A Book Review: Rose’s Redemption by Donna L.H. Smith

Rose’s Redemption is the new release by Donna L.H. Smith, and the second book of the “Known by Heart” series. The first book was Meghan’s Choice, and you can read my review of that book here.

The story setting is still the old western town of New Boston, where Meghan’s Choice also was set. As a matter of fact, Meghan and the main character, Rose, of Rose’s Redemption, are friends–a friendship that began in the first book.

Rose has had a very difficult life, and in Rose’s Redemption, those difficulties aren’t over. As she tries to change her life for the better and begins to hope that she could have real love, someone from her past comes back to find her.

I enjoyed Rose’s Redemption very much. Though, in Meghan’s Choice, Dr. Scott Allison was not my favorite  character, he redeems himself in Rose’s Redemption, and he plays a big part in the new life Rose tries to make for herself. Meghan and the characters from Meghan’s Choice still played a part in this story as well, so as a reader, I got to know them all better.

The characters in Rose’s Redemption are well-developed and I enjoyed meeting some new characters in New Boston in this installment of the “Known by Heart” series. I really like Rose and rooted for her the whole way through the book.

The story’s conflict was also well written, better than the conflict in Meghan’s Choice. I found the conflict in Rose’s Redemption to be more intense and realistic, and it kept me turning pages.

Donna L.H. Smith also had an interesting way of having some of her character’s experience God that drew them to Him. It was tastefully done and not preachy nor was it overdone. I don’t think someone who prefers not to read Christian novels would be offended or find it overbearing.

Donna L.H. Smith’s writing is stronger in Rose’s Redemption and she did a much better job of developing her characters and making me like them and care about them. She also included some subtle hints as to what may come in the next book, and I look forward to reading it.

If you enjoy stories with an old western setting, intense conflict, and sweet romance, I hope you will read Rose’s Redemption too.

A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

A Talent for Trouble (Ladies of Distinction Book #3) by [Turano, Jen]

A Talent for Trouble is the third book in a trilogy known as “Ladies of Distinction” by Jen Turano. However, I have not read the first book. I previously read and did a review of book two A Most Peculiar Circumstance here. Therefore, I can attest to the fact that, though they are part of a trilogy, you can certainly read any of them as stand alones and not feel lost.

A Talent for Trouble is a light-hearted, fun historical romance about Felicia Murdock who is concerned about being single and in her mid twenties. She sets her sights on becoming a minister’s wife and pretends to be something she’s not in hopes of impressing the minister.

When things do not go according to her plan, she decides she’s wasted too much time pretending and is determined to be her true self and embrace a more lively way of life, and in so doing, finds herself in one troubling circumstance after another.

Grayson Sumner, otherwise known as Lord Sefton, soon finds himself attracted to Felicia, but becomes frustrated with her knack for stumbling into trouble. Then his past comes back to complicate his life and places Felicia in danger as well. Grayson is determined to keep Felicia safe as they struggle to extricate themselves from the latest trouble.

Felicia is a fun character and as her relationship with Grayson developed, they made me laugh out loud. Their troubling situations go from mild to quite scary and I found myself cheering for them while sitting on the edge of my seat. This was a very enjoyable read.

Light of the Last by Chuck Black

My son and I finished the “Wars of the Realm”  trilogy just before our Christmas break. Light of the Last is the final book of this trilogy by Chuck Black, and I found it to be just as good as the first two.

Drew has come to his limit. He just wants his normal life back, but there is a higher plan. Those who have been assigned to keep Drew safe have their hands full as Drew is the target of two different powerful forces.

When it becomes apparent that the United States is also a target, Drew and his friends may be the only ones who can save the day.

The things that Drew goes through in this trilogy really kept me turning pages. Chuck Black did an excellent job of weaving parts of history and believable political issues throughout this series, as well as some spiritual truths.

I was so involved in the story and cared so much about the characters that I spoke out in frustration at some of Drew’s choices, and I cried at some of the sad scenes. I loved the characters in this series and I cheered for them through all three books. There was suspense, intrigue, adventure, danger, and a touch of romance in these books, and I highly recommend them. They are on my list of favorites.

In the Shadow of Your Wings by J.P. Robinson

Another great historical story from J.P. Robinson! In the Shadow of Your Wings moves between characters in Germany and Great Britain during war time. Leila Durand is  a German spy with a troubled past who falls in love with Malcom, the son of Thomas Steele, a British icon, whose home she is to infiltrate. She struggles between her love for Germany and her love for an enemy of Germany, and trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes.

