Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

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Initially I selected this book because of the author, Julie Klassen. Having read some of her books in the past, there were many that I enjoyed and so in addition to the lovely cover art, I was looking forward to reading this book.

Jane Bell is now the owner of The Bell coaching inn. Her husband died the year prior, and for the past year she has made do with her life. Not caring one way or the other about the inn. Her husband John, never wanted her to play a part in the inn. But now, with the call out on a substantial debt looming, she no longer knows what she wants to do, she just knows she has to give it a try at saving the inn.

Thora Bell is Jane’s mother-in-law. She had left after her son’s death and lived for awhile with her sister in Bath. But she was soon left without accommodations when her sister married. Plus, she was ready to return home to the inn after hearing distressing news about the condition of the inn. Having run the inn prior to her son’s death, knowing that her daughter-in-law had inherited the inn did not set well with her.

Then there is Patrick Bell, the brother to John Bell. He has been at the inn for awhile helping Jane with the running of it, and trying to help in bring it back to life. But his mother, Thora, doesn’t trust him, thinking that he’s returning to his scalawag ways.

Essentially the story is about these three main characters, along with the other characters that are involved in keeping the inn running and sustaining. We learn the stories of the other characters, such as the cook, the manager Talbot, and Locke who is the farrier. They all play an integral roll in the uplifting to the inn.

The way Julie interwove the story and it’s growth was fascinating. For me, a story that i thought wouldn’t take very long to read, ended up with me being unable to put it down. Starting it in the evening, the kindle wasn’t put down until 2:00 in the morning. Let’s just say, the last few chapters were hurriedly rushed through a tad more than usual.

The details are rich, and the characters are interesting. You see the growth of the characters as they go from chapter 1 to the last chapter. You are interested in Jane and wonder if she has what it takes to make it as an innkeeper. You wonder about Locke, Drake and others and wonder how they will play a part in her life. Then you have Patrick, her mother-in-law and the circumstances that surround the death of her husband. Then, you are left with the delinquent loan that her husband had taken out the year before his death, that has yet to be paid.

All in all, I really did enjoy reading the book. I had no idea what was going to happen with Thora, being swung one direction to the other. Jane, I expected more of an ending, along with Rachel. I was left in a quandry wondering what I missed in my speedreading towards the end. Even with a quick purusal of pages, my answers were not answered.

Despite all this, I would most definitely recommend this book!

I received this book complimentary from Bethany House publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers

Book Review: Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers

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This is a beautifully nature enriched scenery book of psalms and encouraging weekly reflections on how God speaks to us. The photography is awesome and the stories that are intertwined are just as well written.

To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of hope for this particular book. I thought it sounded interesting, but the cover didn’t really appeal to me. Neither did the title of the book. If anything, I expected this to be part of a bargain bin because of the lack of interest in it selling very well, based upon its cover art soley.

Well, this is one book where you definitely should not judge a book by its cover. My intention was to read it and then pass it along to a friend of mine. It took reading the first few chapters to be assaulted with guilt. I didn’t want to pass this book along. I wanted it to remain in my possessions and claim it as mine. I don’t plan on sharing. The most sharing I will do, is to go to the local bookstore and buy my friend her very own copy.

What did I like about the book, pretty much what I wrote in the opening paragraph. I loved the photography. I loved the way that Francine Rivers wrote. The thought provoking questions at the end, to challenge you to think and perhaps put into practice what you read.

Would I recommend this book? Most definitely.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher, Tyndale Publisher, via the Tyndale Blog Network. The review I wrote was my own honest opinion, without any pressure to present a positive review.

Book Review: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

Book Review: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

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The one thing about the book, you pretty much knew the ending at the get-go. But first you had to go through the angst of it all, while wondering, will it happen or not?

I had enjoyed the first book of royal readings, where Susanna had met her own prince charming, but this is the book about Avery, five years later who returns to Europe with her mom for a royal Christmas. While there, she comes in contact with Colin, the one man who broke her heart.

