Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay January 18, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:28 pm
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About:

Mary Davies finds safety in her ordered and productive life. Working as an engineer, she genuinely enjoys her job and her colleagues – particularly a certain adorable and intelligent consultant. But something is missing. When Mary’s estranged childhood friend, Isabel Dwyer offers her a two-week stay in a gorgeous manor house in England, she reluctantly agrees in hopes that the holiday will shake up her quiet life in just the right ways.

But Mary gets more than she bargained for when Isabel loses her memory and fully believes she lives in Jane Austen’s Bath. While Isabel rests and delights in the leisure of a Regency lady, attended by the other costume-clad guests, Mary uncovers startling truths about their shared past, who Isabel was, who she seems to be, and the man who now stands between them.

Outings are undertaken, misunderstandings play out, and dancing ensues as this company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation, work out their lives and hearts.

My thoughts:

I have heard a lot of good things about Katherine’s books but I haven’t read them yet so I thought I would give this one a shot. I was really looking forward to it because I do enjoy some Austen.

I was disappointed. I didn’t really get into this for whatever reason. I really don’t know why exactly. I didn’t find the characters overly likable. I really struggled with the main characters best friend, Isabel. I didn’t like her much at all and couldn’t get a feel for what was going on with her. She was too moody for me. I also feel too much was told. There were times I didn’t know Isabel was in a bad mood except for Mary telling me she was, but I wanted to see it through facial express or the way Mary felt inside about it.

I did like the setting and enjoy the picture it painted. But for me I just didn’t get into this book.

Visit Katherine here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own. 

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Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander November 9, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:45 pm
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About:

Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas—and sacrificial love.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year-old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Women’s Relief Society auction and applies for a position—only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity—and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women’s Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop and history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.

My thoughts:

What a heart wrenching story. From the beginning we are thrown into the heartache of Aletta and her young son. Where is the hope for her? We catch glimpses of it throughout.

Jake has a story of his own that will grab your heart and when these two come together hope blossoms.

I don’t know why I don’t read more of Tamera’s books, she is an excellent author and I am always drawn in immediately to her stories and characters. This book is no exception.

Visit Tamera here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

 

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter September 21, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:22 pm
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About:

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

My thoughts:

Denise Hunter writes such real and captivating books. This one holds true to that.

This book was heartbreaking in parts that made it difficult to read. But I had to understand what happened. What drove these two people apart and how could they reconcile all that went wrong.

Honestly, both the main characters had characteristics that bothered me at first. They weren’t overly lovable, a bit rough around the edges but I still liked them.

Overall, a wonderful read that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next and drew me to the characters and their flaws.

Visit Denise here.

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

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

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson August 10, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:47 pm
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About:

She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .

if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

My thoughts:

I have really enjoyed this series of fairy tales come to life.

Magdalen gets a bum deal when her servant takes her place. But she does handle it with grace and her true colors shine through, which is compassion for others.

The Duke of Wolfburg also has the same thing (sort of) happen to him. He is determined to prove who he is but they must be careful because the man now in charge is ruthless.

Melanie did a great job of even allowing us to feel some pity for those that stole their position.

I expected to love this book more since I really liked the others but for me this one was okay. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I found it easy to put down and not in much of a hurry to pick it back up. It was good, just not what I expected.

Visit Melanie here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Memory Of You by Catherine West June 19, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:37 pm
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Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My thoughts:

This is the second book I have read by Catherine. I loved the first one and couldn’t wait to read this one. She has a unique way of writing a book that is easy to read yet deeply emotional. This book is no exception.

Natalie is dealing with a lot of junk. She isn’t too sure about God and I just kept wanting her to figure out that He is the one who can ultimately heal her of the wounds from her past.

Tanner sure wasn’t very nice to her at first but I love how they got drawn together and then it was like the pull was undeniable, even though they both tried to deny it.

This book is just so rich and engaging, I didn’t want to stop reading. If you are looking for something that will touch your heart this is a great one.

Visit Catherine here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

 

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin November 28, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:37 pm
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long-way-gone

About:

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

My thoughts:

What a beautifully written book. If you haven’t read anything by Charles Martin you really need to. His books take you to a depth rarely found in books. There is a spiritual tone to everything.

I loved this retelling of the prodigal son. The book actually starts after Cooper is older and we catch up with him. Then the book flashes back to how he got where is today.

I also appreciated the music in this book (since I’m a music person). Charles describes what music can do to a person in wonderful pictures.

Overall, this is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a new perspective on a story you already know.

Visit Charles here.

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

A copy of this book was given to me though the BookLoook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 

 

The Things We Knew by Catherine West August 29, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 9:58 pm
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the things

About:

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

My thoughts:

I read a lot of other reviews on this book and they were all so good. I just had to see for myself and I hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Let’s just say, I was nowhere near disappointed. I was sucked in and didn’t want to leave this story-world.

I have never read anything by Catherine before but she has my attention now. She has written this beautiful story that is part romance, part women’s fiction and it has so much meat to it.

I really like Lynette, I loved her spunk and determination, her faith and her honesty with struggling with that.

Nick is a dream hero and so perfect for Lynette, he made me sigh a few times.

Lynette’s whole family is a mess and I loved them, they were so real, so like many of our families.

If you are looking for a book that has a lot of depth and a great romance this is the book for you.

Visit Catherine 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 through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.