A Refuge Assured

A Refuge Assured

By Jocelyn Green

The Story

Fleeing One Revolution to the Aftermath of Another, She Seeks and Dreams of Peace

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia, but danger lurks in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers begin to suspect a young boy left in her care might be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement Asylum offer permanent refuge?

Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate his hard-won farm near Asylum, but he soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they are drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)

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A Refuge Assured is as intricate as the lace that Vivienne creates. This book truly gives insight into what the French Revolution could have been like for those who lived through it. I never knew that lacemaking was a profession that you could be sent to the guillotine for. Nor did I know that many of those who fled France sought refuge in Philadelphia.

For me, this book had a slow start. It took me a while to become invested in the characters, but when that occurred, I was all in.

Vivienne is a different sort of heroine. She is self-sufficient to the extreme, with a strong sense of duty and love for those around her.

Liam is a man caught in a world opposed. A former soldier, he is confronted with the matter of conscience and duty. I appreciated that this was a struggle for him, as it is a very realistic problem.

As this story unfolds, it took me in directions I didn’t expect. It is rich in history and in detail. A Refuge Assured isn’t rushed, but takes its time exploring each new relationship that comes along.

While it didn’t draw me in quite as much as The Mark of the King, I did enjoy A Refuge Assured, and would recommend it to my fellow reading friends.

About the Author

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King, Wedded to War, and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. Jocelyn lives with her husband, Rob, and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com .

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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A Light on the Hill

A Light on the Hill

By Connilyn Cossette

The Story

Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she’s spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her.

When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way.

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From the first word that I read from Connilyn Cossette, I knew that this was an author I needed to watch. Her new Cities of Refuge series starts off with A Light on the Hill, and I was not disappointed!

 

This book kept me up at night. Literally. I could not put it down, as one trial after another fell into Moriyah’s path. I had already come to love this character when she made her debut in Wings of the Wind, and I loved her even more in this book. Her struggle with her disfigurement is heart-rending, and the healing she experiences is so poignant, it made me think of my own less-seen scars and the goodness of God to heal those.

 

The romance in this book, as usual, is so good! I really wasn’t sure how she would pull it off, but she did it so well. Each character, each scene, is so multi-layered and colorful, I felt as if I was walking through the lands of Israel and Canaan with them.

 

It was fascinating, seeing the history of this time period. I knew quite a bit about it already, but Connilyn made it come alive.

 

Listening to God’s voice, trusting Him with our lives, with ourselves, is a huge theme of this book. Connilyn handles it so well, and it will be a theme that will linger in my heart and thoughts for some time.

 

In summary, if you’ve read any of Connilyn’s books before, you’ll love A Light on the Hill. If you love fiction set during the times of the Bible, you’ll love Connilyn’s books. If you like to read and enjoy quality fiction, you need to read A Light on the Hill!

 

About the Author

When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), bestselling author Connilyn Cossette is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure, out-of-print history books. There is nothing she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible and uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus. Her novel Counted With the Stars won the 2013 Frasier Contest and was a semifinalist in the 2013 ACFW Genesis Contest. Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives near Dallas, Texas. Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com .

 

(Biography from Bethany House)

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Real-Life Romance Review and Giveaway!

Real-Life Romance:

Inspiring Stories to Help You Believe in True Love

By Rhonda Stoppe

The Story

Do you believe in true love?

In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache-that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn’t worth the risk.

But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us…we just have to look for it!

This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to

-rekindle the romance in your love story

-trust in God’s providence and timing

-faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after

-celebrate true romance

-believe in life-long love

Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people-knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

(Back cover summary from Litfuse Publicity Group)

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I LOVE hearing real-life couple’s stories about how they met, fell in love, got married, and weathered the storms and sweet times of marriage. So when I had the opportunity to review Real-Life Romance, I jumped at the opportunity.

What undergirds each real-life story in this book is that at some point, Christ became the middle of their marriage, their glue. Each started in different points of life. Some knew each other growing up, some met in high school, others later on. Some were believers, some were not. But God graciously drew each one to trust in Jesus Christ.

One of my favorite stories was Don and Barb’s. God brought them together, but they each struggled with trusting Him. Then they suffered a tragic loss. Reading how they struggled through that, and came out with a faith, and a marriage, refined, was so beautiful and encouraging.

