Friday, January 23, 2015

"A Baby Between Them" by Winnie Griggs

About the Book 

 For two months, Nora Murphy has cared for the abandoned infant she found on their Boston-bound ship. Settled now in Faith Glen, Nora tells herself she's happy. She has little Grace, and a good job as housekeeper to Sheriff Cameron Long. She doesn't need anything more—not the big family she always wanted, or Cam's love….

A traumatic childhood closed Cam off to any dreams of family life. Yet somehow his lovely housekeeper and her child have opened his heart again. When the unthinkable occurs, it will take all their faith to reach a new future together.

This book was released in June 2012
This books come from my own personal collection for review

My Review

“A Baby Between Them” by Winnie Griggs is the third and final book in the 'Irish Brides' continuous series. I stayed up past my bedtime so that I could finish this wonderful book (I finally got my hands on another book and look for that review tomorrow, that I have been waiting for) and this was just not a book that I put aside to read the one I have been waiting for. This is the book that wraps up the other books completely and totally with nothing left hanging. Mysteries solved, answers discovered, hearts healed and so much more which is why I just couldn't put this book on hold, even with this being a book I have read once before.

The last Murphy sister is finally having her story told, and what a story Nora has. Things are not smooth for this remarkable woman who has this incredible strength to do the things that are right but not easy. Nora is an independent woman who tries to make sure everything is going the way she wants them to, even to the point of doing more than maybe she should. She also has this heart for others that is so different than her sisters, but her heart combined with her determination and strength makes Nora this truly special woman, that frankly I admire. She makes decisions that honestly I am not sure I could have made or been willing to make as quickly as she did. Yes, Nora has to be my favorite Murphy sister that is for sure.

Cameron is a man who is hiding something and boy he is a stubborn about holding on to his past. Regardless of that, Cameron is a man who has remarkable honor. Somehow Cameron has this ability to help others out without being obvious or having a good enough excuse to make it sound as if others are helping him out. This is not something that easy for any author to write and make it believable but Ms. Griggs does a wonderful job with that trait and made it work beautifully.

As I said before everything is resolved with this book. Little hints that had been given throughout the series now make perfect sense, and while it has been sometime since I read the series I have to say that I forgot some of the smaller little hints which made this book so wonderful. Things that seemed so obvious were no longer so obvious and tears were leaking out as everything fell into place. Truly this is a story that held my attention from the get go and really hated having to put the book down in order to deal with things that life threw my way this week.

I hope all who read this book and entire series enjoy it as much as I did both times I have read them.

Other "Irish Brides" Books

  The Wedding Journal
Mistaken Bride
A Baby Between Them

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Mistaken Bride" by Renee Ryan

About the Book 

When William Black's mail-order bride fails to appear at the Boston docks, he's relieved when beautiful, vibrant Bridget Murphy steps in. However, she has a surprise in store. She will be a temporary nanny to his young twins…but she will not marry without love.

Faith Glen, Massachusetts, is worlds away from the poverty Bridget knew in Ireland. And William Black couldn't be more different from her faithless ex-fiancé. Yet that integrity Bridget so admires binds William to a promise that could keep them apart forever. In this new land of opportunity, does she dare to wish for a happy ending?

Buy "Mistaken Bride" from Barnes&Noble

This book was released in May 2012
This books come from my own personal collection for review

My Review

“Mistaken Bride” by Renee Ryan is the second book in the 'Irish Brides' continuous series. This is Bridget's story, one where one issue is solved, while another pops up, and one mystery is getting deeper while a new one is starting to pop up as well. Romance is in there air from nearly page one, along with a pretty healthy dose of sexual tension. Now please don't take that the wrong way for it is not that kind of tension that might be found in some of the more secular books, but this tension is that of sweet and tender start of love. It was that tension that made this book one that was hard to put down, even after reading it a second time around.

This is another book in the series that the story takes place over a pretty short period of time, of only a month long, but there was something so sweet and tender about the romance that really made the story believable. There was just something between Will and Bridget from the moment they laid eyes on each other and the fun was in watching it all play out. There are past pains that both must deal with and it is how they work past those pains helps makes this story one that I enjoy rereading.

Bridget is the middle sister of the Murphy sisters and the one who seems to have the most sensitive heart who has also had her problems in the past that has left her wounded and a little uncertain. Though she is wounded and uncertain that doesn't stop her from putting herself out there to help others. There are a few things about her that she needs to learn and she does indeed learn them though they were not exactly easy lessons that is for sure. Bridget is a woman whose faith is strong like her sister's, Maeve (from “The Wedding Journey”) and Nora (from “A Baby Between Them”), without being in other people's faces but it is their actions that show their strength in their faith. The ease in which Bridget is able to connect with others is a strength as well as a slight drawback.

