The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders


As a Book Reviewer, I received a free pdf copy of The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders. This is my honest review, though I was not required to write any review of this book.

Once again, I was engaged in the lives of the Mason family. The main characters from the first two books of The Masons of Brightfield still made appearances, though this book focused mostly on George Mason and a woman named Greta.

Greta was known in Brightfield as Greta Franklin, married to a traveling salesmen who never seems to come home to Greta. As George’s other siblings find their special someones and begin to marry, he wonders if he’ll ever find the right woman. Then he meets Greta and hires her as his part-time bookkeeper for his new business. He becomes very attracted to her.

The story continues as the mystery of Greta’s husband becomes part of the main story line. The Spring Bride is another wonderful clean romance by Claire Sanders, whose Mason family characters are so endearing, as I read each book, I feel like I know these characters personally. They are wonderful characters and the Masons of Brightfield stories are wonderfully crafted and well edited.

The Spring Bride is an unusual romance story with a very unique premise. The mystery, suspense, and unexpected twists and surprises kept me turning pages from the first page to the last. There is also a sprinkling of humor in the book, which adds to the fun of reading it.

However, there was one thing I found a bit disturbing, and that was in regard to a minor character named Damir. Ms. Sanders’ characters are usually very forgiving and fair in dealing with one another. Therefore, near the end of the book, in a discussion between Greta and her father, I found it disturbing that there was an unforgiving attitude in regard to Damir due to a circumstance involving Damir and another character. The unfairness came in Greta and her father’s attitudes that the other character involved in the circumstance was completely innocent in the situation which is what disturbed me, as in any argument or wrong doing involving two people, each person or character is responsible for their own choices and actions.

The disturbance, though, in no way makes the story less enjoyable. I still love the Masons and their spouses, and I still look forward to reading the next book in the series when it becomes available. Also, I think the Spring Bride is my favorite of the three already written because it is so unique, and, in my opinion, goes to a deeper emotional level than the first two books in the series.

If you love good clean romance stories with wonderfully developed characters and a plot with unexpected twists and surprises, you’ll enjoy The Spring Bride. And, though, each book can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend that you read them all.

I give The Spring Bride (The Masons of Brightfield Book 3) by Claire Sanders 5 stars.

Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall

Strangers and Pilgrims (A Better Country Book 1) by [Kristina Hall]

As a Book reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall. This is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

Strangers and Pilgrims is set in the late 1860s West. Harry Reiner left home to fight in the Civil War. The war has been over for three years when Harry returns to his hometown. But Harry doesn’t receive the warm welcome he was expecting. Everything’s changed, and one evil man controls the town. When Harry’s life is threatened, a young woman, and the girl she took in, drag him into their home to nurse him back to health. Another man the town tends to look down on is also a frequent visitor to this home. These four characters bond and do their best to survive ten miles outside of town, but soon find that even there, the threats plague them.

Strangers and Pilgrims is a well written book. The reader is immediately drawn into the story and the characters’ lives and has no problem choosing sides between the majority of the town and the four characters at a ranch not far outside town. The story is filled with conflict and suspense that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. There is a lot of action, a touch of romance, and descriptions and dialogue that take the reader back to the 1860s west. There are a couple twists and surprises before the story comes to a resolution and end.

This is also a story of faith and includes some Scripture passages from the Bible and occasional one or two line prayers.

This is the first book in the A Better Country series by Kristina Hall.

If you enjoy suspenseful stories that keep you reading til late in the night or love old western stories, you’ll enjoy Strangers and Pilgrims, as I did.

I give Strangers and Pilgrims by Kristina Hall 5 stars, and look forward to reading the next book in the A Better Country series.

For Better and Worse by E. B. Roshan

For Better and Worse (Shards of Sevia Book 4) by [E.B. Roshan]

For Better and Worse is the fourth book in the Shards of Sevia series by E. B. Roshan. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review.

The Shards of Sevia series by E. B. Roshan is a series of stories that take place in a country that is very much like a middle eastern country in our world. The country is Sevia and there are towns and cities in Sevia. Sevia is war-torn and two people groups are constantly fighting: the White Horses and the Tur people.

Caught in the middle of the fighting are Boris and Anna Merkovich, a sweet couple, who are just trying to live their lives. They do not wish to have anything to do with the fighting. Boris works hard and Anna is expecting their first child. Anna’s fear of the fighting in their town of Dor causes her to plead with her husband to move to a safer place, the town, Dovni, where her family lives, but Boris does not want to close the business that has been in his family for many years.

Boris has a temper, and soon his temper brings danger to their door. Will Boris and his family survive? Will Boris and Anna be torn apart? Will Boris live to see his firstborn child?

