Category: Book Review

Book Review | A Single Spark by Liwen Ho (Spark Brothers #1)

I loved A Single Spark, and I’m sure that’s not just because I picked it up after struggling through a frustrating YA fantasy trilogy (which only served to remind me why I rarely read fantasy).

Aiden Spark is the thirty-two-year-old former lead singer of a hearthrob boy band.

Now he’s an Associate Professor in Women’s Studies at a local college (a transition which isn’t explained, but which I’d love to know more about!).

Abby Dearan is a morning DJ with a local radio station, and has just received a text from the mysterious Professor Z Spark. It’s obviously a wrong number, but she wants to know more.

So she asks her listeners for help.

Fun (and sparks) ensue as Aiden and Abby meet, fight, make up, and fight again. And again. Plenty of sparks fly as the two are attracted, but are brought together by circumstances and driven apart by misconceptions. It’s a quick, fun read, especially when Aiden’s four brothers get involved …

Yes. Four brothers. A Single Spark is the first book in the Spark Brothers series. And four more brothers means four more books. Yay! It means you can read this as a standalone novel, and then wait for the rest of the series. Because if you like contemporary Christian romance with humour and sass, you’ll definitely want to read all the Spark Brothers series as much as I do.

Recommended for anyone looking for a fun, light romance with solid Christian content.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Liwen Ho

Author Photo: Liwen HoLiwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots).

In her pre-author life, she received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist

You can find Liwen Ho online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About A Single Spark

He’s a pop singer running from his past. She’s a deejay who’s given up on men. Little do they know divine intervention has a plan for them.

Former boy band hottie, Aiden Spark, distanced himself from everything he valued—faith, family, and fame—when he lost his girlfriend. A decade later, he’s still hiding behind his grief when he accidentally texts a woman who’s all too curious about his identity.

Burned by the men in her life, deejay Abby Dearan has chosen to focus on her newfound faith in God and use her radio presence for good. Her plans are thwarted though when a text message—and the irritating man who sent it—won’t leave her in peace.

Aiden can’t forget the woman who reminds him so much of his first love; Abby can’t remember the last time a man made her feel so beautiful. To make matters worse, it’s impossible to avoid one another when their siblings and friends—not to mention, divine intervention—keep pushing them together. Will the sparks igniting between them end up in flames or romance?

Find A Single Spark online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to A Single Spark:

#ThrowbackThursday | The Priority Unit by Susan Page Davis

It’s Throwback Thursday, and today I’m sharing my review of The Priority Unit by Susan Page Davis. This review first appeared at the now-defunct Suspense Sisters Reviews, and I’m delighted to be able to share it again. I love Susan Page Davis’s romantic suspense novels. She was one of the first authors I read in the genre, and is one of the big reasons I’m such a fan.

My Review

Jennifer Wainthrop meets Detective Harvey Larson when he visits her workplace to investigate the disappearance of one of her colleagues, and he asks her out.

I’m not always a fan of romances where there is a big age gap between the hero and heroine.  I’ve always found Jane Austen’s Mr Knightley a little creepy, and even as a child I could see the potential for problems in the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. I think The Priority Unit dealt with the sixteen-year age gap well. This was helped by the fact Harvey Larson was a man of principle and honour, and I could see what Jennifer saw in him.

Equally, while Jennifer was young, she had a maturity and professionalism that belied her age. And she was an outstanding computer programmer (in a world full of too-stupid-to-live heroines, I’m always impressed by a heroine (or hero) with intelligence, competence, and professionalism.

The suspense thread was well balanced against the romance.

The novel was perhaps more focused on the relationship rather than the suspense. The suspense is there, but it’s somewhat low key—without a body it’s hard to know whether a crime has been committed, let alone solve it. Although the missing computer programmer isn’t Harvey’s only problem. Someone seems to have a target on his back…

What impressed me the most was the overt Christian aspect of the novel.

