Dauntless by Dina Sleiman


The book starts out really good. It's attention-keeping so you keep turning those pages. You would think that's the main thing, right?

Well, I believe that an author should do deep research when writing in a different period than modern day. An author should immerse in the language of the day, the customs of the day, and make the reader step into that world... and stay there until the last page is read. Sleiman does an okay job with this technique, but...

Modernisms keep creeping into the story line. Not necessarily in language, but more in mindsets. The freedoms that we Americans and others of the free world take for granted are just that--taken for granted. So much so that we don't even realize how the feminist movement, the freedoms from slavery, the educations we have will bleed into anything we write. An author needs to peel off all that, and step into the mindset of the period he or she is writing about. I strongly suggest all authors who want to write about times gone by read the book A Cast of Stones to see how this is done. 

Setting that aside because that kind of thing may not bother you like it does me, I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Christian-values read. It has enough plot twists to keep the pages turning.

4 of 5 stars

Timothy Grey plans to earn a title by capturing "Lady" Merry and her band of orphan thieves. But will he carry out his mission when he meets their dauntless leader face to face?

The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis


This novel is very intriguing. Mary Ellis has woven an interesting storyline with definitely interesting characters. She develops the characters in a slow-cooker kind of way so that the reader can savor every nuance. Not too slow, not too fast. Just right. It will keep you turning pages.

There are quite a few characters to keep up with, and the two sisters get a bit tangled up at times, but their characters are quite different so it is not hard to keep them separate. I won't talk about the ending, though, because it wasn't very satisfying for me. You may like it. Although not a main character, the husband of Amanda's sister did the most "growing up" in the book. That should have been the main character to do that. Ah, well, times are changing...

I definitely liked how Ellis incorporated some free Negros into her story. There were many more free than people have been taught. She did a very good job with that.

However, there were some things that were hard to swallow. Some situations were very heavy-handed such as without any indication whatsoever on the part of Amanda's sister having a mean streak, she ordered a couple of slaves to kneel in salt for hours upon end while she napped. That was over the top. It is something I could believe the husband would do, not the wife. I just did not get the feel throughout the story that Ellis had really done her research well. It felt like she had taken all the stereotypical scenarios  and pasted them into her story. Another thing is how modernisms were sprinkled throughout.

I made note of a few of them, but I can't find that paper I wrote them on now. Sigh... I do remember one. Women were not allowed to enter eating establishments without escort, nor were they allowed to eat by themselves. The sisters went to a hotel restaurant by themselves. That would not have happened, especially since one of them was unmarried. Another thing is shrimp was caught, cooked and served within about a two hour time limit as shrimp spoils quickly in hot, Southern summers. Those are the only two I remember.

One very good thing was the similarities and the differences between the Brits and the Southerners view of slavery and servanthood. Good research alignment there.


Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow’s Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.
When Amanda Dunn sets sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, she hopes to somehow restore shipments of raw materials for her family’s textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. Though there is not much one individual can do, the wealthy young woman feels she must try, as her mother and hundreds of employees at Dunn Textiles are dependent on Southern cotton.
When Amanda meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and quickly return to England changes. Though captivated by one another, neither is fully aware of the other’s true nature.
Nathanial, who on the outside appears to be a poor but hardworking merchant, is actually a secret Yankee sympathizer who will stop at almost nothing to bring about freedom for those who live under subjugation, even when that involves questionable judgment. And Amanda’s wealth is made possible by underpaid workers living in slums around the mills, not much different than American slavery.
Can these two earnest souls find the best in one another rather than focus on what could tear them apart? And though they both believe they are on God’s path, how will their decisions affect those around them?

What Every Christian Needs to Know about Passover - Rabbi Even Moffic


I think almost every Christian should absolutely study the rituals involved in Passover. I plan to celebrate Passover with my Bible study group. However...

If you are looking for a book that delves deeply into all the signs that Passover illustrates about Jesus, then this book probably is not for you. While Rabbi Moffic does point out some of those illustrations, this is more about the Jewish mindset in Passover celebration. I was disappointed, actually.

