Book Review, “Love Held Captive,” Shelley Shepard Gray author

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Love Held Captive, by Shelley Shepard Gray, is the third book in the Lone Star Hero’s Love Story series.  This series tells the stories of several men that were held captive on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, during the Civil War.  This novel presents two men, Major Ethan Kelly and Captain Devin Monroe.

When Lizbeth Barclay runs into Ethan’s hotel suite to hide from her would be attacker, she doesn’t realize that Ethan in present. Horrified to find herself alone in a man’s room, she tells him of her plight. When she is fired from her position as a maid at the hotel for her indiscretion, Ethan makes plans to protect her and hunt down the man who caused the trouble.  He is haunted by the memory of raiding her ranch during the war. Devin Monr0e thinks he has met the woman of his dreams until she tells him that she was the “ladybird” of an officer with which Devin was imprisoned. Horrified, he struggles with his plight, not knowing how he can possibly love such a woman, even though the man is still a threat to her.  When the two friends discover that the same man is threatening both of the women they have come to love, Ethan and Devin set out to find him and eliminate the threat.

I enjoyed this book very much.  I loved the fact that Ethan and Devin could love Lizbeth and Julianne in spite of the abusive pasts and bad decisions they made.  I also loved the idea that true friends will come to your aid whenever you need them, even if it means interrupting their own lives to do so.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Cherished Mercy,” Tracie Peterson author

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Cherished Mercy, by Tracie Peterson, is the third book in the Heart of the Frontier series.  Set in Oregon Territory in the mid-1850s, it tells the story of the youngest Flanagan sister, Mercy.

Mercy Flanagan has survived the Whitman Massacre and now lives with her sisters Grace and Hope and their families. In spite of her experiences, she longs for peace with the native people. When their friend asks Mercy to come help with her difficult pregnancy, even though it means traveling to the Rogue River Valley in the midst of conflict between the militia and the natives, Mercy agrees to go. Once there, the situation turns much worse than she could have imagined. When her friends, Isaac and Eletta, die, she finds herself caring for their foster daughter, Faith, who is really Hope’s daughter. She and Adam, Isaac’s brother, find themselves needing to depend on each other, but Adam continually holds her at arms’ length.

I enjoyed this book very much. I found Mercy’s faith in God’s protection refreshing. Her courage and determination to protect her friends is something many can relate to. I also appreciated that a portion of the ending was devoted to Hope’s reunion with Faith.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “The Most Important Women of the Bible,” Aaron and Elaina Sharp authors

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The Most Important Women of the Bible: Remarkable Stories of God’s Love and Redemption, by Aaron and Elaina Sharp, is packed full of information about women in scripture.  Published by Bethany House, this book’s authors are both graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary and reside in Texas.

This book strives to reveal to the reader how each of the women included fits into the overall story of the Bible. The objective is to remind readers of how each woman’s story reveals God’s love for people today. Each chapter discusses a different woman of the Bible, including Scripture References, Biography, Role in Redemption, By the Numbers, and Things We Wondered. Some of the women included are: Eve, Sarah, Zipporah, Ruth, Hannah, Bathsheba, Gomer, Mary, Tabitha, Phoebe, and Lydia.

This is a marvelous book. It is well-written and included much information about each woman discussed. I found it truthful and to the point. It would be useful for both individual or group Bible studies.

I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to know more about women of the Bible.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Picturing Heaven,” Randy Alcorn author

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Picturing Heaven, written by Randy Alcorn and illustrated by Lizzie Preston, includes forty “hope-filled devotions with coloring pages.” Alcorn is a best-selling author and a leading authority on Heaven.

This book was designed to offer “comfort and relaxation while encouraging you with the restful assurance that God prepares a special place for those who love Him.” Alcorn hopes that coloring the pages illustrating Heaven will help readers to “develop a vital view of the magnificent New Earth God is preparing for us” He feels that pairing the reading of information about Heaven with coloring the pictures of it may lead readers to truly understand what it will be like. Each pair of pages includes a scripture reference, a short devotion, and a picture to color.

This is a wonderful book. The devotions are encouraging, and the illustrations are detailed and well-drawn. My only criticism is that the ideas of Heaven presented may not agree with that of all Christians. I would encourage one to look through the book before purchasing it in order to assess this issue.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adult coloring books and reading about Heaven.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Whisper,” Mark Batterson author

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Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, by Mark Batterson, is an essential book for anyone attempting to discern whether or not God is speaking to him. Many wonder if God still speaks to people today, and Mark Batterson answers in this book. He believes that God still speaks, but we need to know how to listen.

Batterson says in this book that a whisper from God can change one’s life in powerful ways. Knowing how to hear God can bring about miracles and bold visions. He strives to make hearing God more natural for believers by introducing seven ways that God speaks to His children. He presents the value of having a “whispering spot,” a specific place to listen to God’s voice. He asks the question, “Do you know how to hear His voice?”

This is a marvelous book. It addresses the questions many have about God speaking to us today. It presents seven ways to hear from God. I found these ideas quite interesting and would recommend this book to anyone trying to hear from God.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Bringing Maggie Home,” Kim Vogel Sawyer author

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Bringing Maggie Home, by Kim Vogel Sawyer, is a marvelous novel.  It tells the story of a woman with a problem that occurred when she was a child and affected her entire life.

Hazel DeFord was 10-years-old when she left her 3-year-old sister for a few moments to chase a snake away from some baby bunnies and her sister disappeared. After this, Hazel’s father returned to his alcoholic ways and her family fell apart. Hazel later smothers her own daughter in an effort to protect her, but she never speaks of her sister. When Her granddaughter Meghan, a Cold Case detective, comes to visit while recovering from an accident, and Hazel’s daughter arrives at the same time, they decide to make a scrapbook together of Hazel’s life. Meghan accidentally discovers a picture of Hazel’s sister, and the secret comes out. Meghan asks her partner to investigate Maggie’s disappearance. When he discovers that several other children also went missing during the same time period, the investigation deepens.

This was an incredible book. I did not want to put it down. I especially liked Hazel and her steady faith. I liked the manner in which Diane and Meghan slowly began to accept Christ, even though they originally had no interest. I also appreciated the fact that Sean would not date Meghan until after she became a Christian.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian suspense novels.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional,” Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery authors

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The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional: 365 Inspiring Ideas to Reveal, Give, and Find God’s Love by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl, and Kristin Demery, is an amazing book.  It encourages readers to be more intentional in their attitudes and acts of kindness.

The authors began writing this devotional with a month-long daily act of kindness commitment, but ended up writing a year-long devotional, changing not only their own lives but also that of their families. Each devotion includes a scripture reference, a short inspirational personal story about God’s call for kindness and generosity, and a suggested act of kindness.  The devotions are designed for busy people and can be started at any time of the year. They are designed to help the reader form positive habits that connect with things that are important to God.

This is a wonderful devotional. I especially liked the suggested acts of kindness for each day. Some ideas were repeated later in the year, but they were easy to implement, such as writing an encouraging note to someone online or visiting someone homebound or in the nursing home.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to show more kindness to the world.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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