Title: DREAMS THAT WON’T LET GO
Author: Stacy Hawkins Adams
Indigo Burns wedding preparations are coming along beautifully as Indigo plans to marry the man of her dreams. Not only that, but Indigo’s new photography career seems to be a success, and her family has healed and are doing better than ever…except for one person.
Reuben Burns is Indigo’s brother, and the family hasn’t heard from or seen him in years. But now, Reuben unexpectedly has decided to move back to Jubilant, Texas, Indigo’s home town. He apparently hopes to find a new relationship with his sisters. But the wounds inflicted are deep, and hopes for healing seem to be just pipe dreams.
Added to this, Indigo’s younger sister, Yasmin, makes a life-altering decision. Now the family has been torn apart again, and it seems only a miracle will allow them to love each other unconditionally.
DREAMS THAT WON’T LET GO is book three in Ms. Adams Jubilant Soul series. I recommend reading books 1, The Someday List, and 2, Worth a Thousand Years, first before reading DREAMS THAT WON’T LET GO so you are current with all the events that have happened in the series.
Ms. Adams is a best selling Urban author, with good reason. Her writing is stellar, with well developed characters, settings that you can envision, and a plot line that women can relate to. There is some telling in the story, but as a whole, DREAMS THAT WON’T LET GO is a book that will stay with the reader for a long time to come. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $12.99. 236 pages.
Title: LOVE FINDS YOU IN BRIDAL VEIL, OREGON
Author: Miralee Ferrell
Publisher: Summerside Press
ISBN: 978-0- 935416-63-0
Margaret Garvey was sixteen years old when she fell in love with Nathaniel Cooper. Nathaniel asked her to marry him, and she agreed, and the plan was that they’d run away together. But Nathaniel never received the message that Margaret would run away with him, so he left without her. Four years later, Margaret is the school teacher in Bridal Veil, and she is being courted by Andrew Browning.
Now, Nathaniel has returned to Bridal Veil, and he’s anxious to pick up the relationship where it left off. Margaret isn’t sure how she feels about either man, but neither is prepared to back off. Especially when a local logger is murdered, and hobos are spied in the area.
Andrew is spied in the area of the murdered man’s home so he finds himself a prime suspect. But then, so are two homeless children who are placed at the scene. Who really killed the logger? And how will Margaret discern which man she truly has feelings for?
LOVE FINDS YOU IN BRIDAL VIEW, OREGON is Ms. Ferrell’s second book in the Love Finds You series, and I think this one is even better than the first The setting appears to be lovely by the description, and the photos included in the book.
Margaret is a lovely heroine, kind and courteous, and is considered quite the catch in Bridal Veil. She would have been a wonderful teacher, judging by the way she interacted with children. Both Andrew and Nathaniel had their faults, but my sympathies laid with one more than the other, and I hoped she’d chose the man I wanted her too. The ending of the book while, not unexpected, was heartbreakingly sweet. I loved LOVE FINDS YOU IN BRIDAL VEIL, OREGON. I enjoyed reading about the history of the town included at the end of the book too. $12.99. 365 pages.
Title: SEASIDE LETTERS
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary romance
Sabrina Kincade serves coffee to Tucker McCabe every day at the restaurant she works at. But she’s holding a secret close to her heart.
At the restaurant, Sabrina is known as the ice princess. She doesn’t let anyone close to her. But at home, in the dark of night, she has an email relationship with a man that she’s developing feelings for. This man could never love her, not if he knew who she really was. But she dreamed that it could be so…
When Tucker learns about Sabrina’s second job as a researcher for a local writer, he hires her to read through the emails he’s exchanged with a woman known only as “Sweetpea”. A woman that he has developed feelings for. But Sweetpea has left little clues to her real identity. Fortunately, Tucker already knows who she is. And he’s hoping that Sabrina will come forward with the truth.
Sabrina is determined to keep her secret at all costs. Because if Tucker discovers who she is, then he’ll discover her closest secret. And it could destroy everything.
I have read all of Ms. Hunter’s novels so far, and while not my favorite of her books, SEASIDE LETTERS is still compelling. I did kind of get bored with the middle, but kept reading to see what would happen. I also felt there was a bit of a loose string that wasn’t neatly trimmed.
Sabrina is a realistic, hurting heroine, and Tucker is the stuff of dreams. A beautiful love story, with some toe-curling moments. I’m looking forward to Ms. Hunter’s next book, Driftwood Lane, releasing in the summer of 2010. Discussion questions are included at the end. $14.99. 320 pages.
Title: THE SWEET BY AND BY
Author: Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: contemporary woman’s fiction
Jade Fritzgerald is getting married, to a lawyer, a man who as won her heart. She owns The Blue Umbrella, a resale shop for vintage items. And Jade’s life is mostly happy as long as she leaves her mother, a hippie-flower-child who never grew up, and God, out of the equation.
Beryl Hill had dreams. She believed that she and Jade would be the best of friends the day that she gave birth to her daughter. But her husband springs on her the unwelcome news that he’s joined a major law firm so they could have their piece of the American Dream. A small plot of land, their own house, and enough money to meet the bills. Beryl is upset and believes her husband has sold out to “The Man.”
Now Beryl holds Jade’s scarlet wedding invitation in her hands. An invitation that Jade didn’t even want to send to Beryl. An invitation that Beryl isn’t sure she wants to respond to. But either way, for both women, this invitation has opened up a look back into the past while they are moving forward.
THE SWEET BY AND BY is a well-written story full of the reality of life. Searching for real love and endless dreams. Unpleasantness marked by hopes for the future. The get-down-and-dirty grit that too many of us are familiar with.
As a reader, I was kept distant from the characters, and never did feel like I got close to them. It was more like I was viewing their life through a screen, and not connecting with them one-on-one, so I didn’t really care what happened to them. Still, the characters, the setting, the circumstances, the plot were all believable, and the story is full of redemption, reconciliation, and grace. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $19.99 hardcover. 310 pages.
Title: THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
Marianne Wallace has always celebrated Christmas with her family gathered around her. It was the big deal of the year with lots of family traditions and togetherness. Marianne was just as determined to make this year rival the other years. After all, her youngest child, Kevin, was a star football player, and since her family wouldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving, she would go all out for Christmas.
But things have a way of changing. A heart attack leaves the school mascot grounded, and Marianne steps in to fill in the need. Then she somehow finds herself on the church hospitality committee in charge of planning the Christmas tea, a tea she doesn’t even attend! And one by one, all Marianne’s plans come unraveled, leaving a Christmas that will change the Wallace family—and the community—forever.
I couldn’t wait to read THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL. Susan May Warren is probably toward the top of my favorite author’s list, and Christmas is my absolute favorite season. I was thrilled when I heard she was writing a Christmas story, and when the chance came to review Susan’s book, I couldn’t pass it up.
THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL did start out a tad slow, but I was soon hooked in the story, living Marianne’s life along with her. I could sympathize with a lot of her story as I too have five children and am facing the day when our family Christmas will be a thing of the past. I thoroughly enjoyed this story—my only complaint is that it came to an end. If you pick up one holiday book this year, make sure it is THE GREAT CHRISTMAS BOWL. This story is a winner. Plus, a yummy sounding recipe is included at the end of the book. $9.99. 156 pages.
Laura, her husband, Steve, and their five children make their home in Horseshoe Bend. Laura is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with over a thousand book reviews published at various online review sites. Laura has written two novels published by Treble Heart Books, Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past. She is a stay-at-home mom and homeschools her five children. Laura has her business degree from Ozarka and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.