Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: The Orphan's Wish

The Orphan's Wish The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Orphan’s Wish (Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance series #8)
by Melanie Dickerson


Release Date: June 26, 2018

My rating: 4.5 stars

SUMMARY: After being orphaned and doing what he can to survive, you Aladdin is rescued and raised in a land far away from his birthplace where he meets Lady Kirstyn and becomes her friend. Through the years, their childhood friendship grows.

MY THOUGHTS: You may think you know the story of Aladdin, but author Melanie Dickerson takes his story and reinvents it. My teenage daughter is a long-time fan of Melanie Dickerson and has read everything Ms. Dickerson has ever written. My daughter told me time and again that I *must* read these reinvented fairy tales and that they are *so* good! Well, I never quite got around to it. When I saw NetGalley offer up the newest of the Hagenheim fairy tales, I jumped at the opportunity. After reading The Orphan’s Wish, I must admit my daughter is right. I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling and want to read more of them.

4.5 stars for the entertainment and enjoyment. I knocked a half star off, as the romantic struggle dragged on a bit too long for me.

Even though this is the eighth book in the Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance series, I felt the story could easily be read and understood without having read the previous tales.

This book is recommended to anyone—tween to senior citizen—who likes fairy tales with clean romance.


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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review.


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Review: The Captured Bride

The Captured Bride The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Captured Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #3)
by Michelle Griep

Release Date: June 1, 2018


My rating: 5 stars

SUMMARY: This third book in the Daughters of the Mayflower series can be read without reading the first two. (But, if you’re into family trees, you’ll want to!) In this book, Mayflower descendant Mercy Lytton is a scout in the wilderness of New York during the French and Indian War. Her father was a Mohawk Native American and her mother was British. During a mission, she encounters traitor Elias DuBois and must work with him to help deliver a shipment of gold to the British.

MY THOUGHTS: This is my first story by this author, but I think I’ll be looking up some of her other books. I really enjoyed it because of its historical adventure, clean romance, and interwoven Christian faith. I especially liked Mercy’s development throughout the story in regard to her mother and in finding where she fits in her world. The twists and turns of Mercy and Elias’s adventures kept me turning the pages.

I ended up buying two copies of the paperback. One copy was for my church’s library, and the other is for a giveaway for our library’s monthly drawing. I decided to purchase the giveaway copy because of the author’s note at the end of the book. The story was partially based on the legend of the lost French gold, a well-known local (Minerva, Ohio) story.

This book is recommended to anyone who likes frontier adventures, clean romance, or genealogy. I’m looking forward to book 4!


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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review.

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Review: Fawkes

Fawkes Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fawkes
by Nadine Brandes

Release Date: July 10, 2018

My rating: 5 stars

SUMMARY: Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone. He lives in 17th century London, in the midst of a color war where the Keepers think the Igniters caused the Stone Plague and the Igniters think the Keepers did it. Thomas becomes mixed up in the plot to install a new king because his father says it will end the plague.

MY THOUGHTS: This historical fiction-yet-not-historical-fiction is so unique. It’s set against real events during the Gunpowder Plot of the 17th century, and yet it is also a fantasy story. What a brilliant idea. I want more of this hybrid kind of story! I enjoyed the plots and twists, the Christian undertones, and seeing Thomas grow and change and develop his own opinions. Definitely gets 5 stars for originality and for keeping me turning the pages while giving me something to think about it! I would have like to have seen a bit more explanation of things in the beginning, but as the story unfolded the knowledge came.

This book is recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction and/or fantasy or who is interested in a hybrid of the two.

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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review.

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Review: No Less Days

No Less Days No Less Days by Amanda G. Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a thought-provoking story and I love books that make me think! I may not agree with parts of the story, but neither can I offer a better solution. I actually read this book in 2 sittings in a 24 hour period. I believe it will be one not soon forgotten. I hope there's more of the story coming soon.

I intend to read more of this author. I've got her book Seek and Hide sitting on the shelf beside my reading chair. I will be buying No Less Days for our church library...it should spark some interesting discussion. It would be great for book club.

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At my request, I received a free electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to give a positive review. This review reflects my honest thoughts and opinions on the book, and I received no compensation for this review other than getting to keep the e-book.

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Review: The Little Siren

The Little Siren The Little Siren by J.M. Stengl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a review of the entire Faraway Castle series to date. (Cinder Ellie 0.5, Ellie & the Prince #1, The Little Siren 1.5, and The Siren & the Scholar #2). Ellie's stories can be read separately from the Siren's stories, but the stories do take place at the same time and overlap. You can snag the prequel story The Little Siren at the author's website...you'll want to read it before The Siren and the Scholar.

This is a delightful series set in a world of cars and cell phones and resorts, yet has the feel of a fairytale kingdom of yesteryear. In this world, you'll find new takes on old stories, such as Cinderella and The Little Mermaid (and coming later this year, Sleeping Beauty). You'll also find romance and mystery.

As a parent, I appreciated the "lightness" of the romance...hand-holding and a few kisses, no more. :)

I look forward to the next book(s) in the series. Recommended for tweens, teens, and lovers of all things fairytales.

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Review: Cinder Ellie

Cinder Ellie Cinder Ellie by J.M. Stengl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a review of the entire Faraway Castle series to date. (Cinder Ellie 0.5, Ellie & the Prince #1, The Little Siren 1.5, and The Siren & the Scholar #2)

This is a delightful series set in a world of cars and cell phones and resorts, yet has the feel of a fairytale kingdom of yesteryear. In this world, you'll find new takes on old stories, such as Cinderella and The Little Mermaid (and coming later this year, Sleeping Beauty). You'll also find romance and mystery.

As a parent, I appreciated the "lightness" of the romance...hand-holding and a few kisses, no more. :)

I look forward to the next book(s) in the series. Recommended for tweens, teens, and lovers of all things fairytales.

4.5 stars for fairytale fun



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Review: Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy

Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy Welcome Home: Our Family's Journey to Extreme Joy by Kimberley Woodhouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such an inspiring book! I found this book after the author mentioned on Facebook that their family had been on Extreme Home Makeover and that she had written a book about it. Someone in the comments provided a link to the YouTube video of the episode. After watching the video, I checked to see if my library had the book. I was glad I could read the full story, as the video did not show the spiritual aspect of the family.

I really enjoyed this book. I appreciated the frankness of the author in dealing with her struggles to maintain joy through adversity. I usually struggle to read non-fiction, but this author writes in such an engaging way that I truly enjoyed reading. It reads like a novel. I would love an update that tells what has happened in the years since the book was published.

I'd recommend to anyone wanting an inspirational read or who is struggling to find the joy in their circumstances.

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