It is clear that Moffic has a deeper understanding of the Catholic religion than Evangelical Christian beliefs. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I was hoping to get insights from an Evangelical point of view. Moffic even says he does not recommend conducting a sedar from a Christian viewpoint haggadah.

One great thing about this book is that you are given all you need to know about a Passover Sedar so you can celebrate it, too. There is a complete Haggadah (script, if you will) in the back of the book. You also receive many blessings from understanding the Jewish mindset. This will help any Christian to talk to a Jewish friend or acquaintance about Jesus. That is invaluable!

All in all I give this 4 stars out of 5.

Understand the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples and its ancient roots in the Jewish Passover, and discover what it can mean to a Christian celebration of Communion and Easter today.
The Passover was celebrated by Jesus and the disciples the last time they were together. Now popular speaker and writer Rabbi Evan Moffic brings an understanding to the Last Supper that will forever change how Christians celebrate Communion and prepare for Easter. Beginning with the Hebrew Bible and Jewish history, Rabbi Moffic shows how these inform the roots of Christianity as he weaves together history, theology, Jewish practice and observances. Then he provides the background and resources for Christians seeking to experience an authentic Jewish Passover Seder and integrate it into their own preparation for Easter. Rabbi Moffic brings an informed and ancient perspective, explaining and bringing to life the source of so many of our modern Christian practices.
By exploring and explaining the ritual and story surrounding the Jewish Passover, Rabbi Moffic shares with Christians the wisdom and inspiration of the Hebrew Bible—what Christians call the Old Testament—in a way that increases appreciation and understanding of the culture in which Jesus lived and taught. For contemporary Christians desiring to enrich their understanding of the faith they practice today, this book offers deeper understanding of their spiritual heritage shared with Judaism.



I've been reading Lori Copeland for many years. I think she is a fine writer and has plenty of experience. This novel illustrates her story telling ability very well. The story premise is unique, but just a bit unbelievable.

Story flow is good. Nothing bogs down the rhythm and pace of the story except when a character steps out of character. I'll explain that in a moment. The setting is great. The period of history is not explained until well into the story, but that doesn't matter until the plot twists, and the reader needs to know why the gold is so important to Creed. That is actually done very well. You get the feel for the period right off when the girls are rescued from a wagon by men on horseback.

We have a con artist white girl (believable), and a stoic Indian (believable). Creed, the Indian, is a man of very few words (believable). But then the Indian goes in shops and saloons and other places where Indians were not usually allowed without anyone raising an eyebrow. That isn't so believable.

There are several places in this story that feel contrived and forced, such as the time Annie-Marie goes out into a blizzard. She shows a lot more sense than that early on in the novel. She grew up in the region, so she knows blizzards and their hazards. She knows better. There is no real reason why she does this except for her pique at the Indian girl, Berry Woman. It would be different if she were running a fever, or had drunk some loco juice. Women do silly things sometimes, but this is one thing I take great exception to, why have a character do something out of character in order to contrive a sudden caring in the heart of the Indian for the silly woman? That isn't believable to me.
The dialogue in this book leaves a LOT to be desired. It is stilted, and reads like not-very-good-actors on a stage. I have not read a Lori Copeland book that had this problem. So this was an unexpected surprise.

All things added together thought, the story and the character development mean more to a story that a few stilted lines of dialogue, and there are some very cute situations, so I give this 3 of 5 stars.


From bestselling author Lori Copeland (more than 3 million books in print) comes the inspiring sequel to Sisters of Mercy Flats.

The three wily and beautiful McDougal sisters can swindle a man faster than it takes to lasso a calf. But their luck is running out, and they’re about to be hauled off to jail. When the wagon carrying them falls under attack, each sister is picked up by a different man.

Anne-Marie, the middle sister, is saved by Creed Walker, a Crow warrior. It’s loathing at first sight, but with bandits on their tail and a cache of gold to hide, Creed and Anne-Marie need each other. Will they learn to put aside their differences and trust each other—and God? And can their growing faith turn their lives around?
Get widget