Neither Harvey nor Jennifer were Christians at the beginning, yet they both commit to making an honest search to see if God is real—a search they commence together. This brings them closer together at the same time as having the potential to drive them apart—what if only one chooses to believe?

Susan Page Davis is the author of Frasier Island, one of my all-time favourite romantic suspense novels. Okay, so there are elements of both novels which stretch the bounds of credibility if you think about them too much, but the characters and story are so strong it doesn’t matter.

Overall, The Priority Unit was a Christian Romantic Suspense novel which actually managed to give all three aspects equal weight—it was overtly Christian, with a building romance, and an ongoing suspense thread. An excellent novel which is especially praiseworthy for the overt Christian aspect. Even better, it’s the first in a series!

Recommended.

About Susan Page Davis

Author Photo: Susan Page Davis

Susan Page Davis writes romantic suspense, historical romance, and mystery. She is a Maine native now living in Kentucky, and a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and KenTen Writers. Her books have won several awards including the Carol Award for her novel The Prisoners Wife; the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award for The Prisoner’s Wife and The Lumberjack’s Lady (Maine Brides series); and the Will Rogers Medallion Award for her novels Captive Trail (Texas Trails series, 2012) and The Outlaw Takes a Bride (2016).

You can find Susan Page Davis online at:

Website | Facebook | Google+ | Twitter

About The Priority Unit

A missing man.

A mysterious computer program –

Even the people constructing it don’t know what it will do.

On the worst night of Harvey Larson’s life, his partner is killed and his wife, Carrie, walks out on him. Ten years later, the Portland, Maine police detective has learned to cope with his grief and depression. When he and the Priority Unit investigate the disappearance of software designer Nick Dunham, he meets a young woman who will change his life. Jennifer Wainthrop was the last person to admit seeing Dunham alive.

Harvey and his partner, Eddie Thibodeau, stay a step ahead of a bomber and put together the clues that tell the truth: Dunham’s kidnapping and the bombings are one case, and Jennifer is caught in the middle. News that Carrie has committed suicide may plunge Harvey back into despair. Harvey turns to God for help untangling his complicated life. He finds strength in his faith as he attempts to save Jennifer from the same grim fate that claimed Nick. But Jennifer must depend on her own wits and God alone when the killer gets too close.

You can find The Priority Unit online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to The Priority Unit below:

Quote from Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter: Brady kissed like kissing was the whole point, not a brief stop on a journey to some better destination.

Book Review | Honeysuckle Dreams by Denise Hunter

Brady Collins made a mistake.

That mistake left him married with a baby son, then divorced. Now his ex-wife is dead, and he’s learning to navigate life as a solo parent. But then his in-laws sue for custody, saying Brady isn’t Sam’s father. Oops.

Hope Daniels is happy to help.

She loves little Sam as if he was her own. And he might be: Brady’s lawyer mistakenly thinks Hope and Brady are engaged. He points out that being engaged might help Brady in the upcoming custody battle, but not as much as them being married would. So Hope proposes a solution: getting married to make sure Brady gets to keep his son.

The marriage of convenience trope is relatively common in historical romance, but not so common in contemporary. I suspect this is because it can be hard to find a scenario where the circumstances behind the marriage of convenience makes sense. It often reads like a contrived way of getting the characters where the author wants them: married. Sure, the fake engagement and marriage is contrived, but it works for these characters.

My one issue with Honeysuckle Dreams was that Brady was too perfect. Sure, he had problems: his son, his ex-wife’s family, his mother. But they were all external problems. Fixing them relied on other people, not on Brady and his own character journey.

Hope was a much more interesting character.

She’s been in love before, in high school. That relationship ended badly. Her boyfriend collapsed and died in right in front of her at a high school basketball game. It took Hope years to recover and she’s still not sure she’s ready to risk her heart again. And that’s not a good way to begin a marriage, even a marriage of convenience.

Honeysuckle Dreams is the second book in Denise Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series, following Blue Ridge Sunrise. She’s also written Sweetbriar Cottage. It isn’t officially part of the Blue Ridge Romance series, but is set in the same town before the events of Blue Ridge Sunrise, and features some of the same characters.

