Review-Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

978-1-4964-2312-2

Title: Freedom’s Ring
Author: 
Heidi Chiavaroli
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
August 8, 2017

Description from the publisher: 

Boston, 2015
Two years after nearly losing her life in the Boston Marathon bombing, Annie David is still far from “Boston strong.” Instead she remains isolated and defeated—plagued by guilt over her niece, crippled in the blast, and by an antique ring alongside a hazy hero’s face. But when she learns the identity of her rescuer, will he be the hero she’s imagined? And can the long-past history of the woman behind the ring set her free from the guilt and fears of the present?

Boston, 1770
As a woman alone in a rebellious town, Liberty Caldwell finds herself in a dangerous predicament. When a British lieutenant, Alexander Smythe, comes to her rescue and offers her employment, Liberty accepts. As months go by, Alexander not only begins to share his love of poetry with her, but protects Liberty from the advances of a lecherous captain living in the officers’ house where she works.

Mounting tensions explode in the Boston Massacre, and Liberty’s world is shattered as her brother, with whom she has just reunited, is killed in the fray. Desperate and alone, she returns home, only to be assaulted by the captain. Afraid and furious toward redcoats, Liberty leaves the officers’ home, taking with her a ring that belonged to Alexander.

Two women, separated by centuries, must learn to face their fears. And when they feel they must be strong, they learn that sometimes true strength is found in surrender.”

Review: I really didn’t know if I would care for this type of book when I first got it. The description sounded good but I was hesitant with the fact that it switched between the two time periods. I really didn’t think I would like switching back and forth like that. Oh how wrong I could be! This book was amazing! I was drawn into both worlds right away, and the way they shifted back and for was absolutely perfect. What I enjoyed most about this slip novel was nothing was given away too early nor was there ever a time when I felt like any clarification was delayed.

The writing was superb in this book. I have never read a book by this author before but if all her books are written this well, this will not be my last. I truly felt like I was in the story, at one point Annie and Brad were fighting and I had to put my book down for a minute. I actually had to ask my husband if we had been fighting or if it was just in my book. I had felt their conflict so well, I wasn’t sure if it was real or fiction.

These characters were all so wonderfully flawed and were fighting such different demons and yet their struggles were so similar. All of them had to wrestle with giving control over to God and accepting his mercy and guidance. The way there were able to heal and grow with God’s help was amazing and I was invested in their stories until the very end.

I am incredibly glad that I decided to give this book a try. I would encourage anyone else to do the same.

Read an excerpt here: https://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/firstChapters/978-1-4964-2312-2.pdf

 *I received an advanced copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Review! I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck

978-1-4964-2170-8

Title: I’ll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair
Author: 
Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
June 6, 2017

Description from Goodreads: “Two best friends, 500 miles, one wheelchair, and the challenge of a lifetime.
Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other’s weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to feed and care for him in ways he’d never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible for Justin.

So when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick’s immediate response was: “I’ll push you.”

I’ll Push You is the real-life story of this incredible journey. A travel adventure full of love, humor, and spiritual truth, it exemplifies what every friendship is meant to be and shows what it means to never find yourself alone. You’ll discover how love and faith can push past all limits–and make us the best versions of ourselves.”

Review: What an inspirational story! We all get down at times about how life sucks or isn’t fair but this the story of a man who’s life and independence is constantly being shortened by a disease they aren’t even sure what is,  and he decides to go on a 500 mile trip in his wheelchair across mountainous terrain, why not?

How many of us take for granted our ability to walk? I bet almost everyone who is fully able to walk without issue. I know I do, every single day. The story of Justin Skeesuck made me appreciate my ability to just get up and walk around whenever I want. I get uncomfortable when I have to sit for a prolonged period of time and have to get up and walk around a bit. I cannot imagine what it was like for him to sit in his chair for hours upon hours through extremely rough terrain, using all his core muscles to keep him balanced, without being able to get up and stretch out. Yet he did it, day after day, and with an incredible sense of humor.

The friendship between Justin and Patrick is one worth envying. I have never seen such dedication to a friend before. There bond is so strong and is such an incredible gift to each of them. The way they are able to completely rely on and trust one another is astonishing. They seemed to have that bond before this trip, but this trip really seemed to solidify it even more.

I was incredibly inspired by this story. If they can do this, why do I sit around complaining about life not going the way I want it to? We can make our dreams happen, just like Justin and Patrick did.

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

Book Review-Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

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Title: Beloved Hope
Author: Tracie Peterson
Rating: 5/5
Release Date: July 4, 2017

Description from the publisher: “Shackled by Her Past, One Woman Searches for Healing, Forgiveness, and Love

Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, the gentle rhythm of tending her family’s flock of sheep is slowly healing her mind and soul, but her precarious new peace is shattered when Hope is asked to testify against the Cayuse responsible for the massacre. She’s not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days, but neither can she risk her attackers being released if she doesn’t tell her story. 

As Hope struggles to make her choice, an Army lieutenant named Lance Kenner becomes an unexpected ray of light in her life. Perhaps she is still capable of love after all. But will Lance still want her if he learns the whole truth of what happened to her at the mission? Or are the secrets that lie in his own past more troubling?”

Review: I loved this book very much. I read this in just a couple wonderfully relaxing days. It went by much too quickly, but I was so enthralled with the story that I couldn’t put it down to make it last longer. This book was really well written and the vivid descriptions fed my imagination perfectly.

I love Hope’s character; she endured so much in the last book that I was really excited to see more of her story. She grew and matured so much in this book and it was a delight to witness. She began still bitter and angry and kept her distance from God. With some help from Lance, and of course her amazing family, she finally was able to start to put her life back together. I enjoyed her journey toward acceptance and spiritual growth.

