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KOINONIA BOOK REVIEWS

If you're an author and you would like your book reviewed by KOINONIA BOOK REVIEWS, submit your request to the address below.
 
 
Koinonia Book Rating Scale:

 
*****...Outstanding - Pass the Word!  Worth sharing with your friends (This one's a KEEPER!)

****.....Excellent - Definitely Worth Reading.  This one's for you!

***......Very Good - Enjoyable reading and Highly Recommended

**........Good - Didn't mind reading but would not read again

*..........Fair  
 
 
 
 

REDEMPTION (Legacy of a Pirate)

By ML Tyndall

Barbour Publishing

 

* * * *

I used to look for any swashbuckling romance I could find and sit down to enjoy it. Lately, I haven't seen many, so I was delighted to come across ML Tyndall's rendition.

How exciting to also come across a born again pirate! As one other reviewer already written, Mary Lu Tyndall has managed to pull it off, and I think she has done it well.

Tyndall's book was greatly entertaining for me as an historical romance. I was curious as to how she got away with some of her comments throughout the story with Barbour as the publisher! I will say, she has garnered a new fan in me.

I'm not going to take the time to write down what the book was about, as so many others before me have already done that.

I will say, however, if you are a swashbuckling pirate fan, I guarantee you will have an enjoyable time with this book, even as an inspirational.

Kudos to ML Tyndall! I am now off to the second in your series!

Thanks for a good read.

Reviewer: Shirley C

To get in touch with author: www.mltyndall.com

 

 

IT'S NOT ABOUT ME                                                                                 By Michelle Sutton                                                                                                   Copyright2008                                                                                                                                                                                              Young Adult - Edgy Inspirational

* * * *

For all you readers who are looking for a little adrenaline in your life pick up “It’s not about me” by Michelle Sutton.  She writes this amazing story directed to teenagers helping them to see how having Jesus in your life from the very beginning can help you make good choices throughout your entire life.

This book starts out with a horrible tragedy and becomes something of a love story. It describes the kind of love that is shared between Jesus and young people as well as the people in their lives. This book is written in such a way that it could be read by all members of the family. I could not put this book down and can’t wait to read the sequel. Hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did.

Reviewed by: Michelle Rostrom

To get in touch with the author: www.michellesutton.com

 
THE CASE OF THE BOUNCING GRANDMA
By A.K. Arenz
Seaf House
Copyright 2008
ISBN: 978-0-9797485-2-3
Romantic Suspense - Inspirational
 
* * * *
The once active Glory Harper is now reduced to sitting in a wheelchair, after breaking her leg. To amuse her self, she watches her new neighbors as they move in. What she doesn't expect is to see a carpet with a foot dangling from one end of it.The difficulty now is convincing someone about what she has seen. Her daughter, and sister think it's in her imagination, and the police, who remember Glory from the multi-car pile-up, caused by her skateboarding accident, take her statement even less seriously. Even the Detective, Rick Spencer takes more of an  interest in her than the case.The more Glory watches her neighbors, she starts to see that something bigger than just a murder case is going.  Her actions have now placed her and her family in danger. As she follows one path to the suspects, the real criminals are closing in.

The Case of the Bouncing Grandma is a Light-Hearted  mystery that is fun, and an easy read. The characters have a great interaction with each other and draw you into the story beautifully. Glory Harper's sense of adventure as shown by author, A.K. Arenz, is enduring, and will keep the readers on their toes with her next caper.

A great read. I think any book by A. K. Arenz, especially this one, would be an addition to your personal library.

Reviewer: Caree C.
(Check out the Author) www.a.k.arenz.com
 
 
BEACH DREAMS
By Trish Perry
Harvest Houst
ISBN: 13-978-0-7369-2446-7
 
Chick Lit
Inspirational
 
* * * *
Beach Dreams had a wonderful setting and was great for light summer reading. Since I did not have the first two books, by Ms Perry, to compare it with, I was introduced to the characters for the first time. Tiffany, the heroine in the story, gets an opportunity to go on a retreat to a beach house in Southern California, but finds herself booked there at the same time as the one person she hasn't got much use for, for several reasons. You learn quickly about those reasons from the just about the first page of the story. At the beginning, you discover one conflict after another, on Tiffany's road to romance with a darling of an Englishman, who, unfortunately does not share her faith.

I love the secrets that unraveled with the turning of the pages toward the beginning of the book but was only slightly disappointed that most of the conflict decreases as you get to the second half. I saw it move more toward Christian fiction than intriguing romance, but I still enjoyed the story very much. I am not much, usually, for contemporary settings, but Beach Dreams kept my interest all the way through. I recommend it highly for anyone looking for light and airy reading on a hot, summer evening.
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the Author) www.trishperrybooks.com
 
 
COURTING TROUBLE
By Deanne Gist
Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0394-7
 
Historical Romance
Inspirational 
 
* * * *
Essie Spreckelmeyer, a feisty, almost middle-aged woman, still single, is the independent lady of the era, with a mind of her own.  Especially as she goes serching for a man to take her as wife.  Busy about her task, she believes no one will come to her willingly, so she's out to find her own. What happens in her search for the right one to suit her becomes the page turner for this story set in Corsicana, Texas in the year 1894.
 
