April 2017 Mini Reviews

AprilMiniReviews

Well, it’s time for another round of mini reviews! 😀

Amazing Grace by Faith Blum

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3/5 stars

I was really looking forward to this book, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. First, the timeline was confusing. There were flashbacks (which, to me, are usually a no-no), and it started before the last book ended, which was quite confusing. I also felt like the actual plot ended and the book just kept going on. However, it was very sweet. I really liked Rachel and Caleb.

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Left to Die by Ivy Rose (and blog tour)

Title: Left to Die

Author: Ivy Rose

Genre: Christian contemporary fiction

Setting: China

Publisher: Lakeside Publications

Source: from author (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Left for Die by Ivy Rose

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Lindy Greene’s life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a rural hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn’t even like babies.

Nathan Thomas can’t find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the clinic does nothing to help him focus.

The Chinese mission field isn’t for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: a tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive.

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I wasn’t sure about this novel. I’ve never read a book about missionaries (unless you count the Bible), and I was pretty convinced I wouldn’t enjoy it (mostly because these kind of things really make me feel guilty). I was a bit nervous, to say the least. But this was a sensational book that has earned a place amongst my favorites.

Plot {5/5}:

The plot was fantastic! It all unfolded so beautifully and was perfect and amazing and wonderful and – *kicks self* It was well-paced, interesting, and kept my attention 100% throughout the entire book.

And I’ve just got to say … the epilogue was so perfect, guys. Just ❤

Characters {4/5}:

I didn’t get extremely attached to Lindy (although I really liked her), but Jia … I think I’m in love again, guys. I know I’ve said that before, but … this is it. At least in a sisterly way.

I think I need a little sister now …

And yes, I do realize it’s expensive and a lot of work and gruesome and I probably wouldn’t be able to handle it with my lack of experience – Left to Die was nothing if not realistic – but … but …

Back on track.

I loved Nate. He was amazing! Not as good as Gil, of course, but … Besides, Nate and Lindy were so cute together!

Setting {4/5}:

Sometimes there could have been a little more description, but overall, the setting was vividly portrayed. I think I always realized how bad it was in China with the orphans and such … or at least I was able to imagine it that bad (I can be pessimistic about these things) … but it was still sad to read about it.

Writing {4/5}:

I feel like there could have been a little work on the writing here and there, but overall, it was good. I really like Ivy Rose’s writing style. It just … appeals to me. No particular reason. 🙂

Content:

Parental guidance suggested for younger teens. No language or sexual content (except maybe a couple kisses, no details). Descriptions of sickness and the medical care and abandonment/other poor treatment of infants/children (somewhat graphic, but still pretty clean) that may disturb sensitive readers or young children.

Overall {5/5}:

AAAAAH THAT WAS SO GOOD!!!

*puts on serious face* It was a noble story which I’m recommend to any lover of missionary stories, Christian fiction, light romance, adorable babies, and somewhat sad stories with very happy endings.

~Kellyn Roth

About the Author

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Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, eating chocolate, traveling, reading, and doing TaeKwonDo. She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.

She can be found at various places on the internet:

Blog – Pinterest – Goodreads – Instagram

lefttodieblogtour

Is that cover not amazing? And the graphics! *swoons*

lefttodiegiveaway

You can enter the giveaway here (as the HTML is not cooperating for some reason so I can’t embed it)!

Follow the Tour

~Monday~

Becoming Lost – Review

Beyond the Amethyst – Review

Anika’s Avenue – Review

Once Upon an Ordinary – Interview

~Tuesday~

Whispers on the Wind – Interview

Read Another Page – Review

The Left-Handed Typist – Review

~Wednesday~

Counting Your Blessings – Review/Interview

Stories by Firefly – Review

Writing in the Light – Interview

~Thursday~

Reveries Reviews – Review

Marrok Macintyre – Interview

~Friday~

A Purpose and a Promise – Review

Having a Heart Like His – Review/Interview

Whimsical Writings – Review

~Saturday~

Rebekah’s Remarks – Interview

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

Title: Anchor in the Storm

Author: Sarah Sundin

Series: Waves of Freedom, #2

Genre: Christian Historical Romance/Mystery

Age-Range: 13+ (young adult/adult)