Overall, Honeysuckle Dreams was an excellent contemporary romance, although I didn’t think it measured up to the outstanding Sweetbriar Cottage. Mind you, that’s a hard act for any author to follow.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Denise Hunter

Denise HunterDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest.

Find Denise Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook

About Honeysuckle Dreams

After Brady Collins’ ex-wife dies, he receives devastating news—his nine-month-old son Sam isn’t his son at all. And Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents want custody of the child. Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiance.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and after a happy accident she’s finally offered her dream job. But if the truth comes out about her arrangement with Brady, she may miss the chance of a lifetime and stand in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

As Brady and Hope make sacrifices to help each other in their times of need, they risk uncovering a truth neither of them expects to find.

You can find Honeysuckle Dreams online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

#ThrowbackThursday | Book Review | Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

It’s Throwback Thursday, when I share a review of an older book (or reshare a review). Today I’m resharing my review of the brilliant Long Way Gone by Charles Martin. His newest book, Send Down the Rain, released on Wednesday, and I’ll be reviewing it later this month. This review first appeared at Australasian Christian Writers.

About Long Way Gone

No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

My Review

Well, that’s a great first line—I don’t know who is speaking, but by the end of the first page I know he’s a musician. Who else would describe the worn-out guitar as “an old Gibson J-45”? And then he goes on to say:

The residue of musical genius. That’s strong writing—writing I want to read more of. I’m not going to bore you with all the quotes I highlighted in Long Way Gone, but there were a lot. But I hope you’ll forgive me one more, because it’s a great example of how to get a lot of setting across in one short sentence:

But you’re here to read a book review, not a commentary on the writing.

Long Way Gone is a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son, set in high-country Colorado and among the ups and downs of the Nashville music industry. It’s written in first person from the point of view of Cooper O’Connor, an evangelist’s son with a gift for music.

The writing is outstanding, the plot is excellent, the structure close to perfect.

I was fascinated by the musical information—the Ryman theatre, the Nashville Notation System, the whole music vibe. Anyone who watches Nashville or who has ever visited (or wants to visit) the home of country music will appreciate that side of it (and will be able to relate to the characters). I was impressed with the way so much research and setting was dropped in without it ever getting in the way of the central story.

The story spans decades.

So while we see Cooper’s mistakes through his eyes, we see them through the eyes of a man who has matured enough to realise they were mistakes—mistakes he’s repented from, even if he’s still not fully reconciled to the consequences of those mistakes.

It’s a story about a man (who loves a woman—yes, there is a romance element), and his love for music. It’s a story of a man who makes mistakes in his pursuit of happiness. And it’s a story about how sometimes those mistakes can be made right again, and sometimes they can’t.

Recommended for music fans, romance fans, or anyone who appreciates good writing.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Charles Martin at his website, and you can read the introduction to Long Way Gone below:

About Charles Martin

Author Photo: Charles MartinChristy and I married in 1993. If you include dating, I’ve known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart. We have three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. Folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most.

My hobbies are bow hunting, working out (a blend of old school stuff and martial arts, called Fight Fit) and Tae Kwon Do. In October 2012 I earned my black belt but I’m still the least flexible person you’ve ever met. The guy that trains me, laughs everytime I start warming up. My boys are far better at Tae Kwon Do than I but I doubt they have as much fun – I get to do and watch. They just do.

I also like to write, but that’s another story.

You can find Charles Martin online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Quote from Falling for You by Becky Wade: Just because God started you on one path didn't mean He intended to keep you on that path all your life.

Book Review | Falling for You by Becky Wade

True to You by Becky Wade was one of my favourite reads of 2017. It was a contemporary Christian romance about a librarian who dabbled in family history research, so how could I not love it? The heroine of True to You was Nora, one of the three Bradford sisters—a librarian, a pastry chef, and a famous model. It was pretty obvious the series was going to give us stories for each sister.

