A Note Yet Unsung

This book by Tamera Alexander is the third installment in her Belmont Mansion series. Rebekah Carringtion returns home to Nashville, Tennessee after a ten year stay in Vienna. As a master violinist, she desires to be in an orchestra even though it is rare for women to be allowed in orchestras no matter what their skill. Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is the new orchestra leader of the Nashville Philharmonic. He is tasked with composing his symphony and training his orchestra before opening day of the new opera hall. His time is split with his rigorous responsibilities and returning to his childhood home to care for his dying father; all while dealing with recurring headaches, buzzing, and dizziness. Even though he recognizes her skill and talent, Tait turns down Rebekah’s request to be in the orchestra due to public opinion. Rebekah takes a job tutoring Adelicia Cheatham’s daughter at the Belmont Mansion and secures room and board there. As Tait’s deadline gets closer, he asks Rebekah to assist him with his symphony.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I am impressed and anxious to read more from her! I absolutely loved this book! Being that it was the third book in the series, I do not know what connections the storyline and characters have to the previous books. Even so, I easily read it as a stand alone book. I loved the musical content of the book. I have always loved music even though I am not at all talented when it comes to instruments! The author provides a link so that readers can look up and listen to all of the music numbers mentioned in the book. There is some adult content worth mentioning… Rebekah’s stepfather tried to rape her when she was younger which is why she was sent away to Vienna. When she returns, he repeatedly refers to the incident and eventually attempts to do it again. There are mentions of drinking and making moonshine, murder, slaves, and a few other things that may offend some people. The Christian content of trusting God, praying, scripture, etc. was strong throughout the story. It flowed well with the story. I feel that this book was very well written and I will be purchasing the previous two books in the series so that I can read them as well! I recommend it to anyone who loves music, instruments, and historical romance!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

206245_1_ftc

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

A Note Yet Unsung #3
By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

206230: A Beauty So Rare #2

A Beauty So Rare #2

By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

206221: A Lasting Impression #1

A Lasting Impression #1

By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

lgsquare

booksneeze_badge

The Prince Warriors

This book by Pricilla Shirer (with Gina Detwiler) is the first in what will be a trilogy. The story starts out in our world introducing several kids. Two brothers, Xavier and Evan, are arguing and one gets in trouble while the other does not. Two friends, Levi and Brianna, watch as a boy gets bullied. The four kids get pulled into another world called Ahoratos where they are immediately faced with chaos and danger. They are given armor and instructions by their guide and left to navigate through the world. They have to trust the armor and instructions, or make their own decisions which lead to traps and more danger. Eventually they are returned back to our world and because of their experience in Ahoratos, they are able to make better decisions in every day life. The await the possibility of returning to Ahoratos for more adventures.

Although written with tween boys in mind, this book may appeal to tween girls as well being that one of the main characters is a girl. I really liked the message of the Armor of God and how it protects and guides the children. I think that my favorite part of the book is how the lessons learned in Ahoratos were immediately applied to their everyday life. I like the reminder that there is an unseen battle and enemy that we have to face equipped with Biblical truths, courage, and the tools that God gives us. Before reading the book, I read several raving positive reviews and was looking forward to reading it. However, I did not find it to be as great as everyone claimed it to be. It is okay, but I do not think that it deserves to be praised as similar to The Chronicles of Narnia (which several reviews I read mentioned) and I do not think that is anywhere near the same level of writing as C. S. Lewis. I also felt that there were far to many characters, unusual names, unusual places, scenes etc. to keep track of. Many of the names in of people, places, and things in Ahoratos are so unusual that even the kids in the story could not pronounce them correctly. As an adult, I found it somewhat difficult to follow. There is definitely action and adventure that would most likely appeal to the tween age group though. I just cannot personally jump on the excitement bandwagon but like I said before, it is an okay book with a good message.  I gave it to my 9 year old daughter to read, and she says she likes it. I think that she is having some trouble reading it because of the unusual names, etc. like I mentioned above. She also did not recognize the Christian parallels, like the Armor of God, until I pointed them out. Once I pointed out some of them, she started to figure out others on her own. She has not finished the book yet. Even though she says she likes it, I think she has lost interest in it. She only goes back to read it when I tell her to do so. Based on the observations I see with her, I think that it may need to be read and discussed with younger children. Older children may have an easier time reading and understanding it without help.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that B&H Books provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

690198

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

The Prince Warriors: A Novel
By Pricilla Shirer / B&H Books

lgsquare

Step By Step

This book by Candace Calvert is the second book in the Crisis Team series. Taylor Cabot is an ER nurse and apart of a crisis team. Three years after her husband’s death, she is on her way to completing her “survival list.” In the process of moving on… she is (sort of) dating a handsome plastic surgeon, decides to leave the crisis team, and comes to grips with the fact that her beloved dog is living his last days. Seth Donovan, a crisis team chaplain and Taylor’s friend, comes to town and finds himself falling in love with Taylor. When crisis hits close to home, Taylor has to face unknown truths, confront fears, and let herself grieve in a way she had not done before.

