Ebook Specials from Bethany House | Baker Publishing Group

Bethany House has some great titles available for FREE this month.  And for today only, (07-24-14) you can get Elizabeth Ludwigs Tide and Tempest.  I have enjoyed her other books and I am looking forward to this one!

You have to go to a major retailer, like Amazon, put in the author’s name it the search menu or the book title, and it should be FREE.  You cannot get the books directly from the site.

So, a little work…but a FREE BOOK is a FREE BOOK!

Happy reading!

Ebook Specials from Bethany House | Baker Publishing Group.


Book Review: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade


Note: I don’t own this cover art and am using it for reference purposes only

I was sent this novel by Bethany House Publishers to review…and honestly, I was a little skeptical.  I read another Becky Wade novel (read my review here) and while I liked her plot line and characters, the almost co-dependent nature of the two characters had me a little on edge.

I was pleasantly surprised when I really took to the two main characters of her newest novel, Undeniably Yours.

Meg Cole is a rich girl who doesn’t want the trappings of wealth confining her.  She has been burned in the past because of her wealth and has a few confidence issues.  Her father unexpectedly passes away and she is obligated to run his mega-rich Oil Company and holdings.  Meg is sweet and not extremely business savvy but she is trying to tread water and make her dad proud.  First things first, get rid of all the holdings that were pet projects of her father’s.  The Ax-man…er woman cometh!

Bo Porter is the manager of Whispering Creek Ranch.  It’s a horse ranch that Meg’s dad started to breed Thoroughbreds and race them.  His whole livelihood is wrapped up in the ranch.  He brokers a deal with Meg to get the Ranch self-sufficient within 6 months so she won’t close it down.  A lot of people are depending on him, including his brother Jake.  Both Bo and Jake were in the Marines and both did tours overseas, but Jake is wounded both physically and mentally with the scars to prove it.  What will happen to the ranch workers and his brother if the ranch is closed down?  It’s a heavy weight to bear.

Sparks fly in a good way between Meg and Bo.  She has some mental issues (don’t we all?) namely a severe case of anxiety.  Bo is strong and calm…just what Meg needs.  But they both realize that they cannot have a relationship because there is so much riding on what is going on around them.  Can they make it work?  Will love find a way?  Will past events affect their future?  Well…you will have to read to find out.

I liked the quiet strength of both these characters.  I liked that when things get tough, they don’t rail at God but lean into him as we are commanded to do.  The cast of supporting characters is great and overall, I thought this was a very well written novel.  Character development was fantastic.  Plot line was great.  Everything was excellent.

I am hoping that Becky Wade decides to do follow-up novels of the Porter siblings of Jake, Dru and Ty.  They made such an impact on me as a reader, I would hope that as an author, she would follow-up with them.  Jake…the war veteran who has demons to be cleansed and faith to find.  Dru…the spit fire who is trying to grow up too fast and forgetting where she came from.  And Ty…the pro circuit bull rider…I mean, c’mon you know there’s a story in there!

Ahh, gentle reader, this was a great little get away for me!  Happy Reading!

Book Review: A Place to Belong by Lorraine Snelling

I was really excited to read this book when I received it from Bethany House Publishers to review.  I mean, I loved the second book in this series (Wild West Wind) about Cassie Lockwood and her merry band of misfits.  There was romance and adventure in the air…who could resist that?

The conclusion of this series, A Place to Belong, really left me wanting more…and not in a good way.

I couldn’t really get into this book.  It was slow and plodding, and at times tedious.  I understand that Cassie had to recover a lot after she was shot but…Oh.My.Word…could this book be any more boring?  A lot of it has to do with Cassie, Lucas and just everyday life.  And while normally, I would love to read about everyday life…I kind of live everyday life…so when I read, I want a little bit of escapism…not more drudgery.  And if my kids are reading this…I don’t mean you. 😉

So, my other issue with this book is the relationship or lack there of between the male protagonist, Ransom Engstrom and Cassie.  We are just supposed to believe that after all the NOT talking she and Ransom are going to declare their love for one another?  Um…yeah, right.  Seriously, I don’t think they have any meaningful conversation until the very end.  I mean, maybe things happened like that in the old days.  Maybe…but I don’t think so.

What I enjoyed about this book was the descriptions of life in South Dakota for the time period.  It’s a hard land…heck, I live in Minnesota and the winters are brutal, so I can totally commiserate.  Especially when they had snowfall in May.  Yup.  Been there, done that.

All in all, the writing is exceptional.  The story itself though…leaves much to be desired.