Lance was a great addition to this little family and the fact that he and Hope were both struggling with some of the same issues made their romance even more appealing.

I was also really glad to read more of Grace and Alex’s story as well. This book varies from the point of view of Hope, Lance, Grace, Alex, and Mercy. I felt this gave a wonderful all around story and I was able to fully understand each person. I really look forward to Mercy’s story now!

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

Night Night, Train By Amy Parker

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Title: Night Night, Train
Author: 
Amy Parker
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
July 25, 2017

Description from the publisher: “Chug-a-chug, the night night train Is a’rumblin’ ’round the track!

Choo! Choo! All aboard the train to Sleepytown! After a fun-filled day, it’s time to snuggle in, and dream the night away.

Join these adorable puppies in pajamas as they say night night to the train, to their mommy and daddy, and to God. Your little ones will rest their sleepy heads knowing that the God who made them loves them and keeps them safe all night long.

Night night, train!”

Review: This is an adorable book perfect for children up to about 5 years old. Since this is a board book this could be read to those little ones. I love a great bedtime story and it’s perfect when they incorporate vehicles that my son loves. Add in adorable little puppies in pajamas and this book is a home run!

The pictures are adorable and very well illustrated. They match the story so well that my son is able to follow along with the story simply by looking at the pictures. The puppies in pajamas are so delightful and their sleepy little faces bring a smile to my face as I read this.

I adore when a book can incorporate God into the story. It’s a nice way to teach about God but also just the simple little reminders that God loves us and is watching out for us as we sleep. Getting that good foundation of faith at such a young age is so wonderful. I love that these types of books bring up questions from the children and open the dialog to discuss what they don’t quite understand. What more could you ask for in a bedtime story?

 

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

On Love’s Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

9780800724511

Title: On Love’s Gentle Shore
Author: 
Liz Johnson
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
07/04/2017

Description from the publisher: “Natalie O’Ryan had no plans to return to Prince Edward Island. But when her fiancé books their wedding in her hometown and schedules a summer at Rose’s Red Door Inn, she sets out to plan the perfect wedding. Yet she can’t possibly plan for a run-in with Justin Kane–the best friend she left behind all those years ago after promising to stay.

Justin has never forgotten Natalie. He’d been prepared to follow her off the island until tragedy struck, leaving him to run the family dairy farm. He’s done the best he can with the life that was thrust upon him–but with Natalie back in the picture, he begins to realize just how much joy he’s been missing.

After Natalie’s reception venue falls through, she must scramble to find an alternative, and the only option seems to be a barn on Justin’s property. As they work together to get the dilapidated building ready for the party, Natalie and Justin may discover that there is more between them than broken promises and an old friendship.”

Review: This book was heartwarming and completely enthralling. I didn’t expect to feel quite so drawn into this charming town on Prince Edward Island, yet again, but of course I was wrong. Liz Johnson’s writing is so vivid I could see all the details of the barn on Kane dairy and almost smell the salt water from the lighthouse. This is the kind of story you can get lost in and shut out the rest of the world for a while.

I loved the characters and their conflicting personalities. I love how they were able to overcome their issues with the help of each other and God’s grace. Natalie overcame so much, scars from a terrible childhood and it was coming back to where it all happened that she was finally able to move on. Justin had to overcome his bitterness towards his best friend abandoning him. It was also wonderful to catch back up Caden and Adam and Marie and Seth. Though they were secondary characters, we got to see them quite a bit.

I absolutely loved this book and was incredibly sad when it was over. I would definitely recommend it!

Read an excerpt here: http://cdn.bakerpublishinggroup.com/processed/book-resources/files/Excerpt_9780800724511.pdf?1495466656

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

 

 

Book Review! A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

9780800727451

Title: A Matter of Trust
Author: 
Susan May Warren
Rating:
5/5
Release Date: 
07/04/2017

Description from the publisher: It’s those we love who have the power to hurt us most . . .

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the public eye as one of the youngest senators in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother–a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.”

Review: This was an amazing adventure packed story about forgiveness and redemption. To say this story was exciting would be an understatement. I was hooked right from the beginning and the thrilling story went right up to the cliff hanger ending. Susan May Warren’s Montana Rescue series just keeps getting better and better. These are far more than romance books, there is a little romance in there, but that part is just background. I cannot wait for the next book to come out!

These characters are amazing and they are so complex. When I start a new book in this series I always get a strong desire to back and reread the previous books to remember how the characters were first introduced. When this series ends, gasp, I will have to go back, knowing what I do about each of the characters, and reread the entire series from start to finish.

The writing was so vivid that I actually picked up my phone a few times to look up the YouTube videos that were referenced in the book. I had to remind myself numerous times that this is just a book, it’s not real. I really got lost in this book and enjoyed every second of it.

This is a series that I would recommend to anyone. There is so much more to these books than romance. The Christian element isn’t even that strong in these books. It’s just enough to remind us of God’s love and grace in our lives.

 

Read an excerpt here: http://cdn.bakerpublishinggroup.com/processed/book-resources/files/Excerpt_9780800727451.pdf?1495466713

 

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*

New Name same content…

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday. I have changed my name from AlyssaRossBlog to BookExpression. I have been unhappy with my blog name for a while and finally decided to change it. I didn’t like that my blog name gave no indication what my blog is about.

I hope this change will cut confusion 🙂

What do you all think? Is there anything you would like to see on my blog that I don’t currently offer?