The Ladies of Ivy Cottage

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage was written by Julie Klassen and published by Bethany House.

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage follows the whole population of a small town in the United States but three ladies in particular: Mercy, Jane, and Rachel.

Mercy lives in Ivy Cottage with her aunt. As she is unmarried she needs a way to support herself so she opens up a girls school in her house. One day her parents show up at her door with a prospective suitor. She tells Mercy that either she must marry this man or she and Mercy’s father would offer Ivy Cottage to Mercy’s brother and his soon-to-be wife. Mercy does not love this man but she does not want to lose her girls school.

Jane is a widow with a secret that she has confided in absolutely no one. She has miscarried seven children. This fact weighs heavily on her during he story and she needs someone to confide in.

Rachel is the youngest of these three women. She used to be high in society but a scandal with her father caused her to lose her home and all her money. Mercy employs her in her girls school and allows her to open a lending library in Ivy Cottage’s drawing room. The son of the new inhabitants of Rachel’s old house takes a liking to Rachel and asks her to marry him. But she loves another.

I liked this book but it was entirely too long considering the amount of story that actually moved the plot along it contained. I would recommend it to people who are looking for a relatively light book to read who have a lot of time on their hands.

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Out of the Ordinary

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano is a book about Gertrude Cadawalader  who is a paid companion to a Mrs. Davenport. Gertrude has her hands full as Mrs. Davenport has an affinity for engaging in actions of a criminal nature, namely stealing. Gertrude has also recently become a subject of gossip pertaining to her close friendship with a Harrison Sinclair who was considered one of the most eligible bachelors of this time. Needless to say, Gertrude has her hands full.

The book opens with Gertrude looking for Mrs. Davenport who had disappeared about an hour ago which means she has had plenty of time to get up to her usual hijinks. Now at this time Gertrude is wearing a bustle crafted out of a birdcage by the aforementioned Mrs. Davenport. Needless to say she is very uncomfortable. In her search for Mrs. Davenport Gertrude sees a perfect hiding spot for her employer. As she was inspecting it, she falls onto a couch and her bustle breaks pinning her to the couch. She is soon found by Clementine Flowerdew who attempts to blackmail her by saying she will help Gertrude get free of the couch if Gertrude agrees to introduce her to Harrison. Gertrude refuses and Clementine immediately gets angry saying she will tell everyone that she saw Gertrude trying to steal the painting that very unfortunately was hanging above the couch that Gertrude was currently pined to. She leaves Gertrude to wait for someone to come find her.

I liked this book. It doesn’t have much of a real climax but Turano managed to weave many little side stories to the main plotline very tactfully. Would recommend.

Blind Spot

I received a free copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Blind Spot was written by by Dani Pettrey and published by Bethany House in  2017.

Blind Spot is about two groups of detectives. One group is trying to figure out how to stop a terrorist attack they believe will happen soon. The other group is looking into a suicide case. As you can imagine, the two cases are connected.

Declan and Tanner are assigned to work together on the terrorist case. They fall more and more in love with each other as they get closer and closer to cracking the case. Meanwhile, on the other case Declan’s former coach commits suicide. When Declan’s coworkers look into they begin to feel more and more like it wasn’t a suicide at all. What could these two cases possibly have in common?

I enjoyed this book. The many characters and the way the book jumps from case to case make it a little confusing at first but it is well worth the read. Also, the ending leaves a little bit to be desired. It felt like the author had reached her deadline and was trying to tie up all of the loose ends really fast. Other than that the book was great.

Heart on the Line

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Heart on the Line was written by Karen Witemeyer and published by Bethany House in 2017.

Witemeyer writes about doing what’s good for you and doing the right thing. Grace could have just handed over the books and be done with the whole business but she knew the right thing to do would be to hand them over to the proper authorities.

Grace Mallory is the telegraph operator at Harper’s Station. Some way or another she begins to talk to a fellow operator Mr. A. Their friendship is cut short when she receives a cryptic message: He knows where you are. Coming for you. Sorry.

Amos Bledsoe’s mother and sister think it’s high time he found a wife. His only escape from their perpetual pestering is the telegraph office where he talks to a Miss G. When he hears that she is in danger he rushes to her rescue. Little does he know what he’s getting himself into.

This book is set at Harper’s Station an all women community.

The climax of this book is when Grace realizes that Lockhart was the man who killed her father and that he would have no qualms about killing her and Amos too.