And then Curt and Vi’s marriage. *Sigh* The two compared their marriage to a waltz. At the end of Curt’s life, after a long marriage together, he said these words in answer to Vi’s question of what he would want to say to Jesus when he first saw Him, “I am going to thank Him for giving me you.” Isn’t that the sweetest thing?

The stories in this book, all true, all heart-achingly life-like, are pictures of God’s grace. And they encourage me to always seek Jesus first in life, above all and anyone else.

If you enjoy romance, there’s nothing like the real-life kind, and you’ll love this book.

There’s a giveaway going on for this book!

Whether you’re single and looking for a reason to believe in love or a parent watching your own child fall in love, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe will inspire you to believe in life-long love. This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people-knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.

Join Rhonda and other real-life romancers on March 6 for a Facebook Live party, plus enter to win the Make Your Own Real-Life Romance prize pack!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of Real-Life Romance
  • A $50 restaurant gift card
  • A $25 movie gift card

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6. The winner will be announced at Rhonda’s Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rhonda and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Check out the other blog stops to read more about the book, see some great author interviews, and more! http://litfusegroup.com/author/RStoppe 

About the Author

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 20 years of experience as a pastor’s wife, mom, mentor, author, and speaker, Rhonda uses humor and honest communication to help women build No Regrets Lives. She and her husband live their real-life romance in northern California, and have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

Find out more about Rhonda at http://www.rhondastoppe.com .

(Biography from Litfuse Publicity Group)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

The Sea Before Us

The Sea Before Us

By Sarah Sundin

The Story

Nothing but love could heal the wounds of war

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, who pieces together reconnaissance photographs with holiday snapshots of France–including those of her family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn into something more. But both of them have too much to lose to give in to love . . .

(Back cover summary from Revell)

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Sarah Sundin’s books just keep getting better and better. This love story, set during the plans leading up to and the actual invasion on D-Day between an Englishwoman and a Texan is so sweet.

I loved Dorothy’s character. She’s so sweet and loyal but broken at the same time. Her desire to be loved is one that all women can relate to, as is the temptation to change oneself to better appeal to another. As she learns to trust God and grow, she becomes a truly strong, incredible woman.

Wyatt stole my heart from the tragic beginning. His backstory is so sad, as is his struggle with it. His desire to protect and control created a strong character, but one with flaws as well.

The elements of family in this story were multi-layered and intricate, looking a lot like real families today. Sarah Sundin shined a spotlight of hope on the mess of the world, because of the love of a God who doesn’t change.

This story stands apart in World War II fiction, combining history, romance, faith, and incredible storytelling into one riveting book that I could not put down. I’ll be the first in line to read her next novel in the series, The Sky Above Us.

Five stars to this gripping tale, The Sea Before Us.

About the Author

Sarah Sundin is the author of Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, and When Tides Turn in the Waves of Freedom series, as well as Wings of the Nightingale and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Her popular Through Waters Deep was a Carol Award finalist and named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. Sarah lives in California. Visit http://www.sarahsundin.com for more information.

(Biography from Revell)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

The Mayflower Bride

The Mayflower Bride

By Kimberly Woodhouse

 

The Story

Can a religious separatist and an opportunistic spy make it in the New World?

A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

 

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

 

(Back cover summary from Barbour Publishers)

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I’m always amazed when I consider the enormous courage of the people that came over on the Mayflower. To leave one’s home, family, friends, and country and to settle in a new place full of dangers, it would require a lot of bravery.

Mary Elizabeth has to learn how to acquire that courage. As she sets out on the voyage, and encounters the many dangers, delays, and troubles, her courage grows, and her character grows as she learns to rely solely on the Lord.

I thought there would be more in the story about William and his spying, but on the other hand, he hardly had time to, what with all the adventures they had on the Mayflower.

This is a sweet book and the writing fits the classic story. I enjoyed it, and am very excited for this new series, The Daughters of the Mayflower. A new book in the series will be released every two months and will continue to progress through history, all connected because of the Mayflower.

 

About the Author

 

Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy Through Trials” with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story.

You can connect with Kimberley at: www.kimberleywoodhouse.com

and www.facebook.com/KimberleyWoodhouseAuthor

 

(Biography from Barbour Publishers)

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection

Hearts Entwined: A Historical Romance Novella Collection

By Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, & Melissa Jagears

The Story

The ways of love can be complex. Sometimes a relationship full of unexpected twists and unlikely turns leads to a bond that’s strong and secure. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that follow the winding path of romance in stories that celebrate a love that lasts forever.

