Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

A Distance Shore by Karen Kingsbury June 22, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:36 pm
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She was a child caught in a riptide in the Caribbean Sea. He was a teenager from the East Coast on vacation with his family. He dove in to save her, and that single terrifying moment changed both their lives forever.

Ten years later Jack Ryder is a daring secret agent with the FBI and Eliza Lawrence still lives on that pristine island. She’s an untainted princess in a kingdom of darkness and evil, on the brink of a forced marriage with a dangerous neighboring drug lord, a marriage arranged by her father.

This time when Jack and Eliza meet, there’s a connection neither of them can explain. Both their lives are on the line, and once again, the stakes are deadly high. Can they join forces in a complicated and dangerous mission, pretending to have a breathtaking love…without really falling?

Sometimes miracles happen not once, but twice…along a distant shore.

My thoughts:

I have kind of stopped reading Karen’s book because the characters are too perfect, but when I saw this one it seemed totally different than anything else she has ever written. And it was. This is a very different book.

For the first half I really enjoyed it and then honestly it could have ended for me. I felt like all the tension was gone and now I was just waiting for Eliza and Jake to get together. So, overall, I didn’t really enjoy this book either.

Visit Karen 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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury December 3, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 8:01 pm
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In love for the first time, a son’s decisions about the future divides his family in this fearless and thought-provoking novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of life-changing fiction.

When eighteen-year-old Tommy Baxter declares to his family that he wants to be a police officer after graduation, his mother, Reagan, won’t hear of it. After all, she’s still mourning the death of her own father on September 11 and she’s determined to keep her son safe from danger. But Tommy’s father, Luke, is proud of Tommy’s decision. He would make a kind and compassionate cop.

Meanwhile, Tommy is in love for the first time. His sweet relationship with Annalee Miller is almost too good to be true. Tommy begins seriously thinking about the far off day when he can ask her to marry him but she hasn’t been feeling well. Tests reveal the unthinkable.

While his girlfriend begins the fight of her life, Tommy is driven to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his birth and the grandfather he never knew. Secrets come to light that rock Tommy’s world, and he becomes determined to spend his future fighting crime and bringing peace to the streets. Or is this just his way to fight a battle he cannot win—the one facing Annalee?

Blending romance and family drama, Truly, Madly,Deeply shows us that, in the shadow of great loss, the only way to live with passion is truly, madly, deeply.

My thoughts:

This book was okay. I don’t know what it was that I didn’t really love. I think sometimes the whole Baxter family seems a bit too perfect, but they aren’t. They have their share of problems but it seems like the only people around them are all Christians, which isn’t realistic.

Also, as far as I know the high school the kids attend is a public high school and the principle lead the school in a prayer. That couldn’t happen in a public school, no matter the principle’s personal beliefs. Maybe I’m wrong and it is a Christmas school, but it didn’t sound like it.

Definitely some heartwarming and tugging moments, which Karen is good at. But this wasn’t one of my favorites.

Visit Karen 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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

 

Someone Like You by Karen Kingsbury August 20, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:38 pm
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One frozen embryo. Two families with life-long secrets. And a guy who never planned to fall in love again.

Maddie Baxter West is shaken to the core when she finds out everything she believed about her life was a lie. Her parents had always planned to tell her the truth about her past: that she was adopted as an embryo. But somehow the right moment never happened. Then a total stranger confronts Maddie with the truth and tells her something else that rocks her world—Maddie had a sister she never knew about. Betrayed, angry, and confused, Maddie leaves her new job and fiancé, rejects her family’s requests for forgiveness, and moves to Portland to find out who she really is.

Dawson Gage’s life was destroyed when London Quinn, his best friend and the only girl he ever loved, is killed. In the hospital waiting room, London’s mother reveals that London might have had a sibling. The frozen embryo she and her husband donated decades ago. When Dawson finds Maddie and brings her to Portland, the Quinns—her biological parents—welcome her into their lives and hearts. Maddie is comforted by the Quinns’ love and intrigued by their memories of London, who was so much like her. Is this the family and the life she was really meant to have?

Now it will take the love of Dawson Gage to help Maddie know who she is…and to help her find her way home.

My thoughts:

For me this was a pretty quick read. It was very interesting. This concept of frozen embryos for adoption. I love the heart behind it. They are babies, lives, just waiting to be developed.

At first I thought Karen was having Dawson move past London’s death too soon, but she saved that and made it more believable. I honestly found the most moving part of the story the beginning, when London passed.

One thing I love about Karen’s book is that she doesn’t shy away from Jesus. He is all over that book and talked about. I love that.

This was a beautiful story!

Visit Karen here.

Garb 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 Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

 

Two Weeks by Karen Kingsbury April 1, 2019

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:56 pm
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Cole Blake, son of Landon and Ashley Baxter Blake, is months away from going off to college and taking the first steps towards his dream-a career in medicine. But as he starts his final semester of high school he meets Elise, a mysterious new girl who captures his attention-and heart-from day one.

