by Lena Nelson Dooley
Hard fisted Jac can't get his mind off beautiful Esther. She believes he's a total temptation since she's pretty sure he's not a Christian. Esther's faith reminds her that a Christian shouldn't be unequally yoked with a non-believer. Jac's secular outlook finds this puzzling so he decides to decipher this strange impediment to having a relationship with her.
Loved this definitely Christian, yet moving story line with believable characters. For sure, this book earned its five-star rating.
Review from Amazon
Saddle weary, former deputy US Marshal Jac Andrews rides into Denton, Texas. He’d hunted a swindler and his daughter—or identical twin daughters if Jac is right—and he feels he finally has caught up with this criminal gang. Unfortunately, He is immediately distracted by the lovely redhead, Esther Brians.
Esther, feeling like an old maid surrounded by all her close friends who are happy married couples, is drawn to the intense gaze, blue as the Texas sky, of an unknown cowboy. But several things cause her to become wary of his intentions—and his spiritual well-being.
Has this unsaved lawman captured Esther’s heart or will the Lord deliver her from the temptation of Jac’s presence?
What will it take for Jac to win this lovely lady and become Esther’s husband?
Gone to Texas by Caryl McAdoo
Caryl McAdoo opens Gone to Texas, a Christian historical novel, in Tennessee. The O’Neals, Worleys, Van Zandts, and Harrells, each face different crises that unite them around the goal of seeking their own farmland in Texas. As they embark on a journey along a trail fraught with various dangers, their ups and downs captivate the reader. From shyster land agents, to perilous river crossings, lurking wildlife, and overwhelming disappointments, these men and women take on life’s challenges, but also experience its joys, especially in the last chapters.
Told from different points of view, but beginning with the teenager Alicia, each character is true to life, even if flawed, not a goodie-two-shoe among them. Each one speaks in a genuine voice with no two dialects totally alike. Nor do they act or react in the same way to the same event since each character acts, thinks, and reacts appropriately for their age. The children are reckless, energetic, and completely unaware of lurking danger. The hormone driven teenagers are totally in their own heads and utterly oblivious to adult reasoning. The parents are caring, protective, and self-sacrificing, even if a bit flawed at times. Caryl McAdoo crafts characters that are absolutely believable.
All things considered, “Gone to Texas” by Caryl McAdoo leaves one feeling satisfied with a well-crafted, character driven novel that is accurate to the times. This reviewer heartily recommends “Gone to Texas” by Caryl McAdoo. It is well worth the time and money spent.
What a good book! FIVE STARS!
In Broken, by Peggy Blann Phifer, the reader meets Rozene Gentry fifteen months after her husband dropped dead from a heart attack. Filled with grief, she drags herself home from the restaurant that she and her husband had run together. Soon afterward, a social worker makes her aware of a needy part-native girl. The minute she meets Misty Keyes, the girl captures her heart. Through a series of trying circumstances, Misty becomes her foster daughter. Soon afterward, Rozie offers a home for the summer to three other girls from Youth Acres Group Home. Knowing the challenge she’s undertaking, Rozie enlists the aid of volunteer grandparents from Breckenridge Assisted Living as mentors to the girls. Before long Mike Carson, a minister at a neighboring church comes into Rozie’s life. Soon the summer ends and the three older girls head to college. Meanwhile, as Mike and Rozie get to know each other, they fall in love. Will wedding bells ring?
Broken by Peggy Blann Phifer is a sweet novella that portrays life as it should be, not necessarily as some people experience it. What a welcome relief from the plethora of violence plagued novels currently populating bookstores and libraries across this nation! A quick read for a rainy weekend day, this novella is only $2.99 cost.
From the Amazon website:
Young history Professor Jack Turner is settling into his new position at Culpepper University, when he gets a surprise visit from his friend, police Sgt. Joe Boyd. Joe has started a new hobby, a fun pastime that’s also helping him lose some weight — metal detecting. Joe asks if he can do this on Jack’s lakefront property, which includes over a dozen acres of woods. Intrigued by a hobby that combines physical exercise and Jack’s love of history, Jack asks to tag along. Neither man has any idea that this seemingly harmless hobby will cause their paths to cross with a 70-year-old mystery involving tragedy, smuggling, multiple murders and stolen Nazi loot. It’s just an innocent hobby Jack tells his wife, Rachel. Really, what could go wrong?
Amazing! Thrilling! Captivating! What a good book!
Can’t praise “Perilous Treasure” by Dan Walsh enough. It took this reader hostage from the very first page. As well written as all the other Jack Turner Suspense books in the series, this reviewer heartily recommends them all… Have read them all and totally loved each and every one. Everything written by Dan Walsh that I’ve read truly rocks.