The Love Knot

When Claire Nevin’s troubled younger sibling sends her an unexpected package by rail, the gift and the man who delivers it–an unexpected face from the past–threaten to upend Claire’s life forever. Fighting to hold on to all she has built, will she lose what matters most?

The Tangled Ties That Bind

Connor Kincaid returns home determined to win the hand of the woman he was too young for when he left. But Maggie is training to be a doctor in a distant town, while Connor’s about to settle on a ranch. Will either be willing to give up their dream? Or will they both have to give up the love of a lifetime?

Bound and Determined

As punishment for his recklessness, Private Bradley Willis is sent on an errand to help a retired cavalry officer move a herd across Indian Territory. No one told him the herd would be camels instead of cattle, nor that the officer’s headstrong daughter, Ambrosia Herald, would seem to be trying to undermine the whole enterprise. He’s definitely been saddled with more than he’s bargained for.

Tied and True

Wealthy Marianne Lister is in love with business assistant Calvin Hochstetler, but he can’t see past the difference in their social status. When Marianne takes a job to prove that she is prepared for a life of hard work alongside the man of her dreams, will it be enough to convince Calvin to risk it all for love?

(Back cover summary from Bethany House)

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I have long enjoyed novella collections, especially those put out by Bethany House. Once again, they’ve released a stellar collection with a great bunch of authors.

The Love Knot

I really enjoyed this one because of how different the two characters were. While Claire is spit and fire, her alternate is sweet, quiet, and strong. Both have made mistakes in the past, and it is those mistakes that they must overcome. The situations that the characters encountered only proved the gold that was inside. This is a sweet story, and fans of Witemeyer’s previous Ladies of Harper Station novels will enjoy learning more about Claire.

The Tangled Ties that Bind

This story is a sweet novella that explores the sacrifices we’ll make for those we love. The characters are young, so as they explore their relationship and what it takes to make love work, they have a few adventures along the way. I love the hilarity that Mary Connealy always brings into her books, which was present in this novella, but also the serious, sweet elements.

Bound and Determined

This was probably my favorite out of all these great stories. Mainly because it was so unexpected. I mean, camels? I had no idea that the cavalry used them for a while. So not only was that funny, but the sabotage that Ambrosia tries to create was also hilarious. Add into that mix the adventurous and sweet Private Bradley Willis, and you have a story that will be over much too soon. Regina Jennings explores the various facets of courage, and how it’s not always what you might expect.

Tied and True

I liked the different take on this story, with Marianne taking an extremely difficult job of that time. I appreciate that Melissa Jagears had her fully commit to it. It lent authenticity to the story where it could have easily felt like she really didn’t put forth the effort. The way that twists and ties are brought into this story is truly sweet (cue the swoon). Melissa Jagears takes a deep, hard look at how our pasts can define us, and skew our view of reality for the future.

About the Authors

Learn more about Karen Witemeyer and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com .

Learn more about Mary Connealy and her books at www.maryconnealy.com .

Learn more about Regina Jennings and her books at www.reginajennings.com .

Learn more about Melissa Jagears and her books at www.melissajagears.com .

(Biography from Bethany House)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

The Saturday Night Supper Club

The Saturday Night Supper Club

By Carla Laureano

The Story

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life—and love—outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

(Back cover summary from Tyndale)

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I fell in love with this novel! I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. It far exceeded any expectations.

Carla Laureano knows her food. Or at least I assume she does. She beautifully described different dishes, the cooking process, and used food and cooking-related words as descriptions. Being only acquainted with the very basics of cooking, I really enjoyed that aspect of this story.

Rachel is a multi-faceted character, and I loved getting to know her slowly throughout the book. As she learns, grows, and achieves her dreams, I was pulling for her 100%. Alex is also an unforgettable character. He’s sweet, funny, intelligent, an all-around great hero. He doesn’t try to rescue Rachel but instead assists her in recovering her dream.

This story is about discovering our true identity and trusting God with our dreams. The premise was fun, the romance was so sweet, and the characters are ones that I must demand an encore from! I’m so excited for the next Supper Club novel, Brunch at Bittersweet Café, with Melody!

Whether you’re a foody or not, this new contemporary romance is one you’ll want to read. It’s unique, fresh, and entertaining.

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night. Visit her website at http://www.carlalaureano.com/ .

(Biography from Tyndale)

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.