E. B. Roshan has traveled in the Middle East and it is clear, in the Shards of Sevia series, that she has knowledge as to what living in the Middle East is like. She has created characters that the reader comes to know deeply and cares about. The reader experiences their struggles, and hopes to see them, not only survive, but thrive.

For Better and Worse is full of struggles and conflict between Boris and people in the neighborhood as well as between Boris and Anna. It is a heart-wrenching story and it is a fast, easy read. Boris and Anna, as well as one of Boris’s employees, face many dangers in this book that also keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat, hoping they will all survive.

One thing that stuck out to me in this story, is that Boris begins to show proof of learning that he needs to change his life, or at least his reactions to things, and he offers short prayers to God for help.

Also, the book is, not only well-written, but well edited.

After four books, I thought this might be the completion of the story, but, though this book has a solid ending with resolution, I believe Ms. Roshan could still offer us more of Boris and Anna’s story. I know I will be watching for more.

If you haven’t read the Shards of Sevia by E. B. Roshan, I highly recommend the series, especially if you like to experience stories of a different culture in a different country and if you enjoy suspenseful stories.

I give For Better and Worse by E.B. Roshan 5 stars.

At War With the Wind (The Fight for Abigail) by D. Richard Ferguson

At War with the Wind: The Fight for Abigail (Walk with the Wind Book 2) by [D. Richard Ferguson]

As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail by D. Richard Ferguson. I was not required to write a positive review or any review. This is the sequel to Escape From Paradise, and this is my honest review.

I found the beginning of this book a little slow, and at first I thought it was going to be too much like Escape From Paradise. But after just a few chapters, things picked up and became very interesting and intense. This book focused on the same handful of main characters, but also added a couple new ones. The story line went even deeper than the story line of Escape From Paradise.

Abigail was in grave danger in this book. As her friends went to her aid, they stepped into danger as well. Abigail’s predicament kept me turning page after page to see how things would turn out.

As in Escape from Paradise, Adam is one of the main characters in this story and to see the progress in his character growth and the choices he makes between the two books is encouraging. Adam is my favorite character in both books.

One scene in this book really stood out to me and included a quote that resonated so deep with me that I wrote it down to keep to encourage me and to share with others. Many people ask, “If God is such a loving God, why does he allow bad things to happen and if God is a loving God, why would he send anyone to Hell?” I believe this quote gives a very good answer to these questions: “For a man (I insert “God” here) of love, anger toward that which destroys good is a moral necessity. One who loves cares. And one who cares can never be apathetic about that which threatens the object of his love.”

These books are definitely worth reading.

I have to say that D. Richard Ferguson is an outstanding author and I highly recommend these two books to anyone who longs for a story that expresses truth and hope. And if you enjoy stories filled with adventure and suspense, these books are for you. If you’re a fan of Pilgrim’s Progress by Paul Bunyan, these books will also become favorites.

I give At War With the Wind: the Fight for Abigail 5 stars.

Join me here again tomorrow to read my interview with the author of these books, D. Richard Ferguson.

Admonition by Kathryn Amurra

Admonition (Soothsayer's Path Book 2) by [Kathryn Amurra]

Admonition is the second book in the Soothsayer’s Path series by Kathryn Amurra. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of this novel, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review for this book.

Blurb from Amazon:

Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect those she loves from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles. Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.

My Review:

I was drawn into Sabina’s life right from the first page. Kathryn Amurra has a way of creating characters and writing from the character’s mind, heart, and emotions that makes the reader feel as though they were one of the characters experiencing the story–not just reading it. There are two other main characters in Admonition that aren’t mentioned in the above blurb, but who play important roles in the story as well, and they are Priscilla, Sabina’s stepsister and Cyprian, a friend of Lucius’s.

Kathryn Amurra also does an excellent job of setting the scenes and painting pictures in the readers’ minds, and it’s clear that she knows her Ancient Roman history. As Sabina struggles with her feelings and her fear of what she believes her words can do, she also has to face a man who has designs on her, all while looking out for her stepsister’s safety. As Lucius is targeted in a political plot, Sabina faces a difficult decision to break her silence in an attempt to save his life. However, her reputation could also be jeopardized.

As the story comes to its resolution, some shocking secrets are revealed in regard to the plot against Lucius, as well as Sabina’s husband’s death years ago.

If you enjoy historical romance stories that keep you turning pages with their suspense and surprises, you’ll love Admonition. Also, if you like a romance story with both conflict and humor mixed throughout, you’ll love Admonition. You’ll also enjoy this novel if you like to read book that are well written and have been properly edited.

