Saturday, January 20, 2018

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck | Re:View

She’s done it again. Rachel Hauck has made me cry. I mean…Every. Single. Time. No matter what it is, if Rachel Hauck writes it I’m usually crying by the end (note: they are pretty much always happy tears!).

I was in desperate need of a great Christmas book to help me continue the feeling of the holiday’s past December and this book was exactly what I needed for that. I have long loved her royal series and this was the perfect end to that! Plus, combine a quaint kingdom, a handsome prince, and a spunky Georgia girl and you’ve got a recipe for success.

In this sweet (and relatively short) Christmas read we see Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom become reacquainted with Avery Truitt (Susanna’s sister). We also find out more about their past and how that affects their current history. Plus, in addition to all of this, we get let into a past tradition in Brighton Kingdom involving a bell and a potential marriage on Christmas Day. What more do you really need to know?

All in all, the story captivated me and made me smile—even as it had its ups and downs with the general roadblocks that come up between Avery and Colin. If you’re still in the mood for a little Christmas and a lot of romance, add this to your next-up TBR. Or, if you must wait until the next holiday season, then add this to your wish list because it’s the perfect Christmas read!

My rating: 5*

Book Description 
(from Amazon)

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon | Re:View

This book was my first introduction to Nicola Yoon’s writing and wow…what an introduction. From the very beginning I knew this book was going to be different. Unlike most books I read, I did know a very little about this. That it turned the idea of “insta-love” on its head. And honestly, I have to agree.

Yoon did a fantastic job of creating characters with incredible depth and a connection that wasn’t fake within a very short period of time. I love love love the diversity of her characters and the fact that their interaction dealt with the difficulties that come from such diversity. I also loved that the circumstances were so…dire. That may sound counterintuitive but it created great stakes for the story.

I would recommend his to fans of YA contemporary (please note my clean-reader warning). I think you will be charmed by Yoon’s sense of humor, her characters, and her impossible yet possible story.

*Note for my clean readers: There is definitely some language in this one and a few descriptive scenes of kissing that may not be suitable for younger readers. I’d recommend this one to 17+.

My rating: 5* 

Book Description 
(from Amazon) 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth |Re:View

Powerfully moving with fresh honesty that goes beyond the “normal” things to admit. Holley Gerth expresses her deepest, heartfelt longings with a rich, descriptive hand and invites readers to join her as she dives deep into the reality of what it is to be a woman and to have flaws.

I got this book several months ago and—sadly—couldn't get to it until now, but as most things tend to happen, it came at the perfect time. The holidays were over and I was able to curl up with this book and devour it in big, over-large chucks that fed my soul in ways I can barely find words to describe.

I absolutely loved the format of this book. Each chapter was only a few pages and felt more like reading Holley’s journal entries. That, or personalized posts created just for the empty space my heart needed it to fill.

I think this book can be life-changing for those who read with an open heart. To hear Holley’s message that it’s possible to be brave—to be fiercehearted—even when you feel the least bold. To hear her heart for true beauty and her realization that who you are made to be is exactly who you need to be.

I recommend this for all types of women. Those who are outgoing, those who are shy, those who are doing well, and those who are struggling.

My rating: 5*
Purchase: Fiercehearted 

Book Description
(from Amazon)

A fiercehearted woman looks life in the face and says, "You can't beat me." She knows love is a risk but reaches out anyway. She chases Jesus with a tender, world-changing wildness. She never gives in, never gives up, and never lets go. Best of all, the potential to be a fiercehearted woman is inside each and every woman on earth.

In her most powerful book yet, beloved bestselling author Holley Gerth inspires her readers to become the stronger, braver, truer women they long to be by sharing personal stories of her own struggles and victories. As readers join Holley on this journey, they'll discover a freedom they never imagined could be theirs: the freedom to experience life, love, and faith to the fullest because fear can no longer hold them back.

For the woman who is restless or longing for more, Fiercehearted is an invitation to the life God has always meant for her to embrace.

I received this book for free but was under no obligation to post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Invictus by Ryan Graudin | Re:View

Doctor Who meets Firefly in this spectacular time-travel  novel!

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book (or from Ryan Graduin since this was my first time reading one of her novels) but I was sooo pleased with this book and her excellent writing!

First of all, to tackle a time-travel novel is no simple task. There are consequences to consider, past and present timelines, as well as the sciencey stuff you've got to have in there. All of these aspects (and more) were carried out to perfection with an eye to humorous detail and spunky characters.

As you jump into a world where time-travel is possible, you will discover that this book is about more than just Farway Gaius McCarthy. It's about a unique cast of characters that draw you in and cause you to feel for the story. You will root for this small band of time-marauders. You will cringe with them, hope with them, and face the future--and the past--with them.

And let me just rant for one moment about Ryan's writing. Just wow. She has such a unique way of describing things. There were a few times where I had to read sections over again a few times because I was confused, maybe one minor downfall of it, but overall they were a vivid way for me to experience the novel.

I won't say more so I don't spoil it for you, but I highly recommend this to fans of science fiction, time travel, the shows Doctor Who and Firefly, and those who enjoy an awesome and complex story. It's a little slow to start but it's worth it to push forward.

For clean readers: There is a bit of language and allusions to intimacy though not shown on the page.  I'd probably recommended for 15+.

My Rating: 5*
Purchases: Invictus

Book Description
(from Amazon)

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Far's very existence defies the laws of nature. All he's ever wanted was to explore history for himself, but after failing his entrance exam into the government program, Far will have to settle for a position on the black market-captaining a time-traveling crew to steal valuables from the past.

During a routine heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl named Eliot who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Eliot has secrets-big ones-that will affect Far's life from beginning to end. Armed with the knowledge that history is not as steady as it seems, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to set things right before the clock runs out.Save

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Reading Habits Tag

I thought I'd do something fun today on the blog. I'm going to do the Reading Habits tag! I've heard of this one and considered doing it on my BookTube but I've been so sick and am only now just feeling better so I thought I'd do the written version for now.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Called to Create by Jordan Raynor | Re:View

Are you called to create?

In this stunning, and possibly ground-breaking, book by Jordan Raynor, we find that there is such a thing as being "Called to Create".

I've been a creative person from the start. Growing up in a home where my father is an artists and musician and my mother is a quilter and a musician, I was never far from art supplies, music, a camera (disposable or otherwise), and the encouragement to create. My family nurtured my creativity. That is not always the case with some.

As we face in the "real world", the stress of choosing a career based on what you can be paid and what jobs are available is a big deterrent to creativity. It can be hard to say we want to "follow our creative dreams" when becoming a doctor seems so much more helpful. Or perhaps its the thought that starting up an Etsy shop doesn't seem as "holy" as becoming a missionary. For those of us who do break the mold and become entrepreneurs, we may find ourselves wondering if we can possibly serve God and our creative passions at the same time.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Create Explore Read with Me in 2018

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you'll probably have noticed a few things recently. I've been posting less (oops!) and over the last few years the content has mostly been filled with interviews and the occasional guest post. While I don't mind that, I also don't think it's the direction I want to continue in.