I have not previously read any of this author’s books. I was drawn to the book because of the medical drama theme. I love medical dramas on television and I used to work as a nurse. To be honest though, I had a hard time engaging with this book. I prefer books that hold my attention so much that I do not want to put them down. I also felt that there were far too many character story lines to keep track of. I assume that some of them were in the previous book, so it may have helped to read that one first. However, this was okay as a stand alone book being that it was mostly from Taylor’s perspective. Towards the end, I was able to start engaging more. I like how the author addressed the grieving process. I felt like I was going through it with Taylor. Also, the crisis that occurs at the end of the book was unexpected and left the reader hanging to find out more (which I hope will be revealed in the next book of the series). I do plan to read the previous book and the following book in the future.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tyndale House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

390345_1_ftc

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

Step by Step
By Candace Calvert / Tyndale House

lgsquare

i_review_for_the_tyndale_blog_network

A Dolphin Wish

This book, by award-winning recording artist Natalie Grant, is the second in the Glimmer Girls series and is a part of the Faithgirlz brand. Twins, Maddie and Mia, and their younger sister Lulu, are vacationing with their family in San Diego. They are excited to visit Captain Swashbuckler’s Adventure Park. Mia overhears a conversation that animals are being let out of their habitats. Eager to solve her own mystery, since Maddie got so much attention in London (in book 1), Mia searches for clues throughout the park and convinces her family to visit again the next day.

Natalie Grant has always been one of my favorite Christian music artists. I was excited to see that she published this book series. Knowing that she has three daughters (including twins) makes the story even more fun. The message is wholesome, lessons are learned, mentoring is given when needed, and the differences between right and wrong are made clear. This book revolves around Mia’s bitterness over Maddie’s punishment for running away in London. She feels that the discipline did not match the offense (I would agree with her). Throughout the book, her relationship with her twin is strained. Towards the end of the book, she has a conversation with her mom that leads to her forgiving Maddie. My 9 year old has enjoyed reading both this book and the first one in the series. There are several good discussion moments  that can be found in both books. I would recommend this book for any young girls who are reading chapter books.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Zondervan provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

_240_360_Book.1810.cover

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

A Dolphin Wish
By Natalie Grant / Zondervan

lgsquare

booksneeze_badge

London Art Chase

This book, by award-winning recording artist Natalie Grant, is the first in the Glimmer Girls series and is a part of the Faithgirlz brand. Twins, Maddie and Mia, and their younger sister Lulu, visit London for the first time. Their mom is a singer and their dad is a musician. While they are performing their concerts, the girls explore London with their nanny. They visit the National Gallery and Maddie thinks she witnesses a painting theft but no one takes her concerns seriously. After seeing the man she thinks is the thief, she leads her sisters and nanny on a chase through London. With all of the misunderstandings and mishaps, can the Glimmer Girls solve the case?

Natalie Grant has always been one of my favorite Christian music artists. I was excited to see that she published this book series. Knowing that she has three daughters (including twins) makes the story even more fun. With an emphasis on prayer, the Christian message of God hearing us and helping us even with the little things is loud and clear. The message is wholesome, lessons are learned, mentoring is given when needed, and the differences between right and wrong are made clear. There is a time where Maddie runs away to chase the thief all by herself because no one believes her. She ends up being safe and everything turns out okay in the end, however, I would have liked there to be more consequences to her wrong actions. The mom mentions that there will be consequences but what they are was not brought to light. Based on other reviews that I read, this comes up in book two but I thought I would mention it as a disclaimer in case anyone would prefer to know that before letting their child read it. It could possibly be a good discussion moment. I would recommend this book for any young girls who are reading chapter books. My daughter (age 9) was immediately attracted to the cover when it arrived in the mail and she has already started reading it!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that ZonderKidz provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

_240_360_Book.1811.cover

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

London Art Chase
By Natalie Grant / Zondervan

lgsquare

The Golden Braid

This book by Melanie Dickerson is a stand alone book but carries the themes and some characters from the author’s other stand alone fairy tales. Her books with these connections include:

The Merchant’s Daughter (Beauty & the Beast)

The Healer’s Apprentice (Sleeping Beauty)

The Fairest Beauty (Snow White)

The Captive Maiden (Cinderella)

The Princess Spy (Princess & the Frog)

and this book:

The Golden Braid (Rapunzel)

All of the above mentioned books have themes that can be related to the fairy tales that we all know and love. However, the author gives her own unique telling that makes each of these books their own story. In this retelling of Rapunzel, there is the well known story of Mother Gothel raising a child that is not her own and sheltering her from the outside world. When a local farmer asks Rapunzel to marry him, Mother decides to move them to another town again. During the journey they are attacked and one of the Duke’s knights, Sir Gerek, comes to their rescue. Through a series of circumstances, Rapunzel realizes that she needs to explore living away from her Mother so she goes to the castle in search for work. There she makes friends and encounters a mystery that could drastically change her life. When the castle is attacked, Rapunzel does her best to remain strong and help the ladies and staff held hostage. Later, she is kidnapped by her Mother Gothel and held captive in a tower. Sir Gerek sets out on a quest to find the woman he has fallen in love with.

