A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

Could losing everything be the best thing to happen to Annabelle Thorley?

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancé has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, the home of her long-estranged aunt and uncle, where a teaching position awaits her. Working for a wage for the first time in her life forces Annabelle to adapt to often unpleasant situations as friendships and roles she’s taken for granted are called into question.

Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to eventually purchase land that he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to the lovely Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s tragic death, Owen begins to dream of a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.
– from author’s website


This was the first book of Sarah Ladd’s that I’ve read and I enjoyed it and may read more of hers in the future. This is the third book in the series but it can be read as a stand-alone. I don’t think the characters from the other books even appear in this one. I would have liked the suspense to be more consistent throughout the book, but I still enjoyed trying to reason through who the murderer was and why it happened. The romance between Owen and Annabelle was sweet and I really liked Owen’s daughter. I really enjoyed the scenes his daughter was in. They were probably my favorite.

A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town’s red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn’t limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well–if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community.

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father’s companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he’s shown interest in Evelyn’s work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David’s dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them? – from author’s website


I enjoyed this book. I loved that Evelyn worked in an orphanage as that has been something that interests me. I wasn’t sure how to feel about Evelyn’s secret but liked how she acted because of it and how she kept her integrity during the time before she realized how it ended. I also liked how David still loved her in spite of Evelyn’s secret. I enjoyed seeing characters from previous books in this series. This book spent some time in the red light district but I would still consider it a light historical romance that dealt with a few darker issues without diving too deep into them.

Reunion by Bruxy Cavey

Is it possible that over the centuries the church has altered the message of Christ? Has modern Christianity wrapped itself so tightly in a fragmented, inactive version of the gospel that the life-changing message of God has been smothered? Pastor Bruxy Cavey thinks the answer is yes. He speaks to a new generation interested in Jesus but embarrassed by Christians in his latest book, (re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners (coming May 2017).

“The message of Jesus changed the world . . . until the world changed the message,” says Cavey. “But I’m happy to say that there is a growing movement of truth-seekers and Jesus-lovers who are calling for a return to the first and foundational good news message of Jesus. This book is inspired by them, and it is an invitation to join their ranks.”

In (re)union, Cavey explains why Christians shouldn’t follow the Bible—but why they will want to read it to learn how to follow Jesus. He encourages readers to discover their true citizenship in the Jesus nation, where they might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for one. – from author’s website


I loved this book. Cavey explained what the Bible and real Christianity is all about in a way that makes sense and yet challenged what I believed. At times he said things that shocked me like how as Christians, we don’t need to follow the ten commandments anymore, but as I continued reading and how he brought it all back to Jesus, it made sense. He addresses some concerns he knows people will have with what he says and explains why he believes the way he does. I may need to read this book a few times for everything to sink in fully, but it is not theological in the sense that many apologists and theologians make it out to be. It is written for the ordinary person and you don’t need a degree in theology to understand it. I recommend this book to anyone, as Cavey says, is a seeker, a saint, or a sinner.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Menno Media and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen’s lives are adrift. If Lord Hazen discovers them, he will kill Steffan and force Magdalen to marry his own spoiled son—to insure the success of his evil plans. A Goose Girl retelling, with shades of The Prince and the Pauper. – from author’s website


I enjoy Melanie Dickerson’s books and this one was no exception. I’ve always been fascinated with fairy tales, although I sometimes laugh at how ridiculous some of them are. I like how Dickerson has created ones that have a semblance of it could have happened. I also love the setting and time periods for her books. This one is set in the medieval time period so it has knights, dukes, lords, coups, etc. At times I found the characters to be a bit young but that is realistic to the time period and the book is geared more towards teens and young adults. It was another delightful read from Dickerson.

Words of Grace: A Coloring Devotional Book by Jacqui Grace & Dee Arrand

Be Amazed by God’s Grace!

Bring new joy to your time in God’s Word by incorporating beauty and creativity. As a gentle tonic for the busyness and worries of your life, this travel-sized coloring book devotional will help you focus your attention and calm your hurried soul.

