A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

I absolutely loved this book! I hadn’t read the others in the series and although being familiar with the characters would have been nice, it definitely wasn’t necessary.

This book pulled at my heartstrings in more ways than one. The main story line follows a young woman who is a musician living in a time when women weren’t professional musicians. Rebekah overcame adversity with strength and tenacity. I admired her.

The other female roles in this book were also admirable women. Although the book was set in the 1800s after the Civil War, a lot of the issues faced by the characters are pertinent today, and I couldn’t help but feel for many of the characters on a deep level. This book was full of surprises and had me feeling all the emotions I love to feel when reading an excellent story. My only complaint is that this is the last in the series!

Please note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author and Bethany House Publishers, but I was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould

I enjoyed this book so much! I love how this series (it’s the third book but the second one I’ve read) mixes Englisch life with the Amish. The book definitely had some surprises and I always enjoy when Amish novels visit issues that I assume come up in their lives, not just a regular, worldly life like the one I live. I love the descriptions and characters in the story.

Please note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the author and Bethany House Publishers, but I was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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For the Record by Regina Jennings

I enjoyed the last half of this book more than the first half. I enjoyed the interaction between a lot of the characters and can’t really determine what made me not love the book. I enjoyed that it had a lot of twists and turns, I guess I thought it was going to be more romantic rather than the mystery aspect that was at the forefront. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; I think it’s just that I was expecting something different, so I was a little let down. I thought, given the title and synopsis, it would revolve more around Betsy and her writing. Again, not a bad thing. I enjoyed the book for the most part and would read others in the series or books by the author in the future.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers and the author, but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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The Cottage by Michael Phillips

Although I never read the first book in this series and it may have been helpful to acquaint myself with the characters, I never felt like I was lost reading this second installment of the Secrets of the Shetlands series.

This novel follows Loni, a young American woman who inherits Whales Reef, a fishing village in Scotland. Throughout the book, we watch as Loni meets the cast of characters in the small village; all the residents of the village have different reactions to the new “laird” and Loni fights the internal battle whether she wants to stay in Whales Reef or give it to the next person in line for the inheritance, and whether she was truly meant to be with Hugh, her boyfriend back in America.

I enjoyed this book because I felt like it was authentic. It took me a little while to understand the rough language of the fishermen and others in the village, I guess you’d call it the Scottish brogue, but it was so broken it was hard to comprehend at first. Before too long however, I started reading those parts of the story just like the rest of the book.

This was a book that shows the things we fight with internally. Of course not all of us inherit an island village, but everyone knows what it’s like to have internal conflict when it comes to making decisions, big and small. The book had portions of a spiritual journey, romance, mystery, and the longing to feel accepted. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would like to read the first book in the series and the others that will release in the future.

Please note: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishing. All views and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way to provide a positive review.

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The Wish by Beverly Lewis

I enjoyed this book because it brought to life the age old quote “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” In this case, main character Leona Speicher realizes the truth in that statement. As a young girl, Leona wishes she had a sister and family like her neighbor and best friend Gloria’s family. Soon, we learn Gloria’s family has several skeletons in their closet that Leona knows nothing about.

I like how this book joined the Englisch and Amish worlds as Gloria fought to find herself. The internal struggle of whether we can truly live without modern conveniences was real to me as I’ve personally thought about adopting an Anabaptist lifestyle in the past. I love how both young women in this story found themselves in their journeys separately and together. Another star for Beverly Lewis in my book!

Please note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

I absolutely loved this book! I work with the elderly and minored in Gerontology in college, so maybe the fact that one of the main characters is an elderly woman is why I enjoyed this story so much. This book spanned generations, flashing back to Perla’s past to eventually reveal her secrets. Perla Phillips reminds me of some of my clients at the adult day center where I work. Some of them have trouble communicating. They may have secrets and stories, just like Perla did, but health conditions make it hard or impossible to share thoughts and ideas. I love how Ella blossomed throughout the novel, finally finding someone worthy of her love. I like the subplots that transpired such as whether or not to sell the church. It was a great story and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

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An Elegant Facade by Kristy Ann Hunter

Reading the synopsis on the back of this book, we already know Georgina has a secret. It’s not until at least halfway through the book that we learn what her secret is, and that would be okay if the first half of the book was full of other interesting events. However, not much happened before the secret was revealed except the predictable events of the “coming out to Society” process. I tried to enjoy this book, but the characters didn’t develop much over the course of the book except for the reveal of Georgina’s secret. I did enjoy Colin because he made some mature choices throughout the story. The secondary characters like Lavinia and Jane were enjoyable because they were just normal people. If three and a half stars was an option, I’d give 3.5. It’s not really as bad as a three, but not as good as a four.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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