I liked this book. I thought it had a nice beginning and ending but the middle dragged on a little. I’m probably not going to be reading the rest of the series.

Threads of Suspicion

I received a free copy of this book from  the Bethany House bloggeer review program  in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson was published by Bethany House in 2017.

Henderson writes about two different yet similar conflicts. One is Maggie’s internal conflict where she struggles with accepting Jesus as her lord and savior. The other is Evie’s conflict where she struggles with her answer to Rob’s marriage proposal.

Evie Blackwell is a detective who is working on the Missing Person’s Task Force. She is currently investigating the case of a missing college student by the name of Jenna.

David is also working with the Missing Persons Task Force. He takes the case of Saul Morris, a private investigator. He and Evie help each other with their cases throughout the duration of this book.

Margaret May MacDonald is a famous singer. She is also David’s girlfriend. David and Evie believe that Maggie’s concert might have something to do with Jenna’s disappearance.

Jenna is the missing person that David and Evie are trying to find. When they interviewed people who knew Jenna they see two startlingly different view points. David and Evie have to figure out which viewpoint is closer to the truth.

This book is set in suburban Chicago. Most of the people there are very helpful and willing to be interviewed. Evie and David, with the help of God, have to figure out if all of the missing girl’s cases are linked or if it is just a coincidence.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought that it had the right amount of suspense and it didn’t drag on to long. I would 10/10 recommend this book.

The Chapel Car Bride

This book was given to me by Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

A chapel car is a train car that looks like a sanctuary inside with a tiny living space. This is what Reverend Irvine and his daughter Hope travel in. Reverend Irvine preaches and Hope plays the organ, sings, and teaches the children. At Finch, one of  the towns the chapel car stops at, Hope meets two young men. Luke is a struggling coal miner who has dreams of becoming a pastor. Kirby is an unhappy mine manager who was sent there by his father and is looking for a way out. When Kirby offers to take Hope to the neighboring villages to teach the children Hope quickly agrees. Luke suspects that Kirby has an ulterior motive.

The Chapel Car Bride was written by Judith Miller and published by Bethany House Publishers in 2017.

Miller writes about the conflict between right and wrong. Luke ultimately represents the right although he makes a few mistakes while Kirby represents the wrong even though he does do a few charitable acts. Hope is suspended between the two men not knowing who to trust. She suspects Luke of being jealous of Kirby and she wants to believe that not all mine managers are the same but she does concede that Luke knows more about these things than she does.

Hope  wants to do what is right and serve God while she’s in Finch. She thinks that Kirby’s offer to drive her to neighboring towns is an answer to prayer, and she never suspects that his motives are less than charitable. Soon he asks her to do something she knows is wrong with the threat of never taking her back to those towns. Hope wants to tell other people about God but she doesn’t want to betray Luke’s trust.

Luke has dreams of being a preacher someday. He starts to meet with Hope’s father every morning for Bible study and eventually starts preaching at some of the meetings. All the while he gets to know Hope better and better and begins to hope that they could become more than friends.

Kirby is the son of the owner of the mining company. He doesn’t take much interest in the business and was sent there by his father as a punishment for gambling in the hope that his son would become more responsible. Kirby’s only thoughts are to get out and to win the affection of Hope.

Nellie is Luke’s younger sister. She is about Hope’s age and the two girls become fast friends. Nellie goes with Kirby and Hope to the neighboring towns and she helps with Sunday School.

Finch is a little mining town in the middle of nowhere. The people in it don’t take well to newcomers and it is hard for Hope and her father to integrate themselves into the community. The woods are off-limits and when you hear that someone is “gardening” or “hunting” you can be sure that they’re in the woods.

I enjoyed this book. I thought that it was well-written and well-edited. I would definitely recommend this book to any of my friends.

Gifts from Heaven

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Gifts from Heaven by  James Stuart Bell is a book about miraculous answers to prayer. Time and time again God amazes us with his solutions to our problems.

This book is set up as a series of short stories by various authors who tell how God performed miracles in their lives. From changing three-valved hearts into four-valved ones to mysterious nurses who can’t be seen on the security footage, there is no end to the surprises God has up his sleeve.

I enjoyed this book. I loved how it kept surprising me with the new ways God fixes problems. My only problem is that the e-book quality of this book is bad. Some of the stories had the whole first page cut out. I was able to understand what had happened from context, but I would have liked to read the first part of the story. All in all, I would recommend this book just not in e-book form.