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The Angel of Forest Hill

The Angel of Forest HillThe Angel of Forest Hill by Cindy Woodsmall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story hits some hard life issues, like the death of a loved one and emotional abuse by family members. Not the usual fluff seen in much of Amish romance. It’s a modern-day spin on the marriage of convenience theme that is both believable and relatable. Nothing fast or flashy here, but an illustration of the healing of time and steady faith. The ending was, admittedly, a little too neat and tidy for my tastes, but the story is well worth reading.

 

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A Rebel in My House

A Rebel in My House - Civil War Romance SeriesA Rebel in My House – Civil War Romance Series by Sandra Merville Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Set during the battle at Gettysburg, “A Rebel in My House” tells the story of a woman swept up in an event that changed the course of a war. If you’ve never thought about the how the war and the battles impacted civilian lives, this story will open your eyes. Full of rich details of the time period, Sandra Merville Hart also explores the differences between North and South in a realistic, not stereotypical way. Amid those details, she weaves a story of love and trust. Well worth reading.

 

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All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor

All the Gallant Men: An American Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl HarborAll the Gallant Men: An American Sailor’s Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor by Donald Stratton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you’ve ever wondered how The Greatest Generation got its name, this is the book to read. Inspiring doesn’t begin to characterize it. This is what we were. This is who we were. This is whom we should aspire to be again. This is about putting our country and our fellow men and women above ourselves. It’s about doing what’s right regardless of the personal cost. This is what we’ve lost. Powerful. Emotional. A must-read for all Americans.

 
 

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An Awakened Heart

An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train, #0.5)An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a free novella published to point the reader to Jody Hedlund’s novel “With You Always.” It’s a promotional book, a tease to buy the novel. It’s good to understand that before reading, so the reader isn’t disappointed by the ending. It doesn’t end so much as it just stops. The reader can assume that the story will pick up again in the novel.

This story is an eye-opening look into the tenements of New York during the mid-1800s. The poverty, the squalor, the desperation, and degradation. A stark look into a time of change and growth for a country absorbing more people than it would handle. But God placed people in the midst who cared and who worked to make a difference.

Worth reading, whether you continue on to read the novel or not.

 

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The Princess Spy

The Princess Spy (Hagenheim, #5)The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another medieval story with that fairytale feel, but I have to admit that I’ve no idea what fairytale sparked this story. A fun read with some returning characters from previous stories by Melanie Dickerson. It’s best to read the Hagenheim books in order. And read them all! They might be labeled as “young adult,” but hey … we’re all young at heart.

 

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The Captive Maiden

The Captive Maiden (Hagenheim, #4)The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another delightful medieval fairytale from Melanie Dickerson. This is a retelling of Cinderella and it’s beautifully done. I especially love how she did this without the mystical element to it. It’s entirely plausible and will keep you reading if for no other reason that to see how she did it! No spoiler, you have to read this one for yourself. 🙂

 

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The Fairest Beauty

The Fairest Beauty (Hagenheim, #3)The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series and I will start book #4 tonight, but this one fell flat for me. Part of the problem was the ebook formatting. The font sizes changed from paragraph to paragraph and scene breaks were missing, making the head-hopping hard to follow. It’s hard to enjoy a book that’s frustrating to read.

But more than that, the storyline was shallow. While it was set up for excellent tension with the wicked stepmother ordering Sophie’s death and sending troops to ferret her out, it wallowed in a pit of sexual tension mixed with a lack of self-confidence with both the hero and the heroine for far too long. It needed more/better editing, in my opinion.

Not a bad book, but I would definitely recommend the print version for this one. Pretty sure I would have enjoyed it more that way.

 

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