Matthew 13:44 by Scott Coren

I thought I'd really enjoy this book because I know personally how God works and orchestrates all those terrible things that happen into something wonderful for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. In fact, the first part of this book is incredibly depressing.

I am not a fan of novels that come from several different directions like a shot from a shot gun in reverse. While real life is rarely situated for one to handle one problem at a time, novels do not have to be like that to make a huge impact on the reader. So much happened in the first several chapters that overwhelms the storyline. It's similar to a storyflow dam, or a congested head. You can't breathe.

[Caution Spoiler Alert]
I did like the tactic [caution spoiler alert] used for the one person that became Lucy's friend. The way it was written, and all that happened before, you just think this is one more tangled snarl that will drag Lucy even farther down into the quagmire. Only after that do things start looking up for her, but by that time you are incredibly tired of trying to untangle all the storylines. Reading this book is work, not pleasure.

The writing is good, not much head jumping and that made me like it even more. I give it 4 of 5 stars.

Lucy and Steve Sinclair move into their dream home in Washington DC. They’re young, successful and expecting their first child. But within one month their world will implode. Steve becomes sick, disappears and is found dead and Lucy’s baby will be born needing life-saving cardiac surgery. Lucy is then falsely accused of killing her husband in the most public of forums by her very own Judas - a man who she once called her very best friend. And all because of a chance find, hidden in the darkest and deepest recess of their attic.

Why has life suddenly turned so sour? Lucy’s only clue is a torn and scribbled note, citing ‘Matthew 13:44,’ which she finds on her husband’s desk. Given he’s a non-believer, like her, this makes no sense. He’s never even held a Bible in his life.
Soon condemned by the very people who should be supporting her, Lucy must discover and expose the real perpetrators. In doing so, it becomes hard to know who she can trust.

Alone and in the midst of this chaos, a chance lifeline is thrown, tethered to a stranger; a man she has never met but feels blissfully familiar with, who helps her discover her true purpose in life, and how - like the very Passion itself - ultimate good can come from the very worst of circumstances.

In an ever more secular world where divine fate is passed off as chance, Matthew 13:44 is a gripping account of one woman’s struggle to discover her faith, her purpose and her plan; a divine plan.


Review: A Daughter's Inheritance

A Daughter's Inheritance
A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Don't waste your time or your money. I have no idea why so many gave this book more than 1 star. It's the first in a series, so I'd steer clear of anymore that might come out. Unless something drastically changes, the others will be just as disappointing. In my experience, a book never gets better the farther you read into it. It just doesn't.

The characters are really flat, 2-dimensional obviously contrived automatons except for the villainous uncle.

There is tremendous build-up, but nothing happens and then the book just ends. This is not the way to get readers to buy more books! Have a conclusion. Cliffhangers don't work anymore, and soap operas that go on and on don't work anymore either... and there's plenty of soft soap here.

It is quite obvious that the editor of this book did not do her/his job well at all. It is also obvious that Traci Peterson needs to rest her brain awhile and maybe something creative might seep into it... but, wait! This really was a creative premise. But, really, it was way too close to Titanic which was just as unbelievable.

Now I get it, those that gave it more than 1 star must live to watch soap operas.

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A Daughter's Inheritance by Traci Peterson and Judith Miller

Don't waste your time or you money. Build up with flat characters and nothing happens.


Hawk by Ronie Kendig

Kendig has done a very good job for getting that feel for being in the middle of military conflict. Her characterizations are very good. I rarely like it when a female tries to get into the head of a male character or when a male tries to get into the head of a female character. Usuawhy he has anger issues.

The story line is a trifle farfetched for me, though. I cannot fathom how a young woman in Afghanistan or Iraq (never clear on exactly where the training was taking place or exactly which army) could possibly pull the wool over her relatives' eyes like this. Being in military training takes enormous time, so family (especially a close-as-a-sister cousin) won't notice she's out of pocket??? No, I don't think so. It is not plausible, much less believable.

Kendig is a good writer, which is why I keep trying to like her books, but this one was really too far from believable.
lly it never works, but Kendig seems to make it work fine. She pegs Brian (Hawk) well, and his anger issues are described well, but she doesn't make it plain

She gets 4 of 5 stars for the writing, but only 1 of 5 stars for storyline.


Brickmaker's Bride by Judity Miller

Here we have an interesting background. Brickmaking. Quite fascinating how they made bricks back in the late 1800s. The story line is very believable and very well told. Descriptions are good. You can almost feel the heat of the brick ovens, and smell the mud. The love story has just the right touch of sweetness and awkward nervousness.

A good mix with the Irish and the Americans. Excellent research in how marketing, buying, selling of bricks was done. Just an excellent flavor of the period. In fact the research for the time period is spot on. Really good job.

Characterization and character development is very good. You'll be drawn into the story quickly, and the dialogue is so believable that you'll think your right there in the conversations. You've got the villains and the good guys, those that act stupidly, and those that have well-used thinking caps, and one or two that you want to pinch some sense into. The mix is very entertaining, and quite real-to-life.

This is just an excellent read. I recommend it with 5 of 5 stars.

Review: A Most Inconvenient Marriage

A Most Inconvenient Marriage
A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Seriously, Jennings is the most improved author of the decade. Her first novel was poorly researched, but was interesting. There is much good to say about this novel, though. Jennings takes a hard look at prejudice after the Civil War. I'm quite impressed with the research. She includes some sweet romance, quite a bit of levity, and a hard look at some medical practices in the mid-nineteenth century.

She also has a flare for some interesting situations that explode like a released spring, or into some hilarity. Very well written in those parts.

However, there is one part at the very beginning that reads like it was puffed to add more pages. After about the 2nd chapter there's no need for it because it adds no suspense, romance, or clarity to the story. I'd seriously consider skipping the part at the beginning that tells about a certain man's discovery. I was half way through the book before I realized that he wasn't who I thought he was, which caused considerable confusion and no tension.

Aside from that, I will definitely be looking for more from Regina Jennings! A worthy read.
5 of 5 stars!

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