Tag Archives: Christian Novel

The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she’s created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral–or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He’s definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.

Just when it seems Bri’s bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she’s kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri’s recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn’t always look the way we expect–and maybe that’s a good thing.

The Key to Love, by Betsy St. Amant, is a contemporary romance novel about a bakery, The Pastry Puff, and its owners and an employee in Story, Kansas. This is the first book I have read by Betsy St. Amant.

The story is populated by several characters, from the previous owner’s daughter, Abrielle “Bri” Duvall to the nefarious Charles Richmond, Bri’s ex-boyfriend, who is a lawyer intent on getting The Pastry Puff by any means available (and maybe some that aren’t!). The true stars of the book appear to be the bakery, the Parisian styled love lock fence and the “love angels,” Mabel and Agnes, who are the bakery’s new owners.

I had a hard time becoming invested in the main characters, Bri Duval and Gerard Fortier. Their ongoing disagreements felt somewhat immature and off-putting.

The book also contains some mild vulgar words (though not profanity) and innuendo, with very little of a very spiritually uplifting content.

The Key to Love was, overall, a cute book you could lose yourself in for a few hours, with several laugh out loud moments created by the love angels, Mable and Agnes.

I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Revell through Interviews & Reviews. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch-I Read with Audra Blog Tour

The Gentleman Spy is the second book in the Serendipity & Secrets trilogy by Erica Vetsch (see review of 1st book, The Lost Lieutenant, where we met Marcus Haverly). Little did he, or we, know that the “spare” would become a Duke.

Duke Haverly doesn’t have time for, nor does he want, to get married, and it definitely doesn’t fit into his plans. His mother and his boss have other ideas.

One typically male attribute of Haverly’s adds humor to the plot and elicits many words of caution from friends. He compartmentalizes every area of his life-work, God, family, etc.

Lady Charlotte Tiptree is an outspoken, unsophisticated, underappreciated and underestimated young woman destined for spinsterhood.

Lady Charlotte’s biggest failing is not being able to control her ire when an injustice is done, a problem in a time when women were supposed to be “fluffy-headed blondes with no voice.”

Imagine the pandemonium when these two happen to cross paths.

I love that Marcus and Charlotte both love books. They both also have a servant’s  heart, aptly illustrated by their thoughts, feelings and actions.

I would caution readers that there are some tough circumstances in this story and along with them there are scenes of extreme brutality. Also, many social and historical issues presented in the novel are just as relevant in today’s world.

The Gentleman Spy contains humor, mystery, intrigue and romance-a wonderful combination, tough situations, notwithstanding.

I received The Gentleman Spy from I Read with Audra Blog Tours and NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

#GentlemanSpy  #IReadwithAudra #NetGalley

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

https://promosimple.com/ps/10029/the-gentleman-spy

Christmas Under Wraps by Fay Lamb

If the mayor, the county sheriff, and the pretty school teacher can’t keep him out of prison, his nephew might face a worse fate.

English professor, Christian Abrams has thrown his career away to protect his young nephew, Dylan, from an unjust system. When Christian sees the turn off for the Florida Everglades town of Mullet Harbor, “where you’ll always find a Friend,” he and Dylan are running low on fuel for their bodies and for his truck. The welcoming … but quirky … citizens of the town offer refuge, but Christian can’t take the chance of being caught in the remote location. When the flip-flop wearing mayor and the Cajun county sheriff give Christian an ultimatum: stay in Mullet Harbor through the holidays and allow the town to help him solve his dilemma or be arrested and handed over to the FBI on a federal kidnapping charge, Christian decides it’s best for he and Dylan to accept their misguided hospitality.

Elementary teacher Kaylee McFarland is new to Mullet Harbor, having been contacted by the town’s eccentric mayor and offered the job. Though she has no idea how the mayor knew she was seeking the opportunity to move far away from her overprotective mother, she relishes her newfound liberty. When Christian’s growing attraction to Kaylee brings her mother to Mullet Harbor and reveals a long-kept secret, Kaylee, Christian, and Dylan may all lose their freedom, but they’re about to learn how far the citizens of Mullet Harbor will go to protect those they love.

Though snow never falls in the Everglades, Christmas miracles rain down on Mullet Harbor.

Fay Lamb’s delightfully quirky sense of humor shines in her newest novel, Christmas Under Wraps, the first book in A Mullet Harbor Clean Romance series. However, the story is also a serious one.

Christian Abrams faces an untenable situation causing a need to quickly rescue his nephew, Dylan.  As they reach the end of their resources and resilience, they sputter into Mullet Harbor.

Kaylee McFarland is new to Mullet Harbor but has managed to experience firsthand how true Mullet Harbor’s motto, “Where you’ll always find a friend,” is as the town quickly and kindly takes her under their wings.

As Dylan and Kaylee’s lives intersect, Kaylee advises Christian to be cautious and patient. While Christian, on the other hand, advocates rushing as far away as he and Dylan can run. Despite both their wishes, outside influences conspire against either choice.

Mullet Harbor is a charmingly idiosyncratic town, populated by a flip-flop wearing mayor, a Cajun county sheriff, an adorable little girl and more fantastically delightful characters (to include an alligator named Abercrombie) than one could imagine. Mullet Harbor is a town you would love to live in, raise your kids in and live out your life surrounded by great friends and neighbors.

I received a copy of the book from the author, Fay Lamb. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

The Song of Sadie Sparrow by Kitty Foth-Regner

My Review

The Song of Sadie Sparrow is one of those unique books that only rarely comes along. The story focuses on Sadie Sparrow after she must move to a nursing home, a needed step up in care from a retirement home unable to accommodate her wheelchair use.

