Tag Archives: contemporary

REVIEW: Perennials by Julie Cantrell

Lovey (Eva) is called home to Oxford, Mississippi about 2-3 weeks in advance of her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. She knows there is a big party coming as she’s been working on it with her sister, Bitsy. However much she loves her parents, Lovey has been at odds with her sister since their teen years. Now in their mid to late 40s, the sisters are still grating on each other. Lovey resents Bitsy’s stance which keeps Lovey away from home and away from her niece and nephew whom she adores. Without a husband or family of her own, Lovey has tried to build a different life in Arizona. Professionally, she is a success. in love, though, she’s a mess.

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Back at home at her parents’ request, Lovey reunites with her high school love through a landscaping project Lovey’s dad (Chief) outlined. Unfortunately the love is involved with another mutual acquaintance and that complicates things.
I know this sounds like a romance, but I would say it’s more about the marital love of Lovey’s parents, parental love, the missing sibling love between Lovey and Bitsy, and Lovey’s need to accept her situation and release herself from expectations.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

Zoe Collins returns to Copper Creek with the settlement of her grandmother’s estate.  The timing is excellent as she is thinking of getting away, at least for a while, from her music partner and captor, Kyle. Going home, though, means reckoning with her stoic father and adopted brother, Brady. Oh, and let’s not forget high school boyfriend Cruz Huntley who has never won her father’s favor.   At 24, though, Zoe can call her own shots and she decides to try and work her grandmother’s orchard.  

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

Great story of Sarah and her failed marriage, reconstructed life, and call to Christianity and salvation. Sarah comes into her own as the author of sultry romance novels. However, her blossoming romance with the new church pastor (Ben) creates waves with her past following them both. Put into the story some unrequited love from an old flame of the pastor and you have a recipe for disaster. However, with God squarely in the mix, there is hope for a God-filled love story.

Thanks to Revell Company for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: A Place at Our Table by Amy Clipston

Volunteer fireman Jamie Riehl feels that it’s his duty to help protect the Amish community by serving on the fire force. With the untimely death of his mother, though, his duty to protect begins to overtake his life. His widowed father offers sage advice about the fleetingness of life and how we should grab hold of opportunities. Amish waitress Kayla works at her parents’ restaurant and has sworn off relationships after being burned in the past. Could these two belong together or will circumstances push them apart?

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Thanks to Zondervan for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover that their divorce was never finalized.  With much hurt between them, they don’t want to encounter one another to take care of legal issues.  However, to move on with their lives, they have to make some time for one another.  This is a Hosea and Gomer type story, though Josie isn’t as unfeeling as we’re led to believe of Gomer.  So many times a person’s history influences their steps.

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The severity of the snowstorm was a surprise for me and that part of the storyline added to the plot.  Set over a three week timespan, this book moves quickly.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Arthur and Maddy.  Arthur and Lucille.  Arthur and Nola.  Important women, all at different points in Arthur’s life.  Widower Arthur visits the cemetery every day to have lunch at his wife’s graveside.  This may sound odd, but he’s doing OK.  He gets up, gets his meals, tends to the aloof cat and gets out of the house.  He’s got a friendly neighbor, Lucille.  Arthur meets Maddy at the cemetery where she is escaping the frustration of lunch alone during high school.  He sees in her a soul most lost than his own self.  Arthur decides that Maddy needs a friend and he is at the perfect point in time, though over 80, to extend her that welcome.

This story touches on loneliness, friendship, grief and loving kindness.  I really enjoyed the story.  I felt the three main characters were developed to the point where I knew them.

Thanks to Random House for providing me an ARC for a  review in my own words.  This is a very good story!

 

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REVIEW: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

The Writing Desk novel is set in present day and also in the early 1900s during the Gilded Age.  In the historical side of the story, we follow Birdie (an heiress), Eli (a marquis), and Alphonse (an heir).  Their stories are intertwined during and after WWI.  In the modern day story, we follow Tenley Roth (great granddaughter and daughter of prolific authors), Jonas, and Holt Armstrong.

Birdie has been commanded by her mother to enter a loveless marriage with Alphonse.  Tenley has partially accepted a proposal from Holt, with time to think it over during an extended trip to Florida to care for her estranged mother.

The publishing world of New York is exploring during two different eras.  The idea of long-ago, arranged, loveless marriages and modern, “I guess so” marriages are explored. Birdie is so restricted and Tenley, though she has choices, feels equally boxed in with her writing career.

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Interesting story by author Hauck.  Thanks to Zondervan for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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