Paralyzed (A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Book 2) by Alana Terry ~ Review

Paralyzed (A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Book 2) by Alana Terry

ParalyzedParalyzed is the second book of the Kennedy Stern novel series by Alana Terry. This series runs parallel to another series by the same author. That set involves Kennedy’s parents who live in China where they conduct a secret seminary for North Korean refugees. While book 1 and 2 in Kennedy’s series works closely together, you can read each one independently of the other. Of course, I think they are best read back to back, since the events only occur six weeks apart. You can view my review of book 1 here.

Kennedy Stern, after having lived in China ten years, is now attending Harvard University as a pre-med student. It’s only been six weeks since she’d been kidnapped in what turned out to be a high profile case that involved a big political name, underground thugs, and a pregnant girl. Kennedy ended up handcuffed for 24 hours in a filthy darkened basement watching the young teen die from bleeding out. She still had nightmares of the horrors she witnessed. While taking final exams before the Christmas break, she started have coughing fits, and out in the hallway, she thought she saw a familiar ugly face. It frightened her enough that she fled the exam in panic to her dorm room. Then she had to see a doctor for her cough and an excused absence for her professor. The doctor recognized her and asked her several questions. He hinted that she may need counseling, possibly for PTSD. She couldn’t get her mind wrapped around the concept. Could she really have PTSD? She was a Christian. She’d been praying an reading her Bible more often since her traumatic experience. She’d even memorized Bible verses. Didn’t that help?Paralyzed Quote1

From that point on, the author provides non-stop suspense. Kennedy’s friend took her out to see the Nutcracker Suite. She enjoyed it but was once again spooked when they attempted to see some of the players backstage, and she wound up alone in a dark hallway. Then they took a subway to get some pizza, but a power outage created new panic; she felt as if someone was following her in the dark tunnel, especially after a smoke bomb forced everyone out of the car and into the unlit tunnel. Once home her shaken nerves were further rattled when her father called to warn her a second man was discovered to have been involved in the kidnapping case. He sent her with an email with a picture of the man. She immediately recognized him from the subway incident. She needed to flee, but she didn’t know where to go. That’s when Pastor Carl Lindgren, a family friend, entered the fray. He had received the same warnings from Kennedy’s dad. Pastor Carl decided she needed to stay with him for her safety. They were anything but safe. What ensued was a terrifying car chase, a shoot out, a hospital visit, police protection, and an ambush. At that point, I just could not put the book down.

Paralyzed Quote2

Alana Terry writes excellent suspenseful scenes that are fast-paced. That alone has me recommending this book to you. But Kennedy’s inner battles are just as interesting to me. Yes, growing up in a missionary family ensured her head was filled with knowledge that made her appear to be a Christian. She prayed, read her Bible, lived by a set of moral codes in spite of her environment, and even memorizing Scripture. But something was missing. She seemed a little two dimensional to me. I kept asking myself, “Where’s the joy? Where’s the relationship, the inner peace, the intimacy between her Heavenly Father and a daughter?” Kennedy’s spiritual life is often too formulaic in my opinion. A true dynamic Christian life is much more than saying prayers, doing good deeds, going to church, and even reading the Bible. It’s vital and alive–an active relationship between a loving Father and His child. there should be dialogue and exchange. I believe this lack of depth has been carefully crafted by the author as an underlying subplot that began in the first book and grows gradually throughout the series. It is not yet resolved in the second book in spite of the satisfactory resolution of the more active portions of the story line. I suspect the quieter theme will continue into the next book or books in the series. I look forward to further development of this character thread because it is an ever pressing issue in today’s world.

Paralyzed Quote3

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Discount Christian Books, Bibles and Gifts


Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program


Netgalley badge


Moore Family Films



Gospel eBooks | Free & Discount Christian e-Books for the Amazon Kindle



Challenge Participant


Tyndale Blog Network




Blogger Badge 2 (260x125)


Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.


Join Smiley360



Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids by Bob Elliot ~review~

Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids by Bob Elliot

Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids

Good humor is a valuable commodity. Let me re-phrase that. Good clean humor is a valuable commodity. Clean humor is not as easy to find as you might think. Much of the humor of the past three or so decades is based on making fun of someone else or of other ideas. It capitalizes on someone’s mistakes. It belittles and minimizes someone else’s worth. To find good humor means leaving that base in the dust and finding things that are truly funny at no one else’s expense. Even the definition of clean has variations and shades of meaning.