Era: 1940s (WW2)

Setting: Boston, Massachusetts (USA)

Publisher: Revell Books

Source: library

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. No language. It’s set during a war. Some violence and such connected with that, though nothing graphic. There’s a drug ring. Mentions of drinking and taking drugs, and Arch goes to a bar. Kisses and such. It’s mentioned that a man tried to take advantage of Lilly once. No details at all.

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

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One Plucky Female Pharmacist + One High-Society Naval Officer = Romance — and Danger

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy — even if he “is” her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves — and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.

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This is going to be a short review due to limited time and me being behind on reviewing and struggling to catch up. However, I don’t have a lot to say about Sarah Sundin’s books that I haven’t said before (not that they’re the same, but that they all have the same level of awesomeness, and I tend to forget the differences in ranting about the awesomeness …), so that’s actually quite fitting. 🙂

That was another great story by Sarah Sundin! I can’t wait until book three of the Waves of Freedom trilogy comes out!

Lillian and Arch were both great characters. All the characters are, but these two were my favorite.

I loved Arch in book one. He’s a swell guy, pretty serious most of the time, always a perfect gentleman (that scene in the bar was hilarious!), but he is prone to depression and very insecure about being loved for his money/social position/looks instead of for himself. Of course we love him for his faults. Yeah, I know, in my last review I was going on about this guy who was perfect despite his lack of faults … well, Arch was perfect because of his faults. It makes sense. Just trust me on this one.

Lillian is also pretty insecure (if you didn’t guess!). As a kid, she lost her leg and now wears a prosthesis. You can imagine how that makes her feel! Overall, however, she’s pretty confident about that, which surprised me. Her main problem is her ‘wooden heart.’ She shuts people out, pushes herself too hard, goes through life bluntly and without feeling. At least, his (evil!) twin sister thinks so …

Which reminds me, I hate Lillian’s twin sister’s guts. I don’t know why, but I just do. I suppose because I can’t stand people who whine. Drives me crazy. I’m a lot more like Lillian; I’d die before I’d cry or complain or let anyone know I need help. 😛

The plot was, of course, fantastic. Another mystery, which I didn’t mind one bit! Very exciting, intriguing, etc.

It was also great to see Jim and Mary again, however briefly. I’m a bit surprised they’re only dating, though, not engaged. Wait a minute … no. I’m not surprised one bit! Thinking back, they just got around to actually confessing their love (after months … and months … and months … not that it was irritating, but that their personalities are just like that!), and knowing their personalities … this is gonna take a while. But they have to get engaged in the next book, mmkay, Ms. Sundin? They just have to! Please?

Well, that’s about all I have to say. I hope you enjoyed this review, and I hope you’ll go pick up a copy of the book yourself so we can fangirl together. 😄

~Kellyn Roth

A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

Title: A Refuge at Highland Hall

Author: Carrie Turansky (carrieturansky.com)

Series: Edwardian Brides, #3

Genre: Christian historical romance

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Era: WW1 (1915)

Setting: England with some scenes in France will our darling Alex.

Publisher: Multnomah Books

Source: library

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Okay for any highschool teen. One of the characters (a servant) has a child born out of wedlock (this happened in Book 2). She’s still around. Treated as wrong. It’s set during a war, so there are people dying and getting wounded, although it’s not described in detail. Romance is clean and beautiful. Mentions of childbirth and pregnancy. Mentions of a miscarriage.

