The Case For Christ by: Lee Strobel

The Case for ChristThe Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

I had studied history, sifted archaeology, asked questions and analyzed answers with as much of an open mind as I could muster. Now I had reached critical mass. The evidence seemed clear. The one remaining issue was what I would do with it.

Lee Strobel is on a journey of evidence for the case of Christ. Was he the Son of God, why did he die on the cross, was the resurrection a tale, testing the eyewitness. the biographies of Christ, and much more. Fourteen chapters that each include a interview with a known expert. Strobel is a journalist by profession and each chapter also starts with his own parallel to what he is investigating.

The one that I was most intrigued with was with the Jewish history and Christ. As a Christian, I think behooves us to know more about the Jewish culture. Louis S Lapides was interviewed. A Jewish believer that had a very interesting journey of his own to come to faith. It was a train wreck of faith. His searching lead to dabbling into other religions until he started searching the scriptures himself. He saw Jesus in the Old Testament and has started to read the new, it begin to make sense.

It is a struggle to believe and know that there is a God and I appreciate those that share that struggle. The word says that WE all are hostile towards God and it is by his grace he makes himself known to us. This book is a direction for readers to know God and those that struggle and have come to faith!

A Special Thank You to Zondervan and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Most Wanted by: Lisa Scottoline

Most WantedMost Wanted by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 stars

She was so close to finding the answer, she could feel it within her grasp. She was dying to know, and she was terrified to find out.

How does a controversial issue as such as sperm donation become a thriller? The strength of this read, it could have went any way. It touches on Christine and her husband Marcus desperation for a child of their own, the insecurities when pregnancy does not happen, and the joy you have when you are given the desire of your heart. It also touches on the other end of the pendulum – is sperm donation playing God? What are you really in control of and how many people control your fate.

The dream becomes a nightmare when a news bulletin of a serial killer leaves Christine to believe that the accused killer is the father of her baby. With this news, everything changes, her marriage, her sanity as she becomes consumed to find the truth. In finding the truth, what does this mean for her child and marriage.

Scottoline weaved this issue as a thriller- as a reader you are second guessing did he or didn’t he and if he did not, who did and why.

So what are the weakness of this book- it being a controversial issue, I welcomed the balance, however, I thought the dialogue was weak. The plot was gripping and it kept me turning the pages.

A Special Thank You to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Coldest Fear by: Rick Reed

The Coldest FearThe Coldest Fear by Rick Reed
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

A killer who killed as a child that changed his soul piece by piece and became what he hated.

You only know him as a killer as he strikes a mid-west town with a crusesom killing. Not once, but a handful of times. It becomes personal when the killer points the killings to Jack Murphy. The killer daunts him, dares him if you will to come after him. The killer has a past that makes all of his killings personal. He kills to reveal the real person behind the victim. It is vicious and full of rage.

Jack Murphy has a need to right all the wrongs of the world including this killer.

The draw of the book is not the violence (it was violent but it could have been worse) but what is behind the violence. As a Christian, it reminds me of what we are all capable of the evil and the good. The reveal is exciting as well as the ending.

A Special Thank You to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

No One KnowsNo One Knows by J.T. Ellison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A different kind of psychopath, able to feel but always choosing to follow the wrong path.

Aubrey’s life changed the night her husband disappeared. They were childhood sweethearts, who always had each others back. Five years later, her husband has never been found, Aubrey has lived a nightmare and accusations that she had something to do with his disappearance. Aubrey is not only fighting to get her life back to normal, she is also fighting the mother-in-law from hell. She is determined to find out what happened to her husband so that she can free from the past.

The narration is done in current and past time as it slowly unfolds and pulls you into who is really who and what people will do when survival kicks in. Aubrey’s search for who her husband really was and getting past that to reveal who she really is. This was a 5 star until the very end.

(view spoiler)

A Special Thank You to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Platinum Doll by: Ann Girard

Platinum DollPlatinum Doll by Anne Girard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jean Harlow- a woman who seemed to have everything, was constantly in battle of being consumed by those who would manipulate and control her. From her mother to Howard Hughes. From her marriage to her big break, she seemed to suffer from not knowing who she was.

The narration was passive and that made it a little difficult to be engaged in Jean Harlow’s story. It makes you wonder if she really was that passive or if it was easier to let others control her. Her life was more sad than happy because of it.

I am big fan of old movies and the lives that lived them. If you are too, you will want to read Jean’s story.

A Special Thank You to Harlequin (US & Canada and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Pleasure of God: Finding Grace in the Ordinary by: J. Ellsworth Kalas

The Pleasure of God: Finding Grace in the OrdinaryThe Pleasure of God: Finding Grace in the Ordinary by J. Ellsworth Kalas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

Taking the common things of life from eating to walking, the mundane of what we do every day and to know and to live it to God’s pleasure.

Each 23 chapters reflect how we in our everyday activities see God in the ordinary. Knowing God’s pleasure is not always the Red Sea experience but the little things that we do every day. In our relationships and in our solitude. Each chapter ends with a brief promise that is intentional in “feeling” God’s pleasure.

It is a great reminder to reflect on what really matters. With a deluge of information, we can easily overload and not enjoy what God has given. It is a reminder of what do I value? We are easily prone to wander.

There is indeed some wisdom in this devotional that reflects simplicity and the value of being aware of smelling the roses however, the only fault I have is the devotional assumes the Gospel. We have great joy because of what Christ has done. There is nothing of that in this devotional. Some of the following quotes would have been great starters to reflect on the Gospel more deeply.

Some of the quotes that I found helpful are as follows:

One of the substantial benefits of learning is that it requires humility. Learning begins by confessing that someone knows more than we do. The person learns best and most who approaches the teacher most humbly.

The truth would be in a sea of irrelevance.

Love is not a convenience but a commitment. Love, of itself, is not necessarily good. Love is shaped by many forces-heredity, upbringing, experience, learning and acquired taste.

Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

Time is a piece of our very self. It is, as we so often say and need continually to realize, our only irreplaceable resource.

When someone doesn’t know how to give, that person’s wealth becomes curse.

If I think I deserve what is given to me, the giver ceases to be a giver and becomes a payer.

I find that a reflection on the mundane is good for the soul and brings us to the gospel.

A Special thank you to Westminster John Knox Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Forgotten Room by: Karen White

The Forgotten RoomThe Forgotten Room by Karen White
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating 3.5 Stars

A tiny thing as a lie could be like a pebble tossed in a pond, its ripples felt for decades. Disappointment and regrets become the destiny for 3 generation of women.

Three women, three different times and a Forgotten Room that ties them all together. It is prose of love lost as each generation is driven to find what bind them together. Olive is determined to bring good to her father’s name after he committed suicide. He built the Pratt mansion and she knows that the Pratt family is to blame. She becomes a maid for the household that her father was employed as an architect to bring justice to her family. She poses as a model for the youngest Pratt son and the two fall in love. Circumstances bring them apart and Olive begins a new relationship under the duress of her mother.

The narration is told in three voices and in three different times. Late 1800 to the 1940’s. Olive as she searches for redemption for her father. Lucy, Olive’s daughter as she searches for who her real father is. Kate the daughter of Lucy is now a doctor in male dominated world of the 1940’s. Her patient holds in his possession a painted picture of her likeness. Who is he and why the strong connection?

The story read well. Each other chapter was in each women’s voice as they discover who they really are and the destiny that was denied and pursued. It was a clean read in the style of Pride and Prejudice.

A Special Thank You to Penguin Group and Netgalley for the ARC the opportunity to post an honest review.

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