As a parent, when my children were young, I didn’t want them to think that devaluing someone else was funny. Slapstick was fine, as well as play on words and incongruities. We loved all things animal humor. Those were our standards. This book contains a similar standard. It is written for young children, perhaps from 6-10 years. The content is squeaky clean. Many of the jokes date back to my childhood years with a few new ones sprinkled here and there. There are 126 pages of fun.

It is divided by chapters by categories:

Chapter 1: Questions and Answers
Chapter 2: Awesome Animal Jokes
Chapter 3: Knock Knock Jokes
Chapter 4: Tongue Twisters
Chapter 5: Some Things to Think About


One of the Question and Answers I’ve never heard before goes like this:

Question: What did the alien say to the flower bed?
Answer: Take me to your weeder.

Here’s one from Chapter 2 I haven’t heard before:

Question: Where do bees come from?
Answer: Stingapore and Beelivia

Do knock knock jokes make you groan?

“Knock, knock!”
“Who’s There?”
“Everest, who?”
“Do we Everest from telling knock knock jokes?”

One parting shot:

“If a fly didn’t have wings, would we call it a walk?”

Now, I found this is just one book in a collection. There are many more books just like this one. They came out with a new one in 2014 if you are looking for more. I recommend this series to anyone who wants pure and simple humor for their children.

happy laugh

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network ( on behalf of Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Now, because this is such a short book with an even shorter book review, here’s a special feature to help you get your laugh quota in for the day. I found this while visiting a number of blogs, so I’ll quote the premise: “Speaking of funny, I loved this rendition of The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant from First Baptist Church of Marble Falls. They recorded kids telling the story, and then had adults lip-sync it. Hysterical.”

Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program

Discount Christian Books, Bibles and Gifts

Moore Family Films

Gospel eBooks | Free & Discount Christian e-Books for the Amazon Kindle

Tyndale Blog Network

Blogger Badge 2 (260x125)

Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.Netgalley badge

When Mercy Rains (The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy, Book 1) by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~review~

When Mercy Rains by Kim Vogel Sawyer

When Mercy Rains

This is a story of family dynamics, secrets, hidden sin and its consequences. Ultimately there is redemption, forgiveness and peace, but the journey from heartbreak to healing is long and rocky, full of twists and unexpected turns, lies and deception. The question that continually ran through my mind while I was reading this book was, “How could such a seemingly invisible act lead to such enormous, far-reaching consequences?”

Suzanne Zimmerman grew up in an Old Order Mennonite community in rural Kansas. But at the age of 17, she suddenly discovered she was to become an unwed mother. She confided this to her mother who immediately made arrangements to send her daughter off to another Mennonite community to adopt the baby out to Suzanne’s cousin Andrew and his wife. But the experience was more traumatic than she expected, and when the time came, she elected to stay in Indianapolis. At the new church where she attended, Suzanne met a couple who essentially adopted her, encouraged her to get her high school graduation equivalent (GED), and schooling for her RN degree. The story picks up twenty years later: Suzanne was now living contentedly on her own, working the night shift as a nurse at a Mennonite missionary hospital. She loved coming home to her apartment where her 19-year-old daughter, Alexa, usually had a meal prepared for them. Alexa was an amazing cook.

When Mercy Rains quote1

Alexa and Suzanne’s lives took a sudden right turn when they received a letter from a younger brother who informed them that Suzanne’s mother was seriously injured in a farming accident and was unable to walk. She was now confined to a wheelchair. Clete wanted Suzanne to return to Arborville to help the family take care of her. For awhile, she was torn about making such a momentous decision, but she finally decided to take a leave of absence of a few months. The really difficult decision to make was whether to take Alexa with her. It meant having to risk revealing a few secrets she had kept from her family, and even from Alexa herself.

Alexa was beside herself with excited anticipation about meeting her family for the first time. She really didn’t know what to expect. She had visualized a joyful, boisterous reunion, happy faces, and welcoming tears. But when that didn’t happen, she realized that no one had known about her. Why hadn’t her mother told them about her? What puzzled her more was the silent tension and apparent resentment her mother was greeted with. But Alexa was made of sterner stuff, and she was determined to melt the ice and win her family over, beginning with her grandmother, Abigail Zimmerman.