After reading True to You, I was keen to read the other two stories.

Falling for You is the second novel in the series, and it’s the story of the internationally famous model and the retired football star.

Injury has forced Corbin Stewart to retire from football. He’s bought a house in Shore Pine, Washington, to be near his only remaining family. What he didn’t know was that it also put him near ex-girlfriend Willow Bradford, now on a sabbatical from modelling, living in nearby Merryweather and managing her family B&B.

Charlotte Dixon, Corbin’s twelve-year-old niece, has discovered a family secret.

She’s convinced Willow Bradford will help her uncover the mystery behind the secret, and convinces Corbin to introduce her to Willow. Willow agrees to help, even though helping will bring her into too much contact with ex-boyfriend Corbin. Who is still devastatingly attractive, despite the way he broke up with her four years ago.

Falling for You follows the same pattern as True to You and the free prequel novella, Then Came You. It intersperses the present-day story with letters, emails, and text messages from the past and present. It’s a novel (!) way to tell a story, and it works as we see the past and present stories of Willow, Corbin, and others.

And it’s a strong story.

It’s the romance of two people who messed up years ago, and have to work out if there’s a way through that mess to find happiness. Part of that mess was because while Willow is and always has been a strong Christian, Corbin called himself a Christian but didn’t live the life (football star, remember?). He’s now become a Christian, but finding life hard.

Willow has her own problems with faith, and they are so deep-seated it actually takes her a while to realise they even exist. This, to me, was the depth in the book—Willow coming to terms with her past choices, and what that means for her faith. And there was a fascinating suspense plot around Charlotte’s secret.

I loved True to You because I related to Nora, the librarian. She’s bookish, and that meant I could relate to her in a way I can’t relate to an internationally famous model. But I could still relate to Willow as a woman who has made mistakes, who has to learn what forgiveness really means.

Falling for You is a touching tale of love lost and love found again, underpinned by an intriguing mystery, and the power of God to forgive.

Now I’m looking forward to the third book in the Bradford Sisters series, the story of the pastry chef who doesn’t realise her best friend of forever is in love with her (and has been forever). He knows it. I know it. Her sisters know it. But she doesn’t, and that’s a trope I love.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Becky Wade

Author Photo Becky WadeBecky is the Carol and Christy award winning author of heartwarming, humorous, and swoon-worthy contemporary inspirational romances.

She loves to connect with readers via her web site, www.beckywade.com, and via her Facebook author page, www.Facebook.com/AuthorBeckyWade

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

These days, you’ll find Becky in Dallas, Texas failing to keep up with her housework, trying her best in yoga class, carting her three kids around town, watching TV with her Cavalier spaniel on her lap, hunched over her computer writing, or eating chocolate.

You can find Becky Wade online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

About Falling for You

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

You can find Falling for You online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Book Review | The Man He Never Was by James L Rubart

Toren Daniels, a somewhat-famous football player, wakes up in a strange hotel room with no idea how he got there, and finds he has been missing for the last eight months. He has no idea where he has been, but he realises he has changed into The Man He Never Was.

He is no longer angry.

But as time goes—and as he tries to reconnect with his wife and children—Torren finds the anger returning. This leads him on a quest to find where he was during those missing eight months, and what he can do to make the anger go away forever.

The Man He Never Was is a modern twist on old tales: Jekyll and Hyde, Banner and Hulk, Saul and Paul.

One character says:

Book Quote: "If we're willing to admit it, we all have a monster inside us, and we're fighting to stop it from taking over our lives."

That was definitely Toren’s visible battle, but the statement got me wondering? What monsters were inside the other characters in the story? What about in real life? What monsters are inside the people I know? What monster is inside me? They are interesting questions, and they got me thinking …

But then the tone of the novel changed.

