Book Review: Belle by Sarah Price

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To most townsfolk, he’s known simply as The Beast. Annabelle Beiler has little interest in gossip, but she’s heard about Adam Herschberger’s scars and his gruff, solitary ways. Though he sounds like a character from one of Belle’s treasured books, the man is real and, it turns out, just as unreasonable as the rumors claim. When a buggy accident wipes out the last of her daed’s money, forcing him to sell their farm, Adam buys it. Then he offers Belle a deal—marry him, and her family can keep their home.

Everyone is shocked by Belle’s decision, but she’s determined to be a good fraa, cleaning Adam’s rundown house and tending the overgrown garden. Breaking through her new husband’s icy reserve will be another matter. Belle’s courage and strength are abundant, but it will take true faith to guide Adam back to the heart of his Amish community—and to the loving marriage they both deserve.

Belle : An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast, was such a unique twist. I love reading about the Amish lifestyle.

It took me a little bit to get into the story but I immediately loved the characters. Belle is such a sweet character, and I knew I was going to like Adam quickly. I think the romance aspect was done nicely, Belle and Adam’s relationship grows over time and through small acts of love and devotion.

Reasons I loved it :

  • Belle deals with her emotions well and helps Adam learn to work through his past.
  • Their couple moments were so cute and precious 🙂
  • The community isn’t perfect and depicts all real life situations and behaviors.

I enjoyed this retelling immensely and considering the amount of retellings I read I didn’t expect to be surprised by Belle ; I was however wrong. Belle turned out to be the perfect retelling.

The ending was perfect! Anyone who has to listen to me babble about books knows I love happy endings 🙂 I can’t wait to try the other books in this series written by Sarah Price.

 

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Book Review: Letters to a Romantic On Dating

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Whether or not you’re currently dating someone, if you’re a young person thinking about romance, you probably have a lot of questions. Who should you date? How do you turn down an unwanted date, navigate a first date, or break up with someone? Is kissing OK? Is marriage really for you?

The Bible is sufficient to help you to think through the concerns of singleness and dating, and it has crucial things to say about the thoughts, attitudes, actions, and situations that commonly arise in this exciting stage of life. In friendly, practical letters, Sean and Spencer (and sometimes their wives, Jenny and Taylor) explore God’s Word for answers on singleness, the start of a relationship, and tough dating situations, from breakups to broken boundaries. Their biblical insights will help you to make informed decisions on the road ahead.

 

Letters to a Romantic : On Dating by Sean Perron and Spencer Harmon was such a delightful read. This book is filled with godly advice for guys and girls ;though a few of the letters focus on one gender or the other, for practical reasons. One of my favorite chapters was why believers shouldn’t date unbelievers; I don’t think I’ve had it so clearly explained and the concept was fully backed by scripture.

Sean and Spencer took everything that makes dating scary and complex, and they simplified it down to the basics. They walk you through: how to Honor God with your relationships, turning down dates (in a kind manner), dealing with past sexual sin and knowing when to break up.

While a few chapters were irrelevant for my life situation, I know that everyone can gain something from this short insightful book. I took notes and wrote out all the discussion questions from the end of each chapter; I felt this really helped me soak up everything “Letters to a Romantic” had to offer.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat! Have you read any books lately that changed the way you viewed things?

Book Review: Intentional Christian By Daniel Ryan Day

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 Our Christian culture tends to emphasize specific life callings. God does call certain believers to specific short-term tasks or even lifelong careers. But too many of us are waiting for God to hand us a dream job or reveal some big plan for our lives. All we really need to know has already been revealed in Scripture by directives like “love God and love others” and “seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” Daniel Ryan Day defines the difference between “specific callings” and “common callings” so you can become an “intentional Christian,” finding fulfillment by serving God in all things.

I wish I had Intentional Christian years ago. It would have soothed my soul to read about Daniel’s struggle to find a career and a calling, and know that I was not alone. This book is full of the practical wisdom I needed. I loved the common callings, and the concept that you don’t have to be a missionary or pastor to have a “calling ” from God.

A quick read that left me breathing easier about Gods plan for my life. I felt I could start doing the will of God right where I am and I think that’s the point of the book.

Intentional Christian would make a great group read ,especially if you researched in your Bible as you went.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is : “And may we not be overly concerned with discovering a specific call or dream job, but instead with faithfully obeying the many common callings the Bible teaches.”

Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy!

Forever & Always,

Emily

 

 

Book Review: The Watchman By V.B. Tenery

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When Detective Noah Adams meets the abused son of a powerful judge, he knows he must intervene—and fast. The violence is escalating, and even Noah’s special gifts may not prevent the unthinkable from happening. Relentlessly pursuing two cases, Noah receives a chilling message: Cody’s deranged father has taken his son and it’s up to Noah to follow the judge’s twisted trail to find the boy before it’s too late. Corrupt city officials, a missing socialite, an attempted murder, and a rescue in the middle of a blizzard entangle Noah in the most complicated case of his career. A case that will mean his ultimate redemption or will take him back into the dark history that haunts him.
 This was such an enjoyable read! Let me list the reasons :
  • The adventure is set at a steady pace and continues till the very last page.
  • It handled the topic of abuse in a good way,( this topic can be very triggering , so I wouldn’t recommend the book to just anyone)
  • I did not see the plot twist coming, in hindsight I probably should have but I didn’t.
  • All the characters were well written , though my favorites were Noah and Jake.
  • Noah is a wonderful character. His backstory and special abilities are unique and interesting. I loved reading about a gentle man who really cared about the work he was doing . He couldn’t be bought or forced into doing the wrong thing, which was refreshing.
  • It has diversity. One character is mentally challenged, there is multiple ethnicities.
  • While being a Christian read, it doesn’t shy away from the question of why God allows pain.
  • It has humor in it, despite handling such a serious topic.

