Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

1865 Windmill Point, Michigan
Can She Forgive the Hurting Man Who Costs Her the Role She Loves?

After her father's death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren't supposed to have such roles, so it's only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper--even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He's secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He's not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who's angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he's in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope...and possibly love?


I enjoy reading anything Jody Hedlund writes. Hearts Made Whole was no exception. I was quickly drawn into the character's lives from the very first pages. What I love about Caroline is her strong, mothering nature for her siblings. Family means doing what she has to do for them. She loves taking care of the lighthouse. It isn't a burden to her. After her mother died and her father got older she began to do more and more of both their jobs. She doesn't feel angry because of it. She does her daily routine with joy. 

Ryan is a broken, shell of the man he used to be but when he came to the lighthouse we begin to see glimpses of that man. The war has scared him in many ways. I never thought about how the older wars effected those who fought in them. They must have had the same types of nightmares as our men and women do now. Caroline learns to respect him quite early on and doesn't judge him for his shortcomings but believes he will be able to over come them and become whole again. 

We get to learn so much about the workings of the lighthouse and how important it was back then. Lives depended on the light keepers but there was still much danger and at times, death. I have always thought lighthouses were interesting and even beautiful, but I never thought about how much work went into running them. We also get a look at how challenging it was right after the war for those coming home to find jobs and how scarce medication and doctors were. I think reading is a great way to learn about history when you have an author who cares about writing things the way they happened in a certain time period. It has made me love history in a way I never did before.  

I highly recommend this book and the others in the series. 


Jody Hedlund is the author of over ten novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She makes her home in Michigan, not far from the lighthouses she writes about, and loves hearing from readers on Facebook and her blog at JodyHedlund.com


The Hearts of Faith Series...
The Preacher's Bride
The Doctor's Lady
Rebellious Heart

The Michigan Brides Collection...
Unending Devotion
A Noble Groom
Captured by Love

The Beacons of Hope Series...
Out of the Storm: A Novella
Love Unexpected
Hearts Made Whole
Out of the Storm

The Noblest Knights Series
The Vow: A Novella
An Uncertain Choice
A Daring Sacrifice - March 2016

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson


The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around--and Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck. By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor. 

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave's forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him...a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher. 

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her, the one woman he loves is his cunning target...What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?


I have loved every one of Melanie's books. There isn't one that I could say wasn't on my favorites list. This one is no exception. In fact, she gets better with each book. There was an air of mystery about it that kept me wondering. The characters were very real and I enjoyed getting to know them. 

Odette is a sweet but adventurous young lady who wants to do what is right and at the same time can't let the children starve. Her life is centered around others instead of herself. Jorgen is a man of honor and is determined to do his job the correct way. He doesn't believe in lying to protect others but believes honesty is the right way to deal with things. There are many devious characters in the story. Some you don't realize how devious and a couple surprise you in the end. 

This is a great book for any age. I encourage those with teen girls to buy these books because they are sweet but have adventure. They teach girls they CAN make good choices. 


Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book, as well as the acclaimed novels The Merchant's DaughterThe Fairest Beauty, and The Captive Maiden. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama. 

HER WEBSITE: www.melaniedickerson.com

HER BLOG: www.melaniewrites.blogspot.com   

Her Medieval Fairy Tale Retellings

The Healer's Apprentice
The Merchant's Daughter
The Fairest Beauty
The Captive Maiden
The Princess Spy

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

The Golden Braid (November 2015)

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Stranger's Secret by Laurie Alice Eakes

As a grieving young widow, Morwenna only wants a quiet life for herself and her new son. Until a man washes ashore, entangling her in a web of mystery that could threaten all she holds dear.

Lady Morwenna Trelanwny Penvenan indulged in her fair share of dalliances in her youth, but now that she's the widowed mother to the heir of the Penvenan title, she's desperate to polish her reputation. When she's accused of deliberately luring ships to crash on the rocks to steal the cargo, Morwenna begins an investigation to uncover the real culprits and stumbles across an unconscious man lying in the sea's foam--a man wearing a medallion with the Trelawny crest around his neck.