The second half of The Man He Never Was contained some deep spiritual truths. But it also contained some speculative woo-woo stuff (that’s a real term, right?). Unfortunately, the speculative elements didn’t work for me. I prefer to see characters work through their problems in something that approximates the real world, working through some kind of replicable solution. Yes, I know James L Rubart writes speculative novels, and I should have expected this. But I didn’t—perhaps because this novel was based on Jekyll and Hyde.

I have read and enjoyed several of James Rubart’s earlier novels, but The Man He Never Was didn’t work so well for me. The writing was as outstanding as ever. The first half was brilliant, and it raised lots of questions. But the second half didn’t answer my questions, although I’m sure diehard Rubart fans will love it.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About James L Rubart

Author Photo: James RubartJames L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He thinks he’s still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories.

He’s the best-selling, Christy, Carol, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of eight novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington.

Find James Rubart online at:

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

About The Man He Never Was

What if You Woke up One Morning and the Darkest Parts of Yourself Were Gone?

Toren Daniels vanished eight months back, and his wife and kids have moved on—with more than a little relief. Toren was a good man but carried a raging temper that often exploded without warning. So when he shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, they’re shocked to see him alive. But more shocked to see he’s changed. Radically.

His anger is gone. He’s oddly patient. Kind. Fun. The man he always wanted to be. Toren has no clue where he’s been but knows he’s been utterly transformed. He focuses on three things: Finding out where he’s been. Finding out how it happened. And winning back his family.

But then shards of his old self start to rise from deep inside—like the man kicked out of the NFL for his fury—and Toren must face the supreme battle of his life.

In this fresh take on the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, James L. Rubart explores the war between the good and evil within each of us—and one man’s only chance to overcome the greatest divide of the soul.

You can find The Man He Never Was online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction below:

Have you read The Man Who Never Was? What did you think?

#ThrowbackThursday | Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

It’s Throwback Thursday, and today I’m sharing my review of Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl. This review first appeared at the now-defunct Suspense Sisters Reviews, and I’m delighted to be able to share it again.

About Fatal Frost

Mehl Ramps Up the Suspense in This Brand-New U.S. Marshals Series

Mercy Brennan followed in her father’s footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she’s assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis’s most powerful gang.

When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent–a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy’s ex-boyfriend–to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety.

Initially unaware of the danger she’s in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy’s frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn’t until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive–if help is even coming at all?

My Review

Well, the book description promised suspense, and Fatal Frost delivered in spades and shovels and snow.

Lots of snow.

This illustrates my one possible complaint with Fatal Frost: the title and cover underplay the suspense. The cover reflects my picture of a frost: a little frozen ground which means you have to walk carefully. But the novel features a full-on snow storm, with ice that drives their car off the road, and snow so deep they can’t even consider going for help. My nails survived, but only just.

But Fatal Frost is more than nail-biting suspense. It’s also got strong characters, interesting characters, characters with history. Mercy and Mark used to date … until he became a Christian. Now they’re being forced to work together again, and she’s not happy about it, not least because of Mark’s faith. Working with them is Tally, Mercy’s next-door neighbour and childhood best friend, who is also reconsidering questions of faith.

This, I think, is one of the strengths of Fatal Frost.

It’s not just suspense and romance. There is a strong Christian theme in that Mark is a Christian, and Tally is considering Christianity since his wife has started taking their children to church. Being forced into close confines—and danger—forces Mercy to consider God for herself … and reconsider Mark, and why she broke up with him.

I won’t say more—you need to read this for yourself. Recommended for Christian suspense fans, especially those looking for more than just romance and suspense in their Christian romantic suspense.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free e-book for review.

About Nancy Mehl

Author photo: Nancy MehlNancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

You can find Nancy Mehl online at:

Website | Suspense Sisters | Facebook

You can find Fatal Frost online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Quote from Finding Evergreen by Jennifer Rodewald: She'd failed on an epic scale. For perfectionist Brandi Thompson, that was the worst possible outcome.