Elise has her heart set on mending her wild ways and rediscovering the good girl she used to be. But not long after the semester starts, she discovers she’s pregnant. Eighteen and alone, she shares her secret with Cole. Undaunted by the news, and in love for the first time in his life, Cole is determined to support Elise-even if it means skipping college, marrying her, and raising another man’s baby.

When Elise decides to place her baby up for adoption, she is matched with Aaron and Lucy Williams, who moved to Bloomington, Indiana to escape seven painful years of infertility.

But as Elise’s due date draws near, she becomes focused on one truth: she has two weeks to change her mind about the adoption. With Cole keeping vigil and Lucy and Aaron waiting to welcome their new baby, Elise makes an unexpected decision-one that changes everyone’s plans.

Tender and deeply moving, Two Weeks is a story about love, faith, and what it really means to be a family.

My thoughts:

Another great book by Karen. It’s wonderful to visit some of those characters from the Baxters. But even if you haven’t read the previous books you can enjoy this one.

I appreciated the look at the sanctity of life. Karen isn’t afraid to tackle some tough topics.

Heart-felt and heart-warming.

Visit Karen 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 Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury October 16, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:58 am
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a classic story about second chances, featuring the beloved Baxter family and a young father who finds his whole world turned upside down on the eve of his divorce.

What if you could see into the future and know what will happen tomorrow, if you really walk out that door today. Pay attention. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

From their first meeting, to their stunning engagement and lavish wedding, to their happily-ever-after, Noah and Emily Carter were meant to be together. Theirs is a special kind of love and they want the world to know. More than a million adoring fans have followed their lives on Instagram since the day Noah publicly proposed to Emily. But behind the carefully staged photos and encouraging posts, their life is anything but a fairytale, and Noah’s obsession with social media has ruined everything.

Distraught, Emily reaches out to her friend Kari Baxter Taylor and tells her the truth: Noah and Emily have decided to call it quits. He is leaving in the morning.

But when Noah wakes the next day, everything is different. Emily is gone and the kids are years older. Like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, bizarre and strange events continue throughout the night so that Noah is certain he’s twenty years older, and he is desperate for a second chance.

Now it would take a miracle to return to yesterday.

When We Were Young is a rare and beautiful love story that takes place in a single day. It’s about the gift of knowing what tomorrow will bring if you really walk out that door today.

My thoughts:

Wow. What a powerful story.

This hits close to home as I was in Noah and Emily’s shoes as one point. Ready to call it quits on my marriage, believing all was lost.

I like how Karen touches on the subject of social media. It can almost become an obsession and we can find our value in it. It seems that might be what happened with Noah.

The characters are well developed and you will come to care for them.

I also enjoyed meeting up with some of the Baxter family as well.

If you love Karen’s book you will enjoy this one, her heart-wrenching style is in this book and you might shed a tear or two (or more).

Visit Karen 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 my through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury November 6, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:11 pm
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a brand-new Baxter Family novel about a beloved high school principal who starts a Bible Study to improve the lives of his struggling students, only to become the national focus of a controversial lawsuit.

Hamilton High Principal Wendell Quinn is tired of the violence, drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and low expectations at his Indianapolis school. A single father of four, Quinn is a Christian and a family man. He wants to see change in his community, so he starts a voluntary after-school Bible Study and prayer program. He knows he is risking his job by leading the program, but the high turnout at every meeting encourages him.

A year later, violence and gang activity are down, test scores are up, and drug use and teen pregnancy have plummeted. The program is clearly working—until one parent calls the press. Now Quinn faces a lawsuit that could ruin everything.

With a storm of national attention and criticism, Quinn is at a crossroads—he must choose whether to cave in and shut down the program or stand up for himself and his students. The battle comes with a high cost, and Quinn wants just one attorney on his side for this fight: Luke Baxter. In This Momentis an inspiring, relevant story about the nuances of religious freedom and how a group of determined people just might restore the meaning of faith in today’s culture.

My thoughts:

What a wonderfully relevant book. I have struggled with some of these same issues. Interestingly enough there are a group of students who meet in my classroom before school starts once a week. I don’t participate in their Bible Study but I am int he room. Actually, I was told I couldn’t participate but now I am wondering if there is any truth to that. We have become so afraid that we have bound our hands possibly more than they need to be.

Karen did a great job developing this book and bringing these characters to live. Real struggles and questions are brought to light.

I appreciated Wendall’s heart and desire to see true life change take place in these kids. I also loved visiting with the Baxter’s again, never get tired seeing what is going on in their lives.

Visit Karen 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 Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury June 8, 2017

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 12:21 pm
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a new book featuring everyone’s favorite family—the Baxters.

Decades ago, John and Elizabeth Baxter lived a love story that is still playing out in the lives of their adult children and grandchildren. But few of them know the exact details of that story or the heartbreak that brought the two together.

