In Good Company by Jan Turano


This is one of the best romances I've read in a long time. Deeply fun, characters very well developed, in fact so fun you can find yourself counting them as friends and giving them advice.

The novel has just the right amount of humor, suspense, and abrasion between characters to make it one of the most interesting books of 2015.

Millie and Everett both have a lot of grown to do, and it is inevitable that they each feel the other needs to change the most. It is quite delightful how they manage to help each other become not only better persons, but also realize that when together they make a whole.

The children are delightful scamps, and Turano does an excellent job illustrating how children might behave when they've lost both beloved parents, and when they are trying to find an even keel in unknown waters without the undivided attention of their guardian. Millie comes along in a very unconventional way to help guide them in this turbulent time of their lives. But the fun starts literally when Everett and Millie bump into each other.

This is 5 of 5 stars. I will definitely be purchasing all of Jan Turano's books.

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason


This is a pleasing period piece romp. Love abounds for two sisters who want to please their father, but their hearts just won't behave. It isn't the best Bethany House has offered Christian readers, but it ranks fairly high because it is fairly well written and interesting. I give it 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Character development relies mostly upon the looks of a person rather than upon actual character dynamics. It is difficult to truly develop a character when there are so many to develop. There are the two sisters, the mama and papa, a brother and two little ones not to mention the love interests. The novel gets slow in places where it needs to move quickly, and runs right past some spots that could be savored by the reader if the author had spent more time developing the characters. I particularly like the way Mason develops the pouty Colleen. Well done! She may be the most interesting character in the whole novel.

Faith plays out very well among the characters. It is softly done with a gentle touch, and that is so much better than the in-your-face kind.

The story line is very good, and the author uses humor in unexpected style with adds a great deal to interest. One great thing is that there are no startling modern-day references. But there is a lot of head hopping (remember this is where the reader is dragged from one character's point of view to the next in a willy-nilly fashion without well developed transitions, which is quite startling). When readers are jerked around like that, it makes the story flow seem more like stuttering rather than a smooth run through calm waters and a fast flow over white water rapids. When well done, it isn't even noticeable.


The Tuning Station The Tuning Station by Chris A. Crawford

The Tuning StationThe Tuning Station by Chris A. Crawford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A stunning moral for Christians today is tucked neatly in this unique, page-turner. Chris Crawford has delved into the minds of Ted the Christian and Ted the Unbeliever. There is a little twist with one of them having Asperger's syndrome which is a neat psychological touch.

The novel is well-written, with just enough twists and turns to make the story interesting, but not so much that it is convoluted. The conclusion of why one Ted went one way and the other went the opposite way is quite intriguing. It was one of those things that made me take a hard look at my own Christian walk to see if I could have caused this kind of conundrum. Since we can't change the past, but we can certainly determine the future I decided to change a couple of things. I don't know if this is what Chis was aiming for, but it sure did give me pause without listening to a sermon.

Character development is quite good. The point of view is in the first person, which I love! The author did a very good job with spreading just enough information on the bread to give it plenty of flavor, too. No information overload, in other words, and development of the story is an extraordinary, smooth flowing river. Some white water here and there, and one or two waterfalls that make your stomach lurch in that satisfying way good stories do.

This book is definitely a keeper. I think it would be a great read for new Christians and for older teen readers. The apologetics are good, and the atheist argument is also amazing.

I gave this book 4 stars because there's no way to give 4.5 stars. There are some grammar problems that made me have to reread a few paragraphs to understand them, and quite a few solecisms. Since both Ted-s taught college level courses, the solecisms were reading flow stoppers for me. However, these problems probably would not matter a hill of beans to most readers. I give the book 4.5 stars.

View all my reviews

Trouble At Leighton Hall: (KerryAnne Dawson) by Sherry Chamblee

Trouble At Leighton Hall: (KerryAnne Dawson) (KerryAnne Dawson Mysteries Book 2)Trouble At Leighton Hall: (KerryAnne Dawson) by Sherry Chamblee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good story for the younger crowd. It has enough twists and turns to make for a good story flow. The target audience is 11-16 year-olds, and this offering has a lot to offer with a strong female character who actually admits when she's wrong.

Only one character is well-developed, which is the main character. The other characters (and there are a lot of them) are there for story content. That isn't an altogether bad thing when considering the target audience. With the story being about Bible college students, there isn't much love interest going on, but I suppose that will develop as each KerryAnne story progresses. I really like the way Chamblee highlights characteristics about Tim (the potential love interest for KerryAnne) that are not only likable, but also are reasons to love someone.

Far too many authors these days throw two people together and hack away at them until they fit together making them fall in love with no reasons for love to develop. That makes for a very awkward love story. Not so with this book.

This is a mystery series, and Chamblee never takes her eyes off the objective to solve the mystery. That is quite an accomplishment.

Good faith aspect without being preachy. There are several typos and grammatical errors, but they don't dam up the story flow too much. I'm taking 1 star off for that.

I recommend this book giving it a 4 of 5 stars.

View all my reviews

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? by Natalie Vellacott

They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know?They're Rugby Boys, Don't You Know? by Natalie Vellacott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

True story of a woman on a mission to help street boys in the Philippines.

I really liked this book. I love how God works in so many people is so many different ways to reach the lost souls in this ugly world. I think the most striking thing about the rugby boys is how invisible they were to most people. That made me cry.

Natalie Vellacott walks with you arm-in-arm while she tells you about her adventures with the rugby boys. These guys get high on solvents (rugby), and this is why they are called rugby boys. She introduces you to each young one as she tells their story. You find yourself falling for each one, and praying for them when you are not reading. I couldn't help myself. I know their stories unfolded from 2011 to 2013, but I couldn't help but worry over them. I recognized the demonic oppressions and possessions in these children's behaviors. That may be shocking to some, but it is what it is.

After reading this book, I feel like I have actually been to the Philippines. My neighbor down the street is from there, so I could hear the boys talk in her accent :)

Natalie makes sure that God receives all the glory. She shows how God works in His mysterious ways in how she made it back to the country after her commitment to Logos Hope was finished. How God provides for her ministry, how He led her to a new, but similar, ministry. After reading this, you'll want to log on to her Facebook page and keep track of these homeless boys that God ministers to through her.

God used Natalie and her shipmates to make a huge difference in these young lives. Although, she leaves you hanging about one young man, the story is extremely satisfying, well-written, and free of grammar/typos that made reading this a very pleasant experience.

(Americans need to get over the British spellings of certain words. I stumbled a bit until I realized that's just the way the Brits talk.)

View all my reviews
Get widget