Book Review | Finding Evergreen by Jennifer Rodewald

If you’re looking for a fun contemporary Christian romance novel to read, Finding Evergreen is not for you (but you’ll love Jennifer Rodewald’s recent Valentine’s Day novella, The Cupcake Dilemma).

Instead, reading Finding Evergreen is like watching your two best friends destroy their marriage.

It’s rough. It’s tough. It’s nasty.

Finding Evergreen is not an easy read, and there were times I wanted to run away and pretend it wasn’t happening. Actually, I did. I usually read one novel at a time, over a couple of days. Finding Evergreen took me a couple of weeks to read, because I kept putting it down to read something a little more lighthearted.

But I kept coming back to Finding Evergreen. It was worth the effort, no matter how often I wanted to bang Brandi and Ethan’s stupid heads together. Or force them to have an adult conversation. Anything rather than watching them both trying to justify themselves as being in the right.

There was plenty of blame to go around as two people with issues brought those issues into a marriage. There was also the added complication of So-J, their foster daughter, with even more issues, and the difficulty of trying to get through newlywed life with a sassy eleven-year-old in the house.

It wasn’t just me who found the characters difficult. In her author’s note at the end, Jennifer Rodewald says:

“Brandi Thompson is the most unlikeable character I’ve ever written—and I did it on purpose.”

Jennifer shares what Brandi and Ethan discover: it is not easy to love well, and there are no easy answers. But we must remember that nothing separates us from the love of God, not even our misbeliefs about His love.

Finding Evergreen is the third book in the Grace Revealed series, following Blue Columbine and Red Rose Bouquet. It can be read as a standalone novel (I haven’t read the other two yet), but I’m sure reading the books in order would give Finding Evergreen added depth.

Recommended for those who aren’t looking for likeable characters and easy reads.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About Jennifer Rodewald

Author Photograph: Jennifer RodewaldJennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Born in Colorado, she experienced both the seclusion of rugged mountain living and the busy streets of a Denver suburb during her growing up years. Somewhere in the middle of college, she married a Husker and found her way back to the quiet lifestyle of a rural area, which suits just fine.

Blessed with a robust curiosity, Jen loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new. Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.

You can find Jennifer Rodewald online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Finding Evergreen

He thought he’d found the thrill of his life; she, the romance she hadn’t dared to hope for. Falling in love had been easy. Being married? Totally different story.

Married within a year of meeting, Ethan and Brandi add a foster daughter to their newly established family. Their story is enchanting—inspiring. Except when the fairytale fails. The stresses of unmet expectations and wounds from their pasts knife into their marriage, severing what they believed would be forever.

Hope for a broken marriage. Healing for their wounded spirits. It would take both to find evergreen. Are they brave enough to try?

You can find Finding Evergreen online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

You can read the introduction to Finding Evergreen below:

Quote from Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

#Throwback Thursday | Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

It’s Throwback Thursday, where I share a review of an older book, or reshare a review. Today I’m resharing my review of Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter, a wonderful Christian novel of the power of unconditional love. It’s a standalone novel, but it’s set in the same community as Hunter’s Blue Ridge Romance series. I’ve already reviewed Blue Ridge Sunrise, and Honeysuckle Dreams releases on 1 May 2018. I’ll post my review in a couple of weeks.

About Sweetbriar Cottage

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage–and okay, the botched divorce–was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife–still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone–including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

You can find Sweetbriar Cottage online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

My Review

Noah Mitchell is less than impressed when he finds his ex-wife is actually still his wife.

She forgot to file their divorce papers, so the divorce was never final. Oops. Now he has to get those papers filed to get the IRS off his back. But getting them filed means visiting Josephine Dupree Mitchell again—not something he’s looking forward to.

Josie knows how much Nate doesn’t want to spend time with her.

And why would he, after what she did? So she decides to be helpful and save Nate a trip into town by driving out to his ranch to deliver the signed papers. She can get his signature, file the papers with the judge, and the divorce will be done. At last.

Only things never work out as planned, because a snowstorm hits as Josie arrives at the ranch. She’s trapped with Nate, the ex-husband she still has feelings for.

