How To Catch A Prince

This book by: Rachel Hauck is the third in the Royal Wedding series and is a modern day fairy tale. Corina Del Rey is an American heiress and journalist. Prince Stephan of Brighton Kingdom is a professional rugby player and former Royal Military. They married in secret 5 1/2 years ago and walked away from the marriage after Stephan’s return from Afghanistan where several of his friends, including Corina’s twin brother, died tragically.  When the secret marriage certificate is found by a new Archbishop, the prince and Corina must face their past secrets and annul the marriage. Corina fights for the love of her life with guidance from supernatural help. Torn between guilt and shame, the prince tries to ignore the feelings that he has hidden in his heart for Corina.

I have not read the first two books in this series. I was expecting more of a historical fiction, but realized within the first couple of pages that it was modern. I really enjoyed it even though modern is not one of my favorite genres. Although there are apparent ties to the previous two books, I was able to follow the story without knowing anything about the other story lines. I am interested in reading them though and have added them to my reading list. This book had a very interesting story line. I loved the interactions between Corina and Prince Stephan. They clearly loved each other throughout the book yet both had personal struggles that kept them from fully understanding the other. There was also a secondary story line that involved mysterious people who helped Corina while she stayed at a mysterious inn. It kind of reminded me of a Touched By An Angel episode. While interesting, I felt like it was not really needed to carry the story line. I think that this book will appeal to those who like easy to read, clean, fun, Christian, romance stories.

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.

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How to Catch a Prince, Royal Wedding Series #3
By Rachel Hauck / Zondervan

315506: Princess Ever After, Royal Wedding Series #2 Princess Ever After, Royal Wedding Series #2By Rachel Hauck / Zondervan
315476: Once Upon a Prince, Royal Wedding Series #1 Once Upon a Prince, Royal Wedding Series #1 By Rachel Hauck / Zondervan

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The Secret Of Pembrooke Park

This book by: Julie Klassen is a historical fiction romance that tells the story of Abigail Foster, the eldest daughter of a family who loses their fortune. With no future prospects for marriage, she gives up her dowry so that her sister, Louisa, can have her season. While helping her father find a new home, they were given a mysterious offer for the family to use an abandoned manor called Pembrooke Park. As Abigail oversees the cleaning and preparation of the home, she starts to meet new friends and hears rumors of old secrets.

There are rumors of murder, a secret room, and hidden treasure. What really happened to the Lord of the manor Robert Pembrooke and his valet 20 years ago? Why did the town hate the Pembrooke family who moved into the manor after Robert’s death? Why did they leave suddenly with no trace 2 years later?Abigail receives clues within letters written by an anonymous friend, a distant relative shows up, and mysterious noises, footprints, and visions keep her awake at night.

Abigail also battles with emotions as she is torn between the affection of different men. Gilbert, an up and coming architect, was a childhood friend who started showing interest in Abigail’s more beautiful sister. When Louisa lost interest in him, he set his interest on Abigail, regretting that he did not understand their connection sooner. William, Pembrooke Park’s curate and son of the manor’s steward, proves to be a good friend and confidant. His sermons are convicting. His affections toward Abigail are strong and real but he knows that he could never support a family on his meagar salary.

I loved this book! If I didn’t have children and other obligations, I would have had this book read within a day but it took me 3 days instead. I loved the twists and turns and guessing the secrets right along with Abigail. I also really loved the historical setting. Having read other books by Julie Klassen, I am not disappointed and look forward to reading more of her books in the future!

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.

*****

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The Secret of Pembrooke Park

By Julie Klassen / Bethany House

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Why I Do Not Read Erotic Fiction

