Book Reviews

Roanoke: The Lost Colony by Angela Elwell Hunt

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/ 5


Synopsis:

In 1587, a fleet of English ships set sail for the Virginia colony. During a storm, one ship became separated from the others and was never seen again. The settlers on board were presumed lost at sea, but there is both historical and legendary evidence that the colonists actually founded the Roanoke colony. 

Veteran novelist Hunt (“Theyn Chronicles”) reimagines this slice of Colonial history through the eyes of Jocelyn White, a newlywed reluctant to leave her home in England for the wild shores of the New World. White’s journey is fraught with danger, but her dependence on God and God’s providence carry her safely through.


Review:

Wow!!! I really cannot say enough great things about this book. There were times that some of the characters frustrated me a little bit but the author made those characters grow and meld into beautiful people by the end. 

Which brings me to the conclusion…

I loved the ending to this book! The author seemed to wrap everything up perfectly and give the story and characters the resolutions they deserved. This ended up being one of those books that I had to sit and absorb after I finished with it because there was so much to think about. If you are interested in historical fiction then start on this book right away.

Book Reviews

Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides.

Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness?


Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought the writing was really good. The author did a great job of pulling me into the story and making me feel like I was a part of the story. And those are the kinds of books that I love.

Unfortunately, I found one of the main characters, Abigail, very unlikable. Not until the book was almost over did my heart begin to soften for this girl. And when I say the book was almost over I mean there was only a few more chapters until the book was complete.

I just felt like she was given all this grace and compassion by most of the town and she continued to turn her nose up at them. So not cool. We read this book as a book club selection and this point was discussed among us. I have to admit that others in the group – although not everyone – had more compassion for this (fictional) character than I. (And on that note, as a group, my book club decided we all really liked this book, FYI)

This one point really hung me up with this book. When it’s a romance, I really like to ‘love’ the character. At least for most of the book. Otherwise that happy ending doesn’t feel so happy to me. It ends up feeling a little false.

On the flip side – this writing style was certainly different. Other than my own hang-up. And I completely admit that it’s my own. The book was beautifully written. And it had a great story! So if you’re looking for a different kind of historical romance – then definitely – grab this one today.

Book Reviews

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. Because of this crazy arrangement, Thursday can only see her husband one day a week. But she loves him so much it doesn’t matter.

But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married. 


This book is SERIOUSLY AH – MAZE – ING !!!! I read the entire book in just a few hours. I Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

There are so many little twists in this story that I NEVER saw coming. And isn’t that what truly makes an OUTSTANDING thriller? Especially a psychological thriller? And let me tell you – Fischer did a tremendous job with her storytelling.

I’m now following Tarryn Fisher, the author of The Wives. I cannot wait to see what else she comes out with after this outstanding book. Seriously – go grab a copy of The Wives and let me know what you think.

Book Reviews

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

Harriet Vane is a mystery novelist who knows all about poisons because that’s what she writes about in her novels. But when her ex-boyfriend died the same way she just wrote about in her one of books, a jury is ready to say she is guilty of murder. Lord Peter Wimsey comes into investigate and is determined to find her innocent and also becomes determined to make the accused his wife.


Review:

This mystery was really good in some unexpected ways. This novel was originally written in 1930 so it had a lot of turn of the century references. Which I always enjoy. And because of when it was written it was also a clean read. Of course, I haven’t come across one that wasn’t yet that was written during this time period or earlier – but I’m sure they do exist.

As for the book itself… One fun feature – Lord Peter Wimsey figured out the true murderer fairly early on – but not how the murder was committed. A definite hitch. That was a nice little change from regular stories though – usually it’s the opposite. We know how the murder was committed but not “who did it.”

Lord Peter Wimsey also uses a woman to help him investigate. Would this had been normal during this time period? I don’t know. But I do love his forward thinking.

All in all I thought this was a great book. If you’re a fan of mysteries – especially historical mysteries – then pick this one up. And it’s part of a series with 15 books all together so if you love the book you’ve just hit a gold mine!

