Becky Wade pens contemporary Christian romance books that touch the hearts of her readers. I have loved every single one of her stories. I learn along with her characters to trust God more in a variety of areas of life … Continue reading
Maybe I should preface this with the fact that I LOVE everything Dani Pettrey writes! So, I can’t help but gush about her newest novel…Still Life, the second book in her new Chesapeake Valor series.
And, I must admit, I loved her Alaskan Courage series and characters so much, I was sad to see her moving on. But, if there was ever any question (not by me, of course) as to whether or not her writing would be just as wonderful in her next series, it has been laid to rest. The Chesapeake Valor series is full of captivating romance and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you haven’t read Cold Shot yet, go get it and pick up Still Life while you’re there!!
This series is set near Chesapeake Bay; Still Life, specifically in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m really enjoying learning more of this area since I’ve never been there and don’t remember reading much else set nearby.
Parker is a crime-scene analyst. He previously hired Avery as his crime-scene photographer and her life has never been the same. At the start of this book, they haven’t seen each other in six months. Out of necessity she calls on Parker…and that’s where this fabulous story begins. The relationship between Parker and Avery exhibits the true love of putting the best interest of someone else ahead of your own interests…even if it does prove to be a bit misguided. I loved the depth of Parker and Avery’s characters. I loved the spiritual threads of forgiveness and continual communication with God in this book.
The twists and turns in the story line of Still Life keeps you on your toes. Suspenseful movies often have me hiding in the hallway or at least standing at the back of the room. This book had me a little jumpy and I even had to put the book down at one point to prepare myself for what I thought was going to happen.
If you enjoy romantic suspense, this series is for you! These books can be read as stand-alones, but why would you want to? Haha…I’m a stickler for reading my books in order because I love the added layer of familiarity with the other characters and past experiences when you do. Either way…in order or not, be sure to pick up Cold Shot and Still Life! You won’t be disappointed!
Do you enjoy fairy tales? If so, Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenheim Fairy Tale Romance Series is definitely for you! I have been hearing and reading raving reviews about these books for a while now. I knew I wanted to read them, but with so many books out there from favorite authors to spend my reading budget on, buying these weren’t on the top of my list. Thank you Lord for Amazon’s timely and amazing sales. I received an amazing deal on her first five novels. Now, after reading the first one, The Healer’s Apprentice, all of Melanie Dickerson’s books have moved to my must-buy list.
The Healer’s Apprentice is, a creative re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, set in the medieval time-period. I was drawn into the story from the first page as the town people eagerly awaited a glimpse of the Duke’s sons returning home. We are introduced to many notable characters in these first few pages. Melanie Dickerson has created such wonderful characters, full of a variety of personalities, dreams and convictions. I was drawn into their individual stories and couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold.
I love the way fairy tale meets God’s Word in this story. We see it in the way the main characters strive, and struggle, to live lives full of integrity, based on God’s Word. My favorite part is how Melanie Dickerson uses scripture in a way that keeps the feeling and, for lack of a better word, ambiance of the known fairy tale, while using God’s Word to bring comfort, guidance and clarification to the problem at hand.
It is a beautiful story that I just wanted to live in. I’m looking forward to re-visiting this one in the future – after catching up on all of her books that I haven’t read yet. Next on my list is The Merchant’s Daughter – a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast! I would love to hear your thoughts.!
Keep Holding On is the third full-length novel in the Walker Family Series. I have adored every book in this series and this one is no exception. I love the Walkers…all of them. They are a family that you just want to belong to, to hang out with, to have the privilege of knowing. I know the characters in these books are fictional, honest, but they’ve become my friends nonetheless. I care about what happens to them and I learn Godly lessons right along with them. Therefore, it’s always a joy to join Melissa Tagg in Maple Valley to check in with our friends there.
As this story begins, both Beckett and Kit are returning to Maple Valley after years of absence. The hurt that each of them carries and has to face is great. Melissa’s characters do not shy away from hard things, so they have to learn throughout the story how to trust God in their own lives and in the lives of their loved ones.
Keep Holding On is full of emotion, from the highs of homecomings and weddings to the lows of disasters and heartbreak. This book is full of the complexity of relationships…the kind that build you up and the kind that tear you down. This book is full of healing and learning to trust God in all things. This book is full of love.