The medallion is a mystery to David Chastain, a boat builder from Somerset. All David knows is that his father was found dead in Cornwall with the medallion in his possession after lying and stealing his family's money. And he knows the widow who rescued him is impossibly beautiful--and likely the siren who caused the shipwreck in the first place--as well as the hand behind whoever is trying to murder David.

As Morweena nurses David back to healthy and tries to learn how he landed on her beach, suspicion and pride keep their growing attraction at bay. But can they join together to save Morwenna's name and estate and David's live? Can they acknowledge the love they are both trying to deny? 


As always, Laurie Alice Eakes has written a winner. Her books are so rich in detail that you can't read them super fast for fear of missing some important details. You have to be intentional and capture every word. She has filled this book with some mysterious characters. I love finding out what makes them tick. Morwenna is a strong but widowed young lady who is doing everything she can to make a life for her and her son despite her grandparents trying to force her to live her life their way. 

David seems drawn to her even from the beginning, thinking her an angel when he was in his sick bed those first days. He listens and gathers information to try to piece together what happened and how it all ties into the mystery he is trying to solve about his father's death. This is a great book. Make sure you check out book one in this series, A Lady's Honor


"Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top," writes Romantic Times of the bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author, with a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master's degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University contributing to her career path. Now she has nearly two dozen books in print. 

After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul's stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and her husband are newly minted church leaders. Although they haven't been blessed with children--yet--they have a sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another--the only two times she genuinely enjoys housekeeping.

Her Website: http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com

Some of her books:

New Jersey Historical-Heartsong Presents
The Glassblower
The Heiress
The Newcomer

Lady in the Mist
Heart's Safe Passage
Choices of the Heart

Daughters of Bainbridge House
A Necessary Deception
A Reluctant Courtship
A Flight of Fancy

Cliffs of Cornwall
A Lady's Honor
A Stranger's Secret

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Samantha Sanderson At The Movies by Robin Caroll

SAMANTHA SANDERSON is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, so she's always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become chief editor). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply for writing material.

When an explosive device is found in the local theater, Sam gets the lead on this developing and controversial story-controversial because the movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist for allowing a local church to show Christian movies. Sam's father happens to be heading the investigation, and Sam can't resist doing some sleuthing of her own with the help of her best friend Makayla's techno-genius. But when Sam's theories are printed in the school paper, she lands in big trouble-and danger!


This is a great book for young people. I have a home preschool and at nap time I read a chapter from a chapter book each day. We read through At The Movies at the end of the school year. I had several children graduating, five going to kindergarten and one going to first grade. They enjoyed me reading it, but part of it were a bit over their heads. I recommend a little older. My 13 year old was also in the room while we read and she enjoyed the story. 

It was very well done. It kept you thinking about different possibilities for who did it. It also went into some basic faith questions that children and preteens might ask themselves and their friends. This book had great answers. I believe it guided the reader to think deeper into what they believe and why.

I loved the relationship between her and her parents. It was one of honestly and respect. They had arguments and didn't agree on everything but they listened to each other and worked it out. I recommend this series to preteen and young teens. Great reading. 


Robin Caroll  has authored seventeen previous books, including the Holt Medallion Award of Merit winner, Deliver Us from Evil. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards, Holt Medallion, RT Reviewer's Choice Award, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. She gives back to the writing community by serving as Excecutive Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. A proud southerner, Robin lives with her husband, three daughters, and two precious grandsons in Arkansas. You can visit more with Robin at www.robincaroll.com

Her Books

For Children and Young Adults

Samantha Sanderson Series
At The Movies
On The Scene
Off The Record

Rock Harbor Series
Search and Rescue
Lost and Found

For Adults

Justice Seekers Series
In Justice For All
To Write A Wrong
Stand of Deception

Evil Series
Deliver Us From Evil
Fear No Evil
In The Shadow of Evil

Bayou Series
Bayou Justice
Bayou Corruption
Bayou Judgement
Bayou Paradox
Bayou Betrayal
Dead Air

Hidden in the Stars

Torrents of Destruction

In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission,  as part of every Web or Amazon review that I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.