Full of wit and character, this book with a memorable group of characters by a great storyteller, I believe, is one of Deanne Gist's most lively! The twists and turns come about unexpectedly which keeps the reader wanting to stay with it, rather than slip away to work in her garden.  Drawbacks?  Maybe it was my disappointment in the way she finished the story. A real page turner for this reviewer. Delightfully fun  and an interesting read. If you like surprises you will enjoy Courting Trouble!  
 
Reviewer: Caree C
(Check out the author) http://www.deeannegist.com/
 
 
 
A Lady of High Regard
By Tracie Peterson
Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-2777-6
 
Historical Romance
Inspirational 
* * * * *
Fast-paced and set in the 1800s in Philadelphia, this story is about a socialite who loves to matchmake others and often forgets about herself. The ultimate in propriety, Mia Stanley is a woman whose heart you'll find is bigger than her common sense...or at least it seems that way. Mia is a working woman, back when that kind of thing was frowned upon for real ladies. Under wraps she is a writer for Godey's Lady's Book magazine, and its there she puts her heart and soul in all her writings. But unfortunately her work leads her right into the rougher section of town. There, she discovers a few Seamen's wives being taken advantage of. This involves Mia in a personal mission to makes sure these same women get a fair treatment in life. 

The story takes us right into an unexpected love involvement between Mia and her long time best friend, Garrett. It only takes a bit to fall right into the feelings of both and the conflict they get into with each other. Is the wait to see what's going to happen worth the complete read? I thought so. 

Tracie Peterson's writing is full of adventure, danger, and very lovable characters. She also provides depth and has each of her readers thinking about what their role should be in helping people less fortunate.  I had fun reading this one in between writing.  It is definitely worth reading on a couple of Sunday afternoons.  Mia, that proper young lady, who is a writer herself, keeps your eye on the page wanting to turn to see what is going to happen next.  Ms Peterson did an outstanding job.
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the author) www.traciepeterson.com
 
 
Winning the Highlander's Heart
Terry Spear
Vintage
ISBN: 978−1−4022−1157−7
 
Historical Romance
* * * *
Anice, Countess of Brecken, at the beginning, is to the home of her cousins, Queen Matthilda and King Henry I for the purpose of finding a suitable husband. Not appreciated her fate by the time she gets there she finds issue with the behavior of the King and attempts to escape from his advances. What she doesn't realize is the way she goes about her escape becomes the very beginning of a pattern that endears him to her very heart.

Malcom MacNeill, Earl of Pembrinton, arrives and discovers the Scottish Countess as she is attempting to secure her freedom.  His adventurous life becomes turned around by the stirring distraction of the Scottish lady. The rest the reader must see for herself to discover where the author takes this suspenseful story!

Delightfully witty dialogue, interesting characters, exciting and suspenseful to the max, this is an incredible story written by Terry Spear for those who enjoy reading funloving and adventurousl stories full of Scottish brogue and unsuspected events.  I enjoyed it very much but there might be some who have a difficult time with some of the brogue. I will read Ms. Spear's work again.

Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the author) www.terryspear.com
 
Gossamer Wings
Anne Whitfield
Vintage
ISBN: 0-9785368-6-X
 
Historical Romance
* * * * * 
Set in Leeds, England in 1870, Grace Woodruff is the eldest of seven daughters in a dysfunctional family situation, and her mired with the responsibility of being in charge of everything including a father who sees her and all the rest of her sisters as worthless commodities until they are wed, and that for only the purpose of  him gaining wealth and some sort of nobility. Fate sets in to deal with this entire family, unfortunately bringing devastating circumstances. that will send this many members spiraling out of control. Grace ends up standing alone iand trying to forge a new way of life as household manager to her six sisters. This takes so much from Grace's time let alone her spirit, the reader finds her yearning for her own perfect family.
 
Anne Whitfield's story of the heart touched my heart from beginning to end and was impossible to put down. You want to cheer the heroine on from beginning to end with your tissues urging her to continue. Kudos to Ms Whitfield who is a more than excellent writer.
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the author) www.annewhitfield.com
 
Opal
Lauraine Snelling
ISBN: 9780764222207
Historical Fiction
Inspirational
* * *
The heroine, Opal, young and energetic ends up on Ruby and Rand's ranch taking to it right away, a true tomboy at heart. Youthful Opal can ride and rope with the best of them all. It's when young Pastor Fitzgardar comes to town, she begins to see herself differently. Opal discovers that love holds more joys than riding with the boys.   
 
The story is supposed to be centered around a young woman, Opal who makes many foolish decisions for her life, but it is Jacob who catches this reader's heart. Miss Snelling does a wonderful job working her characters and bringing out their personalities, so that I felt like a part of them but unfortunately, by the ending I was left empty and feeling greatly disappointed.I hope my next read by Ms. Snelling will leave me with a better impression.
 
