Book Reviews

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

“If you knew all the answers, there’d be no need for trust, little one.”

What an absolutely charming and enthralling read! I was blown away by every splendid detail. This was a story about love, abuse, literature, friendship, and faith. 

“It is not hopeless,” he said with surety. “It is uncertain, and this is the cross God always gives us in life, uncertainty. But it is not hopeless.”

To begin, who doesn’t love C.S. Lewis? The Chronicles of Narnia have held their popularity since their publication and his theological literature is profound. So, of course, I was intrigued by the woman who influenced and fell in love with him. She was his match in every way! And she was smart and brave and faithful. Even when her first husband was unkind, she was determined to make things work. She didn’t just go off dallying with other men or entertaining fancies about Jack (C.S. Lewis); no, she was committed to fulfilling her marriage vows. Despite, this there came a point where her husband became too terrible and they divorced. Even then, Jack and Joy kept their relationship within the friend boundaries; although, Joy did develop a huge crush on him. As was mentioned before, they eventually got married and enjoyed three happy years together as husband and wife before Joy passed away. 

“God might not fix things for me, but he would be with me in whatever waited ahead, that was clear.”

Not only was the story beautiful, but the writing was stunning as well. It was decorated with velvet and filigree and I loved that! As you may know from my other reviews, I am not a fan of plain writing (simply telling the story with little artistic flourish). This was not at all like that. The author also did a lovely job setting the scene in both America and the various locations in England. In this, and the letter-writing and dialogue, it was clear that she had done her homework. Bravo!    

Lastly, this was a clean read. Sex is alluded to but is not at all blatantly described.

Altogether, I think this is one of my favourite reads of 2020. 

“We’re connected everywhere. Even before we met, we were all of us tied together with these funny little threads. I love those small hints that God brings people together and says, ‘Here you go. This one’s for you.”

 

Elephant Waving Goodbye GIF by Reactions | Gfycat

 

Book Reviews

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

“The hardest lesson I had learnt upon my travels was patience. There are times when every muscle, every nerve, screams for movement, when every instinct urges escape. But the instinct to fly is not always a sound one. There are occasions when only stillness can save you.”

Once again, I was absolutely charmed by Raybourn’s writing. It was intelligent and beautiful and fit well with the personalities of the characters. And that is the perfect segway… XD 

Veronica: fearless, independent, and astute. Yet, not very much changed from the previous novel. I wish that there had been more character growth, but maybe that will still come in the following novels. However, I did love how Stoker and Veronica’s relationship deepened and they learned to trust each other beyond the intermediate level of book #1. As for their romance… I have no idea where that will go or if it will go anywhere at all. They have a strong friendship, but I’m not sure if it could develop to something beyond that.

26244626
I absolutely adore these covers! ❤

The pacing was quite good – they were almost always rushing hither and thither to visit royalty or to do some sleuthing. Again, though, the story was dialogue-heavy and I found that there was much time spent on discussing theories and guessing at who might be guilty of murdering Artemisa. 

Lastly, I was actually rather grossed out by how many insinuations and blatant mentions of sex there were. The entire mystery revolves around infidelity and the addition of the grotto… Well, I was not a fan. I love Raybourn’s voice and her characters are interesting and intelligent, but I am rather unimpressed by this element. So, perhaps, someday I may read book #3, but I think, for now, I need a break from this series. 

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Enjoy the last day of summer.      

Related image

Book Reviews

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

“I felt in this new adventure I was rousing to life again. I was a butterfly, newly emerged from the chrysalis, damp winged and trembling with expectation.”

This was an exquisite tale! 

I was instantly struck by the writing. It is so beautiful and deep. Raybourn does not simply tell the story, she paints a vivid landscape. Simply put, it is a piece of art. Also, this story was intelligently written. Either the author is talented lepidopterist like Veronica or she did some thorough research. Further, the author created such vivid characters. In some ways, Veronica was naive and in others, she was experienced. Through it all, she was feisty and absolutely fearless – she faced calamities with cool composure. Her relationship with Stoker was amusing and intriguing. Obviously, it is a slow burn romance, but Veronica keeps him at arm’s distance and treats him with placid indifference. I am very interested to see how this relationship develops… As for the man Stoker. He was a stormy individual who, at first, I was not entirely drawn to; however, as the story progressed, I found myself learning to like him.  30008834

“I abhorred weakness of any kind but most particularly in my tea.”

While the plot was entertaining, I found that it was rather bogged down by dialogue. Stoker and Veronica talk so much that it became exhausting. Yes, it was elegantly written, but it was excessive. Also, this was not a clean read. There is mention of crude language, plus some that is written out and while there are no explicit scenes, it is alluded to and Veronica is a woman of loose morals – her trysts with foreign men are frequently mentioned.      

