In Review... September 28, 2018

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Looking for a great book to read this weekend? Our reviewers are loving these picks!


Contemporary Romance / Novella
ROSE IN THREE QUARTER TIME
Rachel McMillan
Series: Three Quarter Time #2

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Rose in Three Quarter Time, a love letter to music, is one of those marriage of convenience romances that melts your heart with the beauty of love and the harmony of music. Like a composer, the author created a stirring story and, like a musical conductor, she directed the tempo and pulse of Rose in Three Quarter Time in perfect rhythm.  Readers will feel Rose’s excitement as a musician meeting the renown conductor Oliver Thorne, and they will understand Oliver’s plight in keeping Rose by his side, even towards the road of deception.  The question remains, is it deception to the world or just their hearts?  Though short in word count, this novella will satisfy readers looking for a quick read but will compel the reader to read it more than once. (Sept., 178 pp., $0.99)

Reviewer: Annie Sturt


Inspirational Contemporary Romance / Christmas
A CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA
Melody Carlson

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Each year readers look forward to Carlson’s Christmas stories - for her sweet Hallmark-Channel-esque plots and gorgeous covers that sets the mood for Christmas. In her latest holiday release, Carlson goes to the coast of Maine with young widow Wendy Harper and her tween son Jackson who are there to fix up and sell the cottage she recently inherited from her grandfather. All the characters (with maybe one exception) are multi-dimensional and relatable, but especially Wendy and Jackson and the emotional layers to their story - past, present, and future. A nice dash of romance (with a bit of easily-forgiven instalove because it’s Christmas!) accompanies the palpable chemistry between Wendy and swoony local craftsman Caleb Colton. This is a delightful story that can be enjoyed no matter what time of year it is, but certainly will call for a re-read next Christmas too! (REVELL, Sept., 176 pp., $16.99)

Reviewer: Carrie Schmidt


Contemporary Young Adult
WHITE AS SILENCE, RED AS SONG
Alessandro D’Avenia
translated from the Italian

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There is much more dimension to this coming-of-age story than might first appear. Hints of something deeper, something just out of Leo’s grasp, weave in and out of his stream-of-consciousness narrative (which the author captures perfectly). Various characters who cross his path, two in particular (Gandalf and The Dreamer, as he refers to them), gently nudge him to think beyond the surface, beyond the not-yet-mature reactions of a teenage boy, to the bigger picture of faith in God and what it means to be a friend. To Leo, white is ‘nothingness’ and silence and scary. Red is passion and love and life - and Beatrice, his unrequited crush. When white and red suddenly clash together in Beatrice, Leo has to quickly make some grown-up decisions. While the writing style may not be for everyone, it is brilliantly done nonetheless and isn’t afraid to tackle tough questions of life, death, and faith. (THOMAS NELSON, Sept., 272 pp., $16.99)

Reviewer: Carrie Schmidt


Inspirational Historical Fiction
HIDDEN AMONG THE STARS
Melanie Dobson

Gold Star Review

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Melanie Dobson captivates readers when the past collides with the present in this unique time-slip story of the Second World War. Written from several perspectives, the author explores a side of WWII that is not often featured. Forced into situations beyond their control, our characters must fight for survival in Nazi occupied Austria - including Max Dornbach, a kindhearted man with a fierce desire to protect those he loves. In present day, Callie Randall is determined to uncover the secrets of the past, spurred by the discovery of an old children’s book with unusual markings. Filled with intrigue and sacrifice, Dobson stirs a passion in readers for this era. A heartrending story combined with passion and hope, this time-slip story is not to be missed. (TYNDALE HOUSE, Sept., 416 pp., $15.99)

Reviewer: Rachel Dixon


Inspirational Historical Romance
AN HOUR UNSPENT
Roseanna M. White

Series: Shadows Over England #3

Bookmarked Review

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Fans will adore the romance, suspense, subtle humor and delightful ragtag family of street orphans in this conclusion of the Shadows Over England series. Be prepared to swoon over the hero, a devoted big brother with a heart of gold, as he navigates the unfamiliar narrow path of a new believer while using his unique skill set as a former thief for the greater good during the height of WWII. Barclay’s fiercely protective nature and carefully honed street smarts make him an invaluable asset to his family, his nation, and his new neighbor. Cool and controlled Evelina fights for women’s rights and female independence yet she wasn’t prepared for a broken engagement (or her mother’s reaction) when her fiancée unexpectedly enlists and ships out to the front lines. Secrets, lurking dangers, and intriguing new technology bring Barclay and Evelina together in this story of home front heroes, family affection, and abiding faith. (BETHANY HOUSE, Sept., 416 pp., $15.99)

Reviewer: Beth Erin


Inspirational Romantic Suspense
A SECRET TO DIE FOR
Lisa Harris

Bookmarked Review

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Lisa Harris writes romantic suspense that is full of mystery and heart pounding suspense. Her new book focuses on the fear of cyber-terrorism that has an end of times feel. The budding romance between Grace and Nate was sweet. Both Grace and Nate are dealing with grief. Nate’s grief is wrapped in the cloak of PTSD which is what drives him. Living off the grid, Psychology, PTSD, Grief, Child loss, and Cyber-terrorism make up this very suspenseful, edgy romantic read. (REVELL, Sept., 336 pp., $14.99)

Reviewer: Andi Tubbs


Bookmarked Review

Inspirational Romantic Suspense
EXPLOSIVE FORCE
Lynette Eason
Series: Military K-9 Unit #6

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Wow! The Military K-9 Unit series continues to be edge-of-your-seat suspense, action, and romance. Eason’s installment starts out with a bang - quite literally - and the danger doesn’t let up until the very end. Even then, the underlying story arcs of the Red Rose Killer and the missing K-9s continue to linger in the air, promising more action and danger ahead. Nick and Heidi make a great team, with fun banter that brings brief levity when most needed. Nick’s love/hate relationship with Heidi (and all reporters) is tested in both extremes throughout this quick-read novel, and Gramps adds a few more chuckles with his wry observations of the situation. “Gotta find me a woman I don't like as much as you don't like that one.” Annie, Nick’s bomb-sniffing bloodhound, is a loyal partner and heroine in her own right. Eason excels at taking her characters on an intense quest for survival while still organically weaving threads of faith and humor throughout, and Explosive Force is yet another example of her talent. (LOVE INSPIRED SUSPENSE, Sept., 224 pp., $5.99)

Reviewer: Carrie Schmidt


Gold Star Reviews are for those books that are just truly in a class by themselves. Given rarely.

Bookmarked Reviews are for those books you'll definitely want to put on your 'keepers' shelf! Given sparingly.