Posted in Christian Fiction, Contemporary Christian Romance

By Design by J. Boykin Baker

Complimentary copy of this series was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The overall series was just an okay read for me, it was still an enjoyable story and I would recommend. I loved watching Brad and Anne’s journey and this series had a lot of good life messages. If you are looking for a charming and heartwarming read this series delivers on that.

By Design Book 1

My Review:

Blurb: Goodreads

In book one we meet Anne Boyd, a young designer working at a high-profile firm in Atlanta, she is charged with designing a medical office where she meets Dr. Brad Young. Anne lives her life based on her mother’s three-part plan for life, which Anne uses to make all major life decisions. However, following her vow to remain celibate until marriage becomes complicated as her relationship with Brad progresses. There were times when I disliked Brad’s character, I felt that he did not respect Anne’s beliefs and the character just turned me off the more he pressured Anne. I will say that the situation is relatable because when two people with conflicting views and values come together things get complicated. The story was kind of slow moving for me, it dragged on, and I felt like there was no cohesive plot. Overall, I didn’t love it, but I really enjoyed it.

By Design Book 2

My Review:

Blurb: Goodreads

In Book two Brad and Anne are married and starting a family. Things do not always go smoothly or as they plan, I enjoyed watching their ups and downs as a married couple and as parents. Becoming a mother changes Anne in a big way and starts her off on a journey to help single mothers. I enjoyed Brad’s character more in book two and his dedication to his family. We see Brad and Anne overcame many trials and through it all they trust in God to see them through.

By Design Book 3

My Review:

Blurb: Amazon

Although I enjoyed book 3 it mostly dragged on for me, felt like the author was trying to stretch the story out with a lot of events that just felt thrown together. Again, I felt like there was no cohesive plot. We see Brad and Anne face a lot of ups and downs, in raising their kids and in their personal and professional life, but through it all they continue to rely on God and grow in their faith. Loved the ending and the ending shows me that the author put her heart into this series. Overall enjoyable series with a great message.   

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in ARC Review, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Inspirational

Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury

Truly, Madly, Deeply: A Novel (The Baxter Family) by [Karen Kingsbury]

Blurb: Goodreads

In love for the first time, a son’s decisions about the future divides his family in this fearless and thought-provoking novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-tugging and emotional” (Romantic Times Book Reviews) Baxter Family books.

In the shadow of very great loss, the only way to live with passion is truly, madly, deeply.

When eighteen-year-old Tommy Baxter declares to his family that he wants to be a police officer after graduation, his mother, Reagan, won’t hear of it. After all, she’s still mourning the death of her own father on September 11 and she’s determined to keep her son safe from danger and disaster. But Tommy’s father, Luke Baxter, is proud of Tommy’s decision, even arranging for his son to take part in a ride-along program with the Indianapolis Police Department.

Meanwhile, Tommy is in love for the first time. Annalee Miller has been a family friend for years. Their relationship is sweet and too good to be true. After prom, Tommy begins seriously thinking about asking her to marry him but she hasn’t been feeling well. Days later, tests reveal the unthinkable.

While his girlfriend begins the fight of her life, Tommy is driven to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his birth…and the grandfather he never knew. Realizations come to light that rock Tommy’s world, and he becomes determined to spend his future fighting crime. Or is this just his way to wage war in a battle he cannot win—the one facing Annalee?

Blending romance and family drama into an emotionally satisfying story, Truly, Madly, Deeply is a testament to living and loving without fear, so that each moment is marked by reckless abandon and breathtaking passion.

My Review:

Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Expected Publication: December 2nd 2020

Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite inspirational authors, love her Baxter series. This book is number 31 in the Baxter series and while it was not my favorite from the series it was still a very enjoyable read. If your looking for a heartwarming faith filled story with a neat ending this is the book for you. Given what Tommy and Annalee were facing, I feel like the way it was presented was just too neat, I wanted more raw emotions from these characters, they were too perfect. I did enjoy the side stories and side characters, loved seeing Luke, Reagan, Ashley, and Landon again. Overall this was an enjoyable read.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in ARC Review, Christian Romance, Contemporary

The Doctor and the Midwife by Sarah Alva

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Blurb: Goodreads

As a midwife running her own home birth practice, Audrey Novak deals with pressure like a superhuman. Until, that is, she meets her handsome and arrogant neighbor, Dr. Ammon Parker. Ammon, who believes only in modern medicine, is just as unprepared for the infuriating—and inconveniently beautiful—midwife. When the two are repeatedly called to the same labor and delivery unit, their clashing ideals and fiercely independent personalities threaten to derail both their professional goals and their pride.

Outside of work, Audrey is a passionate rock climber, tantalized by a secret route she’s heard about in an online forum. Her hunt for the climb’s location leads her to the intriguing BelayingonofHands, a man who claims to have set the route. Soon their anonymous virtual flirtation and witty exchanges deepen into a true connection. But when Audrey discovers the man from online is actually Ammon, she’s blindsided. It seems they have more in common than she could have imagined, but will their differences keep them from making the climb to true love together?