I do believe, though, that I will read the sequel. I am curious to where Veronica’s adventures will lead.

“That is the hallmark of a good partnership, you know – when one partner sees the forest and the other studies the trees.”  

P.S. Aren’t the covers stunning?!? I am very much in love with them. ❤

Book Reviews

Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher

This was a sweet and beautiful contemporary romance with a dash of historical flavour. 

Ashley and Ben both had spotty pasts. Ben as a recovering alcoholic struggled with the past and rebuilding relationships, while Ashley wrestled with the pain of a brother addicted to drugs and alcohol and with finding peace in God. These two people connect when Ben approaches Ashley for help with his new equine therapy facility – Harmony Barn. They labour on this project together and eventually find themselves falling for each other. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses; no, there are disappointments and hardships. Yet, through it all, Ben and Ashley are moulded into stronger characters who see God’s hands through it all. 

There is also a lovely connection between Ben’s family Bible and flashbacks to the 1940s and Andrew Hennings experience of World War II. This aspect connected beautifully to the previous book and added another tone to the story. 

The writing, while simple was neatly done and Hatcher did a wonderful job conveying the emotions. This was also a clean read which was quite enjoyable.    

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Image result for have a great day   

 

Book Reviews

The Messenger by Pamela DuMond

This was an Amazon freebie, but nevertheless, I was looking forward to The Messenger. Time travel novels are really intriguing and two of my favourite time travel series are Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren and the Precious Stone Trilogy. 

To start off. DNF 50%… 

Sorry, it just didn’t catch my interest. I found myself in a reading slump because I couldn’t get through this one. Image result for mortal beloved pamela dumond

I liked the concept of “Messengers,” but in the 50% that I read, this hardly came through. There also was no strong end goal – I felt like I was in a little boat being aimlessly tossed about by the waves. Much of the time, Madeline simply helped Elizabeth, did Yoga in the barn, and hung out with Samuel. Despite this, the opening was strong. There was conflict and intrigue and Madeline was a hurting character, so there was a lot of room for growth. 

Maybe this is a novel that you will enjoy, but it wasn’t for me.

Anyways, I think it will check out at this point. I hope you guys had an amazing weekend!

See ya later! 

Image result for bye gif

Book Reviews

Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

This was my second time reading Waterfall, but I still enjoyed every bit of it! 

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the decision that something is more important than fear.” 

The main character Gabriella was absolutely amazing. She was brave and intelligent and kind, but not perfect – I actually really enjoyed being inside her head and getting to know her. Bergren does an excellent job keeping things interesting and balancing between Gabi’s thoughts and actions. The love interest, Marcello, was definitely your chivalrous knight in shining armour. I did like him; although, I felt we didn’t get to know him super well. Also, their relationship wasn’t quite as developed as I would have liked. But, hey, there are two more books. So we have time for that.

Image result for waterfall river of time

“Sometimes the heart tells us to venture where the mind fears to tread.”

The setting was 14th-century Italy and Bergren made it feel quite authentic. It’s clear that she did her research. Her writing was also delightful. It was not flowery, but it was engaging. I felt drawn into the story from the very start and there was no point where I felt like skimming because I was getting bored.     

My greatest qualm, though, is the title. It’s beautiful and compelling, but while reading, I never made a connection. I get that the girls fell into a “river of time” and fell down a “waterfall” into the 14th century, but that was never brought up in the book. 

Lastly, this was a clean read.

“We all have freedom of choice. Over and over again, minute by minute. How will you live your life? For yourself? Or for others? For something good? For love?” 

I definitely recommend this book to those who love an adventure tinged history and romance.  

 

Book Reviews

The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey

 

A riveting historical adventure.

Since my grandparents are Dutch I have heard and read many stories set in Holland during WWII, but I have rarely encountered stories from the Swiss point of view. As a result, the Swiss Courier was interesting and exciting!

The characters were dynamic and unique. Gabi was sweet and brave and Bruno Kassler was terrifying and vicious. The story is told from quite a few different points of view Image result for shocked gif disneywhich was at first a little disappointing since I thought the book was about Gabi, but I as the story went on, I grew to enjoy it. One thing, though, I kind of wish Gabi had discovered Jean-Pierre’s identity a little sooner. (By the way, that was such a shocker!) Maybe, though, this would have taken away from the surprise at the end?

Although this was written by two authors, there wasn’t a striking difference between their writing. This was nice since sometimes when two authors write their separate pieces, there is a bit of a jolt when jumping from one to the other. Lastly, with the writing, I found that at times there was a lot of extra information – about a handgun, or airplane, or person. I felt that these details weighed down the story instead of complementing it.

Lastly, this was a clean read!    

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ta ta for now!

Related image