Tag Archives: Revell Publishers

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)


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.


Lady Jayne Disappears

Lady Jayne Disappears

By Joanna Davidson Politano

The Story

Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family–who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father’s family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift–the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother’s mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she’ll have to extract clues from relatives–and one enigmatic houseguest–who often seem reluctant to give them up.

(Back cover summary from Revell Publisher)


I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read Lady Jayne Disappears. I’d heard others rave about this book but dismissed it. I shouldn’t have. This book entertained, with sweeping prose reminiscent of Dickens, a romance that gradually blossomed, and a mystery that climaxed in an altogether unexpected way.

What really touched my heart was the many areas where I could identify with Aurelie as a writer. In some ways, we are so alike, as if this were almost my journey. Aurelie is all about belonging. It’s what she craves, what drives her. And that’s something I believe we can all identify with. From those awkward years of Junior High, belonging becomes important, and it can be difficult to find, but what it really is isn’t always what we expect. Aurelie’s faith in this book is authentic and takes center stage often. Joanna writes in such a way that it feels as natural as your next breath, which is how our relationship with Jesus should be.

This book held me captive. I had to find out what happened, not only to Lady Jayne but more importantly to Aurelie. Beyond romance, would she find peace for herself? And she does, in such a satisfying way. Others have listed this book as their favorite of the year so far, and I have to agree. This book has taken up residence on my bookshelf and in my heart—permanently. It doesn’t happen very often that as soon as I finish a book I seriously want to turn back to page one and start all over again, but with Lady Jayne Disappears, that was exactly the case.

About the Author

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at http://www.jdpstories.com.

(Biography from Revell Publisher)

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

These Healing Hills

These Healing Hills

By Ann H. Gabhart

The Story

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out–until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

(Back cover summary from Revell Publishers)


I’m always looking for new authors to try, as long as the story line sounds interesting. The plot of These Healing Hills sounded interesting, and I’d never read anything by Ann H. Gabhart, so there was that. But when I saw that the setting was an area that I knew, I knew I had to try it out. I’m very glad I did.

These Healing Hills whisks you back to a time that seems both familiar and foreign. The Frontier Nurses were remarkable women, and the nurse-midwife training still goes on today. It was fascinating getting more of a peek of what their lives may have been like day-to-day.

As I read, I could tell that a native Kentuckian had written the book. Flavored with authentic dialogue and colloquialisms, this story was close to my own experiences. As someone who has fallen in love with those same mountains, it was a delight for me to read.

The story line kept me involved too. The push for some sort of connection between Ben and Francine prodded me to read more.

If you’re looking for a sweet, informative, authentic historical read, then I would definitely recommend These Healing Hills. You may even find some direction in your own winding paths between the pages.

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–as well as Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, Love Comes Home, Words Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com

(Biography from Revell Publishers)

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

When Tides Turn

Book Review: When Tides Turn

Author: Sarah Sundin

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Back Cover from Revell of When Tides Turn:

In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart.

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy’s newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?


            The third book in the Waves of Freedom series, When Tides Turn is a fascinating look at the Navy and Naval culture during WW2 encompassed in a sweet story that challenges the reader. I loved the different aspects of the Navy that Sundin brought out, from research to actual ship-submarine warfare. I felt as if I’d taken a step into a history book that educated as well as entertained. I didn’t know much about the WAVES, and learning about the women’s service and impact on the war was very cool.

Tess and Dan are as different as two people can be, which made their story so fun to read. They complemented each other and challenged each other by turns, and I loved reading how their story played out. The mystery thrown in also helped to keep my attention as I tried to figure out who-dun-it.

When Tides Turn is a sweet story that explores looking beyond a person’s surface to who they truly are on the inside, and who they can become. It’s also about submitting our will to God, in every area and aspect of our lives, and what that looks like practically. I highly recommend it, though you may want to learn from my example and not start at the end of the series. 😊

About the Author

Biography from Goodread’s website: Sarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, 2015, Anchor in the Storm, 2016, When Tides Turn, March 2017), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novel Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award, was a Carol Award finalist, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.

Without Warning

imgresBook Review: Without Warning

Author: Lynette Eason

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Back Cover from Revell Publisher’s website for Without Warning:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he’s not convinced that a bodyguard–and a female one at that–is necessary. A new attack and his niece’s urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who’s behind the intimidation and threats–before a would-be killer strikes again.


            I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lynette Eason’s books, but never felt compelled to try one out for myself. However, I’ve been on a murder mystery kick lately (I’ve been reading a lot of Agatha Christie’s novels), so I thought I’d give Without Warning a try. I was so out of the loop, that I didn’t even realize until halfway through the book that I was reading the second book in the series. Oops. It worked out, though, because this book can easily be read as a stand-alone, though I’m sure reading the books in the series in order would enhance the experience.

I must say, my expectations were high. Did I mention I was reading from the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie? This book blew me away, though (for those of you who’ve read it, there’s a pun for you. Cheesy, I know.). This novel was action-packed, with suspense riding high. I found myself reading it any chance I got, just to try to figure out who-dun-it, and what they would do next! At one point, I was reading in my room and someone knocked on my door, and I had to take a few seconds to keep from grabbing the nearest pillow to use as a defense against the ‘intruder’. I really was gripped by this story!

I liked the idea of a body guard service made up of a group of women, a different take from what’s been done before by most authors (one of the exceptions being Becky Wade’s Her One and Only). The different viewpoints in the story, particularly Riley’s, were enjoyable to read. This book also tackles the issue of PTSD. Lynette treats it realistically, giving Without Warning more depth. The romance in this book was fun too, but wasn’t really the focus. Trust was a real issue in this book, trusting the people around them, and also trusting God, even when He allows things that don’t make sense.

