Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Review: Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson

Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson
Bethany House Publishers, May 1, 2013

Eagerly Awaited Novella from Dee Henderson

It's a summer of change for Jennifer O'Malley. The busy physician has a pediatrics practice in Dallas, and meeting Tom Peterson, and falling in love, is adding a rich layer to her life. She's sorting out how to introduce him to her family--she's the youngest of seven--and thinking about marriage.

She's falling in love with Jesus too, and knows God is good. But that faith is about to be tested in a way she didn't expect, and the results will soon transform her entire family.


Having read all of the O'Malley Series recently I was wondering about Jennifer's story and when I saw this novella, I was excited to read it.

Jennifer meets Tom and their romance is unhurried and sweet. I liked watching their impromptu dates and the way they spent time together - unhurried but with purpose - they sought each other out to spend time together, just not officially. As the news that will test Jennifer arrives, it will also test her and Tom and just how strong is the love they've developed.

In many ways I didn't want to read this book as it signifies the end of a series I really enjoyed. However, I was always going to read it at the same time. A lovely book to gift her readers with! Thanks Dee Henderson!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive 
review.



Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Review: Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs



Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs
Waterbrook Press, 15 March 2011

SHE LOST EVERYTHING SHE LOVED.
HE HAD EVERYTHING SHE NEEDED.
BUT COULD SHE FIND THE COURAGE TO TRUST HIM?
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?

The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland. 


This was my first Liz Curtis Higgs novel.  Liz came highly recommended by gazillions of people, and I can assure you, I wasn't disappointed.

This is my kind of novel - rich in historical detail.  I love feeling like I'm living in the past along with the characters. And Scotland too! What's not to love about Scotland? 

Mine is the Night is a follow up novel to Here Burns My Candle, which I have not read.  But it made no difference to my enjoyment.  The pace of the story is even and temperate, but I actually love this when I'm so engrossed in the details and living in the period. It feels right because it matches eighteenth century living .  Since this novel is based on the biblical story of Ruth and Naomi, there are no surprises in the ending, but I found this comforting.

There is beautiful character development, and Liz has given us lovely examples of brave, yet gentle women.  There are strong themes of forgiveness, mercy and quality amongst believers.  It's a touching story, and I'm so glad there are writers like Liz in the world.


Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

The Missing Sister

Hi Folks!

You'd be forgiven for thinking I'd disappeared and Book Review Sisters had become Book Review Sister.  Thankfully, Jess has been amazing and diligent in holding up this blog whilst I've been MIA.

I've simply been snowed under parenting.  I thought that as the kids get older, it would get easier.  It's not the case - or at least, not yet.  I'm finding that the kids at ages 4 and 2 are more demanding of my time than they were at 3 and 1.  Right now, I have a "Formidable Four" year old, and a "Terrible Two" year old.  

I have also taken on Sunday School teaching and leading a teens bible study group.  I'm humbled that the Lord wants to use me in this way, but it's also scary because I don't have much experience with these age groups.  Please pray for me, and the kids.

Anyway, something on my plate had to give, and right now, it has been reading and blogging.  I have not read a book since early February - the shock and horror of it all! But I've found the reapplication of my time at present to be rewarding.  The kids are appreciating the extra mummy-attention, and behaving better because of it.  I'm less stressed, and less frustrated because I'm not always trying to do 'something else'.  It's a win-win for my family.

I have a couple of reviews up my sleeve from books I read in January, and I'll be putting those up over the next few weeks.  I can't promise I'll be around a lot, but I will poke my head in from time to time.  

I hope everyone is safe, happy and well wherever you are in this beautiful world, and that you're able to do the reading I can't do right now.  Has anyone read any gems lately? Would love to hear what you're up to and what you're reading.  And if anyone wants to write a book review for our blog, don't be shy :)

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann
WaterBrook Press, May 4, 2010

An inseparable bond.
An insatiable force.


