Keeping “A Bride For Keeps” On My Bookshelf

A bride for keepsMail-order brides and ruggedly handsome cowboys just seem to go hand in hand when it comes to romantic tales of the Wild West, but Melissa Jagears in her debut novel, A Bride for Keeps, puts a fresh spin on an old story. Everett Cline, jilted by one to many brides, has lost faith in the good Lord’s provision. Julia Lockwood has never known a loving earthly father, let alone a Heavenly one. Finagled for him by well-meaning neighbours, Everett is so not interested in this latest mail-order bride. And as for Julia, she steps off the afternoon train like a woman meeting a firing squad.  Though this is not exactly the match everyone hoped for, if the unlikely pair give each other a chance they just might be surprised by love.

Jagears has a fresh compelling voice and Salt Flatts, Kansas sounds like a place I want to settle in and get to know. I can hardly wait for her next installment!


Everett Cline will never humiliate himself by seeking a mail-order bride. Not again. He’s already been jilted by three mail-order brides and figures a wife just isn’t in his future. However, a well-meaning neighbor hasn’t given up on seeing him settled, so she goes behind his back to bring yet another woman to town for him.

Julia Lockwood has never been anything more than a pretty pawn for her father or a business acquisition for her former fiance. A mail-order marriage in faraway Kansas is a last resort, but she’ll do anything to leave her life in Massachusetts and the heartbreak she’s experienced there.

Although Everett doesn’t see how a beautiful, cultured woman like Julia could be happy sharing his simple life, he could really use a helpmate on his homestead. Determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face, Julia agrees to a marriage in name only. Faced with the harsh realities of life on the prairie and hesitant to explore the tentative feelings growing between them, can Everett and Julia ever let each other in long enough to fall in love?

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

An Untamed Heart by Lauraine Snelling: A Review

An untamed HeartTouted as the “Long awaited prequel to the Red River of The North Series,” An Untamed Heart may tweak the interest of Snelling fans, but doesn’t really work as a stand-alone story.  You can’t fill three quarters of the book with one love story, kill off one of those main characters, and then expect your readers to even care about what happens between Roald and Ingeborg. In retrospect the jacket cover blurb should have clued me in: Most of what happens in the book is summarized in the first sentence. 

I remember loving Snelling’s Red River of the North series, while this book is full of details that in the end, just don’t amount to a cohesive story. It’s not so much terrible, as just sort of boring. Snelling is obviously still a skilled writer, but it’s difficult for any author to go back and rewrite history.  I had to work to get through this novel and the back story did little to add to my memory of Snelling’s amazing Red River of the North series. I’d recommend you stick to her classics.


The Long-Awaited Prequel to the Red River of the North Series

Twenty-year-old Ingeborg Strand is certain she is destined to be an old maid. It’s not that she’s lacked suitors, but now she no longer can have the one she loved.

With the future looking bleak, her mother suggests that she leave Norway and start afresh in America, as so many others have done before her. But how will she accomplish that with little money and no one to accompany her?

Roald Bjorklund is a widower who has been planning to go to America, lured by the promise of free land. He’s a good man, a hard-working man–with a young son who desperately needs a mother. Ingeborg can tell Roald is interested in her, but what about love? This isn’t how she’s always imagined it.

Ingeborg Strand has a heartrending decision to make…

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

The Long Awakening by Lindsey O’Connor: A Review

The Long Awakening by Lindsey O'Connor

I’m a fiction junky through and through so it takes quite a bit to knock me out of that habit, but Lindsey O’Connor’s The Long Awakening is just such a book. In this personal memoir O’Connor recounts her descent into the darkness of coma after the birth of her daughter. Uterine rupture and subsequent complications suspended her in darkness for 47 days. Then she begins her long ascent out of darkness. Dispelling Hollywood myths of awakening to perfect health, O’Connor offers us the poignant and often brutal truth of regaining muscle and brain function after lying dormant for so long. Yet this is more than a story of personal healing. Love story, drama, and resounding hope will have you weeping and cheering right alongside of the author. An excellent compelling read. Honest, lovely, and inspiring. Buy it. Read it.

Watch the trailer on You Tube:


The riveting true story of a life-threatening coma, a miraculous awakening, and the long quest to regain what was lost.

The day our baby came into the world was the day I left. A day that began all smiles and excitement and anticipation and joy ended with running and panic and blood and tears. And then coma.

I lay suspended in the deep, my newborn unknown. Nothingness. Layers where dark pulled from below, light called from above, and me, trapped in between, longing to break the surface.

To live.

Forty-seven days later when I first saw my husband’s face leaning close to me, I knew where, and who, I was. But other things took much longer to know. Learning to restitch life–and love–when everything’s changed, and finding who we are afterward, can be the longest journey of all.

I’m Lindsey O’Connor, and this is the story of my long awakening.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.

Trapped by Irene Hannon: A Review

Trapped by Irene HannonHiring PI James Devlin to find her runaway sister, Laura Griffith knows it’s a race against time to find the young girl. As a blizzard shrouds the Midwest, the teen’s trail disappears into the swirling snow. Someone else is determined to cover her tracks. In Hannon’s second installment of her Private Justice Series she ratchets up the tension from the get-go leaving readers biting nails to the quick as the pages turn.
No one disputes Hannon’s ability to write an excellent romantic thriller. However, as Hannon also writes for the inspirational market, too often she is light on the gospel message. Not so in Trapped. Faith and mystery walk hand in hand as Laura’s anchor in God, despite the desperate search for her sister, lights the way for Dev, who’s faith has faltered in the midst of personal loss. Bravo for an excellent read!

Watch the trailer on YouTube:

When librarian Laura Griffth’s sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned PI James “Dev” Devlin to help—but the deeper he digs, the more he begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl’s disappearance. And the closer he gets to uncovering the truth, the clearer it becomes that the situation isn’t just dangerous—it’s deadly.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.