My Review:

Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Expected Publication: September 1st 2020

Absolutely loved this story, Ammon an OB, and Audrey a Midwife clash over their views on hospital birth vs home birth. Ammon feels it is unsafe for women to give birth at home and Audrey feels that in many ways a home birth is more beneficial than a clinical one.

Ammon and Audrey pretty much butt heads through most of the story but unbeknownst to them they are falling in love online. They are both part of a rock-climbing forum online and get along great online but in real life they cannot stand each other. This story flowed great for me, I loved the buildup between Ammon and Audrey and how they grew and learned from each other.

This story was also very informative, we see hospital births and home births each has its own pros and cons. Being a doula herself, I really appreciated that the author presented us with authentic facts, I now know a lot about home birth and also the bad side of a hospital birth. Overall great read.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in ARC Review, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance

Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

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Blurb: Goodreads

After hitting rock bottom, January decides she has nothing to lose in working at her aunt’s church–while hiding a lack of faith. A minor deception until she meets the church’s guitarist and sparks fly. Can she avoid disaster–especially when a handsome landscape architect has an annoying ability to push her to deal with feelings she’d rather keep buried?

My Review:

A complimentary copy was provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Expected Publication: August 4th, 2020

This story had me from the beginning; I absolutely love the premise of a non-believer becoming a believer. January’s journey is a relatable one, love the realistic way in which the author portrayed January’s struggle with faith and how she gradually comes to have faith through experiences that makes her question what she believes in. This book is filled with wonderful secondary characters, I enjoyed the relationship between January and Cameron but was rooting for Dillon the whole time. Dillon was such a complex character and I loved how the relationship builds up between him and January. Overall, this was a great inspirational read with a wonderful relatable message.

Links: Amazon, Gooreads

Posted in Christian Romance, Contemporary

Power Couple by Patty Rice

Blurb: Amazon

Malcolm and Paris Reese are the world’s definition of a power couple with the image, money, and status to prove it. He’s a handsome, talented movie director on a fast rise to the top and she’s his gorgeous trophy wife. To the public, this dynamic duo is #relationship goals.Privately, their marriage is on life support and dying more every day. Infidelity, mistrust, vicious arguments, and the silent treatment have made their once happy home a war zone. Just when they reach the end of their rope, a unique marriage ministry challenges them to embrace God’s power couple design.Doing it God’s way means having staying power and walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. But will this troubled couple be able to set aside their pride and find their way back to each other? Or will another secret rip their marriage apart forever?

My Review:

Copy provided by Booksirens in exchange for an honest review

This was definitely a page-turner, I was invested in seeing the turn out of Paris and Malcolm’s marriage. This book had a lot of thought-provoking situations and real-life relatable situations. I loved that the characters were flawed and had so many layers to them. Love the message of this story, it takes more than love to make a marriage work and having God at the center of marriage is what will hold it together in the hard times. Enjoyed all the drama and emotions seeing Paris and Malcolm’s journey to forgiveness and centering their marriage around Jesus. Overall this was a great read.

Links: Amazon

Posted in Contemporary Christian Romance

My Hope Next Door by Tammy L. Gray

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Blurb: Goodreads

Can love grow in the shadow of a broken past?

Former bad girl Katie Stone can feel the weight of her reputation settle over her as she drives home for the first time in years. Feeling deeply guilty about her past mistakes, Katie wants to do the right thing for once. But the small town where she grew up is not nearly as forgiving as she’d hoped. Despite it all, she’s determined to help her parents cope with her mother’s recent illness, and Katie finds a surprise ally in the man next door.
Asher Powell never minded being the son of a small town pastor until a recent breakup leaves him wounded by lifelong members of his church. He remembers his new neighbor as a mean-spirited high school troublemaker, but he senses that her newfound faith and desire for forgiveness are sincere.
Through an unexpected friendship, two people from different worlds find peace, hope, and a second chance they never dreamed was possible.

My Review:

An inspirational read, with real-life issues and reliable characters. I love when Christian fiction has flawed characters and real-life situations that readers can relate to. I enjoyed watching Katie face her mistakes. We see her come to terms with her past and get to a place where she can truly forgive herself. I loved the message in this book that we are not our mistakes, its how we learn from them and how we move forward. Katie is the kind of character you root for. I loved the relationship between Asher and Katie. Facing his own mistakes and regrets, Asher is drawn to Katie. It was not insta love and it was not rushed, the relationship was realistic and relatable. First book by this author and I was not disappointed, overall great read.

Links: Amazon, Gooreads

Posted in ARC Review, Christian Romance, Contemporary

Flying in Love by Chalon Linton

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Blurb: Goodreads

Will Paige decide to share her heart or fly solo?