When Mercy Rains quote2

While this is a character-driven book dealing mostly with mother/daughter issues, the author manages to ramp up the tension and suspense by revealing only a little bit of information at a time. The reader is forced to make numerous assumptions which turn out to be erroneous when major bumps in the road appear. This is the writing strategy that keeps us on the edge of our seats and turning the pages. Because of this, I managed to read the 344-page book in just a few days.

When Mercy Rains quote3

Another thing I liked about this book is the complexity of the situation. Suzanne had a large family, and her disappearance made ripples that upset the lives of her former boyfriend, all her brothers and sisters, her mother and father, and Alexa. The book explores many of these problem areas while still keeping the focus mainly on Suzanne, her mother, and Alexa. At times, it didn’t look as if any resolution could be reached with Mrs. Zimmerman and some of the family members. But in the end, the seemingly impossible becomes possible and the final events resolve satisfactorily.

Even though the subject matter is serious and the darkness of discord runs constantly throughout the plot line, the author was still able to add moments of humor and light. Suzanne’s former boyfriend, Paul Aldrich, had gotten married after she had left. He had a son Danny before his wife died of cancer. The boy has a great sense of mischief and lends comic relief to the story. Many times, the author also defuses tense moments through Alexa’s light and cheerful personality. One of my favorite funny moments, however, occurred when Mother Zimmerman, Suzanne, Alexa, and Shelley took a day trip to Wichita. Just when you think Shelley’s bad attitude would ruin the trip for the women, Mrs. Zimmerman’s former wry humor finally broke through the awkwardness and anger. It was a moment of hope and a turning point in the story.

When Mercy Rains quote4

Finally, in spite of the fact this is not a romance story, Suzanne’s former love interest is another major element of the story because Paul is the carpenter refitting the house to accommodate the wheelchair. He is constantly present and both Paul and Suzanne realize they must come to terms with their former relationship and their current feelings for each other. Unfortunately, this is one of the threads that remains unresolved by the end of the book. But I have hopes it will be settled in the next book, which focuses on Alexa’s new life among the Zimmermans.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Waterbrook Press and the website, Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


For more information about the book

For more about the author


Discount Christian Books, Bibles and Gifts

Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program

Moore Family Films

Gospel eBooks | Free & Discount Christian e-Books for the Amazon Kindle

Tyndale Blog Network

Netgalley badgeBlogger Badge 2 (260x125)

Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.

Out of the Storm: A Novella (Beacons of Hope series) by Jody Hedlund ~Review~

Out of the Storm (Beacons of Hope) by Jody Hedlund

Out of the Storm

Author Jody Hedlund is beginning a new series of books: The Beacons of Hope. Many of the books feature a lighthouse setting in historically researched fiction. Out of the Storm is a novella that is intended to kick off the series. It is a historical fiction that takes place in the mid-nineteenth century at the beautiful Old Presque Isle Lighthouse.

Former British Captain Thornton, a powerful bulldog of a man, lived as keeper of the lighthouse with his daughter Isabelle. The surrounding area was wild, deserted, and ruggedly appealing. Neither father nor daughter minded the isolation. At the opening scene of this story, there has been a shipwreck. Flash storms were not unusual on Lake Huron. In the morning, the Captain and his daughter were looking for survivors. As they pulled bodies out of the water, Isabelle discovered a man clinging to some debris. They brought him inside to nurse him back to health.

Out of the Storm quote2

Over time they learned that this young man was the son of a lumber magnate. He was aboard a steamer with his business associate–his adviser and family friend, Charles, purchasing stands of timber on behalf of Cole Enterprises, when the storm overtook the ship. His friend and advisor did not survive. One more factor surprised the Thorntons. Along with hypothermia and burns, Henry had been shot. It took him awhile to recover from this experience.

While she nursed Henry, Isabelle became better acquainted with him. He was a jovial type of man, not taking much of anything very seriously. He was pampered and the life of the party, used to gaining the attention of women everywhere he went. His was a life of leisure, lacking in true purpose and drive. His father was disappointed in him and sent him on this trip hoping it would mature his son. The storm jolted him out of his complacency; he’d lost a close friend and he felt responsible. Isabelle’s nature was the opposite of Henry’s. She was reserved, quiet, serious and studious, yet happy and contented with her life. In spite of their differences, the two became friends.

