Harvest of Grace – Cindy Woodsmall

Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever? 

Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.

After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.

Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.

Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall is Book 3 in the Ada’s House Series. In this book we meet Sylvia and Aaron. Not always a reader of books set in the Amish community, I was looking forward to reading this third book. At the beginning I was enjoying the story line and eager to see how Sylvia’s future would turn out.

However, I felt that the story lacked some depth. I think more attention and time could have been spent on Aaron. It felt like we learned very little about Aaron and his family and the effects that Sylvia had on them. The relationship between Aaron and Sylvia went from antagonistic to romantic almost too quickly and without enough information.

In Harvest of Grace, we also catch up on the characters from other Ada’s House books. It was lovely to read how their situations worked out but I feel it took away from time that should have been spent with Aaron and Sylvia’s storyline.

Overall, Harvest of Grace is an enjoyable read especially if you enjoy the Amish setting. I think it would be beneficial to read the other books in the series beforehand so the reader isn’t lost on the other characters.

You can read an excerpt of the Harvest of Grace here.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BloggingforBooks/Waterbrook Multnomah. No compensation was made. The thoughts/opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Judgment Day – Wanda Dyson

Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions..

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancé–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Wanda L. Dyson was  new author for me but I was intrigued by the storyline and had to read Judgment Day. As one who enjoys a good suspense read, I was not disappointed. From the first few pages, the suspense began and kept me turning the pages. There were times when it was predictable but Ms. Dyson’s writing still held my interest. It is all too common in certain genres for the same ideas to be written over and over again. Ms. Dyson did an excellent job in making this unique story line work.

I was a bit disappointed in the characters. Much of the dialogue seemed shallow and rushed. While the suspense and action were well written, I would have loved to have seen more character development.  I think digging a bit deeper into some of the relational aspects would have added much to the story.

The ending was a surprise. It seem to take a relational focus and after the relationships being kept at a superficial level throughout the book, the ending seemed out of place. I definitely expected a different style of ending for Judgment Day.

However, if you are looking for a great suspense read, Judgment Day would be an excellent choice. I will be looking for more of Ms. Dyson’s work to read in the future.

You can go here and read an excerpt to get a feel for Judgment Day.

Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review by WaterBrook Multnomah. No compensation was made. Opinions expressed are my own.

Mine is the Night – Liz Curtis Higgs

SHE LOST EVERYTHING SHE LOVED.
HE HAD EVERYTHING SHE NEEDED.
BUT COULD SHE FIND THE COURAGE TO TRUST HIM?

Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?
Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.
Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?
The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.

 

Although I had not read the prequel to this book, Here Burns My Candle, I was intrigued by the story of Mine is the Night. Inspired by Ruth and Boaz, Mine is the Night, tells the store of Elisabeth Kerr as she seeks to make her way in Scotland and overcome the past.

The attention to details of the historical setting of Scotland, the mindset of that time, the emotions of the characters were wonderful. As you step into the pages of this book, you are immediately taken into the dreary rain as the Kerr women step out of their carriage to be interrogated. The emotion comes through so vividly. Not only was it historically accurate, but it portrayed a beautiful love story that touches the heart.

Ms. Higgs does an outstanding job of drawing her readers in to this story of redemption. So beautifully done. I will be getting the prequel, Here Burn My Candle, as I want more details of the beginning of the Elisabeth’s journey. I highly recommend Mine is the Night for those who love historical fiction that is beautifully accurate and are touched by a sweet love story.

You can go HERE to read an excerpt from Mine is the Night.

 

**Disclaimer: As a participant in Blogging For Books, WaterBrook Multnomah provided me a complimentary copy of this book for review. No compensation was made. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.