Book Review: The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen



I was not sure what to expect when I selected The Tutor’s Daughter from my monthly list of books that I am able to review from Bethany House.  I have never read any Julie Klassen books before and I am sometimes leery of reading an author I know nothing about.  The description of the book was engaging and held my interest versus any of the other books.  I am also very choosey when it comes to period pieces since I am a traditional historical romance novel nut…and this foray into Christian Historical romance can sometimes be interesting.  That is not to say that I do not enjoy the writing, because I do…but definitely not what I am used to.  And I mean that in a very good way, gentle reader.  Don’t get me wrong, I can say I am happy with my choice.

The Tutor’s Daughter is a story about Emma Smallwood and her father.  They run a small, but slightly prestigious boys academy in the Devonshire, England.  Emma’s mother passes away and her father seems to lose interest in life and his surroundings, leaving an unfair burden on Emma.  Emma shoulders the responsibility but there is a longing in her that the reader can feel long before she even expresses the words herself.  Emma is a very dutiful daughter and since this is a period piece, it is nice that the author stuck with what would typically happen in this time frame.

The last student is leaving their establishment and Emma’s father has no inclination to get any more students.  Emma is left trying to figure out what they are going to do.  She makes a rash decision and decides to write to a former patron of the school to see if his other son’s would like to come.  She receives a letter back and it seems to be the answer to her and her father’s prayers…or is it?

Emma has a past with the older two sons of the their former patron.  The eldest son,  Henry, is a thorn in her side while he is at their school.  The reader is taken to the past as Emma recalls the incidents between her and Henry.  He is rude, sarcastic and sullen.  He plays tricks on Emma and steals her things.  He does not seem like a very likable person.  On the other hand, the younger son, Phillip seems to be everything that Henry is not.  Likable, amiable and nice.  How will Emma fit into their lives, now seven years later?

Emma and her father embark on a short journey but enter into a household in upheaval.  They are not wanted by the Mistress of the house and the Master seems to be floating through life without knowing what is going on under his own roof.

The story in engaging and leaves the reader wanting more.  There is plenty of suspense, love, heartache and redemption.  There is a sweet story of finding God in unexpected places and you start to root for Henry and Emma.  But which brother will she end up choosing, if she chooses one at all?

You will have to read The Tutor’s Daughter to find out.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I was very happy to have received it from Bethany House for review.  I look forward to reading more of Julie Klassen’s works in the future.

Review: Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

 I was not sure what to expect when I received my copy of “Against the Tide” by Elizabeth Camden since I have never read any of her work before. The little bit I was given from Bethany House seemed interesting, but I was a bit concerned that it might not be something I would be able to sink my teeth into.  Usually…if a story’s back cover cannot capture my attention then I am sort of leery of the book…but I was am happy to say…bad pun coming…you cannot judge a book by it’s cover…er…back cover.

“Against the Tide” is the story of Lydia Pallas and Alexander Banebridge. Lydia is an orphan who grows up in Boston. She works at the Naval Ship Yard as a translator thanks to her early years living in different countries with her family. Lydia is tragically torn from her family when their boat does not return to harbor in Boston. Alexander Banebridge is an enigmatic man who visits Lydia’s boss on an infrequent basis. He is handsome in a classical sense, but he is remote. He never fails to mess with Lydia’s items on her desk whenever he comes to visit. Lydia and Bane (his nickname) strike up a partnership of sorts when he needs a translator.

The reader is taken on a wonderful ride through their unconventional courtship and as a watcher of this courtship dance, the reader is definitely rooting for Lydia to have love. Not just love, but also stability and a family. Someone to call her own. We find out that Bane also wants those things but for his own reasons, denies himself and her.

I like how Camden does not make the two characters overly sweet. It would not be with the keeping of their characters. They are both fiercely independent and have a good sense of self worth. Their love story is really a side note to the rest of the story which involves political intrigue, drug abuse, reformation and kidnapping. Faith does play a big part of this story but it is more subdued than other stories I have read.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story, the characters and the plot. If you are interested in a fantastic read for a winter night (heck, any night) then this book is for you.  It’s a fascinating blend of history, great story and a wonderful (redemptive) romance.

Review: Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson delivers another great story in “Taming the Wind” the third book in the Land of the Lone Star Series.

We meet up with Carrisa Lowe, sister to Laura Reid. Laura married Brandon from the second book in the series, “Touching the Sky”. Carrisa is a widow with a little girl named Gloria. She comes out to be with her sister Laura to stay with her on her ranch while her parents are on a European Tour. Carissa has grown up a lot since the second book in the series. She is more thoughtful, more introspective and filled with more faith than before. She is also less spoiled than she originally was.