Eleanor Thompson is a woman of faith, but her faith is pushed to its very limits when her infant daughter is killed in a German air raid after her husband has gone off to fight in the war. However, Eleanor doesn’t give up on life as she remains hopeful to reunite with her husband when the war is over, but he doesn’t answer any of her letters. As she sees the horrors of war, she begins to lose hope, yet stubbornly clings to her faith.

J.P. Robinson weaves a tale of intrigue and history as these characters’ lives intertwine in unexpected ways. There is also a German family that takes center stage in some chapters. This book shows the heartbreak of war and the struggle for faith. It is my favorite of  Mr. Robinson’s book so far.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction that includes intrigue and suspense.

 

Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black

Rise of the Fallen is the second book in the “War of the Realm” series by Chuck Black.  In the first book, we met Drew Carter who appeared to be an average teen until there was an accident in a college science lab.

Now, in Rise of the Fallen, Chuck takes us deep into the spiritual realm, where everyone in this realm is wondering “why is Drew Carter so important”? This book takes us way back in history in every other chapter and then back to the present day in every other chapter. It’s a story of history, battles, and wars, as well as looking at the main events of Drew Carter’s life from a different perspective.

This book was a surprise to me. After reading Cloak of the Light, I wasn’t expecting the twist that this story brings to the series, but I was hooked from the first page to the very last. This story is filled with history and suspense. I can’t wait to begin the final book in the series, Light of the Last. I look forward to seeing what twists Mr. Black has for me in this one.

If you enjoy fantasy and suspense stories, you’ll enjoy the first two books of this series. Also, if you wonder about the spiritual realm and like to mentally explore the possibilities, you’ll love Rise of the Fallen. After those two, I’m sure you won’t be able to resist the final book in the “War of the Realm” series.

These are great books for YA boys!

Locked In by M J Lau

I must confess, it took me quite a while to finish reading this book — not because it didn’t have a good story line, but because I don’t play video games and am not a part of that world. However, MJ Lau did a very good job of capturing my attention with the life of his main character, Everett, and the interesting plot line.

The title, Locked In, alludes to being locked into a video game, and that’s exactly what happens to this group of teens. They play the game with a virtual reality game system and get locked in — they can’t log out. But Everett has an escape (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is), and he believes he is the only one who can save his friends. Things get really interesting when Everett finds out what has caused everyone to be locked in.

MJ Lau created interesting characters, and Everett’s life outside of the game has its own complications. MJ also writes in a way that I could picture scenes in my mind and even though I am not a “gamer”, I understood the scenes and plot of the video game.

If you have a teenage gamer in your life, or if you are a gamer, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Locked In by MJ Lau.

Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black

Cloak of the Light is the first book of the “Wars of the Realm” series by Chuck Black. Drew Carter is the main character in this book, and an accident in a physics lab leaves Drew blind. However, his sight miraculously returns, and Drew discovers the accident has given him skills and sight beyond that of a normal man.

Drew witnesses things normal humans cannot see — invaders, causing him to question his own sanity. Then he meets Sydney Carlyle, a girl he is attracted to, who offers encouragement through her faith. However, Drew wants nothing to do with that kind of faith in his own life.

Then he begins to notice the actions of the invaders as well as the actions of human beings. Is there a connection between the invaders and the humans?

Drew becomes involved in a battle as he simply tries to help people he sees in need. In so doing, he angers a tough street gang who want him dead. The dark invaders also seem to want to get rid of him. Will Drew find the truth of the invaders in time?

What a great read! I could NOT put this book down, and it ramped up my emotions as Drew faced danger in order to help others, and yet, Drew was missing something and I wanted him to find it which also ramped up some frustration. But I could not stop turning pages. I was too invested in these characters and the plot line. I had to see how it would all end.

By the end of the book, Drew is a little closer to finding the truth, but there’s still the problem of the invaders. Therefore, it didn’t take me long to pick up the next book in the War of the Realms series: Rise of the Fallen. There is one more after this: Light of the Last, and I’m sure I won’t be reading much of anything else until I get through this trilogy.

If you like books filled with danger, suspense, action, mystery, with a little sci-fi and romance tossed in, you’ll love Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black.