Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

In Tune with Love by Amy Matayo March 17, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:29 pm
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in tune

About:

April is willing to do anything for her sister’s wedding—until she comes face to face with a guy from her past.

 

April Quinn is thrilled to be her sister’s maid of honor, until the wedding coordinator quits and the responsibilities get dumped on her. It’s April’s worst nightmare—especially since her sister has more objections and opinions than a lawyer presenting a high-profile court case. When the wedding singer walks out at the last-minute, her sister hires a replacement. When April finds out who the replacement is, she’s ready to call it quits as well.
Because there’s only one person in April’s past that she never wanted to see again, and her sister just handed him a front row seat to the wedding.
Jack Vaughn finally has the career he’s always wanted. After playing in bars and singing in weddings as a struggling musician for half a decade, he’s just released his second album and sales are skyrocketing. But while visiting his parent’s Nashville home the weekend before his first headline tour, he runs into an old friend. When she asks him for a last-minute favor, he can’t bring himself to say no. Even though saying yes means he has to come face to face with April Quinn—the girl who hasn’t spoken to him in years.

 

And rightly so, since he stole something from her that he’ll never be able to repay.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed the overall storyline of this book. Amy accomplished a lot in a very minimal amount of time. We have the main story of Jack and April and also April’s sister getting ready for her wedding.

I loved that April loves to write music, as I enjoy doing that as well and will write lyrics down in random places.

Something I struggled with in this book was the Christian factor (or lack there of). Honestly, if I didn’t know it was Christian fiction I don’t think I would have thought these characters has much faith. It is stated that they both question things but they seem to call on God when it’s convenient. I was hoping to see a more spiritual growth piece with both main characters and I didn’t see that. I think that could have been played up a bit more.

But, with that being said, the story itself was very good and I enjoyed it.

Visit Amy here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck February 17, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:19 pm
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a brush with love

About:

Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love.

 

Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget she would never be one of the beautiful people.

 

that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.

 

When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again?

 

When Tom challenges her to see her own beauty, Ginger must decide if she will remained chained to the past or move freely into a new, exciting future.

My thoughts:

I always enjoy Rachel’s books because she has so much depth to them. If you look beyond the words that are written you will find a gospel message.

This book was no exception.

Ginger struggles with her scars. She believes she must cover them up so no one else can see them and if people do see them they will reject her. She believes she could never be beautiful, that a happy-ever-after will never happen for her.

But Tom sees the truth. He sees beyond her scars into her heart and knows she is beautiful.

Isn’t this message so true of many of us? We hide our scars, our past, or we cling to them and allow them to define us, instead of using our scars for His glory. Remember Thomas didn’t believe it was Jesus until he saw the scars. Many people won’t see Jesus until we start sharing our scars with others.

Anyway, that is the underlying message I got out of the super quick read. If you are looking for a fast little romance I recommend this one.

Visit Rachel here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

Merry Christmas and Love At Mistletoe Inn by Cindy Kirk December 24, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:51 pm
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Before I share my review with you today I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you encounter the amazing gift of Jesus in a new and fresh way this year. Below is a link to a video that depicts what happened 100 years ago as the troops in WWI called a truce. It moved me to tears and reminded me of what Jesus can do even in the middle of a war. Maybe you are in a personal war of your own. Be reminded that Christ alone can bring you the peace you desire. Click here.

at misaltoe

About:

Sometimes the road to happiness is paved with youthful mistakes.

Hope Prentiss didn’t go to the Harmony High School senior prom. Instead, she and John Burke drove to Boise and got married. At eighteen. But when Hope panicked after saying “I do,” the mail-order preacher assured her he just wouldn’t send in the paperwork. No forms, no marriage, no problem. Right?

Well . . .

Now, ten years later, Hope discovers that her prom-night wedding counted—and, as fate would have it, the jilted John Burke has just ridden back into town. And he’s staying with her Aunt Verna at the inn where she and Hope host weddings. Though Hope thinks she wants an annulment, a little time with John makes her think twice . . . and emotions between the more-or-less Mr. and Mrs. Burke reach a boiling point a soon as they get a moment alone.

With annulment out the window, Hope finds herself staring in the face of a divorce. But after spending some time with John and helping plan a Christmas wedding for a mystery couple, Hope begins to wonder if she really wants a divorce … or a real wedding of her own.

My thoughts:

I loved the premise of this story. A young couple rush off to get married but think it doesn’t “take” just to find out that it did. What will they do?

It should be easy until they make their marriage “official”, if you get my meaning, then it becomes much more complicated.

Not to mention Hope is sort of dating someone else…yikes!

John just wants his wife back and will do whatever it takes to make her see that he really does love her.

The Christmas theme isn’t overly present in this book but it was still a nice lead up to December.

Cindy seemed to work in a lot of depth into a quick read and I appreciated that. I didn’t feel like anything was rush. Overall, I recommend this one 🙂

Visit Cindy here.

