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“Your Heart’s Desire” by Sheri Rose Shepherd

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ImageWhat caught my eye with this book was the cover. A good cover will definitely get my attention. Your Heart’s Desire is written to several different groups of women. “For the married woman who desires more for her marriage. For the single woman who desires a godly man to love her. For the divorced woman who desires and deserves a second chance to find love again.” Sheri spends fourteen chapters talking about some of the desires women have concerning love:

1. Desiring a “happily ever after”
2. Desiring a godly man to marry
3. Desiring to leave a legacy for my loved ones
4. Desiring God’s design that me and my man become one
5. Desiring God to give me the power to remain pure
6. Desiring to give and receive love
7. Desiring to embrace my new life in Christ
8. Desiring to become a woman my man can lead
9. Desiring my son to grow to become a man of faith
10. Desiring a miracle to build a new foundation of love
11. Desiring expressions of love and romance in my marriage
12. Desiring to believe God can change a man and save a marriage
13. Desiring to glorify God by showing honor and respect
14. Desiring to surrender my whole heart to my Lord

Sheri also shares from her own marriage – the good and the bad. She does this in the hopes of letting God speak through her and help others. I read Sheri’s book, His Princess: Love Letters From Your King a few years ago and was excited to find similar “love letters” at the end of each chapter in Your Heart’s Desire. The only thing I would have liked was a little more attention given to single women, since that’s the group I’m currently in. Overall, a book any woman can find something to apply in her life. 

I received a copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network for my honest review.

All of you.

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You can win a copy of The Books They Gave Me, an unique compilation of the impact of hundreds of books over hundreds of lives. I’m excited to say I got to contribute an entry to this book, and I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s adventures in reading as well! Check out this link here for you chance to win an advanced copy of The Books They Gave Me!

“Matched” by Ally Condie

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“Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow” (Amazon).

This is a good book 🙂 This is a YA book unlike any other I’ve read. The idea of a society controlling everything down to the food portions, customizing them to meet the nutritional needs of each person blows my mind. She does a fabulous job with the details, painting a very vivid picture of the world in which Cassia lives. And unlike most YA books where I find myself pulling for one of the two guys, I like both Xander and Ky. They’re very different from each other but both have likable qualities. And Ally kept me guessing the whole way through. Towards the end of the book there’s a scene that caught me completely off guard – a twist making me dislike the Society very much – and when I finished, I already had Crossed on hand so I could continue Cassia’s journey. This is a book with a theme that makes you think…

You can find out more on the Matched trilogy and learn about the final book, Reached, coming out this November.

“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

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I’m a little late in reading this series but have finally boarded the band wagon. I saw the movie The Hunger Games and I think it helped me with the book. However, I wasn’t crazy about this first installment. I’ve just finished the second book and am soooo curious as to how she ties this all together in the third one – it’s waiting on me to pick it up and read it. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is about the first book I didn’t like but I just wasn’t able to feel a part of the story. I continued to read but it wasn’t in a “I have to know what happens next!” kind of way that I had from the moment I started Catching Fire. I think it was around the last five chapters or so that Collins had finally made me get excited about what was looming ahead.

Comparing this with Divergent – as I’ve heard it done – I liked it much better. Veronica Roth jerked me into the story and I’m super excited about getting my hands on Insurgent! Neither of the female leads appeals to me all that much. I like Tris more than Katniss but they remind me a lot of the other. There were some definite differences between The Hunger Games movie and book but that’s to be expected. Out of the two, I liked the book more because there was only so much the movie could portray. The book gives you more background on Rue and other parts of Katniss and Peeta’s story. I didn’t dislike the book but at the same time, I liked Catching Fire immensely and I’m very curious how it all ends!

“Constantine Codex” by Paul L. Maier

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Image“A few pieces of centuries-old parchment tucked inside a tattered book lead famed archaeologist Jonathan Weber and his wife Shannon to what could possibly be the greatest find in church history – a discarded biblical manuscript whose ancient pages reveal a secret that will change the way the world views Scripture. 

Is it one of fifty copies commissioned by Constantine the Great and lost for centuries? Or the most sophisticated forgery of all time?

When the manuscript is stolen, Jon is swept into a deadly race to find it and prove its authenticity before it’s lost forever. Everything hangs in the balance – his career, his reputation, even his life – but he’s willing to risk it all in one final daring attempt to determine the truth.”

I felt lost with this book. I made it halfway and had to put it down to review some others and wasn’t hooked enough at that point to want to see what happened next. I felt like Maier gave me too much information and I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. I just felt like I was having to work really hard to get through it and that wasn’t a good enough reason for me to finish it. Part of the reviewing process is that you might not like every single book you review and that was unfortunately the case with this one. If you’re into history, I think you’d enjoy it but it just wasn’t for me. 

I received a copy of this book from Glass Road Public Relations for my honest review. 

“The Accidental Bride” by Denise Hunter

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Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in the same home she grew up in. Though she fights to keep her home, the bank is threatening to foreclose. She’s doesn’t know what to do – just that she needs a miracle.

Travis McCoy had his fun on the rodeo circuit but back and ready to settle down. Though he left Shay on their wedding day, he’s never forgotten her. He hopes to be able to prove to Shay he won’t leave her again. Can he get past her defenses? Can she trust him?

Denise Hunter is one of my favorite authors. I’ve also read her The Convenient Groom and enjoyed this one just as much! It was a easy read and I had no trouble getting pulled into the story. I found similarities between Kate (The Convenient Groom) and Shay. Both find themselves temporarily married to a man they don’t want to be married to. Despite Kate and Shay’s misgivings, I liked both Travis and Lucas (The Convenient Groom). Both only wanted to help the women they were married to and I thought them both sweet. This is part of Denise’s “Big Sky Romance” series. I’ve also read A Cowboy’s Touch and it was fun to revisit those characters as they appeared in this book. Great read!

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for my honest review.

You can buy the book from Amazon or learn more from her website.

“The Girl in the Gatehouse” by Julie Klassen

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“Banished from the only home she’s ever known, Mariah Aubrey hides herself away in an abandoned gatehouse on a distant relative’s estate. There she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how – by writing novels in secret.

When Captain Matthew Bryant leases the estate, he is intrigued by the beautiful girl in the gatehouse. But there are many things he doesn’t know about this beguiling outcast. Will he risk his plans – and his heart – for a woman shadowed by scandal?”

I had a bit of a hard time getting into this book but once I did, I enjoyed it! I felt like there were a lot of names at times, making it hard for me to remember who everyone was but it didn’t take away from the story. This was a longer book than most (391 pages) so it gave me the time I needed to get to know the characters and get into it before reaching that point only to have the story almost finished. I’ll admit, my two favorite phrases now are “dash it” and “thunder and turf.” Both struck me as funny and I laughed out loud each time a character said either. I thought Julie did a great job of fleshing out the characters – even those with minor roles. She weaved a few twists into the story, leaving me satisfied when I finally finished the book.

You can buy the book from Amazon and learn more from Julie’s website.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.