A Breath of Hope By Lauraine Snelling

This is one of those book series that you wish the author could write faster; like maybe a book every few months! I read the Promise of Dawn and could not wait for this book to come out! You can read it as a standalone but you will want to read the first one so you won’t miss anything!
After a great many struggles, Rune and his family are still working for his cantankerous (and that’s putting it nicely) Uncle Einar, and finishing building their new home. With them moving soon, Uncle Eniar will need more help. He offers to pay Nilda, Rune’s sister, passage to America. She is beyond ecstatic! Her family insists her brother Ivar come with her, but he choose to earn money for his own trip. America the land of promise to so many immigrants! Just as with her brother and his family she has no clue of what she will be facing in the way of her uncle’s mean and hateful ways. He does not care for his family just his land and obsession of logging the vast trees.
Just as in the previous book the author has a talent for vividly painting not only the characters experiences and daily life, but also their thoughts and emotions. I felt as if I was right there seeing and being a part of everything, but also stepping inside of each character and perceiving the situations thorough their eyes.
Once again I was greatly inspired by the family’s deep faith in God and how they lived it. Uncle Einar reminds me of people that are so embittered and mean spirited that nothing seems break through their hard shell. God is the only one that can. Seeing the Carlson’s love, patience and forgiveness is overwhelming. You can’t help but wonder how they do it after being consistently mistreated. A lesson for all to learn. I was once more shocked at the extremely hard work and challenge simply to exist in this era. I am afraid I might have given up. Another amazing book in this series! I cannot wait to read the next one!
I received this book from Bethany Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

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The Heart’s Appeal By Jennifer Delamere

This is my first book to read of Ms. Delamere’s and I must say I was very impressed! Since this is the 2nd in a series I definitely want to read the first one, “The Captain’s Daughter”.
Julia is a strong woman, in determination and faith. She is going to need both to achieve her goal of becoming a doctor in 1881. Women’s doctors were frowned upon and faced great opposition. There were few places they could go to medical school and be trained. Already a competent midwife/nurse (both of which were acceptable according to society) Julia had a master plan. She was going to get into medical school then head to Africa as a missionary to heal souls and bodies. This is her passion. With little in the way of money but lots in the way of motivation she forges ahead.
Her master plan is in place until one faithful day when involved in a subway accident she saves the life of Michael, a handsome, wealthy lawyer with plans of his own that do not include God. He desires to marry well and be a huge success. Julia is intrigued by him and after the accident persuades him to give her lessons in Latin (which she sorely needs for her upcoming exam). It turns out he is the very attorney on the case to close down the women’s medical school she is working so hard to enter! They find themselves falling in love but their path is scattered with many complications greater than the conflict of interests.
There are so many things I liked about this book! Foremost, how faith and dependence on God was key throughout the book. I found it ironic that Julia was a woman of prayer and sought the Lord in all matters, yet she had left Him out of HER life plan. A trap I feel many of us fall into at one time her another. I loved the fact that she was raised in George Mueller’s orphanage; no wonder she had such a strong walk with God! It was inspirational to see her commitment to the Lord with all people no matter how they ridiculed or rejected her. She truly lived Christ. Michael to me represented the standards of the world even today: money, fame, achievement, all without God. In both their lives I saw how we can make all the plans we want, but will step in and change them to His. Sometimes His intervention may come in the form of problems and difficulties.
This was much more than a wonderfully written historical romance! There was danger, mystery, and a totally unpredictable plot! I loved it!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Keturah By Lisa T. Bergren

“Keturah” what an unusual name! This is the first thing that drew my attention to the book. The story is as unique as its name. Being the oldest of three girls, responsibility falls heavily on Keturah’s shoulders when they receive word their Father has died. Their mother has already passed on and their Dad was absent much of their lives making his fortune with a plantation on the island in the West Indies. Unfortunately the estate is not doing well and the girls could lose everything. Unable to provide for them Keturah makes the decision to leave their beloved home in England and try to restore the plantation. Also traveling there is her childhood friend Gary Covington with whom her friendship was severed due to his unscrupulous youth. He too hopes to salvage his family plantation and protect the girls.
At a young age she is already a widow and carries the emotional scars of an abusive husband. Not only has this led her vow to never marry but has also made her stubborn, headstrong woman, determined to do everything on her own.
Even for the wealthy sea travel was no piece of cake. I was fascinated by the author’s vivid description of a long sea voyage during that period. It was dangerous, miserable, boring and exhausting. Single women were certainly not safe traveling alone with the sailors and other men on the ship. I have no clue how they survived in the tight space they were given!
Getting there was only a small part of the battle. That era was a “man’s world” and the cruelty, rejection and prejudice against the women was more than I could have imagined. The abusiveness, with which the slaves were treated, broke my heart! Seemingly insurmountable obstacles, loneliness, exhausting work and painful secrets didn’t stop her. Her headstrongness served her well. I admired her strong faith in God and choosing to look at her blessings when all seemed to be falling apart. I learned a many new details about that era. A beautiful story!
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.