The Sky Above Us

Sunrise at Normandy Book 2
By Sarah Sundin

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, arranging entertainment for the men of the 357th and setting up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long and estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near… and secrets can’t stay buried forever.

My Thoughts

Just like book 1 in this series, The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us takes the reader on a trip to Europe through the eyes of those on the ground, and in the air during WWII. Impeccably researched, this book makes you feel like you’re right there with the men and women who gave their lives for our country. The love story that moves along side the war and fighting lightens the air and brings the story more full circle to give the reader a picture of what it was like for the men and women of war in the time when they weren’t fighting. I loved the themes of grace and forgiveness and how the characters lives were transformed because of it. The Christian elements were well placed and natural in the flow of the story. They added another layer of depth that helped bring the story to life even more. There is so much going on in this story. It kept my attention well for the most part. I did find myself glossing over some of the fighting scenes. While they were wonderfully researched and well written I felt a little bored with the amount of detail.

I love Ms. Sundin’s writing and am looking forward to her future books! I received a complementary copy of this book as part of Revell’s blogger program. I was under no compulsion to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

For more information about the author, visit her webpage http://www.sarahsundin.com/

Return to Bella Terra

By Maryann Diorio

About the Book

When she receives word that her mother is terminally ill, Maria Landro Tonetta travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm. When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream. But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

My Thoughts

What a lovely setting for a book! I loved the cultural references and the trip to Sicily I went on while reading this book. It was great. I found that the story moved quite well and was easy to read. The characters were likable and had strong feelings. I struggled with the Biblical/Christian references being a little overboard and maybe a little forced feeling. I love Christian references in books and when characters live according to their faith and talk about it. However, when it becomes more than normal life and seems like its added to the storyline in a forced/excessive way it becomes rather distasteful. The problems and issues faced in the story are ones everyone can relate to which is excellent. I love the themes of love and family and redemption and forgiveness.

I received a copy of this book from BookCrash. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

A Bound Heart

A Bound Heart
By Laura Frantz

Do you ever see a book cover and think, “Oh I want to find out what’s inside that book!”? That’s how I felt about this book. The cover is intriguing. Look at the scenery, the building, the lovely curly red hair. Doesn’t it look lovely? The writing I found inside well matched the cover. It was poetic and beautiful. The imagery used was spot on. I could hear someone with a Scottish accent talking. The story itself was well composed. It had ups and downs, love and loss, happiness and dread, injustice and forgiveness, etc.

I did have a little bit of a hard time getting into the book at the beginning but once the action kicked in it was way more captivating. I also found that reading the book was difficult. I had a much easier time understanding everything when I listened to the book. Once I got the feeling of the language and the way the author writes it was much easier to understand. There was an impeccable amount of detail included, which for the most part was a great thing. There were some times where I found myself lost in the details and I wanted to rush ahead.

This was the first book by Laura Frantz that I had the honor of reading. I would love to read more from this author. I love the settings included and all the reader learns about each place from reading the book. It’s like I went on a trip.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own!

We Hope for Better Things

We Hope for Better Things
By Erin Bartels

Woah! This is an amazing book. I’m so glad to start 2019 with such an amazing read. We Hope for Better Things is a book that you have to mourn its ending; take a few days and debrief. It’s a triple time hop novel that blends 3 stories seamlessly, interweaving three individually excellent stories in a way that makes each story better. There’s no time to be bored or to feel like any of the 3 stories are monotonous. The stories rotate at each chapter. The author expertly leaves out certain bits of information that are only revealed in perfect timing. Sensitive time periods and topics are written with grace and great care. Forgiveness and love are key themes and are demonstrated in each of the stories. We also see the affects of racism, hate and ignorance. It causes the reader to question themselves and come out wanting to love people because we are all people created by God.
There were a few times where the names overlapped in the story and I wanted to know if they were connected. The answer never came. For example, one of the men that rode up to Mary and warned her about getting the men out of the town was named Sharpe. There was a Sharpe Elizabeth was involved with too when writing about the riots. I wondered if this was just an oversight or if these two were connected. It would have been great if they had been but I didn’t find any explanation of a connection. I also wish there would have been a little more explanation about Mary’s story line. I wanted some closure there. It would also be nice to have a family tree in the book. There were so many people I had a hard time connecting them all. Overall it wasn’t very important and I loved the story even through the little bit of confusion. It would have just made the book all the more better.
I loved this book! I can’t wait to read more from this author. I never would have guessed this was a debut novel. It was excellent. Don’t miss it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a review. Receipt of the book has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

