Tag Archives: Christian

The Outlaw’s Bride by Catherine Palmer

Title: The Outlaw’s Bride

Author: Catherine Palmer

Publisher: Steeple Hill 2010

Genre: Christian historical romance

Pages: 277

Rating:   3 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; Summer Romance – Historical Fiction

Not a horrible romance, but definitely not one of my favorites.  My main issue with this one: the main female character.  Isobel Matas was just too annoying.  I couldn’t get over her annoying persistence for revenge to the point of danger.  The male lead, Noah, was a much more endearing character.  I liked him, but her, no way.  And that was the problem with the book.  I couldn’t get overally excited about the book because I couldn’t connect to the character.

Other than that, the story was fairly decent.  It was more of an adventure than a straight romance and that was the part that I liked.  I just couldn’t get into it completely without the character connection.  Really that’s all I have to say about this book…

1 Comment

Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , , ,

The Maverick’s Bride by Catherine Palmer

Title: The Maverick’s Bride

Author: Catherine Palmer

Publisher: Steeple Hill 1988

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Pages: 272

Rating:  4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library

I don’t usually pick up these series romances.  But for some reason, I grabbed this one.  It intrigued me.  And I found that I liked it!

The basic setting, Africa during the 1880s, fulfilled my exotic locations desire.  I like far-flung locations.  Africa during the 1880s was a time of colonization and exploration.  Fittingly the main female character, Emmaline, was a proper British loyalist espousing pro-colonist sentiment.  Until her views were changed by the American cowboy Adam King and his friends, mostly African natives.  As a part of the story, they touched on the man-eater lions of Tsavo, an actual event.  So right there I liked the setting and atmosphere of the book.

As to the plot, it was predictable, as they mostly are, but I was okay with it.  The predictable plot was tolerable because of the strength of the characters.  While Emmaline was whiny at times, I understood why she was whiny.  Adam was secretive, but understandably so based on his history. And Nicholas was a thoroughly despicable character from the beginning without being a cartoon version of himself.  I found them likable.  And the side characters of Soapy, Linde, and Tolito added to the overall atmosphere.

One of the big problems I usually have with Christian historical romance is the sermonizing.  This book had a nice balance of witnessing and general conversation.  I didn’t feel like the entire book was centered around “saving” someone.  It was a good balance that didn’t upset me.

Overall, I think an enjoyable quick read.  I read it in a day.  I think I’ll be adding Catherine Palmer to my interesting authors list.


1 Comment

Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , , ,

Love Finds You in Sisters, Oregon by Melody Carlson

Title: Love FInds You in Sisters, Oregon

Author: Melody Carlson

Publisher: Summerside Press 2009

Genre: Christian fiction

Pages: 320

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; April Read-a-Thon

Another volume in the Love Finds You series.  Another that I liked.  A fun little read for rainy days.  (And it’s been raining for a weeks straight.)  I like how the author set her book in her town.  Even though I am a city girl through and through, Carlson made the small town of Sisters, Oregon actually appealing.  I kind of want to visit.  Visit, I said, not move there.  The characters were fun and colorful.  I really felt the depth of emotion connected to the story.  My only problem: once again we get  sickeningly sweet and happy ending.  The family went from fighting and bitterness to happiness in about a week.  Definitely does not happen that quick in real life.  And the book ended with a marriage proposal (it’s not a spoiler, I saw it coming from the first 20 pages) after only a few weeks of dating.  Another quick wrap-up.  Overall, I liked the story.  I just could do without the last chapter.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , ,

Love Finds You in Pendleton, Oregon by Melody Carlson

Title: Love FInds You in Pendleton, Oregon

Author: Melody Carlson

Publisher: Summerside Press 2010

Genre: Christian fiction

Pages: 313

Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; April Read-a-Thon; Contemporary Romance

I haven’t had the best of luck with Christian fiction, but I thought I would give it another try.  I liked Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania by Loree Lough, so I thought I would pick up another volume in the series.  And I found one I liked.