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse4

Slowly, as Henry recovered from his wounds, he was given light tasks to help earn his stay in the Keeper’s home. He was also warned by the Captain to keep away from his daughter. But the young people’s relationship grew into more than friendship. Henry taught her different games, including checkers. Isabelle read to him from the Bible each day.

One day some men showed up at the door who claimed to represent Henry’s father. They were to go down to Detroit together. But once they got into the boat, the situation changed. Isabelle saw the men tie him up and hold a knife to his throat. She asked her father to rescue Henry; he did, reluctantly. It became apparent to both men that staying at the lighthouse was putting Isabelle and her father at risk from the ruthless competitors until Henry could travel down to Detroit to file his claim of ownership. He had to make a decision to leave before winter temperatures froze the lakes and commerce was closed until the Spring thaw. Isabelle was uncertain he would return. She loved him, but she may never see him again.

Old Presque Isle Lighthouse5

Yes, this is a short novella, with barely enough pages to develop a plot and build strong characters. Yet in spite of these limitations, Jody Hedlund has accomplished quite a few feats in this story. First, she has captured and described the unique responsibilities of lighthouse keepers all along the shores, no matter what state or country they were located. Before the days of electronic communications, all the warning ships had about avoiding treacherous rocks near the shores were from these lights. Before the days of the Coast Guard, there were few means available to rescue survivors of shipwrecks except for random citizens living near the seas and lakes. Lighthouse keepers were often among these rescuers.

Second, the author has described the incredible panoramic views available from the positions where lighthouses were often placed. These locations are often difficult to access today from the inland. Many people love lighthouses and collect items decorated like them, but not as many have visited them.

Out of the Storm quote1

Third, a historical background of the lumber industry is alluded to in this story, and will no doubt continue to be expanded upon in the series. The Great Lakes lumbering industry operated on two fronts: one from the investor’s point of view, where business was conducted almost entirely among the rich, on the Great Lakes. Competition to cash in on the “green gold” was fierce, where some competitors were ruthless and unethical in their dealings. The second front was from the perspective of the actual laborers, the foremen, the lumberjacks, and the local businessmen and representatives that depended on the influx of such workers. Historical industries like this are the foundation many stories are built upon.

Fourth, the author employed a simple classic love story to complete this introduction to the series. Boy meets girl…girl has doubts and boy has doubts…girl’s parent interferes…a crisis happens…the crisis allows barriers to crumble…boy gets girl (and vice versa)…both learn life lessons demonstrating some growth of character. There’s a happily ever after. It’s a pattern that works well for many readers. We enjoy it and its endless variations. I enjoy the author’s writing style demonstrated by this introductory novella. I’m looking forward to reading the Beacons of Hope series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Discount Christian Books, Bibles and Gifts

Sign up here to join Tyndale publisher’s Reward Program

Free Homeschool Geography 1-year Curriculum Downoad

Well-Planned Holidays: PDF free download for a limited time

Moore Family Films

Tyndale Blog Network

Visit The Book Club Network, Inc.

Cross Focused Reviews

Cross Focused Reviews

Martyr’s Fire (Book 3 of Merlin’s Immortals) by Sigmund Brouwer ~ A Review

Martyr’s Fire (Book 3 of Merlin’s Immortals) by Sigmund Brouwer

Martyrs Fire

Martyr’s Fire is the third book in the Merlin’s Immortals series. It is a revised and expanded version of The Winds of Light series. I do not know how many books there are in the series, but this is definitely not the final book. While it is an integral part of the whole, this book can be read independently. I have not read any other books from this author as of yet, nor have I read any of the other books in this series. Obviously, there are important events in the first two books that provide a much needed background to fully understand the overall theme. These are alluded to in the Martyr’s Fire, but I was still able to discern enough for this tale to flow smoothly. In addition, I am impressed enough with the author’s writing style that I intend to look for the rest of the books and read them as soon as possible.

The series, Merlin’s Immortals, seems to contain a story within a story. The immediate tale is about Thomas, who is ruler of the city of Magnus; the reader learns later that this city is a lynch pin in the events of the broader story. But Thomas has only ruled for three seasons when a small ragtag group of priests claiming to be the Priests of the Holy Grail enter the city and eventually use
psychology and the superstitions of the uneducated populace to grab the reins of the city from Thomas’ grip. He barely escapes with his life. Before he leaves Magnus, a wizened adviser gives him cryptic instructions to aid in his search for answers to his questions.

