Welcome Back by: Lin Stepp

Welcome BackWelcome Back by Lin Stepp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cowardice can never step free of the past, only bravery can.

With her daughter’s plea to come back home, Lydia is comes back with no expectations to the daughter and husband she left behind. Because of the manipulation and emotional abuse of her mother-in-law, Lydia took her two sons and moved from the clutches of her mother-in-law. Her daughter is now grown up with twin boys of her own and her husband is continuing the family business of farming. Her son’s do not support the ideal of Lydia coming back to the husband that did not stop the abuse of his mother to their family.

A story of pain when living under oppression and picking up the pieces and years later redeeming the time of pain and misunderstanding. Lydia’s husband John must prove himself to his family for not leading and protecting the family that fell under the manipulation of his mother. The relationship between Lydia and her husband had to be rebuilt but I felt that more could have been done to the relationship between mother and daughter. The daughter had chosen to stay with her father and not leave with her mother. There was more to that disconnect that could have upped the narration a bit. It was a good read on the vulnerability of relationships and what needs to be done to repair what has been damaged.

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

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Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife by: Barbara Rainey

Letters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a WifeLetters to My Daughters: The Art of Being a Wife by Barbara Rainey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every marriage is rife with impossibilities. But in those times, we can experience the wonder of repentance, restoration, and renewal as we risk building doorways to the hidden corners of our souls. Married couples who love genuinely, willingly, and persistently come to see their beloved in a wholly different way.

Barbara Rainey and her husband are well known with their books on marriage. I have never read any. I do have them on my shelf at home and after reading this, I will make more of an effort to read them. This book on marriage is different. It is written as a letter to her daughters. My mother and I never had a problem with speaking with each other on difficult things but my own daughters are more reserved when it comes to personal issues. This book would make a great gift to your daughter if she becomes engaged to maybe open the door of discussion on what a Christian marriage looks like and the difficulties facing marriage in general. Rainey takes several of her pastimes such as gardening, painting, and dancing to express the contrasts that come with marriage. The good and the bad, the redeemed and the struggle. After reading how she compares marriage to a dance, I have a desire to take dance lessons just to work together the leading and following of how a well choreographed dance looks like.

Each chapter starts with a question from one of her married daughters and ends with wisdom on the things we need to remember to draw near to God and love our man. It is a conversation to see that we are not alone in our struggles and that it takes work that is never done.

Quotes that I found inspiring.

But when I focused on responding to my husband’s faltering steps and less on helping him lead, I found more joy in our experience and he improved more rapidly. And interestingly, when I centered my attention on following, he was more aware of his mistakes and apologized quickly when I wasn’t getting in his way and it was his mistake. Connection, our instructors taught us, was the key to success.

Give him the gift of respect for who he is today, knowing your gift will free him to become the leader God knows you need tomorrow.

When pornography is found on a computer or in a drawer, don’t accept an apology or a commitment to change. The problem is already a cancer. What at is required is accountability and wisdom. Accountability can come when enough men in his life know of the problem to be a force of goodness in prayer, direct interaction and confession. No one address this problem alone with success. Wisdom grows when the deeper roots of anger are seen in the struggle itself.

A great gift and a great reminder of the gift of marriage.

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

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The Virgin’s War (Tudor Legacy #3) by: Laura Andersen

The Virgin's War (Tudor Legacy #3)The Virgin’s War by Laura Andersen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Royalty thrived on secrets and conspiracies.

The Courtenay saga continues among the siblings. The Courtenay clan has been a friend, confidante, and warrior for Queen Elizabeth and her daughter Anabel. The previous books have given a voice to Lucy and Stephen, the older Courtenay siblings and the now with the Queen’s kingdom at stake the twins, Kit and Pippa will take the lead to secure her position as Queen. With Pippa’s gift of seer, will she take a chance on love knowing how it will end. Will Kit sacrifice his heart to see England united?

A pawn has been set but who will be sacrificed. Without giving to much away, fans of historical fiction will embrace Anderson’s “take” of the Queen’s daughter. Anabel’s father is the King of Spain whose agenda was to make everything Catholic. Where not just England but the world was divided by faith. Who can you trust and at what cost. Queen’s Elizabeth fight to unite in those differences with the help of Courtenay’s make reading a delight. I loved everything about this read!

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

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Revenge by: Lisa Jackson

RevengeRevenge by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where Dallas collides with Dynasty. You might relate if you grew up in the 70’s. A family saga in the hands of Jonah McKee. A rancher and land developer in the Northwest of Oregon. Everyone knew who he was and that he would always get his way especially when it came to his 3 children. Somebody like Jonah McKee has more enemies than friends and when he ends up in the bottom of the canyon, his wife knows that was no accident but murder.

The narration is done in 3 parts. How life was like being a child of Jonah McKee and how he manipulated each of his children. Don’t let the title fool you, it is more romance than thriller. I liked it. It was old school. Starting with Max the eldest of Jonah’s children coming to terms with his father’s death and the arrival of old flame Skye.

Jenner the rebel of the Jonah’s children who suddenly finds himself a father. Casey the youngest who is abducted and finds love in the one who rescues her.

All 3 relationships have the romantic tension as they discover love that they never knew existed. The character development made it easy to read and indulge.

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

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Noah’s Noisy Animals by: Rebecca Elliott

Noah's Noisy AnimalsNoah’s Noisy Animals by Rebecca Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A playful book on the story of Noah. With colorful pictures of animals and the opportunity to have fun with your children as you read and make animal noises together! A great way to make reading fun with the children in your life. I loved it.

A Special Thank you to Lion Hudson Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Not so Silent Night! by: Rebecca Elliott

Not so Silent Night!Not so Silent Night! by Rebecca Elliott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh I love this book! This is a great book to enjoy with the children in your life. It is colorful, it is playful, and with it you can share Jesus. It is not only a great book, it is an opportunity to make memories! I can not recommend enough!

A Special Thank you to Lion Hudson Publishing 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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