Reviewer: Caree C
(Check out the author) www.Larainesnelling.com
 
Every Time I turn Around I Bump into God
Barb Boswell
Non fiction (Self-Help)
* * * * *
Ms Boswell has fun with life and takes the reader into a high spirited jaunt into her own faith journey through her troubled times and she manages to do it  successfully even through her tender bout with cancer. It is a joyful way to show us all that hard times don't have to be so difficult. I like that. It's all in how we look at things.  Good going Ms. Boswell.
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the author) www.barbboswell.com
 
 
Willow Springs
Jan Watson
Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-0-7394-8336-7 
Inspirational fiction
* *
Copper Brown from Troublesome Creek, finds herself suddenly married to an almost stranger, the  doctor, Simon Corbett, who whisks her off an away from her beloved home to a busy life  in Lexington, Kentucky. Sad and lonely, Copper has to learn to adjust to a completely different kind of lifestyle to what she is accustomed.  The troubles and tragedies that come her way and into the hands of the doctor are guaranteed to change both forever.    
 
Colorful and descriptive and lively throughout. But in the reading I found that Ms Watson tended to do a lot of head-hopping.  I was confused while reading the book more often than not. There are several subplots going on in this story which is okay in itself when handled well with care. I'm hoping to read it again and maybe get a better picture the second time through.
 
Reviewer: Linda B
Check out the author through www.tyndale.com
 
A Passion Most Pure
Julie Lessman
Harvest
 
Historical Romance
Inspirational
* * * * * 
True to life writing about a couple of sibling sisters who are in love with the same stinker of a guy who needs to do something about his life if he wants to win the right woman. One of the girls looks as if she will remain faithful to her God while the other is as rebellious as they come. 
 
This story was interesting, with developed characters and enough grip to hook you. I enjoyed the admirable qualities of some and willingly waited for others to come around. I applaud the realism author, JulieLessman used in some areas but there were places it did not extend with Faith and her beliefs. Over all, A Passion Most Pure is a great read with lessons for all young women to learn, although I wouldn't recommend it for a young teen, who might be tempted to follow the traits of Faith's sister, Charity, and begin to think it's okay to sin, and then go to God later about it. I loved how Ms Lessman instilled a true breath of life into all her characters, especially with her dialogue.  I guarantee, it's a page turner! Kudos to Julie Lessman. 
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
(Check out the author) www.julielessman.com
 
Haven
Bobbi Smith
Dorchester
ISBN: 0-8439-5312-8
 
Romance
Inspirational
* * *
A story that takes the reader into the lives of several disparate individuals who intersect at a local church discovering how each individual's worlds begin to go downhill. We read about an ex con who seeks refuge, then guidance after witnessing a murder; we read about an embittered matron who must face life when she discovers her spouse has walked out on her for a woman young enough to be both their daughter. There's a story within the story about an unwed mother seeking to strengthen her life as she faces the future. Each character goes through struggles the reader gets involved with as she reads the story. This book is unlike many inspirational romances. It speaks to how good people are not so good and can be petty or wrong about many things, yet it still offers hope. To sum up the message I think author Bobbi Smith was trying to accomplish would be to show us  how everyone with problems can receive a miracle...if they search for it.
 
I found HAVEN to be, in some ways, fine and uplifting, since it spoke to faith lost and faith found in a group of people's lives, but since it was labeled "inspirational" I was disappointed to see unnecessary use of foul language. I can receive that sort of thing in a secular novel, but for many readers looking for inspirational ways of escape, I have to draw the line. Ms Smith, in Haven showed a strong message of God's love, however in her writing. IF you haven't read her work, you should.

Reviewer: Caree C
Check out the author: www.bobbismith.com
 
Secrets of a Duchess
Kaitlin O'Riley
Kensington
 
Historical Romance
**
Caroline Armstrong, with her sister, goes to London to live with her grandmother. Caroline, for secret reasons,decides she can never marry, but keeps her reasoning to herself, until the Duke of Woodborough, Alexander Woodward shows up to kindle her spirit through a scandalous pretense of marriage with him. She become enraptured by Alex, then finds herself in a precarious situation.
 
I enjoy reading others' debut novels, but found myself completely disappointed with Ms O'Riley's attempt. It was not well written and her lack of taking time to do research into the time period shown throughout. I don't mind a few errors in a novel, but in this one I saw too much head hopping, and too many elementry level cliches as well. Perhaps her second book will be better.
 
Reviewer: Shirley C
Check out the author. http://www.kaitlinoriley.com/
 
CALICO CANYON
By Mary Connealy
Barbour Publishing
Copyright 2008
 
* * *
 
Fast paced and genuinely funny story about a young school marm, Grace, whose life is in a turmoil over five boys.  Not too far into the book, Grace finds herself forced to marry these same boys' widowed father, Daniel.  Conflict ridden, yet full of laughs, there were places in the story I got lost, because so much was going on at the same time with so many people.
 
Calico Canyon had just enough romance to draw the reader in.
 
I enjoyed it, but found myself disappointed in places where I got a little confused with what was going on. All in all it was a good book, and I look forward to the sequel.
 
Reviewed by Linda B
To notify the author: www.maryconnealy.com

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