I loved the story of Sunny Westcott and her journey to find her place in the world.  The setting of the reservation and the town of Pendleton created a nice dichotomy for Sunny to explore.  On a complete insignificant note, I loved that she was an archaeologist (a little girl dream job along with marine biology and paleontology).  Anyway, she was a great character.  Every hard decision and second guess was believable.  Her inner monologue didn’t annoy me like it sometimes does.  I liked getting inside of her head.

The other characters were interesting, but I especially loved Aunt Lulu.  A woman not afraid to speak the hard truths.    My kind of woman.  Echo was delightful.  Aubrey a fun, if a little annoying, opposite to Sunny.  Hank, the matchmaker and general good friend.  And the mysterious Polly, seen only through everyone else’s eyes.  They really made the book more than just a simple story.  They added depth and life.

My only issue with the book: the romance.  You know Sunny and Cody are going to end up together, but they don’t even approach anything resembling a relationship until around page 250.  And then all of a sudden, they’re together and he’s asking her to marry him.  Not believable.  They only had one real conversation about them being together and that was only a day before the proposal.  I guess I just wanted to see more growth and developing relationship.  Especially since the series focuses on finding love.  All that being said, I really did like the book.  I want to read more of the series.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , ,

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter

Title: Surrender Bay (A Nantucket Love Story)

Author: Denise Hunter

Publisher: Thomas Nelson 2007

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 287

Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Support Your Local Library; Contemporary Romance

I have a bit of back story regarding this book.  I knew the author.  Back in middle school, Hunter and her husband went to the same church as my mother and I.  At the time they had two boys that I occasionally babysat.  We let the church when I was in high school and I lost track of them.  A few months ago I was talking to my mom about my reading challenges.  When I started to discuss my issues with Christian fiction, my mom remembered that Denise wrote Christian novels.  I didn’t know that at all.  So I ran out to the library to grab one.  I read it in two days.

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the book.  I have documented my issues with Christian fiction, but this book wasn’t like the others.  It was more like At the Scent of Water; a moving fiction story that happens to have Christian elements and background.  There weren’t any multi page sermons or heavy-handed conversions.  I loved the characters.  Sam, the flawed female, and Landon, the caring lifelong friend trying to show her love.  The bringing together of the two people didn’t seem contrived or forced.  It was natural.  I could understand Sam’s reluctance to get closer to Landon.  I could understand Landon’s pain over her refusals. I sped through the story, loving every minute.  I definitely need to read the rest of her books.  Guess I need to make another trip to the library.

Nantucket Love Story
1. Surrender Bay
2. The Convenient Groom
3. Seaside Letters
4. Driftwood Lane

1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , ,

Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania by Loree Lough

Title: Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania

Author: Loree Lough

Publisher: Summerside Press 2009

Genre: Christian Romance

Pages: 316

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Contemporary Romance; Support Your Local Library; February Romance Month; A to Z Authors: L

I picked this volume up at the library about a week ago. I wanted a contemporary romance that wasn’t filled with sex and little plot.  I wanted something a bit more meatier, but not really heavy (i.e. At the Scent of Water, amazing book but very deep).  So I found this book, listed as Christian romance.  I know what you’re thinking “Why did you pick another Christian romance after all your issues with the genre?”  I know, I know, but I thought “What the hey!”

This one is pleasantly enjoyable.  Not as formulaic as many of the ones I have read before.  Of course, it wasn’t awesome either.  I liked the two main characters.  They were likable, but not overly “perfect” like in many Christian romances. As much as I liked Simon and Julia, the best character in the book was little Levi Gunden.  Hilarious and just so precious.  I loved every scene he was in.

The plot was good, although slow moving.  There is a big twist about 2/3 through the book.  I think the twist should have come about 1/2 through the book instead.  At that late in the story, it felt out of place, a clichéd plot device to get the two main characters together.  I think it would have been more effective earlier on.  That way we could really examine the consequences.  Instead, it seems a bit contrived.  And the wrap-up occurs fairly quickly.  It felt a little cheap.

Overall, I did like the book.  And I’ve put Lough on my list of authors to check out.  She wrote another “Love Finds You” book.  Guess I’ll have to put it on my  LTL (library to loan) list.


Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Book Reviews


Tags: , ,