Setting out on this quest for information, Thomas is unaware of being watched by two groups of people representing two opposing factions that date back to the time of Merlin. Members of both groups want Thomas to join them, yet at the same time he is not completely oblivious to their presence and the undercurrents of tension. However, sometimes the course of events leave him baffled. Thomas’ fighting skills, previous education and training, the assistance of unseen friends and watchers, and even just dumb luck makes this an intriguing adventure.

I enjoy how the author gives the reader just a tiny bit more information than Thomas has. We get to view his predicaments with a different point of view while admiring how well he extricates himself from one mess after another. Yet we are not given enough information to know all that is occurring. The reader is left trying to understand the undercurrents, just as Thomas is doing. This is all part of great plot and character development; we see Thomas maturing through his ordeals.


I would recommend this book for a wide range of ages. For example, the author employs short chapters and fairly simple vocabulary (about fourth grade level) which makes this book a good choice as a read aloud chapter book for group use such as the classroom, library story time, or family story time. Good readers in the middle grades may like this selection, especially those who would enjoy medieval themes and adventurous activity.

While there are elements of warfare and violence, none of it is grossly graphic. At the most, I would say it could be rated PG. It is a family friendly series, with emphasis on the importance of education, training, inner discipline, mentoring, and the love of God. The pace is quick and would appeal to older readers as well as middle grade readers. The book is less a historical fiction piece and more a tale of fantasy. And finally, because of the complexity of multiple story threads, young adults may find this series appealing. I know as a person that’s young at heart, I enjoyed it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Waterbrook Press and the website, Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Author’s website

More information

Read Chapter 1

Author’s bio

My Hope is Found (Book #3 of The Cadence of Grace series) by Joanne Bischof ~ Review

My Hope is Found (Book #3 of The Cadence of Grace series) by Joanne Bischof

My Hope is Found is the third book in the Cadence of Grace trilogy. My review of the second book in this series, Though My Heart is Torn, can be read here.. This book is best read after reading the first two books in the series, or at least the second book where Gideon and Lonnie have become close.

My Hope is Found

In book one, Gideon is a mountain man with musical talent. He is also a man who lives by his desires without restraint. He meets Lonnie Sawyer to whom he is eventually forced to marry. He does not appreciate the jewel she is until she gives birth to his son.

In book two, unforeseen circumstances tear Lonnie and Gideon apart just as their relationship is blossoming and growing. Gideon finds himself married to another woman and Lonnie is now a single mom with an infant. She returns to live with Jebediah and Elsie, an elderly couple who own a farm. In the ensuing months, she forces herself to move on at least outwardly. A young Scottish pastor comes visiting and they become good friends. But he wants to be more than friends.

In book three, Gideon returns to Lonnie after his wife releases him. However, because of legal entanglements, he is still married and not free to win Lonnie back. Instead, he is forced to watch as Lonnie is courted by another man, one whom he considers to be better for her than himself. Gideon has much more to learn about life, loving, and forgiveness, however. Can he learn to accept his limitations, place Lonnie’s welfare before his own, and lean on God for the peace he so desperately needs?

Author Joanne Bischof is one of the best authors I have read this year for writing soul stirring character-driven Christian fiction. Her ability to grasp deep inner conflict and flesh it out to grab the reader’s heart and shake it up amazes me. The reader can’t help but be touched by the depths of such conflicts and even apply the lessons learned to their own struggles.

The author writes in such a way as to draw our respect for Gideon in his turmoil. I have read many books where the author fails to rally their readers around a character while they quake in their weaknesses. Too often, the character loses the reader’s empathy at that point. But in this series, I saw the author present a truly unlikeable person and redeem him until he becomes personable–even a good man. Then she shoves him into the fire and demonstrates how, by the Grace of God, he is transformed into a great man. There are no surprises or abrupt unexplained changes of heart. The reader can follow this transformation step by step. In a sense, I felt as if I were a friend accompanying Gideon on his journey. I didn’t have to be told that he was making good; I could see it for myself. That is talented writing.

God puts things togeher

Ms. Bischof also increases the tension by allowing Lonnie’s new suitor to be a believable and attractive person whom the reader believes could be a wonderful father for Jason, Lonnie’s son, a great brother-in-law for Addie, and a help to Jebediah and Elsie.

Be sure to have a box of tissues with you as you read this book. And if you are anything like me, you are going to love the ending scenes of this series. I highly recommend not only the book, but the entire series to those who enjoy great storytelling and character development.

Author’s website

Author’s podcast interview

For more information

Read Chapter 1

Author’s bio

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Blogging for Books, a service of Waterbrook Multnomah Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Catherine’s Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley ~ Review

God puts things togeher

Catherine’s Pursuit by Lena Nelson Dooley

This book is the third part of a three part series and newly published. I have not read any of the other books of this series, but it seems that this book easily stands by itself. I’m sure if this was read before books one and two, it would change the perception the reader would have of the main characters in these books a little bit. Reading this first did make me want to read the other books to understand the broader story involved.

Catherine's Pursuit

Catherine Lenora McKenna had just turned 18 when she was confronted with a startling revelation. She was one of a set of triplets. Sisters…she had sisters and hadn’t been told about them. At first, she thought they had died when her mother had; she was filled with grief at her loss…at what could have been. But then she learned that her sisters had been adopted by two other couples on the westward bound wagon train her mother and father were traveling with. So why had all this been kept a secret? Where were her sisters now? Feeling cheated of something precious in life, Catherine was determined to find them.

She and her father had been a happy little family that included her Aunt Kirstin, her mother’s widowed sister. She had been given much and denied very little. Still, from time to time she had felt as if something was missing, as if there was an inner emptiness. She had assumed it was because she missed having a mother. But now she understood this secret longing. When she asked her father to accompany her on a journey to find her sisters, he regrettably had to deny her this one request. He showed her a contract which promised the adoptive families he would not seek out his daughters or rip them from their families. He lived with regret over that promise, but even nearly 20 years later, he would not break it. So Catherine had no options left to her but to leave on her own without permission. She took her maid Julie into her confidence and the two of them embarked on a journey of a lifetime.

Captain Collin Elliot was still recovering from his ship’s loss and the damage to his leg that left him limping and in pain. It may be true that he had saved the lives of all his shipmates in the storm, but he certainly didn’t feel like a hero. In fact, he felt the full weight of the loss of Mr. McKenna’s cargo and ship on his young shoulders. So when given the opportunity to work in his employer’s warehouses, he gladly accepted the job. Hard work gave him a way to keep occupied while he healed and an outlet for his frustration. What would he do with the rest of his life? Would he ever captain a ship again? Life had ground to a halt. Then an unusual request from Mr. McKenna sent Collin in an entirely different direction. How could he turn down his generous boss’s request to tail his daughter in her westward journey and offer protection whenever necessary?

Collin was not very impressed with Catherine. The few times he had seen her she appeared distant, pampered, and haughty. To himself, he referred to her as the Ice Princess. All too soon for his liking, their paths crossed and Catherine recognized her father’s employee. She was annoyed at his overbearing interference but eventually accepted his stubborn presence and protection. Her only concern was to continue her search for her sisters.

The adventures that Catherine, Julie, and Collin encountered fleshed out their characters very nicely. I felt a kinship with Catherine as she struggled with her impatience to find her sisters. I could tell she wasn’t used to the seamier side of life and found humor in her capacity to get herself into trouble. Fortunately Collin was more experienced and usually stepped in just in time. It was gratifying to see that Catherine was humble enough to accept help when she needed it and return Collin’s faithfulness and persistence. By the end of the story, I was engaged in all the characters involved and cared to see that conflicts were resolved.

While Catherine learned numerous life lessons in her search, Collin’s character deepened as he explored the spiritual side of life. It was heart-warming to see him grow closer in his relationship with God. His search felt genuine and earnest. The romance involved in the story was only lightly touched upon, enough for me to think this was more of a historical fiction than a romance. However, the resolution in the book in the final two chapters is still satisfying for everyone, including Catherine and Collin.

He careth for you

I also enjoyed the author’s attention to historical detail. It added greatly to the authenticity of the plot-line to include details of geography, clothing, food, speech patterns and mannerisms, social customs, history, and family traditions. The beginning of the story began in a leisurely manner befitting that of a historical fiction while the setting, history and characters were established, but the action and suspense moved along quickly enough by the end of the first third of the book that I was reluctant to put the book down for very long. I’m looking forward to reading the first two books in the series and other books by this author.Trust_Lord_Heart

A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Charisma House Publishing/Realms through the website, the Booketeria. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.