After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.
When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.
Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden. – from author’s website
As with most of her books, I found Coble focuses on the character’s stories and wraps the plot around the characters. At points, the storyline was less believable and it was easy to forget that Shauna was ex-navy, although I can understand how grief changes a person. Maybe I wasn’t paying as much attention as I normally did, but when it was revealed who the antagonist was, I had completely forgotten who he was and where he had been introduced before in the book. I liked Zach’s character and how he wanted to make up for his guilt at the death of his best friend by looking out for Shauna and Alex. Overall, it was a decent book that pulled in several murders, although the motivation seemed a little far-fetched.
Third Day guitarist Mark Lee is no stranger to heartache and hopes deferred; the road to success is never traveled without missteps along the way. Life is messy and uncertain and full of surprises. And one of the best things he’s ever done is let go of his expectations about how life should be in order to embrace life as it is: a moment-by-moment walk with God.
Hurt Road is the engaging true story of a man who, as a teen, found in music a refuge from the uncertainties of life. Who set out to discover a better way to live than constantly struggling to make sure life turned out the way he planned it. Who stopped substituting what’s next for what’s now and learned the truth–that coming or going, God’s got us.
Poignant, funny, and thoughtful,
Hurt Road dares anyone feeling knocked down or run over by their circumstances to give up control to the One who already has the road all mapped out. Includes black and white photos.
– from Amazon.ca
This book was a quick read with short chapters containing stories of Mark Lee’s life but also life lessons he learned and wants to impart with us. It focused not only on the positive points in his life but also negative ones. He wrote it in such a way that he was stating this was what happened and how he interpreted it. He turned the negatives into learning opportunities. The book didn’t focus as much on the Third Day (Christian band) aspect of his life as I thought it would since that is what he is known for. Instead, it was a balanced retelling of his life from when he was a kid till now. It was an enjoyable read of Mark Lee’s life that blended lighthearted and less lighthearted moments, his music career and that of Third Day, as well as God’s hand through all of it.
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.
Harry Houdni’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.
Boston, 1926— Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
– from author’s website
This book was a lot more suspenseful than Cambron’s other books. I was a little disappointed there wasn’t the weaving of two different stories like in her other books. There were several flashbacks that gained a peak into Wren’s life when she was younger. However, because there wasn’t the weaving of two different stories together, it allowed me to get deeper entwined in the one. It was set in an intriguing era and setting and kind of made me wish I could have experienced Houdini’s illusions and the vaudeville era when illusions were that much more astounding because almost everything you saw was new before it became mainstream. I loved the illusions and that most of the illusions remained as such. The intriguing time period and setting, as well as the intriguing characters, left me satisfied at the end.
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.
– from author’s website
The storyline to the book felt very much like another book I had read several years ago – so much so that I was tempted to put the book down. It was only about half way through the book that it started sounding unique from the book I had read previously and I started enjoying it. There was nothing that really stood out for me as something super special about the story. It was a nice little story but it wasn’t that memorable.
Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.
Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.
But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.
Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.
As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?
– from Goodreads
Denise Hunter pushes the boundary of what is acceptable in Christian fiction in romance. This book is no different. An unmarried man stays with an unmarried woman and doesn’t raise many questions from the characters except from the unmarried man because he is in love with the woman he is forced to stay with and doesn’t want her to know. There are also numerous make-out sessions that made the romance more steamy. The scene with Paige’s mom seemed forced and that it was included and orchestrated solely to move the story along. It felt contrived and left me disappointed in how Riley left. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book, though, was how real Riley’s struggle dealing with the loss of his leg felt. The ups and downs he went through before he came to acceptance with the loss of his leg and allowing people to help him felt genuine.
An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!
– from author’s website.
I love Kristy Cambron’s books for the way she beautifully weaves two stories together set in different time periods. This one is slightly different from her others in that the time periods are closer together and they intersect with the other more directly. The main characters from both periods actually meet and at the end both are in present day. At times, I would have liked more detail to give the stories more depth, but it may have taken away from the intricacy in which the stories were weaved together. Overall it is a touching story of two women from different decades finding love and acceptance primarily set in a circus.