Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch)

Home on the Range: A Novel (Double S Ranch), by Ruth Logan Herne, book review

Nick has been working on his family’s ranch his whole life. It is hard work, but he is proud to be there. After his wife left him, he poured his heart into 2 things: his daughters and the ranch.

Elsa has come to Central Washington to heal. As a therapist for children, she thrived on helping the little ones deal with difficult issues. Until one child was killed by her mentally ill father. Elsa took it so personally that she had to leave her job, town, and wanted nothing to do with children again.

This story is how both Nick and Elsa learn to trust again- both themselves and each other. It is a believable story set on a ranch in Central Washington. This book is the 2nd in the series, but gives enough background to stand alone.

I enjoyed the book and found the story sweet. I was happy when the “good guy” won in the end.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Missing Matissee” book review

“The Missing Matissee” by Pierre Matissee, book review

Pierre Matissee is a famous artist and he comes from a line of famous European artists. During WWII his world was turned up-side-down by the events in France and Spain. In an effort to keep him safe, his family changed his last name when registering him in school. But he did not understand the change and thought he was being disowned and was no longer worthy to be a Matissee.

This book is a chapter by chapter recount of his life before, during and after the war. There is a lot of description of the world events and how his family was impacted. He shared feely about how he was treated and his place in the family. His views were shaped by his age and his culture.

This is a well told story and would be especially interesting to an art enthusiast. It would make a nice gift to accompany a print by the artist.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Royal Christmas Wedding” by Rachel Hauch, book review

“A Royal Christmas Wedding” by Rachel Hauch, book review

Gone are the days of castles and knights in shining armor, but this light and cheery holiday book shows that there are still princes who are searching for their princess’.

Avery fell in love with a prince after her sister married the King. But when he did not show up for her high school prom, she was crushed and she finally got over him. But when her sister invites her and her mother for Christmas, following the death of her dad, all those feelings come up again. Can she dare to have her heart broken a second time?

Collin is a prince, but he just wants to be a regular guy. He works hard in the family business and tries to follow his father’s instructions. Several years ago he broke off his relationship with Avery because his father wanted it to end. Now he is older and wiser, and still in love with Avery. When she shows up for the Christmas holiday, he knows he has been given another chance to win her heart.

This is a light hearted and easy to read book. I enjoyed in while on vacation. It would be a perfect book to read in front of the fire during the Christmas holidays.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Newton and Polly, book review

“Newton and Polly” by Holly Hudlund, book review

Most of the world is familiar with the sweet hymn, Amazing Grace. But few know the whole story behind the precious words. This novel focuses more on Polly’s contribution while also describing John Newton’s life as well.

Newton grew up a ship’s captain’s son and early on was signed onto a ship to learn the sea trade. He became a typical sea man who gambled, drank and swore with the rest of his shipmates. He was an able shipmate and quickly rose through the ranks, despite his often disrespectful behavior.

Polly grew up in the dock town. He father was an inspector and known for always being honest, in a trade that most felt was quite corrupt. Because of this, he did not accept bribes which his co-workers did, and Polly sometimes felt the financial strain at home because of his low wages. But her family was a strong Christian one and there was love in abundance for all.

This is where Polly and Newton had their greatest conflict- knowing and loving God. Newton had no use for such a thing. Polly felt it was the most important thing in her life.

It was almost love a first sight for them both, but the days and weeks that followed were filled with many conflicts, followed by months and months of uncertainty.

I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and enjoyable to follow the story and learn more behind the words of the song.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“One of the Few” by Jason B. Ladd, book review

“One of the Few” by Jason B. Ladd, book review. A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview.

Jason Ladd has an incredible life story. First as a military kid shuffled around the world following his father’s postings. Then following ROTC scholarship commitments, he became a Marine. This book is the story of his life and how it has shaped his worldview.

The short, easy to read chapters tell a compelling story of a small portion of his life, but with the application of huge importance in his spiritual development and refinement. The book is divided into three sections: The Worst Day, Be Not Deceived, and Always Be Ready. Much of the content is related to being a Marine and the Marine way of life. While only a “few good men” become Marines, we can all learn from the principles and ideals the Marines follow. Ladd also shares forward thinking content in many of the chapters, encouraging readers with children to have an active and thoughtful influence in their lives, especially regarding spiritual issues

I enjoyed the book and learned a lot about the Marines. I was challenged to consider my worldview and how I influence those around me. I would recommend this for especially fathers as it has a lot of “male” examples and challenges. Overall, this is a very readable book and would make an interesting study guide for a young men’s small group.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey through Pearl Harbor and the World of War, by Jim Downing, book review

The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey through Pearl Harbor and the World of War
by Jim Downing, book review

World War II is just something to read about in history books for many of us, but Jim Downing was there! He was in the Navy assigned to a ship that was attacked while at Pearl Harbor.