Grab you copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

A November Bride by Beth Vogt December 18, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:36 pm
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november

About:

Sadie McAllister is fastidious to a fault-but that serves her well as a personal chef to her clients in Denver. But her earliest attempt at managing romance was a bust when Erik Davis declined her invitation to the school’s eighth grade Sadie Hawkins Dance.

Having celebrated the big 3-0 by ending a relationship, Sadie is tired of romantic relationships-by-text. The only man she knows willing to put down his iPhone and have face-to-face conversations with her is Erik. It’s time to put a 21st-century twist on the Sadie Hawkins’ tradition of a woman going after her man. He may not be the hero of her romantic dreams, but she can propose to Erik and achieve some sort of happily ever after with her best friend.

Erik is good at two things: his freelance job and maintaining casual, no-one-gets-hurt relationships with women. What is Sadie thinking, proposing to him? This is marriage-not a middle school dance. Erik decides to show Sadie what romance looks like when the man takes the lead. And while he’s at it, he’ll prove just how wrong they are for each other. But when he realizes he’s fallen for her, can Erik convince Sadie his just-for-fun dates were the prelude to “’til death do us part”?

My thoughts:

This was another great romance. I enjoyed this book and the slow, yet quick, love story that bloomed 🙂

I love all the elements that Beth worked into this quick read. Both characters had things in their lives to overcome and misunderstandings with each other to work through.

After being friends for so long you know a lot about a person and Sadie definitely had trouble believing Erik could really care for her for too long. But Erick sets out to prove her wrong. Will it be too late? Will she leave everything behind to start a new life far from Erik?

You’ll just have to give this a read to find out.

Visit Beth here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for a honest review.

 

 

An October Bride by Katie Ganshert December 11, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:08 pm
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octoberAbout:

She wants to make her father’s dream come true. She doesn’t realize her own dream has been in front of her the whole time.

Emma Tate isn’t a risk taker, so everyone in her small Midwest town is surprised when she suddenly becomes engaged to lifelong friend Jake Sawyer. No one but Jake and Emma know the true reason they’re getting married-so Emma’s dying father can walk her down the aisle.

While Jake and Emma plan an autumn wedding together, it becomes clear that their agreement has a few complications-the biggest being their true feelings for each other.

In this novella by award-winning author Katie Ganshert, a young woman must reconcile her dying father’s dreams with her own dreams for love and for her future.

My thoughts:

I. Loved. This. Story.

This is one of the best stories I have read in this series. I already love Katie’s writing from reading her novels so I was curious to see how she would handle a novella.

Let’s just say I was crying at the end.

I adored both Emma and Jake. They made a great couple before either of them even realized they did.

Katie did a wonderful job building doubt into the book, which is what will keep you reading, wondering how they can work this out and when they will admit their true feeling to each other.

I read this book so fast, in less than two hours, so this a quick read that I highly recommend.

Visit Katie here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

A September Bride by Kathryn Springer December 4, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:25 pm
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a september bride

About:

Annie’s always wanted a home and a family. But will pretending to be a bride get her closer to her dreams?

All Annie Price has ever wanted is a place to call home. Growing up in the foster care system, that dream seemed far away, but now Annie’s dream may be coming true. A friend she met in an online book group wants to retire and has offered Annie a fresh start managing her little bookstore. Believing the opportunity is an answer to prayer, Annie packs her suitcase and moves to Red Leaf, Wisconsin.

The residents of Red Leaf welcome Annie into the fold . . . everyone except the bookstore owner’s son, Jesse Kent. But Annie refuses to let the handsome deputy keep her from embracing her new home with open arms. She even volunteers to help the local historical society refurbish an old church and agrees to be the “bride” for a special reenactment celebrating the museum’s open house.

Jesse Kent can’t believe his mother has handed the keys to her business over to a woman she met on the Internet. Annie’s beautiful, of course, and smart as a whip, but what do they really know about her, anyway? What if she’s come to their town just for his mother’s money? The only way to see if his suspicions about Annie Price are true is to keep a close eye on her-even if it means he has to marry her! Planning their mock wedding will give him the chance to uncover Annie’s motive for moving to town. But as the day of the wedding approaches and secrets come to light, Jesse must face the truth. He wants Annie to be his September bride . . . for real.

My thoughts:

I definitely liked the basic idea of this story and I enjoyed the cast of characters very much.

The quaint feeling of Red Leaf (perfect of a September story) and the cozy atmosphere of the book story drew me in.

I loved how Kathryn slowly unwrapped Annie’s past and let us see bit and pieces of her heart as Jesse saw them as well.

Jesse was a strong, handsome hero who I could easily see not trusting Annie at first.

I did feel a bit let down at the end. I felt like we had all these great ideas and things that we learned about the characters and then it was over. I know it’s a novella and it was short and a fast read but I wish somehow the ending was a bit more developed. Something was just missing for me.

However, the overall message is fantastic: we can’t let our past define us. Whether they are mistakes we have made or things that others have done to us. We can only let the Jesus define us, that is something we all need truly grasp.

Visit Kathryn here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

An August Bride by Debra Clopton November 18, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:16 pm
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august bride

About:

 

As far as Kelsey Wilcox is concerned, her last cowboy was the last cowboy.

Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach.  Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo.

When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her.

So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous groomsman . . . in soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks.

Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet.

My thoughts:

I adored this story. Debra took me to August on the beach. I could feel the wind whipping through my hair, feel the sand between my toes. Truly wonderful.

Kelsey is so torn. She has sworn off cowboys but she is having trouble keeping Brent out of her mind. I loved the internal struggle of both characters. Brent tried so hard to stay away from Kelsey because he didn’t want to push her away.

My heart was aching for them. I could so see them and the their romance blooming.

Even more, I loved the lesson in this book. Sometimes we get wounded in our past and sometimes we can few the rest of our lives out of the lens of that wound. But that isn’t what Jesus wants. He wants us to give our wounds to Him and allow Him to give us His lens to look through and see who we really are.

Visit Debra here.

Grab you copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com.

An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

A May Bride by Meg Moseley May 6, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:28 pm
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may bride

About:

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. She thinks she has prepared for her wedding all her life…but it seems she may have forgotten the most important part. Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life—a wedding just like the one her younger sister is planning back home. Their single mom will pay for Alexa’s wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom. At a wedding at her church, Ellie bumps into a man who’s one of the guests. She’s noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn’t trust freewheeling men like Gray. When Ellie risks her own future for her sister’s sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle to Ellie’s family? Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they’ve begun come crashing down?

My thoughts:

I love the opening scene of this book. Ellie is weeding at a church she doesn’t attend when a wedding crashes her work. She hides out in the bushes, but of course the gook looking guy sees her. The guy is Gray and the two will soon fall for each other.

I love how Meg laid this story out. Ellie has some baggage and expectations placed on her by her mother. They are really prejudices based on her mothers past. Ellie’s mother doesn’t trust anyone, especially a man that Ellie is in love with. This causes a lot of tension between the love birds. I think it is so true to life.

When two people come together they must learn to meld their two lives into one, and this isn’t easy. Our families have shaped us into who we are and what we believe. It takes a lot of work to overcome messages we have heard for so long.

But Ellie and Gray persist, you’ll just have to read the book to see how they do it! This is another good one from this series.

Visit Meg’s website here.

Grab your copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Christianbook.com

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

 

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck February 25, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:36 am
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a march bride

A March Bride

by

Rachel Hauck

Book Description:

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be. Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, Susanna’s heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her. Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own—right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.
My thoughts:
I am so loving this series.
This book was great because I read Rachel’s Once Upon a Prince. You can read my review of that book here. Basically, I loved that book and the characters and I got to visit them again in A March Bride.
I was so excited to read about Susanna and Nathaniel again and get to see their wedding.
But, what I loved even more about this book was the spiritual thread I could pull out. A common girl marrying a prince, doesn’t that sound familiar? Yet Rachel took that even further.
I don’t know about you but I have struggled at times with giving up the old Melissa and leaving all the things behind that once gave me my identity and truly embracing who Jesus says I am. When we come to know Jesus we give up this earthy citizenship and we become citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom. Even though that sounds great it can be scary to truly surrender to God, can’t it?
Susanna must deal with these same issues but in the earthly sense. You will just have to read the book to see exactly what I am talking about.
As you read I challenge you to remember that Jesus is romancing you in the same way that Nathanial is romancing Susanna. He loves you so much and will stop at nothing to prove it to you. Open your eyes and see your Prince.
Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com or Books-A-Million.
Visit Rachel’s website here.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for in honest review.
 

A January Bride by Deborah Raney January 7, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Tuesday Thoughts — Melissa Finnegan @ 2:57 pm
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january

A January Bride

by

Deborah Raney

Book Description:

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. What will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s ‘pen pal’ friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn? Who can work in a house that’s overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny’s friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper—but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner—a man who’s likely many years her senior—and who she’s never even met. Arthur Tyler is a college professor who lost his young wife to cancer. Together they ran the bed and breakfast where Art lives, but without his wife, the house is missing warmth and cheer. He jumps at the chance to have author Madeleine Houser use the space that was once filled with guests. He, too, begins to enjoy the daily exchanges with Maddie, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to believe she’s far from being a prospective date—even if he were ready to date again, which he’s not. When Maddie and Art finally meet and discover one another’s identity, sparks fly. Even so, they each have obstacles to overcome in order for this winter romance to blossom.
My thoughts:
This was a sweet read.
I loved the description of the inn that Maddie writes in. I could see the sun filtering in through the windows and the warm of the cat snuggled at her feet. I enjoyed reading about her writing process and knowing that is probably how Deb Raney writes as well. I love glimpses into the author.
The notes Maddie and Art exchange build a tension that you can’t wait to be relieved and you keeps you wondering what will happen when they finally meet.
When they do finally meet I did feel their feelings for each other were a bit strong at first. But then as I thought about it they really did know each other, they just thought the other person was older.
Overall a nice read. It didn’t have any heart twisting with emotion but I enjoyed A January Bride. It’s fun to read about a bride in the month we are currently in (which is VERY cold here in Michigan).
Visit Deborah Raney’s website here.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.