Battling his own personal demons, Police Chief Jonah Westfall knows the dark side of life and has committed himself to eradicating it. 


When a pair of raccoons are found mutilated in Redford, Colorado, Jonah investigates the gruesome act, knowing the strange event could escalate and destroy the tranquility of his small mountain town. 

With a rising drug threat and never-ending conflict with Tia Manning, a formidable childhood friend with whom he has more than a passing history, Jonah fights for answers—and his fragile sobriety.

But he can’t penetrate every wound or secret—especially one fueled by a love and guilt teetering on madness.

From best-selling author Kristen Heitzmann comes a spellbinding tale of severed connections and the consequences of life lived alone. 


This book was an early Christmas present from a good friend and fellow book junkie. Honestly it took me a little while to get into this book. In fact I read two books after starting this one. However, it kept beckoning me over, asking me to keep going and so I picked it up and finished it. I'm very glad I did.

What threw me off at first was the multiple points of view (POV) - four all up. Granted two were secondary with Jonah and Tia being the primary POV. It was unsettling though to change between four characters in the first few chapters of the book and I struggled to keep track of who was where. Once I got passed that I landed in a book I haven't quite read before and I liked what I read.

There is an underlying dark quality in this book. When I say dark quality, I'm not talking mystical stuff, I'm talking about past sins, wrongs, attitudes - life I guess. This book really explores the consequences of actions and the prisons we put ourselves in, in order to pay for our crimes. Heitzmann does this really well in Jonah and Tia - so well that I loved their scenes. They are constantly fighting their love for each other because of the past, that it makes them angry at each other, yet at the same time they are almost codependent on the other for their identity. You might say they are indivisible from each other.

This is a well written book filled with a few twists and turns. However is ultimately a book filled with layers. These characters are not cardboard cut-outs. They fight hard, cry hard and face life hard - often when it doesn't have to be quite so hard - but that is the nature of the prisons they live in. This is one of the best books I've read where characters are so real with each other. It hurts to watch Jonah and Tia letting the past corrode their lives. There is hope in the end though and it's a good ending.

Am looking forward to reading more from this surprising, in-depth and heartfelt writer. 


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: Always the Baker, Finally the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker

Always the Baker, Finally the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker
Abingdon Press, 1st April 2013 

In Always the Baker, Never the Bride, readers fell in love with Emma Rae and Jackson, and they’ve gotten more acquainted with them in the two books that followed.

But now it’s time for the diamond to meet the road as Jackson fields an offer to sell The Tanglewood, a move that will uproot this high-flying family act once and for all. Get reacquainted with all of the lovable and quirky characters from the first three books as your favorite diabetic baker figures out if she'll achieve her greatest goal of all: Will Emma, at last, become FINALLY the Bride?


It's finally here, the final installment of Sandra D. Bricker's popular Another Emma Rae Creation Series and this time around we're brought back to Emma and Jackson and the conclusion to the love story that made us all laugh and cry with Always the Baker, Never the Bride

I fell in love with Emma and Jackson when I read their story, I then fell in love with Sherilyn and Andy in Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride. Unfortunately I didn't love Audrey and J.R. nearly as much in Always the Designer, Never the Bride but I was eager for Emma and Jackson's story to be concluded.

The first thing I noticed when I opened Always the Baker, Finally the Bride was the voices of Sandra's characters. For the most part they are distinct and I really enjoyed hearing Fee again and nothing beats Sherilyn's passion and zeal, as it just bounces off the page. I laughed alot in this book and if I wasn't laughing, I was smiling. 

There is much to like with this book. Jackson's merry-go-round of personal assitanats is very amusing, Emma's inability to create a cake to suit her and Jackson's wedding, Sherilyn's gusto with everything she does, Fee's deadpan humour and many more.  

In the end we got to have the wedding we've been wanting since readers met these two and what a joyous journey it's been!

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive 
review.



Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Review: The Healer By Dee Henderson

The Healer by Dee Henderson

Tyndale House Publishers, October 14, 2005

A flood brings them together...
Rachel O'Malley is a trauma psychologist who works disasters for the Red Cross; her specialty is helping children. Captain Cole Parker has spent the last year fighting fires, investigating arsons--and falling in love with Rachel. When a flood surges through their community, it's a chance in the midst of tragedy to spend some precious time together.

And Rachel is relying on Cole's love.
For years, Rachel has touched grief while helping others work through it, but now grief is getting very personal... she may lose her sister to cancer. She's depending on Cole--her rock, immovable--to help her make it through.

But the floodwaters conceal a deadly surprise...
A crime scene is swallowed up by the waters. One person is dead, and the police suspect there may be a second victim. The murder weapon has fallen into the hands of a child, and the flood disaster is about to be eclipsed by gunfire at a local school.

And Rachel is caught in the crossfire.
Rachel knows one of the injured students, a child who died, and the shooter. She's struggling to do her job even as she copes with her own trauma. For she must deal with more than just grief among the children she is trying to help--one of them still has the gun. And Rachel fears a third tragedy will soon follow unless Cole and the O'Malleys can solve a murder still hidden by the floodwaters...


I totally bawled my eyes out in the final few chapters and at other points during the book too! This book really packed an emotional punch and I'm so glad Dee created Cole Parker to be Rachel's rock in the storm because that's exactly what he felt like!

I think some people might complain about the mystery not taking front and center in this novel but I think it's not meant to here. Yes, the mystery is there, but the suspense isn't in your face. Much of this book is Rachel's journey as she deals with grief on many levels and how her faith and Cole's love and support see her through. We also get to see the joy of Rachel falling in love slowly but surely even through the sadness of the events in the book. Seeing this happen for Rachel brings some much needed joy to this book. When I say that, I'm not saying that the book is filled with depressing stuff, but a lot happens here and it's good to see Rachel embrace love with Cole in the midst of all the crazy stuff going on.

I have the sixth book in the series ready to go in my bookshelf, but I'm going to wait a bit. I don't quite want to leave the O'Malley's just yet.  This one of all the series will stay with me the longest.


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review: In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols

In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols
Bethany House Publishers, 1st February 2007

A girl who has never been able to settle down, Miranda begins various adventures, but whenever reality begins to tarnish her dreams, she gives up. As she approaches her thirtieth birthday, she determines to reinvent her life. But there's one loose end to tie down first. Joseph Williams, the chief of police in Abingdon, Virginia, always tries to do what is right, to perform his duty and protect those he loves. He becomes suspicious of the new woman in town, and after checking further, he discovers she has no history. Then he finds a baby picture of his niece in her possession. 

In Search of Eden is a story about law and grace, about forgiveness and redemption, about finding joy and rest in a broken world.

This book has sat in my to read pile for several months and it's been quietly asking me to read it lately and I finally picked it up and yes, what a read it was! I loved this book, from the setting, to the intrigue of the past that surrounds all the characters, from the refreshing way this story is told and the idea that we are all searching for a kind of Eden - perfection, paradise.

Getting to know Joseph and Miranda was an great experience - especially the complicated history between Joseph and his brother. Watching Joseph move on from the past, while Miranda digs further into her past to find answers slowly brings the two together. As peace is made with the past, futures can be forged.

Eden - the bubbly bright, somewhat adventurous girl is a riot! The reader can't help but like her and get involved with her adventures. I also like how her Uncle Joseph keeps tabs on her without being overbearing about it - clever!

Overall, I found this to be a beautiful read!


Jess' favourite genre is contemporary women's fiction and contemporary romance fiction. She also enjoys historical fiction with a focus on romance. She loves books set in country towns or farms with a cowboy featured in either historical or contemporary settings.

She is currently writing her first novel, a contemporary women's fiction/romance set in a small country town.