To the Moon and Back

Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Howard Books
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Alison at Simon & Schuster

 

Goodreads:  From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a brand-new love story in the Baxter Family collection about two people who long ago shared a childhood tragedy—two people desperate to find each other and the connection they once shared…and just maybe a chance at love.

Brady Bradshaw was a child when the Oklahoma City bombing took his mother from him. Every year, Brady visits the site on the anniversary to remember her. A decade ago on that day, he met Jenna Phillips, who was also a child when her parents were killed in the attack. Brady and Jenna shared a deep heart connection and a single beautiful day together at the memorial. But after that, Brady never saw Jenna again. Every year when he returns, he leaves a note for her in hopes that he might find her again.

This year, Ashley Baxter Blake and her sister Kari Ryan take a spring break trip with their families that includes a visit to the site to see the memorial’s famous Survivor Tree. While there, Ashley spots a young man, alone and troubled. A chance moment leads Ashley to help the young man find the girl he can’t forget—Jenna Phillips.

Ashley’s family is skeptical, but in the end everyone comes together to support Ashley’s efforts to find the girl and bring them together. But will it work? And is a shared heartache enough reason to fall in love?

Deeply emotional and beautifully romantic, To the Moon and Back is an unlikely love story about healing, redemption, and hope that springs from the ashes of a tragedy.

Ope’s Opinion: This book had a lot of the Baxter family in it, but really the main part of the story was focused on Brady Bradshaw and the Oklahoma bombing.  It is a story of survival and God’s part in healing those who survive.

It is in the Christian fiction genre, and the whole book is centered on God.  If you are looking for a book to drawl your focus closer to God, this book is one you should read.

I would have rated this book higher, but the characters felt a little cardboard and stereotyped to me.

The ending wrapped everything up in a nice neat bow.

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The Goodbye Bride

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the second book in the Summer Harbor series.  You do not need to read the first one to enjoy this one.  It actually brings you up to date on everyone as you read it. If you are part of a church library – this book should be on the shelf.  It is a good example of how God works things out even when we aren’t paying attention.

The characters are wonderful, you care about them right away.  God is a part of the story, but it isn’t preachy or in your face. The story keeps moving from beginning to end.

There is a Summer Harbor #3 ( Just a Kiss ).  I am looking forward to making time to read that one too.

Once Upon a Summertime

Author: Meloday Carlson
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Won from Meloday Carlson’s Website

 

 

Goodreads:  Managing the Value Lodge in her hometown was not what Anna Gordon had in mind when she set out in the hospitality industry. But it’s a safe choice for a woman whose childhood was anything but stable. Out of the blue, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reinvent herself by moving to New York City, where she hopes for a management position at a stylish new boutique hotel. The big city is full of surprises–not the least of which is Sean O’Neil. Her childhood crush has applied for the very same position!

Ope’s Opinion: This is a really good Christian Fiction book.  It is the beginning of a series.  I will be looking up the other books in the series and reading them. 

The characters were real people in real situations.  The story was fun to read. There is a lot of tourism in NYC in this book.  You’ll feel like you are there.

The ending is what you expect from the beginning – for me that is a good thing!

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.

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.