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Who I Am With You

Who I Am With You
By Robin Lee Hatcher

Synopsis

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter — and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship — but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

 

My Thoughts

I have read numerous Robin Lee Hatcher books and have found them all really well written and engaging. They are sweet stories with strong messages of faith, love, hope, forgiveness, etc. I love how Hatcher weaves these themes into her books so seamlessly. They don’t feel forced or hokey. Who I Am With You fell right in line with my expectations! From the moment I saw the cover I knew it was a book I wanted to add to my reading list. I fell in love with the characters from the very first pages. I was intrigued by their stories. There were some elements that were kind of obvious but then there were plenty of other elements that were complete surprises. I did wish I could see a little more deeper into the inner mind of the characters. I feel like a little more introspection would have helped me develop the characters in my mind further. I did feel like I could find things in each character that I could relate to. That definitely helped keep my interest. I found the story sweet throughout, even though the characters are dealing with some big issues. There wasn’t any huge cliff hanger type scenes. However, even without something huge happening in the plot I still felt like I was able to stay engaged with the story and never felt like I was bored. I did question the power of the 2nd storyline of Jessica’s great-grandfather. I felt like the connection between the 2 stories could have been stronger. They kind of felt disconnected in my mind a little bit. This is a great read. I love Robin Lee Hatcher’s stories and will continue to seek them out for lighthearted clean romance with great Christian themes.

I received a copy of this book from Robin Lee Hatcher as a member of her book launch team. I was in no way required to write a positive review. Being on the launch team has in no way impacted my review. All thoughts are my own.

To Purchase a Copy:

For more information about Robin Lee Hatcher visit her website here.

*Affiliate links. I receive a few cents from purchases made through these links at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog. 

Enclave by Thomas Locke

Enclave

by Thomas Locke

My Thoughts

This is the first Thomas Locke book I’ve read. I was intrigued by the look of the cover. The story sounded like one I would be interested in. I like dystopian novels and this seemed to fit that type. I liked it at the start but quickly became so confused. There seemed to be so many people, so much going on, so many terms used without explanation of what they meant, I felt like I missed a previous book. As a matter of fact, I looked several times to see if this was the 2nd or 3rd book in a series. I really wanted to like this book. The initial premise seemed great. Super unique and interesting… but I had such a hard time following the storyline. I felt like there should be a prologue or a glossary or something. If you’re a fan of Thomas Locke you’ll probably love this book. It just wasn’t for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a review. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

In Too Deep

In Too Deep
By Lynn Blackburn

My Thoughts

Talk about a book that you dive into head first from the very first page. Gripping, heart pounding, and one that you will remember for a long time. This story is fast paced and exhilarating. I love the plot and all it’s intricacies. This is the second book in the Dive Team Investigation series but it can definitely be read on its own. I didn’t feel like I was lacking any information for having not read the first book. I think the dive team concept is so interesting and unique. I’ve read a lot of crime and investigation type books and this one stands out as being different than the rest. I definitely want to go back and read book one and find other books by this author. I love her writing style and her voice. The romance thrown in is a cherry on the top of the sundae. Loved it.

I received a copy of this book from Revell. This has in no way influenced my review. I was under no compulsion to write a review. All thoughts are my own.

