An Unfinished Story (by Boo Walker)

This is the first book I’ve read by Boo Walker and even though I own several of his books, I will be buying EVERYTHING he has written. He has a gift with words and I am looking forward to devouring every book. An Unfinished Story is a beautiful story full of love, loss, regret, forgiveness, and hope. There is so much emotion flowing through the pages. The book will tug on your heart and you will find yourself cheering on Claire and Whitaker in their effort to track down Orlando/Oliver and “finish the story.” Though a romance, it was so well-written and tugged at my emotions in just the right way, that it didn’t come off too syrupy sweet. This was such a good read and one that still tugs at my heartstrings. A perfect heartwarming story to add to your to-be-read list. And I absolutely LOVED the ending. Don’t skip ahead, though. Start on the first page and read every word from beginning to end. It’s worth the wait!

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Girl from Vichy (by Andie Newton)

I enjoyed reading historical fiction books based on WWII. The ones that deal with the resistance are appealing in the way individuals were willing to put their lives on the line to stop the atrocities that were occurring. That being said, I did not connect with the primary character, Adèle. The author, however, should be commended for bringing to light the efforts so many women made as part of the resistance movement. The real-life Mother Superior, Elise Rivet, and Marie-Madeleine Fourcade played a significant role in building a strong force against Hitler’s regime. To be honest, I felt that Adèle was an unbelievable character in that her actions, if they had occurred in real life, would have resulted in her and her cohorts to be arrested early in the book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

What Only We Know (by Catherine Hokin)

I am a huge fan of WWII historical fiction. This book was also a dual timeline and added to my desire to read it. What an emotional journey you will take as you open the cover and get engrossed in the story of Liesse and Karen. The experiences Liesse has as she endures the horrors of WWII and the treatment Jews were subjected to were heartwrenching. As you travel with Karen during the present day, your heart will ache as she deals with the loss of her mother. And her misconceptions of her parents’ marriage and relationship will cause her such angst. The author does a great job of peeling back the layers of Liesse’s life and the impact Michael and Andrew have on her. The melding of the two time periods was touching and the emotional and mental trauma the two main characters endured had you reaching for the tissues. While I could judge Karen harshly for the way she handled things, especially the relationship with her father, I think he played a role in how she was affected by the loss and needed a father who could step beyond the loss he was experiencing and simply provide the comfort, love, and compassion she desperately needed.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookoutre for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The White Rose Resists (by Amanda Barratt)

The group of individuals who formed the White Rose Resistance demonstrated a level of intelligence, dedication, and bravery that was astounding. This book was well researched and the historical facts presented were accurate. The young men and women portrayed throughout the pages were determined to do all they could to stop the atrocities that occurred during Hitler’s reign on terror. Thank you, Amanda Barratt, for providing a glimpse into the lives of young people who showed an amazing willingness to sacrifice their freedom to stop the terrifying acts of Hitler’s regime.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kregel Publications for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Good Stranger ~ Kate Bradley #3 (by Dete Meserve)

This is the first book I’ve read in the Kate Bradley series. But I will definitely go back and read the first two. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them developed and I enjoyed getting to know them better as I flipped through the pages. The “good” things happening in New York City was so heartwarming. And the way the positive aspect spread was encouraging. In a way, I almost wished we didn’t know who was behind the good stranger. But finding out the stories behind the stranger was so touching. This was a great book in so many ways…people choosing to touch lives in selfless way, mystery and intrigue, seeing peoples’ lives changed in small and huge ways, relationships developing, etc. Random acts of kindness. I hope this book encourages every reader to be a participant in random acts of kindness.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Simmering with Resentment ~ Cookbook Nook #11 (by Daryl Wood Gerber)

I have enjoyed the books I’ve read in the Cookbook Nook series. The characters are well developed and I love the relationships among them. The murder mystery will keep you guessing until the end. Lots of twists and turns have you jumping from one suspect to another. I would love to visit Crystal Cove and get to know Jenna and all of her family and friends. The author has created a delightful setting with a cast of characters who have you chuckling, cheering them on or sighing with contentment as they love and support each other. Simmering with Resentment is a great addition to the series.

Thank you to NetGalley and Beyond the Page for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Noel Letters ~ The Noel Collection #4 (by Richard Paul Evans)

I love the stories that Richard Paul Evans weaves. His books are emotional journeys through heartbreak, loss, relationships, healing, and self discovery. The beginning of this book was a slow start and I had trouble being invested in the story and the characters. But I finally got to the point where I was sucked in and couldn’t put it down. Traveling through the pages with Noel and experiencing her view of life and perceptions of the past was difficult. The people that became a part of her life or those that reappeared were the catalysts to opening her eyes and her heart. The raw emotion that envelopes Noel and allows her to reevaluate her misconceptions will have the tears streaming down your face. This is one for your to-be-read list. Just make sure you have a box of tissues on hand. You will need them!

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Facing the Dawn (by Cynthia Ruchti)

Cynthia Ruchti is one of my favorite authors. I can always count on her to deliver an emotional read. That being said, I found it difficult to get involved in the story. I kept going back and reading reviews to see what I was missing with all the 4 and 5 star reviews. There were quite a few that agreed with me, but said once they reached the halfway point, they were sucked in. They were right!

Mara’s snarky attitude and comments at the beginning of the book were so irritating. They were so offputting that I had to force myself to continue reading. And even with the tears streaming down my face, I am so glad I stuck with it. The raw emotion that flows through the pages will rip open your heart. The relationships that develop are touching and encouraging. Her forever friend, Ashlee, is the kind of friend everyone needs. She knew exactly what to do, what to say, how to help Mara wlak through her valley of the shadow of death.

Once again Cynthia Ruchti has weaved a tale of love, redemption, and God’s unending grace. As you travel through the pages, you will be moved by Mara’s grief and healing, her children’s growth and spiritual maturity, Ashlee’s ability to reach through her own grief and minister to her friend, and Solomon’s strength and wisdom and willingness to share God’s love with others right where they stand. I was blessed beyond belief by the time I cried through the last word and closed the book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Revell for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The School for German Brides (by Aimie K. Runyan)

A WWII historical fiction that leads you to believe it will be a different focus than what you normally read. The title and synopsis are very misleading. The majority of the book is NOT about school for German brides. You are about two-thirds into the book before the school is mentioned. And even then, it is glossed over. Three primary characters, Hanna, Klara, and Tilde, have three different viewpoints. It was interesting to see how each woman handled their situation during Hitler’s reign of terror. Of all three of the women, I felt so much emotion for Tilde. I was not deeply invested in the book and it fell flat for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow & Company for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

A Margin for Murder ~ Beyond the Page Bookstore #8 (by Lauren Elliott)

While the first book I’ve read in this series, it pulled me in so that I will read all of the books … before and after this one. The characters are well developed and you will have strong opinions about some of them. The murder mystery was handled well and the twists and turns and clues sprinkled throughout the pages kept me invested in the story. The various relationships … friends, family, romantic, etc. … are interesting and entertaining. This is a great cozy mystery to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with while curled up in your recliner.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.