This being the fourth installment, I have obviously missed a few things along the way. The father has died, Avery had a previous short-lived relationship with Prince Colin. There is also a friend from Georgia who has met her own charming love and lives there. Obviously I’m going to have to pick up the missing two to play catch-up. Despite the lack, I did not feel  like I was overtly lost. The story carried along with no problem, as I remained enthralled in this story.

The only thing I did feel is that I felt rushed along. There was the countdown at the beginning of each chapter, to let us know the importance of the time. I just felt that this story lacked the magic that made me fall into love with the initial book. My expectations were much higher.

Despite that, I will admit that I did get teary eyed at the end. I also started the book and ended the book all in one day, albeit after midnight. I will probably read this again, but at a slower pace and see what I may have missed. All in all, I thought the story did flow along quite nicely.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher, via BookLook Bloggers. The review I wrote was my own honest opinion, without any pressure to present a positive review.

Book Review: Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

Book Review: Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

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I’ve read some of Nancy Mehl’s book in the past, and was looking forward to reading another book by her. Usually well-researched and depth filled, I knew that I wouldn’t be disappointed when reading this book, Fatal Frost.

But I was.

Fatal Frost is about Mercy Breannan, who is a US Marshal. Her life is in danger when she is on the hit list of a major cartel. Her father, whom she hasn’t had a good relationship with, inadvertently places her in dangers ways. But the Marshal’s plan on tucking her away in a safe house, until the danger is passed. Along with her is a former boyfriend, also a Marshal and her partner.

I had so many hopes for this book, but it started off confusing me. There was just so much going on, and while it was fast paced, there was too much happening. There was no development of characters, and let me not liking Mercy at all. I kept wondering if there was a prior book to this one, where we were introduced to Mercy in a prior story, but with this being book 1, the answer was no. The boyfriend relationship, the father/mother story, her partner, her weirdness. There was no development of the story. Instead, a small section of a life was constructed with a dab of a pre-story, and then BAM you are tossed into this excitement.

Instead, I was left underwhelmed and eager to finish the story. There were plenty of small details which would most definitely require a re-read, but I’m not interested. I was able to glean out the gist of the story, and that was enough for me.

That said, I couldn’t really recommend this story. If you have a chance to borrow a copy, do so and form your own opinion. Unfortunately, this is a book I won’t be sharing with my sister, instead I will be recycling to the local book reseller.

I received this book complimentary from the publisher, Bethany House. The review I wrote was my own honest opinion, without any pressure to present a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

Book Review: Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

Book Review: Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

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I made a mistake this afternoon. Knowing that I was almost finished with this book, I brought it in on my lunch break to finish it. Wow.

Long Way Gone is about a young man, Cooper O’Connor, who leaves home at 18, taking his father’s truck, guitar and money. Headed to Nashville, he hopes to hit it big. His father’s legacy he leaves behind. While in Nashville, he falls in love with Daley Cross, but before a future came be made tragedy strikes. With no place to go, he eventually heads back west and makes it to home in Colorado.

Fast forward to now, and Cooper finds Daley on a street corner, and wonders if he can tell her the true story as to what happened in Nashville.

The story was a little slow for me initially. It took me a few days of starting it, before I found myself fully diving into the book. Enough days passed and I wondered if I would even bother finishing it. Let’s just say, I’m so glad I took the time to really and truly delve into the book, read and get immersed within it.

The start of the story starts in present day where Cooper has come upon Daley. She’s down on her luck, but headed to a show in Louisiana. Unfortunately, a bad turn of events has left her penniless and without a guitar, so Cooper helps her out. Then, sends her on her way to her concert in Louisiana. At this point, we learn the back story of Cooper. And from there, with the details and such written in, let’s just say this is a book that I will be reading again in the future. Especially if I want my sinuses cleared!

I loved the book jacket, which is what prompted my interest in purchasing the book, that and the story synopsis on the back cover.

All in all, I thought this was a spectacular book, well written (despite my lack of interest initially). Definitely deserving of five stars.

I did receive this book complimentary from the publisher via the website BookLookBloggers. The review I wrote was my own honest opinion, without any pressure to be positive or negative. These are my own thoughts.