So this book wasn’t quite Agatha Christie, but I did get sucked in by the adventure. I’ll definitely be taking another look at Lynette’s novels, but not when I’m home alone. At night. With creepy night noises. 😉

About the Author

Biography from Revell Publisher’s website: Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching and Without Warning in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of an ACFW Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She has a master’s degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

I was given a review copy of Without Warning from the publisher. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Every Girl Gets Confused

every-girl-gets-confused-by-janice-thompsonBook Review: Every Girl Gets Confused

Author: Janice Thompson

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Revell’s website description of Every Girl Gets Confused:

How can she choose between the love she thought she lost and the love she stumbled upon in the aftermath?
Katie Fisher and Brady James may be a match made in heaven, but that doesn’t seem to guarantee them a happily ever after accompanied by angelic choirs. Katie’s almost-fiancé Casey is back in Fairfield, ready to rekindle their relationship. And there’s nothing Katie’s parents want more than for their small-town girl to leave Dallas and come home for good.
But can she really leave Brady behind? And will she ever be able to wear that gorgeous wedding dress she won?


            I’ve read a couple books by Janice Thompson in the past, I may even have a few on my kindle currently (that should give you a hint of insight into the size of my TBR list). I hadn’t read the first book in the Brides with Style series, Every Bride Needs a Groom, but I still enjoyed this novel very much. However, if I had the chance to do it over again, I would have read the first book before this one.

Janice Thompson’s writing is characterized by humor, sweet romance, and a home-town feel. Though this book switched back and forth between the big city and small town, the cast of characters, who were a fantastic combo of quirkiness and authenticity, rooted the story in a familial atmosphere. I loved how Janice portrayed the different characters in the book. Often, people didn’t say what they meant, and confusion abounded after some conversations. Sounds like real life, doesn’t it? Which is why I so enjoyed reading this book. I was able to read it for a bit, put it down with a smile on my face, until I meandered back into the story again later. However, I wouldn’t say that the story gripped me as much as others I’ve read recently. I liked how Brady and Katie were the main couple of the story, yet there were so many other intertwining stories with the rest of the cast. The sometimes dry humor that Janice uses is very similar to my kind of humor, which I absolutely loved reading. Perhaps what I liked most was seeing a bit of the culture as far as the different Christian churches in Texas. Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, where I’m from the categories aren’t quite so defined. But what I especially appreciated was how Janice portrayed the people from these different denominations working together as believers in Jesus.

If you’re looking for a relaxing escape into a good book, I would recommend this series, based on reading the second book in the series, so take that advice with a grain of salt.

About the Author

Biography from Revell’s website: Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com

I was given a review copy of Every Girl Gets Confused from the author in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.

The Creole Princess

9780800721985Book Review: The Creole Princess

Author: Beth White

Review by Grace Olson

The Story

Taken from Bethany House’s website description of The Creole Princess:

Torn between loyalties to family and flag, one young woman is about to discover that her most important allegiance is to her heart.

It is 1776, and all along the eastern seaboard the American struggle for independence rages. But in the British-held southern port of Mobile, Alabama, the conflict brewing is much quieter–though no less deadly.

Lyse Lanier may be largely French in heritage, but she spends most of her time in the company of the ebullient daughter of the British commander of Mobile. When a charming young Spanish merchant docks in town, Lyse is immediately struck by his easy wit and flair for the dramatic. But is he truly who he makes himself out to be? Spies abound, and Spain has yet to choose a side in the American conflict. Is Lyse simply an easy mark for Rafael Gonzalez to exploit? Or are his overtures of love as genuine as Spanish gold?

With spectacular detail that brings the cultural gumbo of the Colonial Gulf Coast alive, Beth White invites you to step into a world of intrigue and espionage from a little-known slice of the American Revolutionary War.


I had the pleasure of meeting Beth White at the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference last September (2014). This was before I’d read either of her books yet, so she was spared the fan-girling. 😉 But seriously, she was so kind to me and very genuine, so being able to read and review The Creole Princess is actually an honor and a very cool thing for me.

I love, love, love this book! Seriously, it’s on my top reads of 2015. Beth takes the reader to a little-known front of the American Revolution, specifically dealing with the French and Spanish involvement. I learned so much in this book and absolutely fell in love with the uniqueness of the setting.

Beth does an excellent job of pacing in this book. It pulled me along, and I could hardly put the book down. I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen next. However, the characters in this book are what truly shine. Each person is memorable, unique, and 3 dimensional. No cardboard characters here. The romance between Lyse and Rafael was so much fun to read, and you can check the ‘sigh-worthy’ star off your list as well for this one. 🙂

I can hardly wait for Beth’s next book. I honestly can’t rave about The Creole Princess enough. It was simply that good. So if you love the American Revolution time period, but want a different spin on it, then pick up The Creole Princess. This is one novel you won’t want to miss.

About the Author

Biography from Bethany House’s website: Beth White’s day job is teaching music at an inner-city high school in historic Mobile, Alabama. A native Mississippian, she is a pastor’s wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one–so far. Her hobbies include playing flute and pennywhistle and painting, but her real passion is writing historical romance with a Southern drawl. Her novels have won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, the RT Book Club Reviewers Choice Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Visit http://www.bethwhite.net for more information.

I was given a review copy of The Creole Princess from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.