Sweetbriar Cottage

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads:  When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

Ope’s Opinion:  Denise Hunter writes some of the best Christian Fiction I have ever read.  She has real characters with flaws.  She is not preachy, but you know God is the center of the lives of the people in her books.

This book has a really good story line.  It is interesting to see marriage with difficulties and see people trying to figure out if it is worth fighting through it or give it up.  The only reason this book is a three and not a four  for me is the middle of the book drug on a little too long.  At that point you knew where the story was going, but it just seemed to stall too long.

The ending was wonderfully satisfying.

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The Two of Us

Author: Victoria Bylin
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Victoria Bylin / Bethany House Publishers

Goodreads:  Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding.
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

Ope’s Opinion: Yes, this Christian Fiction.  Yes, God is in the middle of this story and in the middle of the lives of the people in this book.  Yes, you should read this book!  There should be a copy of this book in every church library ( well, in every library for that matter ).

No, this book did not preach at me.  No these people were not perfect – they had flaws and life did not always go smoothly. There are a lot of different relationships in different stages of life – easy for any reader to relate to.

The ending was expected and satisfying.  I am looking forward to Victoria Bylin’s next book.

You’re the One that I Want

Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Tyndale
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Owen Christiansen has been in a downward spiral since an injury ended his NHL career. But a job on an Alaskan crabbing boat offers a fresh start . . . maybe even a shot at romance with Elise “Scotty” McFlynn, the captain’s daughter.

Used to being one of the guys, to never relying on anyone, Scotty doesn’t believe in happily ever after―especially with someone like Owen. Her instinct is confirmed when Casper Christiansen arrives to drag his prodigal brother home, bringing with him a truckload of family drama―and even worse, the news that Casper is wanted for questioning in connection to a crime back in Minnesota.

But Owen is more than the sum of his mistakes, a truth both he and Scotty discover when she escorts both brothers to Deep Haven as part of her new job on the Anchorage police force. Thrust into an unfamiliar world of family, faith, and fresh starts, Scotty begins to see potential for a happy ending . . . if she’s brave enough to embrace it.

Ope’s Opinion: If are affiliated with a church library – this series should be in that library.  This is the 6th of the series.  You can read any of them alone, but they are so much better if you start from the beginning.  All the characters are in each book. 

God is definitely in the center of this book and the characters lives in the story.  What I think I like most is the characters have flaws and bad things happen, so you can relate to them.  Not every character is on board with God either – seems more real.

It is sad to see this series end.  It such a wonderful family with great stories.  I will be looking for Susan May Warrens next book.

 

The Wonder of You

Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Mortified after her year abroad is cut short, Amelia Christiansen returns to Deep Haven, certain she isn’t brave enough to embrace the adventures she’s dreamed of. The last thing she expects is for the man who broke her heart to cross the Atlantic and beg forgiveness.

Heir to a European hotel dynasty, Roark St. John has trekked from one exotic locale to another, haunted by tragedy and the expectations that accompany his last name. Amelia is the first woman to give him a reason to stop running. He’ll do anything for a second chance—even contend with Amelia’s old flame, who is intent on sending Roark packing.

While one surprise after another leaves Amelia reeling, Roark’s continued presence only highlights the questions pursuing her. Like him, is she running from the life God has called her to? Could finding her place mean leaving home behind?

Ope’s Opinion: Another wonderful story from the Christiansen family.  It is awesome to read, keeps me on my toes and makes me want to come back to read when I have to put it down. 

Reading about Amelia was a fun, sweet story.  The adventures and suspense were what I expect from Susan May Warren – always keeps me holding my breath!

I will be starting the next ( and final ) one as soon as I am done writing this review!!  What an awesome series.

This Just In….

From Victoria Bylin and Bethany House Publishing

Published: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Bethany House Publishing

Goodreads:  Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin

After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding.
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

From HarperCollins

Publication Date:  October 3, 2017
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks

Goodreads:  How well do you know the people you love…?

Best friends Noah Sandler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable.  But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol’s Feeder Canal, Abdi can’t–or won’t–tell anyone what happened.

Just back from a mandatory leave following his last case, Detective Jim Clemo is now assigned to look into this unfortunate accident.  But tragedy strikes and what looked like the simple case of a prank gone wrong soon ignites into a public battle.  Noah is British.  Abdi is a Somali refugee.   And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol.  Against this background of fear and fury two families fight for their sons and for the truth.  Neither of them know how far they will have to go, what demons they will have to face, what pain they will have to suffer.

Because the truth hurts.

What has landed on your door step? 

 

 

The Dance

Author: Dan Walsh / Gary Smalley
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

 

Goodreads:  Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn’t she be? He gives her everything she needs. That’s why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she’s too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them.

Ope’s Opinion: Let me just say first that I really do enjoy Christian Fiction.  This one was not very positive and a little bit too preachy for my taste.  It was kind of sad too.

The ending came a little too easy, too fast and wrapped up too neatly.  It didn’t really show the work that I think would be needed to repair this marriage.  Since this is the first in a series, it will be interesting to see where the next book goes.

 

Change of Heart

heart

Author:  Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Tyndale
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  BEA 2016

Goodreads:  A Colorado senator’s wife, Evelyn Brandt seems to have it all. But her carefully constructed life comes toppling down when the FBI crashes her society brunch with news that her husband has been arrested for embezzlement, and he’s far from repentant. It turns out this was only the start of his indiscretions―for which he has little regret.

As the weeks following the scandal turn into months, Evelyn withdraws, even shirking her duties with the philanthropic Valentine Volunteers. The inquisitive women of the group are determined not to let Evelyn’s divorce destroy her. They have big plans for her to use her long-forgotten artistic talent to reimagine the city’s iconic lamppost hearts. But doing so will force Evelyn to work closely with Trevor Whitney, her ex-husband’s former best friend. Though she and Trevor used to be close―and he’s been letting her hide in his guesthouse―his gruffness conveys his unease with the situation.

Amid the beauty of Trevor’s farm and the comfort of a paintbrush, Evelyn starts to reclaim the dreams she sacrificed to become the perfect politician’s wife. And as creativity inspires them both, Whit begins to see the girl he fell in love with before his friend―and his own mistakes―stole his chance. Possibilities for a new beginning emerge, but long-kept secrets threaten to ruin everything. After so much time, is a change of heart too much to hope for?

Ope’s Opinion: If you have a church this book should be in it.  This is book two of the series.  I did not realize that when I started and you can’t tell when you are reading it.  I do think the church library should have both books – the other one is titled: Paper Hearts.

This book was not preachy at all. It was actually a really good book to give to someone you want to introduce to God.  He ( God ) was important in each of their lives, but they all made mistakes and were not perfect at all.  It was easy to relate to, no matter your situation.

I will be on the look for more books by Courtney Walsh.

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