Kelly Klepfer came on board Novel Reviews several years ago as the Senior Editor through her connections with Gina Holmes, Ane Mulligan and Jessica Dotta of Novel Journey fame. Novel Reviews is the baby sister of the popular Novel Journey. At Novel Reviews we offer honest reviews of Christian and secular fiction titles and love to promote exceptional fiction. We began to do so after we met the authors via their interviews at Novel Journey. Disclaimer: Our reviewers are not paid for their reviews. Some may consider the receiving of a complimentary book or loosley bound manuscript (by publisher or author), as a form of compensation, so, be forewarned that our reviewers RECEIVE BOOKS. In our defense, it would be difficult to review without them. (Also, we are not affiliated or paid for any links to online bookstores.)
by Cathy Bryant
Published by: Word Vessel Press
City gal Dani Davis just wants to find a place to call home. Miller's Creek, Texas, with its country charm and quirky citizens seems like the perfect place to start over. Perfect, that is, except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town...Dani secretly finances renovations to downtown Miller's Creek, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she's always longed. Then the discovery of an age-old secret propel her down a road she never expected to travel. Steve Miller is determined to save his dying hometown. When vandalism jeopardizes the Miller's Creek restoration project, he can't help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips. Will Steve and Dani be able to call a truce for a higher cause, and in the process help Dani understand the true meaning of home?
I’m so thankful for the review copy of Cathy Bryant’s heart warming, debut novel. I’ve never been to Texas but I’d love to go to Miller’s Creek, a quaint little town, with its friendly neighbors, beauty, innocence and fun. It reminded me of the town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith T.V. shows. It was a quieter, simpler life back then. The main character is Dani, raised in the city, visits her Mama Beth, who reminded me of Aunt May, on the Andy Griffith show. Everyone in this little town loved her and called her Mama Beth. Dani felt drawn to this town and for a place she could call home.
She didn’t expect to run out of gas upon entering this town. A man offers her a ride. City girls just don’t get into a car with a stranger. Steve tries to assure Dani he is just interested in helping her get to where she is going...nothing more. He’s already sized Dani up to be a spoiled brat who’s over-dressed and he’s unimpressed. He can’t wait to deliver her to her destination.
The next day she wakes up in her Aunt Beth’s house to find Steve there, the man who gave her a ride. Was this man following her? Dani’s aunt informs her he is the Mayor. Great she’s off to a swell start in this small town.
Dani has an ache in her heart to find a place called home. In that search, she realizes she has a hole in her heart and a need to fill this emptiness inside. She discovers this hole can’t be filled with a place, but instead it can be filled with a person not of this world. Her Aunt Beth’s been praying for her and she agrees to go to church. It’s the least she could do for her Aunt. Church isn’t what she thought it would be like. That’s when the fun begins.
Cathy Bryant pens a fun, cozy, spirited romance story, that I enjoyed. I loved her characters, the town and its people. I found myself wanting to spend time in this cozy little town and I’d especially want to hang out with Mama Beth. She was a hoot! I enjoyed everyone minute of this delightful story. I can’t want to see what Cathy writes next.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurant at: "The Book Club Network"
Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon
by Miralee Ferrell
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (January 1, 2010)
Amidst a backdrop of thievery and murder in historic Bridal Veil, Oregon, a schoolteacher is torn between the memories of a distant love and the man who could be her future. Margaret Garvey had given her heart to Nathaniel, but he left town six years before. Now she’s giving love another chance, but her decision to build a new life with Andrew is shaken when Nathaniel steams back into Bridal Veil on a riverboat to work at the nearby sawmill. When disaster strikes the town and threatens the welfare of its citizens, Margaret will be faced with the most important choice of her life.
When you are looking for a book if you want adventure, romance, suspense and to go through a whirlwind of emotions and indecision on your reader's opinions of a character... well then this is the book for you!
Through the story of Love Finds You in Bridal Veil, Oregon we are introduced to our protagonist Margaret (great name right? *wink*). Four years ago her father arranged things so that her betrothed though she changed her mind about him and left and she was convinced he left her knowing that she loved him. In these four long years she became angry with God and allowed a wedge to form as she just knew that God had told her he would take care of their relationship.
Then along comes a man seemly interested in her, but he arrived simply because her father asked him to and as she starts to become curious, it seems that her betrothed has finally returned for her. Through out the book as I reader I did not know which one to love and which one to hate. I'm all about true love and only one true love. Miralee really had me going one way, then cheering another, then being frustrated at a certain character's behavior and wanting redemption there. I truly applaud the author here, because I had no idea how it would turn out and it could not have been better. (The only thing that I want now is a side line sequel finishing the other guys story... because I think there is potential there.)
Also within the pages of this book we have a different smaller story of strength in a twelve year old girl running from a painful past and protecting the unexpected. Every page had me hoping and praying for Samantha to get where she needed to be and I could not guess what her future should be. In the end, it was very appropriate and the kind of ending I crave and love.
Over all I thoroughly enjoyed
this story, and as this was my second historical adventure from the
Summerside Press Love Finds You in... series I am sold and cannot wait
to get my hands on others. Also this was my first experience reading a
story from author Miralee Ferrell and you better believe it will not be
my last. >
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind at: Creative Madness
The Duke's Redemption (Love Inspired Historical)
by Carla Capshaw
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin (January 12, 2010)
He came to the colonies for one reason: revenge. Drake Amberly, Duke of Hawk Haven, won't leave South Carolina until he's unmasked the colonial spy who killed his brother. Yet the more he sees of spirited Elise Cooper, the more he's moved by the happiness she brings him...never suspecting the dangerous secret she hides.
Her faith drives Elise to spy for the rebels, dreaming only of freedom for her homeland. Then she meets Drake, and learns that love could be hers, as well. When his pursuit of "The Fox" brings him dangerously close to the truth, she'll risk everything to prove that love and forgiveness are all they need.
I dare say that I could quite feel my heart beating out of my chest at times through out this adventure. The revolutionary war era is my favorite historical time period and I hardly find a novel entwined in that time that I enjoy, but that was not the case with this novel. I very much so enjoyed the experience of reading into the lives of Duke Drake Amberly and his true love, the espionage Fox for the Patriots Elise Cooper.
The things that one would do to save the life of her sister ...more I dare say that I could quite feel my heart beating out of my chest at times through out this adventure. The revolutionary war era is my favorite historical time period and I hardly find a novel entwined in that time that I enjoy, but that was not the case with this novel. I very much so enjoyed the experience of reading into the lives of Duke Drake Amberly and his true love, the espionage Fox for the Patriots Elise Cooper.
The things that one would do to save the life of her sister meet with the things that one would do to receive vengeance for the life of his brother and they are stalled with the question of is their love strong enough to endure the past? Knowing from the beginning that they would fall in love, it was difficult not being able to turn the pages fast enough. Such a complicated situation, it is hard to even suggest what the outcome could be.
Author Carla Capshaw kept my attention wrapped around each page and continuing chapter and I am so glad to have entered her into my favorite author list. I enjoyed this novel and I will definitely be on the look out for more.
Reviewed by: Margaret Chind at: Creative Madness