I have to share a couple of my favorite quotes from this book. I rarely laugh out loud at books, but The Watchman accomplished just that.

The day we met must have been my lucky day Adams. I can’t imagine what I did to God to deserve you.” Jake really loved me. He just liked to complain.”

You never cease to amaze me with your perceptive grasp of the obvious.”

I like what you’ve done with the place. Is boring your style of choice or is this an accident?”

The Watchman by V.B. Tenery was a refreshing and unique read , I enjoyed every page. Thank you to Netgalley for the review copy!

Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat! Have you read any books recently that handled a hard subject well? Do you like books with continually action? Do you like good, bad, or morally gray Main Characters?

 

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

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She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .

if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

 

Thank you Netgalley for the review copy of Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson.

I missed posting last week because I usually write my posts on Monday and then review and edit one last time Tuesday morning. So last week was a little crazy and I just didn’t get to it or feel up to rushing a post Tuesday. That being said I decided to post this on Monday to make up for it 🙂

I am a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson! So when I got approved for this book I was extremely excited.  I wish I could tell you I immediately fell in love with this book but that’s just not the case. I was a quarter of the way through before I really got interested and it finally held my attention. That being said , once the pace picked up I didn’t put it down till it was finished.

What I Loved:

  1. A+  Character Development. Magdalen and Steffan start the book both very entitled, and selfish. But as the book progresses the reader gets to see them both evolve into compassionate, sweet and humble characters. The struggle is shown though about how tough it is to change one’s self.
  2. Supporting characters had personality and depth. My favorite being Lenhart, who was the sweetest little thing ever. I love how Magdalen protected him.
  3. Spoiler free : The romance was cute, both character’s were so unsure of themselves and not willing to be hurt. It was so relatable. But once they admitted their love, the adorable couple-ness (shh that’s totally a word) made me smile.
  4. The characters had solid background stories that played deep in the plot. They were so different and it made the emotional baggage they carried contrast to each other.
  5. The plot was so well thought out and written perfectly! Though it started out slow it eventually picked up pace and then went along nice.
  6. It quotes Scripture! I love when books do this.

What annoyed me :

  1. Magdalen’s relationship with her mother, while it served the plot was quiet tedious to read about. I mean I’m not stupid, so after the second time of explaining why Magdalen would not want to go home because of how her mother treated her, I got it. No need to remind me ten more times.
  2. How slow the beginning was , and maybe this is just me I don’t know but it took awhile to get into for me.
  3. Magdalen’s oblivion to the fact there was a trader amongst her friends. Like even I saw it coming a mile away.

Over all this book was cute and I loved the characters , you know once they got over the whole entitled brat thing. Easily a four star.

Forever & Always,

Emily

Have you read any Melanie Dickerson books? What’s your favorite? Do you give books a chance to redeem themselves if they start a little slow ? Let’s chat, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

The lucky few by Heather Avis

I got to read and review this thanks to Netgalley . 

 This book is about the beautiful adoption journey that Heather and her husband Josh go through. They adopted three children, two with Down syndrome. 

 Agh where to start with this book! I think one of the main reasons I loved it was how truthful Heather is about it all. She’s not trying to lie and say their decision to adopt beautiful babies with Down syndrome was easy or that she was eager to . This book is raw and brutally honest, you cannot read this book and walk away unchanged. 

 Heather challenges the worlds view of a normal family and she does it with the grace of God. I love every detail of how far this family came. 

We start the book finding out that Heather is unable to bear children ( she walks through the emotions that accompany such news), then we get to see the couple  say yes to God and adopt their first child with Down syndrome Macyn Hope. 

 Next comes their spirited daughter Truly Star ( I love these names by the way). Truly tests Heather in a different way than Macyn had, and Heather grows not only as a mom but as a person because of it. 

Just when Heather thinks her plate is full and their family complete, she gets the call for another baby with Down syndrome . With another yes to God their family grows with the addition of August Ryker. 

This book will leave you feeling empowered  to view “different ” families as normal in their own way and amazing.

When I was younger I wanted 7 children . Then I was around kids and still being a kid myself (technically a teenager) that dream kinda faded. Last year I worked at a daycare with a lot of foster children and lower income families. I soon realized that while I may want 7 children I didn’t have to give birth to all of them. Seeing so many children in need of a loving home, made me want to give them that. While I don’t know what my future holds, I do know that adoption will be an option for me and my future husband. After reading The lucky few, I would consider it a privilege to not only adopt but to be open to saying yes to whatever God has planned.


Forever & Always,

Emily

Let’s chat – would you be open to adoption? How about foster care? How many children do you want/ have?