I’ve read quite a few of Michelle Griep’s books, and I have to say, this is my 2nd favorite. It’s very different, and I think that’s part of why I liked it so much. It’s not the same-old/same-old that historical romance can sometimes fall into. It’s a little dark, as the cover indicates, but I wouldn’t call it gothic. It just … different and intriguing. How? Maybe how she handles the character of the heroine’s brother? Maybe how the story comes together with elements you don’t see coming? Maybe the diversity of characters? I don’t know! You have to read it and find out for yourself.
I’ve been fascinated by the Civil War since Jr. High. I’ve read widely on the subject, and so it’s always fun when I stumble across a new book that adds something I haven’t read before. I was able to attend Bret Baier’s talk at the Reagan Library in late October, so I had a good idea what was in the book, but I still found a few nuggets that intrigued me.
The first half of the book is about Grant and brings us up through the end of the war. There was on new – and startling – fact I found in there. I won’t put a spoiler in here though. Then the end of the book was about Reconstruction and the election of 1876. I didn’t know nearly as much about Reconstruction as I did about the war, so I learned quite a bit.
Probably the most intriguing part of the whole book is the horse-trading that went one during the 1876 election. The claims of massive fraud (some of which proved to be true – some of it couldn’t be proven) and the possibility of a second war erupting kept me turning the pages.
This wasn’t dry, dusty history. Baier does a good job of telling the story and keeping the reader engaged. I haven’t read his other books, which are more recent history, but I may have to pick them up after reading this one.
I bought this book to read after seeing the social media flap about it. I couldn’t imagine half of the vitriol I was reading was true. It wasn’t. Other than the book starts with the massacre at Wounded Knee, nothing about the story meshed with that vitriol.
A historical romance with a very strong-willed heroine and a very self-assured hero that takes place in Texas. Having lived through the horrendous event at Wounded Knee, the hero has turned his life around and along with three close friends, they are trying to right wrongs where they can. Having studied to become a medical doctor, the heroine finds the hero and his attitude very taxing and annoyingly appealing, until she needs his special brand of assistance.
I have to stand with the 13 juried literary judges for the Romance Writers of America who saw nothing untoward about this story. It addressed a great wrong in American history without sugar-coating or romanticizing or glorifying it. It was portrayed as what it was, a massacre.
I grew up watching westerns on TV like The Wild, Wild West and Bonanza and Gunsmoke. If you did too, you’re going to enjoy Heather Blanton’s books. And if you didn’t – you young whippersnappers – you need to read a few and learn what good story-telling is all about! Engaging characters with their own individual strengths and flaws, classic western setting, plenty of horses (written by someone who must actually *know* horses!), and plenty of action rounds out this fun romantic romp.
If you love biblical numerology, you’re going to LOVE this book! But if you’re like me, numbers begin to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher in your head, mawaw-waw-wawam. But there is plenty in here besides the numbers. It’s worth the price of the book for Chapter 9 alone – the chapter explaining Pentecost before and Pentecost after Jesus and how they are connected.
What interested me about the book in the first place was understanding more about the Jewishness (is that a word?) of Jesus. As one who grew up with the paintings of a blue-eyed, light-skinned, light-haired Jesus, I wanted to see Him more authentically. And learning that the author is also a consultant for the series “The Chosen” was a clincher.
The book delivered on that point, connecting Jesus more to His Jewish heritage. It’s not a light read – even aside from slogging through the numbers – but it’s a thoughtful one. Well worth the time if you want to see Jesus differently than Da Vinci.
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Behind Love’s Wall takes the reader on a double journey of intrigue and romance on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Author Carrie Fancett Pagels does a well-balanced job in this dual-timeline story. From 1895 to 2020, the setting of the famous Grand Hotel immerses the reader in the grandeur and elegance of a time gone by that is still accessible today. While Lily and Stephan do their best to hide their pasts in 1895, Willa and Michael are equally determined to unearth them in 2020. There are enough tangled webs in this story to keep the reader happily turning each page. This may be my favorite book by this author yet.
Another Ann Gabhart classic tale of adventure and love in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Ride along with Tansy Calhoun as she delivers books to those who live up in the hills as part of the Packhorse Librarians during the Great Depression.
The story is peppered with colorful characters like Perdy Sweet and “Preacher” Rowlett and even a “slicker” from the city. There’s also a host of animal characters from an unpredictable cat to a troublesome hound pup to the leased horse Tansy rides on her routes.
The people of the Great Depression had little to survive on, and those in the hills had less than most, but what they did have was each other. Families came together – sometimes forming in ways other than bloodlines – to lend a helping hand where needed. Faith played a critical part, but also common sense and the willingness to work long and hard to make things happen. A truly inspiring story.
This is a sweet romance with engaging characters, a beautiful setting, and is suitable for anyone who enjoys a lighthearted story. But it also delivers deeper truths while touching on some timely societal issues. Lexi is a young woman with determination and drive – if she can just keep it focused in the right direction. Ian is the man who has everything – but he doesn’t want it. Their families deliver more characters who have their own issues to overcome. Life is beautiful, fragile, and messy. It’s good to read books like this to remind us that no matter what you see on the outside, everyone has a story on the inside.
Let me say upfront, if you assumed from the title that this book is a fantasy about an alternate China, it’s not. Yeah. That threw me too.
Journey to ChiYah is an allegory, like a modern-day Pilgrim’s Progress. Admittedly, not my normal type of read. (But – yes – I do occasionally climb out of history long enough to read something else.)
This is a self-published book, and having read a number of those, I have to say that this one is a cut above most. It held my interest throughout, there was a full character arc to the story, and ended with a solid finish.
The main character, Jade, is thrown into a journey and takes the reader along with her. It’s an important journey, one every Christian should be able to identify with, and one non-Christians may wish to explore.
I can recommend this book to people who enjoy allegories, to Christians who can identify with a spiritual journey, and to those who are seeking a bigger picture or greater meaning in their lives.