historical fiction

Anne with an E – Review

I did not expect to watch this, much less absolutely need to review it and be thoroughly impressed.

Review here.

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Book Review: Dreaming on Daisies

The fourth book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series and the story swings back to a character touched on in the first book. Leah Carlson basically runs her family ranch while her father’s drinking spirals out of control. She desperately needs help and goes to the bank to ask for a loan, which is declined.

Steven Harding finds himself in a situation where he needs a place to stay. And he also would like to help Leah with her situation, so he presents an idea. Let him live in the ranch bunkhouse and he will help around the ranch. Everyone wins. While Leah is certain he won’t be cut out for the work, she is convicted to come let him try, and he is her friend’s brother after all.

I enjoyed that this book fleshed out a few of the sides characters from the previous stories and again presented a character who you would think would be the irredeemable one. But the greatest strength to this series is no one is irredeemable. This wasn’t my favorite book in the series, but I still enjoyed it. Both Leah and Steven learn how crucial forgiveness is, and how you can’t really move forward in your life until you no longer hold tight to that hurt.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Wishing on Buttercups

Beth Roberts has secrets. Secrets that have defined her life and the parameters she is living by. She couldn’t dream that someone could see past her forgotten past.

Jeffrey Tucker is an aspiring writer who is just getting his feet under him when he realizes the inspiration living alongside him in the boardinghouse he calls home. And when he tries to get to know her better, wonders what he is doing wrong to get her to keep putting her walls up.

In this second book in Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series, I figured out what I liked so much about this series. Each of our heroines aren’t just biding their time to be swept off their feet. They’re busy. They have businesses to run, careers to grow. And when they meet someone special? That person encourages them in their goals and builds them up. They don’t cast aside their personal goals and dreams just because they now have a significant other.

There is a secondary character in this book who completely out of the blue gets her happily ever after and I haven’t been that pleasantly surprised in a story in a while. I loved that little plot twist. I enjoyed this book and as of writing this have already started the last book.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review: Blowing on Dandelions

Katherine Galloway is a widow in the 1880s who had her hands full running a boarding house and raising two girls before her mother moved in. Her mother, Frances Cooper, is a controlling, domineering woman who has zero respect for how her youngest daughter runs her business, or her family. Enter Micah Jacobs, a widower himself, and his son who move into the boarding house after their home and business burn down and tensions are near a boiling point.

Reading this book was dipping back into adventures into genres I don’t normally read. Blowing on Dandelions  is a historical romance novel, and a fine one at that. But it wasn’t the romance between Katherine and Micah that grabbed me, it was how Miralee Ferrell doesn’t take the easy way out. It would have been so easy to have Frances as only a source of tension and not seen as a person. But instead we get to see things from her perspective. Each of us are the hero in our own story, and this bitter old gradmother is no different. She honestly, truly, believes she is doing no wrong to those around her and watching her reason how she responds to the world made me want to read just one more page.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be reading more in this series.

Note: I received this book as a reviewer. 

Book Review- No Greater Gift

NoGreaterGift

My reaction to finishing this book was similar to when you see an excellent live performance and you stand and quietly applause. You know you just saw an exceptional display of talent and were fortunate to have this experience.

Grace Ryan is recently divorced and returning to her hometown to go through her grandmother’s journals. As her beloved grandmother passes away, she begs Grace to find out the truth about a decades old secret. And with this, bestows upon her an inheritance which fractures her already tenuous family relationships. Grace is not left alone with digging into this mystery, she has boxes of journals and records– and a new friend in her grandmother’s neighbor, Erik Petersson.

Erik Petersson has just gone through a divorce, and is picking up the pieces of his life after having been accused (unjustly) of infidelity and having his ex-wife turn his kids against him. He works for Grace’s father and is a physicist who can decipher the more scientific of Grace’s grandfather’s papers.

If I were just to read the above description I just wrote? This is the last kind of book I would read. While I’ve been broadening my reading lately, straight up romance novels are still not my thing.

This is a romance novel that expands from modern times, back to the heart of WWII. It is also the best use I’ve seen of expressing your faith in a contemporary novel I have ever seen. Most of the time when I pick up a Contemporary Christian Fiction Novel, it feels like the author had a story, and then overlaid the message they wanted to preach on top of it. It feels forced, or weakens the story, or sometimes even manipulative. Teresa H Morgan does not do this, she masterly weaves her characters faith into the story, and in doing so, gives us a glimpse of both someone who has had faith most of their life and what they do when life is just unfair and people are cruel and someone who has just come to faith and the strength they have gathered from this new found faith. This would be enough for me to give this book a glowing review, but she goes a step farther to show how some people will use someone’s desire to do the right thing to manipulate. And how to stand strong through that and cutting through the ‘noise’ to rely on God, even when people try to manipulate His word.

My only criticism is I found Erik a bit hard to buy into at the beginning of the book. His interest in Grace is so quick, that I was left wondering what drew him to her. As you get to know both characters better the relationship make sense, and is well developed, it just happens more quickly than I would have expected.

This is an excellent novel and I look forward to further stories from this author.

Note: I received this book as an advance pre-reader copy.