Then things get worse …

Sweetbriar Cottage is a sweet (!) yet powerful exploration of the nature of unconditional love. It starts in the present, but has multiple flashbacks. Flashbacks to three and a half years ago, when Nate and Josie first met. And flashbacks to Josie’s childhood—the childhood she never discussed with Nate. The flashbacks gradually reveal what she did—and why.

It was always obvious Nate was the one who had instigated the divorce, and this got me wondering . How can you meet, marry, and divorce in just three years? (This seems unbelievably fast. I live in New Zealand, where it takes at least two years to get a divorce.) What had she done that he couldn’t forgive? And why did he marry a non-Christian in the first place?

It was also obvious that Josie was one emotionally messed up woman, and that whatever she’d done was the result of her messed up teenage years (triggers!) and her subsequent belief that there is no such thing as unconditional love.

Spoiler: there is. But that’s something Nate and Josie both need to learn.

I’d been a little apprehensive about reading Sweetwater Cottage, but it captured me from the beginning and never let up. A great second chance romance with some deep Christian themes.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Denise Hunter

Denise HunterDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 30 books, including “The Convenient Groom” and “A December Bride” which have been made into Hallmark movies. She has appeared on the The 700 club and won awards such as The Holt Medallion Award, The Carol Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking good coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are currently enjoying an empty nest.

Find Denise Hunter online at:

Website | Facebook

You can read the introduction to Sweetbriar Cottage below:

From No Less Days by Amanda G Stevens: He could admit that a century of overreacting to fire was a strong indication he always would.

Book Review | No Less Days by Amanda Stevens

Yes, contemporary romance is my favourite genre.

No, No Less Days is not contemporary romance.

Although it does have a minor romance subplot (most novels could be improved with the addition of a minor romance subplot). While I enjoy reading romance, when it comes to watching, my favourite TV shows and movies tend to be science fiction of some form: Star Wars. Star Trek. Stargate. Fringe. Forever. (Chuck.)

I’d categorise No Less Days as Forever with a dash of Highlander. It’s part science fiction and part urban fantasy.

David Galloway is 167 years old, but looks thirty-five, thanks to a doctor who saved his life over 130 years ago. He’s survived five major wars, and now makes a living selling second-hand and antique books. He thinks he’s the only one of his kind until he sees a news story about a daredevil who falls to his death crossing the Grand Canyon, yet miraculously survives.

David is curious. There is no way this daredevil, Zachary Wilson, could have survived that fall. Is there someone else like David? He goes to Nevada to find out the truth, and finds something unexpected: he is not alone.

Like I said, No Less Days isn’t the usual book I review.

But if there were more Christian novels like this, I’d read and review them because No Less Days was excellent. A unique hook: the man who lives forever. Great characters: David, Zac, Tiana. A moral dilemma to work through. And lots of amusing insights from a man who has lived longer than he should.

From No Less Days by Amanda G Stevens: He wished people valued books—paper, ink, effort, art, knowledge—the way they used to.

The story of No Less Days is told entirely from David’s viewpoint, and that’s one of the strengths. Learning things about the Longevites as David learns them gives the sense of being in the story. The writing is excellent, and while this story comes to a complete and satisfying end, there is certainly scope to turn No Less Days into a series.

I recommend No Less Days for fans of TV shows like Fringe and forever who’d love to see more Christian fiction delve into these areas of the unknown.

Thanks to Barbour Publishing for providing a free book for review.

About Amanda G Stevens

Author Photo: Amanda G StevensAs a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now, she writes speculative fiction. She is the author of the Haven Seekers series, and her debut Seek and Hide was a 2015 INSPY Award finalist. She lives in Michigan and loves trade paperbacks, folk music, the Golden Era of Hollywood, and white cheddar popcorn.

You can find Amanda G Stevens online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About No Less Days

David Galloway can’t die.

How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

You can find No Less Days online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to No Less Days below: