Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: Honeysuckle Dreams (A Blue Ridge Romance) by Denise Hunter

While branded as a contemporary Christian novel, this book does appeal to people of all faith. It is very safe to read for people of ages regarding the language used and the topics covered.

The story describes the romance between single-dad Brady Collins and loner Hope Daniels. Brady must fight for custody of his nine-month old sun Sam against the wealthy grandparents. No matter what obstacles he faces, Brady is determined to fight for Sam and have Sam live with him as his son.
Hope on the hand has pretty much been on her own for most of her life. Determine to make a career in media, Hope thinks she had finally reached her goal and landed her dream job. But being a good friend with Brady, she had agreed to a pretend relationship and go through the motions of planning their wedding since Brady learned that getting married would give him better chances gaining custody of Sam. If news of this deal between Hope and Brady comes out, Hope may not get her dream job for a while and Brady will certainly not get custody of Sam. So the two weave their way through this mess and while the ending is not that surprising, the novel is nicely written and an entertaining read.

What fascinated me was that at the onset, Brady and Hope had very unusual characteristics for their respective gender. Hope being a loner is very different from how women are shown in most books and Brady as the dedicated father who is willing to risk everything for his son is also a somewhat unusual male character. How the two come close and handle the obstacles is definitely worth reading. And again, this book can also be enjoyed by people of a variety of faiths, which in my book is always a plus.
available on

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Book Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters: A Novel of Two Sisters and the Courage that Unites Them

Two sisters having drifted apart over decades come together when a close relative dies and now try to restore their sisterly bond. This turns out to be more difficult than anticipated, but what well intentions cannot achieve on their own, the two sisters achieve when facing danger on a trek through Europe.
This book is describing in realistic terms that forming a family, even if you are siblings, is not easy after life has thrown you in different directions and other than parents there is not really much you have in common anymore. In the end the sisters are able to form a close bond yet again, but it is outside forces that bring about this change, not the sisters on their own, despite their best intentions. That blood is thicker than water is proven to be true, if only when danger threatens the sisters. So once again, when we fear for our existence, we learn that we can rely on family and be it as unromantic as it appears, the overall stark realism of the book makes it such as worthwhile read.
The author is not glorifying the travels of these sisters across Europe, no romantic voyage of discovery and certainly no big revelations occur to realize that sisters form a bond. What the author shows is that family is work and we have to strive to form and maintain that bond that makes us a family, even if at times it is not easy and certainly not something joyous. But in the end, having family is in itself a reward that should be cherished and nurtured.
Using two sisters living on different continents (US and Europe) as an example, throw in a business that needs to be saved and a baby that is thankfully born and you have a story that is riveting, realistic and rewarding. The background of the author as an aid worker comes into play and she touches on important subjects such as cross-border trafficking of women, while also showing that women are capable of doing big things if pressed and given an opportunity.
available on

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.