Each page spread includes Scripture, devotional thoughts, and images to color that are all designed to reconnect you with the God who knows your every need. Grab your colored pencils, crayons, or markers and set yourself free to create. But most importantly: relax, have fun, and be blessed by God’s grace. – from publisher’s website


<div align="justify"This is the first adult coloring book I've done and I enjoyed it for the most part. It is meant to be used as a devotional and I found it an interesting idea to include group questions to be able to do it like a Bible study. I enjoyed coloring the pictures, although they sometimes seemed too detailed to color. What I mean by that is that there were birds with hearts on them or some sections were so small that it was hard to stay within the lines except when the pencil crayon was freshly sharpened. So if you don't want to take the time and effort that it takes to color something really detailed, this probably wouldn't be the best book for you, but it does offer some excellent thoughts and some excellent pictures.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc."

Grace Behind Bars by Bo & Gari Mitchell

Grace Behind Bars shares the true and dramatic account of how Bo Mitchell, businessman and chaplain for the Denver Nuggets, inexplicably ended up in federal prison only to find God’s true freedom behind bars. Ironically, it’s in a six-by-nine-foot cell that God begins to free this driven Christian leader from his prison of performance and success. In the end, Bo realizes that God’s love is a gift, not something he must earn.

But there’s more to the story: Just before Bo enters prison, his wife, Gari, becomes incapacitated by a brain illness and enters her own prison of clinical depression.

Readers will see how the couple struggled together as their world fell apart, yet ultimately grew closer to each other and God behind the bars of their trials. This story will not only inspire and encourage readers, it will show them how they, too, can find spiritual freedom in life’s “prisons” if they choose to see God’s hand in their lives. – from Focus on the Family’s website


Grace Behind Bars is a candid look at one man’s journey through prison and how pride came before his fall. It was fascinating to read how Bo and Gari didn’t become bitter about how he was treated for his unintentional crime, but rather they saw it as a lesson from God and were always open to learning what God wanted them to learn through the experience. I liked getting little snippets of Gari’s perspectives at the end of the chapters. I also liked how Bo related the lessons he learned while in prison to how they could be applicable to everyone, although in his speech he geared it to men. A lot are still great tips for everyone, regardless of gender. Their story wasn’t that relatable for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Hello, My Name Is: Discover Your True Identity by Matthew West

The world goes out of its way to make you believe you are not good enough. Maybe you aren’t sure you like where you’ve been, or who you’ve become. Maybe someone has made you believe a lie about who you are by speaking damaging words to you. The discovery of our true identities does not begin by looking within ourselves, but by looking to the One who made us. It is time to tear off the false name tags that cover up your true identity. Understanding who you are begins with knowing Whose you are so you can embrace your destiny as a child of the one true King. – from book’s website

I love Matthew West’s songs and think he is an excellent songwriter so I was excited to read this book. I enjoyed his stories as they gave an insight into his life and what inspires his songwriting. They were really thought out about how he incorporated them into each point he wanted to bring across. He uses stories from his life, the lives of people he’s met, and from people who have written to him. I enjoyed the writing style as well. I found it to be a conversational style and wasn’t too theological nor too flowery. It had serious moments, as well as lighter moments.

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case–if they can–alongside the best Memphis has to offer. – from author’s website


The suspense in this book was riveting. It kept ramping up until the conclusion. I thought it was an interesting take to have the main characters try to save someone on death row and prove that he was innocent of the crime he had confessed to. I liked that there were enough bread crumbs for me to feel like I was figuring it out but not enough for me to have it all figured out before the full story was revealed. There were a couple of loose ends that weren’t tied together by the end and weren’t really explained how they fit into the story. I don’t know if those parts will come into a later book in the series but I doubt it. Overall, it was a well written romantic suspense.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”
Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country.
When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.
As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated….
– from author’s website

I always enjoy the dialogue in Turano’s books and this one didn’t disappoint. I loved the interaction and witty dialogue between characters. It feels real and her characters feel like people I would be friends with in real life. The secondary characters added a lot to the story and rounded out the interaction and dialogue. Even though people were trying to kill Asher, I kept forgetting or realizing how serious it was because it was more of an afterthought or something to move the plot along. The characters and their interactions are the main focus. I hope in subsequent books in this series that we will get to see some of the characters again.

Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits

Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
– from Amazon’s website


I personally didn’t really like this book. I didn’t like the writing style and don’t remember much of what was said. I found the writing style to be more of an abstract thing which I didn’t like. I also didn’t do the group study questions but when I looked at them afterward, they probably would have been a good idea to go through even though I read the book by myself. They would have been more helpful than just reading the chapters and I probably would have remembered more of what I read.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.