I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

I really enjoyed this book by Lynn H. Blackburn! I thought the mystery was well done and the characters very likeable. Leigh was a great main character. I thought she was strong, but she wasn't stubborn about making bad decisions like so many lead female characters are in mystery books (or Hallmark movies!). I liked that she was independent, yet wanted someone else in her life to depend on. 

Ryan Parker was also a great main character. I liked the way he cared for Leigh, the way their relationship developed, and the good friend he was to those around him. His growth throughout the book was interesting, and he was a great addition to the story. All the romance in the book was not my cup of tea, and some of it made me cringe with the corny-ness of it, but it wasn't so overwhelming that it detracted from the story. 

I thought the plot moved along well with good pacing. The side characters were great, even if the good looks of everyone in the book was sort of unbelievable. There wasn't a character I found obnoxious or wish hadn't been written in. I admit that I was guessing for a while who the killer was, and I did not figure it out before the end. The murderer was a little confusing, as I don't remember them being mentioned earlier in the book, and the reason for the murders was a little 'eh', but overall I really enjoyed the book. And I would read more in this series! The preview for the next book that was included was great as well. I recommend this as a good clean mystery. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Coldwater- Book Review

What a weird book!! I have to say I finished it because I promised to review it, and there was no explicit content. Otherwise, not my cup of tea. When I read fiction under the Christian heading, I really like there to be some sort of redemptive element to the story. Not necessarily that everyone finds God and lives happily ever after, but that there is some mention of God somewhere in the book, even if it is implied.

From this dark story, all we get are the movements of the forces of evil. And perhaps that was the author's intent- to show us a circumstance where evil can take root in a person's life and not let go. However, for me, it didn't make for good reading. It was too weird, the small town country people a little too supportive of Haywood, even against their better judgment, without good cause to be so. And the people who chose good had no outside force encouraging them to do so, unlike those who chose to do evil.

The writing style was enjoyable. I did like the way the story unfolded, though it was confusing at first. I felt bad for Michael, the main character. His story was sad, but really unfinished. Why did he feel compelled to act the way he did as a child? Why did jealousy consume him, and how did his parents not see it? Why was the sister so consumed with revenge? Was this family just targeted by evil, or what?

The biggest problem I had with this book is that it made it seem like if you have done something evil, you can never get rid of that fact. You can never have redemption. The evil within those who have killed would never let go until you died. And spiritually, that is just not true. Thank God for His forgiveness and ultimate redemption of us! Seeing Michael's journey to redemption would have been a much better story, especially in this genre.

I don't think I would read another book from this author, and I definitely wouldn't read another book in this series. There are plenty of books by worldly authors if I want thrills without any kind of religious element.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Book Review: The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

I enjoyed this book a lot. I had never heard of how libraries got their start, and found the history of that very interesting. I have not read any previous books in the series, but didn't feel confused by any of the story lines because of it. The main character was likable, as were the supporting characters. The flow of the book was a little slow, and it took me quite a while to get through it.

I can't put my finger on what exactly it was that seemed to weigh the storylines down, but perhaps the main character's internal dialogue? Or perhaps there was too much jumping back and forth between story lines? And so much drama in this book! At times I did find myself rolling my eyes at the antics of some of the characters and situations, and becoming frustrated with other things. The more rich men that were introduced, the more difficult it was to keep them straight.

The ending was not quite a Hallmark ending, which I appreciated. It did set up for future books in the series, instead of concluding each story line. I'm not sure whether I like that or not. However, I do love this author and will happily read more books by her, and would continue with this series as well.

I received an advance copy of the book for review purposes through Netgalley.

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