Cover: Oh. My. Word. It’s just so … so … perfect! *sobs* Really, though, the girl looks just like I imagined Penny and the biplane in the background (okay, technically it’s not a biplane …) is just so awesome! I adore this cover. 🙂

The Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky

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In this third and final book in the Edwardian Brides Series, you’ll be swept away to England and France in 1915 as the Ramsey family and their staff and friends face the dramatic challenges and losses of World War One, yet they also experience the hope and triumph that comes as they put their trust in God to carry them through.

Penny Ramsey helps the family welcome a group of orphaned children to Highland Hall, but she soon discovers caring for them is more difficult than she’d expected. She writes to Alex Goodwin, a daring British pilot, who chases German zeppelins across the sky over the Front Line in France, and longs for the day she will see him again.

You’ll be delighted by two pure and heartwarming romances: Penny and Alex, and Lydia Chambers and Marius Ritter, a lady’s maid and a prisoner of war. But most of all I hope you’ll be inspired by the characters’ examples of trusting God through the trials they face.

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The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels

Title: The Movement of Kings

Author: Nadine C. Keels (https://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/)

Series: The Movement of Crowns, #3

Genre: Christian romantic fantasy

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Diachona (fantasy world)

Publisher: Nadine C. Keels

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Some innuendo-ish stuff, falling in love & the emotions, some kissing (few to no details). By far the cleanest of the three … although all three were very clean.

The Movement of Kings by Nadine C. Keels

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The order of things, the nature of succession, and a nation that must march on…

At a time of political and cultural uncertainty, the charge of the Eubeltic Realm has been passed over to a young monarch known for his intelligence, agility, and brooding ways, as well as the “way” he has with vibrant ladies at court. Can this inexperienced king handle the current rise of domestic and colonial crises, the bereavement of his family, and his curious attraction to a councilman’s unassuming daughter, or is everything in his untried hands on the verge of falling apart?

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The Movement of Rings by Nadine C. Keels

Title: The Movement of Rings

Author: Nadine C. Keels (https://prismaticprospects.wordpress.com/)

Series: The Movement of Crowns, #2

Genre: Christian romantic fantasy

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Diachona (fantasy world)

Publisher: Nadine K. Keels

Source: author (in exchange for honest review)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Content: 3/5. Not recommended for younger teens. Mentions of childbirth, some innuendo-ish stuff, falling in love & the emotions, some kissing (few to no details). The main character (Naona) is a member of the king of Munda’s harem, no details. It was tastefully handled. Mentions of abortion.

The Movement of Rings by Nadine C. Keels

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A time to remember what lies deeper than one’s fears…

The Mundayne empire has seen years of prosperity under the rule of King Aud, a man of war known the world over for his ruthlessness. Naona, a high-spirited imperial servant who holds Aud’s favor, occupies herself with pulling pranks on her peers around the king’s estate, but the time for laughter spoils when the citizens of Munda begin to oppose increasing taxation. After meeting the princess of Diachona, Naona finds herself having to choose between maintaining loyalty to her king and becoming a personal ally of another nation. With the rise of unrest in Munda, can Naona’s heart survive intact: intact enough, even, for an unforeseen chance at love with a foreign man?

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Taste of Danger by Alexa Verde

Title: Taste of Danger

Author: Alexa Verde (http://www.alexaverde.com)

Series: Secrets of Rios Azules, #2 (can definitely be a stand-alone)

Genre: Christian adventure romance

Age-Range: young adult/adult

Setting: Rios Azules, a small town in Texas, USA

Publisher: Alexa Verde

Source: author (for honest review)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Some violence. Nothing too graphic. Some intense action scenes. Okay for teens; some parental guidance for tweens (maybe).

Taste of Danger by Alexa Verde

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Small-town librarian Soledad Sokolova has three days to find a hidden Russian treasure — or she and her father will die. Out of options, she turns for help to a hunky stranger, private investigator James O’Hara. But she knows better than to let a ladies’ man break her heart for the second time. Bound by his word to Soledad’s father, James is ready to protect her at all costs. However, once betrayed, he’s reluctant to fall in love again. Will James and Soledad escape danger and find treasures of faith, love, and hope?

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