Friday, August 30, 2019

Deborah: Prophetess of God

Deborah: Prophetess of God
By H.B. Moore
Published by Covenant Communications

Deborah, a shepherdess, lives a fairly simple life—but that is turned upside down when encounters with the Canaanites lead her, as well as others, to realize that God is working in her life, for her sake and for the sake of His people. Although she is told by the Third Judge of Israel that she will be the next judge of Israel, when that becomes reality, Deborah must summon all her faith to face the challenges ahead, as the time has come for her, along with her husband’s cousin, Barak, who has been training the Israelites in battle, to lead the Israelites against the Canaanites to end their oppression.

I always enjoy reading H.B. Moore’s Biblical fiction because they make me think about people from the Bible in a totally different way. While this is a work of fiction, the setting is highly researched and it really brings to life how the ancient Israelites lived.
The plot of this book is really interesting—the first part focuses a lot on Deborah and her future husband, Lapidoth, and their love story, while setting the stage for the eventual battle between the Israelites and Canaanites, while the second part moves fifteen years ahead to when Deborah becomes the Judge of Israel and the imminent battle looms large. I thought both parts were really interesting—I loved the romance of the first part but also really liked seeing how Lapi continued to believe in and support Deborah in her sacred calling in the second part. I also liked Barak’s character and seeing his worries, which were so realistic, as he was supposed to lead the Israelites, and how he had to push through them. This was just a pleasure to read!
4.5 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Always and Evermore (Lost Princesses series)

Always (Lost Princesses 0.5)
By Jody Hedlund

As their enemy Ethelwulf invades their country, Lady Felicia and Lance, one of the true king’s elite guards, must save the now-orphaned newborn twin princesses and their three-year-old sister from the invaders. Although Lance initially thinks of Felicia, a noblewoman used to a pampered life, as a liability, he soon comes to admire her; however, as an elite soldier, he has made a vow of lifelong celibacy. With the lives of three young princesses in danger, will Lance and Felicia’s growing feelings distract them from their mission—or prove to be exactly what gives them the strength to fulfill their vows to their deceased monarchs?

This novella is a great kickoff to Jody Hedlund’s new series; it was full of fast-moving adventure and sets the stage for the next book, leaving me eager to find out how things play out for the princesses and their guardians. Lance and Felicia were a really cute couple. I like how the author incorporated the back story of the kingdom and why Ethelwulf wants to take over the kingdom.
4 stars.

Evermore (Lost Princesses #1)

As Adelaide's "aunt," who has raised her since she was a small child, lays dying, she tells Adelaide she is really Constance, the true heir to the throne of Mercia, which taken over by the invading Ethelwulf when she was a child. Now aware of who she truly is, Adelaide must figure out how to find her two sisters, also hidden away as children, as well as Solomon's lost treasure, which is supposed to help her regain her rightful place. With her dear friend Mitchell and his brother Christopher, recently returned from neighboring Norland, where he has made a name for himself as a mercenary knight, she sets out to claim her birthright--but quickly finds Christopher claiming her heart as they work together to thwart Ethelwulf.

This is an exciting book with a bit of a fairy-tale type feel to it--except it's cooler than most traditional fairy tales because the princess isn't sitting around waiting for a happily ever after. Adelaide isn't your typical princess; she's tough and has trained like a knight, even secretly competing in jousts, while being very compassionate and tender-hearted at the same time, which made her a really interesting character. I liked how Christopher was a good balance for her--he respected her but also worried about her and wasn't afraid to tell her when he thought she was wrong. This book was a lot of fun to read, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
4 stars.

For each book, I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Lady's Maid

A Lady's Maid
By Jen Geigle Johnson
Published by Covenant Commuications

Molly O’Malley, enjoys being a lady's maid to Lady Amanda Halloway, but she also wants to further the cause of suffrage for women. When she sees firsthand the terrifying existence for many in the slums, where children are abducted and forced to work in factories and women are forced into brothels, Molly wants to do more for them. Focused as she is on her missions, she can't help but notice how the Halloways' footman, Thomas Flaherty, supports her in all her efforts. Having lost a man she loved once before, can she open her heart to love Thomas?
Chloe Wetherton has always felt shy and awkward among the ton, but as she gets involved in the suffrage movement, she begins to find her voice. She also finds herself more and more drawn to her childhood friend, Lord Annesley. As her confidence grows, however, she can't help but notice that Annesley doesn't seem as supportive of her efforts in the suffrage movement as she expected.

I liked the two different female characters--bold, headstrong Molly was a good contrast to the more timid Chloe, who is just beginning to find her voice. There's a lot going on in this story--two romances, plus the suffrage movement (including trying to figure out who is working so hard against the movement) plus the efforts to clean up the slums., which makes for an interesting read. I really liked seeing the suffrage efforts in Regency England, as it's a topic I definitely haven't seen explored in other books (other than the first book in this series.
4 stars.
I read a copy of the book provided by the publisher, Covenant Communications, via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.