Admonition is the second book in Kathryn Amurra’s Soothsayer’s Path series, but both the first book, Soothsayer, and Admonition can be read as stand-alones. And if you haven’t read Soothsayer, I recommend that you read that one as well.

I give Admonition by Kathryn Amurra 5 stars.

The Whisper of Fire by Ben McQueeney

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The Whisper of Fire is the second book in the “Beyond Horizon” series by Ben McQueeney. As a reviewer, I received an ebook copy of this book and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.

In The Whisper of Fire, we are reunited with Fulco Garumson, a Hume, who lives among the Elphen in Tellusm, in the town of Phenii. In this book, he returns to his Elphen family after spending three weeks in prison. He tries out for the popular Portare team. He also trains to improve his Sapience power and is invited to join a girl named Nina on a quest.

The first thing I would like to address is the actual writing of this novel. I found this book frustrating to read because it has not been well edited. There are a lot of grammatical errors, missing punctuation, missing words, and additional or incorrect words. There is a famous rule in the writing world—writers have been told for years, “show, don’t tell”. Unfortunately, The Whisper of Fire is “told” more than it is “shown”.

Now, let’s talk about the story and characters. I found the first half of the book more difficult to read than the second half. The first half lacked in action. It seemed to be the build up for the second half of the book. However, because I love the character of Fulco, I continued reading and was much happier with the second half of the book.

There was also one section in the book that, seemed to me, to explain racism in Tellusm in a way that seemed to make it acceptable. This may or may not have been the author’s intention. It may have been a lack of proper editing, but I found it disturbing. However, it was a brief section, but there was a sort of “racism” throughout the story between the different types of characters.

Despite the technical issues in the writing, the second half of the book drew me in because of the action and the characters, especially Fulco. Terrible things happen to Fulco and his friends and family in the second half of the book. Two of the biggest and most terrible things that happen are unexpected and shocking. However, Fulco does not give up. Even in his darkest hour, he finds a reason to go on, and he decides he must go on the quest.

Another thing I liked about The Whisper of Fire is the way that Ben McQueeney includes his spirit world and gods in chapters he calls “Interludes”. These chapters are a glimpse into the lives of the gods and bring them more into the story than they were in the first book, The Spirit of Things.

Also, a word of caution: the book is listed as Adult Fantasy and does include some mild language, as well as some graphic violence.

If you like fantasy novels and you liked The Spirit of Things, you will most likely like The Whisper of Fire, especially if you are a Fulco fan, as I am.

Despite the problems I found with this novel, I know I will read the next book in the series, The Fear of Gods, when it becomes available, because I want to go on Fulco’s quest with him. I am invested in Fulco’s life and the lives of his friends and family. I only hope Mr. McQueeney will be sure the technical issues are well edited before its release.

Also, despite the problems with this novel, the second half definitely redeemed the book for me. Therefore, I give The Whisper of Fire by Ben McQueeney 4 stars.

Oh, the Fallen by Abigail Kay Harris

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As a reviewer, I was given a free ebook copy of the novella Oh, the Fallen by Abigail Kay Harris. I was not required to write a positive review or any review, but this is my honest review.

Oh, the Fallen by Abigail Kay Harris is a novella that Ms. Harris released for Memorial Day 2021. It is the story of a young man getting ready to join the army. His father was a veteran and Matt was raised to be strong in his faith and to stand for his beliefs and his country.

It only took me about 2 hours to read this novella, but what a story was packed into so few pages. Ms. Harris did a fantastic job of creating characters and writing a story that grips your heart right from the start. Americans who love their country and their freedom will be able to relate to Matt and his father, as well as other characters in this book. The tale follows Matt in the army and introduces the men he meets and serves with. The characters are so richly developed, and as the story unfolds it wrenches the reader’s emotions.

I was on the edge of my seat. I laughed. I cried. This is the most powerful novella I have ever read.

This story is not just for Memorial Day. It is for any day. We have soldiers serving our country every day. If you are an American who loves your country and appreciates our military, you will love this book.

I give Oh, the Fallen by Abigail Kay Harris 5 stars.

Misty Dreams by Josephine Strand

Misty Dreams

As a reviewer, I received a free ebook copy of Misty Dreams by Josephine Strand, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review or any review.

Though I read a wide variety of genres, my favorites are the romance genres, and Misty Dreams is one of the most interesting romance stories I have read in a long while. It is the debut novel of Josephine Strand, and I have to say it is a topnotch debut novel. It is well written and has been well edited.