I tend to read secular books that are controversial so that I can be prepared when I get into a discussion about them. I try not to completely judge a book based on what people say because a lot of people refuse to read (or insist on reading) a book… just because of the hype. Even Christian books throughout the ages have been judged poorly when they first were written (C.S. Lewis fiction, The Chronicles of Narnia, for example). I’ve read The Davinci Code, the Harry Potter series, Twilight saga, The Hunger Games trilogy, and several other controversial books. I don’t care for some of them and others I have no problem with. No matter what my view is on these books, I can have a knowledgeable discussion about each of them should they come up in conversation. The same goes with movies. I will often watch a movie just because it is controversial so that if someone asks I can give my honest opinion. And just to be fair, I have also read “Christian” books that many Christians love which I personally feel should never have had a Christian label due to bad theology (for example The Shack-see my review here).
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When it comes to the above mentioned books, I find that people question whether or not I should have read them. Yet, often they still come to me to get my opinion about books or movies on their radar. Generally, instead of saying “yes or no” about whether they should read or watch something, I will just tell them what the book or movie is about and let them make their own decision based on their convictions. If they ask questions like, “Isn’t there a lot of witchcraft in that book?” or “Do you think the book could lead someone astray?” I will answer truthfully.
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All that being said, there are some types of books and movies that I will not read or watch.
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One type being horror, where the sole purpose of the book or movie is to instill extreme fear. I don’t mind most thrillers like murder mysteries, crime drama, or suspense (like Frank Peretti books or Morgan Freeman movies). I just don’t like to fill my mind with books or movies that have no other purpose than to cause extreme fear.
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Another type being erotic, where the sole purpose of the book or movie is to arouse a person sexually. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog post… A facebook page that I follow posted the following article I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey. The author lists four reasons why she is not going to read the book Fifty Shades of Grey both from a personal and biblical perspective (I highly recommend that you read this article because she discusses more reasons than I plan to list here). On the facebook post, both sides were discussing if the book was appropriate to read using the same arguments that people use for other controversial books/movies (“it is not biblical” or “it is just a fiction story”). I have not read this book but I gave my opinion. Someone who has read the book accused people of being judgemental. Personally, from reading the posts, I did not feel that anyone was being judgemental but were just stating their opinions based on what they believe to be true according to the Bible. I believe that it is okay to discern whether or not you should read or watch certain media. It is also okay to state your opinion and/or debate as long as you do it humbly. I do not know if the accusation was aimed at me or someone else but it prompted me to want to elaborate on what I was saying in the discussion. So here is my opinion…
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Unfortunately, even in the Christian community, there is a problem with pornography addictions. Marriages have hit rock bottom or have even lead to divorce because of this problem.  Most people associate pornography addictions with men but women can be addicted to porn as well. Many people also associate pornography with magazines or movies but I believe that erotic romances should be added to that list.
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One online dictionary defines pornography as the following:
1. the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2. material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3. the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction
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Most women are not stimulated by photos in the same way that men are BUT we are stimulated by words and attention. This is one reason why women are more prone to having an emotional affair with a man who gives her attention and says all of the right things. When it comes to books, most avid readers would admit that they get caught up in the story as if they are apart of it. Readers can imagine the scenes, conversation, and actions as they are reading (even if they have never seen the movie that was made for that particular book). Most readers agree that books are generally better than movies because of the amount of detail given in a book that would be impossible to show on-screen. My husband (who is not a reader) thinks it is hilarious when I am reading a book and have tears flowing down my face. He also thinks I’m crazy if I am reading a book and bust out laughing. My point is, a book can bring out just as many emotions as a movie can: joy, sadness, anger, fear, love, lust, etc.
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Most Christians would agree that adultery is a sin. The Bible takes it one step further and says that lust is also a sin:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16 KJV)
So, using the above scripture as guidelines, read the following Amazon description of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. Then, make an informed decision on whether or not you should read it.

“When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”

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Bottom line is, I have not read this book and I don’t plan to because of the erotic label. I have read books and have watched movies in the past that I never should have read or watched. I have learned from my mistakes and I don’t want or need to fill my mind with images and emotions that are not pleasing to God or my husband.
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Here are two great resources for dealing with sexual temptation and sin:
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457981: Every Woman"s Battle with Workbook: Discovering God"s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment Every Woman’s Battle with Workbook: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment

By Shannon Ethridge / Random House

457974: Every Man"s Battle with Workbook: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time Every Man’s Battle with Workbook: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time

By Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker / Random House

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A Billion Reasons Why

This book by: Kristin Billerbeck is about a young woman named Katie McKenna who lives in California, works as a school teacher, and is almost engaged to be married to a predictable guy named Dexter. Her ex boyfriend, who also happens to be multimillionaire Luc DeForges, shows up and requests that she return home to New Orleans to sing and dance at his brother’s wedding. She makes a business arrangement with him for the sole purpose of going home to get her grandmother’s wedding ring so that Dexter can use it when he proposes. Katie quickly realizes that she has to face her past: her mother, her grief over her father’s death, her passion for singing and dancing, and most importantly her feelings for Luc.

Until now, I have never read any books by this author. After reading this book, I would like to pick up some of her other titles! I thought that this book was an easy read,  and it felt like I was watching a good chic flick romance movie. I could easily picture the characters as they interacted through the pages. I did feel that a lot of the book was predictable but not in a bad way. Some plots in the book were not predictable which made it interesting. I like how Billerbeck used Katie’s struggle to understand her emotions and tied it into her relationship with God. Overall, this is a great story that I would recommend to anyone who likes Christian romance novels. This is a great addition to my personal library!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Thomas 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.

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A Billion Reasons Why

By Kristin Billerbeck / Thomas Nelson

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