Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese April 8, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:32 pm
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Molly McKenzie’s bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have made her a major social media influencer. When her manager-turned-boyfriend tells her of an upcoming audition to host a makeover show for America’s underprivileged youth, all her dreams finally seem to be coming true. There’s just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

To gain an edge on her competitors, she plans to volunteer for the summer at a transitional program for aged-out foster kids, but the program’s director, Silas Whittaker, doesn’t find her as charming as her followers do. Despite his ridiculous rules and terms, Molly dives into mentoring, surprising herself with the genuine connections and concern she quickly develops for the girls–and Silas. But just as everything seems perfectly aligned for her professional future, it starts to crumble under the pressure. And as her once-narrow focus opens to the deep needs of those she’s come to know, she must face the ones she’s neglected inside herself for so long

My thoughts:

This is an excellent book. This is only the second book I have read by Nicole and they both have been wonderful.

She made me love Molly so much I wanted her Instagram account to be real so I could follow her and get her fashion tips. Does someone like her exist? Nicole did such an outstanding job of writing Molly’s character, her quick and likeable wit will easily draw a reader in.

Silas is a strong male character who is everything Molly isn’t, which is what makes them perfect for each other.

I appreciated the faith that was part of the story and the characters lives.

I thought I had the ending worked out in my head but I was way off. I love when an author surprises me and Nicole certainly did that.

Visit Nicole here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.


The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher April 1, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:54 pm
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Haunted by personal tragedy, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to assist her cousin, Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of schools. A fish out of water, Lucy is appalled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters.

Born in those very hills, Cora knows the twin plagues of illiteracy and poverty. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing school master who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose, along with something else she hadn’t expected: love.

Inspired by true events, this novel from bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously.

My thoughts:

This was a very good story. Suzanne did a great job laying the foundation for this book and the characters. I was interesting to be in the different point of views we got to be in.

It’s so hard to imagine not knowing how to read and how easily we take it for granted, but it really is a gift.

Lucy is a wonderful character so watch grow through her encounters with the mountain people.

I was also curious how things would work out for many of the characters and the romance that may or may not have been brewing.

Visit Suzanne here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


The Way it Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson March 22, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:00 pm
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After years of estrangement, the lives of Zara Mahoney and her twin sister, Eve, are suddenly intertwined again. When Eve’s troubled lifestyle causes the state to contact Zara about taking custody of Eve’s two children, Zara feels wholly unprepared. Besides never knowing she was an aunt, her new house, new husband, and plans for the future were meant to give her a fresh start.

Meanwhile, Eve may have a real chance at a new beginning with the help of Tiff Bradley, who, after facing a heartbreaking tragedy in her own family, is dedicated to helping women everyone else has given up on.

Over the course of one summer, all three women’s hearts and lives hang in the balance as Eve desperately works toward a new life. Can they redefine their expectations of how life should be to find the hope they–and those they love–so desperately need?

My thoughts:

Wow. This is an AMAZING book. It is not neat and tidy but real.

The ending was conflicting for me. It didn’t really end the way I wanted it to, yet it did end the way I wanted it to. If you read it you will understand what I mean.

The relationship between the two sisters reminded me a lot of my relationship with my sister, not so much now but in the past so I could relate to the feelings Zara had.

I can’t imagine dealing with an addition like this, the need to have it and feeling like you will die without the drug. But the author does a wonderful job of making the reader feel the conflict.

She also did a great job bringing Jesus into the book without being preachy. So many “Christian” books leave him out or the characters don’t even go to church but these characters did, or had the real life situation of struggling to get to church and dealing with kids when you get there.

If you haven’t read a book by Christina I highly recommend this one.

Visit Christina here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden February 19, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:34 pm
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Luke Delacroix has long had a reputation of being an impulsive adventurer, the wild son of one of Gilded Age Washington’s most prominent families. In reality, he has been secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission: to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

Trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman’s only daughter. Luke is fascinated by the vibrant Marianne and her daring work as a government photographer, leading them into a forbidden romance. Now they must embark on a dangerous gamble to reconcile their growing feelings with Luke’s driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?

My thoughts:

This was an excellent book. The tension between the two families, how could they ever find their way out or to each other? All the deception and control, it looked hopeless. But that is what made the romance so good.

I kept expecting one of them to turn on the other, but their love for each other was so deep they would do anything to protect the other.

If you enjoy historical romance with a lot of twists and turns you will enjoy this read.

Visit Elizabeth here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green February 15, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:05 pm
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She promised a dying father she would keep his daughter safe.
She can’t fail now.

The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she would never have–a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears–until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World’s Fair, and Sylvie’s life unravels.

With nowhere else to turn, Sylvie seeks help from her boarder and Rose’s violin instructor, Kristof Bartok. Fluent in several languages, his skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant and international communities where their investigation leads.

From the glittering architecture of the Fair to the dark houses of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, they’re taken on a search that points to Rose’s long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?

My thoughts:

I am Jocelyn fan so whenever she comes out with a new book I am on it. This is the second book in this series. However, you can easily read this one and not feel lost if you haven’t read the first one.

I really enjoyed this story. The main characters were around my age but single, so that was interesting, especially for this time period. There was a lot of mystery and suspense in this book. There was one point before the end, but close, where I felt like things were getting wrapped up a bit to quickly and neatly and I felt disappointed. But I kept reading and what do you know, there was, literally, more the story.

If you enjoy historical romance with with some mystery involved you will enjoy this read.

Visit Jocelyn here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


All That We Carried by Erin Bartels January 22, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:48 pm
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The most treacherous terrain is found within

Ten years ago, sisters Olivia and Melanie Greene were on a hiking trip when their parents were in a fatal car accident. They haven’t seen each other since the funeral. Olivia coped with the loss by plunging herself into law school, work, and a materialist view of the world–what you see is what you get, and that’s all you get. Melanie dropped out of college and developed an online life coaching business around her DIY spirituality–a little of this, a little of that, whatever makes you happy.

Now, at Melanie’s insistence (and against Olivia’s better judgment), they are embarking on a hike in the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In this remote wilderness they’ll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.

My Thoughts:

Erin is seriously one of the best authors I have ever read. Her books touch such a deep part of the heart.

First, I LOVED the setting of this book. My favorite places in the world, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I loved reading about this part of my great state and the ending was in a place I have visited many times.

There isn’t a super nice and neat ending which makes the book even more real to me. It is still a satisfying ending, none-the-less.

Erin addresses a lot of issues many people struggle with, forgiveness, what to believe, the fairness of God, God’s plan above ours. All tough topics.

If you haven’t read Erin’s book yet, what are you waiting for?

Visit Erin here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund January 18, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:57 pm
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Greta Nilsson’s trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He’ll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt’s ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family with Greta. But when old insecurities and surprising revelations arise, can a union born out of desperation survive?

My thoughts:

I love Jody’s books. I was anxious to read how she would handle cowboys. No need, she had her typical spin and style that created a beautiful story.

I’m pretty sure she writes the best romantic scenes and kisses. She is a master of romantic tension and this book is full of it.

The last chapter gives us a glimpse into what the next book will be about and who. I can’t wait to get to know Wyatt’s brothers and see what romance they will get themselves into.

If you enjoy historical romance I am sure you will enjoy this book.

Visit Jody here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White January 8, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:49 pm
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Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful story around anything and has long since won the hearts of Savannah’s society with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and changed. The beliefs he once held about slavery and the entire war have been upended, and he’s all too sure that he is not the hero Delia seems determined to make him.

When the Confederacy deems Savannah a lost cause and the future wavers, Phin and Delia must both decide where the dreams of a new America will take them–and if they will go there together.

My thoughts:

I LOVED this book. So many reasons I can’t list them all, but I will list some.

First, I love Roseanna’s books in general but I have to say I don’t think I have read one I enjoyed this much in quite awhile.

Second, it was set during the Civil War and I am Gone with the Wind fan and the first chapter has that kind of flare to it, I was smitten from the first page.

Phin and Delia’s journey is wonderful. Their eyes are gradually opened in different ways, at different time, to the complete atrocity that slavery is. Their love is so strong, they never (or hardly ever) wavered from them steadfastness.

There is even a moment that I had to blink back tears at the beauty that unfolded on the page.

I can not wait to read what will come next in this series and who will be the main character? I have no doubt it will be just as good.

Visit Roseanna here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


The Shepherd’s Wife by Angela Hunt January 4, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 7:49 pm
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Can she discover the purpose of the life she’s been given?
Yeshua of Nazareth has two sisters: Damaris, married to a wealthy merchant’s son, and Pheodora, wed to a simple shepherd from Bethlehem. Damaris can’t understand why her younger sister settled for such a poor existence, but she does what she can to share her abundance. When her husband is invited to join the Pharisees, she is excited by the opportunity to elevate the family’s status, even though some aspects of the lifestyle seem contrary to what she has always been taught.

Pheodora has long felt inadequate compared to her beautiful sister but has no regrets about the life she chose. When Pheodora’s husband is unexpectedly thrown into debtors’ prison, she is shocked to learn that a loan from her generous sister would jeopardize her brother-in-law’s religious aspirations. Forced to pin her hopes on two she-goats whose spotless white offspring could be sold for an upcoming Yom Kippur sacrifice, Pheodora must struggle to keep the animals–and her family–alive.

When horrific reports about Yeshua reach the sisters in Nazareth, Pheodora and Damaris each grapple with their relationships to God, their radical brother, and their own questioning hearts.

My thoughts:

This is a beautiful story. Of course it’s fiction and only speculation but the saving power of Jesus isn’t fiction, that is very real and it is in this story.

I can’t imagine Jesus being my brother and raised in the same house and then you find out he is the Savior of the world. Crazy.

Pheodora and Damaris’s story is a wonderful picture of forgiveness in the human plain. If you like Biblical fiction I am sure you will enjoy this book.

Visit Angela here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or y our favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark December 21, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:59 pm
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Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie’s past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton–the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman–boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they’ve both dreamed of. But it’s not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.

My thoughts:

This is Ashley’s debut novel and I have to say I can’t wait read her next. This book is beautifully written. So rich in narrative and she paints such vivid pictures.

Harper and Millie’s story is so powerful and so woven together. A story of forgotten dreams and dreams restored.

I will say there were times my mind kept trying to wrap itself around what was going on and who was related to who and how the generations lined up. But I eventually got a grasp on it.

If you like women’s fictions with some romance I highly recommend this book

Visit Ashley here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.