Thursday, May 31, 2012

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Mary's Blessing by Lena Nelson Dooley

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!



Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Realms (May 15, 2012)

***Special thanks to Althea Thompson | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Lena Nelson Dooley is an award-winning author with more than 650,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers—where she received the Mentor of the Year award in 2006—DFW Ready Writers, and Christian Authors Network. She lives in Hurst, Texas, with her husband of over 45 years.

Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:




Mary Lenora Murray was adopted by parents who had recently lost a child while on the last wagon train west in 1867. When she is thirteen years old, Mary’s mother and her two older sisters die in the cholera pandemic, leaving her the oldest child with four younger siblings to raise. Her father, in his grief, pours himself into keeping the farm going, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.




Product Details:
List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Realms (May 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616386177
ISBN-13: 978-1616386177

My Review:
5 STARS

 
Mary’s Blessing is the second book in the McKenna’s Daughter series and is about one of the other triplets that were split up at birth.  While this is a great stand-alone and they give you plenty of information to keep up with what is going on with the story, I recommend reading the first book too. 

Right from the start, with the Prologue you are sucked in to this sad tragedy and your heart breaks for what unfolds.  Then we are introduced to Mary the woman who has a hard sad life.  Her mother and older sisters died when she was eleven and she has been taking care of her siblings and her household ever since with little help from her father who checked out with grief.  She is such a responsible young lady that you just come to adore and respect.

Daniel is Mary’s friend and has always been a part of her life but recently more begins to develop.  Daniel is in love with Mary and would love to take her away from all her responsibility and give her a better life but it is not that easy.

I really enjoyed this book about Mary.  Her life is filled with struggles and tragedy yet she handles it with grace (most of the time) and I loved seeing how her life unfolded.  Mary’s Blessing is a quick and easy read that you can’t devour fast enough. I am dying to find out how the McKenna’s daughters series will end and I’m on pins and needles waiting for them to encounter!! Can’t wait for the next book!

I received this book free from First Wildcard Tours in exchange for my personal and honest review and opinion.  All opinions are my own.


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


"Pa?” Mary Lenor a Murray shouted back over her shoulder as she picked up the heavy picnic basket. “You ready to go?” Why does he always drag his feet when we’re going to
church?
Her father came through the mud room into the kitchen, letting the screen door slam shut behind him. He smelled of heat, hay, and sunshine, with the strong tang of muck from the barn mingled in. By the looks of his clothes, attending church was the farthest thing from his mind. His ratty trousers held smudges of several dark colors. She didn’t even want to guess what they were. And the long sleeves of his undershirt, the only thing covering his torso, were shoved above his elbows. Grayed and dingy, the shirt would never be white again, no matter how hard she tried to get it clean.
Mary bit her tongue to keep from scolding him as she did her younger brothers and sister when they made such a racket entering the house. No doubt he would give her some excuse about having too much work to go to church. Not a big surprise. She’d heard it all before too many times.
He set a bucket of fresh water beside the dry sink and gripped his fingers around the front straps of his suspenders. That always signaled he was about to tell her something she didn’t want to hear.
“I’m not going today.” This time he didn’t really make any excuses, just this bald-faced comment.
She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm her anger. She’d give him a sweet answer even if the words tasted bitter in her mouth. “The new pastor is coming today. We’re having dinner on the grounds after the service. Remember, I told you when we got home last Sunday.” She flashed what she hoped was a warm smile at him and prayed he couldn’t tell it
was fake.






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“What happened to the last one? He didn’t last very long, did he?” Pa started washing his hands with the bar of homemade soap she kept in a dish on the shelf. “Don’t understand why that church can’t keep a pastor. Someone musta run him off.”
Mary couldn’t keep from huffing out a breath this time. “I told you about that too.” She clamped her lips closed before she asked the question that often bounced around her mind. Why don’t you ever listen to me? At seventeen she was close enough to being an adult to be treated like one, and she’d carried the load of a woman in this household for years.
“His wife died, and his father-in-law begged him to bring the grandchildren closer to where they live, so he headed back to Ohio. Living in the same community as their grandparents, he’d have a lot of help with the younger ones.”
Mary had never known her own grandparents, none of them. Not her mother’s parents. Not her father’s parents. Not the par- ents of whoever gave birth to her. She didn’t wonder about any of them very often, but today her heart longed for someone who really loved her.
With bright red curly hair and fair skin that freckled more every time she stepped into the sunlight, she didn’t resemble anyone in this family that had adopted her as an infant. Since they were black Irish, they all had dark hair and striking blue eyes, not like her murky green ones. And none of them had ever wanted to know what she thought about anything—except her mother.
“Well, I’ve gotta lot to do today.” Her father reached for the towel she’d made out of feed sacks. “You and the others go ahead. I might come over that way at dinner time.”
No, you won’t. Mary had heard his statement often enough to know he was trying to placate her so she would leave him alone. So she would.
“Frances, George, Bobby, come on. We don’t want to be late.”






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She shifted the handle of the loaded basket to her other arm. “Frances, you grab the jug of spring water. We might get thirsty.” Her father’s icy blue eyes pierced her. “Pretty warm out today.
No sign of rain.”
“We’ll be picnicking in the field between the church and Willamette Falls. It’s cooler there, especially under the trees with the breeze blowing across the water.” She started toward the front door.
“Keep your eyes on the boys.” His harsh command followed her. “Don’t let either of them fall into the river. They could drown. Water’s fast right there.”
She nodded but didn’t answer or look back at him. All he cared about were those boys and getting them raised old enough to really help with the farming. He already worked them harder than any of the neighbors did their sons who were the same ages.
Six long years ago her mother and older sisters contracted diphtheria when they went to help Aunt Miriam and Uncle Leland settle in their house on a farm about five miles from theirs. On the trip to Oregon one of them had contracted the dread disease and didn’t know it until after they arrived. No one knew they were all dead until Pa went looking for Ma, Carrie, and Annette a couple of days later. He saw the quarantine sign someone nailed to a fence post and didn’t go closer until he had help. When he came home, he told Mary she would have to take over the keeping of the house. Six long years ago.
When did my life become such drudgery? Had it ever been any- thing else? At least not since Ma died, which seemed like an
eternity ago.
















16








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4 4 4


Daniel Winthrop whistled while he dressed for church. He looked forward with anticipation to the moment when he would lay eyes on Mary Murray. Even her name had a musical ring to it.
He’d been waiting and planning what to say when he approached her. Today he would start his subtle courting. With the situation at the Murray farm, he knew he would have his work cut out for him to convince her she could start a life of her own with him. After he achieved that, he’d ask her father for her hand.
Visions of coming home to her each night and building a family together moved through his head like the slides of photo- graphs in the Holmes stereopticon they had at home. He loved her already, but more than that, he wanted to get her out of that house, where she was loaded down with so much work and responsibility.
Daniel had often gone with his mother when she bought fresh produce from the Murrays, so he knew what her life had been like since her mother died. Their families came to Oregon on the same wagon train, so he’d known her all his life. He was only three years older than she was, and he had watched her over the last few years as she blossomed into a beautiful young woman.
Mary needed to be appreciated and cared for, and he was just the man to do it.
“Daniel, we’re leaving soon.” His father’s voice prodded him from his dreams.
With a final peek into the tall cheval glass, he straightened his necktie before he headed out the door of his room. “I’m on my way.”
He bounded down the stairs and took their picnic basket






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from his mother. “Something really smells good.” He gave a loud sniff. “Do you need me to test and make sure it’s all right?”
He welcomed her playful slap on his hand that crept toward the cover on the basket. Her laughter reminded him of the chimes he had heard in the larger church in Portland.
“Not a single bite until dinner.” Like a queen, she swept out the door Father held open for her.
Their familiar ritual warmed his heart. He looked forward to creating family rituals with Mary. Once more he whistled as he headed toward the brougham. Nothing could cloud his day.
When they pulled up to the Methodist church, his father guided the team toward the back, where a large area paved with fine gravel gave plenty of space for those who arrived in horse- drawn vehicles. While Father helped Mother down from the open carriage, Daniel took the reins and tied them to one of the hitching rails that outlined the space. He chose the rail under
a spreading black cottonwood tree where the limbs were just beginning to show the leaf buds.
He scanned the lot, looking for the Murray wagon. Not there. Disappointed, he stared at the ground. Please, God, let Mary come today.
Clopping hoofs and a jingling harness accompanied a wagon
taking too fast of a turn into the parking area. Daniel cut his eyes toward the advancing disaster. Two of the wheels did indeed lift from the ground. Before he could get a shout out of his mouth, he heard Mary’s sweet voice.
“Lean to the right, boys!”
George and Bobby, Mary’s brothers, scrambled across the seat, followed by Frances. The wagon wheels settled into the gravel, and Mary pulled on the reins.
“Easy. Settle down.” Even though she spoke to the horses, he
heard every word.






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His heart that had almost leapt from his chest also settled down when he realized she was no longer in danger. Thank You, Lord.
The wagon came to a standstill, and Mary put her dainty hand to her chest and released a deep breath. The green cotton fabric, sprigged with white flowers, looked good on her, setting off her red hair, pulled up into a bunch on the top of her head. Without a hat or bonnet covering it, the sun danced across the curls. He loved seeing the wisps frame her face. That’s how he pictured her when he dreamed about their future.
Mary sat a moment without moving. She was probably scared out of her wits. Where was her father? He should have been driving the wagon, not her. How long had it been since the man had attended services? Daniel couldn’t remember the last time. It was not a good thing for a man to neglect his spiritual nature. He’d just have to pray harder for Mr. Murray.
Daniel hurried toward them. “Hi, Mary.”
She looked up, straight into his eyes, fear still flickering in the back of her gaze. “Daniel. Good morning.” Her words came out riding on short breaths.
He took hold of the bridle of the horse nearest him. “I can hitch your team under the trees for you.”
After releasing another deep breath, Mary nodded. “Thank you. I’d like that.” She turned toward her siblings. “Frances, you get the picnic basket, and George, you carry the jug of water. Go find us a pew, perhaps near the back of the sanctuary, and put the things under the bench. I’ll be right in.”
The younger children climbed out of the wagon and followed their sister’s instructions. Mary watched them until they’d gone around the side of the building toward the front. Then she stood up.
Before she could try to climb over the side, Daniel hurried to








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help. He held out his hand to her. She stared at it, then looked at his face.
“I’ll help you down.” He gave her his most beguiling smile. For the first time since she arrived, she smiled back, and pink
bled up her neck into her cheeks. Her blush went straight to his heart. Oh, yes, he loved this woman.
Mary slipped her slim fingers into his hand. Even through the white cotton gloves, he felt the connection as warmth sparked up his arm like fireworks on Independence Day. She glanced down so she could see the step. When she hesitated, he let go of her hand and both of his spanned her tiny waist. With a deft swing, he had her on the ground in seconds. He wished he had the right to pull her into an embrace. Wouldn’t that just set the tongues a-wagging? He couldn’t do that to her. Mary needed to be cherished for the treasure she was. And as far as Daniel could see, her father really didn’t treat her that way.
He watched her walk toward the front of the building, enjoying the way her skirt swayed with each step, barely brushing the tops of her black patent shoes. That is one beau- tiful woman. He turned back to her team. Walking beside the horses, he led them toward the hitching rail where his family’s brougham was parked, hoping it would give him the oppor- tunity to help her back up onto the wagon seat. As he crossed the lot, several other conveyances entered, and he waved and exchanged greetings with each family.
The church was the first one established in Oregon City. At that time, it was the Methodist Mission but grew as the town did. Along the way, members of this body had a great influence on what happened in the burgeoning city. And that was still true today. His Winthrop ancestors, who settled nearby, had been instrumental in both the growth of the church and of the
town. He felt a sense of pride at being a part of something that






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important, and he wanted to increase the town’s assets, because he planned to raise his own family here. Maybe establish a dynasty of his own, watching his sons and daughters, then his grandchildren, prosper.
His woolgathering slowed the progress of tying the horses to their spot. He needed to hurry so he wouldn’t miss the begin- ning of the service. As he opened the front door, Mrs. Slidell struck the first chord on the new Mason and Hamlin reed organ. The church had ordered the instrument from the manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York. When it arrived only a couple of weeks before, the music added a special feeling to the worship and helped most people stay on the right tune better than the old piano did. He hummed along with the introduction to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” his favorite hymn.
Glancing around the room, Daniel finally spied Mary and her siblings sitting on the second pew from the back on the right side of the aisle. He squared his shoulders and confidently approached the wooden bench. He asked if he could sit with them, and she scooted over to make room. Just what he wanted. He would be sitting right beside her.
Throughout the service, Daniel had a hard time keeping his mind on the proceedings. Mary sat close enough for him to touch her if he leaned a little to his right. He was so tempted to bump against her arm, but he held back. He imagined clasping her hand in his and holding it for longer than just a few seconds while helping her down from a conveyance or through a doorway, really wrapping his large fingers around hers and intertwining their fingers. Just thinking about it caught his breath.
He whooshed it out, and she turned toward him, her eyes wid- ening with a question. After flashing a smile at her, he glanced up at Rev. Horton. The man’s delivery was smooth, and his words
made a lot of sense. He’d be a good pastor for them, but Daniel






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couldn’t keep a single word of his message in his mind. Not while he could feel Mary’s presence with every cell in his body.
Instead, in his mind he searched up and down the streets of Oregon City, seeking a place to turn into a home for him and his beloved. If the right house wasn’t for sale, he could build her one. She could help him choose the design. That’s what he’d do. Build her the home she’d always dreamed of. His heart squeezed with the knowledge of what he planned to do. He could hardly keep the idea to himself. He hoped it wouldn’t take too long for him to convince her that they should marry.
He’d even hire servants to help her manage their home. Whatever her heart desired, he’d do everything he could to present her with all she wanted. He only hoped it wouldn’t take too long. At twenty years old, he was ready to move on to the next phase of his life—with Mary by his side.
“Now let us bow our heads in prayer.” Rev. Horton raised his hands to bless the whole congregation.
Daniel dropped his head toward his chest. How had the man finished his sermon without Daniel noticing? Next Sunday he’d have to listen more closely. He really did want to get to know the new pastor and his family.
“Amen.” After the pastor pronounced the word, several other men echoed it.
Daniel watched his father rise from the second pew near the front on the left side of the aisle and take his place beside the new preacher. He placed his arm across the man’s shoulders. “Dear friends, on your behalf, I welcome our new pastor. Now let’s all meet his lovely family.” He waved toward a woman sitting on the front pew. “Mrs. Horton?”
The woman stood and turned toward the congregation. She was pretty, but not as young or as pretty as Mary.
“And,” Father’s voice boomed, “these are their children.”






22








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Four stair-step youngsters stood beside their mother. The tallest, a boy. The next, a girl. Then another boy, and the shortest, a cute little girl. As if they had rehearsed it, they bowed toward the people in unison.
Several women across the sanctuary oooed or aahed before a loud round of applause broke out. The three oldest children gave shy smiles, and the youngest tugged at her mother’s skirts. When Mrs. Horton picked her up, the girl waved to the people, clearly enjoying the attention.
“I hope you all brought your blankets and picnic baskets.” Father beamed at the crowd. “We’re going to spread our food together. I believe there are plenty of sawhorse tables set up near the building. And you can pick a spot under the trees to settle for your meal. Just don’t forget to take the time to greet our new ministerial family while you’re here.” Father led the Horton family down the aisle and out the front door.
Daniel turned back toward Mary. “Perhaps you and your brothers and sister could spread your blanket beside my family’s.” A tiny smile graced Mary’s sweet mouth. “If you’re sure your
mother wouldn’t mind, I’d like that.”
“Oh, yes. I’m sure.” He stepped into the nearly empty aisle and moved back to let Mary and her family precede him, and he quickly followed behind.
His heartbeat accelerated just thinking about spending spe- cial time with the object of his affections. Without thinking, he started whistling a happy tune.
Mary glanced back at him. “I didn’t know you whistled.”
“Oh, yes. I’m a man of many talents.” His heart leapt at the interest he read in her gaze. Things were well on their way to working out just the way he wanted them to.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

About Transcendent:

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the d├ęcor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you.

Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction.


My Review:
4 STARS

Transcendent was my first experience with an Anthology and I wasn't quite sure I would enjoy a bunch of short stories put together in one book. But I actually enjoyed the collection quite a bit. This is a collection of paranormal stories and each one stands alone which made it great to just read a quick little story when I had a free minute and then get back to the next in my next spare time!

When I read the first story I was instantly swept in to it and was disappointed when it came to end. I thought to myself, they could have made the whole book about this one story and I'd be thrilled. Then I read the next story with little expectation and then thought that story was great and I wanted more. And it continued to be that way through the entire book. Which brings me to the only problem with the book, I wanted more!! I wanted to keep reading about each story! There was only 1 or 2 stories that didn't leave me eager for more! One of them was so strange I wasn't sure I would find anything to like about it, but strangely I did. Not sure what that says about me?! ha ha

Even though I was disappointed that each story had to end when I was just getting really sucked in the story they were all ended nicely. I was left with any cliff hangers or sad moments which is great because if that would have happened I would have put the book down. Who wants to be disappointed over and over again!

I received this book free from Rita Webb in exchange for my personal and honest opinion and review! All opinions are my own.


Authors:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beyond Hope's Valley

About Beyond Hope's Valley:

After an extended stay in Montana, where Amish traditions are different than in her home state, Marianna Sommer returns to Indiana for two reasons, first to help her brother and his girlfriend prepare for a baby and their wedding. Second, to plan her own wedding to Aaron Zook -- a marriage she’s been dreaming about ever since childhood. And yet, although she had missed the idyllic farms and families of her upbringing, Marianna is surprised that Indiana is somehow making her long now for Montana.

As months pass, secrets that were hidden in winter’s frozen grasp thaw and take on a life of their own. The truths about a child, about a past relationship, and about God’s plans are being revealed. Walking through a valley of questions, Marianna must hold on to hope as she decides where and with whom her heart truly belongs.


My Review:
5 STARS



Jump on board this roller coaster of emotions with Marianna as she returns to Pennsylvania with high hopes to marry her first love, Aaron Zook.  What a dramatic conclusion to a series that I had fallen in love with from the very beginning! It’s bitter sweet to say goodbye to the Sommer family and especially to the lovable, sweet and passionate Marianna.

When Marianna returns to Pennsylvania she expects to see her brother marry Naomi as soon as possible because Naomi is expecting and then her and Aaron will marry soon after.  She soon discovers that nothing is as she planned but is all in God’s timing and she suddenly faces many more trials than she anticipated.  The situation with Naomi and Luke isn’t what she was expecting and neither is Aaron the man she thought he was!!

I think I’ve said this before in my other reviews of the first two books of this series but I just love Marianna.  She is such a lovable heroin that you can help but adore.  She is passionate about her new found love for Jesus and the English bible, she always wants to put her family first, and she seeks the truth even if it less favorable. 

Twists and turns keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this book and kept me guessing as to how Tricia was going to end this novel without breaking my heart.  I felt there was no way I was going to see a happy ending but somehow she pulled it off.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ll cry and your heart will break but in the end you won’t be disappointed!!

