The Saturday Night Supper Club

Author: Carla Laureano
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristi ( Christmas gift )

Goodreads:  Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life–and love–outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

Ope’s Opinion: Oh, this was wonderful!  I just finished it and I don’t know where to start to tell you all the things I really liked about it.

The characters were ones I want to be friends with – they have flaws, believe in God, and want what is best for each other.  The story was perfectly paced – kept moving, but the relationships weren’t rushed.  I really liked how independent the women were, but they weren’t bashing men.

Warning – there is a lot of food happening in this book, so you might get hungry!

This is the first of a series.  I plan on reading the second one next.  Carla Laureano’s writing flows – it is descriptive, but not so detailed you loose where the story is going.

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Just A Kiss

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

 

Goodreads:  Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.

Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.

But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.

Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.

As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

Ope’s Opinion:  Denise Hunter is one of the best Christian Fiction writers that I read.  She brings God into the story, but does not preach or push it.  The characters are easy to relate to and the story is something that could happen.

This story did drag in the middle a little for me.  You know how it is going to end ( which is a good thing ), but the build up was just a little too long.  There was some repetitive parts about the feelings of the main characters toward each other.

Overall, the story and the characters kept my attention.  It was good to see the other characters from the first two books – their stories moved forward in this book. You could read this one alone, but the back stories are such good reads, I would recommend starting from the beginning.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In November I hope to read….

Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads: From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes the final book in Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series.

Pastor Jack McReady has secretly carried a torch for Daisy for two long years. She’s a member of his congregation, after all, and she’ll never see him as more than a trusted counselor. Jack’s best friend Noah has taken every opportunity to encourage his lovesick friend, but when Noah catches wind that Daisy has joined an online dating site, he takes matters into his own hands and orchestrates a meet-cute of the most unconventional kind.

Owner of the local flower shop, Daisy Pendleton is content with her small-town life, but she’d sure like someone to share it with. After several disastrous first dates, she’s about to give up—and then she finds a seemingly wonderful man online. Daisy gets to know TJ through a series of messages but finds herself spending more time with Pastor Jack outside of the church at the same time. What she doesn’t know is that her online prospect and Jack are one and the same.

Just as Daisy’s love life starts to look promising, a mysterious woman appears in town. Daisy is faced with a revelation about her family that turns her world upside down, and she looks to both TJ and Jack for help.

Jack must find a way to reveal himself as her online suitor without breaking her heart and losing her trust. As Daisy faces Jack’s betrayal, she’ll have to learn to extend grace to herself, her family, and the man she’s grown to love.

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

Blue Ridge Sunrise

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

Goodreads:  Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

Ope’s Opinion: This story was very well written and would be a five chair for me, except a character in the book tried to solve a crime when the local police couldn’t.  It just didn’t fit in with the rest of the book. It was only two chapters – the rest of the story was amazing.  I would still recommend reading it.

This is part of a series.  I have the second one on my shelf ( will read it soon ) and my daughter received the third one for review, so I will read that too.   Denise Hunter is one of the best Christian fiction writers I have read.

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.

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!