I love that Melissa is obedient to write the stories God gives her. They are beautiful and touching. I believe God uses them to them to touch the lives of those who read them. I know that mine was touched…by the pain and the beauty of life in a fallen world, being loved by a gracious and forgiving God.
If you haven’t read any of the Walker Series yet, you’re truly missing out. Since I always suggest starting from the beginning, download Three Little Words, the FREE prequel novella. It will give you a great taste of the Walkers in Maple Valley and their town and friends. If you have stopped by Maple Valley before, then let this be your announcement that Beckett and Kit’s book is now available and you want to get it right now.
To Have and to Hold
By Betsy St. Amant, Katie Ganshert and Becky Wade
To Have and to Hold was a joy to read. Three sweet stories of finding love while planning (or spying on) a wedding. The heroines were easy to identify with. The men were swoon worthy (even the “other” guys in each story). And I enjoyed the anticipation of how each author would bring about the happily-ever-after. Speaking of authors, I read this book because I absolutely LOVE everything Becky Wade writes! Besty St. Amant and Katie Ganshert were new to me though. I love finding new authors and I think novellas are a great way to “meet” them.
Betsy St. Amant’s story, Love Takes the Cake was first up. With a bakery and a friend’s wedding as a backdrop, how could you not be enchanted? Charlotte tugged at my heart with her sweet countenance and great love for her daughter. I love Will’s loyalty to his friend and how God uses a scary situation to help him realize the truth. This story was a pleasure to read. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.
Next up was The Perfect Arrangement by Katie Ganshert. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed, after reading the first paragraph, to realize this story was written in first person narrative. I generally struggle to engage in first person stories, so I tend to avoid them. This is a short story, written by a writer friend of Becky Wade AND it has a flower shop in a small town as the setting, I decided I NEEDED to read it. I am SO glad that I did. It was a delightful story that gripped me from the get-go. I was expecting to have to push my way through, but surprisingly found myself pulled along instead. I couldn’t read it fast enough. Amelia’s fun and quirky personality was so much fun to read and the email exchanges that launched the events of the story were perfect. I was pleasantly surprised to get to the end and realize through most of the story I’d forgotten that I was reading first person narrative AND I didn’t want it to end! Well done Katie Ganshert! I loved it!!
Finally, the last story in this collection, Love in the Details by Becky Wade. I knew I would love this story before I ever started reading it because, as I said above, I LOVE everything Becky Wade writes. Josh and Holly’s story grips you by the heart from the very opening lines. I love the way this story shows that God is in control always, in the good times and in the hard times. I love that this story is real-to-life, following God isn’t easy. He is there to walk with us through the difficult things, and we can have a peace that we are following His guidance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t still be heartbreaking and painful, even in years to come. I loved to see how this story was brought full circle. I loved Josh’s devoition and Holly’s generous spirit. Spring can’t get here soon enough for me! I’m ready to read the new Becky Wade novel now!!
To sum it up, this is a great collection to purchase. Whether you know and love all three authors or are going to be meeting them for the first time, you won’t be disappointed. The stories are beautifully written and leave you wanting more. Although I read this book via e-reader, it will definitely be one I’ll purchase in hard copy for my bookshelf!
Like Never Before – Walker Family Series by Melissa Tagg
Have you been to Maple Valley, Iowa?? It’s one of my favorite towns to visit. You too can visit this amazing town and get to know the wonderful people who live there by reading Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family Series.
Okay, okay…so it’s a fictional town and we can’t really go there for a visit. But I sure wish we could. I fell in love with this little town and its heartwarming and relatable characters in the prequel novella, Three Little Words (which you can get FREE on Amazon). My heart was touched by the first book in the series, From the Start. I loved the story and did not want to leave Maple Valley. Thankfully, Melissa seemed to know that we were going to miss Maple Valley and would have to wait for book two in the Walker Family Series, so she surprised us with a fabulous novella, One Enchanted Christmas to tie us over. Although not a Walker Family book, it was set in Maple Valley and it was such a joy to read.
