book reviews for April

Disclosure: These books were provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hello!  This is a book review post (obviously!) but instead of just writing several review posts per month, I am saving them all for one post once a month.  These books were sent to me in exchange for an honest review.


First up is In the Shadow of Denali by Kimberley Woodhouse and Tracie Peterson.  Here is how it is described on Goodreads: Cassidy Ivanoff and her father John, a wilderness guide, work at a prestigious new hotel outside Mt. McKinley. John’s new apprentice, Allan Brennan, finds a friend in Cassidy, but the real reason he’s here–to learn the truth about his father’s death–is far more dangerous than he knows. 

The book takes place in Alaska in the 1920s.  It is part one in the Heart of Alaska series. What I noticed right off the bat was the cover, which was lovely, but the model representing Cassidy was not an accurate depiction of the era.  Here makeup and hair were not in style, especially not for an outdoorsy, working woman.  But apart from that, I enjoyed the book!  The characters were interesting, there was adventure, romance, and mystery.  Admittedly some parts of the mystery were a bit confusing Faith was a strong element throughout the book and it was obvious that it is a work of Christian fiction. I liked that the book was wholesome and entertaining, but I wish it went into more depth about the secondary characters.  Hopefully we read more about them in the other books of this series once they are released!  I did think the ending was a bit rushed.

Next up, Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson. This book is the first is a series called Heart of the Frontier. Generally, I enjoy Tracie’s books so I was excited for this one.  Here is the Goodreads description: Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.  Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on. With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbours, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.

The book takes place in the 1840s, in a somewhat confusing scene.  We begin reading just after Grace buries her husband and it took a while for me to understand what exactly was going on.  But once I did, I enjoyed the story.  Grace and her sisters are easy to like; Alex seems mysterious and I liked where the story seemed to be headed.  Then I got to chapter eight, which goes into great detail about an infected wound…yuck!  I had to just skim it because it was too descriptive for my liking. Then, in chapter 12 I was horrified at the gruesome detail of the massacre that took place.  Even though it only lasted a few pages, I felt like I read an entire chapter on it!  It was extremely descriptive and something i did NOT enjoy reading.  I know it is an event that actually took place, but I felt like the author could have made an impact without writing so much detail.

The second half of the book focused on the aftermath of the massacre, including the repeated rape of the women.  It was all unneeded in my opinion! Again, I understand that this is a real event that took place, but I felt very uncomfortable reading those details, including the section about a woman who wants to abort her baby after realizing she has been impregnated by her rapist.

I did not enjoy this book at all, and am not likely to read the others in the series.  I also would not recommend this to anyone, which saddens me because I like Tracie Peterson.

The third book I am reviewing is A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot. This book is part one in the Cimmaron Creek Trilogy.  Goodreads summarizes it as: From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners–like her. Lydia won’t let that get her down, though. All will be well when she’s reunited with her fiancé. But when she discovers he has disappeared–and that he left behind a pregnant wife–Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

This was a great book! It had mystery (what happened to Lydia’s fiancé? Who is responsible for the crimes in town?) and unexpected romance.  There were a lot of characters mentioned, which became confusing but there is a handy family tree listed at the front of the book.  I liked that there was also a town map, too.  Some reviewers were surprised to learn that there was candy making involved in this story, since there is literally not mention of it in the description. However, I figured there would be since the cover features a candy store! That was a fun element to the story.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to more from this author.

The final book I reviewed is actually a colouring book devotional called Words of Grace, written by Jacqui Grace and Dee Arrand.  I liked the idea of this book because it is on trend with the colouring book phase, but is a timeless devotional.  Unlike regular colouring books, this can be reused again and again because the devotions are quality material.

The illustrations are lovely and simple, the actual devotionals are short and to the point, which is great for people who may not have a lot of time. Each devotional has a theme and the corresponding colouring page has a relevant verse.  Also worth noting is that this book is small enough to fit in an average purse of even a carry on bag!

I’d recommend this colouring book devotional to anyone who enjoys creativity and is looking for a different way to spend quiet time with God.

“Books have been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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