Carissa meets up again with Tyler Atherton, the man who saves her from death. Tyler has never forgotten Carissa since he saved her life. He has wondered about her and when he sees her again, he knows he is smitten. Carrisa’s daughter Gloria latches on right away to Tyler, whom she calls “Tyer” and wants him to be her daddy. Carissa cannot trust herself when it comes to men since her previous choice was a bad one.

Tyler has his own demons that he is facing with the horrific death of his father at the hands of Indians, the loss of his ranch due to his Confederate ties and his undying hatred to all Indians. Will his love for Carissa overcome that hate or will it doom both of them before they can ever have a start.

Tyler, Brandon and William (from the first book in the series) decide to take their cattle and horses to Kansas on a cattle drive. This will take them away from the women they love, but the pay off could potentially be big. Their women all come together at William’s and Hannah’s ranch and learn to live and work together. Carissa comes more into her faith because of the move but can she trust God that Tyler is the one for her?

An unexpected complication back home, the threat of Indian attacks and an old foe add to the mix to make this book a very satisfying read. Each of the books in this series can stand on it’s own, and I have to say that my favorite from the series was the second book, Laura and Brandon’s story. I enjoyed catching up with William and Hannah and how their lives have progressed from the first book. I liked how Tracie Peterson brought all the characters back and tied it all together. All in all, this was a very satisfying read for me.

Review: Whispers in the Wind

I received Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling as part of my review gig for Bethany House Publishers.

I have never read any of Ms. Snelling’s works before and I was presently surprised.  Even though I have not read the first in this series, Wild West Wind, this second installment stands on its own.

Whispers in the Wind is the continuation of Cassie Lockwood’s story.  She grew up in a traveling Wild West Show and was one of the main attractions.  She is a trick rider, crack shot and owner of several buffalo that she’s raised since they were babes.  Along with Cassie are three Native Americans, Chief, Micah and Runs Like a Deer.  (I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the first book so I can read how they came upon her and what her story is!)

Cassie discovers that her father (deceased) owns half of a ranch in South Dakota.  This is where we find her at the beginning of this book.  There is another family already living on the ranch, the Engstrom’s.  The Engstrom’s consist of Mavis, the matriarch, and her children Ransom, Lucas, Jesse and Gretchen.

Ransom is the brooding hero.  You know, the still waters run deep sort of man.  He’s interested in keeping his ranch in his family…plus there’s a vein of gold running through the ranch that his father and Cassie’s panned out and almost died for.  Ransom is angry at his mother for not telling him that half the ranch belonged to someone else.  He’s also a man of deep faith and he’s trying to listen to his mother that God know’s best.

Lucas is the free spirit.  He falls in love every other day, but he is instantly smitten with Cassie.  This creates tension not just for the brother’s but also for some of the townsfolk since Lucas was stepping out with another girl from a prominent family.

Jesse is the unknown at this point for me.  He’s off at medical school and while he may have been a part of the former book…all I know of him is that he usually has his head in medical books.

Gretchen is a sweet girl who is a bit high-spirited but she has a very good heart and is the apple of her families eye.

Cassie is trying valiantly to get her “family” settled before winter comes.  They are logging, taking care of their neighbors, hunting and trying to survive off the land.  I love that sort of thing!  And, f you live in the Upper Midwest you can totally relate to getting everything ready for winter.  Winters, even with our modern conveniences, are tough!  She hardly has any money…and has the weight of the world on her shoulders.  The Engstrom’s are supportive and kind, helping her out and creating a home life for her that she never had with the Wild West Show.  But, not everyone in their community is so welcoming of Cassie and her “family”.  There is trouble brewing and it comes to a head at the end of the book.

Cassie is both sweet, gentle and strong.  She wants a deeper relationship with God, but with a few mishaps, that faith has been shaken.  It’s nice to see her question her status and relationship with Him.  It’s also nice to see that Cassie is not swayed by Lucas’ pursuit of her…in fact she is a bit oblivious to the whole thing until later on in the book.

Personally, I enjoyed this book.  The writing was excellent and well put together.  The character development, even though this is a second in a trilogy, is very defined and I did not have to question why this person does what they do.  It gets explained in a reasonable amount of time.  I appreciate that.  I simply cannot wait for the third segment so I can know how the story ends.  I hope Cassie and Ransom end up together!  🙂