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

Wait for Me 
By Susan May Warren

Wait for Me is book 6 in the Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren. I did not read any of the previous 5 books and I am wondering now if the book would have been better had I read them. The  book can be read without reading the others but there are a lot of seemingly developed characters and backstory that one might need to know. The author does a good job of filling in the questions by adding a lot of pertinent backstory right in the book which is helpful. The story is high energy for sure. Once I got to about 40% in it picked up and was hard to put down. I finished the last half in an afternoon. The beginning started a little rocky for me, but this could have been because I didn’t read the other books. I had trouble keeping all the people straight. The snippets about each character at the beginning were short and kind of quick moving so it was hard to separate them all and remember who was who. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to finish the book. I started to catch on though and kept going… and I was glad I did. I did have some trouble with some disjointed sections. For example, when the car leaves the wedding and they all of a sudden are getting plowed off the road? Where did that come from? It seemed totally out of left field. It might have been less jarring had there been some kind of bridge into it… maybe the occupants of the car thought they were being followed which led to a little bit of a chase or something. Instead it was so sudden it was a bit unnatural. The other part that I struggled with was when they would jump back in time and tell some backstory. There was no differentiation. I had to go back and reread to find out what was going on. It might have been helpful if there was something there to warn the reader that they were hopping back in time. The Christian references were subtle but timely. Overall the story was great. The details were well written and the characters were developed well. I would love to go back and read the other books in the series when I have time.

I received a copy of this book from Revell. This has in no way influenced my review. I was under no compulsion to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

To purchase a copy:

Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice

By Cara Putman

 

Synopsis:

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.

Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

My Thoughts

This is the first book by Cara Putman that I’ve read and I wasn’t disappointed at all! I had heard great things about this book and was excited to have a chance to read it. The plot touches on sensitive subjects but doesn’t exploit them. They are handled with great care and the reader knows what happened in the life of Jamie but it’s never spelled out in detail. I think that is the proper way to handle such sensitive subjects. It’s not easy to do but Ms Putman does it beautifully. I loved how the character uses her pain for someone else’s good. There’s great redemption there. The love story lightens the mood of the book and is a welcome addition to the plot line. I loved Chandler’s character. Another thing that Ms Putman does so well is to write characters responses and feelings to life events. She captures it so well. The Christian elements are tastefully added here and there and really add to the story instead of being over the top and distracting. The story starts a tad, not slow but kind of just wasn’t a serious ignore everything else and read type. Until about halfway through. I read the second half of the book in one sitting because it was just that — a book you drop everything to finish! Check this book out! You won’t be disappointed.

I received a copy of this book from BookLookBloggers and the publisher. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

A Secret To Die For

A Secret to Die For
By Lisa Harris

Back of the Book Synopsis

When one of her clients is murdered, Grace quickly realizes that computer security specialist Stephen Shaw wasn’t suffering from paranoia. What she doesn’t know is that someone believes Shaw gave her a vital piece of information before he died — and they are ready to silence her at any cost. Her only hope may be an old friend, Detective Nate Quinn, who has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed his partner and left him dealing with PTSD.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

My Thoughts

This was the first Lisa Harris book I’ve read and it won’t be the last! I love a story that grabs you and demands that you continue reading as fast as you can until you finish. I really liked Grace’s back story. It was rather untraditional and unexpected which was nice. I did feel, however, that sometimes the story was a little predictable. It was like there was a Mary Poppins bag that followed the characters around and gave them what they needed right when they needed it. Like why were the binoculars just right there? Why did she just get out of that situation so easily? And now she’s in another situation? I felt like there was a lot of well written and interesting situations all strung together. It might have been a little more realistic to have only a few longer situations with more details included instead of a bunch of short ones. I liked the relationship between Grace and Nate but wished it was developed a little more deeply at the end. It was kind of sudden. Good but sudden. I also would have liked to read more about the villains. Why were they doing what they were doing? Who were they? I found the explanation at the end good but a little confusing. I wish there was just a little more detail and explanation. Overall I really liked how the book kept my interest. I liked it and definitely want to read more by this author.

I received a copy of this book from Revell as apart of the blogger program. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.

To purchase a copy of Ms. Harris’ most recent books click here:

*Affiliate Links included. I receive a few cents from purchases made from these links at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog. 

To find out more about Lisa Harris visit her website here.