Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

The Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen January 10, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:47 pm
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9780764218170

About:

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls’ school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess–a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn’t who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

My thoughts:

This is a satisfying conclusion to the series.

I will say I think to fully appreciate this book you should read the other two first. I don’t think this is a book you can just jump into without reading the others and find that interesting. But because I have read the other two I enjoyed meeting up with these characters again and seeing what was going on and their lives continue to develop.

I look forward to reading more of Julie’s work in the future.

Visit Julie 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. 

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The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen January 15, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:44 pm
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About:

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed the first book a lot. I loved the setting and I felt like I was really there. So I liked going to back and visiting again. It took me a while to remember all of the characters and who they were. But once I got there I easily fell back into the story.

We get to catch up with the characters we met in the first book and get a deeper look into there lives.

And there was all these potential romances going on, it kept it very interesting.

I think I liked this book even more than first because of the deeper  aspect into each character and getting to know them even more. I do think you need to read the first book in the series to fully appreciate this one.

Visit Julie 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. 

 

Review and Giveaway: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen January 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 10:27 pm
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the-innkeeper

About:

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill, where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

My thoughts and giveaway:

What an engaging book and I’m so excited for this series and the chance to spend more time in Ivy Hill and with these characters. I can’t wait to see what Julie will cook up next.

It seems like each chapter just added another layer of tension and unease to the book. I kept wondering who Jane would fall in love with and who she could really trust.

Even though Jane didn’t like her mother-in-law I could see the good in her. Of course that came because she was a point-of-view character and we knew she didn’t want anything bad to happen.

However, someone does, but how exactly? That is the questions. And what did Jane’s husband do with all that money he borrowed. So many questions.

A wonderful read that I am sure fans of historical fiction readers will eat up.

Visit Julie here.

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

Leave a comment by Jan. 20th for your chance to win a copy. One winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. addresses only. I will not replace books lost or damaged in the mail.)

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

 

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen January 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:32 am
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the painters

About:

Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists–including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley’s responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host’s daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother’s, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage “in name only” to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn’t come to regret it?

My thoughts:

Oh my, this book is amazing.  Julie Klassen has written another fabulous book.

I don’t even know where to begin. The plot is just great and will have you guessing and wondering what will happen. I have to admit, I was so concerned about the characters that I had to peek at the last page. I  couldn’t wait to see what would happen (that’s bad, I know).

Then I was up way past my bedtime because I didn’t want to stop reading and had to see what would happen.

Sophie is a wonderful young woman who made a mistake and struggles with feelings from her past. I can definitely relate to that.

Stephen reminded me very much of my husband, strong and willing to do whatever he has to for those he loves.

Truly, one of the best books I have read in a while. If you like Julie’s books, or if you haven’t read anything by her, this is a must read.

Visit Julie here.

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

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

 

The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen December 29, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:41 pm
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julie klassen

About:

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll’s house left mid-play…

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor’s past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail’s attention. Hoping to restore her family’s finances–and her dowry–Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn’t the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks…or very real danger?

My thoughts:

Wow. This book was amazing. This was a book that had me hooked from the first couple of pages. I felt the tension rise up in me and it continued until the last page. As I was reading I had to remind myself it will all work out in the end but I had doubts.

Abigail is a very likeable character. She is the good, sensible daughter, the one that does what is expected and lets her younger sister receive all the attention. At times I thought she too nice and I wanted to tell her to speak her mind.

Julie did such a masterful job with this book. William is a curate (basically a pastor) and I loved how she had him do some bold, un-pastor-like things. That’s what made him even more intriguing and a great hero.

The mystery in this book was wonderfully built. Small hints given throughout, just enough to keep you coming back for more.

As the story wrapped up I had to remind myself of all the plots going on and what needed to be resolved. Julie resolved each and every plot line beautifully and with great satisfaction.

This is a book I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading it. I couldn’t wait to get back to it and get to the end, even though I was sad to say good-bye to this wonderful cast of characters. I highly recommend this one. If you like romance and mystery (that does get a bit creepy at times but not too much) then this is a book I think you will definitely enjoy 🙂

Visit Julie here.

Grab you copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Deeper Shopping 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.

 

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen January 13, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:47 am
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dancing master

The Dancing Master

by

Julie Klassen

From the back cover:

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julie Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul—and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master—a man her mother would never approve of—but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother’s tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance,  The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a “good match” in Regency England.

My thoughts:

This book totally reminded me of a historical version of Footloose 🙂 Guy who likes dancing comes to town. The girl who captures his interest isn’t allowed to dance.

This was a nice read but moved a bit slow for me. I would’ve like to seen things happen a bit more quickly.

Julia is tough to like at first, but I see this as part of her wounds, so I totally get that. Alec is definitely handsome and charming but not a really strong hero in the sense of getting his hands dirty. I guess I struggle with that because my own husband is such a hands on kind of guy and can do just about everything.

I like the touch of mystery and the untold family history. That kept me guessing and wanting to know how that was going to all play out.

If you enjoy historical romance this might be a book you would enjoy. It has gotten good reviews, just a bit slow for my taste.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Deeper Shopping or Books-A-Million.

Visit Julie’s website here.

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