Near the beginning of the story, a little girl is seriously injured in a department store one Christmas Eve, and the Santa Claus from the store takes a huge interest in her and her recovery. Her head injury causes amnesia, and when she cannot remember her name, the Santa takes to calling her “Misty”, short for “mysterious”. One day while Richard, the Santa, is at work, someone comes to claim Misty and return her to her family.

Years later, Richard, struggling with some losses in his life, goes to an island to get away and hopefully, heal. He meets a young woman there and memories of Misty resurface creating more turmoil within Richard. Could this young woman be Misty? If she is, could they have a future together?

Misty Dreams kept me up past my bedtime every night until I finished reading it. It was hard to put down when I had to. The story was unique and Ms. Strand created such wonderful characters, I couldn’t help but love them and want to see them overcome their struggles and be happy. There was conflict and suspense from the beginning until very near the end. There was even a surprise twist near the end.

Misty Dreams is a wonderful story of heartache, struggles, and love. It is not a formulaic romance story and the characters will live on in my memory for a long time. Misty Dreams will be placed on my “favorites” list, and I look forward to more great stories by Josephine Strand.

I give Misty Dreams 5 stars.

Escape From Paradise (Walk With the Wind Book 1) by D. Richard Ferguson

Escape from Paradise : A Christian Adventure Novel (Walk with the Wind Series Book 1) by [D. Richard  Ferguson]

Escape From Paradise is the first book of a two-book set by D. Richard Ferguson. It is an allegorical tale that is reminiscent of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, but D. Richard Ferguson digs deeper and includes more abstract concepts. As a Book Reviewer, I received a free ebook copy, but was not under any obligation to write a positive review or any review of the book. This review is my honest opinion of Escape From Paradise by D. Richard Ferguson.

In Escape From Paradise, Adam is torn from his home and family and dropped into an unfamiliar world where gold heals and fruit is the main food source. He begins a new life for himself in this world and is content enough until a little girl claims she can take him to someone who can help him return to his family.

He then begins a journey where he encounters giants, wild animals, and marauding mountain people. He must decide who to trust, and must also face his own struggles and the reality of who he is, and he must make a decision that will change his life for better or worse forever.

D. Richard Ferguson’s novel is well written and the story is fast-paced and has well-developed characters that the reader can relate to. The story’s message is compelling and the tale draws the reader in. The novel offers plenty of adventure, danger, and suspense. The reader follows Adam’s life, struggles, and decisions, is forced to examine his or her own life struggles and decisions.

This is Book 1 of the two book, Walk With the Wind set, and this book offers enough of a satisfying resolution so as not to leave the reader hanging from a cliff, but promises more as it makes clear that Adam has an important job to do in the next book.

Escape From Paradise was a pleasure to read as it was well-written, well-edited, and engaged the reader in Adam’s life, compelling him or her to continue turning the pages.

I give Escape From Paradise by D. Richard Ferguson 5 stars, and I look forward to reading Book #2 of the Walk With the Wind series. I recommend this book for Young Adult and Adult readers. Younger readers may need some help in understanding some of the concepts presented in this book.

The Rhise of Light: Darkness Overcome (Book 1) by Max B. Sternberg

The Rhise Of Light: Darkness Overcome Book One (Darkness Overcome Series 1) by [Max B Sternberg]

The Rhise of Light: Darkness Overcome (Book 1) by Max B. Sternberg is a debut Christian fantasy novel. As a book reviewer, I received an Advance Reader Copy, and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a review of any kind.

I prefer a book that takes me deep into the mind of the main character, but this book was written mostly from a narrative point of view, therefore I wasn’t as deeply engaged in the main character’s life as I would have liked.

The main character, Leon returns home after his Naval airship is destroyed in battle. However, things at home are not what he had hoped and though he wants to help, he has no power to do so. Therefore he sets out on a new adventure, unsure of where he is going or what he will do.

Along his journey, he meets a dwarf, a pyromancer and her dog companion. These characters join him on his adventure after helping him battle a group of undead (a.k.a. zombies) that have been reeking havoc on their town. As this group of misfits continues on their journey, they meet more fantastical creatures and face more battles, and each of them must face pains of their past.

The main characters are my favorite part of the book. They are well-developed and unique, and seem an unlikely group of friends, but a bond of friendship builds between them.

There are some action scenes, as well as scenes of suspense that kept me turning pages.

Finally, there is a Christian message that threads throughout the story. I found it a bit unclear in some of its lessons, but it certainly exhibits hope and love.

I recommend this story to young adults and adults who enjoy Christian fantasy or who are looking for a story of friendship and hope amid life’s difficult struggles.

Max B. Sternberg promises two more books to come in this “Darkness Overcome” series.

I give The Rhise of Light 4 stars.