Kitty Foth-Regner has written a book that is at once like watching a movie and also like living in the story. The characters are all so likable (even the not so likable ones!) and instantly endearing.

The Hickories, the nursing home facility, is a beautiful place to behold. I wanted to assist Sadie with her wheelchair and stroll through the gardens or take a tour of the building. If I am ever in need of a nursing facility, I hope to find one similar to Sadie Sparrow’s home.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I received this insightful, profound and thought-provoking book. I had read an excerpt which intrigued me with its multiple character storyline. As I read, I realized the focus was mainly on three women at very different stages in their respective lives, sharing their experiences, knowledge and insights with each other and those around them.

You will encounter the most credible and well thought out arguments for the infallibility of Scripture you are likely to find in a work of fiction.

Be prepared; the novel deals with emotionally draining material in its 395 pages, but please don’t let that scare you away from reading it.

The Song of Sadie Sparrow is a book that will keep you up reading it and will make you sad when it is over. I sincerely hope that Kitty Foth-Regner will write another book about the people of The Hickories.

I was also intrigued to learn (from reading her bio on the back cover) that Foth-Regner was once a feminist atheist, converted to Christianity through her own quest to disprove the Bible.

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book/eBook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

#CWAreviewcrew

Publisher’s Summary

For many, a nursing home is the despised last stop before heading out into the Great Beyond. Not so for the heroines of The Song of Sadie Sparrow—three very different women whose lives intersect in a warm and endlessly engaging facility called The Hickories.

Sadie Sparrow, Meg Vogel and Elise Chapelle represent different generations. They have experienced different sorrows and entertain different hopes. They even adhere to different worldviews, from devoutly Christian to unapologetically atheist. Yet over the course of a single year, they forge unlikely bonds that impact each other’s lives in the here and now—and perhaps for all eternity.

A beautifully written story of friendship set against the backdrop of life’s twilight years, The Song of Sadie Sparrow explores contrasting views of purpose and pardon, life and afterlife—and faith’s role in shaping those views, now and forevermore.

Because You’re Mine by Colleen Coble

because-youre-mine

Publisher’s Summary

Amid the beauty of Charleston, not all is as it seems.

When her husband Liam is killed by a car bomb while their Celtic band is on tour in Charleston, singer and Irish beauty Alanna doesn’t quite know where to turn. Her father-in-law is threatening to take custody of the baby she carries, but Alanna knows she can’t lose the only piece of Liam she has left.

Alanna’s manager offers her a marriage of convenience to obtain U.S. citizenship and allow her to escape her father-in-law’s control. It seems like the perfect solution until she arrives at the family home of her new husband—a decaying mansion with more questions than answers.

Strange things begin happening that threaten Alanna’s life and the life of her child. Are they merely coincidences? Or is something more sinister at work?

A mysterious painting, a haunting melody, and a love stronger than death leave Alanna questioning where darkness ends and light begins.

My Review

Alanna Connolly, on tour in America, is four months pregnant when her husband, Liam, and his best friend go for a ride.  Just minutes after their concert, a strategically placed bomb causes the car to explode.

Alanna doesn’t know what to do or where to go; her in-laws are threatening to take her baby-her only connection to Liam-and she needs to find a way to support herself and the baby. When her band manager, Barry Kavanagh, a wealthy Charlestonian attorney, offers her a marriage of convenience and legal assistance, she jumps at the chance.

Set in historic Charleston, Colleen Coble weaves a story of mystery and suspense evocative of low country folklore. As you read the richly illustrated Because You’re Mine, you are transported to muggy, humid Southern days, redolent with the images of brackish water, chirruping insects, croaking frogs and a splashing alligator. Also, the imagery of the once stately mansion, now in sad disrepair, transports you to a bygone era, leaving a feeling of sadness and despair.

The haunting imagery and eerie, suspenseful tale, with its creepy folklore, will have you on the edge of your seat as you read.

I enjoyed reading Because You’re Mine. Although aspects of the book are seemingly predictable, the outcome is still shocking. There are some spine-chilling, macabre and unnerving events in the book. Nonetheless, it added to the overall edginess and tension.

I received this book free through the Fiction Guild program in exchange for an honest review.

Monday’s Mention

A Flying Affair

A Flying Affair by Carla Stewart is a heartwarming story about Mittie Humphries, a fictional aviatrix (a woman who is an aviator) modeled on real life early women in aviation.

Mittie has always loved the feeling of flying, first realized when riding her horse. However, after a ride in an airplane, she wants nothing more than to become a pilot. She is willing to do anything to further her goal, up to and including aerial stunt walking on a plane.

As Mittie tries to squeeze in dress fittings for her twin sister’s wedding, helping care for the family’s horse farm, committee meetings and stunt walking, she begins to wonder if she will ever be able to realize her dreams.

Entering the Women’s National Air Derby, an event that the world-famous Amelia Earhart has entered, seems to be the way to prove her ability and set her on the way toward realizing her dreams. However, an Aviatrix rival may keep her from her dreams.

Carla Stewart does a phenomenal job of immersing you into the story and time of the story, 1927. As you come to know Mittie better, you also learn about the history of aviatrix figures. In addition to interjecting historical characters, at the end of the story, Miss Stewart gives historical tidbits and information about the era.

For more information on the women of aviation, you can visit Carla Stewart’s website at: http://www.carlastewart.com/2015/05/29/brave-women-of-the-skies/

For a sample reading of chapter one, you can visit Miss Stewart’s website here: http://www.carlastewart.com/2015/06/02/come-fly-with-me-giveaway/ (Unfortunately, the giveaway has already ended.)

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.