So well done!
Good job, Dan Walsh, a very good job.
From Amazon Website
Once a wistful romantic, Opal Martin now simply aspires to scrub the remnants of the War Between the States from her tattered life. But when a nearly drowned soldier appears and asks if he can die on her porch, she must guard against the sudden revival of her heart's hope for love.
Haunted by the war, Tristan Stuart just wants to escape the pain. But when he wakes up at a house that looks too much like home with a woman determined to mend him, he may discover a new life worth fighting for. In order to save the last of what Opal holds dear, will he become the man she needs or let the troubled waters carry him away?
The Heart of Home is a companion novella to In His Eyes. While The Heart of Home stands entirely on its own, readers will enjoy seeing Ella and Westley again in Opal's story.
This Reader's Reaction
This absolutely delightful story grabbed the reader right away carrying their interest until the very end. If you loved "Gone With the Wind", you'll love this story of the post Civil War South. This book takes the hope and resilience in the words "tomorrow will be another day" to form a story about that tomorrow. Through the challenge of simply surviving post-war devastation, to interpersonal interactions between family and friends, to carpetbagging scoundrels, to providential events that provide opportunities for acts of kindness, to natural disasters, this vibrantly written story brought this reader back to a difficult time in Southern history. What a good story! Loved it!
From the Amazon website
Garrison's Law begins. A family of alpha Texas lawmen (and women) bring their own brand of justice to law and order in Texas.
Trudy Jennings is a college professor with a string of bestselling pop psychology books about answering all of life's troubles with love.
Ben Garrison is her student. He's a hardened cop who needs this class to get his degree, but he can't keep a straight face. He tells her she's right, as long as she lives in her cushioned, safe life. But for him, using her philosophy, he'll be dead by the weekend.
A stalker is coming after kindhearted Trudy, and Ben is there to protect her. Trudy faces her first true challenge to turning the other cheek. Her stalker keeps coming despite her kindness and she feels like a failure that she can't help the confused and frightening man.
Ben has to keep Trudy safe until the escalating stalker can be stopped. As Ben gets to know Trudy better, he recognizes his own callus behavior at the same time he finds out everyone in Trudy's life takes advantage of her.
She's got to get tough.
He's got to find a kinder way.
Together they have to take down a wealthy, obsessed man who knows how to play the system, because he's done all this before.
Cass Wessel's Review
For romantic suspense, Loving the Texas Lawman by Mary Connealy, is one of the funniest books this reviewer has read. What a hoot!
Set in an affluent Texas area, a filthy minded, obnoxious, rich villain stalks a very rich writer of self-help books that promote "turn the other cheek" and "a soft answer turns away wrath". Professor Trudy Jennings totally practices what she teaches.
Hard nosed cop, Ben Garrison, needs her class to get his degree, but he's not buying what she's selling, however there's just something irresistible about her that's Tru Blue . . . and she's in danger. What's a good cop gonna do except try to rescue her from the . . .
Filthy rich, twisted stalker, Ralph Watson, has more than a few screws loose and he's fixated on Trudy Jennings.
Oh my! Will Trudy stick to her beliefs and become a victim or will she abandon them to save her skin? I'll never tell. You'll have to buy the book to find out.
If you love Biblical novels, this is a book for you. The reader joins Abishag as a wide-eyed teenager hastily betrothed and married to the aged and slowly dying King David. The reader follows her life through his reign and into the intrigues of the court of King Solomon. On tenderhooks, we flip pages seeking to discover what will happen next, even if we know our Bible stories well. Like some scholars, we might have forgotten the final pages of her life since most of us focus on the Kings and their heirs. We really consider her almost a footnote in the story. Caryl McAdoo's book demonstrates how wrong such assumptions can be.
While this book keeps our attention, this is no thriller, nor is it a steamy book. There are bedroom scenes when Abishag must be King David's electric blanket warming up a King whose failing heart cannot do the job, but there's nothing sexual about it. There's palace intrigue, but it's seen through Abishag's innocent eyes. This story is blessed with so much gentle inspiration, that this reviewer enjoyed it immensely.
The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin captivates the reader from the first pages. This story just gets better and better the deeper the reader goes. The characters breathe with life. Vivid images explode in the reader's imagination. Bombs whine. Acrid sulfur scents the air. The reader is there in the midst of the fray. Tension mounts.
This reader flipped pages at an alarming rate eagerly seeking resolution to the hero and heroine's dilemmas. All the while the war lurks threateningly and choices will determine their future.