Will is a man who has suffered greatly and now is weary, but he has a plan, one that he isn't all that certain he wants to change anytime soon. His family on the other hand means the world to him and he is willing to do what he must for their sake, even when it goes against everything he thinks is for the best. There are some pretty good reasons he feels the way he does without a doubt and we do find out the whole reason behind why. To watch how Will goes from the man that he is at the beginning of the book to the end is worth reading for it is amazing to see the changes happen the way they do.

This story is a story of love, of course, but also of forgiveness, self sacrifice or maybe the better word is selfless giving, learning of lessons, taking chances and honor. Okay so many of those can be found in various forms in other books including all of those but it is the way that they were written that made them so wonderful together to where I was crying and moaning my protest at one moment in the book, even though I knew it was coming since I read the book once before. It is when a book after reading once before, yet can still provoke such emotions, means that there is something special about the book and it is one that I would recommend to all who enjoy a sweet, tender romance that has it troubles, yet still filled with tension.

Other "Irish Brides" Books

The Wedding Journey
The Mistaken Bride
A Baby Between Them

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"The Wedding Journey" by Cheryl St. John

About the Book

The mysterious inheritance is the answer to a prayer. Now Irish lass Maeve Murphy and her sisters can come to America! She's sure happiness awaits her, even if it won't—can't—come from widowed ship doctor Flynn Gallagher. Yes, he made her his assistant, but she's not foolish enough to fall for the man all the eligible, wealthy female passengers admire.

Flynn Gallagher may have his pick of ladies, but only one cares as he does for the sick and poor. Flynn vowed never to marry another woman who could break his heart. With Maeve, has his heart found safe harbor at last?

This book was released in April 2012
The book comes from my own personal collection for review

My Review

“The Wedding Journey” by Cheryl St. John is the first book in the 'Irish Brides' continuous series. I first read this series when it came out in 2012 and enjoyed it greatly to where I just wanted to reread them, but sadly my library no longer had the full series. I was lucky though to find the series in a local second hand shop and thoroughly enjoyed this book as much as I did the first time I read the book. I am writing a review now because frankly when I first read the series, I didn't think it was all that important in writing reviews, but I have apparently come to reconsider that point of view.

This is a story that takes place over a fairly short period of time, of anywhere from a few weeks to a month, but with the close confines of being on a ship, made the fast development believable and so sweet. It is a pet peeve of mine for stories to be written in a short period of time and the romance develop in such a way that it is nothing but a fairy tale, but this story is nothing like that. There are close quarters and plenty of time to interact with each other not to mention a few emergencies that make things seem like they have spent a great deal more time together than they really did.

Maeve is a woman who really has nothing behind her and a whole lot in front of her, whatever that may be, and she is facing that future with great courage. Maeve is a woman who is able to find the silver lining to just about everything in life and everyone, or at least nearly everyone. When she can't find that silver lining, she goes to her strength in her faith to look for what she is needed. Her faith is quiet but there for all to see, for it is in her actions, her words and thoughts as well. Maeve's heart is one that is so tender but she finds another type of strength for she allows her heart to lead into situations that most might run from. She wants to help people but she doesn't allow her compassion to overwhelm her to where she is finding herself over her head, for somehow she has found that decent compromise between caring too much and not enough.

Flynn is a man who has known loss in his life and as a result focused his life on something else. His focus made changes in the lives of others but it seems to have stilted in him a lot of ways. From almost the get go of the book, one can see that this is a man who has suffered and is still suffering but we dont know the full story until later on the book. Once the story is out, it begins to make sense. There is a great strength in Flynn along with a strong desire to help, which I would hope would be in any doctor, but there is something else about him as well to where it is hard to fully describe this remarkable man.

It seems to me that one thing about this book that nearly every character could relate to was that of loss and a hope of a brighter future. The various stages of loss is apparent throughout as well as how each person is dealing with the loss. The hope of that brighter future is not openly spoken about too often but it is there when the future is spoken of and through the actions of everyone. It is a great reminder that we all have some dark days, but the sun will shine again and the new day will be bright.

I hope all who read this book and series enjoys it as much as I did both times around.

Other "Irish Brides" Books 

The Wedding Journey
The Mistaken Bride
A Baby Between Them

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"A Daughter's Return" by Janet Lee Barton

About the Book

Finding her way home

Having fled her privileged upbringing for a failed romance, Rebecca Heaton knows her pride has kept her from returning home. Now at her mother's boardinghouse in New York City, she's determined to forge a new life for herself--and her daughter. She just never expects to find a new love in the process… 

Ben Roth has always been compelled to help the downtrodden—including single moms like Rebecca. But if the past has taught him one thing it's that offering his trust can lead to disappointment. Could these two wounded souls make one another whole…and come together as a forever family? 