Through out this book, Jim shares his life story and how he became a Christian while in the US Navy during World War II. He shares many first hand experiences of war and its affects on him and other around him. He also shares how Navigators began, during the War and how the War enabled its members to share the gospel with service men and women around the world.

This book shares many details about battles fought during the war, but was well written and tasteful. He was able to convey the devastation without so many gory details that I was sickened. And at the same time he shared the hope that the Navigators brought to soldiers and sailors. This is a great book for WWII fans as well as those interested in Navigators and the beginning of that ministry.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House in exchange for my honest opinion of the book.

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“Love Bears all Things” by Beth Wiseman, book review

“Love Bears all Things” by Beth Wiseman, book review

Charlotte is having a bad day. Make that a bad week, or maybe month. She has received an eviction notice for the 3rd time. Her boyfriend Ryan is cheating on her. And she is really short on money, hence the eviction notice. And now there is an Amish teenager on her doorstep.

Daniel is starting to recover from his break up with Eden and is moving on with his life. His younger sister Annie is engaged. His mother, at age 52, has just discovered that she is pregnant. Just when Daniel thought his life was calming down, it is being turned upside down again.

This is the 2nd in the series of this Amish trilogy, with many of the same characters appearing. But there is enough history woven into this book that it will stand alone, if you have not read #1. I enjoyed the story. It was uplifting but real at the same time.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion.

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“The Angel of Forest Hill” book review

The Angel of Forest Hill, book review

This new release books is a short, easy to read Amish style story, with much of the story taking place at Christmas time, therefore the Christmas theme cover.

Joel’s beloved wife dies following the birth of their 3rd child. Rose is asked by her bishop to travel to the Forest Hill community to help care for the children during this time of grief. After a few days, Joel’s father, the bishop, suggests that Joel marry Rose so she can stay and care for the children. This would be a marriage in name only, so their community would not be subject to any gossip. Rose agrees, because she is eager to escape a verbally abusive home.

Joel and Rose work well together to raise the children and have a companionable relationship. Just as it is beginning to bud into a romantic one, Joel’s father stops by with news that threatens to destroy the fragile relationship.

This is an easy book to read. The characters are well developed. However, I was a little disappointed in the actual theme. It seemed so old fashioned that Joel and Rose would have to marry for her to care for his children- in the capacity of a nanny.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

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NKJV Word Study Bible, book review

NKJV Word Study Bible, book review

This new New King James Version Study Bible is a nice Bible. It has all the basics, the entire text with concordance, and dictionary. There are numerous definitions of key words in the Bible scattered through out the text. These word studies include the original language and a very complete definition. There are many cross references of other passages which use the same word.

I have 2 other study bibles which include commentaries and explanations of the text in addition to word definitions. This Bible has ONLY the word studies. I am not sure I will actually like it for a study Bible, because I really want more information than just the word study. So, my honest opinion, this is a supplemental book for studying the Bible. And in this day of computer searching- it really might be easier to look up a definition on the web than get out another book when studying.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Love Made New” by Kathleen Fuller, book review

“A Love Made New” by Kathleen Fuller, book review. An Amish of Birch Creek Novel, #3

We met Abigail Schrock in the previous books and grieve with her when her parents were killed in a buggy accident. Now she is back home with her sisters and trying to keep going. But when Joel, her boyfriend, breaks up with her, she is devastated.

Asa Bontrager has recently moved back to Birch Creek at God’s prompting. He is lonely without his family, but quickly rekindles friendships from his childhood. He is bored at his factory job and earns to begin his own bookkeeping business.

As Asa and Abigail sort out their feelings for each other and also try to follow God’s prompting for their lives, they encounter various issues with family and friends.

I have read the other 2 books in this series, so the characters were familiar and I knew the back story. This book develops the characters and demonstrates how God’s love can carry people through even the most tragic of circumstances.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.

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