BEFORE I SAW YOU

15 06 2018

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Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who is new to town and to the local diner where she works.

Dividing her time between the diner and Sudie’s place, Jaycee nurses her broken heart among a collection of unlikely friends who are the closest thing to family that she has. Eventually, she realizes she can’t hide her pregnancy any longer—not even from the baby’s abusive father, who is furious when he finds out. The choices she must make for the safety of her unborn child threaten to derail any chance she ever had for hope and redemption. Ultimately, Jaycee must decide whether the truest form of love means hanging on or letting go.

I enjoyed this book very much, even though I personally don’t know much about the drug scene, having never been exposed to it. I really felt for Jaycee. First, her mother gets hooked on heroin. Next her baby brother dies. Next, her mother goes to prison for her brother’s death. Then, she gets pregnant by an abusive boyfriend. Then Gabe comes into town and befriends her. I so much wanted to tell her what to do. I enjoyed the romance part of this book. It got to the point I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to see how it turned out. I call it a must read. Amy Sorrells did an excellent job with this.

Amy K. Sorrells

Amy K. Sorrells is a long-time believer in the power of story to change lives. Her diverse writing career includes more than two decades of freelance writing, including medical journal publications and a popular op-ed newspaper column.

The driving mission behind all her writing is to bring words of hope to a hurting world. Praised by reviewers for the way they both poetically and accurately portray real-life hardship and hope, Amy’s novels are inspired by social issues that break her heart and the Bible stories that reflect God’s response to those issues.

In addition to being a writer, Amy is also grateful to be a practicing registered nurse at a busy suburban hospital. She loves doting on her husband, three young-adult sons, and their golden retrievers at their home in central Indiana. If there’s leftover time after that, she enjoys up-cycling, gardening, binge reading, exercising, and Bible journaling.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for this review.

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HOME ON HUCKLEBERRY HILL

31 05 2018

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Mary Anne Neuenschwander knows she should be content with what Gotte has given her. She has a comfortable house, a fruitful farm, and a good, steady husband. But after nearly six years of marriage, she still longs for a baby. Yet her husband, Jethro, seems to care more about fishing than about his wife. Unable to bear Jethro’s indifference, Mary Anne moves into a tent in the woods where he won’t have to be bothered. But when her mammi and dawdi find out what she’s done, they’ll stop at nothing—including a little camping trip of their own—to help save their granddaughter’s marriage . . .

Jethro’s greatest blessing is his beloved wife, Mary Anne. Nothing else in his life has turned out anywhere near the way he expected. Rather than burden Mary Anne with his disappointment, he shields her by spending less and less time at home and more time on the river. But when he finds that she’s moved out, he’s shocked. What will people think? What is Mary Anne thinking? And what clever plans are her grandparents hatching?

 I truly enjoyed this book.  I did notice that this is not old order Amish, but it was enjoyable.  You get to feel for Mary Anne.  You understand why she left Jethro, but the elders were none too happy about it.  Her family stood with her and they all were camping in the woods behind the house.  What was most enjoyable was when Jethro began to understand why she left and started to court her again.  A truly enjoyable romance.

Jennifer Beckstrand

Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA nominated and award-winning author of the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill and The Honeybee Sisters series, as well as a number of novellas. Novels in her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series have been RITA® Award and RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award finalists. Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for inspirational fiction and Huckleberry Hearts was named a Booklist Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Book of the Year. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

 

I was given a complimentary copy of this ebook for this review from NetGalley.

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THE MASTERPIECE

7 02 2018

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Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.  A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want—money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has.  Like Roman, Grace is wrestling with ghosts and secrets of her own. After a disastrous marriage threw her life completely off course, she vowed never to let love steal her dreams again. But as she gets to know the enigmatic man behind the reputation, it’s as if the jagged pieces of both of their pasts slowly begin to fit together . . . until something so unexpected happens that it changes the course of their relationship—and both their lives—forever.

Francine Rivers has a way of getting you hooked right at the very beginning.  I could not put this book down, as get to the point that you know these people and want to see what comes up next.  Roman and Grace, at first, seemed so different, but their backgrounds are so familiar.  You want to see them together, but also, tell her to dump the guy. The way Francine Rivers puts it all together is something special.

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Francine Rivers had a successful writing career in the general market for several years before becoming a born-again Christian.  Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes—all bestsellers—and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the world.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review.