Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review - Back in the Saddle

I am a city girl, but I felt at home on the Stafford Ranch.  Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne introduces us to Cole Stafford, Sam Stafford and Angelina Morales.  Cole Stafford did not feel the ranch was his home so he left many years ago.  He became successful at a Wall Street investment firm instead of the cowboy he was raised to be.   Cole is the son of Sam Stafford who has made the Double S ranch successful. Their relationship is strained to say the least.  The last thing Cole wants to do is go back to the ranch when he has financial trouble.

When Cole returns, he discovers that his dad is different.   It takes time for Cole to understand that Sam Stafford has changed for the better.  Sam's housekeeper, Angelina, reminded him what is most important and that the Lord should be first.   Angelina is so much more than a housekeeper.  She is tough and sweet and is hiding from her past.  Cole and Angelina are attracted to each other, but their budding romance is challenged by their past and what the future might hold for the both of them.

Cole's return is like the story of The Prodigal Son as described on the back cover of this book.  Another story also came to mind while reading Back in the Saddle.   I was reminded of the Christmas Carol because Sam Stafford was like Ebenezer Scrooge.    He did not treat people right as he climbed the ladder of success.   After he started following God, he was trying to figure out how to make amends with his family and the community.   

I enjoyed this story, the characters, the romance and the ranch.  Yes, even the ranch seemed inviting to me.   The long days and the hard work does not sound that exciting, but it was real and wholesome.     The romance was sweet and learning how to trust in the Lord by everyone was honest.  A better definition of success was realized by Cole.  It is not measured by the amount of money you make, but by loving others and committing to their success.  I am definitely reading the second book about Cole's brother, Nick.

You can read more about the author, Ruth Logan Herne on her website.

Rating: 3 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books for a review.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review - A Refuge at Highland Hall

A Refuge in Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is a wonderful story set in Britain during World War I.  It is the third book in the Edwardian Brides series.   I suggest reading the first two books to understand the other characters better, but this book can be read on its own.

Penny Ramsey meets Alex Goodwin who is a friend of her brother-in-law, Jon just before he becomes active in the war.  You can read more about Jon and her sister, Kate in The Daughter of Highland Hall.    Through letters, Penny and Alex become friends and a source of comfort as the war continues on.    Penny gives him a place of refuge in her letters because he is not close to his mother.  Penny fills in the gap where family should have been.  Her letters are thoughtful and filled with scripture that helps Alex in his battles.

Alex is challenged physically and emotionally when the unexpected happens.  Penny is not put off by Alex's change in behavior.  She decides to fight her own battle to help him.

I enjoyed the setting of Highland Hall and the main characters, Alex and Penny.     There are other subplots going on that make this book even better.  A servant and a German prisoner...a wife and husband separated during a difficult pregnancy...a young wife's desire to have a child after multiple miscarriages...and managing house full of children at Highland from London.

All of these things created a story that I was happy to read.

Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Book Review - Chivalrous

What's better than a knight in shining armor?   A woman in shining armor!    Gwendolyn Barnes of North Britannia is a noble woman who prefers to be a knight and fight.  This story is set in England in the 12th century.    A noble woman's purpose at that time was to marry, but not for love.   If the family can gain status or fortune through a marriage then it was her job to follow her father's wishes.

Allen of Ellsworth grew up as a peasant, but he was ready to become a knight under the care of Lord Linden.  He heads to North Britannia to start a new life and fulfill his dreams.  North Britannia was a different type of place because it was known "for its adherence to the law and Christian charity". 

Allen said, " I was told that Duke Justus honored nobility of heart above nobility of birth."   Allen was not given a title by birthright, but his actions to serve God and others made him a noble knight.

This book is classified as teen fiction, but the audience for this book is not limited to teenagers.  Adults who like a clean read with romance and some action will enjoy this book.   I enjoy stories about noble knights fighting for honor and justice for all.  The fact that the Lady Gwendolyn has the skill to fight for herself and others makes this book that much better.

Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to read and offer an honest review.

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