visit her he is shocked at her appearance but after drinking water she is much better. Pippin has picked a bouquet of flowers for Skitter but when he goes to take them from his backpack, all he finds are yellow seeds that smell like lemon. Skitter is overjoyed for she had been wanting some Lemon Tickseed and Pibbin has brought her some. She promises him that she will make him some red bug cookies with lemon.

Gloria continues to write an excellent story about the life of a tiny tree frog. In this story we see the animals showing bravery, loyalty, honesty, and great concern for others. All the little characters in the story still seem to have human traits and this adds so much to the story. The dialogue is very well written and it contributes to the human-like qualities of the animals. Some of the little animals have habits that are not desirable but usually they become better by the end of the book. Nisk has definitely become a better squirrel but he still has a problem with his speech. As with the other books, the illustrations are top notch and add a lot to the story and the photos of real frogs at the end of the book are a good addition. This time the cookies are red bug with lemon and with lemon they have to be good. I have a great fear of snakes but in this book the snakes are quite likeable for Gloria gives them such poetic dialogue.

I highly recommend this book for young children and I think it would be a great book for them to read to a younger sibling or to their parents. Even adults will enjoy reading it for themselves.

Thanks to the author, Gloria Repp, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.