Paige Hall’s happy ending may just be in sight. She has been dating her boyfriend for months and feels confident their relationship is going in the right direction—until she catches him kissing another woman. Humiliated and hurt, Paige retreats from the dating scene and pledges to never fall hard again as she throws herself into her work as a speech therapist. Her vow is upended in a grocery store parking lot when she is nearly run over by a handsome and very apologetic air force pilot.

Captain Jake Summers is everything a girl could dream of: charming, considerate, and hardworking. Despite Paige’s determination to avoid falling into another relationship, her resolve is no match for the whirlwind romance that ensues. When Jake is not flying, he and Paige are inseparable, and Paige begins to believe in happily ever afters again. But when the couple faces a heartrending loss, they must find strength in each other and in their faith or risk losing a once-in-a-lifetime love.

My Review:

Expected publication: June 8th 2020

Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Really tired with this one but it was a flop for me. The main female character annoyed me, she was selfish, self-centered, and immature. The relationship with Jake was unrealistic and added nothing to the plot, the overall plot fell flat, nothing really happened that drew me into this story, it was a predictable plot.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in Christian Romance, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

The Guardian (O’Malley #2) by Dee Henderson

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Blurb: Goodreads

A federal judge has been murdered. There is only one witness, and an assassin wants her dead. U.S. Marshall Marcus O’Malley thought he knew the risks of the assignment . . . but he was wrong.

Introducing the O’Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O’Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.

My Review:

Normally I don’t like stories that have more than two points of view but I really enjoyed the different points of view in this book. The overall story is centered around Marcus and Shari but we get points of view from Kate and Lisa O’Malley and we get to see characters from previous books. The author does a good job of making you feel invested in the side characters. We get to see how Marcus and the rest of the O’Malleys are dealing with Jennifer’s illness. For Marcus it brings up a lot of pain from the past, losing his mom, and losing his faith.

Shari also has her faith shaken when she’s witness to her friend’s murder, then the loss of her father and on top of that someone wants her dead. This book does a good job of tackling the subject of prayer and unanswered prayers and how it affects the individual. I loved how the author builds up the relationship between Marcus and Kate, the interactions between them drew me in and made me invested in them. An overall great read.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in Christian Romance, Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

The Negotiator (O’Malley #1) by Dee Henderson

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Blurb: Goodreads

FBI agent Dave Richman from Danger in the Shadows is back. He’s about to meet Kate O’Malley, and his life will never be the same. She’s a hostage negotiator. He protects people. He’s about to find out that falling in love with a hostage negotiator is one thing, but keeping her safe is another!

Introducing the O’Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O’Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.

My Review:

First book by this author and I was not disappointed. I loved Kate and Dave’s story; they had my attention throughout the entire story. I enjoyed how the author build up the romance between Kate and Dave, it was not rushed or forced it was exactly right. We get to know these two individuals separately and then together. I loved how the author portrayed Kate’s struggle with faith and how Kate approached learning about the Christian faith and the types of questions she asked, it was very realistic and relatable. I enjoyed the interactions with Kate and the rest of the O’Malley’s, looking forward to reading the rest of the series about them. The Mystery aspect of the story was done well and kept me guessing, loved the twists and turns. Overall great read.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads

Posted in ARC Review, Devotional

What If Jesus Was Serious?: A Visual Guide to the Teachings of Jesus We Love to Ignore by Skye Jethani

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Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Expected publication: June 2nd 2020

Blurb: Goodreads

Daily Devotions for People Who Hate Daily Devotions

Let’s face it. A lot of Christian resources can feel cheesy, out-of-touch, and a little boring. But when Skye Jethani started doodling and writing up some of his thoughts about God, his Twitter and email list blew up. What If Jesus Was Serious? is a compilation of all-new reflections (and hand-drawn doodles) from Skye. He takes a look at some of Jesus’ most demanding teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and pushes us to ask whether we’re really hearing what Christ is saying. The visual component of the book makes it memorable and enjoyable to read, and Skye’s incisive reflections make it worthwhile for any Christian. If you’ve traditionally been dissatisfied with Christian devotional resources but love to learn about Jesus and think deeply, this book was written for you.

My Review:

The author starts out with two important points about how the current culture is affecting Christianity, one perception is “if Christians just relax, hold our faith more loosely, and let popular values override biblical ones then we’d find more acceptance in the culture.” The author then goes on to ask “What if its backwards? What if the underlying malady afflicting Christians today isn’t that we take Jesus too seriously, but that we’ve failed to take him seriously enough?”
In this devotional the author gives us a break down of Jesus’s “The Sermon on the Mount” Christianity most important ethical teachings, if we as Christians don’t take Jesus’s teachings seriously or if we only follow them half way, then how do we go about spreading these teachings if we ourselves don’t take them seriously? I love how the author poses these important questions without coming off as preachy or judgmental. I really enjoyed the drawings; this devotional did an excellent job of engaging the reader and giving an in-depth lesson on Jesus’s teachings.

Links: Amazon, Goodreads