I have read (and own) all of the books listed above. I absolutely love fairy tales. This author does an excellent job of retelling these classic stories in a way that makes them unique. She weaves romance, mystery, and adventure together well. I like how the books can be read on their own but I love that they are connected by characters and themes that make me anticipate the next books! The author also weaves Christian themes throughout her stories but not in an overwhelming way. One of my favorite parts of this book is that Rapunzel wants to learn to read and Sir Gerek starts teaching her to read using his costly Bible.  This book is marketed toward Young Adults but I would recommend this book (and the other books written by this author) to anyone who loves fairytales and the medieval era.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tommy Nelson provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

_240_360_Book.1770.cover

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

The Golden Braid

By Melanie Dickerson / Thomas Nelson

lgsquare

booksneeze_badge

The Painter’s Daughter

This book by Julie Klassen is about the complicated relationships between Sophia Dupont and the Overtree brothers, Stephen and Wesley. Sophie assists her painter father in his studio and pursues her own passion for art. She meets Wesley who, as an accomplished painter himself, uses her as his muse. Their friendship starts out above board but eventually she allows herself to submit to the passion building between them. When he leaves abruptly for Italy with little more than a note, she is left devastated and confused as to how to handle her situation which is sure to bring scandal to her family. Captain Stephen Overtree, meets Sophie while on a quest to locate his brother and learns of his brother’s betrayal and Sophie’s condition. He offers her a proposal of marriage to save her from scandal. Sophie accepts his proposal with little time to think of any consequences because the Captain has to soon return to battle and she could not risk waiting for whenever Wesley decided to return. Stephen and Sophie spend their honeymoon time living a facade since they were married “in name only.” When Stephen returns to battle and Wesley returns, Sophie is torn between her love for Wesley and her commitment to her marriage vows. 

I am never disappointed with Julie Klassen books and this one was no exception! The cover is beautiful! The regency setting is always a favorite of mine. The author does a great job of weaving secrets, scandal, mystery, and romance into a story. Biblical gospel is shared and discussed between some characters but not in a way that is overwhelming or intimidating to someone who is not a Christian. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, and unconditional love are carried through the story line. There are a couple of passionate scenes that were very tastefully written. I read the majority of this book in one sitting (staying awake until 2 am to finish it!) and it left me wanting to read more! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves regency era romantic fiction! 


In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

210723_1_ftc

*****

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

The Painter’s Daughter
By Julie Klassen / Bethany House

lgsquare

BHP-Blogger-badge

Irish Meadows

This book by: Susan Anne Mason is the first in her Courage to Dream series. It takes place on Long Island, New York in the early 1900s. The O’Leary family owns but is close to loosing a horse farm due to financial circumstances. James O’Leary needs his daughters, Colleen and Brianna, to marry into influential families so that the farm avoids financial ruin. Colleen is content to marry the right man as long as he meets her high standards but realizes that her carefree and flirtatious attitude toward men has inadvertantly tarnished her reputation. Brianna, on the other hand, has desires of going to college before settling down into being a wife and mother. Gilbert Whelan returns to the O’Leary home where he grew up and quickly realizes James has plans to use him to save the farm. While his feelings grow for his childhood friend, Brianna, James requires that Gilbert marries the daughter of a banker in town. Rylan Montgomery, a seminary student, also stays with the family as he does his mission work at the local orphanage. Colleen starts to fall for Rylan even though he is not necessarily fit into her expectations of marriage material.

I really enjoyed this book. I would say that it is more romantic based than historical but the historical aspects are definitely interesting. The author changes perspectives of the characters so that the reader can understand multiple points of view. The romances in the book are definitely complicated as well as the interactions with James who contributed to a lot of the conflicts. I do feel like the conflicts resolved in the end but I would have liked to see more of the positive outcome after the conflict resolution. Maybe that will come in book 2 in the series!?! I am definitely interested in reading more from this author. Another surprise side story in this book relates to adoption of a child. Which right now is near to my heart as  my husband and I prepare to start the adoption training courses.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

217244_1_ftc

Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

#1: Irish Meadows

By Susan Anne Mason / Bethany House

lgsquare

BHP-Blogger-badge