Now in high school, Ashley Baxter Blake’s oldest son, Cole, must write a family history paper for a freshman English class. He decides to interview his grandfather about that long ago love story.

John is hesitant, not sure if he can take the sorrow of reliving his love story with Elizabeth—especially now that he is remarried. But he agrees and allows his heart to go places it hasn’t gone in decades.

At the same time, Baxter family friend Cody Coleman is working through the breakup of his complicated relationship with Andi Ellison. He is determined to move on when a chance sighting changes his plans—and heart. Can Cody convince Andi to give their love another try or is it time for them to say goodbye, for good?

As school ends, Cole presents his report on the love story between his grandparents John and Elizabeth Baxter. It is a tale that touches the hearts of the entire family, and one that causes Cole to better understand his own beginning.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time or finding them all over again, Love Story will stir your heart and remind you of the generational impact of love and the eternal bond of family.

My thoughts:

I read the first and second series of the Baxters and LOVED it. I don’t think I ever cried so much while reading books. I kind of lost interest after that and haven’t read much more. But when I saw this book I had to hear John and Elizabeth’s story.

The cool thing Karen did in this book was interweave another love story into it as well. One full of disappointment and heartache as well.

I soon found myself full of emotion and holding back tears and of being deeply engrossed in this story.

There is no doubt that Karen Kingsbury is a very talented author and knows how to put together a story that is not only emotionally moving but spiritually as well. I love the faith of these characters. They have had trails like all of us but that hasn’t stopped them leaning on Jesus.

Even if you haven’t read the Baxter series you could read this one anyway, but for those of you who have read their story this is a MUST read.

Visit Karen 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 my through Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury December 19, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:39 pm
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes A Baxter Family Christmas, a life-changing story of love and hope featuring the Baxter family.

Whether you’re meeting the Baxter family for the first time, or finding them all over again…A Baxter Family Christmas will leave fingerprints on your heart forever.

Two years have passed since the terrible car accident that took the life of John Baxter’s daughter, Erin, her husband and three of their four daughters. Prompted by grief, and missing his daughter, John has invited a stranger for Christmas Eve dinner—Kendra Bryant, the transplant recipient who now has Erin’s heart.

In light of their father’s idea, Ashley and her brother Luke don’t think it’s right. They want to protect their ten-year-old niece, Amy—the only surviving member of the accident. But John is determined and believes meeting this woman is something his deceased daughter would want.

At the same time, Maddie West, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Brooke Baxter West, is praying for meaning this Christmas. Could she find it in a newfound friendship with a boy she never expected to see again? Maddie believes in miracles, especially at Christmastime, but this is a stretch even she can’t imagine.

Meanwhile, Kendra Bryant has been struggling these past few years to find purpose in the tragedy that gave her a second chance. She believes the invitation to see the Baxters and witness their unwavering faith in God can instill peace and happiness back into her life.

Heartwarming and touching, filled with love and redemption, A Baxter Family Christmas brings together two families in the aftermath of loss and in the midst of an unfolding love story, all with the help of one very special child.

My thoughts:

I loved meeting up with the Baxters again. I didn’t read every series about them but I read at least two. It was great seeing where they were now.

True to Karen’s form I was crying as I read this book. She has a way of pulling on the heart-strings and bringing emotion to life.

This is truly a beautiful Christmas story, that has everything one would look for in a good book. Redemption, romance, traditions. The power of God is woven throughout this book. If made me question how little I expect miracles to happen, but God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He still does do supernatural things.

If you are looking for a quick Christmas read I highly recommend this one.

Visit Karen 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 Netgalley.com. All opinions are my own. 

 

Sarah’s Song by Karen Kingsbury October 2, 2014

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:28 pm
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Every year Sarah Lindeman celebrates Christmas the same way, placing one special ornament on her tiny tree on each of the twelve days of Christmas. It is her time to remember where she came from, who she is today, and how long ago a song gave her another chance at love. But this year the ritual is different. This year a desperate young woman is listening, a nurse who cares for Sarah at the Greer Retirement Village. Sarah senses a familiar struggle in the woman’s soul and shares the story of her song in hopes that it will help her find healing, as it did Sarah so long ago.

My thoughts:

This is quick, heart touching read. Let’s just say I had tears dripping down my face by the end.

I really enjoy reading novellas because they are such a quick read. I am always impressed when I read one and feel like I got a whole novels worth of emotion. That happened with this book.

Karen did a wonderful job of packing a big spiritual punch in this book. This particular story touched me deeply because I felt like both Sarah and Beth, the women Sarah shares her story with.

There are relationship issues and marital issues, I have dealt with both of these things and I think that is why this book touched me so deeply. There is a better way, and the way is Jesus.

If you are looking for an uplifting, quick Christmas read this year I highly recommend this book.

Visit Karen here.

Grab a copy at your local bookstore, 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.