I have liked Melissa’s author page on Facebook and I LOVE how she shares about her writing and her characters and what God is teaching her through them. Logan’s book, Like Never Before – the second in the Walker Family Series – has been highly anticipated both by her and by all of us who love the Walkers and Maple Valley! I was so excited to get my influencer copy in the mail. I wanted to devour it and yet, I didn’t. I really wanted to read it nonstop until I finished, but I also wanted to savor it. It almost sounds silly to me, but I wanted to be able to focus solely on the book, not having anything else around to distract me when I was reading. So, I forced myself to read it slowly and I’m so glad I did.
There was a lot of hype about Logan Walker before the book even came out. Melissa just couldn’t say enough good stuff about him…she practically fell in love with him (ask her…she’ll tell you). And I must say, after reading the book I can see why…Logan makes falling for him easy and from what I’ve seen in other reviews, she’s not the only one! Logan has some tough issues to deal with in this book. I love his heart, his true desire to do what is right, his devotion to his family and his romantic nature.
Amelia Bentley is a fun quirky character that we met in From the Start and she is the perfect match for Logan. I love her passion and determination. Her heart for seemingly unlovable people challenges me to love people where they are, knowing there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
This book allowed us to walk through a lot of hard memories and difficult decisions, determination and life altering situations, gentle reminders and soul-searching moments as Logan and Amelia face life together as their paths cross in Maple Valley.
We are also privileged to witness the great love between father and daughter, estranged sisters, caring siblings, father to grown son, two souls finding each other and most importantly God and His children. This book speaks to the importance of the relationships in our lives and reminds us not to take them for granted.
This book is one for the re-read shelf. It is heartwarming and challenging at the same time. And there’s a fun mystery woven in too!
Are you ready to visit Maple Valley and meet these wonderful people? Don’t delay. I’m certain they will make you feel right at home.
A Love Like Ours – READ IT!!
To be honest, I’ve been having a really difficult time putting into words how much I love this book. So, many aspects of it grabbed my heart or my attention and caused this book to really stick with me long after finishing it.
I knew I would love the book because it was written by Becky Wade. AND, it is a Porter Family novel. Having already read the first two books in this series, I’ve already fallen in love with the stories (and, who am I kidding, the characters) of Bo and Ty Porter. The family, the town, the setting…visiting the make-believe town of Holley, Texas is on my fictional bucket list!
Jake, the third Porter brother, is a Marine who has PTSD and carries an enormous load of guilt from his time overseas. He has been home for eight years and has yet to begin healing at all. He has become a brooding, broken man who no longer believes in God and does not believe he deserves any happiness in his life.
Lyndie Thomas’ life has not been easy either. Her family’s lives have revolved around caring for her younger sister Mollie who has lived since birth with cerebral palsy so bad that she cannot see or speak and daily seizures that have the potential to cause death. As this story begins, Lyndie and her family are moving back to Holley, Texas after having been gone for 20 years. Opposite of Jake, Lyndie is assured of God’s presence in her life because of the trials she and her family face on a daily basis. Lyndie brings happiness into the lives of all she comes in contact with.
Becky grapples with some really difficult, true-to-life struggles in A Love Like Ours. She does so in a compassionate and loving way, showing how real the hurt and pain is AND how capable and willing our Savior is to help us in and through them. Moments in this book range from truly heart wrenching to laugh-out-loud silliness, to such sweet tenderness that I was near tears. Becky captures the true essence of life with and without God in this book. It leaves you with the desire to know God more intimately and trust Him more implicitly. It causes you to want to make a difference in those around you no matter how capable you feel. Mollie made everyone’s lives better just by existing. A Love Like Ours reminds you that even in the darkest of times, there is hope.
There is no way in this review to touch on all of the aspects of this book that touched my heart. To do so, I would have to just re-tell the story. Where’s the fun in that? READ IT!! You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you Becky for sharing your heart with us in this story. Thank you also for your support of real-life heroes, like Jake. Becky was touched enough through her research of what our service members deal with that she donated a portion of the proceeds of A Love Like Ours (through May 17th, 2015) to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Foundation.
I can’t wait to read Dru’s story (the only Porter girl) next year!!
“Where there’s God, there’s hope,” she said. “And where there’s hope, there can be healing.” ~ Lyndie