It’s my opinion that you’ll want to red Beside Still Waters and Along Wooded Paths before you dig in to Beyond Hope’s Valley so that you can truly understand the characters and the story behind Marianna and Aaron.  Tricia has never disappointed me with her writing and I am looking forward to more by this talented author!

This book was provided to me free from Litfuse Group in exchange for my honest and personal review.  All opinions are my own.

About Tricia Goyer:

 
TRICIA GOYER was named the 2003 Writer of the Year for Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. Her book for teens, Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom, was a Gold Medallion finalist in 2005 in the Youth category.

Her novel Night Song won the 2005 “Book of the Year for Long Historical Romance” from American Christian Fiction Writers, and her novel Dawn of a Thousand Nights won the same award in 2006.

Tricia has published over 250 articles and YA short stories for national publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Guideposts for Kids, Brio, Christian Parenting Today, and HomeLife, and is the co-author of Meal Time Moments (Focus on the Family). She has led numerous Bible Studies, and her study notes appear in the Women of Faith Study Bible.

She has written seven novels for Moody Publishers; From Dust and Ashes (2003), Night Song (2004), Dawn of a Thousand Nights (2005), and Arms of Deliverance (2006), A Valley of Betrayal (2007), A Shadow of Treason (2007), and A Whisper of Freedom (2008).

Tricia has also published Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom (Zondervan, 2004) and children’s book 10 Minutes to Showtime (Thomas Nelson, 2004). She has written My Life, Unscripted (Thomas Nelson, 2007) for teen girls. She worked on 3:16 Teens w/ Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, 2008)

Tricia has also written books for Gen Xers: Generation NeXt Parenting (Multnomah, 2006) and Generation NeXt Marriage (Multnomah, 2008).

Tricia and her husband, John, live in Montana with their three teens.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell


About The Messenger by Siri Mitchell:

Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith

...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?

Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.

With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love.

My Review:
3 STARS

When reading one of Siri Mitchell’s books you expect to not only fall in love with the characters but also learn some things along the way.  She has such a way of weaving historical facts and believable characters in to a true love story that captures your mind and heart.

That being said, The Messenger is not even close to being my favorite book written by Siri Mitchell.  Maybe I wasn’t as invested in the concept of Hannah being a Quaker spy as I should have been but it took my quite a long time to read this book and get involved.  Most of the reason I didn’t really connect with this story was because of the character of Hannah.  She is a Quaker and believes she should never speak a lie, not even to save her own life or any others.  It wasn’t really that fact that was weird; it was how judgmental and annoying she was about it all.  For some reason she just rubbed me the wrong way.  But I have to admit that about 2/3 of the way through the book, she grew on me and by the end I loved her.  I loved her for when she stood up for what she believed in and held to her own.  She is passionate and stubborn, which makes her realistic, yet annoying at times!

Jeremiah was my favorite character of this book.  He is doubtful, careless and little bitter and that serves to show great growth as the story moves along.  You see him learning the truth of who is and what he believes in and it is a fun ride to see Jeremiah develop in to a lovable character!

This story is about these two complete opposite characters that somehow find each other to face the injustice of what is happening with the prisoners and war.  They clash at first and don’t have many similar beliefs but as the story develops they strengthen each other, and learn to trust each other with their very lives.  The romance isn’t over the top swoon worthy but it’s believable to the story and understandably sweet!

Like I said earlier, I didn’t really love this book but I didn’t dislike it either.  It was very well written and opened my eyes to some things I had never heard about before and for that I’m glad I read it! If you are a historical fan of the Revolutionary War, spies, and the struggles the citizens faced then this is a must read for you!

Thank you to Bethany House for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my personal and honest review and opinion.  All opinions are my own.

About Siri Mitchell:

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a speaker and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

Her ninth novel, A Heart Most Worthy, follows prior Bethany House releases: A Constant Heart (October 2008), Love's Pursuit (June 2009), and She Walks in Beauty (Apr 2010). She Walks in Beauty won the inaugural INSPY Award for Historical Fiction in Dec 2010. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. Love's Pursuit was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.