Hey Book Nerds! Can you believe that December is already over? Heck, it’s even a brand new spanking new year! Where did all of the time go? Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great new year!
While this month was super busy celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, birthdays, and bringing in the new year, I did manage to find some time to read.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar
Before Christ called her daughter . . .
Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .
Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.
No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?
I was sent this to review awhile back and somehow it slipped through the cracks until this past month. I’m so glad I gave this book a chance though because it was incredibly done. I highly recommend this one. Check out my full review here. Thank you to Tyndale for my physical review copy.
All Things Now Living by Rondi Bauer OlsonHer whole life Amy has been taught the people of New Lithisle deserve to die, but when she falls for Daniel, she determines to save him.Sixteen-year-old Amy doesn’t like anything to die, she won’t even eat the goats or chickens her mama has butchered every fall, but she can’t let herself pity the inhabitants of New Lithisle. In a few short months the dome they built to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic is predicted to collapse, but her whole life Amy has been taught it’s God’s will they die. They traded their souls for immunity to the swine flu virus, brought God’s curse upon themselves by adding pig genes to their own.Then, while on a scavenging trip with her father, Amy is accidentally trapped in New Lithisle. At first, her only goal is to escape, but when she meets Daniel, a New Lithisle boy, she begins to question how less-than-human the people of New Lithisle are.Amy’s feelings grow even more conflicted when she learns she didn’t end up in New Lithisle by mistake. Her father is secretly a sympathizer and was trying to prevent the coming destruction.
Now time is running short and Amy has to decide if she will bring the computer program her father wrote to his contact or save herself. Installing the program could prevent the dome’s collapse, but if Amy doesn’t find her father’s contact in time, she’ll die, along with everyone else.
I thought the concept was unique and fun because it reminded me of Under the Dome, but it wasn’t executed well and I found that this wasn’t for me. It is a young adult novel so maybe the younger folk would enjoy it more. Check out my full review here. Thank you to the author and Celebrate Lit for my physical review copy.
The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon
Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally, her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she’ll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.
As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.
In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?
I cannot talk about this book enough. The Esther Paradigm is a fabulous read from the amazing Sarah Monzon. This is a modern-day Esther re-telling with topics about living your life for Christ and evangelism no matter how much danger your life may be in. It’s beautifully written and I highly recommend it. Check out my full review here. Thank you to Sarah Monzon for my e-book arc review copy.
An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter
Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. While he’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.
Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes–as well as her conscience. And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.
As all Griffith’s and Isabella’s long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?
I’m still saddened that this wonderful series from Kristi Ann Hunter has come to an end. It was beautifully done and I absolutely loved Griffith’s story. Highly recommended! Check out my full review here. Thank you so much to the author and Bethany House for providing a physical review copy.
Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth
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 let’s 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.
This is a highly recommended book from Holley Gerth. The author shares stories about her life experiences making her transparent, vulnerable, and real. Readers will feel as if they’re sitting across from her at a table in a coffee shop (like a real friend!). She gets it and encourages women to live fully and to love bravely. Check out my full review here. Thank you to the author and Revell for my physical review copy.
The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.
Melody Carlson is one of those authors that I don’t usually have to know anything about the book before reading it. That’s because she’s one of my favorites and I look forward to her Christmas novellas every year. While I did enjoy this, there were a few scenes that just didn’t seem realistic so it wasn’t a favorite. If you enjoy Hallmarky type of reads, then this would be for you! Check out my full review here. Thank you to the author and Revell for my physical review copy!
Unraveling by Sara Ella
What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?
Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about–like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.
Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something–or someone–is missing?
When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections–and keep herself from falling for him in the process?
Many of you already know that I wasn’t a fan of the previous book, Unblemished. However, this cover was gorgeous and I was curious to see where Sara Ella was taking the story. Plus, Kara at My So Called Chaos assured me that that our main character is a lot more mature and less whiny. So I decided to take a chance. I’m so glad I did because I was impressed with how much the author has improved. She DID deliver a character that has matured into a strong female leader with flaws instead of a whiny annoying character. I enjoyed this so much! Full review coming soon. Thank you to Sara Ella and The Fiction Guild for my physical review copy.