What an excellent war story this is! While there are a couple of romantic threads, there's a whole lot more to this book than the usual boy meets and pines for the girl of his dreams. The angst of war and the character's good sense prevent anything steamy from happening. This book was so good that this reviewer wants to read more from Sarah Sundin's keyboard. Well done, Sarah!
Caryl McAdoo’s Silent Harmony is set in her beloved Red River Valley, North Texas. Occurring after Civil War around the year 1867, the story revolves around the three Parker sisters. The eldest, Lucinda (Lucy), is a war widow with a deaf and dumb four year old daughter named Harmony. Next in line comes the outspoken, often snarky, tight-wad, middle sister, Servilia, nicknamed Vili. But is she really a villain? The youngest of the three sisters, sweet natured Melody (Mel), constantly finds herself at odds with Villi.
Since Silent Harmony by Caryl McAdoo is an historical novel with romantic threads, the question becomes, will romance find these three very different sisters? This reviewer will never tell, but will hint.
Lucy finds a very helpful neighbor, Earl Draper, frequently at her barn doing chores and otherwise being helpful. She scarcely notices him since she has Harmony to look after, but he comes so often to help her, the reader begins to wonder if something will come of this friendship.
This worries Vili to no end. What will become of her if Lucy marries him and moves to his farm? True, they’ll be neighbors, but . . .
When the new teacher at the school for the deaf, the Reverend Ezekiel (Zeke) Sheffield arrives in church one Sunday, he stutters so badly that he must communicate using sign cards. Seems his disability is why he learned sign language. Thus he becomes the teacher of the local school for the deaf. A truly extraordinary hero, what he lacks in language skills, he more than makes up for in good looks. Youngest sister, Mel, finds herself instantly smitten in spite of his disability. Likewise, she draws his eye, yet the reader wonders what chance these two have for a future given his disability?
With Lucy’s romance well under way, and sweet Mel drawing the teacher’s attention, that leaves snarky Servilia to wonder if she will ever find a beau. Seems Zeke has a bachelor cousin, Professor Rupert Sheffield, University of Chicago math professor. But what good will come of writing him letters do, if he continues to live so far away from Texas? How will they ever meet? Not to mention, can a true relationship be forged through the U.S. Mail?
These are such cute stories about three very different sisters. This reviewer loves the Parker sister’s interactions, their equally unique beaux, and little four year old Harmony. What a cutie! The author, Caryl McAdoo, really drew her well. Likewise, this reviewer loves the flawed hero Zeke. (Very few authors have heroes who are differently gifted.)
Many plot lines in Silent Harmony by Caryl McAdoo capture the reviewer’s attention. The initial scene plunges the reader straight into the story. Zeke’s disability ties nicely into Harmony’s deaf mute troubles. The three sisters need for stability and their desires for lasting relationships also provide the reader with many remarkable scenes.
Caryl McAdoo’s writing itself contains many sonorous, almost poetic bits. Permit this reviewer to indulge the reader with a couple of quotes. “Like molasses on a frosty morn, seemed to Zeke, Sunday took twice the normal time to pour from its jar onto his slice of life.” Also, “A round of amens accompanied by various and sundry blessings rose then fell like a wave rushing onto the shore before returning to the deep waters.” This reader also loves plays on words such as “A good long hug accompanied by a few tears ensued, but as sweet as it was, it couldn’t mend the tear in her heart.”
Truly this delightful novella provides the reader with an engrossing day flipping pages to see what comes next. There’s only one major down side. It is way too short! But then, it is a novella. This reviewer's deep gratitude to Caryl McAdoo for providing a copy of her book to read and review. I'm under no obligation to provide a positive review, but how could I not when it's such a good story. I remain, Cass Wessel
What a good read! Loved this book. Although listed as general fiction, A Refuge Assured takes place in the late 1790s making it an historical novel in this reviewer's opinion. It's also a novel for the Christian market, but that doesn't mean it's boring or scrubbed squeaky clean of violence. After all, civil wars, uprisings, and historical rebellions tended to be as bloody in the past as they are in our current era. This novel isn't for the squeamish, faint of heart, or those with impressionable minds. That said, A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green is a not to be missed read for 2018. Links to booksellers, where pre-orders for this book can be placed, are found at Jocelyn Green's website, http://www.jocelyngreen.com/books/fiction/a-refuge-assured. Many thanks to Jocelyn Green for providing a copy of A Refuge Assured for me to read and review. I'm under no obligation to provide a positive review, but how could I not when this is such a good story!
From The Back Cover
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?
Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.