Boardinghouse Betrothals: Hearts taking shelter—and forging new beginnings

This book will be released in February 2015
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

“A Daughter's Return” by Janet Lee Barton is the fourth book of her 'Boardinghouse Betrothals' series and I hope not the last one either for there is one couple I would be interested in seeing what happens with them. Here is Rebecca's story that has come full circle now. We have heard of Rebecca since the first book in the series “Somewhere to Call Home”, and learn a little more with each book about this remarkable young woman.

I would have to say that this book called to me in a very special way, for it deals with some extremely sensitive subjects for the time period of 1897. I have to say that though this book does seem slow at times without a lot of external conflict, and at times going over the same issues time and time again, I still found it hard to put down the book. Maybe it is because in some ways I can totally relate to Rebecca and all she had to deal with, or maybe it is because I see this situation far too often and this story, regardless of the time frame, is one of hope for a brighter future.

Rebecca is a remarkable woman who has basically made her bed and was willing to lie in it, but she was given options that after a little bit of time she finally took some of those options to help make things better for herself and her little family. Rebecca shows herself to be a woman who is determined to do what she can in order to take care of herself through her strength, faith and willingness to put herself out there like she does. I knew from the other books that something happened to Rebecca, but didn't quite know what, but here we learn the full story of what has happened to Rebecca in her time on her own. This has also given Rebecca a unique perspective in a couple of things that happen in the story.

Ben is a man who we have meet through a few of the other books, but really don't know much about him. In this book though we learn quite a bit about him and why he is the type of man that he is. Here is a man that has a heart for helping certain people, though he is willing to help anyone in need. Ben works hard to help all who comes his way and some he seeks out in a participial place. There is a strength in Ben that is hard to describe as well but it there regardless.

There at the end of the book there was talk about plans that both Ben and Rebecca had that really sounded like something that I am personally involved with in today's time which warmed my heart. I think this is part of why I like this book so much even with all of its drawbacks such as being slow. The characters are pretty well developed and so loveable. I truly hope that this is not the last in the series, and if it is then I hope that there will be other stories about some of the characters that were left single and hinted at something more for a couple of them.

I hope all who read this book enjoys it as much as I did.

Other "Boardinghouse Betrothals" Books by Janet Lee-Barton

Somewhere to Call Home
A Place of Refuge
A Home for Her Heart

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Life Has Happened

A month has come and gone where things have really been almost out of my control.  The flu has hit the area and I got hit along with some in my family.  Then Christmas time where things were enjoyable and dealing with more illness.  

It was after Christmas and the New Year where I got something so enjoyable that it took precedence over everything.  This is not an excuse offered to those who follow my blog, and I am going to break rank from doing book reviews only and offer my wonderful testimony of how God took care of me this Christmas season.

I am not a complainer about things I can not change and I have learned to be content IN all things in my life.  One of those things that I never complained about was the fact that I have really bad teeth.  My teeth were breaking or broken, or missing all together.  I was careful in the way I smiled, but other than that I went about daily living without too much thought about my mouth.  I did not allow my bad teeth to keep me from helping out at the Pregnancy Center where I am a mentor, or getting to know new people, but my smile was never a full one.  I was so lucky though for all the issues I had with my teeth, I didn't experience pain like a lot of people might, and I didn't have that many infections that could have taken over my health. 

The Friday before Christmas, I received a gift of unbelievable generosity from an anonymous donor who had it laid on their heart from God to do this.  So I guess really this gift is from God and it is one that I am grateful for.  I was given the gift of having my teeth taken care of.  God worked in such marvelous ways and very quickly as well.  Monday after I received the gift I was meeting with a dentist and shortly after the New Year, I was given my new smile.

For the first time in a long time I have no issues with having my picture all over the internet and I am the one who is posting it.  I never realized how things would change, when the smile changes.  I feel as if I have been given a new lease on life, not that I really didn't have one before but there are changes within myself.

I am not writing this testimony in order to boost my gift but to show how God truly helps His children.  I would never have asked for such a gift but yet I was blessed with it.  We may not understand God's timing or why His gifts are what they are, but God's knows what He is doing, thankfully.  Never give up on anything that is not going like you want them in your life, for God knows what you are going through and will be there for you.

I am back to reading now, and I should have my first review for the New Year in the next few days.

Thank you for sticking with me.

Janine aka Christian Bookworm