Book Reviews

In the Midst of the Flames by JP Robinson

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5


Synopsis:

As the fires of the Great War rage across the European continent, the Steele family is caught in the midst of the inferno.

Estranged from his wife Malcolm wonders if he can ever find forgiveness for his betrayal as he begins the long journey home.

Leila desperately searches for a way to escape her past life as a spy—and the German agent who has been sent to kill her—as she struggles to prove her innocence.

Determined to save his family, Thomas risks everything in a high-stakes political gamble, bringing Britain to the brink of obliteration, as spymaster Robert Hughes plots his downfall.

Will everything be reduced to ashes?Or does God still walk with those who, through faith, step out into the midst of the flames?


Review:

This book had several stories- I believe 4 – and it jumped back and forth between them. This is ok in theory except the reader had no idea how these stories connected until at least half-way to two-thirds through the book (unless I missed it earlier). Because of this the book seemed very fragmented and choppy. Once the stories all came together and everything made sense then it was a really good book but it took a long time to get there.

There were a few of the story lines that I really did enjoy. Where Will stayed with Burkhard’s family was beautifully written. That part alone could’ve been a short story.

I gave In the Midst ⭐⭐⭐/5 because of the hard to follow storylines. There were several times I was going to give up on the book but I pushed through and in the end I’m glad I did.

A special thank you to JP Robinson for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review..

Book Reviews

The Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/ 5


Synopsis:

This book begins with a young journalist purchasing an antique typewriter (what’s that?) & she finds a bunch of letters stuffed inside. The letters were written between two sisters & exchanged during WWII. She then goes to Germany to find out what happened to the sisters because the letters had suddenly stopped.

The book then takes us on a journey throughout the sisters lives. One married a German officer. Does that also make her a Nazi? That’s what her sister is trying to find out. The other fights to be a journalist in a man’s world while moving throughout Europe. 


Review:

I personally love any kind of historic book so Thynne had me hooked from the beginning with just that alone. But the story and presentation was so unlike any I had ever read before. And I’ve read a lot of books – and historical fiction books. Readers in The Words were shown both sides of WWII which I think is so interesting. It really made you think about how people must have felt that had loved ones living in Germany. And there were so many small little twists to the story that I didn’t see coming! Normally I read about 7-10 books at a time and read 5 chapters in each book cycling through each one. By the 2nd time I got to The Words I couldn’t put it down and I stayed up all night to finish it. I loved it that much!!!

Thank you so much to Random House for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. I recommend you grab your copy today (or at least preorder it). Copies download/ship on January 21st.

I definitely recommend The Words I Never Wrote and I’m going to be grabbing some more books by Thynne too. Have you read this book yet? What did you think?

Book Reviews

Masquerade by Nancy Moser

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/ 5


Synopsis:

Charlotte Gleason grew up having all the dresses, hats and jewels she could want. When she and her maid/BFF was sent to NYC so she could marry a man she’d never met she realizes it’s her chance for an adventure. Adventure is something she’d never had the chance to have. She swaps places with her maid Dora and they both set off for lives they never expected.


My Review:

I thought this book would follow along an expected storyline but happily it didn’t. As I read there was several surprises throughout. Even the ending gave me a surprise.

Another thing I enjoyed was having some recognizable names thrown into the book. Mrs. Astor and the Vanderbilts were both guests at parties. Their personalities, their homes and even how respected they were in NYC society was talked about. I love when a historical fiction brings a book to life like that.

Overall I’d definitely recommend this book. It was a clean read, which I love. The characters referred to God and to scriptures, even to their lack of faith and how to regain it. At the end everything was all tied up, except one thing – one of the men AND his family was just left hanging!!! Which is why I left a star off. What happened to him and this other family that we readers came to know and care about? I’d still definitely choose another book by Moser though. I absolutely loved her writing style.

Let me know what you thought about Masquerade